As an extremely biased Phillies collector, there are five Hall of Famers that spent a good portion of their career with the Phillies during the Topps era: Ashburn, Roberts, Bunning, Schmidt, and Carlton. In a sense, getting the rookie cards of any of these power five, would be an automatic keeper.
The Carlton rookie is an interesting card in many respects.
- This card was issued prior to his big league debut in 1965.
- He's paired up with a pitcher on the card, who had already made appearances for two years and never ultimately made an appearance with the Cardinals.
- The Cardinals red is significantly muted on the card; it's almost a shadowy red. Was this done to match Ackley's airbrushed White Sox uniform? It is the opposite in feeling of most 1965 Topps cards, which were bright and swooping
- Carlton's next issued card wouldn't be until 1967; Topps seemed to forget about the pitching prospect for awhile.
- It is arguably the best rookie card of the 1965 set (other contenders: Joe Morgan, Tony Perez).
This now enters the pantheon of my collection awaiting the rest of its contemporaries.