If you’ve ever had a gander at the 1958 Topps card labeled “Series Hurling Rivals” (#289), the first thing you noticed was likely the discrepancy in size between the two players pictured.

Or, if you’re familiar with that era of baseball, maybe what you notice first is the discrepancy between the info on the card and the actual truth of the matter.

The two deltas are about the same.

On the one hand, you have Lew Burdette towering over Bobby Shantz, both men all smiles, presumably at having made it to the1957 World Series.

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That all makes sense, considering that Burdette stood 6’2″ at the time and Shantz was a diminutive 5’6″. Burdette’s Braves were making hay in Milwaukee after a rough half century or so in Boston, too, reaching the Fall Classic for just the third time since 1914.

And Shantz had come over to the Yankees from the Athletics just in time for the 1957 season after several off years following a breakout 1952. That first summer in the Bronx, though, Shantz dialed it up to 11-5 with a 2.45 ERA as a super swingman.

That all checks out with what’s on the card.

Well, except for one big problem — Topps called the Braves hurler “Lou” Burdette. Now, to be fair, I’ve seen Burdette labeled as “Lou” in other contexts from the era, from earlier Bowman cards to 1960s issues of The Sporting News.

But today, everybody knows Selva Lewis Burdette as “Lew” — so this card looks wrong biw, whether it technically was wrong at the time or not.

Then, when you flip the card over, you get something more demonstrably wrong:

Shantz, who started two games in the Series, and relieved in another one …

For the record, the starting pitchers in the 1957 Fall Classic were (Braves listed first) …

  • Game 1- Warren Spahn v. White Ford
  • Game 2 – Lew Burdette v. Bobby Shantz
  • Game 3 – Bob Buhl v. Bob Turley
  • Game 4 – Warren Spahn v. Tom Sturdivant
  • Game 5 – Lew Burdette v. White Ford
  • Game 6 – Bob Buhl v. Bob Turley
  • Game 7 – Lew Burdette v. Don Larsen

Shantz did pitch later on in Games 4 and Games 7, so it was a flip-flop how Topps credited him — one start and two relief appearances.

And he *did* make that big comeback.

And Lew — LEW — Burdette did carry the Series with three complete-game victories, with two shutouts.

And … well, both men were honored on one beautiful but flawed baseball card.

Wow! Wax of the Day

You may not find many actual 1958 Topps wax packs, or even wrappers, out there in the wild, but you can find the art from those hobby delicacies, as in this eBay lot …

That comes courtesy of the 2018 Topps 80th Anniversary Wrapper Art run, and you can usually find the “1958” beauty for less than $20 in raw, ungraded condition.

Check out this lot on eBay right here (affiliate link).

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