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Don Mossi

1955 Topps

Donald Louis “Don” Mossi (January 11, 1929 - July 19, 2019) entered the big leagues as part of the Cleveland Indians rookie one-two punch with Ray Narleski as the two youngsters were critical in the Tribe’s record setting 111-wiin season in 1954 and the franchise’s second American League pennant in six years. The tall, lanky left-hander grew up in the hotbed of MLB scouting grounds near San Francisco during the 1930s and ‘40s where he starred at quarterback for his Jefferson High School squad in Daly City, California. The Cleveland Indians signed Don in 1949 and assigned him to the Bakersfield Indians of the California League so that he might get his wildness under control. Mossi climbed the minor league ladder slowly, ever struggling with wildness, but he eventually cracked the starting rotation for Cleveland in 1954. Though he was more often used as a starting in his early days as a professional, the Indians utilized the lefty out of the bullpen, facing left-handed batter, whereas the right-handed Narelski handled righties. The rookie duo was lights out in the closing innings and helped the Tribe post an American League record with 111 wins. Closing games for one of the greatest rotations in history didn’t hurt either. But, the New York Giants also had a two-headed monster for the waning innings with Hoyt Wilhelm and Marv Grissom and they Indians were swept in four games. Mossi appeared in three. In 1957, Don was 6-2 heading into his one and only MLB All-Star Game. He pitched five years with the Indians (1954-1958) and then five more with the Detroit Tigers (1959-1963). In 1961, while the world was captivated by the home runs heroics of Mickey Mantle and Roger Maris, only Maris was able to connect against Mossi in five contests and he went 15-7 with 137 strikeouts and a 2.96 ERA. As Detroit pitching began to turn over and the likes of Mickey Lolich emerged, Don became expendable and he was sent to the Chicago White Sox for one season (1964). Then in 1965,m he signed a free agent deal to pitch for the Kansas City Athletics before retiring at the end of the season. Though Don Mossi is most often remembered for his unique looks with his long crooked nose and enormous ears, that ultimately earned him the nickname “The Sphinx” and “Ears”, he was able to put together a very respectable career going 101-80 with 932 strikeouts, 50 saves and a 3.43 ERA in 460 games.

Condition Census

Pos Grade Thumbnail Pedigree and History
1 MINT 9
1 MINT 9
1 MINT 9
1 MINT 9
1 MINT 9
1 MINT 9
1 MINT 9
1 MINT 9
2 NM-MT+ 8.5 (5)

Prices By Grade

1955 TOPPS 85 DON MOSSI

Grade Most Recent Price Average Price SMR Price Population POP Higher
GEM - MT 10
MINT 9 $1,107.00 $1,107.00 $900.00 8
NM - MT 8 $92.51 $71.11 $85.00 160 13
NM 7 $40.00 $27.62 $35.00 225 191
EX - MT 6 $18.44 $16.24 $18.00 197 435
EX 5 $10.03 $11.39 $10.00 86 649
VG - EX 4 $8.00 38 738
VG 3 12 779
GOOD 2 4 792
FR 1.5 796
PR 1 796
Auth 796

Auction Prices Realized

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