Tuesday, August 6, 2019

#106 Billy Gardner





Billy Gardner  Baltimore Orioles

Career: Gardner played 19 seasons in the bigs, five as a regular and four of those with the Orioles thru the late 1950s. He had a career .237 average and his best season came in 1957 when he led the AL with 36 doubles (as well as in at-bats and plate appearances). He played with two Series-winning clubs, the Giants in 1954 (his rookie year) and the 1961 Yankees. He did not appear in the '54 Series but he made the box score in the '61 Series with one AB. 

He later spent five seasons managing the Twins and a short stint as a replacement for Dick Howser in Kansas City when Howser had to undergo cancer treatment.


In 1960: He was traded to the Senators early in April and hit .257  with a career-high 56 RBIs in what would be his last season as a regular.

Off The Charts: His son, Billy Gardner Jr, has been involved in baseball as well and is, at last look, working as the roving coordinator for the Nationals.

The Card: There's that yellow, orange, black and white pattern again. Looks as good with the Orioles as it does with the Pirates.

Sunday, August 4, 2019

#105 Larry Sherry




Larry Sherry  Los Angeles Dodgers

Career: Larry Sherry came up thru the Dodgers' chain as a starting pitcher but was converted to relief when he made the majors and became a front line player in 1959. His older brother Norn was a catcher with the Dodgers for much of Larry's tenure. Larry pitched in four of the six World Series games in '59 as the Dodgers beat the White Sox. He allowed only one earned run in his 12+ innings and recorded two saves and two wins. Needless to say, he was named Series MVP. After six years with the Dodgers, he was dealt to the Tigers where he continued his role as stopper. He finished his career with the Astros and a brief stop with the Angels in 1968. He was a pitching coach and minor league manager after his playing days.

In 1960: Coming off his sterling Series showing Sherry had one of his better seasons, winning 14 games and garnering some MVP votes.

Off The Charts: On May 7, 1960, Norm Sherry hit a home run to give Larry a win over Philadelphia.

The Card: Yellow, pink, black, and white looks better than it sounds as a card color combo. I get a Wrigley vibe from the bit of background in this shot. I wouldn't bet on it though.

Saturday, August 3, 2019

#104 Dick Schofield




Dick Schofield  Pittsburgh Pirates

Career: Known as 'Ducky' he played 19 years for seven clubs. He spent most of his career as a utility infielder but was the regular shortstop for the Pirates and Giants from 1963 thru 1965. He was a part of two NL championship teams, the Pirates in 1960 and the Cards in 1964. His son, also 'Dick' played for 14 years in the majors and his grandson, Jason Werth, played for 15. All three of them were with the Dodgers at some point in their career.

In 1960: Schofield had a career-high .333 average over 65 games and 102 at-bats. He also hit .333 in the '60 Series by getting a hit in three trips. His tally was a pinch single in the second game.

Off The Charts: The Schofield/Werth family is one of five to have three generations play in the majors. The others are the Bells, Boones, Colemans, and Hairstons. John Schofield, Ducky's father, played minor league ball through the 1930s.

The Card: I really like the color combo here. It complements the Pirates' colors.

Friday, August 2, 2019

#103 Dick Farrell




Dick Farrell  Philadelphia Phillies

Career: Turk Farrell was a four-time NL All-Star who pitched for 13 seasons, mostly in Philadelphia and Houston. He spent part of the 1961 season with the Dodgers. Of his nearly 600 appearances 134 were starts, mostly coming with the Colt 45s/Astros. He had a reputaion as a 'hard living' guy. He moved to England after he retired to work on an offshore rig. At 43 he was killed when his motorcycle was hit by a drunk driver.

In 1960: He won 10 games and had 11 saves for the Phils and racked up a very fine 2.70 ERA.

Off The Charts: In 1962 Farrell became one of eight pitchers selected to the All-Star squad while going on to 20 losses in the same season

The Card: Red seats, pinstripes...it's Connie Mack Stadium. That appears to be #28 behind Farrell which would be Curt Simmons.  I wondered why a vet wouldn't get a 'Season's Highlights' list but checking his stats shows that 1959 was an off-year for him after pitching pretty well in 1957-58. He did get what appears to be a Jack Davis cartoon though.

#102 Kent Hadley






Kent Hadley  New York Yankees

Career: Hadley was originally signed by the Tigers and was dealt to Kansas City in 1957. In 1959 he was the Athletics primary first baseman and hit .253 with 11 homers. He was then traded to the Yankees in the deal that brought Roger Maris to the Bronx. Hadley spent a season in NY, a year in the White Sox chain and then headed to Japan to continue his career.

He played for six seasons for the Nankai Hawks and was a well respected player, the first American to be voted into a Japanese League All Star Game.
 
In 1960: He spent all but the final month of the season with the Yanks and played in 55 games, mostly as a pinch hitter and late-inning replacement at first base. He hit .203 with 4 homers. He was sent to the minors late in August when Casey Stengel decided he wanted a veteran bat off the bench (Dale Long of the Giants) and was not with the club for the Series that season.

Off The Charts: Wikipedia sez...Hadley became the first foreigner to homer in his first at-bat in Japan. For the Nankai Hawks, Kent went deep off of Junichi Nakajima on May 1, 1962, in Heiwadai Stadium.

The Card: He's pitched as an Athletic since Topps didn't have time to scrub his logos. They did add the traded line to his highlights and there's that terrific cartoon

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

#101 Bob Miller




Bob Miller  St. Louis Cardinals

Career: Miller pitched for 10 different big league teams over 17 seasons. He began his career with his hometown Cardinals in 1957 and finished up with the Mets in 1974. He had previously been a member of the inaugural Mets club in 1962. Along the way, he pitched in World Series' with the Dodgers in 1965/66 and in 1971 with the Pirates. He won two rings. His career record was 69-81 with a very respectable 3.37 ERA in almost 700 games, almost 100 of them being starts. He was the NL's busiest pitcher in 1964 having 74 appearances. 

In 1960: He pitched in only 15 games for the Cardinals and three minor league games. I'm assuming he was hurt during the season but I can't find any record of that.

Off The Charts: During that 1962 Mets' season, one of his roommates was Bob G. Miller, another bonus baby pitcher who played from 1953 through 1962 for the Tigers, Reds, and Mets. I'd imagine Casey Stengel had fun with that. This Bob Miller's name at birth was Robert Lane Gemeinweiser. A third Bob Miller, also a pitcher, was with the Phillies in the late 40s through 1958. Their careers overlapped but for various reasons, it seems the three were not all active at the same time.

The Card: Seals Stadium always provides a nice backdrop. I was a Rawlings guy when I was playing baseball and I always like seeing big leaguers who were also.


If you are scoring at home Topps threw a curve in 1959 by airbrushing the long-time Phils' Miller into Cardinal gear ....here is the 1958 card of Bob Miller of the Phillies.








Then in 1959, they issued this card for that same Bob Miller as a Cardinal. Technically he was a Cardinal after coming over in a conditional trade in February. But he was returned to the Phils in April and never appeared in a regular game for St. Louis (or anyone else for that matter) in '59. Back with the Phils he did some minor league work and moved on to a Dodger farm club and then was out of the game.


This had me scratching my head for a bit until I figured out the comings and goings of the Miller Boys. So it seems that this post's Bob Miller was indeed teammates of both the other Bob Millers during his career if we count Spring Training of 1959. 

Monday, June 17, 2019

#100 Nellie Fox




Nellie Fox  Chicago White Sox

Career: Hall of Famer Fox was a 12 time All-Star with the White Sox. He sandwiched 14 outstanding seasons on the South Side between some time with the Philadelphia A's and a season and change with the Astros. Known as an outstanding bunter, he led the AL in sacrifice hits twice and was in the Top Ten 15 times. He rarely fanned and is fifth all-time in most AB per K.

In 1960: Coming off his MVP season of '59 his numbers fell slightly but he led the league in triples, won a Gold Glove, and made the All-Star squad. This is the last 'good' hitting year of his career.

Off The Charts: Wikipedia tells an interesting tale of how he began his major league career..."Fox at age 16 in 1944, thought that he had a good chance to sign on with a professional baseball team due to player shortages from World War II. His mother wrote a letter on her son's behalf to Connie Mack the owner/manager of the Philadelphia Athletics which enabled him to attend an open tryout that spring for the Athletics in Frederick, Maryland. Fox caught the attention of Mack who signed him to a professional contract."

The Card: Not sure how I've missed this thru the years but the White Sox unis, with the red-trimmed numbers and logos, sort of parallel the red-railed Comiskey Park seats. It's a neat little detail that I have to believe was intentional. That could be a Jack Davis cartoon although I wouldn't put money on it. Noting Fox' MVP award day is a nice touch.

Friday, June 7, 2019

#99 Lenny Green




Lenny Green Washington Senators

Career: After a few years of honing his skills playing ball against and with many big league stars in the Army, Green played for five clubs over twelve seasons, all in the American League. He was described as a 'steady, graceful, line-drive hitting outfielder.' His last season as a regular on a big league club was with the '65 Red Sox. His best shot at postseason play came in his last season, 1968. He spent a few weeks with the Tigers but was in the minors for most of the season. Detroit went on to win the Series that year. He retired after that and worked for Ford in the Detroit area, his hometown. He passed away earlier in 2019 on his 86th birthday.

In 1960: This was the busiest season yet in his career. Not quite a fulltime outfielder, he was about to take over the centerfield spot when the Nats moved to Minnesota. His .294 batting average was a career high.

Off The Charts: In Washington, during the late 50s, he had a daily sports radio program on WUST. Later in his career, according to SABR 'He was also one of four Twins players named to an in-house committee to study the problem of planning for racially integrated housing arrangements at their Orlando spring training locale.'

The Card: Outside the batting cage shots are nice. That's 1959 Rookie of the Year Bobby Allison in the background.

Thursday, May 30, 2019

#98 Gordon Jones




Gordon Jones  Baltimore Orioles

Career: He spent three years each in the minors and the military before he made the staff of the '54 Cardinals. He started 19 games over two seasons before being transitioned to bullpen work. He pitched for five clubs and made numerous trips between the majors and minors until he retired after the '65 season. He won 15 of 33 decisions for the Giants, Orioles, A's and Colts/Astros in addition to the Cards.

In 1960: He was dealt to the Orioles late in '59 along with Jackie Brandt.

Off The Charts: After his playing career, Jones served for 1 1⁄2 seasons as the Major League pitching coach of the Astros—the full 1966 season and the first three months of the 1967 campaign. He was fired on July 8, 1967, by manager Grady Hatton after a rift developed between Jones and some members of his pitching staff. -Wikipedia

The Card: Top Three color combo for me. Does that look like Wrigley to you because it looks like Wrigley to me. 

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

#97 Ted Lepcio




Ted Lepcio  Philadelphia Phillies

Career: The bulk of Lepcio's 10-year career came with the Red Sox (1952-1958 + a week or two of '59) and the bulk of THAT time saw him competing for the second base job with Billy Goodman. Once he moved on to the Tigers in '59 kept his bags packed. He spent a year with them, a few games with the White Sox, and nearly a year each with the Phils and the Twins. In 1962 he joined the Mets during their initial Spring Training camp but was released before the season. He finished with 69 homers and a .245 career average and a few 1st place spots in some of the esoteric fielding stat categories that I don't understand (total zone runs?)

In 1960: This was his next-to-last season and he spent it as the Phils' utility infielder getting into almost 70 games and hitting .227 with a pair of homers.

Off The Charts:  Lepcio had been a college star at Seton Hall. Just a year later, as a rookie in 1952, he was Jimmy Piersall's roommate and got a close up look at Piersall's struggles on and off the field.

The Card: After Lepcio's early December '59 trade to the Phils Topps was able to make the card update but used his photo as a Tiger. It's a nice one though, and one of the rare Tiger (Briggs) Stadium shots you'll see from this era of Topps cards. Pink/blue/yellow/white works better than it seems it should! The back hits all the right notes as well.

Saturday, May 25, 2019

#93 Art Schult




Art Schult  Chicago Cubs

Career: Brooklyn-born Schult was a Yankees' signee who debuted with a small taste of the bigs in 1953 following a detour into the military during the Korean War. He bounced around through four other organizations and wound up with a season's worth of stats spread out over eight years.

In 1960: After a handful of games with the Cubs in April and May he was sent to the minors and that proved to be the end of his career.

Off The Charts: This Yankee site details the fact that Schult, as a returning serviceman, was entitled to a spot on their '53 roster. He refused a demotion to the minors and wound up making seven appearances for NY, all as a pinch runner! He later agreed to report to their AAA Syracuse club in return for a guaranteed World Series share. 

The Card: Open your eyes, Art...you're in beautiful Wrigley Field! 馃槦 The card back blurb maintains he 'originally came to the majors with Cincinnati' but that's incorrect. And there is more Jack Davis work there on the back.

Friday, May 24, 2019

#92 Whitey Herzog




Whitey Herzog  Kansas City Athletics

Career: Herzog played eight seasons with four different AL clubs mostly as an off-the-bench fourth outfielder. His busiest season was his rookie year with the Senators in 1956 when he had over 450 plate appearances. His best season, at least in terms of average, was 1961 when he hit .291 in near regular duty with the Orioles. His later managerial career, mostly with the Royals and Cardinals, earned him Hall of Fame status.

In 1960: He was a platoon outfielder with the Athletics dividing up playing time scraps with Russ Snyder and another future Series-winning manager, Hank Bauer. (Dick Williams was on that club, too.) His 8 homers and 38 RBI were career highs. 

Off The Charts: His first managing job came during his time with the Army Corp of Engineers in 1953 when he ran the Fort Leonard Wood camp team. 

The Card: The 'rare' three-color card. It's nothing special. Jack Davis cartoon, though. That's always a plus.

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

#90 Bobby Avila




Bobby Avila  Milwaukee Braves

Career: He played 11 seasons with the Indians and in their pennant-winning year of 1954 he won the AL batting title and finished third in the MVP voting. He struggled at the plate in the series against the Giants with just two hits in 15 at bats. He was a three-time All-Star. He played his final big league season with three clubs, the Orioles, Red Soxm and Braves. He finished with a .281 average for his career.

In 1960: Avila was farmed out in the spring of 1960 and wound up playing one final season, with the Mexico City Tigers. He helped that club with the pennant with a .333 average and he set a record for runs scored. After the season he began the next phase of his life by abecoming the president of Mexico's Vera Cruz League. 

Off The Charts: He's a member of Mexico's baseball Hall of Fame, has had two stadiums named for him, and served in Mexico's Congress and as the mayor of Vera Cruz.

The Card: This is a terrific card. Beautiful Braves classic uni with Connie Mack Stadium as the backdrop.

Monday, May 20, 2019

#89 Hal Brown




Hal Brown  Baltimore Orioles

Career: The bulk of his 14-year major league career came with the Orioles. He began in the Red Sox chain but came under the wing of Paul Richards in Seattle and he followed Richards to Chicago to make his debut. The knuckleballer was traded to Boston and then and later to the Orioles where he was reunited with Richards. He was primarily a starter but worked quite a bit out of the bullpen over the years. He finished his career with two games as a Yankee and a couple of seasons as a Colt .45 in Houston.

In 1960: He was the vet among the Baby Birds staff that featured four others aged 22 or under. He had 12 wins (a career high) and just five losses in 20 starts (30 appearances overall). His WHIP led the league although nobody would have known that stat had you asked around back then. He easily had the best K/W ratio on the staff fanning three hitters for each walk allowed. 

Off The Charts: From his SABR bio... In early 1943 he learned that he was about to be drafted, so he enlisted in the Army Air Force. He served as a gunner on bombers based in England. During one attack on Nazi submarine bases in France, his plane took heavy fire. “We got hit and didn’t make it back to England,” Brown said. “We had to bail out. They picked us up after a few hours in the (English) Channel."

The Card: Great color combo, old school logo, Yankee Stadium photo, highlights list and cartoon.  What a 1960card should be.

Sunday, May 19, 2019

#88 John Roseboro




John Roseboro   Los Angeles Dodgers

Career: He spent 11 seasons with the Dodgers before finishing his career with the Twins and Senators. He was a four-time All-Star and twice was awarded a Gold Glove. He played in four World Series with the Dodgers and won three rings. His outstanding career is sometimes overshadowed by the publicity he received stemming from the Juan Marichal 'bat incident' of 1965

In 1960: He was sidelined for chunks of June and July and played the fewest games of any season during his stretch as the Dodgers' #1 catcher. His .213 average was the lowest of his career for a full season.

Off The Charts: Wikipedia sez..."After several years of bitterness over their famous altercation, Roseboro and Marichal became friends in the 1980s. Roseboro personally appealed to the Baseball Writers' Association of America not to hold the incident against Marichal after he was passed over for election to the Hall of Fame in his first two years of eligibility. Marichal was elected in 1983, and thanked Roseboro during his induction speech..."

The Card: Memorial Coliseum lurks ghost-like in the background. Topps opted for the capless shot even though they must have had others to use showing Roseboro in Dodgers gear. It wasn't like he'd been recently traded. He shares a special card, Dodger Backstops, with Joe Pignatano in this set. I featured it in 2015.

Thursday, May 16, 2019

#87 John Romanowski




John Romonosky  Washington Senators

Career: Romonosky pitched in 32 major league games, debuting with two starts in 1953 for the Cardinals. After two years in the service, he re-emerged with the Senators in 1958 and pitched in parts of that season and the next. He had a career mark of 3-4 in just over 100 innings. He finished his career in the minors in 1961.

In 1960: He was released by the Senators in April. about the time this card was being found in packs. He spent 1960 in the Yankees organization at the AAA and then AA levels.

Off The Charts: There is (was?) a high school pitching award named for him given out by a Central Ohio baseball booster organization.

The Card: This is one of two Topps card he had, the other being his 'rookie' card in the 1959 set. Another Yankee Stadium photo, this time with some early arriving fans (or reporters) populating the background. A pleasant color combo on this one.

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

#86 Dick Gernert




Dick Gernert  Chicago Cubs

Career: He played eight seasons for the Boston Red Sox as a 6’3″ first baseman-outfielder and then finished his 11-year career with short stints for the Chicago Cubs, Detroit Tigers, Cincinnati Reds, and Houston Colt .45s. He had a few seasons as the BoSox regular first baseman but more frequently he shared the job. He twice had 20 or more dingers and his .291 in 1956 was a career high. He had four pinch-hit appearances in the 1961 Series with Cincy.  He was a Colt .45s expansion draft pick but was released in May which spared him the misery of the Houston summer and mosquitos.

In 1960: He started the year as a brand new Cubbie but was traded to the Tigers with a month to go in the season. His power numbers were down with just one homer in 160+ trips to the plate.

Off The Charts: Per Wikipedia..."He was involved in the first interleague trade without waivers in baseball history on November 21, 1959, when Boston shipped him to the Cubs for first baseman Jim Marshall and pitcher Dave Hillman"

The Card: Pink is a plus, as is the Yankee Stadium facade. He got a Jack Davis cartoon and the 'last entry is a trade note' treatment. Overall, not a bad card.

Friday, April 19, 2019

#85 Frank Lary




Frank Lary  Detroit Tigers

Career: Frank Lary came to the Tigers after a couple years in the service and in their farm system. He was a double-digit winner from 1955 through 1961. He was a workhorse who led the league in starts and innings on several occasions and in wins with 21 in 1956. He was a two-time All-Star, a Gold Glove winner and he finished third in the Cy Young voting in his 23-win-season of 1961.  A leg injury he suffered on Opening Day in 1962 led to arm woes that killed his effectiveness and he finished his career scrambling for wins with the Mets, Braves and White Sox before his retirement. 

In 1960: He finished 15-15 but a lot of that was due to the Tigers poor season. The numbers show that he was much better than his W/L and he made the All-Star team.

Off The Charts: He was called 'The Yankee Killer' due to his dominance over the Bronx crew. I once asked my father if he hated Lary and another guy with a reputation of beating the Yanks, Charlie Maxwell. He said 'No, it just means the Yanks are good. Nobody cares who kills the Senators.' Point taken. BTW...he was 28-13 against New York. That is by far his best record against any opposing team. 

The Card: this dugout photo could be from almost any AL stadium. Odds are it's NY but that is by no means a given. Three of the highlights listed for 1959 come against the Yankees and the August 4 entry notes his mastery of them.

Thursday, April 18, 2019

#84 Hal Smith




Hal Smith  St. Louis Cardinals

Career: Not to be confused with the OTHER Hal Smith whose card (#48) was posted at the end of January. THIS Hal Smith played from 1956 through 1961 with the Cardinals. He was their starting catcher for much of that time. He was a two-time NL All-Star. His best season was 1959 when he had career-highs in homers and RBI. He got into a few games with the Pirates in 1965 when he was activated for a bit while serving as a coach for the club. He was a coach and scout for many years after his playing days. He is usually differentiated from his namesake by his middle initial, 'R'.

In 1960: Coming off an All-Star season he slid from 13/50/.270/.295 to 2/28/.228/.291 and lost some playing time to Carl Sawatski and several others.








Off The Charts: Even Baseball Reference has problems keeping it's Hal Smiths straight. On various pages, it names BOTH as the uncle of former Padre player Tim Flannery. I believe this Hal Smith is Flannery's relative.

The Card: It's not often you get two photos of a catcher in his gear on a card one of these sets. Having the catcher wearing his mask is even more of an oddity. I really like this one with Smith squatting in Seals Stadium.

Sunday, April 14, 2019

#83 Tony Kubek




Tony Kubek  New York Yankees

Career: Tony Kubek was the AL Rookie of the Year for the Yankees in 1957 and he played for nine big league seasons, all in NY. He was a three-time All-Star and won three rings in six World Series shots with the Yanks. He received much notoriety when a bad-hop grounder off the bat of Bill Virdon in the 7th game of the 1960 Series struck him in the throat allowing Virdon to reach and the Pirates to rally and win on Mazeroski's famous dinger.  He retired at 29 due to a neck injury that threatened to cause permanent damage. He spent almost 30 years as a broadcaster for the Jays, Yanks, and NBC.

In 1960: He had comparable numbers to his All-Star seasons but didn't get the nod. His 14 homers were a career high.

Off The Charts: From Wikipedia...In Game 3 of the 1957 World Series, he had one of the best World Series games a rookie has ever had, going 3 for 5 with two home runs, three runs scored, and four RBI.

The Card: A pink element and highlights bullet list are plusses.

Saturday, April 13, 2019

#82 Ruben Gomez




Ruben Gomez  Philadelphia Phillies

Career: Not enough room to list Gomez' comings and goings through all the many levels and leagues that he was a part of. He was the second Puerto Rican-born pitcher to reach the majors (with the Giants in 1953) and he was the first to pitch in (and win) a World Series game (1954, Game Three). He was also the first major league pitcher to win a game on the West Coast as he led the Giants to an 8-0 win over the Dodgers to open the '58 season. He threw for four major league clubs over ten seasons. He pitched a remarkable 28 seasons in the Puerto Rican Winter League between 1947 and 1977. His NY Times obit is a good place to read about him. It's fuller than his Wikipedia page and shorter than his SABR bio. But whatever you do, check out his career. He was an interesting guy.

In 1960: He opened the season in the Phils' bullpen and was largely ineffective. He was sent to the minors in June and didn't return to the majors until he resurfaced with the Indians and Twins in the second half of the 1962 season. 

Off The Charts: This story is found on Gomez' Wikipedia page, and in his SABR bio. Take it for what it's worth:

One day [while Gomez was pitching in the Mexican League in the late 60s] a young boy begged G贸mez to buy a lottery ticket that he was selling to make some badly needed money. The boy insisted that G贸mez buy the ticket because his uniform number matched that of the ticket, and G贸mez, who did not normally buy such tickets, agreed. To his great surprise, the ticket was a winner of a $35,000 prize. G贸mez attempted to share the money with the boy's family and when they refused, he went to a local bank and set up a trust fund for the lad, to be given to him at age 18.
...

In 2001, G贸mez was hospitalized after a lengthy fight against cancer and was about to receive surgery. A doctor from Mexico requested permission to attend the operation. When G贸mez asked the doctor why he had come, he replied, "I was that little boy, the money that you left in trust was enough to pay for my medical school."

The Card: I'm beginning to think three-color cards should have been standard with this set. The green/yellow/white combo plays well with the red of Gomez' uni and the Connie Mack Stadium backdrop. A nice card for sure.

Thursday, April 11, 2019

#80 Johnny Antonelli




Johnny Antonelli  San Francisco Giants

Career: He began and ended his career with the Braves. In between, he made a name for himself in New York as the Giants' ace in their 1954 championship season. In that '54 run, he won 21 games and led the league with a 2.30 ERA and 6 shutouts. He had a complete game win and a save in the Series against the Indians.

In total, he won 126 games and made five NL All-Star squads.  Post-baseball he owned and operated a string of Firestone outlets around his Rochester, New York home region.

In 1960: He was nearing the end of the line and had issues with both his performance and Giants management. He had a strong start to the year but by seasons' end he was out of the rotation and soon was traded away.

Off The Charts: I found this little tidbit in an MLB.com post about him: "Antonelli was selected* by the expansion 1962 New York Mets, which would have brought him back to the Polo Grounds. But he was tired of traveling and had already started a thriving chain of Firestone Tire stores, so he turned down the offer and retired."

*Baseball Reference has him being purchased by the Mets, not as part of the draft itself.

The Card: Not a bad card but I'd have liked a different color than orange for the 'action' picture background. And it's another one where Topps cropped the main photo oddly giving it an off-center look.

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

#79 Walt Dropo




Walt Dropo  Baltimore Orioles

Career: After a three-sport starring role at UConn and an Army stint Walt Dropo exploded into the AL by becoming the 1950 Rookie of the Year with the Red Sox. He wasn't even on the club to start the season. But when he got his call-up he made the most of it by hitting .322 with 34 homers and tying teammate Vern Stephens with 144 RBI for the league lead. He had another fine season in '52 but overall he never could replicate that rookie year. He played 13 years for five clubs and then went into his families' fireworks business.

In 1960: This was his second full season with the Orioles and he got about 180 at-bats but was being pushed aside by rookie star Jim Gentile. He had a decent average (.268) but by the end of May the following season he was out of baseball.

Off The Charts: He was nicknamed 'Moose' for both his size and his hometown of Moosup, Connecticut. He was drafted by the Chicago Bears and the old ABL Providence franchise but chose baseball for both the quick check and his love of the game.

The Card: I like a lot about this one, the colors, the cartoon that references his nickname, and the great portrait shot.