For the cost of a blaster, I landed this!!!!
A 1968 Topps Johnny Bench rookie!!!! Granted, a couple of soft corners and a wrinkle at the top right, but what a surprise find! I have tried to find an off condition one on eBay, but they generally seem to go north of $50 easily. So one big money card scratched off my 1968 Topps Set needs!
As for the other guy sharing Bench's limelight, Ron Tompkins actually first appeared in the Majors in 1965 when he pitched in 5 games. Ron shares a card with a fellow A's rookie in the 1966 Topps set. He didn't see the light of day again until 1971 when he appeared in 35 games for the Chicago Cubs.
This wasn't the only surprise find that I landed, but I will save that for tomorrow. Because of that find, I have decided to start collecting another vintage Topps set, so stay tuned for that as I will have another set needs list to post.
But enough of that, here are some other cards I found that closed up some holes in my '68 binder.
One of the other cards I was able to scoop up, was Roger Maris' last card. I can't seem to find any at a decent price on eBay, so at for the cost of a couple 2012 Topps packs, got this one. I may be able to take some of that pen ink off with an art eraser I have, we'll see. Otherwise, the Maris has some great color and the corners are still fairly decent.
Lefebvre was the National League ROY in '65, McAuliffe was a mainstay for Tigers at second base, Rick Wise threw a no-hitter for the Phillies and then the following spring was traded to the Cardinals for Steve Carlton. Fregosi was star early on for the Los Angeles/California Angels. Bill Freehan played his entire career with the Tigers, made 11 All-Star teams and won gold gloves 5 straight seasons (1965–69).
Next batch includes another Tiger that held down the fort at third during the 1960s. This was Joe Niekro second card, having appeared in the 1967 issue, he was traded the following year to the newly formed San Diego Padres. For fifty cents, I picked up this Joe Torre and while scuffed with a marker spot, it will fill it's spot in the album just fine. Pat Dobson would go onto be a part of that famed Baltimore Orioles staff of '71 in which all four starters won 20 or more games.
Interesting story about Dick Dietz from 1968 (Wikipedia) that I did not know:
Dietz is remembered for his role in a controversial umpiring decision during the 1968 season. The Giants were facing Dodgers' pitcher Don Drysdale, who was in the midst of a scoreless inning streak that would eventually reach a record-setting 58 and two-thirds innings. The Giants had the bases loaded with no outs and Dietz at bat. Dietz was hit by a pitch, apparently ending Drysdale's scoreless innings streak. However, home plate umpire Harry Wendelstedt, citing a rarely enforced rule, refused to allow Dietz to take first base, claiming that Dietz did not attempt to avoid being struck by the ball. Drysdale then retired Dietz and the next two batters, keeping his scoreless streak alive.
And last lastly in this lot of cards I found, and had to scan ... #598, the last card in the 1968 set ... Jerry May. May led National League catchers in 1970 with a 50% base runners caught stealing percentage.
So the trip landed me twenty-two cards that I was able to cross off, including one of the set's cornerstone cards. Can't be that on a rainy day!