Beginning in 1956 and going all the way through to 1981, with a one year absence in 1969, Topps included team cards in its flagship sets.
Building the Set
December 7, 2019 from King of Prussia, PA - Card #23
We were up to 11 cards for our 1965 Topps set, and I honestly had it in mind that I wanted to purchase one fairly major "star" card during our remaining time at the Philadelphia Sportscard & Memorabilia Show inside the Valley Forge Casino. The showroom floor was packed as we were now into the early afternoon and autograph guests were showing up every 15 minutes or so. The PA announcer would call out ticket numbers in groups of 10 all while imploring collectors to back away from the entrance that led into the autograph signing area.
So that was the backdrop when we came upon the table for MJW Collectibles out of Somerdale, NJ. This dealer had a bunch of 1960s Topps binders spread out, and the sign on the 1965 Topps binder caught my eye - ALL CARDS $1. So with Doug's help, I dug in.
I found the actual source for the photo used, and here's a listing of who is featured:
Topps re-used this same team photo for its 1966 and 1967 sets. The back features every White Sox pitcher with a decision during the 1964 season, so only Fritz Ackley (#477) is left out as he went 0-0 in his 3 appearances.
For the third year in a row, the White Sox won at least 90 games but took second place in the American League, this time behind the Twins. They finished seven games behind Minnesota with a record of 95-67, and chronic stomach ailments forced manager Al Lopez (#414) to step down at the end of the season.
The Chicago offense was paced by second baseman Don Buford (#81), right fielder Floyd Robinson (#345) and first baseman Bill Skowron (#70). Buford led the team with a .283 average while Skowron led with 78 RBIs. Skowron's 18 home runs tied for the team lead with catcher John Romano (#17). Tommy John (#208) led the pitching staff with 14 wins and Joe Horlen (#480) went 13-13 with a 2.88 ERA. The bullpen had a pair of strong closers with Eddie Fisher (#328) and Hoyt Wilhelm (#276). Fisher saved 24 games with a 2.40 ERA to Wilhelm's 21 saves and a 1.81 ERA.
For each team card featured, I'll be building a checklist of cards that could have been included in a 1965 Topps update set for that team.
- John Romano - The everyday catcher for the White Sox, he appears with the Indians in the set in series one (#17) as he was acquired on January 20th.
- Ken Berry - Berry was the regular center fielder and while he appears on a Rookie Stars card (#368), I'd give him his own card in the update set.
- Gene Freese - Freese is featured in the set with the Pirates (#492) the team from which the White Sox acquired him on August 23rd.
- Tommie Agee - Acquired with Romano and John in the January 20th trade, Agee appears with the Indians on a Rookie Stars card (#166).
- Bruce Howard - The team's fifth starter had a Rookie Stars appearance (#41) in the set.
- Frank Lary - The reliever was acquired from the Mets on July 8th and he appears in the set with the Braves (#127).