Sunday, October 31, 2010

1955 Topps #31 - Warren Spahn

Yesss... We have another legend of the game, Warren Spahn!

Spahn (b. 1921 - d. 2003) was one of the greatest left handed pitchers of all time. He pitched for 21 seasons (1942, 1946 - 1965) for the Braves, Mets and Giants. His won-loss record is a staggering 363-245. He ranks sixth all-time in wins. The closest anyone has come recently is Greg Maddux, who finished with 355. His 2,583 career strikeouts are good for #25 all-time. Spahn won the World Series with the Braves in 1957; was an all star during the 1947, 1949 -1954, 1956 - 1959 and 1961 - 1963 seasons; won the Cy Young Award in 1957 and was The Sporting News pitcher of the year in 1953, 1957, 1958 and 1961.
Spahn's uniform number (21) has been retired by the Braves. Spahn was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1973 with 82.89% of the vote. For some reason, he was not elected on his first ballot, which, in my mind, is a crime.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

1955 Topps #30 - Vic Power

Vic Power (b. 1927 - d. 2005) was born Victor Pellot in Puerto Rico. He played under the name 'Vic Power' due to ridicule during his playing days in French Quebec. His last name of Pellot was closely similar to a french slang term for vagina. Sorry guys. Stating facts.
Anyway, Power played from 1954 to 1965 for the A's, Indians, Twins, Angels and Phillies. He compiled career numbers of .284 batting average, 126 home runs and 658 RBIs. was an All Star in 1955, 56, 59 and 60 and received 7 Gold Gloves.


Friday, October 29, 2010

1955 Topps #29 - Herman Wehmeier

Herm Wehmeier (b. 1927 - d. 1973) pitched in the majors from 1945, 1947-1958 for the Reds, Phillies, Cardinals and Tigers. He had a career record of 92-108 and an ERA of 4.80.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

1955 Topps #28 - Ernie Banks

Let's play two...

One of the most popular players of all time, Mr. Cub, Ernie Banks. Banks (b. 1931) played for the Cubs from 1953 to 1971. He compiled 2,583 hits, 512 home runs and 1,636 RBIs during his career. He was the NL MVP in 1958 and 1959. He was elected to the Hall of Fame on his first ballot in 1977 with 83.8% of the vote. His uniform number (14) was retired by the Cubs in 1982.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Finally Brian Matusz Has a Topps Card

...and I own it, thanks to Pete. I think I traded him a Swisher for it, but I forget.
Matusz really turned it on at the end of the season. I think he will get some votes for Rookie of the Year, but will lose the award to Neftali Feliz. At the beginning of the season, Matusz was poised to win, but a mediocre middle of the season really ended his hopes. I still believe that he will win 20+ games many times in his career and will be on par with the likes of great Oriole pitchers from the past like Mussina and Palmer. I'm glad that I finally have a Topps card of Matusz. Now, if they'd only get Wieters on one, I'd be good to go.

1955 Topps #27 - Billy Gardner

Billy Gardner (b. 1927) played from 1954 to 1963 for the Giants, Orioles, Senators, Twins, Yankees and Red Sox. The Giants won the World Series in 1954, his rookie season. He had a career average of .237 with 841 hits. he also managed the Twins from 1981 to 1985 and the Royals in 1987.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

TTM Success - Lee MacPhail

This is the first time I have used a photo from my new phone on the blog. I think it looks ok...

Anyway, I mailed a baseball to Lee MacPhail, the oldest living Hall of Famer, on Monday, October 18, 2010. I sent the ball off just before noon that day and got it back today. Pretty awesome turn around time. The signature itself is a bit shaky, but not bad at all for a guy who turned 93 yesterday. I just realized that. Maybe I should have sent him a birthday card.

MacPhail is the father of the O's GM, Andy MacPhail. He was the AL President from 1974 to 1984. When he was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1998, he joined his father, Larry MacPhail, as the only father/son duo in the Hall.

1955 Topps #26 - Dick Groat

Dick Groat (b. 1930) was more than a solid baseball player. He was also a standout college basketball player for Duke University. During the 1951-1952 season, he scored 48 points against UNC, which remains the most points scored against the Tar Heels. His uniform number 10 was the first number to be retired by Duke and remained the only number retired by them until 1980. He was selected with the third overall pick in the 1952 NBA draft by the Fort Wayne Pistons. He only played one season in the NBA.
Groat, however, played in the majors from 1952 to 1967 for the Pirates, Cardinals, Phillies and Giants. He won the World Series in 1960 with the Pirates and in 1964 with the Cardinals. He was also the 1960 NL MVP. He was definitely a decent player, he ended his career with a .286 average and 2,138 hits.

Monday, October 25, 2010

1955 Topps #25 - Johnny Podres

The first ever World Series MVP (1955), Johnny Podres (b. 1932 - d. 2008) played from 1953 to 1969 for the Dodgers, Tigers and Padres. He won the World Series 3 times with the Dodgers in 1955, 1959 and 1963. I think its kind of cool that this is his 1955 Topps and he was the World Series MVP in 1955. He finished his career with a record 148-116 and an ERA of 3.68.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

1955 Topps #24 - Hal Newhouser

Show of hands if you knew right off hand that Newhouser was a hall of famer. Anyone? I didn't.

Hal Newhouser (b. 1921 - d. 1998) was considered to be the most dominating pitcher of his era. (I would imagine that Bob Feller was #1A.) Anyway, Newhouser played from 1939 to 1955 for the Detroit Tigers and CLeveland Indians. That would make this his final Topps card. He ended his career with a record of 207-150 and an ERA of 3.06. He was elected to the Hall of Fame by the Veterans Committee in 1992.


Saturday, October 23, 2010

1955 Topps #23 - Jack Parks

Jack Parks' (b. 1928 - d. 2001) baseball isn't accurate. It says Major League totals, but he never reached the majors. If you read the text on the card, you'll see that it says that he would get his first big league experience in 1955. He must have had a bad spring training. Kinda sad. He ended up spending 16 years in the minors.

Friday, October 22, 2010

1955 Topps #22 - Bill Skowron

You may know him as 'Moose'

Moose Skowron (b. 1930) is a pretty well known player who played in the majors from 1954-1967 for the Yankees, Dodgers, Senators, White Sox and Angels. He was a member of 5 World Series Championship teams: 1956, 58, 61 and 62 Yankees and the 1963 Dodgers. He was also an 8-time all star. Not too bad. He had a career average of .282 with 211homers and 888 RBIs.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

1955 Topps #21 - Alex Grammas

Alex Grammas (b. 1926) was a reserve infielder from 1954-1963 for the Cardinals, Reds and Cubs. He also managed the Pirates in 1969 and the Brewers from 1976-1977. He has a career batting average of .247.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Another Pickup From the Card Shop

I bought a pack of 2010 Topps Chrome at the shop and was pleasantly surprised to see this:
A Stephen Strasburg Chrome RC. I'm not going to sell it. I'm going to hold onto it and add it to my RC collection. I have a bunch of notable rookie cards, and right now, I think Strasburg is the most notable RC out there. Well, I'd really like the Pujols Chrome RC, but that's not in my budget right now.

I actually had a pretty amazing pack that the Strasburg was in. There was also Ichiro, Lincecum and Roy Oswalt. Not bad at all!!!

1955 Topps #20 - Andy Carey

Andy Carey (b. 1931) was a third baseman for the Yankees, A's, White Sox and Dodgers from 1952 to 1962. He was a career .260 hitter who retired with 64 homers. Not too impressive, I know, but what is impressive is the fact that he has four rings (1952, 1953, 1956 and 1958) with the Yankees. Talk about right place, right time.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Some Hits From The Shop

I was able to put some time in on Saturday at the shop, and opened a few packs. I did pretty well, I think...
I got a Shin Soo Choo printing plate out of a pack of 206. Not too bad. I always like pulling plates. I have now pulled two in the past month. I should maybe play the lottery...

I also bought a pack of 2010 Elite Extra Edition and got this nice auto. Too bad it's a Pittsburgh player; it's going to be real hard for me to keep track of this guy. You know, since we all know he'll be traded at some point.
Anyway, I did pretty well. I also got something else pretty awesome, but I'll share that tomorrow.

1955 Topps #19 - Billy Herman

FINALLY. Another Hall of Famer. Trust me, I didn't know he was one until I checked, but I'm glad we have our third...
Billy Herman (b. 1909 - d. 1992) was a second baseman for the Cubs, Dodgers, Braves and Pirates from 1931-1943 and 1946-1947. He was a 10-time All Star who ended his career with 2,345 career hits and a .304 lifetime average. He was also a manager for the Pirates and Red Sox. He was elected to the Hall of Fame by the Veterans Committee in 1975.


Monday, October 18, 2010

Awesome Trade at the Card Shop

One of my regular customers at the shop brought me this really awesome 2010 Topps Triple Threads Cal Ripken 3 piece relic.
I was really happy to get this card, I always like the Sepia parallels and this one is beautiful. As always, I'm glad to pick up a new Ripken and this one is really awesome.

All I have to do is trade him something suitable, and I have just the thing ;).

1955 Topps #18 - Russ Kemmerer

Russ Kemmerer (b. 1931) was a pitcher in the majors from 1954-1955 and 1957-1963 for the Red Sox, Senators, White Sox and Colt 45's. He had a 43-59 won-loss record for his career and 4.46 ERA. There's not a whole lot more I can say about him.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

1955 Topps #17 - Bobby Hofman

Bobby Hofman (b. 1925 - d. 1994) played 7 years in the majors (all with the Giants) as an infielder and catcher from 1949 and 1952 to 1957. He had career numbers of .248 and 32 homers and was a member of the 1954 World Champion New York Giants.


Saturday, October 16, 2010

1955 Topps #16 - Roy Sievers

Roy Sievers (b. 1926) is the 1949 Rookie of the Year and a 4-time All Star who played from 1949 to 1965. He led thre league in home runs in 1957 with 42. He played for the Browns, Senators, White Sox and Phillies.

Sievers was the 18th player to hit 300 home runs in his career, but was also the first player who hit 300 home runs to not be elected into the Hall of Fame. Sievers finished his career with 318 homers, 1,147 RBIs and an average of .267.

Friday, October 15, 2010

1955 Topps #15 - Jim Pendleton

Jim Pendleton (b. 1924 - d. 1996) was an outfielder in the majors from 1953 to 1962 for the Braves, Pirates, Reds and Colt 45s. He was considered a decent part time player who ended his career with 19 home runs.


Thursday, October 14, 2010

1955 Topps #14 - Jim Finigan

I think it's always cool to see former teams' logos, especially since the team hasn't been in existence for years...

Here we have a player from the Kansas City Athletics. Pretty cool.
Jim Finigan (b. 1928 - d. 1981) was an infielder for six seasons for the A's, Tigers, Giants and Orioles. He ended his career with 422 hits and a .264 average.
The A's moved to Kansas City from Philadelphia in 1955, so this card is the first Topps card to represent the Kansas City A's. The A's stayed in Kansas City for 12 years, until they moved to Oakland for the 1968 season.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

1955 Topps #13 - Fred Marsh

We are in the middle of a bunch of fringe-type players in the set. Another is infielder Fred Marsh (1924-2006). He was a career .239 hitter with 10 home runs. He played from 1949, 1951-1956 for the Indians, Browns, Senators, White Sox and Orioles. He does have the distinction of being traded from the Browns to the Senators and then back to the Browns in the same season. Interesting.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

1955 Topps #12 - Jake Thies

Wow. I couldn't find much on this guy. Not much at all. He pitched only 2 seasons with the Pirates (1954 and 1955). His card says he was born in 1928, but says he was born in 1926. I assume he is still alive, as I haven't seen anything otherwise. His career won-loss record is 3-10. He didn't exactly set the world on fire.

Monday, October 11, 2010

1955 Topps #11 - Ferris Fain

We have our first 'Final Card' of an established major leaguer, that of 5-time All Star Ferris Fain.

Fain (b. 1921 - d. 2001) was a decent player in his career, having played for the Philadelphia Athletics, Chicago White Sox, Detroit Tigers and Cleveland Indians from 1947-1955. In addition to his All Star nods, he was also a two-time batting champ (1951 and 1952) and the 1952 Doubles champ. He ended his career with 1,139 hits and a .290 lifetime average.


Sunday, October 10, 2010

1955 Topps #10 - Bob Keegan

Card #10 is of former White Sox pitcher, Bob Keegan.
Keegan (1920-2001) pitched from 1953-1958, all for the White Sox. He had one great season, in 1954 when he went 16-9 with a 3.09 ERA. He was named to his only All Star team that season and never replicated that success again. He did, however, throw a no hitter in 1957. he retired with a record of 40-36; an ERA of 3.66 and 198 strikeouts.