I wrote something the other day in a feature story about 1965 Topps Baseball saying – I paraphrase now – that one good measurement of a baseball card issue is deciding how many cards within the issue constitute the best card that individual player ever had in his career.
While conceding that there’s a good deal of subjectivity involved in such a discussion, I still like it as a measurement tool because it involves aesthetics rather than simply calculating dollars and cents.
Making such pronouncements about the Hall of Fame’s upper crust, meaning Mantle, Aaron, Mays and Clemente, for example, gets even trickier, since people are so familiar with most of their cards, but it should be more feasible to offer the view about many other Hall inductees and certainly a vast array of All-Stars and the like.
So with that preamble, I contend that the 1965 Topps issue provides the best cards ever produced of the following, listed in numerical order:
No. 19 Gates Brown, No. 36 Bobby Wine, No. 144 Ed Kranepool, No. 145 Luis Tiant, No. 157 Zoilo Versalles, No. 176 Willie McCovey, No. 190 Bill White, No. 210 Jim Fregosi, No. 255 Camilo Pascual, No. 285 Ron Hunt, No. 294 Tim McCarver, No. 305 Rico Carty, No. 318 Matty Alou, No. 340 Tony Oliva, No. 419 Ruben Amaro, No. 435 Willie Davis, No. 519 Bob Uecker, No. 528 George Altman and No. 540 Lou Brock.
I’d be interested in readers observations about specific players or sets where that “best card” designation applies.
Subjective or not, all baseball cards are not created equal and it’s fun deciding which are more equal than others.