Wednesday, February 26, 2014

2014 Heritage Rookie Stars: 1965 Topps #282 Dick Estelle & Masanori Murakami

We are a week away from 2014 Topps Heritage, today we bring you one of my favorite cards from the original 1965 set:

1965 Topps #282 Giants Rookie Stars Dick Estelle & Masanori Murakami

Masanori Murakami was the first Japanese MLB player way back in 1964. He preceded Hideo Nomo by three and a half decades. As a lefthanded relief pitcher Murakami pitched farily well for the Giants. Unfortunately due to a variety of contract issues and failed negotiations between the Giants, MLB and the Japanese League Nankai Hawks Murakami would return to Japan after a mere two seasons in the States.  

For further information, I highly recommend this Masanori Murakami biography that I believe was written by High School student in New York City. The Bio- further cites "Remembering Japanese Baseball: An Oral History of the Game" which as it's name infers is mostly Murakami commenting on his career - not terrific writing but an interesting read.   

Murakami was honored by the Giants in 1995, throwing out the first pitch prior to a game versus the Dodgers. Coincidentally the LA starter that night was Hideo Nomo who took a no-hitter into the 7th inning, Royce Clayton broke up the Nomo No-No which was the only hit for the Giants. 

1965 Topps
I had thought Masahiro Tanaka would have been a great candidate for the #282 card in 2014T Heritage, but Ben Henry as pointed out over at the Baseball Card Blog that Tanaka's signing may have happened to late for Topps to send the card to print.  I hope that Topps figures it out, Tanaka would be a nice bonus for 2014 Heritage.

1965 Topps featured a number of Rookie Stars cards including 3 and 4 player varieties. 

1965 Topps #597 Rookie Stars Twins
1965 Topps #561 Rookie Stars Dodgers

No idea why Joe Nosseck got the prime spot in the Twins card. Perhaps alphabetic order. Rich Reese had the best career of the three Players. As far as the Dodger card, Jim Lefebvre was probably the most successful - in 1965 he even beat out Joe Morgan for Rookie of the Year

Other Voices
The Great 1965 Topps Blog - Kevin has a lot more info on the Dick Estelle half of the above card.

1965 Topps/2014 Heritage Index
Base - #534 John Herrnstein
Rookie Cup - #460 Dick Allen
Rookie Stars - #282 Dick Estelle & Masanori Murakami

More info on 1965 Topps
The entire 1965 Topps Series was covered by Kevin B of Orioles Card "O" the day on The Great 1965 Topps Project
Cardboard Connection
Sports Collectors Digest (TS O' Connell)
Golden Age of Baseball Cards
Dean's Cards


HSMSE Sports Journalism Blog
Sports Illustrated 


Stubby said...

Not to be a buzzkill, but MLB requires that you actually BE on a 25 man roster before you can appear as a regular card in a set. Since the regular season hasn't started yet, neither Tanaka nor Abreu is eligible. The rules do not seem to apply to inserts, so I suppose there's still a chance Topps will toss in a super short printed 1 in 85,000 cases Tanaka non-rookie card rookie card. Most likely, you'll have to wait for the high numbers set they sell through (for $100) after the season.

The checklist has finally been released and Heritage card #282 is a rookie card featuring the tandem of Heath Hembree (Giants) and Kevin Siegrist (Cardinals).

deal said...

Thanks Stubby, I had not factored in the whole 25 man roster with the Heritage release date issue.

At least the Giants made it on to card #282.

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