Monday, July 22, 2019

Forgotten Baseball Heroes: Hal Newhouser

Hal Newhouser seems to be one of those forgotten heroes in baseball.  While scanning through price guide listings, it'd be easy for many collectors to skip right over his name without even realizing that Newhouser is a Hall-of-Famer.  I think some reasons for this easy oversight is that Newhouser really only had like 2 real baseball cards that were released towards the end of his 17-year career.  Also, price guides are only recognizing him at just above minor star pricing.  It probably doesn't help that the majority of Newhouser's stardom occurred during the heart of WWII when most other big name players where away fighting in the war and baseball card production was scarce.  To be fair, Newhouser did try to enlist in the Army, but a heart murmur kept him from servicing his country.  His baseball career, however, was legitimate.  Newhouser was a 7x All-Star consecutively between 1942-1948.  He was also the AL MVP as a pitcher in 1944, 1945, and almost again in 1946 as the runner-up.  He won a World Series with the Tigers in 1945 and then appeared again in the World Series with the Indians in 1954.  Newhouser won the Triple Crown winner in 1945, coming close in other years as a constant league leader in Wins (4x Top-1), Strikeouts (7x Top-3), and ERA (3x Top-2).  Although he was voted into the HOF by the Veteran's Committee in 1992, Newhouser actually appeared on the HOF ballot for 15 years, reaching as high as 42.8% of the total vote.  Newhouser's two major baseball cards include a 1953 and 1955 Topps card for his final season with the Tigers and then with the Indians.  Except for maybe a 1955 Topps Doubleheader and a 1948-1949 Leaf card, Newhouser doesn't really have any other cards from major set releases issued during his playing days.  Even though his 1953 Topps card books for barely above minor star pricing, in actuality, Newhouser's '53T card appears to be actually selling for noticeably higher than it's book value.  His 1955 Topps cards looks to remain a good deal right now though.
 




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