Saturday, July 16, 2011

1968 Topps. Reach for the Stargell

1968 is one of the most volatile years in America history. The 1968 Topps design reflects absolutely no notion of change. It's tweed! The psychedelic counterculture in full bloom did not penetrate anyone at Topps. If you were to judge what was taking place in the country based on this design you would guess no better than everyone is comfortable at home eating TV dinners, right? The only thing subversive about this card is that Stargell plays for the "Pirates". I still don't get what this team nickname has to do with baseball. Anyhow, this copy is a stunning gem mint. How it stayed in this condition for over 40 years is an answer you would only get tripping on Lysergic acid diethylamide.

Even baseball itself got caught up in the winds of change. After the 1968 season baseball had to lower the mound by 4.5 inches to give the hitter's a chance. Apparently, most teams had raised their mounds past the regular height of 15 inches which in effect killed all the offense. After the mound was lowered and enforced to be a standard 10.5 inches modern day baseball was born.

Stargell had the dismal yet relative OPS of .757 in 1968. The following year he posts the Hall Of Famish OPS of .938! Baseball had literally leveled the playing field.

1 comment:

  1. I hope to add a 68 Stargell to my Willie collection someday. It doesn't have to be as nice as that one though.