Sunday, April 20, 2008

#91 Chicago Cubs Team Card

Here's another of the cards I received from reader Ed. This is my first team card for the 1965 Topps set, and it's a beauty. Sure, the team itself was a bottom feeder; their 76-86 won-lost record wasn't terrible, but this was the season in which an amazing pennant race saw the top five teams finish within five games of each other. But those classic Cubbie unis still look sharp, as does the old-school Cub head logo in the pennant. As the son of an art teacher, I'd be remiss if I didn't mention the excellent use of primary colors on this card. The club was managed by Bob Kennedy, who played on the first Orioles team in 1954. His son Terry was a catcher for the O's in the late 1980s. Kennedy was the Cubs' first conventional manager after the "College of Coaches" debacle in the early Sixties.

The card (and the team) features 33-year-old first baseman Ernie Banks (23 HR, 95 RBI), left fielder Billy Williams (.312, 33 HR, 98 RBI), and third baseman Ron Santo (.313, 30 HR, 114 RBI). The first two are Hall of Famers, while Santo's worthiness is still hotly debated. Speaking of Hall of Famers, a struggling young outfielder named Lou Brock was traded to the Cardinals in June for pitcher Ernie Broglio. Hindsight has proven that deal to be a big win for the Redbirds, of course. The pitching staff was led by veteran Larry Jackson, who won a career-best 24 games to lead the National League and sported a 3.14 ERA. Jackson finished second in ML Cy Young voting (back in the days when one award was given for the entire major leagues) to the Angels' Dean Chance, who won 20 games with a miniscule 1.65 ERA.

In looking at the 1964 Cubs roster, my favorite quirk is that there were two Burdettes on the pitching staff - former Braves star Lew and reliever Freddie - who do not seem to have been related to each other.

1 comment:

  1. I can't tell by looking. Since Brock was traded in 1964, is he on this card? It looks like Billy Williams is on the right side of the 3rd row from the bottom and Brock might be on the left side of the 2nd row.

    Later, in the 1970's, the Cubs would have a tradition of having their team cards show the disembodied heads of the ballplayers floating around on the cards......