Sunday, October 28, 2012

Topps' New Color Scheme

What do these 6 cards have in common?

In 1966, Topps created a new color scheme to identify the cards for each team. One AL and one NL team used each of ten colors, which were found on the card's nameplate and the diagonal banner. The same color scheme was used in the 1968 set and (with the addition of two colors for the four expansion teams) the 1969 set. The circles on the '68 and '69 cards were colored according to the player's team.

In the 1967 set, Topps strayed from that scheme. Although they still had an AL and NL team assigned to each color, the color assignments were shuffled to other teams, except for both "red teams" (Yankees and Dodgers), the Giants, and the Cubs. The team name at the bottom of the card was colored accordingly.

(Topps also replaced gray with light blue for the 1967 set.)

Why were the colors changed in 1967, only to revert back for the 1968 set? Not that I minded; my favorite color at the time was yellow, and my favorite team was the Phillies, so it was all good.

So, what do the cards above have in common? They are the only cards from 1966 to 1969 that did not follow the team color scheme.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

RIP - Dave May

Former Orioles' and Brewers' outfielder Dave May passed away on October 20, 2012 at age 68. He had been battling cancer and diabetes.

May broke in with the Orioles in July 1967. After 3 seasons backing up Frank Robinson, Paul Blair, and Don Buford, Dave was traded to the Brewers in June 1970.

On a new team having little expectations, May finally got significant playing time as the team's regular center fielder. After the 1974 season he was traded to the Atlanta Braves for home run king Hank Aaron. Following short stints with Texas and Pittsburgh, he played in the Inter-American League in 1979, before retiring.

His son Derrick May played for the Cubs and other teams in the 1990s.

Obituary at       and at Orioles Buzz

Sunday, October 14, 2012

RIP - Roberto Rodriguez

Roberto Rodriguez passed away in his native Venezuela on September 23, 2012 at age 70.

Rodriguez pitched in the minors from 1964-74 for the Athletics, and later, the Cubs. He appeared in 15 games for the Kansas City Athletics in 1967, and spent most of the 1970 season in the majors with the A's, Padres, and Cubs.

He also played baseball in Venezuela from 1961-79, and later coached in his country.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Mickey Mantle Day - 1969

I found this button a few weeks ago at a nearby antique shop. It's a 4-inch pin commemorating Mickey Mantle Day on June 8, 1969 (just about 2 years after Whitey Ford retired). Mantle had retired during spring training that year, after 18 seasons in Yankees' pinstripes.

I've never been a Yankees fan, but (like just about every kid from my generation, I would guess,) I've always been a Mickey Mantle fan.

A few days later, I found out it was a re-issue made in the 1980s, but that's ok.