Thursday, November 26, 2015

#563 Mickey Mantle Sport Magazine All Star

Mickey Mantle, Sport Magazine '60 All Star Selection

As an All Star: The Mick played in 16 ASGs but hit only .233 going 10 for 45 with 17 whiffs. His brightest ASG moment came in the top of the first in the '55 game in Milwaukee when he smacked a three run homer in the top of the first. That staked Billy Pierce and the AL to a lead that Whitey Ford would blow in the 7th and 8th. The NL won 6-5 on Stan Musial's lead-off dinger in the bottom of the 12th.. His other AGS homer came the next year in Washington when he followed Ted Williams' homer off Warren Spahn with one of his own.

In the 1960 ASGs: He started in center in both games that year. In Kansas City he walked twice than gave way to Al Kaline. In Yankee Stadium a couple of days later he singled in four trips to the plate.

The Card: This one came to me in a screw-down holder and it looked great if you can forgive the off centeredness. Scanning reveals a few flaws. Both the bottom and the top edges are rough and the corners are softer than they appeared in the case. Still its a pretty nice card for the price I paid.

The All Star subset is growing on me. It'll never replace the '58 as my favorite but it has a pretty cool design.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

#452 Ray Webster

Ray Webster  Boston Red Sox

Career: He played in forty games for the Indians spelling Billy Martin in 1959 and then was dealt to the Red Sox before the 1960 season. He spent about eight seasons in the minors bracketing his brief majors league days. He hit .195 over 77 big league at bats and entered the insurance business in California after his baseball career.

In 1960: Webster saw action very sparingly in the first six weeks of the season getting five at bats over seven games. By mid-May he was back in the minors playing for Montreal and Indianapolis, the AAA affiliates of the Dodgers and Phils respectively.

WikiFacts: From his BR Bullpen page: "Ray recalled his two biggest career highlights. "My first big league hit was a home run off Billy Loes of the Orioles as a pinch hitter for Billy Martin. My other greatest thrill was playing on the same field with Ted Williams in Boston."

The Card: Looks more like a '60 spring training shot than a retouched photo with a cap re-do. Over all nothing special with this one.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

#508 Billy Consolo

Billy Consolo  Washington Senators

Career: Consolo was a 'Bonus Baby' signee of the Red Sox in 1953 and played in Boston through June of 1959 when he was traded to the Senators. With the BoSox he never could claim a full time spot and had over 200 plate appearances only twice. He spent nearly three seasons with the Senators/Twins and then moved around to the Braves (minor league affiliate), Phils, A's and Angels, always as a spare part. He was a good fielder capable of playing almost anywhere in the infield but only hit .211 for his career.

He was a longtime Tigers coach later in life after a stint as a barber in LA, just as his father had been.

In 1960: He played in 100 games which was a career high but his batting stats were pretty abysmal.

WikiFacts: Consolo grew up in Los Angeles and was a lifelong friend of Sparky Anderson. From his SABR bio:
While on the local playgrounds he met George Anderson -- later known as Sparky. They signed up at the local park, where it cost 50 cents to play baseball, and a lifelong friendship began. The Twentieth Century movie studio was just around the corner and some of the games they played were against the Our Gang actors and other child stars. Billy began to attract attention from some West Coast scouts while playing on the sandlots. He first attracted notice at the Rancho Cienega Playground; his slingshot arm, base-running speed, and hitting power for a kid his age were bound to generate talk among the scouts spying the amateur ballfields around Los Angeles.

The Card: Blue/red/yellow/white makes a nice combo on this otherwise routine card. Apparently Consolo didn't have enough memorable moments in 1959 to warrant a Season's Highlights back. He got a 'blurb' instead.

This appears to me to be a rare Griffith Stadium locale card. I wouldn't swear to it though. It's a high number and one of a pretty nice group of high and semi-high numbers I picked up recently. They were in really nice shape overall and priced as if they were early series cards. I suspect the seller goofed on these.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

#488 Norm Cash

Norm Cash  Detroit Tigers

Career: Norm Cash carved out a solid career over 17 seasons, 15 with Detroit. His 1961 season, in which he hit .361 with 41 homers, 132 RBI and had an OPS of 1.148, stands out as his best by far. He made four AL All Star squads and helped the Tigers win the 1968 World Series by going 10 for 26. He was known as a hard living, fun loving prankster. His SABR bio is a great read.

In 1960:  His first season in Detroit was also his first as a full time starter. He hit a solid .286 with a .402 OBP, 18 homers and 63 RBI. All nice numbers but they gave little indication of the career season to come for Cash in 1961.

WikiFacts: From Cash's SABR bio:
"Although Cash wore a Cleveland cap on his 1960 Topps baseball card, he never played an inning for the Indians. On April 12, as the Tribe headed north from Tucson at the conclusion of spring training, Cash found himself traded yet again. This time, he was dispatched to Detroit in exchange for third baseman Steve Demeter. Detroit General Manager Rick Ferrell was dumbfounded when Frank Lane, his Cleveland counterpart, offered Cash for Demeter, unsure if he meant “cold cash or Norm Cash.” While Demeter’s career with the Indians consisted of merely four games, Cash became a fixture at first base in Detroit for 15 years. Lane was not through making controversial trades with the Tigers. Five days later, he sent Rocky Colavito to Detroit for Harvey Kuenn, and later in 1960, the two clubs swapped managers, Joe Gordon going to Detroit for Jimmie Dykes."

The Card: Cash had been traded twice since the end of the 1959 season, first from the White Sox to the Indians in December and then to the Tigers in April. Topps stuck an Indians' logo on his cap for his card but didn't re-do it after his trade to Detroit. But this 6th Series card was created late enough to correctly list him as a Tiger and his 'action b&w shot on the left had a Tigers logo added to his cap.

The cartoon notes that he 'came to Cleveland...' which reads like it was drawn prior to his trade to Detroit. That deal is mentioned at the end of his write up and that reads like a late addition to the card.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

#408 Carl Furillo

Carl Furillo  Los Angeles Dodgers

Career: Known for a consistent, high average bat and strong throwing arm Carl Furillo enjoyed a 15 year career with the Dodgers in Brooklyn and L.A. He held down an outfield spot for 13 seasons as a starter and finished with a .299 career average and 192 homers. He was a two time All Star and won the NL batting crown in 1953. He led the NL outfields in assists twice.

In 1960: This was the end of the line for Furillo. He started a couple of games and pinch hit in a few more before suffering a torn muscle and being released by the Dodgers in May. Before the year was out he had sued the Dodgers on the grounds that he had been cut while he was injured and, oddly, was hired by them as a spring training instructor. His lawsuit was upheld and he was granted a slightly higher monthly pension. It was also reported that he was blackballed and for that reason he never was hired as a coach or scout.

WikiFacts: from his New York Times obit:
His best season was in 1953 when he led the National League in batting with a .344 average. He won the title despite being sidelined with a broken finger incurred in a brawl. Furillo had been hit by a pitch from the New York Giants' Ruben Gomez, and then charged the Giant manager, Leo Durocher.
"We hated the Giants," he recalled years later. "We just hated the uniform."
I think I've heard Night Owl say the same thing.

The Card: If I didn't know any better I'd say that was my Uncle Joe pictured on that card. hard to say where this photo was taken. I could make a case for Wrigley (is that the scoreboard?), the Polo Grounds (are those the apartment buildings?) or the Coliseum in LA.

The back is unique in that it list just two Season's Highlights and those both recall postseason exploits for Furillo. I think that's pretty cool.

BTW...Furillo to me is a Brooklyn Dodger, not a Los Angeles Dodger. Seeing him in a cap with 'LA' on it is always odd.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

#10 Ernie Banks

Ernie Banks  Chicago Cubs

Career: It's Ernie Banks. He's Mr. Cub.

In 1960: He was coming off back-to-back MVP Awards and he led the league with 41 homers, was first in extra base hits, third in WAR, third in RBI and won his only Gold Glove. He also played in more games than any other NLer, for the sixth time in seven years. This was his last year to play shortstop exclusively. In 1961 he began transitioning to first base (with a brief  fling in left field).

WikiFacts: From Banks' Baseball reference pages...
A four-sport standout in high school, Banks was scouted and signed at 17 by the Negro League's Kansas City Monarchs' traveling team's manager, legendary Cool Papa Bell. He made his semi-pro debut on June 4, 1950, and played the remainder of the season before being drafted into the Army in 1951. Stationed in Europe, he played shortstop for the 242nd Group Barons, part of a baseball conference run for American servicemen there.
While abroad he was informally scouted by a player in the Cleveland Indians minor league system. According to a story told by a former comrade, Banks then received a letter from Cleveland GM Hall of Famer Hank Greenberg inviting him to try out with the Indians when his hitch was up.[1] However, upon his discharge Banks returned to the Monarchs for the 1953 season. Actively scouted during it by the Cubs, he signed a big league contract with them on September 8, 1953. Banks played his last game for the Monarchs on September 13th and joined the Cubs four days later, never having played a single game in the minor leagues.
On August 8, 2013, he was named a recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation's highest civilian honor, by President Barack Obama; the medal was given to him at the White House on November 20th that year. Former President Bill Clinton was among those who received the medal from the president that day.
He became the first Cubs player to have his uniform number retired by the team when his number 14 was set aside in 1982.

The Card: This is the second consecutive card of an 'Ernie' who is associated with the Cubs. Happened quite accidentally. Using a photo of Ernie Banks in any other stadium than Wrigley would be a sin. Here he looks pensive with that unmistakable Wrigley scoreboard looming in the background. Green/yellow/white motif is nice on this one. Have I mentioned how much I like the Season's Highlights. I especially like when a milestone is mentioned.

Friday, November 6, 2015

#16 Ernie Broglio

Ernie Broglio   St. Louis Cardinals

Career: Broglio is best remembered as the guy the Cardinals traded to the Cubs to get Lou Brock but he had a respectable career in his own right. He won 77 games with a decent set of numbers over eight seasons. Hi was originally signed by the Reds and passed thru the Giants chain but pitched only for the Cards and Cubs in the majors. His best year was certainly 1960.

In 1960: Started the season in the bullpen and was 2-1 as late as the end of May but he got a shot in the rotation and took advantage to the tune of a 21 win season. He led the league in wins, WAR by Pitchers, and Hits Per 9 Innings. He was second in ERA and finished third in Cy Young voting.

WikiFacts: Interestingly the general reaction to the now infamous Broglio-Brock deal was that the Cubs had gotten the best of it. Here is a bit of SABR's Broglio bio detailing the events surrounding the deal:

Broglio started on June 12 [1964] in Los Angeles, but Koufax blanked the Cardinals again. Broglio’s record was now 3-5. In 11 starts his strikeouts were noticeably down to three per game. On June 14, after the Dodgers swept the series, the Cardinals boarded their plane for Houston.
General manager Bing Devine had been busy on the phone right up to departure and later he sat by Keane during the flight. Devine said, “I can make the deal with Chicago.” Keane’s response was either “Make it!” or “What are we waiting for?” depending on what account the St. Louis fans read. As soon as they landed in Houston, Devine called Cubs general manager John Holland. Three other trades in the major leagues were announced on June 15, but none proved larger than the one between the Cardinals and the Cubs.
Broglio, pitcher Bobby Shantz, and outfielder Doug Clemens were sent to Chicago for outfielder Lou Brock, pitcher Jack Spring, and pitcher Paul Toth. Keane summoned Ernie to his hotel room to tell him about the trade, and Broglio was shocked. Several veteran Cardinals were very negative about the deal and declared that the Cubs got the better of the trade. Keane called a team meeting before their game to tell the players to cease their grumbling. Meanwhile, Chicago Daily News columnist Bob Smith was jubilant as he wrote about acquiring Ernie, “Thank you, thank you, oh, you lovely St. Louis Cardinals. Nice doing business with you. Please call again anytime.”

The Card: Action, even of the staged variety, is welcome in the 1960 set, Broglio poses here in Seals Stadium in San Francisco. The back is pretty standard but cream cardboard wins points with me. Off-centeredness hardly registers with me anymore in this set.