a few weeks ago i noted that i was pondering the idea of adding a number type mini-collection to my collection. of the options i considered - 190, 272, 350, or none at all - i decided to go with 350.
1965 topps #350
mickey mantle made his final world series appearance in 1964, and although the yankees lost to the cardinals, mantle hit well with an ops of 1.258. as the card back states, he set a career all-time home run record for the fall classic as well. he passed a couple of milestones in 1964 as well, getting his 2000th hit and 450th home run. 1965 turned out to be a down year for mantle but he was immune to the whims of topps and still received card number 50 in the 1966 set. i bought this card for this mini-collection, and it remains in a psa graded case. it's only noted as "authentic-altered" because of the ink on the front. i already have a version of this card in my 1965 topps set with a better front but worse back.
1975 topps #350
bobby murcer's 1975 topps card is an all-time classic, and i am glad to have a reason to keep this card in my collection outside of my complete '75 set. and, to have him follow mickey mantle in this post is especially cool. murcer (who like mantle was from oklahoma) was pegged as mantle's successor in centerfield for the yankees and he had some solid seasons in that role. the yankees traded murcer after the 1974 season to the giants straight up for bobby bonds, who also received an airbrush treatment for his 1975 card although what makes murcer's card so great is the american league all-star designation.
1985 topps #350
wade boggs hit "only" .325 in 1984 which lowered his career average which had been .357 entering the season. he finished third in batting average that year behind the yankee duo of don mattingly and dave winfield - the race that was memorialized on a 1985 donruss card. boggs rebounded in 1985 to lead the league with a .368 average, which kicked off a run of four straight batting titles and five in six seasons.
1995 topps #350
barry larkin makes it three hall of famers in a row. i appreciate the name cameo for pete rose on the back of the card, too. larkin had put up solid numbers in his career to date when this card came out, but he upped his game in 1995 and was voted the national league's mvp.
2005 topps #350
albert pujols and larry walker led the cardinals to a playoff victory over the dodgers in 2004, although the dodgers were able to win their first postseason game since 1988 thanks to jose lima. pujols went on to be named the mvp of the nlcs (the cardinals beat the astros), and walker continued the mash with a couple homers of his own. still, the cardinals were beat by the red sox which was fine by me given the circumstances. i have another copy of this card in my lurker collection thanks to the dodger catcher (brent mayne) watching the flight of the pujols home run.
2015 topps #350
yasiel puig is the third dodger to be featured in these posts, and based on his first two seasons in the big leagues he was certainly worthy of card number 350. he helped lead the dodgers back to the postseason in 2014, although the result was the same with a series loss to the cardinals. puig's 2015 season was hampered by hamstring injuries, and he put up fairly pedestrian numbers when healthy. it is crazy to me that a few years later, he is not on a roster despite being only 30 years old.
i am tracking a few things in an effort to find any consistency with number 350, although there really isn't any. still, i am keeping track of the following occurrences, now through two posts:
number of reigning rookies of the year: 1 (kris bryant)
number of reigning mvps: 4 (ernie banks, frank robinson, robin yount, dustin pedroia)
number of reigning cy young winners: 0
number of reigning world series champions: 2 (keith hernandez, joe carter)
number of reigning pennant winners: 9 (frank robinson, mickey mantle, steve garvey, robin yount, jack clark, keith hernandez, joe carter, 2004 st. louis cardinals, clayton kershaw)
number of reigning league leaders: 16 (ernie banks - home runs, rbi; ernie banks - home runs; mel stottlemyre - complete games; willie mccovey - home runs; billy williams - runs, hits; garry templeton - triples; robin yount - hits, doubles; keith hernandez - walks; andy vanslyke - triples; kenny lofton - sb; larry walker - batting average; chase utley - runs; dustin pedroia - hits, runs; david ortiz - doubles, rbi; clayton kershaw - wins, era; dj lemahieu - batting average)
subset types: 2 (all-time all-stars, postseason highlights (4))
number of repeat players: 1 (ernie banks)
number of dodgers: 3 (steve garvey, yasiel puig, clayton kershaw)
frequency of teams: cardinals (7), cubs (5), astros (4), mets (4), yankees (4), twins (3), braves (3), dodgers (3), braves (3), reds (3), red sox (3), giants (3), a's (2), brewers (2), phillies (2), rockies (2), white sox, indians, blue jays, angels, rangers, orioles, rays, padres, pirates
i will have another post with another run of cards soon - stay tuned!