Monday, May 27, 2024

1960 Topps #324 Jim Perry

This is an entry in our effort to Chronicle the entirety of the Topps All-Star Rookie Cup canon. 

As of the spring of 2024 Jim Perry is the last living member of the original Topps All-Star Rookie Cup Team. The first class of ten members was awarded in 1959 and honored on cards #315-325 of 1960 Topps.

The penultimate card of that subset is Jim Perry

1960 Topps #324 Jim Perry

If you click here you can scroll down and see the Topps All-Star Rookie Cup awards banquet photo. Perry is the rightmost player present.  


1960 Topps #324 Jim Perry (b-side)

One of the things I love about 1960 Topps is the season timeline, thankfully this base set feature is also present on the rookie cup cards. Six of Perry's performances are listed on the card plus the October 29th rookie cup selection. 

The first game on May 12th is cited as a seminal moment in Perry's career in his SABR Bio authored by Joseph Wancho.  What the card doesn't mention is that among those 4 strikeouts are 3 HOF, Enos Slaughter, Yogi Berra and Mickey Mantle. The fourth was the formidable Elston Howard. 

I also want to note the creativity in the comic which imagines a baseball bat as a military rifle and baseballs as shell casings. 

By the Numbers

Perry posted a 12-10, 2.65 ERA, 79 K season in 153 innings, which would have been an inning shy of the 154 IP League leader standards of the era. He led the 7 rookies with 100 innings in ERA by a margin of over 2 (Jerry Casale 4.31 in 179.2 IP).  Larry Sherry's 2.19 in 94 innings leads if we reduce the requirement a smidge. 

Perry's 12 Wins were 2nd only to Red Sox rookie Jerry Casale who had 13 of his 17 careeer Ws as a rookie. Perry finished 4th in Ks which was led by Ernie Broglio. 

Larry Sherry was the only RHP that finished with a better WAR than Perry, 3.6 v 2.4. While both players had successful careers, Perry had the most significant of the two longevity wise. 


The big name among RHP to debut in 1959 was Bob Gibson who had a much briefer MLB season than his Rookie cohort but did well (3-5, 3.33 ERA, 48 K, 75.2 IP, 1.5 WAR). 

Career numbers for the 1959 Rookie Class are of course led by Gibby: 251 Wins, 2.91 ERA, 3117 K, 81.7 WAR. Perry is 2nd in Wins (215) Strikeouts (1576) and WAR 38.4. His 3.45 Career ERA trails Gibson and 3 time World Champion Bob Miller (3.37)


Overall the Youth of America got this one right when voting for the first All-Star Rookie Cup Team in 1959. Jim Perry's Win Total is comparable to Casale's with an ERA that is far above any of the competition. Larry Sherry's pre-analytics WAR is impressive but the innings matter. Bob Gibson lags behind the group. 


Jim Perry received 5 votes for the AL Rookie of the Year Award finishing 2nd to Senators Slugger Bob Allison. 

Baseball Card Pioneer

Topps All-Star Rookies is not the only subset in which Jim Perry participates in the debut series. A year later the Right Hander would find himself on the first Topps League Leader to honor AL Pitching (Wins). During his sophomore season Perry posted 18 Wins which tied him with the Orioles Chuck Estrada. 

The original LL cards are just crammed with faces so Perry and Estrada do not appear much more significant than the anyone else in the top 6 wins on the 1961 Topps LL card, however they do appear on the top line

1961 Topps #48 American League Pitching Leaders 

Jim Perry would return to League Leaders a full decade later in the 1971T LL set where on this podium card he appears to have finished 3rd in Wins 

1971 Topps #69 American League Pitching Leaders 

However all 3 pitchers Cuellar, McNally and Perry won an identical 24 games. If you want to read more about this card check out Night Owl Cards Topps 1971 column here

Not a Rookie Card

This is not Jim Perry's rookie card. He originally appeared in 1959 Topps High number series

1959 Topps #542 Jim Perry

If you want to read more about this card check out Topps 1959

Big League Brother

Jim is the older brother of Hall of Famer Gaylord Perry. Gaylord's debut was not nearly as successful as his brothers and he was bested by the Phillies Ray Culp for RHP rookie cup honors in 1964. As of press time we do not have much in our HOF file on Gaylord Perry, but an index to any future postings we have can be found here.

Sources and Links

1960 Topps All-Star Rookie Cup Subset Index

1971 Topps Blog

1959 Topps Blog


SABR Bio by Joseph Wancho

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a thousand words
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