Matthew over at Number 5 Type Collection recently had a contest where he was asking people to nominate their favorite baseball card with an error. That was easy for me since I had such fond memories of looking for this one.
Back in 1988, my friend KB and I bought a bunch of Topps rack packs and opened them, recording the sequence of cards because it was pretty well known at the time that Topps inserted cards in their rack packs following a sequential order. You could flip over a rack pack, look at the numbers of the three cards on the back, and know what every single card was in the pack.
We each had our own players whose rookie cards we were trying to stockpile in an effort to become extremely wealthy before we even graduated high school. KB loaded up on Sam Horn of the Red Sox and Joe Magrane of the Cardinals. My early retirement plan involved Houston's Ken Caminiti and Kansas City's Gary Thurman. I thought Caminiti would be Wade Boggs but with more power and speed (Caminiti actually had more steals than homers in the minors). As for Thurman, he was coming off of his third straight season of fifty stolen bases and had seen his batting average dip to a mere .293 after two season over .300. I thought I'd be dining with Warren Buffett sometime soon.
There was one other rookie that we both wanted. It wasn't because we thought he was going to be any great player, it was because Topps had botched his card and then corrected it. Here's the two versions:
The picture on the left is of Steve George. The one on the right is Leiter. Sadly, poor Steve George never got a major league card of his own.
So that was my nominee and I was fortunate enough to be selected for the prize, a 1948 R346 Blue Tint of Johnny Mize:
I believe this is the only card from the 1940's I own. Mize is shown wearing a St. Louis cap, even though by the time this card had come out, it had been six years since he had donned the cap (so Rowland Office would have mailed any autograph request Mize had made to St. Louis) as he had been playing for the Giants since 1942.
Thanks a lot for the Mize card, Matthew. I like it a lot.