this post covers the 1967 saint louis cardinals and cards number 18 to 24 in the set. here are the fronts:
we see seven players for the first time, and no memorable moment card for the second time. we also get the first repeat franchise with the first repeat players. let's break it down.
what team is this: 1967 saint louis cardinals
why this team?: they won 100 games (101, actually) for the first time since 1944. they were also the world champions for the second time in four years, beating the red sox (another 'timeless team') in a 7-game fall classic.
which players are featured: bob gibson, julian javier, lou brock, orlando cepeda, ray washburn, steve carlton, tim mccarver. gibson, brock, washburn, and mccarver were previously featured with the 1964 cardinals.
why these players?: these guys were pretty much the backbone of the 1967 cardinals. gibson, carlton and washburn combined to win 37 games. cepeda and mccarver finished 1-2 in the league mvp voting, while brock and javier were 7th and 9th, respectively.
bob gibson made only 24 starts in the regular season, finishing 13-7 with a 2.98 era. in the world series, however, he made 3 starts and won all 3 by throwing a complete game each time. he was named the world series mvp for his efforts, the second time he received that award.
julian javier played in 140 games in 1967, hitting .281 with a career high 14 home runs. in the world series, he hit .360 with a home run and 4 rbi. his home run came in game 7 and sealed the cardinals' victory, increasing their lead from 4-1 to 7-1.
lou brock led the national league with 113 runs scored in 1967. he also led the league with 52 stolen bases. in the world series, he scored 8 times and stole 7 bases without getting caught, while hitting .414.
orlando cepeda had joined the cardinals during the 1966 season. in 1967, he hit .325 and led the league with 111 rbi, earning the league's mvp award. in the postseason, cepeda struggled and hit just .103 with a single rbi.
ray washburn went 10-7 with a 3.53 era in the regular season. he made 27 starts but was relegated to the bullpen for the postseason. he made 2 appearances and pitched 2.1 scoreless innings allowing just one hit and one walk while striking out 2.
steve carlton spent his first full season in the majors in 1967. he appeared in 30 games, starting 28 of them. he was 14-9 with 11 complete games, 2 shutouts and a save. in his first postseason start, and only start of the 1967 series, the future hall of famer took the loss, although he did not allow an earned run.
before tim mccarver was steve carlton's personal catcher and alleged color commentator, he put up some good numbers, at least for a season or two. in 1967, he hit .295 with 14 home runs and 69 rbi, both career highs. he made the all-star team for the second (and final) time of his career, and finished 2nd to teammate orlando cepeda in the league mvp voting. like cepeda, he struggled in the world series, hitting only .125 in the seven games.
the stadium on the back is...?: 'old' busch stadium, just like the backs of the cards from the 1964 team. this time, it's appropriate, as the cardinals opened the stadium in 1966.
did upper deck get it right?: i think the players make sense. the only regulars missing from this group are roger maris, curt flood, mike shannon and dal maxvill. maris and flood died in 1985 and 1997, respectively, and shannon and maxvill were the 'weakest' offensive starters on the team. as for the pitchers, perhaps dick hughes, nelson briles, or joe hoerner would have made sense. hoerner died in 1996, but both hughes and briles were alive in 2004. hughes won 16 games for the cardinals in 1967 and made 2 starts in the world series, while briles won 14 games splitting time between the rotation and the bullpen. he also made 2 appearances in the world series, throwing a complete game to win game 3 and pitching in relief in game 6.
we know the stadium matches the time frame, and i really don't take any issue with most of the photos used for the fronts of the cards. gibson looks a little older than one might expect for 1967, and brock maybe looks a bit younger, but there's not enough there for me to say for sure. on the other hand, javier's photo is from between 1960 and 1963, as that is the timeframe during which the cardinals wore the navy hats with their home whites. same goes for washburn's photo.
is this team timeless?: yes, i think so. the cardinals were nearing 'dynasty' status in the national league around this time, although perhaps this team is celebrated more often than most because of who they beat in the world series.