Friday, May 13, 2016

1965 Topps Cardinals Rookie Stars: Fritz Ackley, Steve Carlton

It's been nearly 5 months since the random number generator has given us a genuine Hall of Famer. But here we are again with "Lefty" himself and some other guy.


That other guy was Fritz Ackley who rocked a uni-brow that rivaled Wally Moon's forehead bush. Although this is without a doubt Ackley's most famous card, it is not his first rookie card. The man with one eyebrow also appeared on a 1964 White Sox Rookie Stars card with Don Buford.  Fritz pitched less than 20 innings over the 1963 and 1964 season with the White Sox before being picked up by the Cardinals. In 1965 he played the entire season for the Jacksonville Suns, never actually logging any time for St. Louis. In all, Ackley played 13 seasons of pro-ball, compiling a 95-94 record in the minors and a 1-0 MLB record.

He already had rookie cards in the 1964 and 1965 sets but never played past the 1964 season. So I decided to give him a Card That Never Was for the season in which he made his MLB debut, 1963. A few posts back I said that I would try to make team rookie cards for the years in which the rookie cards were by position (1962,1963 and 1973-1978). 
So here is my version of a 1963 Rookie Stars card. I paired him up with Dick Kenworthy. Kenworthy was a  September call up for the Sox in 1962. He played a total of 125 MLB games all for the White Sox over parts of 6 seasons. Yet his only card is a 1968 Topps card of him on the Mets. He had been conditionally sold to the Mets in October of 1967, then returned prior to the start of the 1968 season.

Steve Carlton's first major league appearance was against the Cubs on opening day 1965. He came in in the bottom of the 11th inning. The game was tied 10-10 with one out, He faced left fielder George Altman and walked him. He was replaced by Bob Purkey, who retired the side and the game ended in a tie.  That's right, the game was called due to darkness. Remember this was Wrigley Field a full 23 years before lights were installed. But still a full 17 years after the latest hold-out for night games, the Detroit Tigers installed lights. 

It's not surprising that on my other blog, I already have a couple Steve Carlton Cards That Never Were. The first is from a group of cards I made using the Fleers football card format. I had decided to use Cy Young Award winners as my subjects. So this is a 1977 Fleer card of Carlton. Carlton won his second of four Cy Youngs in 1977. The others were in 1972, 1980 and 1982.

The other card is from the 1973 All Star Cards That Never Were. Carlton was a ten time All Star, starting in 1969 and 1979. In 1972 he pitched a scoreless and hitless 6th inning. He gave up a leadoff walk to Rod Carew. After that Carew was doubled up on a grounder by Bobby Murcer. Reggie Jackson grounded out to second to end the inning. While Carlton was not the starting pitcher, he was the Phillies sole All Star representative in 1972.

While I don't think this will contribute much to the college fund, It is a valuable card. A PSA graded 10 from Dimitri Young's collection fetched $12,756.00 in auction.  On the other hand a Beckett graded 4.5 is selling right now on for $85. Most graded cards are in the $150-$250 range.

But the only grade that counts here is mine. I give it a solid 9. Go ahead and spring for the grading service. Wrap this baby in a hermetically sealed, UV protected slab for future generations to look at. But not touch.

No comments:

Post a Comment