Three eventual Hall-of-Famers would have rookie cards in the 1965 Topps set: Steve Carlton, Joe Morgan, and Jim “Catfish” Hunter. So Greg Bollo was in good company when his name and likeness appeared on a rookie card that season. Signed by the White Sox as an amateur before the 1964 season, Bollo put together a 12-7 record with a 2.46 ERA in A-ball during his first professional season. He made his major-league debut the next season, on May 9th, 1965. It was mop-up duty, but Bollo made the most of his debut, pitching 2 perfect innings in a 6-1 White Sox loss to the Twins. And it wasn’t an easy assignment, either. The first two batters he faced were Tony Oliva and Harmon Killebrew, who flew out to left and grounded out to shortstop, respectively. Having lost the day before as well, the White Sox had seen a 2.5-game lead dwindle to a .5-game lead by the end of the day.
Bollo’s debut on May 9th was indicative of how he was used during what would turn out to be a brief career. In 15 appearances during the ’65 season, Bollo entered the game with the White Sox losing in all but one. On June 28th, Bollo was called upon to protect a 4-3 lead in the bottom of the 5th. Although he retired the first two batters, he then gave up a solo home run to Jimmie Hall and was promptly taken out of the game in favor of Eddie Fisher. Although Bollo would have a 2.20 ERA as late in the season as July 24th, he finished the season with a 3.57 ERA in 22.2 innings pitched, third highest among a talented batch of 1965 White Sox pitchers. Bollo would appear in three games as a late-season call-up in 1966, but never reached the big leagues again, retiring after the 1970 season.
A discerning child in 1965 might have chuckled at Topps’ rudimentary “photoshop” capabilities. The cap on Bollo’s head is clearly set high and to the right. It’s not surprising that Topps didn’t have a photo of Bollo in a White Sox uniform; he had never put on one until a few months after the cards were printed.