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.