Impulse Buys, 1960 Edition

I’ve been through the story before:  For the first time in years I have a local show to attend, and I try to support the dealers as much as I can… and if that means buying vintage cards on a whim, well that’s the way it’s gotta be.  It’s such a hardship.

Now the 1960 Topps set is one that I’ve historically regarded as extremely “Meh”, but I gained something of an appreciation for it when building my 1960 Orioles team set.

Since I have a better opinion of 1960 Topps, but still not a great opinion, after finishing my O’s set I had the idea that I should just go ahead and finish off all of my remaining wants (which were few) and be done with the set.  Done.  Over with.  Finito.

But the funniest thing happened when I was sorting through cards looking for my wants… I gained new wants… which didn’t stay “wants” long because I just went ahead and bought ’em.

The first card was a card for Game #2 of the 1959 World Series.  Now if the Bums and Chisox were to face off in 2020, my take would be “Well… I guess I’ll root for the White Sox… if I have to pick a side”.  No offense, South Side faithful, I just hold a low opinion of Jerry Reinsdorf and that has carried over to the team.

I seem to have wandered off a bit.  Anyway, the point was that I normally wouldn’t have much desire for a World Series card from before I was born and featuring two teams I don’t care for.

…But there’s the small matter of Charlie Neal, who would be a New York Met three years later, and his really nice-looking card.  What’s not to love?  That awesome chest protector on the umpire, the White Sox catcher Sherm Lollar and Neal hitting one of two dingers to help the Dodgers rally from a 2-0 deficit to win 4-3.  Neal’s two homers were a solo shot in the 5th and a 2-run homer in the 7th.

So yeah, it’s a World Series I have little interest in, I couldn’t possible want another card from that subset, right?

And then I saw Gil Hodges, another Dodger of the day who would spend time in royal blue Mets pinstripes.

Hodges hit a solo home run to lead off the bottom of the 8th inning and break a 4-4 tie.

I like the design of the combo cards in 1960 Topps, and I don’t have many vintage cards featuring Warren Spahn, so I grabbed this one as well.

Lew Burdette and Spahn both won 21 games in 1959, and Bob Buhl won 15;  between the three of them, they got something like 70% of the Braves wins.  What really raised an eyebrow when I read up on these guys is that Spahn pitched 21 complete games and Burdette had 20.  Buhl had “only” 12 complete games.

I was on a bit of a roll by this point so I bought this well-loved “Sophomore Stalwarts” card just because I like the posed photo with the Wrigley scoreboard in the background.

If prospecting were a thing then like it is today,  then this card might’ve been on Beckett’s Hot List.  Jim O’Toole was a “Bonus Baby” pitcher who would go on to win 98 career games, and Vada Pinson put up near-HOF career numbers and had an incredibly good year in 1959, when he was 20 and playing his first full season.  He lead the league in doubles, at bats and plate appearances in both 1959 and 1960, and he would lead the league with 131 Runs in 1959.

So that covers the four impulse buys from 1960 Topps…  I did knock off a number of my wants, and I’ll get to those in another post.

9 thoughts on “Impulse Buys, 1960 Edition

  1. Sorry to disagree, but I really LIKE the 1960 Topps set and their horizontal formatting. I like the colors and the basic card design. Plus it helps that my cousin gave me a head start into my baseball card collecting when he gave me his entire 1960 card collection, including the Mantle, Clemente, Koufax, Aaron and Maris cards among them. Not a bad way to start my collecting journey at age nine!

  2. Don’t think I’ve given much thought to the 1960 Topps baseball card design, but I do like the look of those 1959 World Series subset cards.

    • Wait. I just went over to COMC to see what the 1960 Topps design looks like… and I totally lied. I love the design. One of my personal favorites. Damn, my memory is really starting to fail me.

      • I’ve always had a hard time with the sets from 1958 to 1961, so no judgement from me. :-)

        To my eye 1960 Topps *can be* nice, but too often is a pink, black and green mess. I know most collectors love the set, but if I had been in charge I would’ve used the design they used for that year’s manager cards.

  3. 60 Topps is one of my faves! Stalwarts and Magicians are two of the cards I own. Neal’s homer card will join them at some point. Fantastic plate shot complete with padded ump! Thanks for adding MORE cards to my growing wantlist. Sheesh.

  4. My opinion on ’60 Topps seems to fluctuate more than almost any other Topps set. One day I love it, the next I’m indifferent. Not exactly sure why that is.

  5. I’m not the biggest fan of this set either, but you sure picked four of the best here! I’m not sure I’d turn down a vintage World Series or combo card from *any* set!

  6. I have a lot of cards of Vada Pinson, and would love to turn them into a collection, but I can’t seem to find anything about him that I find interesting enough to warrant a collection.

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