Thursday, April 28, 2016

1969 Topps #633: Harry Walker, Houston Astros, MGR

     Harry Walker managed the Astros from 1968-1972.  Walker got his start as a player/manager with the Cardinals in 1955, before taking over their AAA team through 1964.  He later managed the Pirates from 1965-1967 before going to the Astros.  Walker's playing career spanned from 1940 to 1955 with the Cardinals, Phillies, Reds, and Cubs.  He won the batting title in 1947 and was a 2x All-Star.  Walker lost two of his prime years to military service during WWII. 

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

1990 Topps Glossy Send-In #20: Ken Griffey Jr., Seattle Mariners, OF

     Here's a more obscure 2nd year Griffey card from the 1990 Topps Glossy Send-in set.  I recently decided to integrate all of the Topps Glossy Send-in sets with my primary collections, and in doing so, came across with one that I decided to post should be posted (with Griffey heading into the HOF this year and all).  Previously, I used to store my 1983-1990 Topps Glossy Send-in sets in the back of their respective set binders, where they would rarely get looked at.


     I decided to place the Glossy Send-ins ahead of the base card in the same way that I tend to put today's variations in front of their base card.  Also shown below is Griffey's Debut card behind his base card (newest to oldest format).

     Cards like the one below were originally inserted into each wax pack for ordering the Glossy Send-ins.  

Friday, April 22, 2016

2015 Topps Update #US397: Bryce Harper, Washington Nationals, OF

     Bryce Harper had a really big season in 2015, winning the NL MVP award only 3 seasons after winning the NL ROY award.  Harper made his 3rd All-Star team in 4 MLB seasons, and won his 1st Silver Slugger award.  Statistically, Harper led the league in Runs (118), HR's (42), OBP (.460), SLG (.649), and OPS (1.109).  He also batted .330 (2nd) with 99 RBI, 38 Doubles, 172 Hits, and 124 Walks (2nd).  His 2015 salary was $2.5 million.  

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

1959 Topps #341: Tom Qualters, Chicago White Sox, P

     Tom Qualters pitched his final major league season with the White Sox in 1958 after an early season trade with the Phillies whom Qualters had played for since 1953.  He continued pitching in the minors through 1962 before retiring as a player from professional baseball.   ...

1922 American Caramel 240 Series: Jake Daubert, Cincinnati Reds, 1B

     Jake Daubert played 15 seasons in the majors from 1910-1924 for the Superbas/Robins/Dodgers and Reds.  In 1922, he led the league with 22 Triples and 156 Games Played, batting .336 with 205 Hits and 114 Runs in 610 AB's.  Defensively, Daubert also led the league in Putouts, Double Plays Turned, and Fielding % as a 1B.  He arrived on the Reds team through winter trade with Brooklyn before the start of the 1919 season and won his only World Series ring that year against the Chicago White Sox.  

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

1922 American Caramel 240 Series: Bobby Veach, Detroit Tigers, OF

     Bobby Veach played 14 seasons in the majors for the Tigers, Red Sox, Senators, and Yankees from 1912-1925.  He had a very productive season for the Tigers in 1922, appearing at the plate 705 times in 155 games played.  Veach hit a near career-high 202 Hits in 1922, which he exceeded only once during his career during the previous season with 207 Hits in 1921.    He also knocked in 126 RBI, while scoring 96 Runs with a .327 Batting Avg.  Veach was a league leader of multiple categories throughout his career like Hits ('19), Doubles ('15,'19), Triples ('19), RBI ('15,'17,'18), and Putouts as LF ('15,'17,'18,'19,'20,'21,'22).  He was actually a strong defensive player, often reaching the league top 5 in Putouts, Assists, Double Plays Turned, Range Factor, and Fielding % as a LF.  Veach remained with his original Tigers team for one more full season before going to the Red Sox in 1924.  His sole World Series appearance would occur against the Pirates as a Senator in 1925.  Veach would spend the rest of his professional career in minors after the '25WS until 1930.

1922 American Caramel 240 Series: Jack Fournier, St. Louis Cardinals, 1B

     Jack Fournier was just coming off of his 2nd consecutive season as the league leader in being hit by a pitch to start off 1922, and would continue to make the top 3 list each season for another four years.  Fournier was also coming off of a strong 1921 season, in which he scored 103 Runs on 197 Hits with a .343 Batting Avg in 574 AB's.  Fournier's MLB career spanned from 1912-1927 with five different teams.  1922 would be his final of 3 seasons with the Cardinals. 

Thursday, April 14, 2016

1949 Bowman #136: Hank Edwards, Cleveland Indians, OF

     Hank Edwards signed with the Indians in 1939 and reached the big club in 1941, where he remained until 1949--except for a couple of seasons that he served in the Army during WWII.  After coming back from the war, Edwards led the league in Triples and ranked highly in multiple defensive categories as a RF during 1946.  The Cubs selected Edwards off of waivers early during the 1949 season.  He continued playing in the majors through 1953.           ...

1959 Topps #179: Don Rudolph, Chicago White Sox, P

     Don Rudolph pitched for the White Sox from 1957-1959, but missed out on the opportunity to play in the World Series due to an early season trade to Cincinnati.  Rudolph served mostly as a reliever with the Reds striking out more than twice as many batters as he walked with a 2.67 SO/W ratio.  He would play for another couple of teams before the end of his major league career in 1964.  Rudolph retired as a player after two seasons in the minors in 1966.   

2015 Topps #650: Pablo Sandoval, Boston Red Sox, 3B

     Pablo Sandoval signed with the Red Sox on November 25th, 2014 after 3 World Series championships with the Giants during his 7 seasons with the club.  The deal with Boston was for 5 years and $95 million with an option for a 6th year totaling up to $107 million.  Sandoval played in 126 games for the Red Sox in 2015, starting 122 of them at 3B. 

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

1959 Topps #403: Clem Labine, Los Angeles Dodgers, P

     Clem Labine earned his 2nd World Series ring with the Dodgers in 1959--but with Los Angeles instead of Brooklyn like in 1955.  Labine had been a Dodger since the start of the decade, and would start the next decade with the Dodgers as well.  He appeared in 4 World Series with the Dodgers during the 1950's, winning 2.  Labine pitched in 56 games in 1959, finishing 33 of them.

Monday, April 11, 2016

1939 Play Ball #83: Gus Suhr, Pittsburgh Pirates, 1B

     Gus Suhr was born in San Francisco during the year of its historic 1906 earthquake, and then lived to tell about it for over 98 years.  He began playing professionally in 1925, reaching the majors in 1930 with the Pirates.  Suhr remained with the Pirates until being traded to the Phillies halfway through the 1939 season.  He made the All-Star team in 1936, often leading the league in Games Played.  Suhr was top 5 in the league for Walks 7 times as well as Triples 7 times during his career. He made the league top 3 in Putout 7 times during his career also.  Suhr played for the Phillies in 1940 before spending the rest of his career in the minors until 1948.

1963 Topps #101: Joe Gibbon, Pittsburgh Pirates, P

     Joe Gibbon started 22 games with a 3.30 during his 4th season with the Pirates in 1963.  He struck out 110 batters, while only walking 54 others for a 2.04 SO/W ratio.  Gibbon won a World Series ring with the Pirates during his 1960 rookie season, pitching in 2 games against the Yankees.  He would later pitch in a couple of playoff games for the Pirates again in 1970 against the Reds.

2003 Topps Traded #T52: David Ortiz, Boston Red Sox, DH-1B

     David Ortiz signed as a free agent with the Boston Red Sox at the start of 2003 after being released by the Twins a month prior.  Ortiz was originally signed by the Seattle Mariners in 1992, but was traded to the Twins near the end of the 1996 season where Ortiz spent his first 6 MLB seasons.  With the Red Sox in 2003, Ortiz saw more playing time than he ever had in his career up to that point.  He broke the 100 RBI mark for the first time, hitting 31 HR's and 39 Doubles in 448 AB's.  Ortiz made it to the playoffs for the second consecutive season in 2003 after losing with the Twins against the Angels in 5 games during the 2002 ALCS.  This time Ortiz would lose as a Red Sox against the Yankees, but not hitting his first 2 postseason HR's with 4 Runs and 6 RBI in the 7-game ALCS.  He is set to retire with the Red Sox after the 2016 season.

Friday, April 8, 2016

1956 Topps #319: Jack Crimian, Kansas City Athletics, P

Jack Crimian pitched 54 games for the Kansas City A's in 1956.  He started some and he finished some, striking out more batters than he walked.  Crimian originally signed with his hometown Phillies in 1944, but joined the Army and didn't get a chance to play in the majors until after the Cardinals drafted him upon returning.  Crimian was traded to the Athletics after the team's inaugural season in October 1955.  He continued playing in the majors through 1957, and professionally through 1959.  At the age of 90, he is currently one of the oldest living major leaguers (#72).

Thursday, April 7, 2016

1956 Topps #77: Harvey Haddix, St. Louis Cardinals, P

     Harvey Haddix missed an All-Star selection in 1956 for the first time after 3 consecutive All-Star seasons in '53, '54, and '55.  Haddix was the runner-up for the Rookie of the Year award in 1953 winning 20 games with 6 shutouts.  He started 31 games in 1956, striking out 170 batters in 230.1 innings pitched.  Haddix was traded by his original Cardinals team in a 5-player deal that sent him to the Phillies early in the '56 season.