Friday, May 15, 2015

1962 Topps Rookie Parade Infielders: Bernie Allen, Rich Rollins, Phil Linz, Joe Pepitone

The random number generator was kind to us this time. This card is from Topps' first series that included multi-player rookie cards. Not only that but it included some genuine All Stars. It also featured 2 players each from just 2 teams, the Minnesota Twins and the New York Yankees. 


Bernie Allen finished 3rd in the Rookie of the year voting in 1962 behind Tom Tresh and Buck Rodgers. He was also voted to the 1962 Topps Rookie All-Star Team, which meant that his sophomore card would get that cool trophy thing on it. After the end of the 1966 season the Twins would trade Allen to the Senators for closer Ron Kline. This would open up second base for a young rookie named Rod Carew.
After 5 seasons in Washington, Allen was traded to the Yankees. He was a utility infielder in New York in 1972 and most of 1973. In August 1973 he was purchased by the Expos. His final Topps card was in 1973. For his Card That Never Was, I created a 1974 Topps career-capper depicting him on his final team.


As I said earlier, this card included some genuine All Stars. Rich Rollins was the starting third baseman in the 1962 All Star game. He would play for the Twins until 1969 when the Pilots chose him in the expansion draft. In Seattle he was relegated to back up third baseman. Although he would follow the team to Milwaukee, he was cut early in the 1970 season. He was signed by the Indians and would finish the season and his career in Cleveland.

Rollins is another player for whom I had already made a Card That Never Was on my other blog. This one is from the 1963 Topps All Star series that never was:


Phil Linz is probably best known not for his baseball playing but his harmonica playing. For those of you that haven't read about "The Harmonica Incident" by reading "Ball Four" or many other accounts, I'll give a brief recap. 

While in Chicago a few players bought harmonicas. Linz while on the bus to O'Hare airport, opened his and started practicing. Using the pamphlet that came with the harmonica, he began playing "Mary Had a Little Lamb". Manager Yogi Berra yelled "Shove that harmonica up your ass!"  Linz, unable to hear above his own playing asked Mickey Mantle what Yogi said. Mantle replied "Play it louder."  Berra came at him, swatted the harmonica away, and hit Joe Pepitone in the knee.

Several sports journalists saw it as a sign that Yogi had lost control of the team. This despite all evidence to the contrary. Leading up to "the incident", the Yanks had just been swept in a 4 game series by the White Sox and were 4.5 games back in the A.L. They would go on a 40-13 run for the remainder of the season and win the pennant. Nonetheless, Yogi was fired after losing the World Series in 7 games.

Linz was traded traded to the Phillies after the 1965 season. He would finish his career in a Mets uniform at the end of the 1968 season. He only appeared as a Met on the 1968 Topps card that showed him in Yankee pinstripes and no cap. So here he is in all his Mets glory on a 1969 Topps Card That Never Was:


Joe Pepitone played in 3 All Star Games from 1963-1965. He was the AL's starting first baseman in 1963. He was also a 3 time Gold Glove winner. He spent 8 years on the Yankees before being traded to the Astros after the 1969 season for former Rookie of the Year, Curt Blefary.  Midway through the 1970 season he was purchased by the Cubs. He would play on the North Side until early in the 1973 season, when he was traded to the Braves for Andre Thornton. Atlanta released him just one month later. Pepitone went to Japan to finish the 1973 season. He played for the Yakult Atoms but in 49 plate appearances failed to hit his weight.

Once again, I had already created a Card That Never Was for Joe Pepitone on my other blog. This one was part of another All Star series that never was. Here is a 1964 Topps All Star Card That Never Was to commemorate Pepitone's only ASG start in 1963:


This card has the regional appeal of having 2 each player from both the Twins and the Yankees. In addition, there are genuine All Stars on this card, and all of the players had solid Major League careers. Even if it wasn't a high-number card from the 1962 set, I would still deem it "Binder Worthy", I give it a 7.

1 comment:

  1. Is that 63 Rollins made from his Dexter press photo. Love the Pepitone card