Saturday, April 23, 2016

1969 Is Fine - Part Three

Continuing on in the magical year of 1969, today we take a peek at Topps Super Baseball, one of the first Topps "premium" sets (in the "high value" sense of the word). It's been discussed here before but given the canvass of the Topps baseball issues we've been working on here at the Topps Archives Research Complex another look is certainly in order.



I won't get into the specifics on the backs (been there, done that) but do want to look at potential printing dates. Given the fact 1969 was an expansion year with four new teams added in one season for the first time, Topps did a great job keeping things straight in this set, especially compared to the Decal and Deckle inserts that appeared this year.

However, thanks to a specific transaction, the dating of the set is fairly easy. On April 25, 1969  Dick Selma was traded by the Padres to the Cubs.



Given the (almost) alphabetical ordering of the set (by teams in each league and then players on each squad) it's easy to figure out Selma was to have been a Padre in the set. So the set was composed before the trade date of April 25th for sure.  In terms of a start date, I have to think it was after the Decals and 4-on 1's were created, given the lack of anarchy in Super Baseball. Selma, who was numbered one behind his fellow Padre Ollie Brown in the set, likely replaced somebody else whose name preceded Brown's. Based upon their expansion draft picks and active roster for the season, only three players are possible: Jose Arcia, Steve Arlin and Jack Baldschun.

Arcia was a light hitting utility man with one season in the majors when the Padres selected him in the expansion draft.  No way it was him.  Arlin was taken in the same draft but had never pitched in the majors before he debuted in '69, so it wasn't him either. Baldschun was released by the Reds before the start of the season and  on April 12, 1969 was signed by San Diego. He stuck with the team for the entire season and could have been the other intended Padre.  I'm guessing Topps had slotted him in then found they had no suitable photo of him (the set showing only certain poses) so they grabbed whatever was handy, namely a shot of Selma.  That puts a potential two week window in early April on the table, assuming my guess work on Selma is right.  If not and it was just a screw up, then early March seems likely to me.

(UPDATE 4/24/16: Friend o'the Archive Keith Olbermann has pointed out the trade of Joe Torre to St. Louis from Atlanta on March 17th marks an earlier lock in date and the Mickey Mantle retirement announcement of March 1st may push this back to February at the latest. At least I'm consistent, the longer I run an arc, then more screwups I make!) 

No matter, it's a great set.  Here's a checklist in team order for you all.  Note how Kansas City is out of order as they should precede Minnesota:

No.
First Name
Last Name
Team
1
McNALLY
DAVE
BALTIMORE ORIOLES
2
ROBINSON
FRANK
BALTIMORE ORIOLES
3
ROBINSON
BROOKS
BALTIMORE ORIOLES
4
HARRELSON
KEN
BOSTON RED SOX
5
YASTRZEMSKI
CARL
BOSTON RED SOX
6
CULP
RAY
BOSTON RED SOX
7
FREGOSI
JIM
CALIFORNIA ANGELS
8
REICHARDT
RICK
CALIFORNIA ANGELS
9
DAVALILLO
VIC
CALIFORNIA ANGELS
10
APARICIO
LUIS
CHICAGO WHITE SOX
11
WARD
PETE
CHICAGO WHITE SOX
12
HORLEN
JOEL
CHICAGO WHITE SOX
13
TIANT
LUIS
CLEVELAND INDIANS
14
McDOWELL
SAM
CLEVELAND INDIANS
15
CARDENAL
JOSE
CLEVELAND INDIANS
16
HORTON
WILLIE
DETROIT TIGERS
17
McLAIN
DENNY
DETROIT TIGERS
18
FREEHAN
BILL
DETROIT TIGERS
19
KILLEBREW
HARMON
MINNESOTA TWINS
20
OLIVA
TONY
MINNESOTA TWINS
21
CHANCE
DEAN
MINNESOTA TWINS
22
FOY
JOE
KANSAS CITY ROYALS
23
NELSON
ROGER
KANSAS CITY ROYALS
24
MANTLE
MICKEY
NEW YORK YANKEES
25
STOTTLEMYRE
MEL
NEW YORK YANKEES
26
WHITE
ROY
NEW YORK YANKEES
27
MONDAY
RICK
OAKLAND ATHLETICS
28
JACKSON
REGGIE
OAKLAND ATHLETICS
29
CAMPANERIS
BERT
OAKLAND ATHLETICS
30
HOWARD
FRANK
WASHINGTONS SENATORS
31
PASCUAL
CAMILO
WASHINGTONS SENATORS
32
DAVIS
TOMMY
SEATTLE PILOTS
33
MINCHER
DON
SEATTLE PILOTS
34
AARON
HANK
ATLANTA BRAVES
35
ALOU
FELIPE
ATLANTA BRAVES
36
TORRE
JOE
ATLANTA BRAVES
37
JENKINS
FERGIE
CHICAGO CUBS
38
SANTO
RON
CHICAGO CUBS
39
WILLIAMS
BILLY
CHICAGO CUBS
40
HELMS
TOMMY
CINCINNATI REDS
41
ROSE
PETE
CINCINNATI REDS
42
MORGAN
JOE
HOUSTON ASTROS
43
WYNN
JIM
HOUSTON ASTROS
44
BLEFARY
CURT
HOUSTON ASTROS
45
DAVIS
WILLIE
LOS ANGELES DODGERS
46
DRYSDALE
DON
LOS ANGELES DODGERS
47
HALLER
TOM
LOS ANGELES DODGERS
48
STAUB
RUSTY
MONTREAL EXPOS
49
WILLS
MAURY
MONTREAL EXPOS
50
JONES
CLEON
NEW YORK METS
51
KOOSMAN
JERRY
NEW YORK METS
52
SEAVER
TOM
NEW YORK METS
53
ALLEN
RICHIE
PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES
54
SHORT
CHRIS
PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES
55
ROJAS
COOKIE
PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES
56
ALOU
MATTY
PITTSBURGH PIRATES
57
BLASS
STEVE
PITTSBURGH PIRATES
58
CLEMENTE
ROBERTO
PITTSBURGH PIRATES
59
FLOOD
CURT
ST. LOUIS CARDINALS
60
GIBSON
BOB
ST. LOUIS CARDINALS
61
McCARVER
TIM
ST. LOUIS CARDINALS
62
SELMA
DICK
SAN DIEGO PADRES
63
BROWN
OLLIE
SAN DIEGO PADRES
64
MARICHAL
JUAN
SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS
65
MAYS
WILLIE
SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS
66
McCOVEY
WILLIE
SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS

1 comment:

Warren Zvon said...

I was 11 yrs old and I'd hang out in front of the local supermarket and carry groceries for tips, then run to the candy store and buy a few packs of these. I was lucky and got all the Mets (Mets fan here) in my first 6 or 7 packs. I was disappointed there was no Agee but he did surface in the 70 supersize, IIRC. Great times :)