Well, this time I decided to branch out a bit. I have very few cards from the 1962 Topps set. But, luckily I have a good number of specimens from 2011 Heritage, which honors the '62 design. Thus, I was able to find a numerical match between the sets.
I'd also be remiss if I didn't give a nod to Robert from $30 A Week Habit, who recently featured 2011 Heritage in his "Top 25 Sets" feature. That got me in a 1962/2011 kind of mood.
So, here we go!
Card No. 208 is the subject. In this feature, the vintage card always gets first treatment. So let's now travel back to 1962...
|1962 Topps, #208|
Before he landed the starring role as George Steinbrenner's managerial whipping boy, Billy Martin spent 11 seasons as a big leaguer moonlighting for seven clubs. Most notably, Billy played seven seasons in the Bronx and won four World Series rings as a Yankee.
This happens to be Martin's final card as a player. He reappeared in the 1969 Topps set (card No. 547) as Minnesota's manager. Pictured here in a Twins uni, Martin played 108 games for Minnesota in 1961. As the back of the card notes, Billy was "sold to the Twins" after beginning the '61 season as a member of the Milwaukee Braves. Martin's final big league campaign resulted in a .242 BA with 26 XBH and 36 RBIs over 360 ABs.
Great info on the back of this card. We're informed that Martin set a Fall Classic record by "rapping out 12 hits in 6 games" in the '53 Subway Series versus Brooklyn. If that weren't impressive enough, the cartoon caption states that Billy compiled a .333 average in 28 career World Series contests. Talk about a Mr. October, right?!
Okay, so what does card No. 208 in the 2011 Heritage set bring us?
|2011 Heritage, #208|
Wellp, they're both second basemen and they both hit right-handed. Otherwise, I can't see an obvious connection between Rickie Weeks and Billy Martin. (If I'm missing something obvious, feel free to chime in!) I can definitely appreciate how Topps captured Weeks in the follow through of his practice swing, reminiscent of Martin's vintage '62 card.
But, whereas Martin's career was at its end, here we find Weeks still very much in the prime of his. The Florida native had just completed a career season in 2010, bashing 29 homers in a league-leading 651 ABs as Milwaukee's leadoff man. The backside cartoon highlights Weeks' propensity for leading off games with a bang: "Rickie has led off 10 games with a home run in his career." By contrast, Billy Martin totaled but 64 homers for his career, including a career-high 15 for the Yanks in 1953.
The Final Say: A little bit let down by my first foray outside the 1963/2012 universe. Don't get me wrong; both of these cards a great-looking pieces of cardboard. But I guess I was hoping for a more impactful parallel between vintage and current. Anyhow, Billy gets the upper hand here. Weeks has the power, but Martin has the hardware.
Previous "Fun with Heritage" features: