Thursday, May 16, 2013

One And Done: 1969 Charley Smith

Let's take a look at a one-and-done card while I'm waiting for my 2013 Bowman Cubs to arrive.

Smith hit a tenth-inning walk-off home run on Opening Day at Wrigley Field in 1969, getting that heart-breaking season off to a magical start.

But it was another Smith who hit that homer, Willie Smith.

Charlie Smith did get a card in the 1969 Topps set, but he didn't hit any homers for the Cubs.  He didn't have any triples or double either.  He didn't even have a single, a walk, or anything else.  All he had was two pinch hit at-bats in April and two outs.

The at bats were the last ones in his ten year big league career.  He was released at the end of April and went to AAA Tacoma for a little while.  But his bad knees continued to keep him from being effective, and after 27 games in the minors, he quit for good.

I haven't been able to come up with a good reason for his inclusion in the '69 set.  Two April at bats just doesn't seem like enough to warrant a card.  Topps thinks differently than I do.


  1. No doubt Topps layed out their set in the off-season, based on last year's playing time. Still, with Smith's card number in the 500's, there was plenty of time for Topps to swap out that card for another (like a 5th KC Royals Rookies card!)

    In reality, Smith had more business appearing in the 1969 set than Bruce Brubaker did in the 1967 set (see Brucie in my '67 blog).

  2. Remember they were hurting a bit for subjects with all the problems getting current photos. Jesse Gonder got a card and wasn't ever actually under contract with the Padres. Mel Nelson's card has a photo that is nearly ten years old on it. Tommie Aaron is in a Milwaukee Braves uni and hat.

    This is why 1969 was one of my favorite Topps years.