1964 Topps - Bob Hope
In the history of baseball cards, there have been numerous instances of owners appearing on the famed cardboard. Charles Comiskey is probably the most used example that people remember today.
Topps isn't quite the same company it was back in 1964. Today, Topps relies on gimmicks to sell cards. I suppose that they do need that for their bottom line. How else do you reach the majority of kids that are used to state of the art video games and other forms of electronic stimuli? How did Topps reach out to the generation before? I'm sure there are other people more qualified than I to answer those questions.
Bob Hope had two stints as a partial owner of the Cleveland Indians. The first occurred in the forties when Bill Veeck ran things. The second is harder to determine exact dates. Most likely his second tenure started in the fifties and possibly ran into the sixties and maybe beyond. I used a Sports Illustrated cover story from 1963 as a reference point to determine this 1964 card creation.
While this card may not have fit in to the plans of Topps for their 1964 set, it wasn't completely out of the realm of possibility. Owners, particularly famous or infamous ones, have shown up on cardboard before and after 1964.
"I'd like to have more time with the Cleveland club," said Hope, "but why should I louse them up?"