Skip to content

1964 Topps Baseball Cards and The Greatest Game Ever Pitched

If you’re looking to add a little more unique meaning to your post-war card collection, consider collecting cards related to historically significant events in the history of the game.

In a 4 hour and 10-minute game on July 2, 1963, Juan Marichal threw a 16-inning shutout to beat Warren Spahn (who threw 15 1/3 scoreless innings) and the Milwaukee Braves 1-0. The game ended on a solo home run from Willie Mays. The game is considered “The Greatest Game Ever Pitched.” Marichal allowed eight hits, four walks, and stuck out ten while Spahn (at 42 years of age) allowed nine hits, one walk, and stuck out 2. There was some controversy in the game too when, in the ninth inning, Willie McCovey hit a ball down the right-field line that the umpire called foul. You can read more about this statistical masterpiece here, and I’ve included the AP press clipping from the game down below.

What’s unique about this game is the star power of the players involved in the narrative, Juan Marichal, Warren Spahn, Willie Mays, and Willie McCovey. Not to mention other Hall of Famers and stars in the post-war card era who played a significant hand. Frank Bolling and Del Crandall both had two hits apiece for the Braves while Hank Aaron and Eddie Mathews were left hitless. For the Giants, Felipe Alou had a hit, and Orlando Cepeda had two hits and stole a base.

The 1964 Topps set captured the statistics and performances from the 1963 season in which “The Greatest Game Ever Pitched” was played, so I’ve decided to highlight the cards from that set below. Alternatively, a collector could also focus on the 1963 Topps set to commemorate the game within the hobby.  Those cards were being ripped open by kids during the 1963 season.

First, you have to start with the stars of the game, Juan Marichal, Warren Spahn, and Willie Mays, and their cards.

1964 Topps #280 Juan Marichal
1964 Topps #400 Warren Spahn
1964 Topps #150 Willie Mays

Then there are the multi-player leaders’ cards, highlighting the firepower of the players participating in this game, and the season’s these players were having in relation to all of MLB.

1964 Topps #3 NL Pitching Leaders
1964 Topps #9 NL Home Run Leaders

There is also a cool Aaron / Mays commemorative card in the set.

1964 Topps #423 Tops in NL

Lastly, team cards were popular in the post-war era. You could add the Giants or Braves teams to your collection.

1964 Topps #257 Giants Team
1964 Topps #132 Braves Team

I’ll save highlighting the 1964 (or 1963) Topps sets for another article. I hope you consider diving deeper into the history surrounding the games the hobbies icons played and their relation to the sets and cards you collect.

In the meantime, don’t forget to leave your thoughts in the comments below and follow me on Twitter.

One Comment

Leave a Reply