Wednesday, April 19, 2017

TTM Success - Wally Westlake

This was a pretty awesome TTM success that I was really excited to get to post tonight.  I have been waiting patiently for a while, and I have finally come to it in my queue of TTMs to be posted.  I picked up two much needed vintage cards for the album in these Wally Westlake cards.  The above is only my second 1951 Topps Red Back autograph.  It turned out great, and Westlake has a great signature for his age.
This is my second signed 1949 Bowman, the other was the Bobby Brown auto.  This one really pops with the red background.  It was a decently cheap card when I picked it up, so I was happy to be able to get it out and get it signed.  Westlake also answered my questions, one of which was "Who was your favorite player when you were growing up?"  His response?  Babe Ruth.
Westlake really surprised me, not only by signing the letter I sent, but also for sending along two signed and inscribed photos.  They're real photos, not cheap prints, or post cards.  I thought it was a really awesome gesture.
Westlake (b. 1920) made his major-league debut on April 15, 1947.  Let that sink in for just a second.  His major league debut was 70 years ago, at the age of 26.  He is now 96, and is still signing autographs for fans.  He played in the majors from 1947 to 1956 for the Pirates, Cardinals, Reds, Indians, Orioles and Phillies.  He had 848 hits, 127 home runs and a .272 batting average.  He was an All Star in 1951 and appeared in the 1954 World Series.  His Indians lost to the New York Giants in a 4-game sweep.

His time with the Orioles was brief, he appeared in 8 games for the O's after being traded from Cleveland and before being moved again to the Phillies.

I mailed to Westlake on March 14 and got the cards back on April 3, for a 20-day TAT.
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