Friday, May 6, 2011


Sarcasm does not suit you, Topps.

“Mets Maulers” indeed. Our Maulers here combined for 24 HRs in 1966. Kranepool batted .254, and Swoboda contributed a robust .222.

But perhaps the lack of an apostrophe in the card title is telling. Maybe Eddie and Ron are looking off camera at a fast-approaching panther with a sinister blue glint in its eyes...

Truth be told, I never cared much for these posed multiplayer cards. They are the cardboard equivalent of an awkward conversation.

And the '67 set is just lousy with them. In addition to the Maulers, the set contains the following combos:

The Champs
Cards Clubbers
Tribe Thumpers
Bengal Belters
Pitt Power
Hurlers Beware
Twin Terrors
Atlanta Aces
Fence Busters
Tribe Hill Aces
Bird Bombers

The general theme here is offense, the only exceptions being the Tribe Hill Aces (Sam McDowell and Sonny Siebert) and the extremely odd pairing on the Atlanta Aces card (pitcher Tony Cloninger and “ace” shortstop Denis Menke).

Topps offered these strained multiplayer cards again in '68 and '69, but then stepped back from the abyss as the decade turned. And part of what I love about the '70 and '71 sets is their near-complete lack of gewgaws, gimcracks, and gimmickry. The sets are spartan, gray, and black, with all killer and no filler.

The '72 set has the equal appeal of being completely batshit insane, but that's a story for another day...

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