Card of the Week: Norm Cash, 1963 Topps

In a memorable decade of timeless designs for Topps in the 1960s, its 1963 design may be underrated. This year’s template featured a close-up pose of the player with an action shot embedded in a circle next to his name. The name had a bright background color that varied, with a contrasting color in the circle that also varied. The result is vibrant as you shuffle through or scroll down the 1963 Tigers.

The Norm Cash card from this set is one of the slugger’s finest photos. On most other cards Cash is more stiffly posed and stockily built, but in this shot Cash is boyish, svelte, and graceful, with a facial resemblance and overall solemnity that is positively Mantle-esque. (Al Kaline’s card is similarly majestic, but so were most of his cards.)

Of course, while Cash’s standout 1961 season was veritably Mantle-esque, 1963 would mark how far he and his teammates had fallen from the glory of ’61. After crushing 80 home runs the previous two seasons, Cash would fall to “only” 26, with a batting average of .270 that was up from the year before but nowhere near his stratospheric .361 in ’61 (which he would never reach again). The Tigers, meanwhile, would fall under .500, finishing at 79-83 in fifth place, leaving their fans to wonder how long a pennant would continue to elude them.

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View Topps’ 1963 Tigers 

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