Monday, June 6, 2016

'75-style custom caps Cepeda's career

My newest custom baseball card is an example of what many collectors today feel Topps didn't do enough of back in the day . . . a card that has stats on back recapping the player's entire big-league career.

I don't fault Topps for this policy; they obviously felt that having a card showing three or four rookies was of greater interest to their kid customers than one showing an "old-timer" who was no longer playing.

My card is a look back at what a 1975 Topps card of Orlando Cepeda might have been.

From his 1958 rookie card, a personal favorite of this seven-year-old collector, through most of his 17-year major-league career, Topps did a good job of getting Cepeda on his current team with each new year's issue.

With the Giants until early May, 1966, Cepeda was traded to the Cardinals. Topps had him in its 1967 and 1968 in the proper St. Louis uniform.

Just before the 1969 season opened, Cepeda was traded to the Atlanta Braves. The best Topps could do for his '69 card was picture him capless (and looking none too happy about it).

The slugger played with the Braves all of 1969-1971, being traded to the Oakland A's in June of 1972. He is correctly pictured with Atlanta in the 1970-72 Topps sets.

After that, the gum company was always a step behind Cepeda's travels. Though he was released by the A's in December of 1972, he was pictured in the Topps set for 1973 in Charley Finley's green-and-gold., though he had appeared in only three games for Oakland in 1972.

Cepeda's last career-contemporary Topps card was in the 1974 set, pictured with the Boston Red Sox, for whom he had played all of 1973. By the time the 1974 Topps cards were released, however, Cepeda had also been released prior to the opening of the 1974 season.

He was noodling around with the Yucatan team in the Mexican League when he was signed by the K.C. Royal on Aug. 6, 1974. He finished his major-league career with a month in the Royals' uniform.

Topps didn't see the need to issue a career wrap-up card for Cepeda in the 1975 set, but I figured that since there exists some nice photos of him with Kansas City, I could pay tribute to one of my favorite ballplayers of his era.

You can order this card. Unless noted, all of my custom cards are available to collectors for $12.50 each, postpaid for one or two cards; $9.95 each for three or more (mix/match). Complete checklists of all my custom baseball, football and non-sports custom cards were published on this blog in late May. To order, email me at for directions on paying via check/money order, or to my PayPal account.

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