Thursday, March 8, 2012


I'm a sucker for oddballs.

Oddballs of all sorts, really. But here I'm referring specifically to those idiosyncratic test issues and limited-run sets that have emanated from Topps over the years.

This particular card is from the 1964 Topps Rookie All-Star Banquet set.

Back in the day, Topps would hold a ceremony each year to honor the players who were selected to their all-rookie team. You and I know these players best as the ones who received a garish gold trophy on the front of what was generally their second-year card.

Each year, Topps produced a program to accompany the ceremony, but in 1964 they decided to stick with their metier and do the program in card form.

The oversized, blank-backed cards were presented as a boxed set, and folioed with page numbers rather than card numbers. The card subjects ranged from the Topps' voting committee, to current winners, to past recipients.

This particular card-- page 11 in the set-- depicts the members of the 1962 Topps Rookie All-Star team. So each and every one of the players pictured here appeared in the 1963 set with a rookie trophy adorning their card. You could look it up, as the man once said. Here's the 1963 Al Jackson as an illustration:

The interesting thing about the 1963 trophies is that they are the only ones I can recall that actually replace a design element on the card-- standard 1963 cards have a large circle containing an inset photo.

Of course, what attracted me to this card with an intensity that led to purchase was the presence of Mr Jackson down in the lower-right corner, who made the all-rookie team on the strength of his 8-20 season for Casey's Amazins.

And as an ancillary bonus, three of the other players on the card eventually did time with the Mets as well: Ed Charles, Al Luplow, and Dean Chance.

This card, in the main, is not particularly attractive or dynamic. But it is just oddball enough to earn a place in my heart...


  1. Pretty cool find!

    Can't believe you called the Topps trophy garish...

  2. I blame the "garish" comment on the cheap allure of alliteration...

  3. Very nice card. First time I have seen that many players on one card - I found your story on the all-rookie ceremony to be really interesting.

  4. Thanks for the comments, Jon. And you're right-- it is one crowded card...