Thursday, March 14, 2013

1964 Topps

After the candy coated clown colors of the 1963 set, Topps went simplistic. The colors are still there, but more subdued. The subject dominates the card this time around, even popping out slightly from the box he fills.

While it may seem like Topps phoned in the design, the simplistic elements aren't here by accident. A conscious decision to focus on mostly head shots wouldn't have worked if the colors were garish or overbearing.

What people remember most about the 1964 Topps set is the orange backs. The backs of the cards remind me of a Dreamsicle. The orange and white combination shouldn't work, but it weirdly does. Here is where the glaring colors of last year's set have decided to take residence. It's an adjustment for the eyes, but it is a pleasant diversion. Some collectors are divided on the 1964 orange backs. Most people either love them or hate them. Rare is the collector that sees the orange and white backs indifferently.

The backs feature complete MLB stats, a short bio and (if room allows) a trivia question on a player's regular card. Topps suggested to rub a nickel on the back of the card to view the answer to the trivia question, but if the card is angled just right, the answer could be seen without coin rubbing.

The 1964 Topps set has 587 cards. There are thirty-one cards featuring White Sox players.

2 - AL ERA Leaders - Gary Peters, Juan Pizarro (Camilo Pasqual)
13 - Hoyt Wilhelm
31 - Dave Nicholson
66 - Eddie Fisher
81 - All-Star Vets - Nellie Fox (Harmon Killebrew)
85 - Pete Ward
107 -  Bruce Howard, Frank Kreutzer
130 - Gary Peters
148 - J.C. Martin
168 - Al Weis
195 - Floyd Robinson
215 - Ray Herbert
232 - Al Lopez
247 - Dave DeBusschere
264 - Jim Landis
283 - Tommy McCraw
308 - Gene Stephens
323 - John Buzhardt
340 - Joe Cunningham
368 - Fritz Ackley, Don Buford
384 - Ron Hansen
401 - Charlie Maxwell
421 - Camilo Carreon
430 - Juan Pizarro
453 - Frank Baumann
465 - Mike Hershberger
496 - White Sox Team
519 - Charlie Smith (pictured on White Sox, listed on Mets)
538 - Minnie Minoso
564 - Jerry McNertney (McCabe)
584 - Joel Horlen

The 1964 set is one of the underrated sets of the sixties. It has a solid, yet simplistic design, memorable backs and a nice selection of players. Even though Nellie Fox has a regular card on the Colts, he shows up with Harmon Killebrew on a multi-player card while in a White Sox uniform. This set also features the second of three Dave DeBusschere cards. DeBusschere pitched with the White Sox for two seasons in the majors and an additional two seasons in the minors before hanging up his pitching glove to focus of a Hall of Fame career as a power forward in the NBA for the Detroit Pistons and New York Knicks.

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