Friday, August 25, 2017

Dissecting the 1966 Set

Continuing the series I started with the 1967, 1968, and 1969 sets, here is similar information about the 1966 set. 

The 1966 Topps set had 598 cards, and curiously does not include any World Series cards. There are 20 manager cards (none for the Cubs but 2 for the Astros), 19 team cards (no Astros), 46 rookie stars cards, 12 league leaders, 5 multi-player cards, and 7 checklists. There are also 489 cards of individual players.

Here is the position breakdown of the 489 player cards. Only a few cards have the position abbreviated (mostly 2nd basemen).  The only pitcher abbreviated to "P" is Aurelio Monteagudo (naturally!)

205 cards for Pitcher
52 cards for Catcher
21 cards for 1st Base
22 cards for 2nd Base
23 cards for Shortstop
20 cards for 3rd Base
18 cards for Infield
106 cards for Outfield

That's a total of 467 cards. The remaining 22 cards featured players at more than 1 position (the least amount for any year from 1966-69). Below is a sample of each position:

As we've seen with the other sets so far, no combination of positions is more prevalent than 1B-OF, this time with 4 players: Bob Johnson, Orlando Cepeda, Wes Parker, and Tito Francona. (I was going to use Cepeda's card, but we are already Giant-heavy.)

The opposite combo of OF-1B usually has the 2nd-most players, as it does here with three (Walt Bond, Bob Chance, and the Phillies' John Herrnstein).

Jim Ray Hart is the only player at 3B-OF, while Joe Nossek and the Indians' George Banks check in at OF-3B.

Felix Mantilla (whose card I don't have) is all alone at 2B-OF, and there are none at OF-2B.  Cookie Rojas and (of course) Jim Stewart are the two INF-OF representatives.

There are only two players in the set with positions of C-1B, and they are teammates Joe Torre and Gene Oliver. Since John Boccabella doesn't have his own card yet, there are no 1B-C cards (heh heh).

Harmon Killebrew is the only player at 3B-1B, with none at the opposite position.

Al Weis and the Senators' Ken Hamlin both have a position of 2B-SS, while Roberto Pena is the only SS-2B (and wouldn't you know it - I don't have his card.) The scarcity of players at these two positions continues to amaze me.

These are the only 2 players at these positions, and there are none with the reverse combo.

This position combo is even stranger than Mel Queen's "P-OF" found in the 1967 set. "1B-INF"? Shouldn't that be "INFIELD"?

There are so many quirks in this set that I don't know where to begin:

1. Dick Ellsworth's card has a photo of Ken Hubbs, his Cubs' teammate who died 2 years earlier in a plane crash.

2. There is no card for a Cubs' manager (Leo Durocher).

3. There are 2 manager cards for the Astros. Lum Harris was fired in December 1965, and replaced by Grady Hatton. (Who fires a manager in DECEMBER?)

4. No cards for veterans Maury Wills, Chris Short, Joe Adcock, Dick Hall, Bob Lillis, Frank Bolling, Don Blasingame, Jim Gilliam, Lou Clinton, Ed Roebuck, or Wes Stock. (Here are some custom 1966 cards to fill the gap.)

5. 14 pitchers for the Astros, while most teams had 9 to 11.

6. FOUR catchers and SEVEN outfielders for the Angels, and EIGHT outfielders for the Orioles. (The Angels also have 4 catchers in 1967, and 8 outfielders in 1967 AND 1968 !)

7. No cards for Dodgers' SS, Astros' SS, Braves' 2B, or Senators' 2B (see above comments about Wills, Lillis, Bolling, and Blasingame).

No comments: