Thursday, August 13, 2015

1967 Topps Yankees Rookie Stars: Stan Bahnsen, Bobby Murcer

It had to happen sooner or later. Finally a rookie card with 2 actual stars on it. Oddly, neither of these "1967 Rookie Stars" played a single out in the Major Leagues in 1967, but for different reasons. Additionally, each player appeared separately on another Rookie Stars card.


 For Stan Bahnsen, it was his first Topps Rookie Stars card.  In 1966 he had a 10-7 record with 151 strikeouts in 170 innings for the Toledo Mud Hens. That was good enough to earn him a September call-up. In his first outing he pitched 2 innings in relief and earned the save. In his next outing he got the start and the complete game win. Despite the fast start, he would spend the entire 1967 season back in the minors.

He would appear on another rookie stars card (using the exact same picture) again in 1968 along with catcher Frank Fernandez. In 1968 he went 17-10 and won the AL Rookie of the Year award. He would go in to pitch in 16 MLB seasons with the Yankees, White Sox, A's, Expos, Angels and Phillies.
I had already created 3 Cards That Never Were for Bahnsen on my other blog. You can see them here, here and here. One of my running themes was to create a Rookie if the Year card similar to the 1975 MVP cards. That usually required me to create an individual rookie card for the players. I would usually follow up with a Card That Never Was from later in their career. For Bahnsen, this was exactly the case. I created a solo card for him from 1968. 

I then paired it with a solo card I created for the NL Rookie of the Year, Johnny Bench in a 1975 ROY card.

I created this 1982 Topps card of him on his final MLB team, the Philadelphia Phillies. Bahnsen pitched in only 13.1 innings for the Phillies, all in relief and never factored in a decision.


The other rookie on this card, Bobby Murcer also appeared on Topps Rookie Stars cards in 2 consecutive years. For Murcer the 1967 was his second. He originally appeared on this 1966 Topps card with Dooley Womack. Murcer was a teenage bonus baby signed by the same scout that recruited fellow Oklahoman, Mickey Mantle. He was called up in lat 1965 and appeared to be the Yankees future shortstop with Tony Kubek retiring at the end of the 1965 season. Instead he spent most of 1966 in the minors. 

In 1967 and 1968 Murcer reported for duty in the US Army. He miss both seasons in their entirety. When he returned in 1969, the Yankees made him an outfielder, drawing more comparisons to Mantle. Murcer thrived in the outfield, earning All Star appearances from 1971-1975 and winning a Gold Glove in 1972. After the 1974 season he was traded to San Francisco for Bobby Bonds. He spent 2 seasons with the Giants before being traded to the Cubs for the reigning batting champion Bill Madlock. In 1979 he returned to the Yankees where he retired in 1983. 

Like Bahnsen, Murcer was part of an ongoing them on my other blog and I already had Cards That Never Were made for him here and here. These were both All Star cards from the years when Topps didn't include them in the set. 

Here is one from the 1972 All Star Cards That Never Were. He shared centerfield (and this card) with the immortal Willie Mays in the 1971 All Star Game.

This one is from the 1973 Topps All Star Cards That Never Were.  In 1972 Murcer made his 2nd of 4 consecutive All Star starts.


Despite the fact that neither of these "1967 Rookie Stars" played at all during the 1967 season and they both appeared on other rookie cards, I have to give this card a 7. It is certainly Binder Worthy.

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