Four Vintage All-Star Rookies

Brian over at Highly Subjective and Completely Arbitrary has had a series of posts about the Topps All-Star Rookie Team as highligted on cards from 1960 to 1970 (so far). So inspired was I by these posts that I went out and bought a bunch of 1960’s All-Star Rookie cards during my recent COMC binge.

Rather than get into their rookie seasons and general career trajectory, I’ll just list some interesting facts about each player.

1961 Topps Tony Curry
Tony Curry was the second-ever Major Leaguer from the Bahamas (there have been six to date, with Antoan Richardson being the most recent). He played 95 games for the Phillies in 1960, but only 15 in 1961 and 19 in 1966 with Cleveland.

1962 Topps Charlie Smith
Charley Smith was already something of a journeyman by the time this card came out.  He broke in with the Dodgers in 1960, was traded to the Phillies in May, 1961 and, as the front of his card indicates, was traded in late 1961 to the White Sox.  This is his rookie card.

Here’s a notable fact for you:  Smith was traded to the Yankees straight-up for Roger Maris.  This happened late in 1966.  Yankee fans were not happy about the trade.  Smith also played with the Cardinals (who got Maris) and the Mets.

1966 Topps Marcelino Lopez

It’s a little hard to read the white letters against lavender, but this is Marcelino Lopez.  Lopez was a Cuban who debuted with the Phillies in 1963, at the tender young age of 19… but he didn’t establish himself until 1965 with the Angels.  That year Lopez went 14-13 with a 2.93 ERA and finished second to Curt Blefary in A.L. Rookie of the Year voting.  He’d stick around with the Orioles, Brewers and Indians until 1972.

1968 Topps Tim Cullen

Tim Cullen was involved in an interesting pair of transactions in 1968.  That February, he was involved in a six-player trade that sent him from the Senators to the White Sox.  That August, he was traded back to the Senators for Ron Hansen, another player involved in that same February trade.  Aside from the Senators and White Sox, he also played for the A’s at the end of his MLB career.

Now that the initial wave of enthusiasm has subsided, I’m not quite as gung ho about collecting all of these All-Star-Rookie-trophy-bearing cards, but I would like to get more.  I’d currently rate this level of want as “An excuse to get more vintage commons”.

…and I do have more of these to share, but they’ll wait for another day.

ShlabotNotes:

On Wednesday, I featured an “April Fools” Mike Piazza card from Sports Illustrated For Kids. Here it is again:

1999 SI for Kids Series 4 Mike Piazza

There was enough interest in knowing what other cards were featured in that April, 1999 issue that I did a little digging and found all 9 cards April Fools’ Day cards on that issue’s sheet:

784 – Piazza wearing goalie equipment
785 – David Robinson dunking a soccer ball
786 – Michelle Kwan with inline skates
787 – Sheryl Swoopes in Wonderland (giant ball)
788 – John Elway throwing Cream Pies
789 – Pete Sampras playing with a ping pong paddle
790 – Mark McGwire playing for the Cubs
791 – Jerry Rice juggling footballs
792 – Paul Kariya with real ducks

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One thought on “Four Vintage All-Star Rookies

  1. Man, that ‘top hat’ trophy!

    Two things. I remember how upset Yankee fans were about that Maris trade. Which was ironic considering how they had treated him in 1961.

    And I can’t think of Marcelino Lopez without remembering two guys carrying a ‘Marcelino Lopez Fan Club’ banner around the lower deck of Yankee Stadium in 1969 when I was there to watch the Orioles.

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