1962 Topps #423 Elroy Face/Hoyt Wilhelm "Relief Aces"
I literally have hundreds of different player collections, a fact that has already been pretty well-documented on this blog.
Yes, there is a specific reason as to why I collect each individual player. It's not just a random group of names that I picked out of a hat one day.
It's safe to say that each of my many collections holds a special significance to me.
However, none of them could ever come close to the admiration I have towards my Hoyt Wilhelm collection.
As I'd imagine is the case with most player collections, it's not always about the quantity.
Although my Vladimir Guerrero collection is about six times the size of my Hoyt collection, the latter will always win out.
Don't get me wrong. I absolutely love my cards of Vlad, and I wouldn't give them up for anything.
It's just that my Hoyt collection is in a league of its own. In many ways, it's unique from almost all my other groups of cards.
For one thing, Wilhelm is the only player that gets a special binder in my collection. Although he takes up about a quarter of my Expos binder, Guerrero is still sandwiched in between my north-of-the-border issues of Graig Nettles and Brad Wilkerson.
Hoyt is the only player that gets a whole binder to himself.
Although there aren't many, Hoyt is the only collection of mine in which I actively seek out multi-player cards.
If someone sends me a card that features a guy like Marlon Byrd with another player, I'll gladly take it. But, in almost every case, for whatever the reason, multi-player cards just don't do it for me.
I don't know what the majority says on the topic, but I'm just not a big fan of two or three-player cards.
There are exceptions to that rule, though.
I own a grand total of two cards in which Wilhelm shares the spotlight.
Even though it's a multi-player issue, this is one of my favorite Hoyt cards.
The player he shares the card with, then-Pirate reliever Elroy Face, is also a prominent "binder inductee". The 18-1 record he posted in 1959 (a .947 winning percentage) is simply staggering.
Nevertheless, Face still plays second fiddle to Hoyt on this one.
This is just another in the never-ending saga of Wilhelm cards that feature his knuckleball grip.
Some of these "combo" cards are absolute failures. Then again, some are resounding successes.
I think we can put this one into the latter category.
So don't feel bad, Elroy Face. You're not the only one that's been overshadowed in my collection by the great Hoyt Wilhelm.
That's for sure.