Willie "Stretch" McCovey had the ability to stand out in an era with lots of other power hitters similar to himself. The 1969 NL MVP played alongside Willie Stargell, Hank Aaron, Harmon Killebrew, Mickey Mantle, and his teammate Willie Mays, and was still able to have a career spanning 22 years and made the Hall of Fame on his first ballot.
Since I began collecting McCovey a few years ago I have added many cards both new and old to my collection. Overall I have amassed 57 cards of McCovey. Here are my top 5.
#5 2001 Topps Post 500 Home Run Club
Back when the 500 Home Run Club had far fewer members than it has today Topps teamed up with Post cereal and made these food issue cards to help commemorate their 50th anniversary back in 2001. The thing that draws me most to this card is the wood borders. The only reason this card isn't higher is all the logos on the front. Between the 50th anniversary logo, the Hall of Fame Logo, and the 500 Home Run Club logo it seems like more of an ad than a card. Then again maybe it is, but it's still a great card worthy of the top 5.
#4 2003 Fleer Flair Greats Classic Numbers
One thing that was so distinctive about Willie was his number 44. This insert set is all about players numbers as it includes McCovey's number in big foil letters with an orange border around them. The color combination of orange and tan also surprisingly works. It allows the image to also have a place to shine. I really appreciate how Fleer decided to make the photo black & white, for nowadays so many of the photos are in color which I am okay with. But I have to say it's nice when every once in a while the photo is in black & white.
#3 2013 Topps Gypsy Queen
The thing that immediately catches my eye in this card is the bright orange jersey. Usually, Topps doesn't put orange jerseys on McCovey or any Giants cards. This shocks me because it works so well, but maybe Topps just doesn't see that. I've already noted on this blog before that 2013 Gypsy Queen is my favorite Gypsy Queen set ever made, because of the nice modern and sleek gray borders. However, sometimes the cards can get a bit boring with just gray, so that's why this card is high up on this list. It adds a much-needed pop of color.
#2 2017 Topps Stadium Club
I surprised myself by including this card on the list. I've had it for just a week and it's a brand that I don't even collect that much of. But this card took what I thought of Stadium Club and took that to a whole nother level. The picture quality is just spectacular like it usually is in Stadium Club, but Topps' choice in the photo is what makes this even more amazing. The view of what I believe to be a practice field works well with the photo of McCovey. They balance themselves out, therefore, one doesn't take away from the other, and that's why the card is where it is on the list.
#1 1969 Topps Deckle Edge
Deckle Edge is one of the more distinctive insert sets that Topps has ever made. While people might not know the name people can definitely recognize the black and white picture along with the actual edges of the card. More than that the card is amazing. It may use the same image as the Post card at #5, but this card used that image first. The blue fake signature stands out more than most other ones, and the simplistic yet nearly perfect design is more than enough to put this card at #1.