The 1974 season was a season that saw a lot of change. Several of the '69 Cubs were dealt during the off-season. Fergie Jenkins, Glenn Beckert, Ron Santo, and Randy Hundley were all gone. It was a very bittersweet season for me, since I had not known a Cubs team without those four.
That's what makes the Cubs team set from Topps' 1974 Baseball Stamps a special set in my eyes.
It had been five years since Topps last released a stamp set, and this would be their last. It consisted of 240 total players--ten per team. There were 24 panels of 12 stamps, which means some players were on more than one panel.
The stamps are 1" x 1 1/2" and are unnumbered. Since they are so small, they featured only a head shot.
Of the four previously mentions Cubs players that were traded before the '74 season, three of them show up on the stamps as a Cub. It's like their last Topps hurrah as a Cub.
The pictures of eight of the ten Cubs were recent, too--taken at Candlestick Park in 1973. The Cubs of '69 were looking like grizzled veterans; they weren't kids anymore. They also have let their hair and sideburns grow; after all, this was the early '70s.
So here they are, one last Topps time, the old-timers from the '69 Cubs....plus a few newer guys that seem out of place.
- '69 Cubs in the group are Beckert, Hundley, Kessinger, Santo, and Williams. Only Williams and Kessinger played for the '74 Cubs.
- Monday, Cardenal, and Reuschel joined the team in 1972
- Vic Harris came to the Cubs before the 1974 season in the Fergie Jenkins trade, which is why he's got an airbrushed hat.
- Glenn Beckert's picture in the only one not from 1973--he's at Shea in 1972.