Monday, January 17, 2022

1960s Topps All-Star Rookie Cup Tournament - SemiFinals

We are down to the final four of the Topps 1960s All-Star Rookie Cup Tournament. 

These four teams will be featured in a pair of best of 3 SemiFinals to determine which two face off for the best of the 1960s Final. 

SemiFinal A - Team Boog (1963) vs Olva's Army (1965) 

Team Boog 1963 (4-2)2 - 5 - 2
Oliva's Army 1965 (2-0)3 - 6 - 3
W - Wally Bunker (2-0)L: Dean Chance (1-3)
HR: Dick Allen 65 (1)

Oliva's Army take game 1 behind the strong pitching of Wally Bunker and a Home Run from the Phillies Dick Allen. 

1965 Topps Dick Allen

Team Boog 1963 (4-3)2 - 10 - 1
Oliva's Army 1965 (3-0)3 - 11 - 3
W: Bill McCool (2-0)L: Al Jackson (3-1)
HR: Rico Carty 65 (1)

In game 2 Oliva's Army completes the sweep, Rico Carty's Home Run is the difference maker. 

With that sweep the undefeated Oliva's Army (4-0) become our first team to advance to the Final. 

Lets see who they will face.

SemiFinal B - Charlies Hustlers (1964) vs Little Joes (1966)

Charlie's Huslers 1964 (2-1)0 - 2 - 0
Little Joes 1966 (2-0)1 - 10 - 1
W: Frank Linzy (2-0)L: Ray Culp (1-1)

Frank Linzy pitches a Gem and Little Joe's take game 1

Charlie's Huslers 1964 (2-2)4 - 4 - 0
Little Joes 1966 (3-0)5 - 6 - 2
W: Marclino Lopez (2-0)L: Gary Peters (1-2)

HR: Paul Schall 66 (1), Tommy Harper 64 (1)

Little Joe's (4-0) eliminate overall #1 Seed Charlies Hustlers which sets up a Final between two undefeated teams. 


The Pitching matchups will be as follows.

For odd numbered Games 

Oliva's Army 1965 (4-0)Wally Bunker (2-0)
Little Joe's 1966 (4-0)Frank Linzy (2-0)

For Evens

Oliva's Army 1965 (4-0)Bill McCool (2-0)
Little Joe's 1966 (4-0)Marcelino Lopez (2-0)

Two Undefeated teams, Little Joes will go in as the top seed. Originally the Little Joes were seeded 2 and Oliva's Army 4. 

Sunday, January 16, 2022

1960s Topps All-Star Rookie Cup Tournament - Major Bracket Elimination Round

Two teams have gotten into the Semi-Finals, The Little Joes (1966) and Oliva's Army (1968). Today we will feature four games that to establish their opponents, and eliminate four teams

Round 2 - Elimination Games. Winners get a chance to face losers of yesterdays Winners Round. Losers will be eliminated. 

Bench No Drips 1969 (0-1)0 - 3 - 1
Charlie's Hustlers 1964 (0-1)4 - 7 - 0
W: Ray Culp (1-0)L Stan Bahnsen (0-1)
HR: None

In our first elimination matchup Ray Culp pitches a Shutout and Charlie's Hustlers remain alive. Bench No Drips are eliminated with a tournament record of (0-2)

Team Mad Hits 1968 (0-1)6 - 10 - 1
Team Torre 1962 (2-1)5 - 7 - 1
W: Dick Hughes (1-0)L: Jack Curtis (1-1)
HR: Lee May, 68 (1) Rod Carew 68 2 (2)

Team Mad Hits get a pair of Home Runs from Rod Carew and pick up a 6-5 victory to eliminate Team Torre. 

WTA Round 

This sets up two Winner Take All games. The winners advance to the Semi-Final, while the Losers are eliminated. 

Charlie's Hustlers 1964 (1-1)6 - 10 - 2
Team Davey J 1967 (1-1)5 - 7 - 1
W: Gary Peters (1-1)L: Jim Nash (1-1)
HR: Jimmie Hall 64 (1), Tommie Agee 67

Charlie's Hustler get a 6-5 Win and advance to the SemiFinals where they will face the Little Joes. 

Team Mad Hits 1968 (1-1)2 - 6 - 1
Team Boog 1963 (3-2)5 - 9 - 3
W - Al Jackson (3-0)L - Tom Seaver (0 - 2)
HR: Tom Thresh 63 (2)

 In a battle of Mets pitchers we have the biggest upset of the tournament as the #8 Seed Team Boog (4-2) and Al Jackson defeat Team Mad Hits (1-2) and Tom Seaver! 5-2. 

1963 Topps #111 Al Jackson


The Semi-Final Pairings are set:

Team Boog 1963 (4-2)
Oliva's Army 1965 (2-0)

Charlie's Huslers 1964 (2-1)
Little Joes 1966 (2-0)

In Our Next Posting we will find out which of these four teams will face each other in the Final

Saturday, January 15, 2022

1960s Topps All-Star Rookie Cup Tournament - Major Bracket Opening Round

 We have reached the Major Bracket of the tournament. 

The Bracket features 8 teams that will engage in a double elimination tournament to narrow the field to four teams that advance to SemiFinals. Here are the Major Bracket Day 1 Results:

Team Boog 1963 (2-1)3 - 11 - 0
Charlie's Hustlers 1964 (0-0)1 - 10 - 2
W: Al Jackson (2-0)L: Gary Peters (0-1)
HR: Fred Whitfield 63 (1), Ed Charles 63 (1),

In the first game we have a HUGE Upset #8 Team Boog gets Home Runs from Fred Whitefield and Ed Charles in the 3-1 victory. The Bush Division Team Boog may be a threat to the Majors. 

Team Torre 1962 (2-0)2 - 5 - 1
Little Joes 1966 (0-0)3 - 12 - 3
W: Frank Linzy (1-0)L; Don Schwall (1-1)
HR:Tony Perez 66 (1), Ron Swoboda 66 (1)

#2 Seed Little Joes earn their first W of the Tournament

Team Davey J 1967 (0-0)4 - 9 - 3
Team Mad Hits Carew 1968 (0-0)1 - 8 - 1
W Jim Nash (1-0)L: Tom Seaver (0-1)
HR: George Scott 67 (1)

Jim Nash outduels Tom Seaver! the Davey J come up with a big Win over Mad Hits. 

1967 Topps Jim Nash

Bench No Drips 1969 (0-0)0 - 5 - 2
Oliva's Army 1965 (0-0)1 - 6 - 0
W: Wally Bunker (1-0)L: Jerry Koosman (0-1)
HR: none

Wally Bunker tosses the tournaments first Shutout giving Tony's Cronies a narrow 1-0 Win. Tough day for for Jerry Koosman in hard luck loss. Turns out Al Jackson now 2-0 was the best Mets pitcher of the day. 

Thats it for our opening round Our next posting will feature the Winners and Elimination Brackets to determine who goes to the Semis

Round 2 Winners Bracket

The four Winners from the opening bracket now meet to determine the first 2 teams to advance to the 1960s Semis

Team Boog 1963 (3-1)1 - 10 - 3
Oliva's Army 1965 (1-0)4 - 12 - 3
W: Bill McCool (1-0)L: Dean Chance (1-2)

HR: Tony Conigliaro 65 (1), Mike Brumley 65 (1)

Tony Oliva's Army becomes the first team to advance to the Semis with a Homer from another Tony (Conigliaro) and one from Mike Brumley. 

Team Davey J (1-0)2 - 6 - 1
Little Joes 1966 (1-0)6 - 7 - 0
W: Marcenio Lopez (1-0)L: Woody Fryman (0-1)
HR: Tony Perez 66 (2), Curt Blefary 66 (1), Sonny Jackson 67 (1)

Tony Perez with his 2nd Home Run in as Many Games sends the Little Joes to the Semis as the #1 Seed. 

Team Boog and DaveJ are still in the mix, they will get a second shot in our next post after we resolve the elimination half of this round. 

On Deck

The Pitching matchups for the Elimination Bracket are as follows:
Bench No Drips 1969 (0-1)Stan Bahnsen (0-0)
Charlie's Hustlers 1964 (0-1)Ray Culp (0-0)
Team Mad Hits 1968 (0-1)Dick Hughes (0-0)
Team Torre 1962 (2-1)Jack Curtis (1-0)

Tuesday, January 11, 2022

1960s Topps All-Star Rookie Cup Tournament - Bush Bracket Day 2

Today's we have 3 Games that will determine which two teams advance form the Bush Bracket to play in the 8 team Major Bracket. 

Game 1 Features both of yesterdays winners. The victor advances 

(1-0) Team Torre 19623 - 7 - 2
(1-0) Santo's Squad 19612 - 5 - 0
W: Jack Curtis (1-0)L: Dick Stigman (0-1)

HR: Floyd Robinson 62 (1), Joe Torre 62 (1)

Team Torre advances with Jim Torre himself hitting a dinger

(0-1) McCovey Stretchers 19602 - 6 - 3
(0-1) Team Boog 19635 -10 -1
W: Al Jackson (1-0)L: Jim O'Toole (0-1)
HR: Tom Tresh 63 (1)

Sadly Game 2 is an elimination game. Al Jackson and Tom Tresh led Team Boog to the W. Unfortunately this means that the Inaugural Topps Rookie Cup Team the 1960 McCovey Stretchers have been eliminated from the Cup Tournament. 

Game 3 features Team Boog (63)  vs the Loser of the advance game, Santos Squad (61)

(1-1) Team Boog 19635 - 8 - 2
(1-1) Santo's Squad 19614 - 5 - 1
W: Dean Chance (1-1)L: Chuck Estrada (1-1)
HR: Manny Jimenenez 63 (2)

Team Boog wins their second consecutive Elimination Game to advance to the Major Bracket. Kansas City Athletics Outfielder Manny Jimenez is the game MVP with a pair of Home Runs

1963 Topps Manny Jimenez

We now have our official field for the 1960s Rookie Cup tournament. The Major Bracket Seeds are as follows:

11964TChariles Hustlers
21966Tthe Little Joes
31968TMad Hits
41965TOliva's Army
51969TNo Drips
61967TTeam Davey J
71963TTeam Boog
81962TTeam Torre

First Round Pairings:
Team Boog
Pete's Posse
Bench No Drips
Oliva's Army
Team Davey
Team Mad Hits
Team Torre
Little Joe's

Be back with more games tomorrow. 

Monday, January 10, 2022

1960s Topps All-Star Rookie Cup Tournament - Bush Bracket

Ten teams is a funky number to deal with when hosting a tournament. At some point the math works out to having a game between 3 teams - which doesn't work for baseball. 

For purposes of the Phungo TASRC 1960s tourney we will have Two Brackets, A Major Bracket and a Bush Bracket. The Bush Bracket is a mini 4 team tourney to advance two qualifiers into the Major Bracket. 

Today we will open the tournament with the first round of the Bush Bracket: The pairings are as follows:

(10) 1961 Santo's SquadChuck Estrada
(7) 1963 Team BoogDean Chance
(9) 1960 McCovey StretchersJim Perry
(8) 1962 Team TorreDon Schwall

Three HOF Captains and Orioles Fan Favorite Boog Powell. Pitching matchups likely favor Team Boog with Dean Chance and Team Stretch with Jim Perry. Lets see what happened: 

Game 1:

(10) 1961 Santo's Squad4 - 7 - 0
(7) 1963 Team Boog 19632 - 4 - 1
W: Chuck Estrada 61 (1-0)L: Dean Chance 60 (0-1)
HR: Jim Gentile 61 (1), Tommy Davis 61 (1)

The first Home Run in the Rookie Cup Tourney goes to First Baseman Jim Gentile. Fellow Oriole Chuck Estrada tosses a 4 Hitter to earn the victory. Tommy Davis (Dodgers) chips in with a 2nd Home Run as Santo's Squad (1-0) to get the first victory in Rookie Cup Tournament (RCT) history.

1961 Topps #559 Jim Gentile

Game 2:

(9) 1960 McCovey Stretchers1 - 8 - 1
(8) 1962 Team Torre5 - 12 - 2
W: Don Schwall 62 (1-0)L: Jim Perry 60 (0-1)
HR: none

Don Schwall (Red Sox) holds Team Stretch to a single run in Team Torre's 5-1 victory. 

Round 2
We are off and running! Tomorrow will feature these 2nd round matchups

Promotion Game - Today's Two Winners, 61 Santo (Starting Pitcher Dick Stigman) and 62 Torre (Jack Curtis), will meet to determine which team will advance to the Major Bracket as the 7 seed. 

Elimination Game - Unfortunately in the 2nd half of tomorrow's doubleheader is an elimination game. The participants will be 63 Team Boog(Al Jackson) vs 1960 team Stretch (Jim O'Toole) 

Hope you enjoying the early round of the tournament. More tomorrow. 

Sunday, January 9, 2022

Who is the best Topps Rookie Cup Team of the 1960s?

Since 1959 Topps has named 63 All-Star Rookie Cup Teams. The first 10 of the teams were honored in the 1960-1969 Topps Sets. 

These teams have featured Hall of Famers, Stars, World Series heroes, One year wonders, defaults and everything in between.  From Willie McCovey to Woody Fryman to Wander Franco. 

I have always wondered which of these teams was the best, worst, and had the most impact. 

But how does one determine the Best Rookie Cup Team. 

I could simply give you charts of the best team by WAR,  All-Star Appearances, or Championships. 

For the 1960s these tables would appear like this:

But what does this really tell you? Unless you know that Willie McCovey was a member of the 1960* Squad, then you would be reminded he never won a World Series. 

But what is the fun in all these tables and numbers? 

How does one determine the best Rookie Cup team form the 1960s in a fun way? 


Yes we had Phungo HQ have put together a tournament to determine the best Topps All-Star Rookie Team from the 1960s.

Over the next couple of weeks we will be posting the tournament results. The tournament should run around 25 games over 3 weeks. 


To give each team a personality we have given each team a name and a captain. Here are the seedings for the tournament:

I will get more into game play below but basically games will be decided in a variety of statistical categories with WAR being the most dominant vector. The above seeds are based off a combination of each teams collective WAR for the rookie cup season and the teams career WAR. 


10 is an odd number of teams to run a tournament, so the format is is a bit convoluted. Basically we will have a pair of Double Elimination tourneys that will get us to the top 4 teams who will play a pair of Best of 3 Semi-Finals. The two winners will compete in a Best of 5 Final.  May the best team Win

The Teams

A brief description of the teams

1960 the Stretchers Captained by Willie McCovey Seed 10

    Strengths: Much Better Career Numbers than Seasonal Numbers 

    Weaknesses: Very Poor Rookie Cup Season numbers, team Speed, defense

    Notables: McCovey, Jim Perry, Bob Allison Ron Fairly

1961 Santo's Squad Captain by Ron Santo Seed 9

    Strengths: Lifetime Power

    Weaknesses: Pitching, Season Speed

    Notables: Santo, Frank Howard, Ron Hansen

1962 Team Torre Captained by Joe Torre Seed 8

    Strengths: Season Batting

    Weaknesses: Pitching

    Notables: Torre, Billy Williams, Don Schwall

1963 Team Boog Captained by Boog Powell Seed 7

    Strengths: Season Power

    Weaknesses: Speed, Career Power

    Notables: Boog, Ed Charles, Dean Chance

1964 Charlies Hustlers Captained by Pete Rose Seed 1

    Strengths: Season WAR, Pitching

    Weaknesses: Power Hitting

    Notables: Rose, Gary Peters, Rusty Staub, Tommy Harper

1965 Oliva's Army Captained by Tony Oliva Seed 4

    Strengths: Season Hitting 

    Weaknesses: Career Pitching

    Notables: Tony Oliva, Dick Allen, Bert Campaneris, Rico Carty

1966 Little Joes Captained by Joe Morgan Seed 2

    Strengths: Speed, Lifetime Power

    Weaknesses: Career Pitching

    Notables: Morgan, Tony Perez, Rico Petrocelli, Frank Linzy

1967 Team Davey J Captained by Davey Johnson Seed 6

    Strengths: Defense, Season Speed, 

    Weaknesses: Lifetime Power

    Notables: Davey Johnson, Tommie Agee, George Scott, Jim Nash, Woody Fryman

1968 Mad Hits Captained by Rod Carew Seed 3

    Strengths: Pitching, 

    Weaknesses: Season Hitting (everybody but Carew)

    Notables: Carew, Tom Seaver, Rick Monday, Reggie Smith, Lee May Dick Hughes

1969 No Drips Captained by Johnny Bench Seed 5

    Strengths: Fielding, Pitching

    Weaknesses: Season Powe

    Notables: Bench, Jerry Koosman, Stan Bahnsen, Bobby Bonds, Del Unser 

Okay enough set up, Tomorrow we will move on to actual games!


If you really want to know more about the key vectors used to determine game outcomes click here

*NOTE - The All-Star Rookie Cup is recognized on cardboard the year AFTER the award was won. ie: the 1959 Rookie Cup Team is on 1960 Topps Cards. For purposes of my discussions I typically refer to a team in the year of the card not the award - so the latter of the two years. 

Sources and Links

TCDB - Topps Rookie Cup List by FASportsCards


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