Saturday, May 15, 2010

#200 - 1962 Most Valuable Players

Card fact: The famed 1962 Topps "wood-panel set" is featured on this card. The '62 Maury Wills "card" actually does not exist. Wills was not signed by Topps, so no card of him appeared on a Topps set until the late 1960s. Topps had to create this card of Wills, much as it did for Campanella with the 1951 and 1955 MVP cards.

Topps used the Wills "card" again in the 1987 set during its "Turn Back the Clock" subset, and the Kmart set of 1982 also used the Wills card, because it consisted of past MVPs, much like this subset.

So, for years, I went around thinking that the 1962 Willis card existed. It took a long time, probably into the early 1990s, for me to realize it didn't. I was almost crest-fallen.

What I thought about this card then: I know this was one of the cards I pulled out of the first packs that I ever bought. But I don't have that particular card scanned. Not sure why. It might be in my Dodger binder, which I can't get to right now.

What I think about this card now: It's a nice-looking card. The '62 set really does look nice. I went from being a fan to not being a fan to enjoying it again. I think the '87 set might've had something to do with me souring on it for awhile.

Other stuff: Mantle's award was the third of four straight Yankee MVP awards between 1960-63. Also, this Mantle card is featured in the 2010 "Cards Your Mom Threw Out" insert set.

Back facts: I actually learned of Wills' single-season stolen base record from the 1977 Topps Turn Back the Clock subset. Cards were my first history teacher.

Other blog stuff: After completing another 100 cards, it's time again to take inventory of the set so far. Here we go:


After 100 cards, the orange-brown combo led with 11 cards. Thanks to the MVP subset and a surge in green-light green cards, things are a little more up-for-grabs now:

Green-light green: 17
Green-purple: 17
Orange-brown: 17
Pink-yellow: 15
Purple-pink: 14
Yellow-red: 13
Red-yellow: 11
Orange-yellow: 10
Brown-orange: 9
Green-yellow: 9
Yellow-light blue: 9
Brown-tan: 8
Light blue-green: 8
Red-blue: 8
Tan-light blue: 8
Yellow-green: 8
Blue-orange: 7
Red-orange: 7


Up to 24 now.


Four more players looking to the sky. That brings the total to 9.


Six total players that we thought looked like women.


There are 17 people in the set so far who have died. That doesn't include the MVP subset or managers.


Still, only Joe Coleman featuring the chaw. I'm hoping this changes in the next 100.


Eight players in the set thus far have had children also play in the majors.




Dave/David still leads with 13 players


Out of the 200 cards so far, I have 24 of them in mini form, for 12 percent of the cards. That'll pick up later.

OK, onward. Next up, one of my most favorite players of all-time.


MCT said...

It's probably no coincidence that this subset crosses a prestigous x00 number, and an iconic card of Mickey Mantle is featured on the card that got the x00 number. If they had wanted to, Topps could have easily arranged this subset so it didn't cross an x00 or x50 number. Some active player got cheated out of one of those numbers this year...

I had that KMart set (I think I still have it packed away in a box in a closet somewhere), and at the time I don't think I realized that the '62 Wills card didn't really exist. Knowing that there was no such card, I can now see in the picture in this post that something doesn't look quite right about it -- the black type on the front of the card is too bold or something. IIRC, the KMart set also created a '75 Fred Lynn "base player" card using a larger version of the same picture from the multiplayer Rookie Outfielders card that he actually appeared on in the 1975 set.

In the early '60s, Fleer made an attempt to break Topps' stanglehold over the baseball card market, going so far as to issue one series of what was intended to be a larger 1963 set before legal and financial pressure from Topps forced them to shut things down. Fleer apparently signed a number players to exclusive contracts, and some of them didn't appear in Topps sets until three or four years later. (I'm not sure if they couldn't appear becuase their contracts with Fleer were technically still in force, or if Topps was just "punishing" them.) I believe that Wills was included in the aborted '63 Fleer set, so he may have been one of those players. On the other hand, Wills' absence from Topps sets pre-dates 1963; I don't how far back Fleer was starting to sign players. It may be that his initial failure to sign with Topps had nothing to do with Fleer.

Kinky Paprika said...

I have some of those KMart cards too and your recollection is spot-on.

Incidentally, I just discovered this blog tonight and have spent a good chunk of my night going through all the posts so far.
This is awesome, thank you for doing it, and keep on truckin'.

Oh, and I come from Rochester.

night owl said...

Welcome, KP. Hope you enjoy the next 460!

Eggrocket said...

I don't know if this is true or not and I'm too lazy to research it right now (too lazy for Wikipedia? What has this world come to?). But my recollection was that Wills was actually "punishing" Topps because they didn't sign him in the minors because they didn't think he was good enough to make the Big Show. Wills got so mad he wouldn't allow Topps to make a card of him for several years.

Again, don't know if that's true or not. Just passing on the story I heard.

night owl said...

That's basically it, eggrocket. Wills wasn't considered a major league prospect at all -- by anybody. So, Topps, which was very thorough with signing players to card deals, didn't try to sign him. Then, when Wills made his mark, they couldn't sign him.

Play at the Plate said...

Like many others, I had the KMART set and it wasn't until I read it just now that I knew Wills didn't have a '62 card. I vaguely recall the story about him not signing with Topps though.