Saturday, July 2, 2016

1961 Topps Jim Woods

This was Jim Woods' first Topps card but it is not his first card by a major card company. His first card was a Leaf card.  In 1960 Leaf put out a set of black and white baseball cards. Unlike Topps, Leaf included a marble with its cards instead of gum. The Leaf set was missing many of the big stars of the day. It was not widely distributed and the black and white format just could not compete with Topps. The Leaf name would not appear on baseball cards until 1985 as the Canadian version of Donruss.
Jim Woods made his MLB debut in 1957 for the Cubs. Just 10 days after his 18th birthday, manager Bob Scheffing put Woods in to pinch run for catcher, Gordon Massa. Wood was thrown out at home trying to score on a strikeout by pitcher Jim Brosnan. The next day Woods would get pinch running duty again for Massa. This time he would score the go-ahead run against the Cardinals on a single by Bob Will. In both games, Woods was used only as a pinch runner. He had no plate appearances and didn't play the field.  He was traded by the Cubs along with Al Dark and John Buzhardt for Hall of Famer Richie Ashburn. He played a total of 34 games for the Phillies in 1960 and 1961.  

For Topps, Jim Woods was one and done with this 1961 card, but I borrowed an idea from the 1975 Topps card of  Herb Washington. I made this 1957 Topps card of him on the Cubs for his Card That Never Was.  In Honor of his actual rookie debut, I designated his position as "Pinch Runner".


 Jim graduated high school in 1957 from Lane Tech, a school that is walking distance to Wrigley Field on Addison. He ended up being used as a pinch runner for the Cubs in the final games of the 1957 season. The same season that he probably skipped school in order to catch the opening day game.

Overall he had an eight year minor league career with a couple tastes of the big leagues. But he was living the dream. Playing even briefly for the hometown team, he was also involved in a blockbuster trade. He even had a couple of baseball cards to immortalize his efforts. What more can a kid ask for? None the less, I can't grade this particular card any better than a 3 and put it back in its box.

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