December 9, 2010

Vintage Legends Countdown #47: 1992 Topps Johnny Mize

**In this series, I am counting down my personal favorite cards in the 2010 Topps Vintage Legends insert series from #50 to #1.**

I do give Topps a lot of credit in doing a pretty good re-imagination with a brutal junk wax design but as in my review of #48, you can't really get me too excited about a new Johnny Mize card.

2010 Topps Vintage Legends #26 Johnny Mize


Which brings me back to my comments about who qualifies as a legend. I ruffled some feathers saying that Johnny Mize really wasn't a legend and initially said Hank Greenberg might not be one either but I have walked back from that comment a bit.

For me a "Legend" is more than just being a Hall of Famer...and more than being a 1st ballot Hall of Famer. And so I do find some fault with the players included in this set. I think I would have to turn in my card blogger license if I didn't. With all the exclusive contracts for some star players I realize Topps can't just include any player they want but a lot of the all-time greatest players [that really no one can argue with] weren't included and so substitutions had to be made.

Here are the Legends that Topps has included in the insert set:

Johnny Bench
Roy Campanella
Ty Cobb
Jimmie Foxx
Lou Gehrig
Rogers Hornsby
Reggie Jackson
Walter Johnson
Christy Mathewson
Willie McCovey
Johnny Mize
Thurman Munson
Eddie Murray
Mel Ott
Pee Wee Reese
Jackie Robinson
Babe Ruth
Nolan Ryan
Mike Schmidt
Tom Seaver
George Sisler
Ozzie Smith
Tris Speaker
Honus Wagner
Cy Young

I've compared that with the 100 All-Time Best baseball players ever list complied by The Sporting News and the 100 All-Time Best list done by SABR. It gives us some interesting results:


Sporting News SABR
Johnny Bench 16 19
Roy Campanella 50 47
Ty Cobb 3 7
Jimmie Foxx 15 14
Lou Gehrig 6 2
Rogers Hornsby 9 9
Reggie Jackson 48 67
Walter Johnson 4 11
Christy Mathewson 7 13
Willie McCovey 56 62
Johnny Mize Not Listed 87
Thurman Munson Not Listed Not Listed
Eddie Murray 77 82
Mel Ott 42 42
Pee Wee Reese Not Listed Not Listed
Jackie Robinson 44 36
Babe Ruth 1 1
Nolan Ryan 41 44
Mike Schmidt 28 16
Tom Seaver 32 28
George Sisler 33 55
Ozzie Smith 87 56
Tris Speaker 27 23
Honus Wagner 13 10
Cy Young 14 18


Two players are not found on either list: Pee Wee Reese and Thurman Munson. Johnny Mize only makes the SABR list at #87. I think we can partially excuse Thurman Munson for his career being cut short and so we are left with our two interlopers, Pee Wee Reese and Johnny Mize.

Here is a small selection of some of the greatest players that weren't included in this set:

Mickey Mantle [this one was a little surprising unless Topps has finally reached their limit of Mantle cards]
Stan Musial
Ted Williams
Hank Aaron
Joe DiMaggio
and of course there are no Pete Rose or Joe Jackson cards available as well.

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