1975 “MVP” Project: 1964 Topps Brooks Robinson and Ken Boyer

I loved the 1975 MVP subset when I was a kid, and spent a lot of time poring over the images of vintage Topps cards. I’ve decided if getting all of the featured cards isn’t a realistic goal for me, that doesn’t mean I can’t get *some* of the cards.

Here’s my card from the 1975 subset, one that I’ve had for 47 years…

And since I have both of the actual cards – my oldest such pairing to date – I’ll feature both and touch on what got Brooks Robinson and Ken Boyer their league’s MVP awards.

Why was Brooks Robinson the 1964 AL MVP?

  • Lead the AL with 118 RBI, a career-best, and played in 163 games
  • Brooks won the Gold Glove for the 5th consecutive time, lead American League 3rd basemen with 153 putouts and 327 assists, had a .972 fielding percentage and was involved in 40 double plays
  • Batted .464 in September
  • Over the season he hit .317 with 28 homers, 35 doubles and 82 runs
  • Brooks got 18 first place votes, with Mickey Mantle getting the other 2 first place votes.

Why was Ken Boyer the 1964 NL MVP?

  • Boyer played in all 162 of the Cardinals’ game and lead them to their first pennant (and world championship) in 18 years.
  • He lead the Majors with 119 RBI, the first NL 3rd baseman to lead the league in RBIs since Heinie Zimmerman in 1917
  • He batted .295 with 30 doubles, 10 triples, 24 homers and 100 runs scored
  • Boyer got 14 of the 20 first place votes in the MVP voting. Other players who got 1st place votes are Philadelphia’s Johnny Callison (2 1st place votes), St. Louis’ Bill White (2 votes), Milwaukee’s Joe Torre (1 vote) and Lou Brock (1 vote). Brock split the season between the Cubs and Cardinals.
  • Although the World Series wouldn’t have factored in to the MVP voting, Boyer hit 2 homers against the Yankees, including a grand slam off of Al Downing in the Cards’ 4-3 win at Yankee Stadium. In game 7, Boyer had three hits, including a double and a home run, and scored three runs as the Cardinals won their first world championship since 1946

6 thoughts on “1975 “MVP” Project: 1964 Topps Brooks Robinson and Ken Boyer

  1. While the 1964 Topps set is often criticized, I have been collecting nonetheless. The most frequent complaint is the backside color scheme of ‘orange’ and white. I will admit that many of my 1964 cards have very little contrast between the two colors, meaning that fine-print stats can be mighty hard to read without my eyeglasses and a good light source. Your cards, however, have great contrast, but sadly, many of the ’64’s did not..

  2. Very cool. Never thought to see which cards of the MVP winners I actually own. I have the 1972 set, so that’s my earliest pair that I know I own for sure. And the only other card I know I own for sure is the 1971 Topps Vida Blue. Maybe one of these days I’ll dig through my vintage binder to see if I own any other former MVP cards.

    • I think the oldest pair I owned when I started this project was 1973, but I’ve got a fair number now.

      Of course, there’s no completing the years like 1962 where one of the players did not appear on a Topps card

  3. Ken Boyer & Brooks Robinson helped the Cardinals in 64, 67 & 68 & Orioles in 66 & 69 thru 71 to the world series. Too bad neither team met during that time. However baseball back in 60’s they had much better players then they do today. Love the 64 Topps design, nice white front border & orange print on back of the cards. The 64 Topps is my 2nd favorite design right behind the 63 Topps. If Topps does MVP cards again for there 75 heritage, I they don’t make it a separate subset.

    • I hope that Topps would do an “update” of the MVP subset, but I doubt they will just because that will be a bunch of retired players they’d have to have under contract. They might do a half-assed version of just the past 5 years, or even just the previous year. I think last year’s Heritage had only one “Childhood photo” in it

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