Sunday, March 20, 2011

1960 Topps Phillies

1960 Topps #264, #130, #17
I never gave much thought to the 1960 Topps set until Topps released its 2009 Heritage set borrowing the design from its 49-year-old predecessor.  I only recently realized how innovative the set truly is, especially in light of the lifeless set (in my opinion) that would follow in 1961.  Topps was rolling out the subsets in earnest now, including Sport Magazine Rookie Stars, manager cards, team cards, multi-player cards, Topps All-Star Rookies, World Series cards, floating head coaches cards, and Sport Magazine All-Stars.
1960 Topps #103, #302, #366
The Set
Number of cards in the set:  Similar to the prior year, there are 572 cards in a complete set.
My very brief thoughts on the set:  It's horizontal.  This was the first time Topps had used a horizontal design for its entire base set since 1955, and (to date) it's also the last time.  The design features a full color portrait next to a black and white posed action shot.  In a way, it's kind of like the 1994 Upper Deck set's hip father.
Notable competition:  Leaf released a 144-card set, it's first baseball card release since 1948.  And Fleer released a 79-card set of Baseball Greats.

1960 Topps #226 and #466
1960 Phillies
Record and finish:  The team's 59-95 finish landed them in the basement of the National League for the second year in a row.
Key players:  Robin Roberts was 12-16 with a 4.02 ERA and closer Turk Farrell was 10-6 with a team leading 11 saves.  Tony Taylor, acquired from the Cubs in May, led the team with a .287 average.  Pancho Herrera hit 17 home runs with 71 RBIS, but he also set a National League record (at the time) with 136 strikeouts.  New Phillies Johnny Callison (.260 in 99 games) and Art Mahaffey (7-3 with a 2.31 ERA) also showed some promise.
Key events:  As famously reported, manager Eddie Sawyer quit after the Phillies dropped their first game of the season against the Reds, quipping, "I'm 49 years old and I want to live to be 50."  Coach Andy Cohen took over for the second game, and the Phillies hired Gene Mauch to manage the third game through the remainder of the season.  Mauch definitely would see his share of heartache during his tenure as Phillies manager.  Curt Simmons was released by the team in May only to be signed by the Cardinals a few days later.

1960 Phillies in 1960 Topps
1960 Topps #264 (Back)
Cards needed for a complete team set:  There are 35 Phillies cards in a complete 1960 Topps Phillies team set.  For a master set of Phillies Topps cards from 1951 through 1960, we're up to 208 cards.
Who’s in:  40 players suited up for the 1960 Phillies, and 30 of them are featured as Phillies in the 1960 Topps set.  The remaining five cards consist of a team card, a coaches card, a card for manager Sawyer, and cards for Sparky Anderson and Valmy Thomas who did not play for the Phillies in 1960.
Who’s out:  Regular shortstop Ruben Amaro was featured in the 1959 set, but he's not in the 1960 set.  The only other notable omission is pitcher Chris Short, who appeared in 42 games with the team.  Short would have to wait until 1967 for his rookie card as, I'm guessing, he just never signed a contract with Topps.  It would have also been nice to see a card for rookie Bobby Wine, who made it into four games in 1960.
Phillies on other teams:  Regular second baseman Taylor (#294) and catcher Cal Neeman (#337) were acquired from the Cubs in May for Ed Bouchee and Don Cardwell.  While center fielder Tony Gonzalez (#518) and third baseman Lee Walls (#506) were acquired from the Reds in June for Harry Anderson, Wally Post and Fred Hopke.  Future Red Sox manager Joe Morgan appears on card #229 with the Athletics.  He was purchased from the Atheltics by the Braves in August 1959 and then shipped back to the Braves in April 1960.  In June 1960, the Braves traded him to the Phillies for Al Dark.  The Phils kept him for a few months before selling him to the Indians in August.
What’s he doing here:  I don't know the timing of when Topps released each series of its baseball cards in 1960, so I'm guessing they didn't have enough time to update the Phillies manager card to Mauch in time for card #226.
Cards that never were candidates: Mauch, Taylor, Amaro, Short and Wine.
Favorite Phillies card:  None of the player cards really stand out, so I'll go with the Dallas Green rookie card as my favorite.  Green pitched in 23 games (starting 10), going 3-6 with a 4.10 in his rookie season. The coaches' floating heads card is a close runner-up.
1960 Topps #34, #138, #451

Other Stuff
Recycled:  Topps used this design for its 2009 Topps Heritage set - the first Heritage set since 2001 that I did not attempt to collect.  A year before, Topps used the 1960 Topps All-Star Rookies subset design for its insert set, 2008 Topps 50th Anniversary All-Rookie Team.
Blogs/Websites:  He's been quiet recently, but fellow Phillies fan Jim from Downington runs a blog detailing his "ramblings" on 1960s Baseball.
Did You Know?:  We've seen examples of this here and there so far with the Topps Phillies cards, but there are two Phillies cards in the 1960 set where Topps doesn't even try to cover up the fact the player is appearing is his previous team's uniform - Callison appears in his White Sox uniform and Ted Lepcio appears as a Tiger.
2009 Topps Heritage #334, #415, #563


Kevin said...

I had never seen a card of Sparky Anderson as a player.

Sparky even looked old as a player (look at the photo on the left with him in a batting stance)...he couldn't have been more than roughly 25 at the time.

Anonymous said...

I never really knew much about this set, either, until I picked up the Roberts card at a show a year or so ago. I think it's a cool looking set now. Maybe if we were Pirates fans, we'd be all over this set a lot sooner...

Anyway, I've mentioned before how I like the Vintage Legends idea, though Topps botched their own designs. However, I really like the Schmidt one from 1960, same style as the Roberts card, I think it looks really nice. I like the old Phillies logo with Schmidt on that card.