Baseball - Bowman 1948-1955 - Master: Secretariat Image Gallery

Some would argue that even though Berra’s 1952 Topps is not his rookie or his most difficult card, it might be the most popular one on which the 10-time World Series champion appeared during his playing days. It has its advantages, including a slightly larger format, nice color, and the card is part of the most important post-WWII set in the hobby. That said, the nod would still have to go to Berra’s mainstream debut (#6) in the 1948 Bowman set. The issue may not receive any awards for outstanding design, but its simplicity is part of the appeal. The black-and-white format showcases a young Berra who helped continue a tradition of great Yankees catchers after Bill Dickey left the game. Berra’s Bowman rookie remains one of the keys to this 48-card set that contains several other Hall of Famer rookies like Musial and Warren Spahn.

Allie Pierce Reynolds (February 10, 1917 - December 26, 1994) was drafted by the New York Giants as a halfback out of Oklahoma A&M, now Oklahoma State, but Reynolds chose baseball as he preferred the diamond to the gridiron and saw greater riches in baseball. He signed with the Cleveland Indians in 1939 and spent three seasons in the minors honing his pitching skills. In 1942, after floundering in the minors, Allie considered retirement, but was called up to the Majors after he went 18-7 with a 1.56 ERA, threw 11 shutouts, 193 strikeouts and 21 complete games in his final year with Wilkes-Barre. Reynolds was added to the depleted Cleveland Indians pitching staff in 1943 as manager Lou Boudreau utilized the big, durable right-hander as a reliever between starts. Allie Reynolds pitched 13 seasons in the big with the Indians (1942-1946) and the New York Yankees (1947-1954). Superchief, as he was called due to his American-Indian heritage, won ten or more games in every full season he played in the American League, posting a career high 20 wins in 1952. That same season, Allie led the AL in earned run average (2.06), and shutouts (6) for a second straight year. He also led the AL in strikeouts (151) in his rookie campaign (1943). Allie Reynolds was a six-time MLB All-Star selection and helped the New York Yankees win six World Series titles (1947, 1949-1953). Reynolds compiled a record of 182-107 in 434 games with 137 complete games, 49 saves, 1,423 strikeouts and a career 3.30 ERA.

He is a permanent part of baseball lore. He played for the Chicago Cubs in the 1945 World Series, their last appearance in the Fall Classic. He stood with his back against the left-field wall as Bobby Thomson’s “shot heard ’round the world” flew over his head and out of the Polo Grounds to give the Giants a victory over his Dodgers and clinch the 1951 National League pennant. He was the starting rightfielder for his home-state Milwaukee Braves in 1953 and 1954. He lost his starting job in 1955 to a young outfielder, Hank Aaron. He played in four World Series for three different teams in his 17-year career. His name was Andy Pafko.

Enos Bradsher Slaughter (April 27, 1916 - August 12, 2002), known for his hustle, is famously remembered for his “Mad Dash Home” from first on a double hit by Cardinals teammate Harry Walker to win Game 5 of the 1946 World Series. The Cardinals beat the Red Sox in seven games to clinch the title. Minor league manager Eddie Dyer chastised Enos, or “Country” to teammates, for loafing onto the field at which time he vowed never to let it happen again. After spending three years serving in World War II, Slaughter returned in the 1946 season to help guide the Redbirds to the title. Slaughter was known for his contact hitting, surpassing the .300-mark ten times in his career. Spending the majority of his career with the Cardinals (1938-1942, 1946-1953), then bouncing around over the next six seasons between the New York Yankees, Kansas City Athletics and Milwaukee Braves, Slaughter earned 10 All-Star game selections and was a member of four World Series champions (1942, 1946, 1956, 1958). Enos Slaughter retired with a career .300 batting average with 2,383 hits, 1,247 runs, 169 home runs and 1,304 RBI. The Veterans Committee elected Enos Bradsher Slaughter to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1985.

Ralph Theodore Joseph Branca (January 6, 1926 - November 23, 2016) threw one of the most notorious pitches in Major League history when he served Bobby Thomson an 0-1 pitch that he drove over the left field wall to win the one-game playoff and entrance into the 1951 World Series. Dubbed “the Shot Heard Round the World”, Thomson’s most memorable moment haunted Branca for the rest of his career, despite pitching six more years in the Majors. In all, Ralph pitched 12 seasons of big league ball with the Brooklyn Dodgers (1944-1953, 1956), the Detroit Tigers (1953-1954) and the New York Yankees (1954). The three-time All-Star anchored the Dodgers pitching staff for 11 seasons, winning 10 or more games in four of five seasons from 1947 to 1951 including 21 wins in 1947. Branca led the National League in starts in 1947 (36) as well and then in winning percentage (.722 with a 13-5 record) in 1949. His Dodgers appeared in the 1947 and 1949 World Series, only to fall to the cross-town New York Yankees. Though he enjoyed early success, Thomson’s home run stalled Branca’s career and he struggled to return to the success he enjoyed early in his career. Ralph Branca ended his career following the 1956 season having compiled a, 88-68 record with 71 complete games, 12 shutouts, 19 saves, 829 strikeouts and a 3.79 ERA in 322 games and 188 starts.

Jackie Robinson is perhaps the most historically significant baseball player ever, ranking with Babe Ruth in terms of his impact on the national pastime. Ruth changed the way baseball was played; Jackie Robinson changed the way Americans thought. When Robinson took the field for the Brooklyn Dodgers on April 15, 1947, more than sixty years of racial segregation in major-league baseball came to an end. He was the first acknowledged black player to perform in the Major Leagues in the twentieth century and went on to be the first to win a batting title, the first to win the Most Valuable Player award, and the first to be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame. He won major-league baseball's first official Rookie of the Year award and was the first baseball player, black or white, to be featured on a United States postage stamp.

Lawrence Eugene Doby (December 13, 1923 - June 18, 2003) was the first black player in the American League when he began playing for the Cleveland Indians in 1947. Doby began his professional career with the Newark Eagle in the Negro Leagues before being signed by Cleveland, four months after Jackie Robinson inked his contract with Brooklyn. Doby was a nine time All-Star selection, twice with the Eagle and seven more with the Indians. During his 13 seasons in the Major Leagues, Larry played for the Indians (1947-1955, 1958), the White Sox (1956-1957, 1959) and 18 games with the Tigers in 1959. He was a member of two American League pennant winner s in Clevland and helped the Indians clinch a World Series victory in 1948 with 7 hits, a .500 slugging percentage and a .318 average during the six game series. Lary Doby retired with 1,515 hits, 970 RBI 253 home runs and 960 runs scored while posting a career .283 batting average. The Veterans Committee elected Lawrence Eugene Doby to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1998.

Albert Fred “Red” Schoendienst (February 2, 1923 - June 6, 2018) played 19 seasons at second base and left field with the St. Louis Cardinals (1945-1956, 1961-1963), the New York Giants (1956-1957) and the Milwaukee Braves (1957-1960). In his rookie season, he led the National League in stolen bases with 26, but resolved after the following season to focus on hitting and fielding. Red hit better than .300 in seven seasons and led the NL in fielding percentage six times. Schoendienst was a t10-time All-Star selection and was among the top ten in voting for the NL Most Valuable Player Award twelve times (never winning). Red Schoendienst retired with 2,449 hits, 1,223 runs, 773 RBI and a .289 career batting average. As a player, Schoendienst won two World Series titles with the 1946 Cardinals and 1957 Braves. He added another three championships with the Cardinal organization, as manager in 1967, and as a member of the coaching staff in 1964 and 1982. Red has donned a Major League uniform for seven decades The Veterans Committee elected Albert Fred “Red” Schoendienst to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 2007.

In 1947, as Rickey and Robinson controversially made history as Jackie became the first African-American player to don a Major League uniform, Roy was posting and MVP season with the Montreal Royals of the International League, having already captured the 1946 Eastern League MVP award. So, in 1948, to the chagrin of Branch Rickey, who hoped Campanella would break the color barrier in the American Association, Brooklyn manager Leo Durocher inserted Campanella behind the plate on Opening Day. Despite Rickey’s reluctance to showcase Campy’s catching skills, Durocher’s move putting Roy behind the plate proved to invaluable as slugger Gill Hodges moved to first base and Jackie Robinson was moved to his natural second base position, creating one of the National League’s most potent lineups. He led All NL catcher is caught stealing percentage that rookie year at 69.39% - still among the top ten in MLB history. In 1949, Campanella broke camp as the everyday catcher and he once again led National League backstops with a 58.5% caught stealing rate while batting .287 with 22 home runs and 82 RBI. Campy was tapped as an All-Star for the first of eight straight years. Taking the field in the fourth inning of the 1949 Mid-Summer Classic, Roy began a streak of consecutively caught innings that would last until the eighth inning of the 1954 All-Star Game. That same year, 1949, after the call up of hurler Don Newcombe, Roy and his battery mate became the first all African-American battery in MLB history. But the best was yet to come as Campy helped lead Dem Bums to the World Series before they fell to the cross-town rival New York Yankees in five games.

Don Richard “Richie” Ashburn (March 19, 1927 - September 9, 1997) played 15 seasons at centerfield for the Philadelphia Phillies (1948-1959), the Chicago Cubs (1960-1961) and the New York Mets (1962) and quickly moved to the broadcast booth after retirement. Ashburn was a member of the Phillies 1950 National League Champion “Whiz Kids” whose average age was 26 years old. What Ashburn lacked in power, hitting a career 29 home runs, he made up in consistency spraying 2,574 singles to all fields. Richie led the National League in hits three times in his career (1951, 1953 and 1958) and twice won the National League’s batting title (1955 and 1958). Richie Ashburn had more hits (1875) than any other player in the 1950s. After Ashburn retired in 1962, he joined the Philadelphia Phillies broadcast crew in 1963 where he remained for over 30 years. The Veterans Committee elected Don Richard “Richie” Ashburn to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1995.

Doyle Lade was a Major League Baseball pitcher who pitched for the Chicago Cubs from 1946 to 1950. Although nicknamed for his stocky frame, Lade was listed as 5 feet 10 inches tall and 183 pounds.

Leo Ernest Durocher (July 27, 1905 - October 7, 1991) was a decent player, but made his name at the helm as manager of the Brooklyn Dodgers (1939-1946, 1948), the New York Giants (1948-1955), the Chicago Cubs (1966-1972) and the Houston Astros (1972-1973). He guided the Dodger to a National League pennant and the Giants to two National League pennants and on World Series championship (1954). Known as “Leo the Lip” for his trouble with authority, Durocher fired up his teams, compiling a record of 2,009-1,709 and was named Manager of the Year three times. As a player Durocher won World Series titles with the New York Yankees (1928) and the St. Louis Cardinals (1934) and retired as a player with 1,320 hits, 567 RBI and a .247 batting average. Yankee manager Miller Huggins saw managerial greatness in Durocher due to his competitive nature and ability to remember situations. The Veterans Committee elected Leo Ernest Durocher to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1994.

Outfielder Don Mueller was a hard man to strike out – in five of the eight years in which he played in at least 120 games for the New York Giants in the 1950s, he led the league in fewest strikeouts per at-bats. He was a two-time All-Star who participated in some of the most memorable games of the era.

Preston Meyer Ward (July 24, 1927 – June 2, 2013) was an American professional baseball first baseman. He played nine seasons in Major League Baseball (MLB) between 1948 and 1959 for the Brooklyn Dodgers, Chicago Cubs, Pittsburgh Pirates, Cleveland Indians and Kansas City Athletics.[1][2] Ward got opportunities in the major leagues twice—in 1948 and 1950—before finally "sticking" in 1953. He became a utility player/platoon player, seeing most of his action as a first baseman (438 games at first base vs. 95 in the outfield vs. 74 at third base). His batting numbers were low for a first baseman. His career batting average was .253, while the league average for the years he played was .269. His highest home run total was 12, and his highest RBI total was 48. He only twice made double-digits for home runs.

Negro League: Cleveland Buckeyes Boston Braves 1950 Sam Jethroe was the National League Rookie of the Year in 1950, playing for the Boston Braves, and the first African-American to play major-league baseball in Boston. Five years earlier, he'd tried out for the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park, along with Jackie Robinson and Marvin Williams, but the Red Sox pursued none of them. Robinson went on to break the major-league color barrier and won Rookie of the Year in 1947. Near the end of his life, Jethroe struggled financially because he was denied a major-league pension for lack of sufficient service time. At 6-feet-1 and 178 pounds in his prime, the switch-hitting Jethroe (who threw right-handed) was known as the "Jet" – and many considered him the fastest man in baseball in his day. He was a better than average batter, although not nearly as accomplished on defense. After his playing career ended, when asked which year was his first in professional baseball, Jethroe told the Hall of Fame it was 1948. That was the year he first played in the minor leagues – in the outfield for the Montreal Royals, the Brooklyn Dodgers’ top farm team. He played in 76 games and hit for a .322 average, with just one homer and 25 RBIs. He wasn't as much for driving in runs, but he got on base a lot and scored 52 runs. In Montreal again in 1949, he played a full 153 games and hit for a .326 average, with 83 RBIs and a league-leading 154 runs scored. He set a league record with 89 stolen bases. His 207 base hits and 19 triples also led the International League, and he was one of the three outfielders named to the league all-star team. Under manager Clay Hopper, Montreal won league flags in 1946, with Jackie Robinson, and in 1948 with Jethroe. Jethroe’s speed on the base paths earned him the sobriquet "Jet Propelled Jethroe," later shortened to "The Jet." He was also dubbed "Larceny Legs" and "Mercury Man" and "The Colored Comet."1 Jethroe was ready for the major leagues. And for Branch Rickey, this was a chance to cash in on his outfielder's talent. But 1948 was not truly Jethroe’s first year of professional baseball. That came a full decade earlier, when Jethroe played for the Indianapolis Clowns in the Negro American League. The Boston Chronicle reported he hadn't played baseball at Lincoln High School but had been a star at softball.2 As was not uncommon in those days, he did not graduate from high school until he was 23, in 1940. While still in high school, he played for the Indianapolis Clowns in the Negro American League, in 1938; in 1940 and 1941 he played semipro ball, declining several offers from “Negro professional teams” in order to care for his mother, who was quite ill. She died on New Year’s Eve in 1941.3 Jethroe returned to pro ball in earnest in 1942 to play for the Cleveland Buckeyes, for whom he played into early 1948.4 It was a Buckeyes uniform Jethroe wore when he took part in the 1945 tryout at Fenway Park.

Edward Charles “Whitey” Ford (October 21, 1928-) was a master at keep hitters off balance for the better half of two decades with the New York Yankees (1950, 1953-1967) earning him the nickname “Chairman of the Board”. Right out of the box, Ford made a significant impact on the Yankee rotation, going 9-1 in his first ten starts after being called up mid-season by the big club. Ford lost two years to the service but came back with a vengeance. During his amazing career, Whitey led the American League three times in wins and twice led in ERA and innings pitched. Ford threw 45 shutouts in 16 seasons including eight 1-0 victories. As a left-hander, Ford possessed an exceptional pickoff move to first, so effective that he went 243 straight innings without allowing a stolen base. Whitey Ford was a ten-time All-Star, six-time World Series champion and the 1961 World Series Most Valuable Player and Cy Young Award winner. Whitey Ford retired with a 236-106 record with 1,956 strikeouts and a 2.74 earned run average. Ford remains the Yankees record holder for most career wins. Edward Charles “Whitey” Ford was elected o the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1974.

Many images come to mind when one hears the name Yogi Berra. One of the more obvious is that of a winner. Berra won three American League Most Valuable Player awards and appeared in 14 World Series as a player and another five as a manager or a coach. He won 13 championship rings and holds several Series records. Berra met with numerous roadblocks on his journey to fame, but he overcame them with grit and dedication and went on to become one of the more beloved figures in American sports history.

Roy Smalley Jr.’s six-season career with the colorful but awful Chicago Cubs after World War II ended when a rookie named Ernie Banks took his job. Smalley would forever known as the player Banks replaced. Smalley also is noted for being the father of a major-league player who had a better career, and a brother-in-law who was a longtime manager of the Minnesota Twins, Philadelphia Phillies, Montreal Expos, and California Angels. Moreover, the lanky shortstop also suffered under the abuse of Cubs fans who booed him unmercifully for his dozens of errors, many on errant throws to first base. His wild throws earned him the wrath of fans with the chant “Miksis to Smalley to Addison Street,” a street running outside Wrigley Field. The words were a play on the famous Cub infield of Tinkers to Evers to Chance.1 Chicago newspaper columnist Mike Royko wrote that Smalley was a legend “because he could snatch up ground balls and fling them at the sun.”2 Years later in an old-timer’s game at Wrigley Field, Smalley still heard a smattering of boos.

Ron Northey (April 26, 1920 – April 16, 1971) was an American professional baseball player and coach. He was an outfielder for the Philadelphia Phillies (1942–44, 1946–47 and 1957), St. Louis Cardinals (1947–49), Cincinnati Reds (1950), Chicago Cubs (1950 and 1952) and Chicago White Sox (1955–57). Northey was born in Mahanoy City, Pennsylvania; he batted left-handed, threw right-handed, stood 5 ft 10 inches tall and weighed 195 lb during his playing career. Ron Northey finished 29th in voting for the 1943 National League MVP, and 18th in voting for the 1944 NL MVP. In 12 MLB seasons, he played in 1,084 games and had 3,172 at bats, with 385 runs scored, 874 hits, 172 doubles, 28 triples, 108 home runs, 513 runs batted in, seven stolen bases, 361 walks, a .276 batting average, .352 on-base percentage, .450 slugging percentage, 1,426 total bases and 14 sacrifice hits. Northey was especially adept as a pinch hitter: he appeared in 297 games as an emergency batsman and batted .288, with 69 hits—including nine pinch homers, eight doubles and two triples, and 75 runs batted in.[1] In 1956, as a member of the White Sox, he batted .385 and collected 15 pinch hits, with three homers and 21 RBI. Northey was a coach on the staff of skipper Danny Murtaugh, his former teammate on the early 1940s Phillies, with the Pittsburgh Pirates from 1961 to 1963. He died suddenly in Pittsburgh at the age of 50 after being taken ill at his home.

The Cleveland Indians of the early 1950s, including the 1954 team, were well known for their Big Four starting rotation, consisting of Bob Feller, Bob Lemon, Early Wynn, and Mike Garcia. But when asked which superstar pitcher was the best, Yankees manager Casey Stengel said, “Give me that fella behind the plate. He’s what makes ’em.”1 Stengel was referring to Jim Hegan, the Indians’ longtime catcher, who had a reputation for excellent defense. Hegan’s catching prowess and game-calling ability helped the Tribe have one of the game’s most dominant pitching staffs from 1947 to 1956. Beyond his success on the field, Hegan was one of the Indians’ most popular players, among both his teammates and the Cleveland fans. He spent 14 of his 17 major-league seasons with the Indians and never lacked for job security despite a career batting average of just .228.

William Barney McCosky (April 11, 1917 – September 6, 1996) was an outfielder in Major League Baseball. From 1939 through 1953, he played for the Detroit Tigers (1939–42, 1946), Philadelphia Athletics (1946–1948, 1950–1951), Cincinnati Reds (1951) and Cleveland Indians (1951–1953). McCosky batted left-handed and threw right-handed. McCosky played in 1170 games, 535 in center field and 477 in left field. He had a career batting average of .312.

The 1940s witnessed a special group of major league shortstops, including the likes of Lou Boudreau, Phil Rizzuto, Marty Marion, Pee Wee Reese and Johnny Pesky. During his own career, Vern "Junior" Stephens was considered to be as good or better than any of his illustrious peers, yet within a few years after his retirement, he had been largely forgotten, remembered mostly as a plodding one-dimensional slugger. He was much more than that. Yes, he was a three time RBI champion, but he was also a fine fielding shortstop, an eight-time all star, and a very popular teammate on some of the era's most successful teams. History ought to remember him.

Clyde Edward McCullough (March 4, 1917 - September 18, 1982) spent 16 years as a Major League Baseball catcher, primarily for the Chicago Cubs, during the 1940s and 1950s. Originally joining the New York Yankees in the 1930s, Clyde was relegated to their farm system and unable to break through to the big leagues, prompting McCullough to move to the Cubs, where he spent 11 seasons (1940-1943, 1946-1948, 1953-1956). McCullough posted a career high number of RBI (53) in 1941 along with 95 hits and 41 runs. Though it proved to be one of the best outings of his professional career, McCullough also earned selection to two All-Star Games (1948, 1953) while with the team, along with 230 total RBI, 540 hits, and 33 home runs. Despite four years (1949-1952) as a member of the Pittsburgh Pirates and the fact that he missed two seasons of professional ball while serving in the armed forces during World War II, Clyde is remembered by most baseball fanatics for his tenure with Chicago. McCullough had a .252 batting average with 339 RBI and 52 home runs. After retiring as a player, McCullough served as a coach for the Washington Senators/Minnesota Twins (1960-1961), New York Mets (1963), and San Diego Padres (1982). While working as an instructor in the Mets' farm system in the mid- to late-1960s, he is credited with helping finesse such future stars as Nolan Ryan, Tom Seaver, Jerry Koosman, and Tug McGraw.

Soft spoken and self-effacing, Sherman Lollar provided a strong defensive presence behind the plate during his eighteen-year Major League career. Lollar spent twelve seasons with the Chicago White Sox, after spending all or parts of six seasons with three other American League teams. An All-Star catcher seven times, Lollar won American League Gold Glove awards from 1957 through 1959, the first three years it was given. Though Lollar played well and received awards during the 1950s, he did not receive as much national recognition as did fellow catcher Yogi Berra, who won three Most Valuable Player awards. As Red Gleason wrote in The Saturday Evening Post in 1957, “It is the fate of some illustrious men to spend a career in the shadow of a contemporary. Adlai Stevenson had his Dwight Eisenhower. Lou Gehrig had his Babe Ruth. Bob Hope had his Bing Crosby. And Sherman Lollar has his Yogi Berra.”

He is a permanent part of baseball lore. He played for the Chicago Cubs in the 1945 World Series, their last appearance in the Fall Classic. He stood with his back against the left-field wall as Bobby Thomson’s “shot heard ’round the world” flew over his head and out of the Polo Grounds to give the Giants a victory over his Dodgers and clinch the 1951 National League pennant. He was the starting rightfielder for his home-state Milwaukee Braves in 1953 and 1954. He lost his starting job in 1955 to a young outfielder, Hank Aaron. He played in four World Series for three different teams in his 17-year career. His name was Andy Pafko.

Clifford Day Chambers (January 10, 1922 – January 21, 2012) was a professional baseball pitcher in Major League Baseball (MLB) from 1948 to 1953. He played for the Chicago Cubs, Pittsburgh Pirates, and St. Louis Cardinals. Chambers was born in Portland, Oregon. He played two seasons of college baseball for the Washington State Cougars in 1941–42.[1] He broke into the major leagues with the Chicago Cubs in 1948, and he was pleasantly surprised to find out that he had been traded to the Pittsburgh Pirates before the 1949 season. Chambers said that he had not been happy with his salary in Chicago, and that he was excited to play with a well-regarded organization like Pittsburgh.[2] Before the 1950 season, Chambers had threatened not to sign with Pittsburgh unless he made $20,000, a large increase from his $7500 salary the year before. After Pirates general manager Roy Hamey called Chambers at his home in Bellingham, Washington, Chambers agreed to sign an extension worth less than $15,000.[3] On May 6, 1951, while with the Pirates, Chambers no-hit the Boston Braves 3-0 in the second game of a doubleheader at Braves Field. A month later, on June 15, the Pirates traded Chambers and Wally Westlake to the Cardinals for Dick Cole, Joe Garagiola, Bill Howerton, Howie Pollet and Ted Wilks. Not until Edwin Jackson in 2010 would a pitcher be traded after hurling a no-hitter earlier in the season. Chambers was an above average hitting pitcher in his six year major league career, posting a .235 batting average (69-for-294) with 24 runs, 3 home runs and 25 RBI in 189 games pitched.

A native of Atherton, Missouri, Cooper was a solid defensive catcher as well as a strong hitter, making the National League All-Star team every year from 1942 to 1950.[1] After being stuck in the Cardinals' talent-rich farm system in the late 1930s, he finally broke in with the team in late 1940 at age 25 (and reportedly complained to umpire Beans Reardon about the first pitch he saw); but a broken collarbone limited his play to 68 games in 1941. On August 30 of that year, Cooper caught Lon Warneke's no-hitter.[3] In 1942 he batted .281, finishing among the National League's top ten players in slugging, doubles and triples as St. Louis won the pennant by two games;[4] brother Mort won the Most Valuable Player Award.[5] Batting fifth, he hit .286 in the World Series against the defending champion New York Yankees, driving in the winning run in Game 4 and scoring the winning run on Whitey Kurowski's home run in the ninth inning of the final Game 5; he then picked Joe Gordon off second base with no outs in the bottom of the ninth inning, as the team earned its first title in eight years. In 1943, Cooper raised his average to a career-high .318, and was third in the National League in batting and slugging and fifth in RBI,[8] as the Cardinals repeated as league champions; he was runnerup in the Most Valuable Player Award vote to teammate Stan Musial.[9] In the 1943 World Series he batted .294 as the clean-up hitter, but St. Louis lost the rematch with the Yankees. In 1944 , Cooper's average dipped only slightly to .317 as the Cardinals won their third straight pennant, facing the crosstown St. Louis Browns in the World Series; again batting cleanup, he hit .318 in the Series and scored the team's first run in the final Game 6, and the Cardinals won another title.[10] World War II service in the Navy led him to appear in only four games in 1945, and before his return, the New York Giants purchased his contract following a salary dispute in January 1946;[11] the sale by the Cardinals for $175,000 ($2,294,411 today) was the highest cash-only deal ever to that time; the transactions of Joe Cronin in 1934 and Dizzy Dean in 1938 were larger deals, but also involved other players. Cooper enjoyed his most productive season at the plate in 1947, when he hit .305 and compiled career highs in home runs (35), RBI (122), runs (79), hits (157) triples (8) and games (140);[1] the Giants set a new major league record with 221 home runs. In that season, Cooper homered in six consecutive games to tie a record set by George Kelly in 1924. After Leo Durocher became Giants manager in 1948, he began revamping the team to emphasize speed, and Cooper was traded to the Cincinnati Reds on June 13, 1949 for fellow catcher Ray Mueller after starting the year hitting .211. Three weeks later, on July 6, Cooper became the only catcher in major league history, and one of only eleven players, to have hit 10 or more RBI in a single game.

In 1934, at the height of the Great Depression, 17-year-old Phil Cavarretta helped support his family by playing professional baseball in the Chicago Cubs organization. At the end of his first and only season in the minor leagues, the Chicago native made his first start in the big leagues two months after his 18th birthday and hit a game-winning home run at Wrigley Field, three miles from his boyhood home and high school. For the next 19 years the first baseman/outfielder was a mainstay of the Cubs. A four-time All Star, he won an MVP Award and a batting title, played in three World Series, and was a player/manager for two-plus seasons. His competitive spirit and relentless hustle made him one of the all-time favorite Cubs players. He was, as many have said, “Mr. Cub” before that title was bestowed upon Ernie Banks.

Remembered for his blazing fastball, Monty Kennedy had an abbreviated minor-league baseball career that was quickly interrupted by military service. Perhaps because of this lack of development time, Kennedy struggled constantly with his control during his time with the Giants and the club eventually ran out of patience with him. However, Kennedy displayed flashes of brilliance over short periods, and while he never developed the consistency necessary to become an established part of the Giants’ rotation, he pitched 961 innings during eight seasons in the major leagues.

He was the Bill Buckner of his era. Mickey Owen only committed four errors during his best year as a major league catcher, the 1941 campaign with the Brooklyn Dodgers. Three came in the regular season and one in the postseason. That last error, a dropped third strike with two out in the ninth inning, allowed the New York Yankees to come back and win Game 4 and is cemented among baseball’s best-known blunders, right up there with Merkle’s Boner and Snodgrass’s Muff.

A baseball lifer, Wayne Terwilliger found himself with more notoriety at age 80 than he had garnered in his previous 56 seasons in Organized Baseball combined when he agreed to return for the 2005 season as manager of the Fort Worth Cats in the independent Central League.1 In doing so, he joined the legendary Connie Mack as the only 80-year-old managers in baseball history. And after he led the Cats to the Central League championship that year, he became the only manager in his 80s to manage a championship team. After that season, Terwilliger gave up the managerial reigns but returned to the Cats as the first-base coach, still pitching batting practice and jogging to the first-base coaching box before every inning.

Right fielder Hank Bauer was a mainstay of the Casey Stengel-Yogi Berra Yankee dynasty who sparkled in the World Series spotlight. In the final game of the 1951 Series his bases-loaded triple broke a tie and gave the Yankees a 4-1 lead. After the Giants narrowed the margin to 4-3 in the ninth, with the tying run on second base, Bauer made a sliding catch of a sinking line drive for the last out. He hit safely in a record 17 consecutive World Series games — all seven in the 1956 and 1957 classics and the first three games in 1958. After the Braves’ Warren Spahn ended his streak in Game Four, he homered off Spahn in the sixth game. It was his fourth home run in that Series, a record he shared at the time with Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, and Duke Snider.

Don Richard “Richie” Ashburn, a Hall of Fame outfielder, who made the most putouts of any outfielder in major-league baseball during the 1950s, started out as a catcher, which should not be surprising because throughout his long career in baseball, Richie Ashburn had always been his own man. His independent quality even emerged during his acceptance speech in Cooperstown. After waiting 28 years for induction, he expressed his opinion about the long wait: “They didn’t exactly carry me in here in a sedan chair with blazing and blaring trumpets.”1 Because of such candor and homespun humor, Ashburn became an iconic figure in fan-gritty Philadelphia during his careers with the Philadelphia Phillies – as a speedy center fielder for 12 years, and as a broadcaster for 34 years. He starred in center field and as a leadoff hitter for 12 seasons, including the pennant-winning Whiz Kids of 1950. Ashburn won two batting titles and earned four All-Star selections. After retiring from the field, he thrilled and amused not only Phillies fans but all baseball fans with his colorful, witty commentary of action on and off the field from 1963 until his sudden death shortly after he broadcast a Phillies-Mets game September 9, 1997.

When he took the mound on April 7, 1954, Chicago Cubs outfielder Hal Jeffcoat hadn’t pitched professionally since being hit hard in five games in the low minors eight years earlier. Yet, as spring training was ending, he held the Baltimore Orioles to two bloop singles and just one walk over five innings.1 This unexpected performance by the six-year major-league veteran “electrified his teammates,” Edward Prell wrote in the Chicago Tribune. They mobbed the 29-year-old Jeffcoat on the field, slapping him on the back after he retired the final batter in the ninth.2 “It was a great feeling to have everyone shake my hand,” said Jeffcoat, who called it the highlight of his years with the Cubs.3 Thus began the sudden transformation at the major-league level of a speedy, strong-armed, outfielder into a solid right-handed pitcher who would spend his last six seasons on the mound. Jeffcoat made his regular-season pitching debut in the Cubs’ opener on April 16. So unfamiliar was he with his new position that he took several strides toward the outfield on the first fly ball hit off him before he realized where he was.4 Still, he acquitted himself well, with two scoreless innings in relief, keeping the game close. The rest of the Chicago bullpen fared less well, as the Cincinnati Redlegs pounded the Cubs, 11-5, before just 17,271 fans at a rainy Wrigley Field.5 He became a reliable reliever for two seasons and, after being traded to the Redlegs, joined the Cincinnati rotation as a full-time starter in 1957. He finished his career back in the bullpen with the 1959 St. Louis Cardinals and a year at Triple A before hanging up his spikes.

Like his Hall of Fame teammate, Ernie Banks, right-handed pitcher Bob Rush was just happy to be in the big leagues. “I never really regretted signing with the Cubs,” Rush said. In his 10 campaigns with the North Siders (1948-1957), the “Lovable Losers” finished in the second division every season and never had a winning record. “With the Cubs I was able to step right in and pitch and be a part of the rotation,” added the eternally optimistic yet shy Rush, who debuted as a 22-year-old after splitting his only season in the minors in Class A and Double A. Rush emerged as the Cubs’ workhorse, earned two All-Star berths, and regularly logged 200-plus innings, yet was 30 games under .500 (110-140) during his decade with the team.1 Had he played with perennial or even occasional contenders, Rush would probably be counted among the best pitchers of the 1950s. Traded to the Milwaukee Braves prior to the 1958 season, Rush earned a semblance of poetic justice, twice experiencing the thrill of a pennant race and once a World Series as a productive spot starter and reliever.

Swift is pictured in one of the most famous photographs in American sporting history. He was the catcher for the Detroit Tigers on August 19, 1951, when St. Louis Browns owner Bill Veeck sent midget Eddie Gaedel to pinch hit during an actual MLB game. The stunt was inspired by the James Thurber short story You Could Look It Up and Gaedel was allowed to bat when the Browns showed the umpires a legitimate baseball contract. Swift knelt on the ground to receive pitcher Bob Cain's offerings—it is this kneeling stance that is captured in the photo—and Gaedel took a base on balls. He was immediately replaced at first base by a pinch runner and he never appeared in a big league game again; he had had no baseball experience in the first place.

Negro Leauges: Memphis Red Sox Brooklyn Dodgers 1951 Dan Bankhead is best known for two things. He was the first African-American pitcher in the major leagues, and he and four brothers all played in the Negro Leagues. However, Bankhead’s big-league career was brief and unsatisfying, and so he received scanty mainstream press coverage. Even the black newspapers never profiled him in any depth. He also passed away at the young age of 55 in 1976, before Negro Leagues and Brooklyn Dodgers historians could record his personal memories. Fortunately, family and friends have helped to connect the dots. These dots were widely scattered -- as with many black ballplayers in his day, Bankhead’s career was multinational. He starred in Puerto Rico, made detours to the Dominican Republic and Canada, and then knocked around Mexico well into his 40s. Always a respectable hitter, Dan played the field abroad in addition to pitching. Outside the US, he was also a coach and manager. Though Bankhead was clearly talented -- he drew Bob Feller comparisons -- he was hindered by control problems and an old injury. Authors Larry Moffi and Jonathan Kronstadt also pinpointed a crucial problem: “Like many of baseball’s first black players, he was thrown into white baseball with the physical tools to succeed but little or no emotional support.” [1] Jackie Robinson was Dan’s roommate when the pitcher first joined the Dodgers, four months after Jackie broke the color barrier. Arnold Rampersad in his biography of Robinson said it bluntly: “Some observers, including blacks, thought that [Bankhead] choked in facing white hitters.” [2] Negro Leagues star and raconteur Buck O’Neil offered a more nuanced view. Author Joe Posnanski was there for a conversation between Buck and Satchel Paige’s son Robert: “See, here’s what I always heard. Dan was scared to death that he was going to hit a white boy with a pitch. He thought there might be some sort of riot if he did it. Dan was from Alabama just like your father. But Satchel became a man of the world. Dan was always from Alabama, you know what I mean? He heard all those people calling him names, making those threats, and he was scared. He’d seen black men get lynched.” [3] Also, while Dodgers broadcaster Red Barber described Bankhead as “a quiet, pleasant man,” [4] there were other sides of his personality. Sometimes he simply did not act in his own best interest -- he lost two jobs abroad under a cloud. His brothers Sam and Garnett both died by gunshot following quarrels (aged 70 and 63, no less); Dan too had a temper, which a weakness for women allegedly provoked. His family life was at times tumultuous. Yet as he battled illness and lived hand to mouth in his final years, this man attained peace.

William Ray Howerton (December 12, 1921 – December 18, 2001) was an American professional baseball player. An outfielder, he appeared in Major League Baseball in 247 games played during all or part of four seasons (1949–1952), for the St. Louis Cardinals, Pittsburgh Pirates, and New York Giants. The native of Lompoc, California, batted left-handed, threw right-handed; he stood 5 feet 11 inches (1.80 m) tall and weighed 185 pounds (84 kg). Howerton grew up on a ranch in Santa Ynez, California. After graduation from Santa Ynez High School, he attended St. Mary's College of California.[1] He signed with the Boston Red Sox in 1943 and played three seasons in their farm system before being acquired by the Cardinals' organization. In September 1949, after Howerton batted .329 with 111 runs batted in for the Triple-A Columbus Red Birds, he was recalled by the Cardinals for a late-season trial. In 1950, he made the Redbird roster out of spring training and had his most successful MLB season, appearing in 110 games and collecting 88 hits (38 for extra bases) and 59 runs batted in. He was traded to the Pirates on June 15, 1951, in a blockbuster deal that included fellow Redbirds Howie Pollet, Ted Wilks and Joe Garagiola, and played in 80 games for Pittsburgh, batting .274 in his last full MLB season. After retiring, Howerton entered the trucking business in California.[1] He died in Blakely, Pennsylvania, at age 80. His son, also named Bill, was the head baseball coach of the University of Scranton from 1987 to 2002.

From his birth in 1905, in West Springfield, Massachusetts, to his death in 1991, in Palm Springs, California, Leo Durocher witnessed a great deal of social, political, and international change, some of which he helped bring about. Durocher played an important supporting role in the integration of major-league baseball. His frank assessment of African American baseball talent remains a simple, if coarse, endorsement of the American belief in meritocracy. He stood in the third-base coach’s box for one of baseball’s most memorable home runs, Bobby Thomson’s 1951 “Shot Heard ‘Round the World” off Ralph Branca. He led the New York Giants to a surprising World Series victory in 1954. More than a decade later he piloted the Chicago Cubs through six and a half frustrating seasons, always falling short of the postseason. Along the way Durocher kept company with movie stars, entertainers, and an entire retinue of shady underworld characters. He had legal difficulties, four divorces, and fights with fans, jilted women, and angered husbands, fathers, and boyfriends. Through it all he maintained the utmost confidence in his own ability to come out ahead. Then as now, many have seen Durocher’s competitiveness as an excuse for playing dirty.

Negro Leagues: Cleveland Buckeyes Boston Braves 1950 Sam Jethroe was the National League Rookie of the Year in 1950, playing for the Boston Braves, and the first African-American to play major-league baseball in Boston. Five years earlier, he'd tried out for the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park, along with Jackie Robinson and Marvin Williams, but the Red Sox pursued none of them. Robinson went on to break the major-league color barrier and won Rookie of the Year in 1947. Near the end of his life, Jethroe struggled financially because he was denied a major-league pension for lack of sufficient service time. At 6-feet-1 and 178 pounds in his prime, the switch-hitting Jethroe (who threw right-handed) was known as the "Jet" – and many considered him the fastest man in baseball in his day. He was a better than average batter, although not nearly as accomplished on defense. After his playing career ended, when asked which year was his first in professional baseball, Jethroe told the Hall of Fame it was 1948. That was the year he first played in the minor leagues – in the outfield for the Montreal Royals, the Brooklyn Dodgers’ top farm team. He played in 76 games and hit for a .322 average, with just one homer and 25 RBIs. He wasn't as much for driving in runs, but he got on base a lot and scored 52 runs. In Montreal again in 1949, he played a full 153 games and hit for a .326 average, with 83 RBIs and a league-leading 154 runs scored. He set a league record with 89 stolen bases. His 207 base hits and 19 triples also led the International League, and he was one of the three outfielders named to the league all-star team. Under manager Clay Hopper, Montreal won league flags in 1946, with Jackie Robinson, and in 1948 with Jethroe. Jethroe’s speed on the base paths earned him the sobriquet "Jet Propelled Jethroe," later shortened to "The Jet." He was also dubbed "Larceny Legs" and "Mercury Man" and "The Colored Comet." Jethroe was ready for the major leagues. And for Branch Rickey, this was a chance to cash in on his outfielder's talent. But 1948 was not truly Jethroe’s first year of professional baseball. That came a full decade earlier, when Jethroe played for the Indianapolis Clowns in the Negro American League. The Boston Chronicle reported he hadn't played baseball at Lincoln High School but had been a star at softball.2 As was not uncommon in those days, he did not graduate from high school until he was 23, in 1940. While still in high school, he played for the Indianapolis Clowns in the Negro American League, in 1938; in 1940 and 1941 he played semipro ball, declining several offers from “Negro professional teams” in order to care for his mother, who was quite ill. She died on New Year’s Eve in 1941. Jethroe returned to pro ball in earnest in 1942 to play for the Cleveland Buckeyes, for whom he played into early 1948.

Johnny Antonelli, somewhat unfairly, is remembered by the incidents he was part of, instead of as an individual who had an impressive pitching career. Labels abound and, of the memories attached to them, controversies. He was, in the minds of many, a “bonus baby” who never paid his dues in the minors. A player on a National League championship club who was not voted a World Series share by his Braves teammates. A rarely used pitcher for Boston who had the gall to make more money than Warren Spahn. A relative unknown who was traded for October heroes and former batting champs. A malcontent, who at a certain point was one of the most despised players in San Francisco Giants history. A southpaw who, rather than play for an expansion team, chose to retire from baseball for good. It would be wrong, however, to remember Antonelli in this fashion. He was a good southpaw whose pitching was masterful when he was healthy and brilliant when he was at ease. He wasn’t perfect, but the decisions he and his family made — especially the decision to take a boatload of Lou Perini’s money — are no different than those most any teenager with big league dreams and strong self-confidence would have undertaken.

On May 26, 1956, the Cincinnati Redlegs and Milwaukee Braves faced off in the second game of a three-game series in Milwaukee. The result was one of the most unusual and memorable games in the history of each franchise. On the mound for the Redlegs was Johnny Klippstein, a hard-throwing right-hander in his seventh season in the major leagues with an undistinguished career record at the time of 43-63. After a 1-2-3 first inning, Klippstein found himself in trouble in the second. He loaded the bases by hitting Hank Aaron and walking Bobby Thomson and Bill Bruton. Aaron scored on Frank Torre’s fly ball to left field, but Klippstein avoided more trouble by striking out the next two batters. After six innings, the Redlegs were losing 1-0, but Klippstein was working on a no-hitter. His counterpart for the Braves, 24-year-old Ray Crone, in his third season and sporting a career record of 13-10, was pitching a three-hitter. Klippstein walked three more in the seventh, but was again able to work out of the jam. In the eighth inning with the Redlegs’ Smoky Burgess on second base and one out, Klippstein was due to bat, and the unthinkable happened: Shunning tradition and sentimentality, Redlegs manager Birdie Tebbetts pinch-hit for Klippstein despite his no-hitter through seven innings. Klippstein was relieved by Hersh Freeman, and Joe Black, who each pitched a hitless frame, thus completing an unprecedented three-man no-hitter through nine innings. The Redlegs tied the game in the top of the ninth inning. The Braves finally got a hit in the tenth, and won the game with two more hits and a run in the bottom of the 11th. Though the Braves were held hitless for nine innings, Major League Baseball removed the game from the official list of no-hitters in 1991 when it decided that a game in which a team didn’t get a hit until extra innings would no longer be considered a no-hitter. Still, the game was still a thrilling one. “We all would have made history if I could have gotten the Reds out in the ninth,” said Ray Crone, who gave up the tying run to the Redlegs in the ninth inning.1 (The Braves would have won even though they were held hitless.) “I wasn’t even aware that Klippstein had a no-hitter at the time,” said Crone. “Klippstein was a hard thrower. We were just glad to win the game and didn’t know the game was anything special.” Klippstein’s performance (seven no-hit innings with seven walks, a hit batsman, and four strikeouts) could be seen as a microcosm for his entire career: great potential, with flashes of dominance tempered by poor control, which resulted in his fine performances often being overlooked.

Frank Francis Frisch (September 9, 1898 - March 12, 1973) began his career with the New York Giants (1919-1926) and finished his career as player/manager of the St. Louis Cardinals. Nicknamed the Fordham Flash, for his amazing speed, Frisch was a standout member of Fordham University’s baseball, football, basketball and track and field programs. Frankie was a tremendous fielding second baseman, retiring with a career .974 fielding percentage, but also had a keen eye at the plate striking out a mere 272 times in 9,112 at-bats over his 19 year career. Frisch was player/manager and catalyst behind the famed rough neck and hard-nosed Gashouse Gang during the 1930s. Frankie Frisch collected 2,880 hits, scored 1,532 runs, hit 105 home runs, stole 419 bases and drove in 1,220 runs. The Veterans Committee elected Ford Christopher Frick to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1970.

Lawrence Peter “Yogi” Berra (May 12, 1925 - September 22, 2015) was one of the most colorful, beloved and most talented players the game of baseball has ever seen. Berra’s parents, immigrants from Italy, settled in St. Louis’ Italian neighborhood, known as “The Hill”. Larry, or Lawdie as his parents called him in a heavy Italian accent, spent much of his time playing baseball rather than focusing on his studies and eventually dropped out f school as an eighth grader. He took on a few jobs to help make ends met for the family, but was often fired for leaving work early to play ball with his friends as they were dismissed from school. Future Major Leaguer Joe Garagiola, his closest friend, grew up a block away and played American Legion ball with Larry. It was there that friend and teammate, Bobby Hofman (also a future Major Leaguer) nicknamed Larry “Yogi” because he often sat crossed legged and cross-armed on the ground due to a full bench. It stuck! The two were eventually offered contracts with the St. Louis Cardinals, though the 6’0” Garagiola was offered a $500 bonus and Berra nothing so he rejected the Cards offer. Though he was ultimately turned away by his hometown team, potentially by general manager Branch Rickey, who had sights on signing Yogi once he became the GM for the Brooklyn Dodgers shortly thereafter, the New York Yankees signed the 5’8” 185 lbs. stout outfielder in 1943, giving him the same $500 bonus that Garagiola received. Because the Yanks were relatively stacked in the outfield with the likes of Joe DiMaggio, Johnny Lindell and Tommy Henrich, and Yogi was less than impressive in the outfield, New York converted him to a catcher in the minor leagues, working under the expert tutelage of Hall of Famer catcher Bill Dickey. Berra later credited Dickey for his success saying, “I owe everything I did in baseball to Bill Dickey.”

Robert William Andrew Feller (November 3, 1918 - December 15, 2010) was considered “the fastest and best pitcher I ever saw during my career” by Boston Red Sox Ted Williams, who himself has been referred to as the one of, if not the greatest hitter of all time. Not only was his fastball purportedly clocked at 107.6 miles per hour (the second fastest pitch recorded), but he also held the record for most no-hitters at the time of his retirement (3) and still holds the American League record for most one-hit games with 12. (Nolan Ryan also posted 12, with four teams in both the AL and NL.) Feller grew up on a farm in Van Meter, Iowa where his father built a baseball diamond on the family farm so that Bob could continue to improve as a pitcher, already pitching in American Legion Baseball as a 10 year old. At Van Meter High he was the center for the basketball team, but after he went 19-4 with his Farmer Union American Legion team, the Cleveland Indians swooped in to sign the 16-year old in 1936. Uniquely, Bob’s fastball had exceptional movement darting and wiggling around as opposed to the more common straight-line heater. Though originally slated for minor league assignment, Feller bypassed the minors due to a snafu between Indians management and MLB bylaws, thereby making him a free agent if he so chose. But, Bob remained with Cleveland began his career with a 15-strikeout performance against the St. Louis Browns for his first Major League win. He was 17.

Roy Campanella (November 19, 1921 - June 26, 1993) is widely considered one of the greatest catchers of all time, and could easily be taken as the best ever, given the fact that he lost nearly a decade of Major League playing time to racism with Major League Baseball refusing to allow African-Americans entry into the league until 1947. And then, at 35, he lost several more years of his career to a near-fatal automobile accident that claimed not only his remaining playing days, but also the use of his legs for the rest of his life. As a child of the Great Depression, Roy was forced to work as a young boy in order to help his family make ends meet, but he did also excel in football, basketball and baseball during his high school years. Baseball, however, was his passion and Campanella signed with the Bacharach Giants as a 15-year old and then moved on to the Baltimore Elite Giants. He quickly became one of the Negro Leagues’ best catchers, rivaling future Hall of Famer Josh Gibson, and in 1941 we was named the MVP of the East-West All-Star Game. Roy spent two seasons playing in Mexico in 1942 and 1943 amidst a contract dispute before returning to the Giants in 1944. After appearing in an exhibition series at Ebbets Field against the Brooklyn Dodgers, Dodgers manager Charles Dressen arranged for Campanella to meet with general manager Branch Rickey, who immediately invited the husky backstop a contract. Though he politely declined, feeling this was a ruse, he would later ink his name on a contract with Dem Bums and ultimately follow in the footsteps of color barrier breaker, Jackie Robinson. Despite taking a substantial pay-cut from $600 catching for Baltimore, Campanella accepted the $180 monthly stipend to play for the Nashua (NH) Dodgers for a chance to play in the Major Leagues. That year with Nashua, following the ejection of manager Walt Alston, Campanella took over the managerial reigns, thus becoming the first African-American to manage in professional organized baseball.

Don Richard “Richie” Ashburn (March 19, 1927 - September 9, 1997) played 15 seasons at centerfield for the Philadelphia Phillies (1948-1959), the Chicago Cubs (1960-1961) and the New York Mets (1962) and quickly moved to the broadcast booth after retirement. Ashburn was a member of the Phillies 1950 National League Champion “Whiz Kids” whose average age was 26 years old. What Ashburn lacked in power, hitting a career 29 home runs, he made up in consistency spraying 2,574 singles to all fields. Richie led the National League in hits three times in his career (1951, 1953 and 1958) and twice won the National League’s batting title (1955 and 1958). Richie Ashburn had more hits (1875) than any other player in the 1950s. After Ashburn retired in 1962, he joined the Philadelphia Phillies broadcast crew in 1963 where he remained for over 30 years. The Veterans Committee elected Don Richard “Richie” Ashburn to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1995.

1952 BOWMAN 101 MICKEY MANTLE

Mickey Charles Mantle (October 20, 1931 - August 13, 1995), like his predecessor in the New York Yankees centerfield, Joe DiMaggio, became one of the most popular figures in sports history both during and after his playing career. Raised in Oklahoma, Mickey was the son of Mutt Mantle, a lead miner and former minor league player in his own right, who reared him to be a big league player and taught The Mick how to bat from both sides of the plate in anticipation of manager options as relievers were becoming more prevalent. As a teenager, his baseball career, and potentially his life was nearly ended when he suffered a injury that turned into a severe infection on the football field in high school. When a Yankees scout came to see one of Mantle's teammate's Mickey hit three home runs in the game and wowed fans and the scout alike. The New York Yankees signed Mickey a year later after his high school graduation and assigned him to the minor leagues. Mantle's meteoric rise through the ranks of the New York farm system compounded by the press' coverage of the young phenom who the dubbed to become the "next" Yankees star. He was originally assigned the number "6" to follow Babe Ruth's #3, Lou Gehrig's #4 and teammate Joe DiMaggio's #5. And, to add to the extraordinary pressure, DiMaggio announced his retirement at the conclusion of the 1951 season, Mickey's rookie campaign.

Lawrence Eugene Doby (December 13, 1923 - June 18, 2003) was the first black player in the American League when he began playing for the Cleveland Indians in 1947. Doby began his professional career with the Newark Eagle in the Negro Leagues before being signed by Cleveland, four months after Jackie Robinson inked his contract with Brooklyn. Doby was a nine time All-Star selection, twice with the Eagle and seven more with the Indians. During his 13 seasons in the Major Leagues, Larry played for the Indians (1947-1955, 1958), the White Sox (1956-1957, 1959) and 18 games with the Tigers in 1959. He was a member of two American League pennant winner s in Clevland and helped the Indians clinch a World Series victory in 1948 with 7 hits, a .500 slugging percentage and a .318 average during the six game series. Lary Doby retired with 1,515 hits, 970 RBI 253 home runs and 960 runs scored while posting a career .283 batting average. The Veterans Committee elected Lawrence Eugene Doby to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1998.

Philip Joseph Cavarretta (July 19, 1916 - December 18, 2010) was a Chicago native, graduate of Lane Tech High School, famed alma mater of legendary athletes Johnny Weissmuller and Fritz Pollard, and spent the majority of his career playing first base for the Chicago Cubs. Phil signed with the Cubs as a high schooler and hit for the cycle in his first professional game with the Peoria Tractors. In 1935, Cavarretta permanently replaced Charlie Grimm at first base and helped lead Chicago to the best record in baseball and the World Series against the eventual champion Detroit Tigers. Phil was a legitimate hitter with limited power and led the National League in hits in 1944 (197). In 1945, he led the NL in batting average (.355) and on-base percentage (.449) en route to the 1945 National League Most Valuable Player Award. The three-time NL All-Star helped lead the Cubs to three National League pennants (1935, 1938, 1945). After playing 20 years on the North Side in a Chicago Cubs uniform (1934-1953), Cavarretta signed with the South Side Chicago White Sox to finish his career (1954-1955). Phil Cavarretta finished his career with a .293 career batting average, 1,977 hits including 347 doubles and 99 triples, 990 runs scored and 920 RBI while posting a .989 fielding percentage over 22 years. From 1951 to 1953, Phil served as player/manager for the Cubs compiling a 169-213 record in 384 games.

Eugene Victor “Gene” Hermanski (May 11, 1920 - August 9, 2010) hit only 46 home runs during his nine-year career, but enjoyed one of those once in a lifetime games on August 5, 1948 when he hit three for the Brooklyn Dodgers in one game against the Chicago Cubs. The Brooklyn Dodgers signed Gene in 1939, but he spent much of the next four years in the Eastern Shore League with the Federalsburg A’s and debuted in the Major Leagues in 1943. Just as many of the players of the era had done, Hermanski enlisted in the service during World War II, the United States Coast Guard, and lost two years to the war. He returned to the Dodgers in 1946 serving as a backup outfielder for two year before finding a spot in the everyday lineup in 1948. Hermanski had career highs in games (133), hits (116), doubles (22), home runs (7) stolen bases (15) and RBI (60) while batting .290. Gene helped the Dodgers capture the National League pennant in 1947 and 1949, but Brooklyn lost both World Series to the New York Yankees in each. Hermanski played nine years with the Dodgers (1943, 1946-1951), the Chicago Cubs (1951-1953) and the Pittsburgh Pirates (1953). In the late 1940s, as Brooklyn general manager Branch Rickey was poised to introduce Jackie Robinson to the Major Leagues thereby breaking the color barrier, Hermanski promoted solidarity and tolerance among his teammates. Gene Hermanski appeared in 739 games where he hit .272 for his career with 533 hits, 276 runs, 459 RBI and 46 home runs. He also had a .977 fielding percentage with 1,088 putouts in 1,167 chances.

Early Wynn (January 6, 1920 - April 4, 1999) pitched an American League record 23 seasons with the Washington Senators (1939-1944, 1946-1948), the Cleveland Indians (1949-1957, 1963) and the Chicago White Sox (1958-1962). Wynn viewed each game as a war and the opposing hitter as his “mortal enemy.” Wynn was an extremely durable pitcher starting more than 25 games 17 times in his career as well as leading the American League three times in innings pitched. Early Wynn was an 8-time selection to the All-Star game and won the 1959 Cy Young Award. As a young, burly hard-throwing pitcher, Wynn developed a curveball, slider, changeup and knuckleball and exceptional command to harness that arsenal. Early Wynn retired with a 300-244 record with 2,334 strikeouts and a 3.54 ERA in 4,566 innings pitched. Early Wynn was elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1972.

Warren Edward Spahn (April 23, 1921 - November 24, 2003) is the winningest left-handed pitcher in the history of the Major Leagues with 363 victories. Topping the 20-win mark 13 times during his 21-year career made him one of the most dominant pitchers in the National League in any era. Spahn pitched for the Boston/Milwaukee Braves (1942, 1946-1964) for virtually his entire career, earning 17 All-Star selections. Spahn was the ace of the Braves pitching staff helping the heavy hitting squad to three National League pennants and one World Series Championship in 1957. Warren also captured the Cy Young Award in 1957 after posting a 21-11 record with 18 complete games, 130 strikeouts and a 2.69 ERA. Warren Spahn threw his first no-hitter in 1960 at the age of 39 and his second the following year. At age 42, Spahn’s extraordinary durability was exemplified in 1963 when he faced San Francisco’s Hall of Fame pitcher Juan Marichal in a 16-inning loss where Spahn threw 201 pitches and Marichal hurled 227 to take the 1-0 win. Warren Spahn retired in 1965 with a 363-245 record, 2,583 strikeouts and a 3.08 earned run average. Warren Edward Spahn was elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1973.

The New York Yankees of 1946 had many of the same stars who made them the dominant team of the pre-World War II years, but they finished in third place, seventeen games behind the Boston Red Sox, under three different managers. After the season, Bucky Harris, an experienced and well-traveled skipper, was brought in to lead the team in 1947. Harris had previously managed in Washington, Detroit, Boston, and Philadelphia, but after his success with the Senators in his first two seasons, he had a sub-.500 record as skipper. Despite the losing record, Harris was well-respected among his peers and his players, with a reputation as a smart and savvy manager. Harris first earned fame as the “boy manager” of the 1924 Washington Senators. Washington had failed to field a competitive team through a succession of managers until owner Clark Griffith boldly named the twenty-seven-year-old second baseman with five years of Major League playing experience, but none as a manager, to lead the team. The Senators won the pennant and the World Series in his first year and repeated as pennant winner the next year.

Emil John “Dutch” Leonard (March 25, 1909 - April 17, 1983) was a member of the 1945 Washington Senators pitching staff that included four knuckleballers alongside Roger Wolff, Mickey Haefner and Johnny Niggeling. Leonard played 20 years with the Brooklyn Dodgers (1933-1936), Washington Senators (1938-1946), Philadelphia Phillies (1947-1948) and Chicago Cubs (1949-1953). Playing primarily for losing teams, Dutch had a winning record in seven seasons topping the 10-win mark twelve times including his 1939 20-win season. He was a five-times All-Star selection but never appeared in the postseason. Spending the majority of his career as a starter, Leonard led the National League in saves in 1935 with eight and finished his career with a total of 44 saves. Considered a highlight of his career, Leonard was called to pitch the ninth inning of a one-run game against the mighty Brooklyn Dodgers with the bases loaded, facing the heart of the order. Leonard set down Jackie Robinson, Gil Hodges and Roy Campanella to end the game and preserve the win. Dutch Leonard compiled a record of 191-181 with 192 complete games over 20 seasons, adding 1,170 strikeouts and a 3.25 career ERA.

Cleveland Indians General Manager and Hall of Fame outfielder Hank Greenberg once said of Bobby Avila, “He has that something extra that makes a great hitter. Call it competitive instinct. … He’s always fighting the pitcher, never choking up and never giving an inch. … In a tough spot, I’m always glad to see Bobby coming to the plate.”[1] “Everybody knows who Avila was in Mexico,” said former Los Angeles Dodgers great Fernando Valenzuela. “He was an inspiration, of course, for Mexican ballplayers to follow to the States and play in the major leagues. He did a good job. Everybody knows and recognizes what he did.”[2] With the 1954 Indians, Avila played the best baseball of his 11-year major-league career.[3] He led the American League in hitting (.341) and received The Sporting News American League player of the year award. His extraordinary 1954 performance made him the first Mexican-born player in history to lead the American League in batting.

Although Ransom “Randy” Jackson later suggested with tongue somewhat in cheek that he went into professional baseball “for lack of anything better to do; I had to earn money somehow,”1 he in fact had options in 1947 when he caught the attention of the Chicago Cubs. Set to graduate from the University of Texas, he had an ensign’s commission in the United States Navy by way of the World War II V-12 officer program. But rather than stay in the active Navy, he elected the Naval Reserve, finished up a degree at Texas,2 and was enjoying himself playing semipro baseball in east Texas when the Chicago Cubs offered him a tryout trip to Wrigley Field in September 1947 that changed his life. The Cubs used Russ Meyer to determine how Jackson’s hot collegiate and semipro hitting would stand up against major-league pitching. “The Mad Monk” had been left behind to rest his arm as the Cubs made a late-season road trip, and “Meyer threw fastballs, curves, screwballs, everything except the resin bag,” Jackson recalls in his entertaining 2016 memoir Handsome Ransom Jackson: Accidental Big Leaguer. “It was one of those days everything clicked. Line drives were flying all over the place, a couple out of the park.”3 The tryout success blossomed into a 10-year major-league career that took Jackson from press criticism for perceived lassitude to two National League All-Star teams and hitting cleanup for the defending World Series champion Brooklyn Dodgers in 1956.4 Jackson’s career spanned the 1950s, “a time,” in the words of Jackson’s close friend Loran Smith, associate executive director of the University of Georgia Athletic Association, “we, perhaps, won’t see again. The country was growing and life was better for most Americans, who had emerged from World War II with ‘The Greatest Generation.’ Hope sprang every spring with the crack of the bat. Life, for the most part, was good and baseball was central to the good times.”5 Smith’s words aptly describe the dawn of the decade; Jackson expands the thought and believes the 1950s “changed baseball forever and for the better,” because of full integration by African-American and Latin players, the rumblings of free agency through challenges to the reserve clause, and franchise mobility as a precursor of major-league expansion.6

This has often been considered one of the most visually attractive cards in the hobby and it was the first full-color issue to feature Stan the Man. In 1952, Stan Musial hit .336 with 105 runs scored, had 194 hits and a .538 slugging average, leading the National League in each category. He added 21 home runs and 91 RBI that same year. Fittingly, Musial was depicted with his favorite weapon on this card, his bat. This three-time World Series champion was one of the toughest outs in the game. Preacher Roe, his teammate, summed it up by explaining the best way to pitch to Musial. "I throw him four wide ones and try to pick him off at first," Roe explained. Another aspect to consider is Musial's likability. He has always been considered one of the more personable players in history, resulting in a large fan base. This colorful issue, while not Musial's toughest, may be his most popular card. The image is certainly a classic by any standard.

Southpaw Paul Minner overcame serious injuries to his wrist and neck to transform himself from a hard thrower to a soft-tossing junkballer relying on location and control, and fashion a 10-year career in the big leagues (1946, 1948-1956). Traded by the Brooklyn Dodgers to the Chicago Cubs before the 1950 season, Minner averaged 10 wins and 192 innings per season over the next six campaigns during one of the longest stretches of futility in Cubs history. From 1947 to 1966 the North Siders finished in the second division every season and failed to produce one winning season. Minner’s career came to a crashing end when he cracked vertebrae and injured his neck on June 18, 1956, in circumstances that are not entirely clear.

Charles Dillon “Casey” Stengel (July 30, 1890 - September 29, 1975) enjoyed 54 years in baseball beginning as a right fielder for the Brooklyn Dodgers and retiring as one of the most accomplished managers in baseball history with the New York Mets. Though a respectable player during his 14-year playing career, batting .284 with 1,219 hits and 535 RBI, Stengel earned his Hall of Fame recognition at the helm of some of the greatest teams in history. Most notably, Stengel managed the 1950s New York Yankees (1949-1960) dynasty to 10 American League pennants and seven World Series championships including five consecutive (1949-1953). Casey Stengel amassed a record of 1,926-1,867 for the Brooklyn Dodgers (1934-1936), the Boston Bees (1938-1942) and Braves (1943), the New York Yankees (1949-1960) and the New York Mets (1962-1965). Stengel was an exacting and expert tactician, but kept a charming air about him with his sense of humor that put players, media and executives at ease. The Veterans Committee elected Charles Dillon “Casey” Stengel to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1966.

This is one of Willie's toughest cards and a key to the set. Much like the Mickey Mantle card from the same issue, this high-number card appears to have been overlooked for quite some time. While not as popular as his 1952 Topps card, it is certainly more difficult to find in high-grade. The disparity in market value is not as great as it is between the two Mantle cards from the same year, but the Bowman Mays can often be acquired for about half the price of the Topps issue. In regards to Mays as a player, one of the most impressive aspects of his game was the combination of power and speed. In 1955, Mays became the first player in NL history to hit 50 or more homers and steal 20 or more bases in a single season. At different points in his career, Mays was so well-rounded as a player, he won titles in batting, home runs, runs scored, stolen bases and fielding. This card is difficult to find well-centered and absent of border toning, which plagues many cards in the set.

Dee Virgil Fondy wa a professional baseball player who played first base in the Major Leagues from 1951 to 1958. He played for the Pittsburgh Pirates, Cincinnati Reds, and Chicago Cubs. Fondy was 6 ft 3 in and weighed 195 pounds. Fondy was the last player to bat at Ebbets Field. The Pirates lost to the Dodgers 2–0 on September 24, 1957. He grounded out to shortstop Don Zimmer who threw to first baseman Jim Gentile for the final out of the game. He batted above .300 three times, twice for the Cubs and the Pirates during the 1950s. Fondy served in World War II in the U.S. Army and was among the forces which landed on Utah Beach, in Normandy, in 1944. This was three months after D-Day. In the spring of 1949, Fondy played for the Fort Worth Cats in the Texas League. He homered off Mort Cooper in an exhibition game against the Chicago Cubs in Fort Worth.[3] After hitting .328 for the Cats in 1948, he was promoted to the Montreal Royals of the International League, in April 1949.[4] He played a total of 16 games with Montreal, 6 with Fort Worth, and 128 with the Mobile Bears of the Southern League, in 1949. He hit .294 with Mobile.[5] In 1950 Fondy hit .297 in 141 games with Fort Worth. He led the Texas League in stolen bases with 38 and played in the league's all-star game. On opening day in 1951, Fondy hit a bases-loaded triple in his first major league at bat to assist the Cubs to an 8–3 victory against the Cincinnati Reds at Wrigley Field. Fondy also had two singles and drove in four runs. He was sent down to the Los Angeles Angels of the Pacific Coast League in July, when Chuck Connors was recalled by the Cubs. At the time Fondy was hitting .293 with 3 home runs and 20 RBIs.[8] In one memorable game with the Angels, Fondy came to the plate 6 times. He hit three singles and three home runs -- one to right, one to left, one to center. Fondy hit his first homer of the 1953 season to score Eddie Miksis and beat the Dodgers, 6–4. The baseball landed in the left center field bleachers on the first day of a Cubs' home stand.[9] He clouted his 5th and 6th home runs at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania against the Philadelphia Phillies on June 9. His 5 RBIs were wasted as the Cubs committed 5 errors and lost 10–9.[10] He collected 4 hits against Pittsburgh at Forbes Field on July 25. The last one broke a 4–4 tie and gave the Cubs a 5–4 win. It was his 13th 1953 homer. In September Fondy's 9th inning steal of home won the opener of a doubleheader against Cincinnati. He had a solo home run as one of 6 hit by the Cubs in the game. Fondy jammed his left hand against Cincinnati in July 1954 and missed several games. X-rays proved negative.[13] During spring training in 1955 Fondy went on a tear of 13 hits in 16 times at bat. He knocked in 7 runs with a couple of home runs versus the San Antonio Missions on April 2.[ He hit his 5th home run of 1956 in the 10th inning of a July 19 game with Philadelphia. It earned Chicago a 4–3 victory.

Ivan Martin "Ike" Delock (November 11, 1929- ) Ivan “Ike” Delock was a versatile starter and reliever for the Boston Red Sox for most of his career. In his best stretch, from 1956 through 1959, he won 47 games and saved 22 more. Delock first learned to pitch in the US Marine Corps from 1946 to 1948, and he brought that same tough and battling demeanor to the majors. In 1952, his rookie year, Delock got the victory when Ted Williams, in his last game before being called to Korean War service, smashed a game-winning home run against Detroit. Delock was released by Boston in 1963 and finished his career that season with the Orioles. He was head baseball coach for Brandeis University in 1969 and 1970 and later worked in sales for Northwest Airlines. Delock retired to Naples, Florida, in 1988.

Harold Bentley Jeffcoat (September 6, 1924 – August 30, 2007) A solid big leaguer for 12 seasons with the Cubs, Reds, and Cardinals, Hal Jeffcoat was an outfielder by trade who transitioned to pitcher. The career .248 hitter, valued for his speed and his arm in the outfield, started throwing batting practice in 1951 and pitched his first game with the Cubs in 1954. With his fastball, curveball, and screwball, the righty compiled a 39-37 career record with a 4.22 ERA and 239 Ks in 697.0 innings pitched over six seasons. Primarily a reliever, Jeffcoat infamously hit Don Zimmer in the face in 1956, changing the course of the future manager’s big league career. As a Cubbie, he roomed with Chuck Connors, future star of The Rifleman. Jeffcoat’s older brother George pitched for the Dodgers and Braves. The former US Army Engineers Airborne Division paratrooper with a Purple Heart died in 2007 at age 82.

Often referred to and remembered as the first baseball player ever traded for himself, which may or may not be true, there was much more to the career of Harry Chiti. His grandparents had come to America from Massa Marittinio in the Tuscan region of Italy three years before his father was born. Harry Dominic Chiti Jr. was born November 16, 1932, in Kincaid, Illinois, to Harry and Clara Chiti. Before long, the family moved to Detroit, where Harry Sr. joined his brothers working in the auto industry. Surrounded by family, Harry Jr., grew up with his younger brother Eugene, mother, father and Uncle James in the eight-person household of his Uncle Boero and Aunt Arnita Chiti, and their daughter Corianne. The rented house at 185 12th Street was a 10-block walk from Northwestern High School, where young Harry began his schoolboy baseball career as an error-prone (24 in 11 games) third baseman.

Don Richard “Richie” Ashburn (March 19, 1927 - September 9, 1997) played 15 seasons at centerfield for the Philadelphia Phillies (1948-1959), the Chicago Cubs (1960-1961) and the New York Mets (1962) and quickly moved to the broadcast booth after retirement. Ashburn was a member of the Phillies 1950 National League Champion “Whiz Kids” whose average age was 26 years old. What Ashburn lacked in power, hitting a career 29 home runs, he made up in consistency spraying 2,574 singles to all fields. Richie led the National League in hits three times in his career (1951, 1953 and 1958) and twice won the National League’s batting title (1955 and 1958). Richie Ashburn had more hits (1875) than any other player in the 1950s. After Ashburn retired in 1962, he joined the Philadelphia Phillies broadcast crew in 1963 where he remained for over 30 years. The Veterans Committee elected Don Richard “Richie” Ashburn to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1995.

Roy Campanella (November 19, 1921 - June 26, 1993) is widely considered one of the greatest catchers of all time, and could easily be taken as the best ever, given the fact that he lost nearly a decade of Major League playing time to racism with Major League Baseball refusing to allow African-Americans entry into the league until 1947. And then, at 35, he lost several more years of his career to a near-fatal automobile accident that claimed not only his remaining playing days, but also the use of his legs for the rest of his life. As a child of the Great Depression, Roy was forced to work as a young boy in order to help his family make ends meet, but he did also excel in football, basketball and baseball during his high school years. Baseball, however, was his passion and Campanella signed with the Bacharach Giants as a 15-year old and then moved on to the Baltimore Elite Giants. He quickly became one of the Negro Leagues’ best catchers, rivaling future Hall of Famer Josh Gibson, and in 1941 we was named the MVP of the East-West All-Star Game.

Henry John Sauer (March 17, 1917 - August 24, 2001) is the first player in Major League history to hit three home runs in a game off the same pitcher twice in his career. Sauer started his career in Cincinnati for four and half years (1941-1942, 1945, 1948-1949) before being traded to the Chicago Cubs in 1949. He found excellent success in the Windy City posting over 100 hits in each full season and hit 25 or more home runs five times while in Chicago (1949-1955). Sauer led the National League in home runs (37) and RBI (121) and was named to his second, and last, MLB All-Star Game in 1952 earning that seasons Most Valuable Player award. Hank was one of the beloved Cubs of his era and was often called “The Mayor of Wrigley Field”. Sauer was traded to the St. Louis Cardinals for one season (1956) and finished his career with the New York/San Francisco Giants (1957/1958-1959). Hank Sauer finished his career with 709 runs, 1,278 hits including 200 doubles and 288 home runs while batting .266 and driving in 876 RBI.

Leo Ernest Durocher (July 27, 1905 - October 7, 1991) was a decent player, but made his name at the helm as manager of the Brooklyn Dodgers (1939-1946, 1948), the New York Giants (1948-1955), the Chicago Cubs (1966-1972) and the Houston Astros (1972-1973). He guided the Dodger to a National League pennant and the Giants to two National League pennants and on World Series championship (1954). Known as “Leo the Lip” for his trouble with authority, Durocher fired up his teams, compiling a record of 2,009-1,709 and was named Manager of the Year three times. As a player Durocher won World Series titles with the New York Yankees (1928) and the St. Louis Cardinals (1934) and retired as a player with 1,320 hits, 567 RBI and a .247 batting average. Yankee manager Miller Huggins saw managerial greatness in Durocher due to his competitive nature and ability to remember situations. The Veterans Committee elected Leo Ernest Durocher to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1994.

Robin Evan Roberts (September 30, 1926 - May 6, 2010) was a member of the Philadelphia Phillies “Whiz Kids” during the 1950s helping them to the 1950 World Series Championship. Playing most of his 19-year career with the Phils (1948-1961) and the Orioles (1962-1965), Robin Roberts was a brilliant ace, excellent fielder and above-average hitter for a pitcher. His durability was evident early on and during the span of 1950-1956, Roberts led the league in games started six times, complete games and innings pitched 5 times and wins four times. His blazing fastball and accuracy were the keys to Roberts’ success compiling a record of 286-245 with 2,357 strikeouts and a 3.40 ERA in 4,689 innings. Robin Roberts was the first number retired by the Phillies organization. Interestingly, Robin Roberts was the only pitcher in history to defeat the Boston, Milwaukee and Atlanta Braves. Robin Evan Roberts was elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1976.

Paul Edison Minner (July 30, 1923 – March 28, 2006) A hard-luck pitcher who played for weak Chicago Cubs teams, Paul “Lefty” Minner signed with the Dodgers in 1941. After spending time in the minors and in the US Army, he joined the big club for good in 1948. The crafty, soft-throwing junkballer pitched the top of the ninth inning for the Dodgers in Game Five of the 1949 Series, becoming the first to pitch under artificial lights in a World Series game. A starter for the sad-sack Cubbies, Minner was a real workhorse, pitching three 200-inning seasons. He led the NL with 17 losses in 1951, but the next year he went 14–9 with a .500 Cubs team. In his final season, 1956, Minner gave up the first of Frank Robinson’s 586 career home runs. He later worked for the Pennsylvania State Insurance Department and passed away in 2006 at the age of 82.

Harry Leon “Suitcase” Simpson (December 3, 1925 - April 3, 1979) enjoyed an eight-year Major League career with five different teams, but is often remembered as the player traded for Ted Kluszewski, the final component added to the 1959 Chicago White Sox team that won the American League pennant. Unluckily, Simpson was traded to the Pittsburgh Pirates for Klu on August 25, 1959, but then was reacquired following the World Series, thereby not collecting a World Series share. Harry grew up in the segregated south near Atlanta, Georgia and served much of World War II in the United States Army. In 1946, upon his return to the States, he signed with the Negro League’s Philadelphia Stars where he played against the likes of Josh Gibson, though late in his career and Satchel Paige. In 1948, Major League scout Eddie Gottlieb spotted Simpson and considered him to be similar to Boston Red Sox Ted Williams. With the color barrier long broken, Harry eventually signed with the Cleveland Indians who also fielded Larry Doby, Minnie Minoso and Luke Easter. When the Indians shipped Minoso to the White Sox in favor of Simpson, Cleveland expressed high expectations for Harry who struggled to reach those heights. For 3-1/2 years in Cleveland, he hit .261 with 29 home runs and 163 RBI. Constant changes to his swing ultimately hurt the outfielder/first baseman’s numbers and he bounced around the Majors for much of his career spending time with Cleveland (1951-1953, 1955), the Kansas City Athletics (1955-1957, 1958-1959), the New York Yankees (1957-1958), the Chicago White Sox (1959) and the Pittsburgh Pirates (1959). Harry’ best year came in 1956 with KC when he batted .293 with 159 hits and a league-leading 11 triples to earn his only trip to the MLB All-Star Game. Harry Simpson finished his eight-year career with a .266 batting average, 752 hits, 343 runs, 73 home runs and 381 RBI. He also posted a .984 fielding percentage at first and in the outfield.

This is one of the first multi-player baseball cards ever produced, and it features two of the most popular New York Yankee figures in baseball history Billy Martin, a second baseman and 1956 All-Star who played from 1950-1961, was also the fiery manager of the New York Yankees after his playing career, a position he held on five different occasions. Despite leading the Yankees to back-to-back World Series appearances in 1976 and 1977, Martin is best known for his animated arguments with umpires. Phil Rizzuto, a shortstop and broadcaster who called the game on the radio and television for 40 years, was nicknamed The Scooter by teammate Billy Hitchcock while playing in the minor leagues. After watching Rizzuto, who possessed short legs, run around the bases, Hitchcock described Rizzuto's technique as "scootin" as opposed to running. From 1941 to 1956, Rizzuto won 10 AL titles in 13 seasons with the powerful Yankees and quickly became a fan favorite. Rizzuto, an outstanding defensive player throughout his career and owner of several World Series records at the shortstop position, hit .273 in his career. His best season came in 1950, when Rizzuto hit .324 and scored 125 runs as the leadoff man for New York. He was named AL MVP that year after finishing second to Ted Williams the prior year. This five-time All-Star was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1994. This card is one of two multi-player cards in the extremely popular 1953 Bowman Color set, with poor registration, print defects and sub par centering as the leading condition obstacles.

Robert Gordon Addis (November 6, 1925 – November 15, 2016) Outfielder Bob Addis played 208 Major League games in four seasons, but he is best known for one single play. Late in the 1951 season, the Dodgers and Giants were engaged in an historic pennant race. Addis, playing for the Boston Braves against Brooklyn, raced home on teammate Earl Torgeson’s grounder to second base. Addis slid past Roy Campanella’s tag, beating Jackie Robinson’s throw home. The controversial safe call by umpire Frank Dascoli led the Dodgers to an eventual playoff with the Giants, who won the pennant on Bobby Thomson’s famous home run. Addis went on to play for the Cubs and Pirates. While he contributed to one of baseball’s greatest postseasons, Addis himself never saw the light of a World Series. He became a teacher, coach, and athletic director at Euclid High School in Ohio. The WWII veteran passed away in Mentor, Ohio, in 2016 at age 91.

Salvatore Anthony Maglie (April 26, 1917 - December 28, 1992), or “Sal the Barber”, was renown for his perennial five-o’clock shadow, but earned his nickname for throwing close shaves inside to batters, and later responding to his command of the inside part of the zone saying “I own the plate”. Maglie joined the Giants in 1945, and then was banned from organized baseball by Commissioner Happy Chandler after Sal left Major League Baseball to play in the Mexican League. When the ban was rescinded, Maglie rejoined the Giants in 1950 and led the National League in winning percentage (.818), ERA (2.71), and shutouts (5) after going 18-4. In 1951, Sal led the NL in wins (23) helping the Giants reach the World Series against the New York Yankees. Sal was a candidate for numerous awards throughout his career including finishing second in Cy Young voting in 1956 and 1957 and was among MVP candidates six times, finishing second twice. In September of 1956 as a member of the Dodgers, Sal threw a no-hitter against the Philadelphia Phillies. Maglie played ten years in Major League Baseball with the Giants (1945, 1950-1955), the Cleveland Indians (1955-1956), the Brooklyn Dodgers (1956-1957), the New York Yankees (1957-1958) and the St. Louis Cardinals (1958). He was named to the 1951 and 1952 MLB All-Star Games and played in three World Series (1951, 1954, 1956), winning the 1954 World Series over the Cleveland Indians. Sal Maglie wrapped up his career following the 1958 season compiling a 119-62 career record with a 3.15 ERA, 862 strikeouts and 25 shutouts in 1,723.0 innings pitched.

Like his Hall of Fame teammate, Ernie Banks, right-handed pitcher Bob Rush was just happy to be in the big leagues. “I never really regretted signing with the Cubs,” Rush said. In his 10 campaigns with the North Siders (1948-1957), the “Lovable Losers” finished in the second division every season and never had a winning record. “With the Cubs I was able to step right in and pitch and be a part of the rotation,” added the eternally optimistic yet shy Rush, who debuted as a 22-year-old after splitting his only season in the minors in Class A and Double A. Rush emerged as the Cubs’ workhorse, earned two All-Star berths, and regularly logged 200-plus innings, yet was 30 games under .500 (110-140) during his decade with the team.1 Had he played with perennial or even occasional contenders, Rush would probably be counted among the best pitchers of the 1950s. Traded to the Milwaukee Braves prior to the 1958 season, Rush earned a semblance of poetic justice, twice experiencing the thrill of a pennant race and once a World Series as a productive spot starter and reliever.

Toby Atwell's baseball career started in the Brooklyn Dodgers' organization in 1946. A strong defensive catcher, he shortened his career when he hurt his knee sliding while playing for the Triple-A Montreal Royals during the 1949 International League season. His most productive campaign came in his rookie year with the 1952 Cubs, when he posted career-highs in batting average (.290), RBI (31), runs (36), hits (105), doubles (16), games played (107), and was selected to the National League All-Star team. In 1953 he was part of a ten-player, early-June trade that saw the Cubs acquire Baseball Hall of Fame slugger Ralph Kiner from the Pittsburgh Pirates. In his five-year major league career, Atwell was a .260 hitter with nine home runs and 110 RBI in 378 games. His 290 career hits also included 41 doubles and seven triples. Atwell's last year as a player in pro ball was 1958. He died in Purcellville, Virginia, at the age of 78.

Philip Francis Rizzuto (September 25, 1917 - August 13, 2007) was one of the best defensive shortstops of his era, leading the American League three times in double plays, twice in fielding and putouts and once in assists on a team built around power. The Scooter played his entire career with the New York Yankees, but lost three years to the Second World War. In 1950, Rizzuto was named the AL Most Valuable Player after he collected 200 hits, batted .324 with a .429 slugging percentage and had a .982 fielding percentage. Despite his diminutive size, Rizzuto was the everyday shortstop for 13 seasons, helping the Yankees to nine AL pennants and seven World Series championships. Phil Rizzuto retired with 1,588 hits, 878 runs, 562 RBI, 149 stolen bases while batting a career .273. Phil enjoyed a 40-year career in the Yankee broadcasting booth after he retired in 1956. The Veterans Committee elected Philip Francis Rizzuto to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1994.

Jacob Nelson Fox (December 25, 1927 - December 1, 1975) had agility defensively in the field, excellent baserunning ability and a keen eye at the plate, leading the American League four times in hits and in fewest strikeouts ten times. In his 19-year career, Nellie collected 2,663 hits while only striking out 216 times, and he never K’ed more than 18 times in a season. Fox was drafted by the Philadelphia A’s (1947-1949) but couldn’t find a starting role until he was moved to the Chicago White Sox (1950-1963) where he flourished alongside, among others, fellow Hall of Famer Luis Aparicio making up one of the best defensive infields in the league. In 1959, Fox was named the AL Most Valuable Player, posting a .306 average, 191 hits and 70 RBI as he helped guide the White Sox to the AL pennant, their first in 40 years. Fox was a 15-times All-Star selection and won three Gold Gloves. Nellie Fox retired with 2,663 hits, 1,279 runs, 690 RBI and a .288 career batting average. The Veterans Committee elected Jacob Nelson Fox to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1997.

Don Richard “Richie” Ashburn (March 19, 1927 - September 9, 1997) played 15 seasons at centerfield for the Philadelphia Phillies (1948-1959), the Chicago Cubs (1960-1961) and the New York Mets (1962) and quickly moved to the broadcast booth after retirement. Ashburn was a member of the Phillies 1950 National League Champion “Whiz Kids” whose average age was 26 years old. What Ashburn lacked in power, hitting a career 29 home runs, he made up in consistency spraying 2,574 singles to all fields. Richie led the National League in hits three times in his career (1951, 1953 and 1958) and twice won the National League’s batting title (1955 and 1958). Richie Ashburn had more hits (1875) than any other player in the 1950s. After Ashburn retired in 1962, he joined the Philadelphia Phillies broadcast crew in 1963 where he remained for over 30 years. The Veterans Committee elected Don Richard “Richie” Ashburn to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1995.

George Clyde Kell (August 23, 1922 - March 24, 2009) holds the Major League record for least number of strikeouts in a season from the league’s batting champion when he only struck out 13 times but posting a league best .343 average. The well-traveled George Kell was a corner infielder for the Philadelphia A’s (1943-1946), Detroit Tigers (1946-1952), Boston Red Sox (1952-1954), the Chicago White Sox (1954-1956) and the Baltimore Orioles (1956-1957) for 15 seasons. In 1950, Kell led the American League in hits (218) and doubles (56) while boasting .340 average. Practice was the key to Kell’s success as he worked hard on every aspect of the game to become a solid defensive player and consistent hitter. At the plate, George topped the .300-mark nine times and was the AL leader in fielding percentage seven times. George Kell retired with 2,054 hits, 881 runs scored, 870 RBI and a .306 career batting average. Kell went on to enjoy a 40-year career broadcasting Major League Baseball games. The Veterans Committee elected George Clyde Kell to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1983.

1954 BOWMAN 57 HOYT WILHELM

James Hoyt Wilhelm (July 26, 1922 - August 23, 2002) is considered one of the great knuckleball pitchers in the history of baseball and holds the record for most wins (124) by a relief pitcher. Primarily used in relief, Wilhelm helped redefine and expand the role of the reliever as managers looked to utilize the bullpen more when starters struggled in late innings. Wilhelm began his career with the New York Giants in 1952, debuting at the age of 28, and played for eight other teams for the next two decades, retiring in 1972. The knuckleball is credited for his longevity in the mound minimizing arm strain and allowing Wilhelm to be one of the oldest pitchers to ever pitch in the Major League, 16 days shy of his 50th birthday. Wilhelm led the league twice in ERA and games, and finished a league-high 39 times in 1953. In an unlikely scenario and rare start, Hoyt Wilhelm no-hit the would-be world champion New York Yankees in 1958. Hoyt Wilhelm retired with a record of 143-122 including 1,610 strikeouts and 31 saves in 1,070 games. Hoyt Wilhelm was elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1985.

Harold Henry “Pee Wee” Reese (July 23, 1918 - August 14, 1999) was instrumental in easing racial tension against newly signed barrier-breaker Jackie Robinson as he embraced the second baseman in front of an ignorant and abusive crowd in Cincinnati. Reese’s gesture quieted the crowd and endeared him to the African-American world that finally saw a white man publically accept one of their brethren as an equal. Reese and Robinson’s bond was evident on the field as well, becoming one of the best middle infields in the National League and an excellent one-two double play punch. Reese replaced Leo Durocher at short in 1940 and soon defined himself as a team leader and captain of the team. Pee Wee led the NL in putouts four times, double plays twice, and assists and fielding percentage once each. During his 16 seasons with the Brooklyn/Los Angeles Dodgers (1940-1942, 1946-1957, 1958), Pee Wee led the club to seven NL pennants and one World Series championship in 1955. Pee Wee Reese retired with 2,170 hits, 1,338 runs scored, 885 RBI and a .269 career batting average. The Veterans Committee elected Harold Henry “Pee Wee” Reese to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1984.

Enos Bradsher Slaughter (April 27, 1916 - August 12, 2002), known for his hustle, is famously remembered for his “Mad Dash Home” from first on a double hit by Cardinals teammate Harry Walker to win Game 5 of the 1946 World Series. The Cardinals beat the Red Sox in seven games to clinch the title. Minor league manager Eddie Dyer chastised Enos, or “Country” to teammates, for loafing onto the field at which time he vowed never to let it happen again. After spending three years serving in World War II, Slaughter returned in the 1946 season to help guide the Redbirds to the title. Slaughter was known for his contact hitting, surpassing the .300-mark ten times in his career. Spending the majority of his career with the Cardinals (1938-1942, 1946-1953), then bouncing around over the next six seasons between the New York Yankees, Kansas City Athletics and Milwaukee Braves, Slaughter earned 10 All-Star game selections and was a member of four World Series champions (1942, 1946, 1956, 1958). Enos Slaughter retired with a career .300 batting average with 2,383 hits, 1,247 runs, 169 home runs and 1,304 RBI. The Veterans Committee elected Enos Bradsher Slaughter to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1985.

Edwin Lee “Eddie” Mathews (October 13, 1931 - February 18, 2001) was the first athlete to be featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated and was the only man to play for the Boston, Milwaukee and Atlanta Braves. During his 17-year career with the Braves (Boston -1952, Milwaukee - 1953-1965, Atlanta – 1966), the Houston Astros (1967) and the Detroit Tigers (1967-1968), Mathews crushed 512 home runs including two seasons as National League leader in round-trippers. Mathews possessed natural power, including a strong and accurate arm, as well as a durable frame that rarely kept him out of the Braves lineup. Ty Cobb once referred to Mathews swing as one of “three or four perfect swings of my time.” Mathews was a 12-time All-Star selection, a three-time pennant winner and twice was a World Series champion with the 1957 Braves and 1968 Tigers. Eddie Mathews retired from baseball with 512 home runs, 2,315 hits, 1,509 runs, 1,453 RBI and a career .271 batting average. Edwin Lee Mathews was elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1978.

This card not only comes with a great story, but it is also widely considered to be one of the most significant cards in the postwar era. Ted Williams, under exclusive contract with Topps at the time, was slated to be card #66 in the Bowman set. Pulled from production early due to the contract dispute, his card was eventually replaced by one of Jim Piersall, creating a legendary rarity for collectors. While the card is not quite as scarce as once thought, it is clearly one of the legendary hitter's best cards. In 1954, with only 117 games under his belt, Williams hit .345 with 29 homers, 136 walks, a .513 OBP and he slugged .635. This card measures approximately 2 ½" by 3 ¾" and is subject to several condition obstacles, with poor centering being commonplace. In addition, dark print defects are often found in the background sky, around Ted's face. Keep in mind that no Williams examples were found in the 1954 Bowman unopened wax "find" several years ago.

James William “Junior” Gilliam (October 17, 1928 - October 8, 1978) signed with the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1951 and was sent to the Montreal Royals, Brooklyn’s farm affiliate, of the International League because African-Americans were still barred from playing in the Texas League. As he started out in the Negro Leagues with the Baltimore Elite Giants, Gilliam learned to switch-hit, was one half of Baltimore’s double play combo (with Pee Wee Butts) and played in three straight Negro League All-Star Games. Jim joined the successful 1953 Dodgers team, replacing Jackie Robinson at second base, collected 125 hits including a National League leading 17 triples, drove in 63 runs and batted .278 over 151 games earning the 1953 National League Rookie of the Year award. Gilliam played second and third base for his entire career in Brooklyn and Los Angeles (1953-1966). In 14 years, Jim collected over 100 hits and over 30 RBI in 12 seasons and batted over .280 four times. He played in seven World Series with the Dodgers capturing the 1955, 1959, 1963 and 1965 Major League titles. Gilliam was also named to the 1956 and 1959 MLB All-Star Games and retired with a .979 fielding percentage. Junior Gilliam retired after the 1966 season with 1,889 hits including 304 doubles, stole 203 bases, scored 1,163 runs and drove in 558 RBI while batting .265 over 14 seasons.

Robert Ransom Rush (December 21, 1925 – March 19, 2011) A Cubs pitching-rotation mainstay in the 1950s, Bob Rush relied on a sinking fastball to baffle opposing batters and had eight 200-innings-pitched seasons. An All-Star in 1950, he lost 12 games after the midsummer break and ended up with a league-leading 20 losses. The Cubs were woeful during this era, and Rush would likely have fared better pitching for better teams. In 1952, his second All-Star season, Rush posted a 17–13 record with four shutouts, a 2.70 ERA, and a .292 BA. He finally got to play for a contender with the 1958 NL pennant-winning Braves. Rush did his part, going 10–6 that year, but he took the loss in Game Three of World Series. The World War II US Army veteran worked in sales after baseball. The 2008 inductee to the Indiana Sports Hall of Fame died in 2011 at the age of 85.

William Dale “Billy” Goodman (March 22, 1926 - October 1, 1984) was instrumental in Hall of Famer Lary Doby’s decision to play professional baseball as he and Mickey Vernon coerced the young centerfielder while the three were serving together in the United States Navy during World War II in 1945. Billy began playing professionally with the Atlanta Crackers of the Southern Association before the Boston Red Sox purchased his contract in 1947. Goodman played 11 seasons with the Red Sox (1947-1957) and despite showing virtually no home run power, he hit .290 or better in each season from 1948 to 1958, the last two seasons as a member of the Baltimore Orioles (1957) and Chicago White Sox (1958-1961). In 1950, however, Billy led the American League in hitting with a .354 average, one year after becoming an AL All-Star for the first of two appearances. New York Yankees second baseman Phil Rizzuto collected 50 more hits and stole ten more bases than Goodman in 1950, despite hitting 30 points lower as he won the AL Most Valuable Player award with Goodman finishing second. His play in the field and ability at the plate helped the Chicago White Sox win the American League pennant in 1959 for the first time since 1919. Billy retired as a member of the 1962 Houston Colt .45s having amassed 1,691 hits, 807 runs and 591 RBI while batting .300 for his 16-year career. In the field, ha e also posted a .978 fielding percentage.

Lawrence Eugene Doby (December 13, 1923 - June 18, 2003) was the first black player in the American League when he began playing for the Cleveland Indians in 1947. Doby began his professional career with the Newark Eagle in the Negro Leagues before being signed by Cleveland, four months after Jackie Robinson inked his contract with Brooklyn. Doby was a nine time All-Star selection, twice with the Eagle and seven more with the Indians. During his 13 seasons in the Major Leagues, Larry played for the Indians (1947-1955, 1958), the White Sox (1956-1957, 1959) and 18 games with the Tigers in 1959. He was a member of two American League pennant winner s in Clevland and helped the Indians clinch a World Series victory in 1948 with 7 hits, a .500 slugging percentage and a .318 average during the six game series. Lary Doby retired with 1,515 hits, 970 RBI 253 home runs and 960 runs scored while posting a career .283 batting average. The Veterans Committee elected Lawrence Eugene Doby to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1998.

"If somebody came up and hit .450, stole 100 bases, and performed a miracle in the field every day, I'd still look you right in the eye and tell you that Willie was better. He could do the five things you have to do to be a superstar: hit, hit with power, run, throw and field. And he had the other magic ingredient that turns a superstar into a super Superstar. Charisma. He lit up a room when he came in. He was a joy to be around." — Leo Durocher, Mays’s first major-league manager, in Nice Guys Finish Last1 Many contemporary players and writers agree with Leo Durocher’s assessment of Willie Mays as the best all-around player in baseball history. Mike Lupica, longtime columnist for the New York Daily News, quoted the late Boston columnist George Frazier on the combination and star power of an athlete such as Mays. “That guy has some Willie Mays in him, the same way you used to say this singer or that had some Elvis in him.”2 Former teammate and manager Bill Rigney said about Mays, “All I can say is that he is the greatest player I ever saw, bar none.”3 In baseball’s never-ending attempts to somehow order its gods, Mays is the only contender whose proponents rarely use statistics to make their case. It is as if Mays’s 660 home runs and 3,283 hits somehow sell the man short, that his wonderful playing record is almost beside the point. With Mays it is not merely what he did — but how he did it. He scored more than 2,000 runs, nearly all of them, it would seem, after losing his cap flying around third base. He is credited with more than 7,000 outfield putouts, many exciting, some spectacular, a few breathtaking. How do you measure that? An artist and a genius, for most of his 22 seasons in the big leagues, you simply could not keep your eyes off Willie Mays.

In 1947, as Rickey and Robinson controversially made history as Jackie became the first African-American player to don a Major League uniform, Roy was posting and MVP season with the Montreal Royals of the International League, having already captured the 1946 Eastern League MVP award. So, in 1948, to the chagrin of Branch Rickey, who hoped Campanella would break the color barrier in the American Association, Brooklyn manager Leo Durocher inserted Campanella behind the plate on Opening Day. Despite Rickey’s reluctance to showcase Campy’s catching skills, Durocher’s move putting Roy behind the plate proved to invaluable as slugger Gill Hodges moved to first base and Jackie Robinson was moved to his natural second base position, creating one of the National League’s most potent lineups. He led All NL catcher is caught stealing percentage that rookie year at 69.39% - still among the top ten in MLB history. In 1949, Campanella broke camp as the everyday catcher and he once again led National League backstops with a 58.5% caught stealing rate while batting .287 with 22 home runs and 82 RBI. Campy was tapped as an All-Star for the first of eight straight years. Taking the field in the fourth inning of the 1949 Mid-Summer Classic, Roy began a streak of consecutively caught innings that would last until the eighth inning of the 1954 All-Star Game. That same year, 1949, after the call up of hurler Don Newcombe, Roy and his battery mate became the first all African-American battery in MLB history. But the best was yet to come as Campy helped lead Dem Bums to the World Series before they fell to the cross-town rival Yankees.

William Robert Serena (October 2, 1924 – April 17, 1996) Bill Serena’s Major League career is a study in opportunity. When he was able to play a significant amount of games, he produced. Serena, a California native, spent his entire six-year career with the Cubs. The 5-foot-9, 175 pounder was built low to the ground, a fact which served him well as a third baseman for most of his career. In 1950, playing in 127 games, he had 17 homers and 61 RBI. Similarly, he played in 122 games in 1952 and had 15 dingers, 61 RBI, and batted .274. Out of MLB two years later, Serena scouted for the Indians, Braves, Rangers, Tigers, and Marlins, retiring in 1994. His baseball legacy lived on through his grandson, Kevin Cassidy, who played at Centenary College and for several independent level teams. Serena was 71 when he died of lung cancer in 1996.

Robin Evan Roberts (September 30, 1926 - May 6, 2010) was a member of the Philadelphia Phillies “Whiz Kids” during the 1950s helping them to the 1950 World Series Championship. Playing most of his 19-year career with the Phils (1948-1961) and the Orioles (1962-1965), Robin Roberts was a brilliant ace, excellent fielder and above-average hitter for a pitcher. His durability was evident early on and during the span of 1950-1956, Roberts led the league in games started six times, complete games and innings pitched 5 times and wins four times. His blazing fastball and accuracy were the keys to Roberts’ success compiling a record of 286-245 with 2,357 strikeouts and a 3.40 ERA in 4,689 innings. Robin Roberts was the first number retired by the Phillies organization. Interestingly, Robin Roberts was the only pitcher in history to defeat the Boston, Milwaukee and Atlanta Braves. Robin Evan Roberts was elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1976.

Salvatore Anthony Maglie (April 26, 1917 - December 28, 1992), or “Sal the Barber”, was renown for his perennial five-o’clock shadow, but earned his nickname for throwing close shaves inside to batters, and later responding to his command of the inside part of the zone saying “I own the plate”. Maglie joined the Giants in 1945, and then was banned from organized baseball by Commissioner Happy Chandler after Sal left Major League Baseball to play in the Mexican League. When the ban was rescinded, Maglie rejoined the Giants in 1950 and led the National League in winning percentage (.818), ERA (2.71), and shutouts (5) after going 18-4. In 1951, Sal led the NL in wins (23) helping the Giants reach the World Series against the New York Yankees. Sal was a candidate for numerous awards throughout his career including finishing second in Cy Young voting in 1956 and 1957 and was among MVP candidates six times, finishing second twice. In September of 1956 as a member of the Dodgers, Sal threw a no-hitter against the Philadelphia Phillies. Maglie played ten years in Major League Baseball with the Giants (1945, 1950-1955), the Cleveland Indians (1955-1956), the Brooklyn Dodgers (1956-1957), the New York Yankees (1957-1958) and the St. Louis Cardinals (1958). He was named to the 1951 and 1952 MLB All-Star Games and played in three World Series (1951, 1954, 1956), winning the 1954 World Series over the Cleveland Indians. Sal Maglie wrapped up his career following the 1958 season compiling a 119-62 career record with a 3.15 ERA, 862 strikeouts and 25 shutouts in 1,723.0 innings pitched.

Albert Fred “Red” Schoendienst (February 2, 1923 - June 6, 2018) played 19 seasons at second base and left field with the St. Louis Cardinals (1945-1956, 1961-1963), the New York Giants (1956-1957) and the Milwaukee Braves (1957-1960). In his rookie season, he led the National League in stolen bases with 26, but resolved after the following season to focus on hitting and fielding. Red hit better than .300 in seven seasons and led the NL in fielding percentage six times. Schoendienst was a t10-time All-Star selection and was among the top ten in voting for the NL Most Valuable Player Award twelve times (never winning). Red Schoendienst retired with 2,449 hits, 1,223 runs, 773 RBI and a .289 career batting average. As a player, Schoendienst won two World Series titles with the 1946 Cardinals and 1957 Braves. He added another three championships with the Cardinal organization, as manager in 1967, and as a member of the coaching staff in 1964 and 1982. Red has donned a Major League uniform for seven decades The Veterans Committee elected Albert Fred “Red” Schoendienst to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 2007.

In 1950 he was the first black man to sign with the Chicago White Sox and among the first with any major league organization. His career began when he was spirited out of Memphis to the Sox' farm club in Colorado Springs on a 12:30 a.m. flight.

Joseph Henry Garagiola, Sr. (February 12, 1926 - March 23, 2016) grew up in St. Louis, a few houses away from Hall of Fame catcher, Yogi Berra, and the St. Louis Cardinals signed him over Berra to backstop their club through the 1940s. The Cardinals signed Joe as a 16-year-old in 1942 and he made his Major League debut in 1946 after two years in the service during World War II. Garagiola helped lead the Redbirds to the 1946 World Series title over the Boston Red Sox, batting .316 with six hits and four RBI in five games. The majority of his nine-year career was spent sharing catching duties in the Gateway City (1946-1951) with Del Rice, but also played for the Pittsburgh Pirates (1951-1953), the Chicago Cubs (1953-1954) and the New York Giants (1954). Other than his rookie year when he won a World Series ring, Joe’s best year came in 1952 when he batted .273 with 94 hits and 54 RBI. He posted a .986 career fielding percentage with a 36% caught stealing percentage. Joe Garagiola finished his playing career with a .257 batting average, 481 hits and 255 RBI. Following his playing career, he spent time in the broadcast booth for the St. Louis Cardinals and NBC Radio among other baseball commentating positions. In 1969, Joe became NBC’s The Today Show panelist from 1969-1973.

mar Joseph "Turk" Lown (May 30, 1924 – July 8, 2016) A Brooklyn-born boyhood hoops star, Omar “Turk” Lown embraced baseball and registered some great minor-league seasons before debuting with the Cubs in 1951. Chicago was Lown’s kind of town. He sandwiched one season in Cincinnati between seven years with the Cubbies and five with the ChiSox. The City of the Big Shoulders relied heavily on Lown’s arm. He was relieving royalty, saving 13 games in 1956, 12 in 1957, and a league-high 15 in 1959. Moreover, he led the league in games finished three times. Lown teamed with Gerry Staley to save a combined 30 games for the 1959 AL Champion White Sox. The hearty pitcher who won many a bullpen battle served in the US Army, was injured in Battle of the Bulge, and received the Purple Heart. After his MLB days, he was a postal carrier for many years. Lown died in 2016 at age 92.

Lawrence Peter “Yogi” Berra (May 12, 1925 - September 22, 2015) was one of the most colorful, beloved and most talented players the game of baseball has ever seen. Berra’s parents, immigrants from Italy, settled in St. Louis’ Italian neighborhood, known as “The Hill”. Larry, or Lawdie as his parents called him in a heavy Italian accent, spent much of his time playing baseball rather than focusing on his studies and eventually dropped out f school as an eighth grader. He took on a few jobs to help make ends met for the family, but was often fired for leaving work early to play ball with his friends as they were dismissed from school. Future Major Leaguer Joe Garagiola, his closest friend, grew up a block away and played American Legion ball with Larry. It was there that friend and teammate, Bobby Hofman (also a future Major Leaguer) nicknamed Larry “Yogi” because he often sat crossed legged and cross-armed on the ground due to a full bench. It stuck! The two were eventually offered contracts with the St. Louis Cardinals, though the 6’0” Garagiola was offered a $500 bonus and Berra nothing so he rejected the Cards offer. Though he was ultimately turned away by his hometown team, potentially by general manager Branch Rickey, who had sights on signing Yogi once he became the GM for the Brooklyn Dodgers shortly thereafter, the New York Yankees signed the 5’8” 185 lbs. stout outfielder in 1943, giving him the same $500 bonus that Garagiola received. Because the Yanks were relatively stacked in the outfield with the likes of Joe DiMaggio, Johnny Lindell and Tommy Henrich, and Yogi was less than impressive in the outfield, New York converted him to a catcher in the minor leagues, working under the expert tutelage of Hall of Famer catcher Bill Dickey. Berra later credited Dickey for his success saying, “I owe everything I did in baseball to Bill Dickey.”

1954 BOWMAN 166 SANDALIO CONSUEGRA

Sandy Consuegra (September 3, 1920 - November 16, 2005) born Sandalio Simeon (Castellon) Consuegra holds the unenviable record of the highest earned run average in an All-Star Game at 135.00, setting said record in the 1954 Mid-Summer Classic when he allowed five runs on five hits, facing only 6 batters in 0.1 innings pitched. Consuegra had a decent record pitching in his native Cuba before signing with the Washington Senators and pitching for the Sens affiliate, the Havana Cubans of the Florida International League. Making his Major League debut at 29, Sandy went 7-8 in each of his first two seasons before putting up a 6-0 record in 1952. However, battles with management and tomfoolery in the dugout led the Senators (1950-1953) to release the right-hander and the Chicago White Sox purchased him in 1953. He pitched 3-1/2 years for the Southsiders (1953-1956) and had his best year in 1954 when he went 16-3 to lead the American League in winning percentage (.842) and earn his one and only MLB All-Star selection. The Baltimore Orioles, formerly the St. Louis Browns who relocated in 1953, purchased Sandy in 1956. Unfortunately, following the move to Baltimore, Consuegra would appear in only four contests in 1956 and five more in 1957, posting a record of 1-1, before the New York Giants nabbed him off the waver wire. But, by the time he reached the Polo Grounds, his career was coming to a close and in four games with the Giants posted a 0-0 record in 3.2 innings pitched. Sandy Consuegra enjoyed an eight-year career as a "swingman" pitcher, both starting and relieving, and posted a 51-32 record with 193 strikeouts, 24 complete games, five shutouts, 28 saves and a 3.37 ERA in 248 game appearances.

Robert Granville Lemon (September 22, 1920 - January 11, 2000) began his Major League career with the Cleveland Indians as a third baseman and outfielder prior to World War II. After three years of service, Lemon returned to the Cleveland club and was converted to a pitcher, a move that proved genius as his career progressed. Three times, Lemon led the American League in wins and starts and five-times led the league in complete games. An integral part of a powerful Indians pitching staff, Lemon helped lead the club to the 1948 World Series championship and the 1954 AL pennant. Lemon was a durable and hard-throwing right-hander on a staff with one of the premier right-handers of the era, Bob Feller. Lemon retired with a record of 207-128 with 1,277 strikeouts and a 3.23 ERA. In 1948, Bob Lemon no-hit the Detroit Tigers winning 2-0. Robert Granville Lemon was elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1976.