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#41 Friendly Foes


Condition: VG (corners and edges are pretty good, but the creases are pretty hard to ignore)

Trivia question: No trivia question on these combo cards.

A few things about “Friendly Foes”:

* This is one of a number of “combo cards” in the set that feature some current players, most of which are random enough to make you wonder why Topps thought these particular photos were worthy of making into a card.

* This picture was taken at the 1963 All-Star Game in Cleveland. This was the last of Wagner’s three ASGs, and he went 2-for-3 as a starter in the game. McCovey struck out in his only plate appearance as a pinch hitter in the first of his six ASGs.

* These two guys did have some history together. Wagner started out with the Giants in 1958 and had a good year, but regressed in 1959. Meanwhile, McCovey joined the Giants in 1959 and became the NL Rookie of the Year. In that offseason, Wagner was traded to St. Louis.

* Though Wagner is wearing a Los Angeles Angels jersey here, he was traded after the 1963 season to Cleveland. He’s wearing an Indians cap in his regular-issue card from the 1964 set (card #530).

* Speaking of jerseys, this is a really good look at an Angels home jersey and cap as they looked in the original LA era. Though the hat looks black in the photo, it’s actually a dark blue with the red lettering. The Angels would become the California Angels in 1965 and in 1966 they moved from Dodger Stadium to Anaheim Stadium, where they still play today. McCovey is of course wearing the classic Giants road jersey, which is basically the same thing they wear now.

* There’s much more to say in the posts for their individual cards, but these two took very divergent paths after this photo. McCovey of course became an all-time great and first-ballot Hall of Famer with an entire body of water named after him. Wagner was a decent player who hit 173 homers from 1961-66, and though he had a brief acting career after he retired his life was eventually overcome by addiction. He was homeless and broke when he died on the streets of Los Angeles in 2004.


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