Saturday, November 1, 2014


Just wanted to take a quick look at the strange case of Larry Hisle and his 1972 and 1973 Topps cards.
While it was strange that Topps felt they needed a card for him in their 1972 set, it was downright odd that they gave him a card in their 1973 set!
First, let's take a look at the cards:



First, his 1972 Topps offering.
Hisle was coming off of a disappointing season in 1971 which saw him appear in only 36 games, good for only 82 plate appearances.
He hit .197 with three doubles and three runs batted in, and was then traded by the Phillies to Los Angeles for Tom Hutton.
Why Topps gave him a card in their '72 set (and with the extra work of the airbrush job-note the Phillies pinstriped uniform he's wearing), is beyond me.
But the fact that Topps gave him a card in the 1973 set is really odd since Hisle never suited up in a Major League game in 1972.
As a matter of fact after being traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers in October of 1971, Hisle was then traded to the St. Louis Cardinals a year later, only to be traded yet again to the Minnesota Twins a month after that, making for quite an eventful year for him and his shaky career.
His 1972 year was played out for L.A. on their Triple-A affiliate, Albuquerque, having a stand-out season, hitting .325 with 23 home runs, 87 runs scored and 91 runs batted in.
But I guess the Dodger brass didn't see enough, shipping him out to St. Louis for Rudy Arroyo and minor league player Greg Millikan.
As you can see from the two cards, Topps even went and used the same image since for both, since Hisle was conveniently wearing an airbrushed blue cap, even IF the purple Phillie trim on the jersey was plain as day.
So in essence, Hisle's 36 games in 1971 got him two cards: in 1972 and 1973.
We all know that he rebounded nicely in the forthcoming years, having some productive years with the Twins, even leading the American League in runs batted in in 1977 with 119, and driving in another 115 in 1978 as a member of the Milwaukee Brewers.
But that 1978 season would be his last solid year, as he'd scratch out another four years with Milwaukee, never appearing in more than 27 games in any of those seasons.
He'd retire after 1982 with 166 lifetime homers, 674 R.B.I.'s, and 1146 career hits.


  1. What's odd is that they probably didn't need to do any airbrushing at all since all you see is the underside of his cap... Did Topps feel compelled to change the color of the underside of the bill?

  2. Never even noticed That the two cards were the same.



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