Up next is post #2 for the All-Star Rookie part of my Great Heritage Comparison. This is the infield. Heritage has a slim lead, 8-7.
This is another one Heritage matched up (sort of correctly). Rusty Staub is card #109, which matches up with Zach Cozart who was the shortstop for the ASR team. Staub became the second most accomplished player from the 1963 Topps All-Star Rookie Team. He finished his career with 2,700 hits, nearly 300 homers and nearly 1,500 RBI. And while his rookie season was solid, it wasn’t outstanding by any means. He hit .224 with 45 RBI. He played the whole season for the fledgling Colt .45s, who were in only their second season.
Anthony Rizzo for the Cubs was last year’s All-Star Rookie first baseman. He had a pretty solid season, albeit in playing in about two-thirds of the year. He is card #191, which matches up with Clay Dalrymple, who didn’t play first base and didn’t play for the Cubs.
1964 Topps – Staub (.224/6/45, 585 PA’s)
Trivia: Who was the last A.L. Star to hit 4 homers in a game?
Answer: Rocky Colavito in 1959. Mike Cameron would be the next American League player to do it in 2002.
2013 Heritage – Rizzo (.285/15/48, 368 PA’s)
Trivia: Who leads active players with 54 HR’s leading off games?
Answer: Alphonso Soriano.
Winner – split. I like the Staub card much better. It’s a better pose, and the Colt .45’s is a neat team nickname from back in the day. Plus, he had such a solid career – he’s one of those “Best player who isn’t a Hall of Famer” types. But Rizzo clearly had the better rookie season, so I’m calling this one a draw.
Steve Lombardozzi is the second baseman on last year’s Topps ASR team. You may know him as the son of … Steve Lombardozzi! In fact, his rookie season last year was already about equal to the best seasons that his dad had – his 105 hits are two more than pops ever had in a year.
Something does need to be addressed at this point. Topps has been more than a bit creative with these photos. Literally every single card so far has the ASR trophy placed in an interesting manner. The last two have been particularly notable – it looks like the batter on the trophy is whispering something into the player’s ear. It happens too often for me to think it’s not intentional, and I actually give Topps some credit for doing something kind of creative.
1964 Topps – Rose (.273/6/41, 696 PA’s, 101 R – NL RoY)
Trivia: Who holds the Dodgers record for hits in a season.
Answer: Babe Herman – 241 in 1930.
2013 Heritage – Lombardozzi (.273/3/27, 416 PA’s)
Trivia: Who’s had the most hits since the start of division play in ’69.
Answer: Paul Molitor 3,319.
Winner – Rose. Duh.
Al Weis of the White Sox was the shortstop listed for the 1963 team, which is interesting because he played nearly twice as many games at second as he did at short. But I’m sure Topps was reaching for players at this position, so getting an infielder of some sort here makes sense. Weis would play shortstop for most of his career, and was a utility man for the World Champion Mets in 1969.
The aforementioned Zack Cozart was the 6-man for the 2012 ASR team – giving the Reds two players on the team. Cozart was solid, too. He strikes out a bit too much for my taste, but we got rid of Drew Stubbs so maybe the lineup can afford that now.
1964 Topps – Weis (.271/0/18, 238 PA’s)
Trivia: Which pitcher hurled 3 shutouts in a World Series.
Answer: Christy Mathewson in 1905.
2013 Heritage – Cozart (.246/15/35, 600 PA’s)
Trivia: Who holds the Blue Jays career home run record?
Answer: Carlos Delgado, 336.
Winner – Cozart. Cozart definitely had the better season. And he’s a Red. And I like that Mr. Red is shown off in this photo.
The final infield position is the hot corner. In 1963, that meant we were on to the third Chicago White Sock on this squad. Pete Ward had an excellent rookie campaign. In fact, he finished second in the RoY voting behind his teammate, pitcher Gary Peters. He also finished 9th in the MVP voting (also one spot behind Peters). He had 34 doubles and over 80 runs & RBI.
Todd Frazier was the Reds third baseman last year, and it took a lot to displace Scott Rolen. I think Frazier should have gotten more love than Harper for NL RoY. Thankfully, Rolen didn’t re-up with the Reds, so Dusty Baker won’t have the option of sitting the more productive Frazier in favor of Rolen.
1964 Topps – Ward (.295/22/84, 600 PA’s)
Trivia: Which A.L. club holds the mark for triples in a season?
Answer: Boston 112 in 1903. That’s what the card says. It should be noted that Baltimore (who would soon become the New York Yankees) also had 112 triples in the inaugural 1901 season of the junior circuit.
2013 Heritage – Frazier (.273/19/67, 465 PA’s)
Trivia: Who was the second man with a 50-HR season?
Answer: Hack Wilson with 56 in 1930.
Winner – Ward. It’s difficult for me to pick against Frazier. But Ward had the better year (not that Frazier wasn’t very good), and his picture is better, too.