The second-to-last page has one of the most famous uncorrected errors of the set. The Cubs have also tied the airbrushed at 99 players each! We come down to the final page tomorrow? Will the '69 Cubs at least win this?
#653 - Aurelio Rodriguez Right away we start with the error card. That isn't Aurelio Rogriguez that's pictured. It's one of the Angel's batboys, Leonard Garcia. I guess its never been determined if this was just a simple error by the Topps photographer or if Rodriguez put the kid up to it.
#654 - White Sox Rookies Carlos May had a very interesting 1969. Through August 8 he had played in almost every game and was hitting .281 with 18 home runs, a very promising rookie campaign. But in August he was called to his Marine reserve unit for a two week stint. On August 11, during training exercises at Camp Pendleton, a mortar unit misfired and blew off part of his thumb. While not life threatening, it was a career threatening injury. But skilled work by Marine doctors and a determined rehab effort by May allowed him to continue his career in 1970. Carlos May Trivia: By wearing #17, he was the only player in MLB history to have his birthday (May 17) on the back of his jersey...Secrist pitched in 19 games and had a monster 6.08 ERA...Morales played in 55 games and hit .215
#655 - Mike Hershberger A starting outfielder for the White Sox and A's for most of the '60's, Hershberger lost his starting right field job in 1968 when the A's brought up some kid named.............Reggie Jackson! As a part-timer, he hit only .202 in 1969 and was traded to the Pilots/Brewers after the season.
#656 - Dan Schnieder Can anyone figure where this picture was taken? Look at that brown "grass"! And what is that structure behind him? It looks like a grandstand, but there are no seats. He appeared in 54 games for Houston in 1967, but spent all of 1968 in AAA. He made the '69 roster but had and ERA of 13.50 in five games and was returned to AAA, never to see major leagues action again.
#657 - Bobby Murcer He spent all of the 1967 and 1968 seasons in the military. All he had to do when he returned to baseball in 1969 was replace a fellow Oklahoman in the Yankee's outfield, some guy named Mantle. No pressure, right? Sure! Murcer was able to set the pressure aside and hit 26 homers in 1969. But he could never quite live up to the "next Mickey Mantle" tag, and would later spend 2 1/2 seasons with the Cubs.
#658 - American League Rookies Hall split his 1969 season between the Twins bullpen and rotation, posting a 8-7 record...Burbach started 24 games for the Yanks and was 6-8...Miles made the team in the spring, but after three appearances was sent back to the minors. He returned in mid July and pitched in seven more games, putting up a 6.20 ERA and never getting another shot at the bigs.
#659 - Johnny Podres As a kid, I thought is was funny that Podres played on the Padres. Of course, I was only seven at the time, so you have to figure a seven-year-old's warped sense of humor. A former Brooklyn Dodger, Podres retired after 1967 but was lured back by the expansion Padres. He pitched in 17 games for San Diego through mid June, and then hung up his spikes for good.
#660 - Reggie Smith Smith was a rising star in 1969, two seasons after finishing second in the Rookie of the Year voting as a member of the AL champion Red Sox. He hit .309 with 25 HR and 93 RBI's and made the All Star team for the first time.
#661 - Jim Merritt The lefty starter had a really nice record in 1969, going 17-9, though he had a pretty high 4.37 ERA. It was very unusual for someone in that era to have that many wins with an ERA that high. The Reds must have score a bunch of runs when he was on the mound
Overall Set Totals (player cards only)
Hall of Famers - 45
Hatless - 147
Airbrush - 99
Cubs (includes past, present, or future) - 99