by Phoenix Desertsong, Sports Nut
Many baseball card collectors consider the 1963 Topps #553 Rookie Stars card to be a Willie Stargell rookie card. While that is absolutely true, the legendary Pittsburgh Pirate shares his rookie card with three other outfielders. As is the case with many early rookie cards, Hall of Fame ballplayers share their cards with lesser names. But, since these guys share a Rookie Card with a Hall of Famer, why not see how their careers turned out?
Brock Davis was certainly never a star at the MLB level. In fact, he’d only get into 242 games over parts of 6 seasons, amassing a whopping 0.2 WAR over that time. He carried a decent .331 OBP in his career, but had only one home run and not much else.
Jim Gosger never had much of an MLB career, although he hung around for parts of ten seasons. His 1963 debut with the Red Sox was a dreadful 19 plate appearance cup of coffee. Gosger actually wouldn’t resurface in the Majors until 1965, when he wasn’t a star but instead a league average hitter who gave the Red Sox 1.4 WAR in only 81 games. He would be perfectly acceptable in 1966 as well, but he’d be traded midseason to the Kansas City A’s with a couple other players for three players, including Jose Tartabull, who would be awful for the ‘66 and ‘67 Red Sox. (Tartabull’s son Danny would be a decent player, though). Gosger would carve out a basically replacement level career as a reserve outfielder. He was definitely NOT a star, with a career total of 2.3 WAR!
John Hernnstein is the worst player here, amassing NEGATIVE -2.0 WAR in his short career, 239 games over parts of 5 seasons. Not much to say about him other than he hit 6 home runs in 1964 for a Phillies team that had no business playing him in 125 games.
Meanwhile, this Willie Stargell fellow would amass 57.5 WAR over 21 seasons all for Pittsburgh. He’d hit .282/.360/.529 for an .889 career OPS (147 OPS+). He also hit 475 home runs. While he was a below average defensive outfielder and first baseman according to TotalZone, Stargell was easily a Hall of Fame player.
Considering the other three guys COMBINED for 0.5 WAR, I think it’s safe to say this is a Willie Stargell rookie card with three random guys. (Although, one is a Red Sox player so it counts for my Red Sox collection, which is funny to say!)
by Phoenix Desertsong, Sports Nut
In 2010, Topps created a series of cards called “Cards Your Mom Threw Out” featuring vintage Topps cards with either a new “CMT” back or the original back. These are actually fairly sought after cards by collectors, especially those with the original backs. For me, as a Red Sox fan, the Luis Aparicio CMT-138 is one that’s a nice card to have, as 1973 was not only the last hurrah for “Looie,” but also a pretty good season overall.
Aparicio came to Boston before the 1971 season for second baseman Mike Andrews and infielder Luis Alvarado. Andrews had some nice years for Boston, and would have one more good year in 1971 before fading away. Alvarado never did much of anything. 1971 was a down year for Aparicio and was actually worse than replacement level according to Baseball-Reference Wins Above Replacement (-0.5 WAR). He’d rebound in 1972 to be a league average shortstop (2.0 WAR). But 1973 was a nice final season for the future Hall of Fame shortstop.
In 1973, Aparicio hit only .271/.324/.309 with the bat, which wasn’t too good, but he did walk more than he struck out and added 13 stolen bases. He was only caught once, too. During the season he passed the 500 SB milestone to finish with 506 steals. Besides his value on the base paths, Aparicio was worth a whopping 11 runs above average according to TotalZone. That was after being “worth” -8 runs in 1971 and -4 runs in 1972. In his career, Aparicio would be worth 149 runs above average over 18 seasons. He won nine Gold Gloves in his career as an elite defender.
Luis Aparicio’s original 1973 Topps card is hardly a pricey one. You can find one graded PSA 8 for under $10 and one in PSA 9 for around $20 to $25. There are only 8 PSA 10 1973 Topps Aparicio cards, and those can fetch several hundred dollars. Aparicio would also have a 1974 Topps card.that are actually similarly priced, with only 4 PSA 10 copies currently graded. Luis Aparicio’s later cards with the Red Sox aren’t super expensive, but since he’s a Hall of Famer who made a living with his speed and glove, he’s worth adding to any vintage baseball card collection.
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