Wednesday, November 18, 2009

196(9) At A Time - Page 59

The airbrush has made its return for only the second time in the last nine pages. Otherwise, not too much on this page. Most of the players are not household names.

#518 - Fred Whitfield It almost looks like Fred is wearing a mid-'60's Cincinnati Reds vest. but if you look carefully, you can see the top of Chief Wahoo's feather just below the "S" in "REDS". He spent 1963-1967 with the Indians and of course, Topps couldn't have taken an updated photo in 1968 when he joined the Reds. In 1969, Whitfield was primarily used as a pinch hitter, playing in 74 games and having 74 official at bats. But he hit an anemic .174, which kind of makes you wonder why the Reds skipper kept using him as a pinch hitter? After the season, he was released.

#519 - Yankees Rookies
Jerry Kenney became the Yankees regular third baseman in 1969 and hit .257, but had only two home runs. You would think you'd want a bit more pop out of your third baseman. Beohmer was a 28-year-old rookie for the '69 Yanks. But he hit only .176 in 45 games and would go back to AAA in 1970.

#520 - Bob Veale
You've got to love those Pirates jackets that look like a high school letterman's jacket. Veale was a mainstay in the Pirates rotation throughout the mid-late '60's. He went 13-14 in 1968 and followed it up by going an identical 13-14 in 1969. He wasn't spectacular, but you have to give him points for consistency!

#521 - George Thomas
This veteran spent most of 1968 in AAA after having spent the previous seven seasons in the majors. The time in the minors did him some good as he returned to the Red Sox in 1969 and hit .353 over 29 games.

#522 - Joe Hoerner
Boy, the yellow and red on the card sure look nice on a Cardinal's players card. So Topps, please tell me why you used orange on Cubs cards? Hoerner had a really nice year for the NL champs, going 8-2 with a 1.48 ERA in 47 games out of the pen. He followed that up with a 2.87 ERA in 1969. After the season, he was one of several players involved in the Curt Flood trade with the Phillies.

#523 - Bob Chance
I don't know why Topps considered him card-worthy. He spent most of 1967 and all of 1968 in the minors. He played in only five games for the '69 Angels, the final five games of his MLB career.

#524 - Expos Rookies
This card gives you a nice look at the odd batting helmet the Expos wore. While the only blue in their cap was the bill, the helmet was solid blue. I wonder if any other team has worn a helmet that differed from their hat? Coco Laboy made his MLB debut for the Expos as a 29 year old. He made the most of the chance he finally got by becoming the starting second baseman and hitting .258 in 157 games. Wicker played in 41 game for the expansion Expos and hit a minuscule ,103 in 41 games.

#525 - Earl Wilson
A major leaguer since 1961, Wilson was nearing the end of the line. He led the AL in wins in 1967 with 22, but fell to 13-12 in 1968. He started 35 games for the 1969 Tigers and was 12-10.

#526 - Hector Torres
1968 must have been a bad year for rookies because Torres made the Topps All Star rookie squad by hitting .223. He lost his starting job in 1969 by hitting only .159. Two seasons later he would hit .224 in 31 games for the Cubs.

Overall Set Totals (player cards only)

Hall of Famers - 36
Hatless - 112
Airbrush - 92
Cubs (includes past, present, or future) - 71


  1. Before I read what you wrote I was thinking the same thing about how nice the Cardinals cards look. The Cubs color always reminds me of butterscotch pudding.

    Coco Laboy is one of my all-time favorite baseball names.

  2. Just a quick comment to let you know I am really liking this walk through the 1969 set. Very cool.

  3. I agree with Spiff. I look forward to your posts (especially since PackAddict has suspended operations on his 1969 Topps blog). These are nice looking cards, even with all the airbrushing and "hatlessness". I can remember finally seeing some new expansion team uniforms in the later series, after all the early-series airbrushing.

    (WW, I have all the 1969 cards. If you need any scans to fill in for missing cards, email me.)