Night Owl Cards posted this card on Twitter this week to mark Frank Howard's Birthday (August 8th, 77th birthday). Tonight we are honoring the same card as the Dodgers host the Tampa Bay Rays on Sunday Night Baseball.
The Sport Magazine 1960 Topps Rookie Star subset runs from card numbers #117-148. This is the 2nd time that Topps and Sport were on-card partners. The 1958 Topps All-Stars subset is a Sport Magazine collaboration. In 1959 Topps switched allegiances to the Sporting News for both the All-Stars subset and the Rookie Stars subset
Despite the muted orange background that dominates this sets presentation, I view the design as a winner. The confluence of the patriotic ribbon, bullseyed profile pic, and magazine cred combine to put this subset into the Win column.
And I must also note that Frank Howard wearing his cap slightly askew adds just a touch of cool to the head shot.
Topps is apparently quite fond of the card as well. They saluted the card by making a chromey reprint part of their 2006 Topps Archives Reserve set.
1960 was a good year for Frank Howard who won the NL Rookie of the Year award over two Phillies (Pancho Herrera, Art Mahaffey) and future Hall of Famer Ron Santo. Howard tallied 23 Home Runs with 77 RBIs during his rookie campaign. He would remain a power hitter throughout his career, leading the league in homers twice (1968, 1970) with the Washington Senators.
Frank Howard spent 7 years in the Dodgers organization before being traded to the Senators following the 1964 season. Along with his rookie of the year campaign the highlight of Frank Howard's Dodger career is their sweep of the Yankees in the 1963 World Series. Howard homered off of Whitey Ford in the final game of the series.
Howard stayed in baseball for a number of years after his career ended and I can recall seeing him as a coach with the Mets in the 1990s. Despite being out of the game for 20-30 years he still dwarfed many of that eras current players (Baseball-ref lists Howard at 6'7", 255 lbs).
The last time I saw Frank Howard was at the final Washington Nationals game at RFK.
This photo was a bit too blurry to make the cut as a Phungo card, and doesn't really show Frank Howard's commanding size, but I assure you that day he was a presence.
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