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Best Rookie Card Tandems, Trios and Quartets

I received the following e-mail the other day from Tom Kaczmarek of Los Alamitos, Calif.:

"How about taking a look at multi-player rookie cards and determine which two or three guys had the best combined careers? Might be hard to top the 500-plus wins of Nolan Ryan and Jerry Koosman who appeared on the same card in 1968, but the Ron Cey and Mike Schmidt duo with their 864 home runs wouldn't be far behind. I'm sure there are other duos who put up nice numbers."


I think this would be a great feature to include in a discussion here and carry over into the pages of SCD. I loved getting the multi-player rookie cards as a kid. I would see who I recognized and then follow the layers throughout the year and revisit them at the end of the year to see if Topps got it "right."

Tom K. is correct in that the Ryan/Koosman card would be hard to top in terms of sheer numbers. But here are a few other suggestions.

The 1963 Topps card of Pete Rose, Pedro Gonzalez, Ken McMullen and Al Weis? Rose tilts the numbers just a bit, but that's 6,139 hits among the group.

The 1973 Topps cards of Carlton Fisk and Cecil Cooper (and pitcher Mike Garman) isn't too bad either, with a combined 4,448 hits and 617 home runs. Garman added five hits to the total and 22 career wins.

A 1978 card of Rookie Shortstops included Alan Trammel, Paul Molitor, Mickey Klutts and U.L. Washington. That quartet produced 6,516 hits.

There are more, but I thought it's a good start to the discussion.