Sunday, January 3, 2016

Bob Smith and Bobby Smith from the Topps 1959 set

Sometimes I'm not really sure what Topps is thinking when they issue some cards.  Check out these cards of Bob Smith and Bobby Smith from the Topps 1959 set.
Recently I was looking through some Topps 1959 baseball cards and came across the card of
Bob Smith.  Smith was a left handed pitcher who played in the major leagues between 1955 and 1959 for the Red Sox, Cardinals, Pirates, and Tigers.

Topps 1959 Bob Smith Card #83
Overall for his career, Smith appeared in 91 games and finished with four wins and nine loses.  He pitched two complete games with three saves.  His best year was in 1958 when he appeared in 35 games for the Pirates and won the two games of his career, and had two loses, with two saves.
The cartoon on the back of Smith's Topps 1959 card seemed to be a little out of place.

Topps notes that Bobby is fleet-footed and covers lots of outfield space.  So unless Smith was an amazing defender who could cover lots of outfield space from the mound, this is obviously on error made by Topps.
As I continued to look through my Topps 1959 cards, I found a card of Bobby Smith.  Smith was an outfielder who played seven seasons in the major leagues from 1957 to 1962 with the Cardinals, Phillies, Mets, and Cubs, and a final season, in 1965, with the Angels.
Topps 1959 Bobby Smith Card #162
Smith finished his career with a batting average of .243 (234 hits in 962 at bats) with 13 home runs and 96 runs batted in.  His best season was in 1960, while playing in 98 games with the Phillies, Smith batted .286 (62 hits in 217 at bats) with four home runs and 27 runs batted in.  In October 1961, Smith was selected by the New York Mets as the 32nd pick in the 1961 expansion draft.  As an original member of the 1962 Mets, Smith played eight games with them before he was traded on April 26 to the Cubs for catcher Sammy Taylor.
Bob Smith and Bobby Smith each played as rookies with the 1957 Cardinals.  Bob Smith (the pitcher) pitched in six games for the Cardinals during the first month of the season.  Bobby Smith (the outfielder) was in center field for all of the 9.2 innings that Bob Smith pitched.   On May 14, 1957, the Pirates purchased pitcher Bob Smith from the Cardinals.  During the 1957 season, Cardinal manager, Fred Hutchinson, was probably Smith challenged, as their catcher was Hal Smith.  Hal Smith, who was a 1957 All-Star, played all but four games of his career with the Cardinals, and should not to be confused with the other catcher named Hal Smith, who homered in the 8th inning of the game seven victory for the Pirates in the 1960 World Series over the Yankees. 
Here is a look at the cartoon on the back of Bobby Smith's Topps 1959 card.
This cartoon is very similar to the one that is on the back of pitcher Bob Smith's card, as it says that fleet footed Bobby covers lots of outfield space. 

So is it possible that Topps, in error, put the cartoon used for Bobby Smith's card also on the back of Bob Smith's card???