Sunday, April 10, 2011

1963 Topps Phillies

1963 Topps #434, #283, #32 and #341
If 1962 Topps beget 1987 Topps, then 1963 Topps beget 1983 Topps.  I didn't know much about this set growing up other than it's the set with Pete Rose's rookie card in it.  If you had asked 10-year-old me if I could have any baseball card in the entire world, I wouldn't have hesitated with my pick - the Rose rookie card.  Maybe one day.

The Set
1963 Topps #366 (Back)
Number of cards in the set:  The complete set consists of 576 cards, down from the 598 total cards found in the 1962 Topps set.
My very brief thoughts on the set:  The folks at Topps must have wanted to mix things up in 1963 after a soothing, wood-grained design in 1962.  The '63 Topps set is very colorful, with blues, yellows, oranges, reds and greens used no matter the team.
Notable competition:  Post and the Salada coins were around again in 1963, but it was the 66-card Fleer set that gave Topps its biggest competition since Bowman departed the scene in 1955.  The Standard Catalog mentions that a "lawsuit by Topps stopped Fleer's 1963 set at one series of 66 cards."  The complete Phillies team set from 1963 Fleer consists of five cards.

1963 Phillies
Record and finish:  The Phillies finished with a record of 87-75, their highest win total since also winning 87 games in 1952.  They still finished fourth in the National League behind the Giants, Cardinals and pennant winning Dodgers.  Things were looking up and they would almost reach the promised land in 1964.  Almost.
Key players:  Johnny Callison (.284, 26 home runs and 78 RBIs) and Wes Covington (.303, 17 home runs and 64 RBIs) paced the offense.  Roy Sievers' average dropped to .240, but he still hit 19 home runs and drove in 82 runs.  Tony Gonzalez hit .306 in another steady year for the Phillies.  With Art Mahaffey missing a chunk of the season with a bad ankle, starters Cal McLish (13-11, 3.26 ERA) and Ray Culp (14-11, 2.97 ERA) led the pitching staff.  Jack Baldschun was great out of the bullpen, saving 16 games and pitching to an 11-7 record with a 2.30 ERA.  Johnny Klippstein contributed a 1.93 ERA in 49 appearances.
Key events:  Shortstop Bobby Wine won his first and only Gold Glove.  Richie Allen was a September call-up, making his Major League debut on September 3rd.

1963 Topps #366, #318, #71 and #385

1963 Phillies in 1963 Topps
Cards needed for a complete team set:  There are 29 cards in a 1963 Topps Phillies team set.  The cumulative tally is 121 cards from the '60s (so far) and 294 Topps Phillies cards dating back to 1951.  (Turns out there are actually 30 Phillies cards in a complete team set - see the comments to this post.  I'll update the overall tally if I ever get to a 1951 to whenever Topps Phillies retrospective post.)
Who’s in:  22 players who actually played with the Phillies in 1963 made it into the set - on their own cards.  On three other cards, rookies Marcelino Lopez, Culp, John Boozer and John Herrnstein had to share their rookie cards with several other players on Topps' multi-player Rookie Stars cards.  Mahaffey became the first Phillie to appear on a League Leader card, as he was featured along with the other 1962 victory leaders on card #7.  Rounding out the team set is a card for manager Gene Mauch, a team card, and a card for reliever Billy Smith, who spent the season playing for the Phillies' AAA team in Arkansas.
Who’s out:  Just starting pitcher Chris Short.  And Allen would have to wait for the 1964 Topps set for his rookie card.

1963 Topps #268, #455, #91 and #192
Phillies on other teams:  Ryne Duren (#17) pitched in 33 games for the Phillies after being sold from the Angels in March.  Outfielder Jim Lemon (#369) was purchased from the Twins in May.
What’s he doing here:  I have no arguments with any of the Phillies players featured.  Even Smith, who should have had a card in the 1962 Topps set, was a logical inclusion as he had pitched in 24 games in the prior year.
Cards that never were candidates:  Short and Allen.  The fine Dick Allen Hall of Fame blog has already created a great looking 1963 Topps Richie Allen card.
Favorite Phillies card:  Similar to the 1962 Topps Phillies cards, there aren't any cards that really stand out to me.  I'll pick Bobby Wine's card, although I could be swayed by the smiling Mahaffey or the Cookie Rojas rookie card.

1963 Topps #7 and #221, 2006 Topps Wal-Mart #WM17 and 2001 Upper Deck Vintage #298

Other Stuff
Recycled:  If Topps produces a Heritage set in 2012 (and why wouldn't they?) this will be the design used.  Back in 2001, Upper Deck used a design that looked suspiciously like the 1963 Topps set for its Vintage offering.  And in 2006, Topps failed with a 1963-style Chase Utley card - the circle is too small and the font is all wrong.
Blogs/Websites:  Here's a terrific post on the 1963 Topps set from Dean's Cards.
Did You Know?:  It could be a while before I complete this team set.  John Hernstein's rookie card, #553 in the set, typically sells for a few hundred dollars.  He shares the card with three other Rookie Stars - Brock Davis, Jim Gosger and Willie Stargell.


Anonymous said...

There is a variation as well in the 1963 Set for Phillie can get the card either with the gap in the black-and-white photo that you've pictures, or you can get one that has crudely "filled in" the gap.

Jim said...

Thanks for pointing that out. I've honestly never noticed the white gap before with the Baldschun card. Learn something new every day!

Kevin said...

I am glad you are keeping this going...I have found on my blog that it is boring when you have such a regimented way of presenting information. I am up to the 1984 cards and I am going to allow the writing to be more free flowing. I was always worried when I would get to teams and have nothing to say..for example, the 1983 Astros...they were an average, unremarkable when I wrote up the teams for 1983, I came up with a way to come up with who were the key cards to collect for the team, but I think it made for a boring read. Maybe this is something to keep in mind when writing up these entries.

Also keep in mind the age of your average reader...even if a reader is in his late 40s, he still has no personal connection to cards from the 1950s and early '60s. It may pick up interest.

Anyway...I have a post up for the 1954 Phillies.

Jim said...

I'm heading into a "dark" time for the Phillies and me personally when it comes to the 1964-1969 Phillies sets. I don't have a lot of Phillies cards from those years (yet) and I have no real personal connection to the cards. I'm anxious to start the sets from the '70s.

Anonymous said...

Oops found another variation...the rookie card of Ray Culp has the 1963 and 1962 variation.

Jim from Downingtown said...

Topps did a questionable job airbrushing Cookie Rojas' cap on this card.

They also forgot to airbrush out the Cincinnati Reds' red sleeves under the white uniform vest.

LegitTC said...

In my 51-11 checklist of Phillies, I have 30 cards listed in the set (not including the A/B variation of #29). Ive checked on many sites in cluding Beckett which also has it tallyed at 30 cards

Jim from Downingtown said...

Hmmm... I have 21 Phillies cards in this set (including the Rookie Stars #29 with Culp & Boozer). I'm missing all the high-number cards (Amaro, Brown, McLish, Covington, Klaus, Klippstein, and 2 Rookie Stars cards featuring Marcelino Loppez and John Herrnstein).

That makes 29 cards. I'm not sure what the 30th card is, unless another Rookies Stars card has a Phillie on it.

Jim said...

I think LegitTC is right. I just re-counted from my checklist and there's 30 cards.

Jim - Maybe you're excluding the Mahaffey league leader card from your tally?

In any event, thanks LegitTc for the catch and I'll update the post.

Jim from Downingtown said...

Jim, that's exactly what it is. I don't consider league leaders cards to be for any specific team. I'm surprised that Beckett does - because the same card would then be counted multiple times, once for the team of each person on it.