unsung heroes: 1965 topps

Well crime fighters, I believe the last time we met I was discussing 1965 Topps baseball cards and sharing scans of the cards I have gotten autographed through the mail (TTM). Obviously excited by the prospect of having their mugs posted on Cards in the Attic, a number of retired players have been taking the time out of their busy schedules to autograph the vintage baseball cards I’ve sent them and drop them back into the mail. Not one to disappoint, here we go once again- this time listed in order of height.


Larry Brown – 1965 Topps no. 468

I swear, I am listing these cards in order of player height (least tall to tallest), then alphabetically for ties. It is a simple coincidence that the first player, Larry Brown, shares my birthday. I really like this card with the interesting background and the label clearly visible on the bat. Either this photo was posed, or the Topps photographer following him around while he was trying to take some batting practice irritated Brown.


Joe Azcue – 1965 Topps no. 514

Back to back Indians! Interestingly, like Brown, Azcue chose to sign his card at a 45-degree angle, and in approximately the same location on his card. I wonder if all 1965 Indians autograph their cards in this manner. I rather enjoy imagining Joe warming up to answer his fan mail by swinging two ballpoint pens before settling on the black one.


John Kennedy – 1965 Topps no. 119

No, John Kennedy did not add the “NY” at the bottom of the card. The original owner of this card performed that documentation- probably early in 1967. Kennedy didn’t seem to mind the extra writing, or if he did, he didn’t cross it out. John Kennedy is one of those baseball players who launched a homer in his first at bat in the major leagues. His came off Minnesota Twins hurler Dick Stigman. Um… you MAY want to file that little bit of information away somewhere nearby. Another interesting factoid about John Kennedy is that he was born on JFK’s 24th birthday. Finally, I had to write Kennedy after learning that he was the person who allegedly branded Red Sox pitcher Bill Lee as the “Spaceman.”


Joe Cunningham – 1965 Topps no. 496

Joe Cunningham spent 12 seasons in the major leagues. More than half of those years were bonus after Joe just missed being killed by a tornado that destroyed his St. Louis apartment in February of 1959. Like many retired players, Cunningham’s preferred writing instrument is a ballpoint pen.


Dalton Jones – 1965 Topps no. 178

Best known for a base running blunder in which he was called out after bashing a grand slam, it should be pointed out the Dalton Jones remains the Boston Red Sox all-time pinch hits leader. Jones appears to be a fan of Sharpie pens.


Al Weis – 1965 Topps no. 516

Interweb sources suggest that Al Weis was born on April 2, 1938. I’m not sure how they can justify their shoddy research attempts since Al’s April 1, 1940 birthday is clearly noted on the back of his 1965 Topps baseball card. A career light-hitting infielder, Weis elevated his offensive game in helping the Mets top the Orioles during the 1969 World Series. Weis’ weapon of choice appears to be some wide-tip black marker. It should be interesting to see how this autograph stands up over time.


Hal Woodeshick – 1965 Topps no. 179

I just learned while writing this post that Hal Woodeshick passed away this past Sunday. I honestly had no idea that Hal was ill when I sent the card to him a couple of weeks ago. If I had, I certainly wouldn’t have bothered him for an autograph. That said, I am extremely grateful that he took the time to honor my request in spite of his poor health.


Dick Stigman – 1965 Topps no. 548

Enter Dick Stigman… I’ve already mentioned his name once in this post. I obtained this card in trade not long ago from a fellow blogger. Somewhat poorly aligned and miscut, I felt that the best thing to do was to send it off and ask for an autograph. Stigman was happy to oblige, and now his card is perfect for my collection and I don’t need to find a better specimen to fill my set.


Jim Lonborg – 2001 Topps Archives no. 272

(1965 Topps reprint no. 573)

Okay sure, technically speaking, this card is not from the 1965 Topps set. But I am a huge fan of cards like these from 2001 Topps Archives set, and decided to include it with the cards that it represents in spirit. My only complaint is the glossy finish that negates the extra thick card stock used in this product. This was the first time that I have written to Gentleman Jim. He has an amazingly quick turnaround of his fan mail.

Be sure to tune in next time for another exciting adventure in this signature series!

– Kris

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