Friday, May 2, 2014

1952 Topps #196: Solly Hemus, St. Louis Cardinals, SS

     A few '52s arrived in my mailbox while I was out of town this week.  The most significant of the '52 arrivals was Solly Hemus, which filled a missing void in my set binder.  For some reason, Topps was not able to receive authorization to reprint 5 cards from this set in 1983 and Solly Hemus was one of them.  Currently, I have only four voids left in '52 collection.  Luckily, none of the failed authorizations were from high number cards that book for no lower than $300 or commons.  I was able to obtain this one card for 10% BV, which isn't too bad considering that it doesn't have a single crease with nice centering, color, and focus.  In fact, if it weren't for the lower-right corner, we'd be looking at a solid VG-EX, but that's not the case here.  I don't know what could have causes the little 'bite' missing from the corner, and the heavily chipped portion of the adjacent edge.  Two of the corners could hardly be considered rounded, one noticeably, and the other heavily.  This is certainly a case that warrants a two half grade increase from the lowest grade.  One heavily rounded corner, might result in a corner grade of 1.5 conservatively.  An overall grade of [GD-VG 2.5] is certainly reasonable, although I wouldn't question a VG designation for this one.  It's a little bite.    

Solly Hemus played mostly for the Cardinals during his 11 season career between 1949-1959 (except for 2.5 years with the Phillies).  He led the league with 105 Runs in 1952, and surpassed that number with 110 the following year, which was only good enough for 5th place.  Hemus also led the league with the number of times hit by pitches in '52, '53, and '58.  Hemus went back to the Cardinals from the Phillies in 1959 as a player-manager for his final season.  He stayed on with the Cards for two more years as a manager in 1960 and 1961.

     A page from my set binder shows where Solly Hemus fit in among his peers on the '52 Cardinals team.  I've made previous posts for teammates, Cliff Chambers and Tommy Glaviano, for my '50 Bowman and '51 Topps sets.  I remember collecting cards of Red Schoendienst from the 1990 set as a youngster.  With only a few original '52s in my collection, all of the other cards posted are obviously reprints. 

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