Topps 1967 Baseball Card Set - All You Need is Love
June 11, 2012
by William Szczepanek
The year of 1967 was one of revolutionary cultural change. The Viet Nam War grew as the government tried to tell us everything was under control. The youth did not want to be drafted and were moved by the Beatles theme "All You Need Is Love". The Monterey International Pop Music Festival opened in Monterey, CA, with over 200,000 people in attendance. It was a precursor to Woodstock which occurred in 1969. Hair the musical debuted and American culture was changing at an accelerating pace. The old was not mixing well with the new and clashes were evident around the country. More than just love was needed.
While the world seemed to be in cultural chaos Topps produced a very clean, conservative and likeable set of 624 cards in 1967. A player name, position, large team name and an autograph was all there was to the design which was largely reminiscent of 1957 when a colorful photograph of the player was the most prominent feature.
Like the 1957 Topps cards most photographs were taken in empty baseball stadiums before games which gave the cards a friendly, casual look. After the first set was distributed Topps added a dot between the player name and position to better differentiate between the two.
This series contains many of the typical subsets from the past. Cards of team managers were scattered throughout the set as well as combo cards of multiple players such as the first card in the set titled "The Champs" with a picture of Frank Robinson, Hank Bauer and Brooks Robinson of the Orioles. Rookies by team like #012 Dodgers rookies Bill Singer and Jim Campanis were featured throughout the set. A World Series recap was accomplished with 5 cards (151-155), one for each of the four 1966 World Series games and a final card with a summary, all very poorly done with a wood grain black and white television facsimile. League leaders from the previous year were displayed on cards 233 to 244. Team cards with ugly yellow backgrounds were also scattered throughout the set. Topps checklists helped collectors track their cards and 7 checklist cards were produced, which were also identifiable by a Topps no-neck picture of a prominent player of the time. There were many printing differences and error cards, but in most ways with the exception of the specialty cards, the 1967 Topps baseball Card Set was a great one.
Baseball in 1967
On April 30, Steve Barber and Stu Miller of Baltimore combined to pitch a no-hitter, but the Detroit Tigers scored two runs in the ninth on walks, a wild pitch and an error to beat the Baltimore Orioles 2-1.
On August 18 - Tony Conigliaro of the Boston Red Sox was beaned by Angels' Jack Hamilton. Conigliaro, who was playing well, missed the rest of the 1967 season and all of 1968, never regaining his hitting stroke.
On September 10 - Joel Horlen of the Chicago White Sox no-hit the Detroit Tigers 6-0, in the first game of a doubleheader at Comiskey Park. White Sox rookie, Cisco Carlos, shut out the Tigers in the late game and the White Sox pulled into a third-place tie with the Tigers, 1½ games of the first-place Minnesota Twins.
The possibility of a four way tie for the American League Pennant existed until September 27th in one of the all time great pennant races. The Red Sox overcame the Twins on the final day and the Tigers and White Sox faded in the final few days.
Carl Yastrzemski was the story as he took the 9th place Red Sox of 1966 to the top during the 1967 baseball season. Yaz won the Triple Crown and the 1966 American League Most Valuable Player Award.
Bob Gibson was the story in the World Series, though, and throttled the Bosox in game seven to give the Series to the St. Louis Cardinals. Gibson missed the second half of the season with a broken leg, but recovered in time to become the Series MVP. Offensively, the Cardinals were led by NL MVP Orlando Cepeda.
Around the World in 1967
Summer of Love at Haight and Ashbury
While the Summer of 1967 was an exciting one in baseball, the eyes of the world shifted to a street corner in San Francisco where 100,000 people converged for a Summer of Love. While the Haight-Ashbury neighborhood is viewed in the news, movies and historical records as a convergence of youth for the purposes of drugs, sex, music and revolutionary protest of American commercialism, it was more about finding new ways of expression and being aware of one's existence. While only a very small percentage of the population made the trip to San Francisco the movement affected the rest of the world and hippie cultures sprang up everywhere. Today there is a mistaken impression that the majority of the youth of the time were involved in this movement. In fact, the majority of youth enjoyed the newfound American commercialism that provided them with merchandise that was considered luxury by their predecessors. The majority of youth were comfortable with their lifestyles and looked askance at the occasional flower children, who tended to smell a little bad.
The amazing thing about the time was that there was an acceptance by each side of each other's views. Nearly everyone from the time had close friends who were attracted by the movement. From the same neighborhood, some burned draft cards and the others marched into the military. Some rejected authorities while others looked to authorities for a sense of direction. Both sides were right and it was the ability to understand the differences that enabled this group to move on and work together in the future.
The movement was short-lived. Many enjoyed the summer of freedom, but went back home when they ran out of money. They went back to school having lived through an amazing experience, to meet up with their friends who were influenced by the happenings, but were just as happy to not have had the experience. They shared with their friends new ideas, new behaviors and inspired new fashion statements. The world was never the same.
Hair The Musical
The influence of the hippie movement turned commercial and reached theatres quickly as Hair Opened at The Shakespeare Public Theater in New York City and ran from October 29, 1967 for just a few weeks till December 10, 1967. In 1968 the show opened on Broadway at the Biltmore Theater on April 29, 1968 and ran for 4 years. The music was a reflection of the times.
Summer of War
While some of the youth celebrated in San Francisco others gave their lives in Viet Nam presumably so that everyone could be free. Each side was working for peace in their own way. President Lyndon B. Johnson held a secret meeting with some of nation's most prestigious leaders to determine ways to get the American people behind the war effort. Their conclusion was that the American people should be fed more optimistic reports on the war and its efforts. General Westmoreland then told U.S. newsmen “I am absolutely certain that whereas in 1965 the enemy was winning, today he is certainly losing”.
On October 25th U.S. Navy pilot John McCain was shot down over North Vietnam and made a POW.
In June Communist China announces explosion of its first hydrogen bomb.
On November 30th U.S. Senator Eugene McCarthy announced his candidacy for the presidential nomination, challenging President Lyndon B. Johnson and his handling of the Vietnam War saying, "I am concerned that the Administration seems to have set no limit to the price it is willing to pay for a military victory." McCarthy quickly gained the support of the anti-war youth groups.
The Race to the Moon Continues
US efforts faced a setback when U.S. astronauts Gus Grissom, Edward White, and Roger Chaffee were killed when fire breaks out in their Apollo spacecraft during a test on the launch. The disaster resulted in a critical redesign of the spacecrafts electrical system.
In October the US and Soviet Union signed a treaty on Principles Governing the Activities of States in the Exploration and Use of Outer Space, Including the Moon and Other Celestial Bodies. It limited the use of the moon and other celestial bodies exclusively to peaceful purposes and expressly prohibits their use for military use. After the treaty was signed the US and Soviet Union collaborated on space exploration.
On the Home Front
The Unemployment rate was at 3.8%, while the cost of a first-class stamp held at $0.05. Elvis Presley married his longtime girlfriend, Priscilla Ann Beaulieu, age 21, at a Las Vegas hotel.
Governor George Romney ran for president as a Republican. A major concern about Romney and his run for President was that he was Mormon and his church advocated segregation. Mormons considered African-Americans an inferior race. Nevertheless, Romney encouraged people to judge him on his actions and not the beliefs of his church.
The Summer of Love had little effect on racial outbreaks. In Detroit one of the worst race riots in U.S. history broke out. 7,000 National Guard and U.S. Army troops were called in and after four days, 43 people were dead and 342 injured. Nearly 1,400 buildings were burned. Another riot in Newark New Jersey saw 24 killed and 1,100 injured.
Muhammad Ali was stripped of his heavyweight championship title when he refused induction into the United States Army on religious grounds. He did not box again until 1970 and he did not regain his title until 1974.
Tops Songs of 1967
Music writing in 1967 was prolific and again the top 100 songs
are still recognizable today.
If you're going to San Francisco,
The Beatles' All You Need Is Love was performed to an international television audience on Our World, the first live global television link. It was watched by an estimated 350 million people.
In June, The Beatles later released Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band which sold over 8 million copies. It was nicknamed "The Soundtrack of the Summer of Love", and it would be the number one album throughout the summer of 1967.
In November The Beatles released Magical Mystery Tour in the US as a full album.
The Top Ten Songs of 1967
Top movies of 1967
The top movies represented many genre, but not the light comedy that was found on TV at the time.
TV in 1967
Westerns were fading fast, but Bonanza still held the top spot. Comedy was king with many shows comedic variety shows and light comedy shows. The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour would break many barriers and become a controversial centerpiece where free speech would win out and censorship was challenged.
For the Love of Baseball Cards
While 1967 was the Summer of Love to a few, there were many more young people who did not experience the adventure to the extant it is depicted now. And, for the younger kids all that was really needed was the love of baseball cards.