A couple weeks ago I received a surprise mailer from Mark Hoyle. He’d mentioned the mailer to me and it looked cool but I promptly forgot about it until it arrived. He’d found a batch of 1961 and 1962 Tacoma Giants programs (as a Red Sox guy he liked that Johnny Pesky shows up in them as the manager of the Seattle Rainiers) and figured that I would be an appreciative recipient of a copy of each.
He figured correctly. As a Giants guy, getting a glimpse of their minor league system at the beginning of the 1960s is extremely fascinating. And I also have a soft spot for Tacoma and Cheney Stadium. Aside form being the final resting place of Seals Stadium’s seating, one of my favorite autograph experiences occurred there.
To the programs. The 1961 program is striking with its duotoned photo of Cheney Stadium and the night sky stripped to be black-only. I also always love when linework is designed to be two colors like this with the black drawing and orange accents on the uniforms .
Checking out the roster shows a lot of players who show up—briefly—on team sets in the 1960s (Ron Herbel, Georges Maranda, Julio Navarro, and Dom Zanni) as well as a few bigger names like Manny Mota, Dusty Rhodes, and Gaylord Perry.
Perry is the obvious star and I like how this photo is the same one Topps used on his 1962 Rookie Card. Also, seeing him as a member of the 1961 team makes me respect him even more for showing up to the 1963 team reunion. That’s a lot of time to be bouncing up and down between San Francisco and Tacoma.
Rhodes meanwhile is the veteran playing out his last years in the game. It’s clear that he would’ve been a great DH had he entered the game in the 1970s instead of the 1950s but instead he was a star pinch hitter who ended up finishing his career in the minors after he turned 30.
And for all of Manny Mota’s lengthy career I always forget that he came up and debuted with the Giants. I’m also not used to seeing photos of him so young.
The rest of the program is a wonderful example of two-color printing and period advertisements. The Pan American advertisement is especially nice from a printing point of view* and I like how the photo content is intentionally duotoned differently.
*Content has retro appeal but also makes me cringe as someone whose family comes from Hawaii.
I also like seeing little things like how much the ticket books cost, the organization of the Giants’ Minor League system, and Cheney Stadium’s ground rules.
The programs are 16-page self-covers with the innermost sheet being slightly-thicker, uncoated stock so as to incorporate the score card. One of the things that amazes me most when I see old programs and scorecards is the degree to which the printing changes day-to-day. As a child of the Xerography age, offset printing always carried with it a degree of permanence. Seeing how the game-day rosters are printed on the scorecard* will always sort of blow my mind.
*On other vintage scorecards people have posted on twitter, the starting lineups are sometimes printed.
That these programs also include a lucky number on the reverse of the scorecard shows that there’s two different runs of post-printing production going on. That plus the final stitching of everything together for each game is a lot of work for each game—or at least the first game of each series.
The scorecard shows that the Giants played the Padres (a White Sox affiliate at the time) in a game featuring only a handful of the players who didn’t make it to the majors. The Padres won 6–5 with the Giants blowing a 5–3 lead in the 8th inning.
I really like the back cover advertisement with its sketchy two-color illustration. I also completely misread the KTNT TV 11 line as KNTV 11 and found myself completely confused as to why a Bay Area TV station was broadcasting in the Seattle-Tacoma metro area.
On to 1962. The cover is not as exciting but it’s still a fun two-color illustration and I like the Attendance Leader trophy as a shout-out to the fans. The script “Giants” is also different than the San Francisco logo but looks close enough to be of the same family.
Gaylord Perry is still on the roster. And has the same photo as 1961. Same with Dusty Rhodes. New Giants I recognize from 1960s team sets include Dick LeMay and Jose Cardenal (who went on to bigger things on other teams).
More 1960s advertisements and design. The big restaurant ad is a fun snapshot of the era and they use the correct Giants font/logo on the team schedule box, roster box, and KTNT advertisement. I especially like the shirt design in that KTNT advert too. As in 1961 there’s a lucky number for, I’m assuming, between-innings giveaways or contests.
Scorecard this time is only complete through three innings. A different hand than the 1961 scorer and I can’t comment on the game besides noting that the Spokane Indians are a Dodgers affiliate.
I do particularly enjoy the Tacoma Stars in the Hall of Fame panel as well as the way the plaques have been turned printed in two colors so as to emphasize the player portraits.
All in all a great mailing which I thoroughly enjoyed going though. I’m sure I’ll find some more interesting things the next time I flip through these. Thanks Mark!