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Some cards were just cooler than others. They stood out for different compelling reasons and we put 'em on the top of the deck. We all had our favorites and these happen to be mine. So I don't poke fun at these guys like in the previous sections but admire them...still!

Ted Kluszewski

With the cut-off tee-shirt Big Klu evokes the strong man at the circus or a gladiator from ancient times. Imagine being a rookie pitcher having to face this intimidating sight. Hands down the number one card in my book. In one of the greatest late season pickups ever, the punchless '59 Go-Go ChiSox picked up our tough guy who maybe wasn't in his prime anymore but still had some pop. He promptly came up with some big hits down the stretch to help 'em win the pennant and had a great World Series with 3 homers!

Carl Yastrzemski

Of course in Boston we had our Yaz. He was our hero and I think this was his most heroic-looking card. Wielding three heavy bats, the hard-working driven Yaz takes a momentary break from his onerous self-imposed regimen to stoically survey the landscape for intruders like the Topps photographer. Just classic. I know he's got three bats since I can see the handles but the top part of one of the bats kinda disappears adding to the coolness of the card.

Roberto Clemente

I always loved this one. The great Clemente who died only a few short years later sends the bat straight outta the card and at your head. Not only that, he looks so resolute and focused it's like he was there after-hours practicing his swing long after his teammates had left and that the photographer just happened along. See as a little kid I surmised that since he appeared in only 108 games the past year according to the stats on the back (Oh yeah, I was that kid who memorized everything baseball- the players, the stats, the trades, the awards, you-name-it...) that he must be working overtime so he'd be in more games the following year so his Pirates could win the World Series . And of course they DID just that in 1971 confirming my status as child prodigy.

Rocco Colavito

You'd swear Rocco is a matinee idol playing the role of ballplayer in this young photo but no, prolific home-run hitting Rocco was the real deal. The young ladies in Cleveland must have been heartbroken when they traded away our strapping babyfaced protagonist to Detroit for tough-Popeye lookin' tobacco-chompin' no-nonsense Harvey Kuenn who was more of a singles hitter than a power hitter to boot.

Joe Adcock

Wow, this guy looks almost as fearsome as Big Klu above. It's easy to forget that the Braves not only had hall-of-famers Hank Aaron and Eddie Mathews but also had the formidable Joe Adcock bashing away. The Miskman always felt Joe Adcock was baseball's answer to Jack Palance. Stern-visaged and austere perhaps harboring a ruthless streak, the towering fellow doesn't get top billing but you know he's there.

Carl Furillo

Here's a cool card of one of the 'Boys Of Summer' Brooklyn Dodgers, Carl Furillo. I love the whole baggy pants style they had going back then. I think it's a particularly good shot since it's kind of a far away one yet you can see his face pretty clearly yet they did get pretty much all of him head to foot. And I still like the multi-bat thing like in the Yaz card above though this time you can see all three.

Ernie Banks

This was Mr. Cub Ernie Banks' last card but as a very little kid it was the first one of him I had ever seen. I had never even heard of him. Anyway, the card appeared exotic and different from the rest and then when I flipped it over and saw the incredible lifetime stats it was like....Wow! I couldn't believe it. A new baseball god to add to my pantheon. I mean I was barely out of kindergarten but I already knew Aaron and Mays and Killebrew and Frank Robinson and had heard of Mantle etc....but now there was this guy. And he seemed larger than life since the card was such a close-up yet included a lot more of him besides just his face. It was a great shot. Anyway, now that I was hip to him it was as if I had acquired some new and exciting hidden knowledge and I felt so much cooler and in-the-know and older. He was Chicago's version of Yaz-through his team's good years and bad years plugging away as the star player trying to win the elusive ultimately unattainable championship-and I was now privy to the saga.

Boog Powell

Then we have my favorite card of big Boog Powell, he of the bulging Bunyanesque biceps clearly in evidence here. It's easy to overlook that he and not teammate hall-of-famers Brooks or Frank Robinson won the A.L MVP award in 1970 when the O's won the whole thing.

Tony Conigliaro

Tony C looks like a kid here. I mean I know he was still a kid barely out of his teens when he was leading the league in homers but I swear that here he could pass for a pre-teen. It really is a touching photo of an eager wide-eyed youngster full of promise who wanted nothing more than to play baseball all day for his home team. Considering everything that befell him later on, it makes the card all the more poignant. Everybody in Boston seems to remember what they were doing that day at the time when our gallant young warrior Tony C was beaned in 1967. Incredible is almost too lame a term to describe his strong comeback a few years later. Homers and ribbies etc. right up there with the league leaders.Unreal.

Willie Stargell

Here's a super-cool Willie Stargell card. Our mighty slugger looks like he's just so ready to go out there and kick some ass. No doubt he'll be wielding his menacing club and clouting massive homeruns to the consternation of terrified N.L. hurlers...or something like that. With the tragic death of the great Clemente (see above), 'Pops' assumed a greater leadership role with the Bucs and kept them competitive throughout the '70s culminating in the W.S. win in '79. By the way, those championships aren't very easy to come by. Pittsburgh hasn't enjoyed one since. The black and gold is still the coolest uniform though.

Lou Brock

There isn't necessarily anything real special about this young Lou Brock shot, it's just that it is still weird even today seeing him in Cubs blue. Anything besides Cardinals red just startles you for a second. Like, what the hell is this? It's as if you saw Yaz in say pinstripes or something. The whole eeriness of the encounter renders the cap and uniform and the bottom border not just blue but shocking blue (Note to '60's pop music inside joke just for you!). Anyway, whenever I see this card alarm bells go off to signal that perhaps something is wildly amiss. Is it an error card? Is it from some rare minor league set? It really does border on the surreal seeing the legendary Hall-Of-Famer Cardinal in this garish garb. He did have three Cubs cards total-one before this and one after it-but they were kinda faded and not as clear as this one which is somehow much more strange and otherwordly in all its Technicolor-Panavision-like brilliance. Anyway, you think Ernie Banks (see above) and company coulda used catalyst Lou's help to get that W.S. ring I touched upon? A nutty trade (for pitcher Ernie Broglio !?!) that ranks right up there with the Red Sox letting go of Babe Ruth.

George Brunet

Well wouldn't you know we finally get a pitcher among the Misakman's Coolest. Usually it's a superstar perhaps hall-of-fame slugger and usually wielding his tool of the trade and trusty weapon of choice a bat or bats. What can I say? How macho and cool can you look winding up or throwing a ball in comparison? Doesn't mean there aren't cool pitcher cards just they aren't way up there on the Coolest list. But this one rates. Oddly enough it isn't a star pitcher at all but journeyman lefty George Brunet. The odd camera angle provides somewhat of an up-shot, definitely coming from below like something out of a John Frankenheimer movie making him appear taller and giving him a very regal stature. That aspect together with the very blue background and the almost purplish tint they give the hurler make the card approach the surreal. So our man George-relegated to the 'commons' boxes and not the 'stars' folders of the card dealers-maybe didn't have the eye-popping stats of a Spahn or a Seaver or Clemens et. al. but he trumped 'em all in the cool baseball card category! Hooray for the common man!