Tuesday, February 18, 2014

TOPPS 1976 "ALL-TIME ALL-STARS"- AN EXPANDED VIEW #8: OUTFIELDERS (3rd SET OF THREE)

Time to take a look at the final outfield slot in my "All-Time All-Stars" expanded sub-set from the 1976 Topps set.
And while we revisit the Sporting News pick for the third outfield position, Ted Williams, we also take a look at who I picked to fill out the National League team, Cardinal great Stan Musial.
I thought it would be appropriate to have Williams and Musial together on my "team" since they were contemporaries during the "Golden Age" of baseball.
Take a look at the cards: the Williams card as issued by Topps in 1976 and my design for the Musial card…

"The Splendid Splinter"

"Stan the Man"

What is really needed to say here regarding these two guys?!
Ted Williams and Stan Musial: two of the greatest all-around hitters in Major League history.
Power, average, getting on base. There was nothing they didn't excel at!
All Ted Williams did was win six batting titles, four home run titles and four R.B.I. titles, ending up with 521 homers, 1839 ribbies and a .344 career average while MISSING about five prime years of his career to military duty! Seriously, we could be talking of Williams having 700 homers, 4000 hits and about 2300 runs batted in if it wasn't for his missed playing time.
And for Musial, the numbers are almost as absurd: Seven batting titles, two R.B.I. titles, five triples titles and eight doubles titles, with career numbers of 475 home runs, 1951 runs batted in and a .331 career average. Throw in his 725 doubles, 177 triples and 3630 hits along with 1949 runs scored and the numbers are staggering. 
And don't forget that Musial also lost a year to military duty, easily putting him over 500 homers, close to 3900 hits and around 2100 runs batted in if he played in 1945.
Combined we're looking at five Most Valuable Player Awards, eight second place finishes, and an astonishing 88 league titles in important offensive categories over their 41 combined Major League seasons.
What a tandem right here. Monsters of the game if there ever were any.
Funny thing is I always felt Stan Musial was often overlooked in the decades leading to his death last year.
When talk of "Greatest Living Player" came up it was always Williams, DiMaggio, Mays or even Aaron that would come up. But Stan Musial would always kind of be that after-thought. 
Go figure.
Anyway, next up we leave the outfield positions and move on to pitchers, starting off with the All-Time right-handers for both the National and American Leagues.
Stay tuned…

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