Here’s the 2nd part of my Multi-Player Combo cards. I went through the first 6 yesterday, here’s the next 6. I’ll compare what Topps put together in 1963 to what Topps combined for Heritage this year.
Each card is going to be worth a point – but I’m going to do it in a way that’s worth two half-points. The first half-point is my opinion for the best card overall, the other half-point will be based on the total of a combined statistic applicable to the players pictured on the card. I’ll use the statistic highlighted on that 1963 card, as best as I can determine, using stats from the season before. 1963 had closed the gap to 1.5 points at the end of yesterday, 19.75 to 18.25.
Card #306 – Star Receivers
No, it’s not a football card! It’s catchers! Elston Howard was becoming a bona fide star here – he’d win the league MVP in 1963. Earl Battey was also in the midst of being a top-notch backstop. From 1960 to 1966, he had 3 top-10 MVP finishes, 4 All-Star appearances and 3 Gold Gloves.
Yadier Molina and Brian McCann are certainly some good competition for the two above. Though I don’t think either of them will ever win an MVP award, but they certainly are the best two NL catchers.
Winner – best card: I like each card – but don’t particularly love either card, either. I like that the 2012 guys are in the All-Star uniforms, but I like that the guys from 1963 have Yankee Stadium clearly shown in the background. I’m gonna call this one a wash, too! Which conveniently gets me off of the quarter point situation that cropped up yesterday.
Stat comparison – WAR:
They really are all over the map with this, so I’m going to go with WAR from the season before.
1962 – 6.3 WAR (Howard 3.8, Battey 2.5)
2011 – 6.4 (Molina 3.9, McCann 2.5)
Wow – amazingly close, Molina puts them one over the top.
2012 Heritage leads, 21.5-20.5
Card #331 – Series Foes / World Series Foes
This card covers two guys who faced off in game 3 of the World Series, which was tied 1-1 at the time. Stafford took the 3-2 win, which gave the Yankees the lead en route to their World Championship.
The Heritage version compares Pujols and Hamilton, two former MVPs. The back discusses Pujols incredible game 3 – when he hit 3 homers – and Hamilton’s hot finish to the series, when he got a hit in each of the last 3 games, including a homer that everyone thought would win the Series in game 6.
Winner – best card: Getting Hamilton on first talking to Pujols is better than the 1963 card. This is an example where they tweaked the 1963 idea in a way that improved the card in my opinion.
Stat comparison – Wins:
1962 – Stafford out-dueled Pierce, 3-2, in game 3
2011 – Pujols tied the WS record with 3 homers in game 3, while Hamilton hit a home run in game 6 that gave Texas a 2-run lead in the potential clincher, with only an inning to play.
I hate to discount a game 3 when it’s tied 1-1, but to me, the 2011 performances are the better ones here.
2012 Heritage leads, 22.5-20.5
Card #392 – Tribe Thumpers
Johnny Romano and the first “Tito”. RBI is the stat discussed initially on the card back.
You’ve got a couple young Tribe stars here.
Winner – best card: Tito sure looks like his son – and that’s a better photo for other reasons. I like the batting cage conversation going on here.
Stat comparison – RBI:
1962 – 154 RBI (Romano 80, Francona 71)
2011 – 171 RBI (Cabrera 92, Santana 79)
So we’ve got an overall push here. That’s some good production from those young Indians last year.
2012 Heritage leads, 23-21
Card #412 – Dodgers Big Three
It’s hard to beat these 3 guys, though. I’m actually surprised to see Podres was still around in 1963. He still had some years left – but not many productive ones. Night Owl had a better write-up on both of these cards than I can give – go here to read it.
Winner – best card: I don’t think the 2012 card is bad, but I have to agree with the Blog of the Year – those 3 pitchers are the better option.
Stat comparison – WAR:
That’s the only way to go here, since you’ve got different positions between the 2 cards. Koufax was about to go on his historic run – but he hadn’t quite started yet. Drysdale was, like Kershaw, the Cy Young winner.
1962 – 12.6 WAR (Drysdale 5.7, Koufax 4.4, Podres 2.5)
2011 – 18.3 (Kemp 10.0, Kershaw 7.0, Ethier 1.3)
I should adjust a little for the fact the guys from 1963 are all pitchers, but Kershaw was still better than any of them, so any adjustment I’d make probably isn’t going to make up for that difference. You’ve got the Cy Young and the guy who should have been the MVP. So the stats give Heritage a split here.
2012 Heritage leads, 23.5-21.5
Card #68 – Friendly Foes
I missed this one numerically as it’s not listed correctly as a combo card on the checklist I was looking at. But it’s a pretty interesting one. You’ve got a former Brooklyn/LA Dodger in Gil Hodges, who’d come back to New York to play in Queens for the expansion Mets. You’ve got his former (and future) teammate in Duke Snider. This makes me wonder – was this card offensive to Mets fans when it came out? Were people wondering – what the hell is our Mets’ guy talking with that stinking Dodger who left us? I think probably not, particularly since the Dodger was the beloved Duke of Flatbush. And because the Met is Gil Hodges, his former teammate.
This next one should be a little more offensive to fans of both clubs.
Winner – best card: 1963 of course. I’m sure there’s a statistical argument against it – but this card reminds me that Gil Hodges should be in the Hall of Fame. The Heritage card makes me think SF/LA fans should be mad at Vogelsong/Ethier, or maybe Vogelsong & Ethier should be mad at the camera guy for misrepresenting what was actually the start of a fight!
Stat comparison – N/A:
Doesn’t make sense to do a statistical look here – the basis for this card has nothing to do with statistics. I’m awarding the full point to 1963 Topps. 1963 is within a point of the lead…
2012 Heritage leads, 23.5-22.5