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C.A.: 1961 Topps Wes Covington

(I looked up what national food day it is today because there's always a food day celebration. Today is National Chip and Dip Day -- my wife will be thrilled -- and National Melba Toast Day. But actually, around here, it's National Donut Day because someone dropped off three DOZEN donuts at work today because I wrote a story about his kid. Time for Cardboard Appreciation. This is the 320th in a series):

I'm willing to guess that some collectors would vote Wes Covington into the Cardboard Appreciation Hall of Fame right now. They'd probably also consider him a Legend Of Cardboard.

It's true that this particular card, his fantastic 1961 Topps item, is a worthy Cardboard Appreciation Hall of Famer. And when the time comes to vote in the next candidate, he will get his shot, and I expect the card to do very well.

But the standards for a Legend Of Cardboard are even higher.

These are my standards alone, so you're welcome to build your own Legend Of Cardboard building, just as long as it's up to code like mine (i.e.: it's invisible). But since you're wandering through my blog, these are my rules, or rule:

  • To qualify for a Legend Of Cardboard, more than half of your cards must be notable.

All right, we could debate what "notable" means for a week -- a year if we were on Twitter. But I'm not getting too fine here. "Notable" means out-of-the-ordinary for cardboard issued when the player was playing.

Covington has several nifty, "out of the ordinary" cards, with the '61 card probably the highlight.

His 1962 Topps card is pretty great, too. No surprise, it also includes multiple bats and a dugout.

I've also really liked his "Power Plus" card also featuring Johnny Callison ... and multiple bats.

And I've long admired his sky shot in the late 1970s TCMA 1960s set.

His rookie cards in 1957 Topps and his 1965 Topps cards are both decent, nothing significant, but pleasant and I wouldn't subtract points. (Basically the ticket to being a notable card is: do something with a bat, or especially "bats").

Those are the best cards that he has.

Now let's see the others:

Nothing terrible (though if I was kid in 1966, that card would not thrill me). But the best thing I can say about these is at least Covington had a good smile on most of them. That does mean a lot when you're collecting cards from this era. There's not a lot of excitement, a smile goes a long way.

But they're all basically head shots and the 1964 card is the SAME head shot as the 1963 card. Nothing here is "notable."

I discounted Covington's Post/Jell-o cards as those tiny mugs don't qualify when assessing Legends Of Cardboard. He's also in the giant Target Dodgers set but that image doesn't do him any favors.

So I'll vote "no" on Legend Of Cardboard for Covington. Handsome man, good ballplayer and his '61 card could very well be in the Cardboard Appreciation Hall of Fame in two or three years (unless I pick up the pace).

But he's not a Lowell Palmer or Kirt Manwaring.


Bo said…
Do you need to adjust for the era? Considering the lousy photo selection at Topps for most of the 60s, especially the late 60s, having 50% notable cards is probably impossible for that era.

Who has the highest % of notable cards for the 60s?
night owl said…
Perhaps the standard needs to be lowered for the '60s, but I don't want to make guys "legends" who have a bunch of average cards.
dayf said…
the 1960 Covington is one of my favorite cards and a big reason i'm obsessed with the 1960 set so he's already in my legends list
Yeah, the late 60's are a bum rush of head shots and standard poses if you're lucky enough to get one of those.
Old Cards said…
All due respect to you as the blog owner, given the opportunity, I would vote "yes" on Legend Of Cardboard for Covington. These cards are great cards. I like head shots showing a good clear close up of the player. In my opinion, the photos in the 60's are far superior to those action shots in the 70's.
John Bateman said…
He was a Dodger? Did not know that.

While he may not be legend of the card board.

He has 2 of the best back to back cards (pre 1992) of all time -61, 62.
Fuji said…
That sky shot on the TCMA card is really nice. I also really like his 65T card.

P.S. I wonder if Manwaring knows he's considered a legend by a Dodger fan.
RunForeKelloggs said…
That 1961 is great, especially compared to most of the cards in that set, which I am still trying to finish. Yes, the 1960s has way too many head shots including too many without hats.
1984 Tigers said…
The 1960 set was horizontal which made it mostly head shots unfortunately.

1961 is a great set. Individual rookie cards, unlike later topps sets. Nice selection of players and some big rookies like Santo, Billy Williams, Marichal, etc.

I read more on Wes today on the SABR entry for him. He ended up moving to Edmonton Canada sometime in the 1970s and had a sporting goods store. Pretty amazing to go to a frigid winter place for a NC guy. I've been to Edmonton before, at least in the spring and late summer.

Paul t
Nick said…
Looks like Covington had a lot of unspectacular cards, but I'd have to make an exception based on the greatness of that '61 Topps alone. Just a wonderful baseball card.
Jon said…
I was trying to do an entire page of his '61 card. I got to five before I got sidetracked by other things.
Adam Ryan said…
That 1961 card is really cool!