Sunday, April 30, 2017

Sunday Night Baseball: 1961 Topps #35 Ron Santo

With Cubs on national TV tonight prior to hosting the Phillies this week I felt it was a good time to honor Hall of Famer Ron Santo.

1961 Topps #35 Ron Santo (rc)

Due to Topps diligence (and traded sets) it is rare that a player of Santo's stature gets a Rookie Cup on his actual rookie card. I took a glance at the list and among Hall of Famers the only other rookie cup/ rookie card combos I found were Willie McCovey (1960) and Eddie Murray (1978).

There are three other players that qualify, however they won their Rookie All-Star awards in years when Topps chose not to adorn winners cards with the rookie cup icon: Ozzie Smith(1979), Ryne Sandberg(1983), and Kirby Puckett (1985).

Sy Berger on Topps and Santo

1961 February 22 The Sporting News (JT Spink)

In a 1961 interview in "The Sporting News" Topps executive Sy Berger addressed the omission of both Willie McCovey and Ron Santo from the 1959 and 1960 sets respectively.  Regardless both were properly honored with Rookie All-Star cards that also happen to be Hall of Fame Rookie Cards.

1961 Topps #35 Ron Santo (rc - bside)

The center panel of the cartoons mentions Santo's Topps All-Star rookie award. Of the 10 All-Star Rookie cards in the 1961 Topps Set, seven of them have cartoons mentioning their selection.

The text notes that there was a Vote by "Youngsters". As part of an outreach program to raise interest in trading cards Topps sent out ballots via various youth organizations including the Boy Scouts, Boys Clubs of America and the YMCA. The Results of the voting were the early All-Star Rookie teams.

The origins of the Topps Rookie All-Stars is worthy of it's own posting and we hope to elaborate on this at some point.

Phungo Ron Santo HoF Index
1966 Topps Year of the Dragon Birthday
Obituary/Retired Number (2010)

Sources and Links
1961 Topps All-Star Rookies Index
Cards that Never Were
BR Bullpen
The Sporting News (1961 02 22, 1959 07 15)

No comments:

a thousand words

a thousand words
2008 World Champions