Saturday, May 16, 2015

Billy the Leader

With no new Darwin Barney cards available, I've been on a Billy Williams binge instead.  I found the PSA registry's master list for Billy Williams.  There are 127 cards on the list that show him as a Cub and I've got 74 of them, 58%.

Something I didn't realize about the master list is that it includes leader cards and team cards.  With that new knowledge, I went after the leader cards.

Billy is featured on six different league leader cards.  Something interesting with his leader cards are the other players on the cards.  There are 19 players on the six cards and only two of the 19 are not in the Hall of Fame.  Billy's era was loaded with superstars.

In 1964, Billy hit 33 home runs and was a distant second to Willie Mays, who hit 47.  Callison, Cepeda, and Hart all tied with 31.  This card is the only one of the six Billy leader cards with non-HOFers, Callison and Hart.

1965 Home Runs...this time he finished third with 34, behind Mays' 52 and McCovey's 39.  There is a career total of 1,607 home runs between these three Hall of Famers

Billy knocked in 98 runs, the same number as his teammate and seven behind McCovey's 105.  Remember that 1968 was the year of the pitcher, helping to explain why only one person in the entire league cracked the 100 RBI barrier.


The 1970 Home Run and RBI leaders cards have a bit of a similar look to them. Topps could have put the players in the same order on both cards since Perez and Billy tied for second in RBIs with 129.  But I guess they went the alphabetical order route with the tie.

For the '73 set Topps featured just the league leaders.  Billy's .333 average in 1972 led not just the National League, but was tops in all of MLB.  He finished third in homers and second in RBIs, so he would have been on those cards if Topps kept their previous format.  

The '72 season was his career peak.  In addition to his top three finishes in batting, HRs, and RBIs, he finished second in on-base percentage, first is slugging, first in total bases, and fourth in doubles.  The biggest disappointment for me is that he finished second for the MVP.


  1. I need 50% of the cards in this post. Odd photo choice for Mayes in the '64. "I am so ashamed of being the best.."

  2. If you ever have any questions about the Set Registry (not that you'd ever encase a card into a plastic prison), feel free to shoot me an email. I have the top Ernie Banks Master Set, and I know that people sometimes have questions about the choices PSA makes.