Wednesday, August 19, 2009

1969 Topps, Maury Wills



#45 Maury Wills

Here is another card that I was able to get signed in Ft. Worth on Friday. The game I happened to attend just happened to be the day that Maury was at the park signing autographs. I didn't know about this signing until two days before I left when I checked the Cats promotional schedule. That said that they were giving away Maury Wills photocards and usually when they give something like that away, that player is going to be there. So, I went by the card shop and was able to pick up a couple of Wills cards.

Maury is probably mostly famous for his stolen bases. In 1962, he became the first player to ever steal more than 100 bases when he stole 102 as a Dodger. He ended up winning the MVP award that year, as well.

When I was looking for some cards of Maury to take with me, I noticed that he didn't have any Topps cards from his early seasons. The earliest card of Maury that I saw on Beckett.com was his '63 Fleer card. His next card was a '67 Topps card of him as a Pirate. Did Maury have some kind of exclusive contract with Fleer? Even the 1987 Topps "Turn Back the Clock" card of Maury (#315) seems to feature a card that doesn't exist according to beckett.com.

This card is interesting because it shows him as a Pirate, but lists him as an Expo. Prior to the 1969 season, Maury was picked by the Expos in the expansion draft. He was hitting .222 for them when he got traded back to the Dodgers mid-season.

The card is signed across Expos and the signature is kind of hard to make out in the scan. It doesn't seem that bad in person, though. Also, you can notice a blue speck on the left border of this card. That is from Maury doing his little underlying thing on the card I had to the left of this one.

4 comments:

night owl said...

The story goes that Maury Wills was such an underwhelming prospect that nobody thought he'd make the major leagues and Topps didn't end up signing him to a contract so they couldn't run a photo of him.

Some say Wills was mad at Topps because of that and so he refused to sign a contract after he made the majors, but Sy Berger --the guy who signed players to royalty deals back in the day -- says that's not true.

It's disappointing that there are so few Dodger cards of Wills from when he was playing. The card you mention that isn't "real" was originally used in the 1975 Topps set, in the MVP subset. It's been used a couple more times since.

zman40 said...

Thanks Night Owl!

I thought that you might be the one that had the answer for me.

Brian said...

Great auto...I've got to keep up with the schedules for those local teams.

DeansCards said...

Wills was a great player and should be in the HOF. It is just that no one likes him personally and he will probably never be selected.