Thursday, January 14, 2016

1968 Topps Tigers Rookie Stars: Tom Matchick, Daryl Patterson

For the second time in a row, the random number generator has presented us with a card that features a player who had another rookie card in the previous season.  And once again the earlier card was an error card.

In 1967 Tommy Matchick appeared this Topps Rookie Stars Card. Although his full name is John Thomas Matchick, he normally went by Tom or Tommy. Topps presented the rookie as John in 1967, but that is not the error. The error involves his card-mate George Korince. That is actually the photo of one James Murray Brown. James Brown was a career minor league pitcher in the Tigers system.

The error card was number 72 and in the first series. Topps actually caught their mistake and created a card featuring the real George Korince along with Pat Dobson on number 526 in the sixth series. They even copped to their previous mistake on the back of that card

Matchick himself was a utility infielder who spent portions of 6 seasons in the Majors playing for 5 different teams. In addition to the Tigers he played for the Red Sox, Royals, Brewers and Orioles. Matchick was a member of the 1968 World Series Champion Tigers team. During that season he had a walk-off homer and helped turn a triple play. Matchick was playing shortsop against the Orioles when Boog Powell smashed a line drive to Denny McLain who turned to Tommy who then threw to Norm Cash at first to double then triple off Curt Blefary and Frank Robinson. The Tigers went on to win that game 7-3

In addition to his rookie cards in 1967 and 1968, Matchick appeared on a 1969 Topps card with the Tigers, an 1970 card with the Red Sox, a 1971 card with the Royals, and a 1973  card with the Orioles. So for his Card That Never Was, here is the year and team that Topps skipped over, a 1972 card featuring him on the Brewers. 
Daryl Patterson was a relief pitcher for the Tigers from 1967 to 1971. In '71 he was dealt to Oakland. The A's then sold him to the Cardinals who in turn returned him to the A's all in 1971. He made a return to the Big Leagues as a Pirate in 1974. He went 2-1 in 14 games for Pittsburgh. In a bench clearing brawl versus the Reds, Patterson was bitten in the neck by the "Dominican Dracula", Pedro Borbon.  The melee started in the 4th inning when Reds pitcher, Jack Billingham beaned Pirates pitcher Bruce Kison. Oddly, Borbon was not ejected and even came in to pitch the 9th inning for the Reds while Patterson went to get a tetanus shot.

For his Card That Never Was I made this 1974 Topps card for his comeback attempt with the Pirates. I like this picture of Patterson, and not just because it was taken in Wrigley Field. It's the billboard of that sweet 1974 AMC Matador in the background. 


This card feature a utility infielder and relief pitcher who both played minor roles in a championship season for the Tigers. Both had mostly unremarkable MLB careers after gaining their World Series rings. But it remains a must have card for collectors of the 1968 Tigers so I am going to rate it a 4, "Set Filler".

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