Not long ago, I heard from some readers who had some ideas for Topps Archives. One idea was to create ‘final cards’ for players who had retired the year before. Not everyone can be Mickey Mantle, where his complete career stats are reflected on the back of a 1969 Topps card even though Mantle retired before the season actually began.
We recently heard from Tim Lindgren of Michigan City, Indiana, who wrote:
I read your Rich’s Ramblings faithfully and enjoy your articles on past conventions, shows, etc. The other day you posted a letter from someone who offered perspective on Topps Archives and said he would love to see final cards for players such as Koufax, Aaron, etc. This idea really intrigued me, so I have come up with a list of final cards that I would love to see and if you have any contacts at Topps it would be great for them to create a subset and release it in Topps Archives!
Tim basically provided a top 10 and I added 20 other cards to make a 30 card set. Please note for the purposes of this list, we are presuming all ballplayers are available under contract to Topps. We imagine this set can be an SP run, a subset or an insert set. Here’s the hybrid Tim/Rich set of ‘final cards’:
1952 Joe DiMaggio (Topps did include this one in its 2007 National Sports Collectors Convention promo ‘Cards That Never Were’ set)
1956 Ralph Kiner
1957 Bob Feller
1957 Phil Rizzuto
1957 Jackie Robinson
1961 Ted Williams
1962 Jackie Jensen
1964 Stan Musial
1965 Duke Snider
1966 Yogi Berra
1966 Warren Spahn (One checklist variation has card #115 as Spahn so that well may have been an option)
1967 Sandy Koufax (he does appear on a few leader cards in the ’67 Topps set)
1967 Robin Roberts
1968 Whitey Ford
1969 Rocky Colavito
1969 Roger Maris (Roger has a cameo appearance on an World Series card)
1969 Eddie Mathews
1970 Don Drysdale
1972 Ernie Banks
1973 Maury Wills
1974 Willie Mays (As I wrote wouldn’t it be nice to have something other than a World Series card as his final card).
1977 Hank Aaron (Talk about your career stat compilation)
1977 Frank Robinson
1978 Brooks Robinson (He does have a highlight card)
1978 Jim Wynn (One of my favorite players growing up, I’m allowed a personal preference)
1980 Lou Brock (He’s on a highlight card commemorating his 3000th hit, but a full blown card would be nice)
1980 Thuman Munson In Memoriam
1984 Johnny Bench
1984 Carl Yastrzemski (Again, it would be nice for both Brock and Yaz them to have individual cards in the Topps set.
Maybe we can get it started with a Mariano Rivera card next year.
While a real simple concept, there has been a decent amount of reaction to the Archives ideas we’ve tossed out both on the Sports Collectors Daily Facebook page as well as through emails I’ve received. Please remember we’re happy to feature your letters in Rich’s Ramblings, all we ask is for your name and hometown.
Rich Klein can be reached at [email protected]