Baseball - Top Ten Complete Baseball Sets of All-Time: Secretariat Image Gallery

Barbeau started his professional baseball career in 1905. In August, he was purchased by the Cleveland Naps and spent the rest of 1905 and 1906 with them. However, he hit just .194 in 1906 and was released. He played for the American Association's Toledo Mud Hens in 1907 and 1908. In 1909, he was the starting third baseman for the Pittsburgh Pirates but was then traded to the Cardinals in August. After a slow start in 1910, he was sent back down to the minors. From 1910 to 1919, Barbeau played in the American Association, the Pacific Coast League, and the Western League. He had 160 hits in the majors and 1,463 hits in a 13-year minor league career.

Johnny Bates played nine seasons in the majors from 1906 until 1914. Bates played for the Boston Beaneaters, Cincinnati Reds, Philadelphia Phillies and Chicago Cubs in the National League, and finished his career with the Baltimore Terrapins of the Federal League. In 1154 games, Bates recorded 1087 hits, 25 home runs and 417 RBI with a .278 batting average.

Jake Beckley gained election to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1971, 53 years after his death, most baseball fans had no idea who he was or why he should be honored with a plaque in Cooperstown. Beckley's reputation suffered because he never played on a pennant winner, and only one team he played for (the 1893 Pirates) finished as high as second place. Still, the colorful "Eagle Eye" compiled a .308 lifetime average, hit .300 or better in 13 of his 20 seasons (including the first four seasons of the Deadball Era), and retired in 1907 as baseball's all-time leader in triples. Beckley still stands fourth on the all-time list of three-baggers, behind only Sam Crawford, Ty Cobb, and Honus Wagner. He held the career record for games played at first base until 1994, when Eddie Murray passed him, but he still leads all first basemen in putouts and total chances.

American Indian. Innovator. Renaissance man. Charles Albert “Chief” Bender lived a unique American life, fashioned a Hall of Fame career, and was an important member of modern baseball’s first dynasty. He silently struggled against racial prejudice, became a student of the game, and was a lifetime baseball man. His legacy, however, is less nuanced than all of that. Bender is known foremost for a rare ability to pitch under pressure. “If I had all the men I’ve ever handled, and they were in their prime, and there was one game I wanted to win above all others,” said Philadelphia Athletics icon Connie Mack, who managed fellow all-time pitching greats Lefty Grove, Herb Pennock, Eddie Plank, and Rube Waddell, “Albert would be my man.”

Jack Bliss, played from 1908 until 1912, for the St. Louis Cardinals, primarily as a catcher. He spent most of his career as a reserve, but was the Cardinals' primary catcher in 1911. He was a .219 lifetime hitter.

From 1901 to 1904 Bill Bradley was arguably the best young player in the American League. Wielding a heavy bat he nicknamed Big Bennie, the 6-foot, 185-pound right-hander was one of the junior circuit's most feared hitters, becoming the first player to homer in four straight games in 1902, and batting .300 or better three consecutive years. A natural power hitter who was out of place in the run-deprived Deadball Era, Bradley was not a fan of the "inside" strategies championed by many of the game's leading figures. "Brilliant coaching makes me tired," he once bluntly declared. "This idea...that coachers, teamwork, and the so-called inside ball ... makes or unmakes a team, is foolishness." Yet Bradley was no simple-minded basher; he was admired throughout the league for his aggressive base running and brilliant fielding at third base, where he led the league in double plays three times and fielding percentage four times. And when a series of injuries sapped his power, Bradley transformed his game, adopting inside tactics to help his team win. In 1908 the man who had ranked second in the league in home runs just six years earlier laid down 60 sacrifices, the second most in baseball history.

1909-11 T206 SWEET CAPORAL ROGER BRESNAHAN

A versatile athlete who played all nine positions at the major-league level, Roger Bresnahan is generally regarded today as the Deadball Era's most famous catcher, as well known for his innovations in protective equipment as for his unusual skill package that made him one of the first catchers ever used continuously at the top of the batting order. Catchers almost always batted eighth in the Deadball Era, but Bresnahan was adept at reaching base (he had a .419 on-base percentage in 1906) and possessed surprising speed despite his 5'9", 200-pound frame. Like his close friend and mentor, John McGraw, the .279 lifetime hitter had a quick temper and was inherently tactless. One reporter described him as "highly strung and almost abnormally emotional," but he also had a soft heart. During his five years as a big-league manager, Bresnahan reportedly fined more players and took less money than any of his peers.

John Butler came up to the majors out of Fordham University to play just 1 game for the Brewers in 1901. A catcher who was weak offensively and defensively, he played four seasons in the big leagues with three different teams. He had a total of 119 at bats with an on-base percentage of .231 and a batting average of .134, which are not great numbers. Around his three MLB tours, Butler played ten seasons in the minors, mostly for the Kansas City Blues of the American Association, and then the Jersey City Skeeters and the Rochester Bronchos of the Eastern League. He retired at 31 after batting .247 in 2,478 minor league at bats. After his playing career ended, he did some coaching with the White Sox.

1909-11 T206 PIEDMONT 150 FRANK CHANCE

Forever poetically linked to Joe Tinker and Johnny Evers by F. P. Adams' "Baseball's Sad Lexicon," Frank Chance made his mark as the Cubs' player-manager from 1905 through 1912 as part of the "Tinker-to-Evers-to-Chance" double play infield. Although not widely regarded as one of the game's greatest fielders, Chance holds a special place in the hearts of Cub fans for his hustle and his hardnosed approach to motivating his players, not to mention guiding the much-maligned Cubs to their last two World Series titles in 1907 and 1908.

Louisville Colonels NL (1898) St. Louis Cardinals NL (1905) Cleveland Naps AL (1908–1909) Boston Rustlers NL (1911) Josh “Pepper” Clarke, brother of the great Hall of Famer Fred Clarke, was a backup outfielder who did not have his brother’s talent. He managed to bat .242 in 492 at bats in 1908 for the Naps, but did not play much in his other four MLB seasons. In 1908 he swiped 37 bases, good for fifth in the league, and he was fourth in the league in bases on balls with 76. Clarke was up and down in the minors throughout his career, playing for the Des Moines Undertakers and the Sioux City Packers in the Western League and the St. Paul Saints, the Toledo Mud Hens, the Columbus Senators, and the Kansas City Blues in the American Association. He was Sioux City’s player/manager from 1913 to 1915. Over his 14 seasons as a minor league player, he batted .289 in 5,863 at bats. After his playing days ended in 1915, Clarke managed the Lincoln Links in the Western League in 1924 and 1925. He came back in 1936 when he was 57 to manage the Omaha Robin Hoods/Rock Island Islanders in the Western League.

Fate: “The supposed force, principle, or power that predetermines events.” [1] Some people believe in it, some do not, though no one can be certain of its existence. But Fred Clarke was a believer in fate. In an interview with a reporter from the New York Herald in 1911, Clarke admitted, “I attribute my success to fate. ... Life is a funny game, and a little thing, almost a trifle, may make a splash in your affairs so big that the ripples from it will be felt as long as you live.” [2] Skeptics might write off Clarke’s words as the ramblings of a highly successful sports figure exuding false modesty as he nostalgically looked back on his career. However, a close study of Clarke’s life shows that the fiery player-manager may have had a better feel for what was happening to him than any skeptic could imagine.

Rockford Red Sox IIIL (1904) Dubuque Shamrocks IIIL (1905) Dubuque Dubs IIIL (1906) Peoria Distillers IIIL (1907) Indianapolis Indians AA (1908–1909) Omaha Rourkes WL (1909) Rock Island Islanders IIIL (1910–1911) Dubuque Hustlers IIIL (1911) Seattle Giants NWES (1911) Paul Davidson had a steady career in the minors, playing for nine different teams. An outfielder with a pretty good glove, Davidson also pitched in 1911 for the Rock Island Islanders and the Dubuque Hustlers, going 1–4. His 1908 Indianapolis Indians team was managed by Charlie Carr. Davidson’s best season was 1910, when he batted .296 for Rock Island. After eight seasons in the minors, he retired in 1911 with 883 hits in 3,402 at bats and 911 games.

For Josh Devore, the third time was definitely the charm. A native of Murray City, Ohio, Devore broke into the Bigs with the New York Giants in 1908. Pennant bridesmaids in Devore’s first three seasons, New York finally made it to the World Series in 1911, only to lose in six games to the Philadelphia Athletics. Devore and the Giants returned to the Fall Classic in 1912, but again were vanquished, this time by the Red Sox in seven games. The year 1913 was a whirlwind for Devore. He played for the Giants, Reds, and Phillies before landing with the Boston Braves just in time for another trip to the World Series. In his third chance at glory, Devore’s team came through as the “Miracle Braves” beat the A’s in a four-game sweep. Devore was no Mr. October, batting just .204 in 14 career World Series games, but he was a steady contributor to all of his clubs. A fantastic leadoff man, Devore was adept at the arts of bunting and stealing. He once swiped four bases in a single inning. He also made many a game-saving play in the outfield, including a memorable snag in Game 3 of the 1912 World Series. Some 36 years before Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier, Devore and the Giants played in the Cuban-American Major League Club Series versus two Cuban clubs, Almendares Park and Havana Park. Devore hit over .300 just one time, in his first full season with the Giants, but he finished with a respectable career batting average

A flamboyant playboy and partygoer who dressed impeccably and always had a quip and a handshake for everyone he met, Mike Donlin “may have been the most colorful character in the National League during his playing career. … Prone to late nights after afternoon games, he was a night crawler in the truest sense. … He was cocky and self-assured and, when he wanted to be, also a damn fine ballplayer who appreciated his own worth.”1 For indeed, Mike Donlin could hit as well as anyone in baseball during the Deadball Era. Though he rarely walked, the powerfully built 5-foot-9, 170-pound left-hander was a masterful curveball hitter with power to all fields. His career slugging percentage of .468 compares favorably to better-known contemporary hitters like Honus Wagner (.467) and Sam Crawford (.452), and his .333 lifetime batting average might have earned him a spot in the Hall of Fame had he sustained it over a full career. But Donlin’s love of the bottle and frequent stints in vaudeville limited him to the equivalent of only seven full seasons.

While only one major-league pitcher has lost 20 games in a single season during the twenty-first century, the now dubiously recognized feat did not carry the same stigma a century ago. In fact, during the 1901-1910 decade, 12 different pitchers for Boston’s National League entry produced 18 seasons of 20 or more losses. Among them were Hall of Famer Vic Willis; 20-game winners Irv Young, Togie Pittinger, and Chick Fraser; and eight other lesser known hurlers including Augustus Dorner. Gus Dorner was a 5-foot-10, 175-pound right-hander who compiled a 35-69 lifetime record with a 3.37 ERA over a six-year major-league career that spanned 1902-1909 and included stops in Cleveland, Cincinnati, and Boston (NL). A hard-luck loser who played for poor teams and received little run support, Dorner joined the fraternity of major-league pitchers who lost 20 or more games in a season when his name appeared in the loss column a National League-leading 26 times in 1906.

Evers was very high-energy and temperamental. As part of that famous double-play combo with Frank Chance and Joe Tinker, he was superb on the field. On the other hand, off the field, Johnny Evers and Joe Tinker never spoke. Evers once even stated that they truly hated each other. The two did not speak for 30 years. Some say it was because Tinker fired a baseball at Evers from a very close distance and injured Evers’ hand. Others claim that it was a result of a fight the two got into in 1905. In any event, the two remained passionate about the Cubs and never let their relationship interfere with their stellar play. Johnny Evers batted a respectable .270 over his career and stole 324 bases. He later managed both the Cubs and White Sox and served as a scout for the Braves. He was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1946. Evers was also involved in the famous 1908 “Merkle Boner” play, calling out the fact that Fred Merkle never touched second base and was heading back to the clubhouse. This set off a chain of events that became one of the more bizarre stories in baseball history.

Best known as the player who Cleveland would not trade for the young Ty Cobb or as the man who won the American League batting title with the lowest average prior to 1968, Elmer Flick was more than just an answer to a trivia question. An underrated Hall of Famer whose on-the-field accomplishments are nearly forgotten today, Flick was a hard-hitting, fleet-footed outfielder who had his major league career curtailed by a mysterious gastrointestinal ailment.

The first player born in the western Canadian province of Manitoba to reach the major leagues, Russ Ford burst into the spotlight in 1910, winning 26 games for the New York Highlanders with a baffling new pitch never before seen in professional baseball. Using a piece of emery board hidden in his glove, Ford roughed up one side of the ball, causing it to break at odd angles depending on how he threw it. For two seasons, Ford used the emery ball to dominate the American League, all the while hiding the origin of his new discovery. "He kept his secret a long time by pretending he was pitching a spitter," Ty Cobb later recalled. "He would deliberately show his finger to the batter and then wet it with saliva." Though Ford's signature pitch was banned by 1915, his invention set the precedent for a long line of scuff ball artists, including contemporaries Cy Falkenberg and Eddie Cicotte and Hall of Famers Whitey Ford and Don Sutton.

In 1908 Hayden played for the Indianapolis Indians, who won the American Association pennant under manager Charles Carr. Hayden led the league in hits with 186 (and led in doubles and triples) and in batting average, at .316. The Chicago Cubs were in a three-way battle for the National League pennant, which they ultimately won by just one game over the Pittsburgh Pirates and the New York Giants. Both the Reds and Cubs selected Hayden in the September 2 draft, and he wound up with Chicago, helping out after center fielder Jimmy Slagle injured his leg. Jack was ineligible to play in the World Series, having joined the club after the August 31 deadline – but he’d hit only .200 in 45 at-bats, scored three runs and driven in two. But he had apparently contributed – he “helped to win several games by his hitting on the last crucial Eastern trip,” wrote the correspondent for Sporting Life in the October 31 issue, also noting that Hayden had been “forgotten” when Series shares were allotted. Columnist W.A. Phelon, writing in January, said that “Coakley and Hayden did not do very much for the Cubs late fall, but what they did was done well, and the goods were delivered at just the proper time.”

1909-11 T206 PIEDMONT 350 DANNY HOFFMAN

Before Ray Chapman, Mickey Cochrane, Tony Conigliaro, Dickie Thon, and Adam Greenberg, the list of careers compromised by pitched baseballs claimed Danny Hoffman. On July 1, 1904, a Jesse Tannehill fastball caught the dynamic Philadelphia Athletics outfielder above his right eye, nearly killing him. Hoffman returned after months of recovery, and, despite significant damage to his eyesight, persevered to play another seven major-league seasons. But, like others who followed him, one pitch forever changed the trajectory of his baseball life.

An above-average centerfielder and one of the Deadball Era's finest utility men, Artie Hofman was a timely hitter and one of the fleetest men in the game. Known as "Circus Solly," a nickname some attributed to a comic strip character from the early 1900s, while others swore it came from his spectacular circus catches, Hofman garnered attention with his playing style and also his lively antics. He is "serious only when asleep," jibed Baseball Magazine. Along with fellow free spirits Frank "Wildfire" Schulte and Jimmy Sheckard, Hofman completed what Ring Lardner once called "the best outfield I ever looked at." During his tenure with the Cubs, Hofman played every position outside of the battery and was universally regarded as the game's best utility man before he became a regular in center field in 1909. Perhaps he is most famous as the outfielder who fielded Al Bridwell's single and called Evers' attention to the fact that Fred Merkle had not touched second base. Merkle's baserunning blunder and the disputed game forced a one-game playoff with John McGraw's Giants, allowing the Cubs to capture the 1908 flag. Hugh Keough, a newspaper writer who was friendly with Hofman, claims that the irrepressible Circus Solly fielded the ball and fired a curve to Evers, who missed it, allowing the ball to be picked up by Joe McGinnity, who lobbed it into the grandstand.

As both a slick-fielding second baseman and legendary manager, Miller “Mighty Mite” Huggins definitely left his mark on our National Pastime. The diminutive 5-foot, 6-inch Huggins was bitten by the baseball bug while attending the University of Cincinnati. Although he graduated with a law degree, Huggins never practiced law, opting for a baseball career instead. Huggins proved to be fleet-footed, stealing 324 bases over his playing career, and was adept at getting on base. The perfect lead-off hitter, Huggins led the league in walks four times. He became a steady influence at the pivot position for both his Reds and Cardinals teams. Even though he was a skilled second baseman, Huggins found his true calling as a manager. He became player-manager of the Cards, and had some success in St. Louis but his teams never finished higher than third place. It is said that Huggins tried to buy the franchise when it was for sale in 1918, but his offer was rejected. Huggins then left the Cards, but Jake Rupert, owner of the Yankees, saw something in his management style, and the rest is history. Once in New York, Huggins took a group of undisciplined carousers and turned them into a spectacular baseball team. He systematically rebuilt the Yankees by bringing in new talent. Huggins corralled the great Babe Ruth, and recruited future stars Lou Gehrig, Tony Lazzeri and Earle Combs. His 1927 “Murderer’s Row” team is considered one of the best of all time. Huggins led the Yankees to World Series wins in 1923, 1927 and 1928, and to the pennant in 1921, 1922 and 1926.

In 1907 38 year-old Hughie Jennings became the sixth manager in seven years of the downtrodden Detroit Tigers. Aided by a young phenom named Ty Cobb, Jennings proceeded to lead the Tigers to three consecutive pennants in his first three seasons with the club. Though he never won another pennant after 1909, Jennings continued to manage the Tigers through the 1920 season, accumulating a .538 winning percentage and guiding the club to 10 first division finishes in 14 seasons. Even though he had to deal with the temperamental Cobb during his entire tenure with Detroit, Jennings was the most colorful, animated and cheerful manager in the game. He sported a boyish, infectious smile on his freckled, red-headed Irish face. Umpire Tim Hurst called it "the grin that echoed." During the game he was constant motion, continually hollering his signature "Ee-yah!" and "Attaboy" from his third base coaching box while plucking the grass bare. Perhaps not surprisingly, given his gift of gab, in the off-season Jennings was a highly-regarded trial lawyer in his hometown of Scranton, Pennsylvania. He achieved all this success despite a string of freak accidents--including three separate serious head injuries--unparalleled in the history of the sport.

In his interview with Lawrence Ritter for Ritter's classic book The Glory of Their Times, Davy Jones described the kaleidoscope of players who enlivened the Deadball Era. "Baseball attracted all sorts of people in those days," he explained. "We had stupid guys, smart guys, tough guys, mild guys, crazy guys, college men, slickers from the city, and hicks from the country." At times, Jones himself could seem a bit like all of the above. A rare collegian who possessed a law degree and later went on to a prosperous career in pharmacology, the intelligent Jones could also be quick-tempered and impulsive. Jones had run-ins with umpires, managers, players and fans, and once even bounced a knife-wielding robber from his drugstore. During his first years in the pros he jumped so many contracts that the press nicknamed him "The Kangaroo." "He signed so many contracts last winter that a half dozen lawyers could not have made a worse tangle," the Chicago Tribune quipped in 1902. When he finally settled down with the Detroit Tigers, the fleet-footed and pesky Jones became one of the game's best, though oft-injured, leadoff hitters. His most successful season in Detroit came in 1907, when he helped spark the Tigers to the first of three consecutive American League pennants.

One of the early power hitters of the game, Tim Jordan led the National League twice in home runs, smacking 12 for the Superbas in 1906 and then another 12 in 1908, a significant achievement during the dead-ball era. In 1906 he batted .262 with 118 hits to go along with his long balls. Defensively, Jordan was a very good first baseman. Although knee problems cut short his time in the majors, he went on to star in the minors through the 1916 season, playing mostly for the Toronto Maple Leafs in the International League, where he hit .330 with 20 home runs in 1911 and .312 with 19 homers in 1912. Jordan staged a comeback in 1920 to bat .256 in 238 at bats and 69 games for the International League’s Syracuse Stars when he was 41 years old. He then retired, with a career .296 batting average in 4,614 at bats and 1,291 games over his 11 minor league seasons.

For nine seasons Addie Joss was one of the best pitchers in the history of the American League, posting four 20-win seasons, capturing two ERA titles, and tossing two no-hitters (one of them a perfect game) and seven one-hitters. Of Joss's 160 career victories 45 were shutouts, and his career 1.89 ERA ranks second all-time only to his long-time rival Ed Walsh among players with 1,000 innings pitched. An exceptional control pitcher with a deceptive pitching motion, the right-handed Joss employed a corkscrew delivery, turning his back entirely to the batter before coming at him with a sidearm motion that confused most hitters. "Joss not only had great speed and a fast-breaking curve," Baseball Magazine observed in 1911, "but [also] a very effective pitching motion, bringing the ball behind him with a complete body swing and having it on the batter almost before the latter got sight of it." After nearly pitching the Naps to their first pennant in 1908, illness and injury limited Addie's endurance during his final two major league seasons, before his life was tragically cut short at the age of 31 by a bacterial infection.

Outfielder Joe Kelley’s sensational play on the diamond earned him the well-deserved title “Kingpin of the Orioles.” He along with John McGraw, Willie Keeler, and Hughie Jennings made up the “Big Four” of the great Baltimore teams of the middle 1890s. Kelley was fleet of foot, sure-handed in the field, and blessed with a powerful throwing arm. At the plate, Joe was a prolific hitter who once connected for nine consecutive hits in a doubleheader. In the outfield, he was one of the best defenders of his day. Joe reportedly hid extra baseballs in the outfield grass on the sly in case the one in play got by him. Dubbed “Handsome Joe Kelley” by his multitude of female admirers in Baltimore, he kept a small mirror and comb in his back pocket in order to maintain his well-groomed appearance during games. In a 1923 interview, Kelley’s former teammate and future Hall of Famer John McGraw told a reporter, “Joe had no prominent weakness. He was fast on the bases, could hit the ball hard and was as graceful an outfielder as one would care to see. He covered an immense amount of ground and had the necessary faculty, so prominent in [Tris] Speaker and others, of being able to place himself where the batter would likely hit the ball.” Kelley played on six pennant-winning teams during his 17-year stint in the major leagues. He finished with a .317 career batting average, 443 stolen bases, .402 on-base percentage, and 194 triples. He knocked in 100 or more runs in five straight seasons and scored over 100 runs six times. Defensively, Joe was outstanding, posting a lifetime .955 fielding percentage in the outfield to go along with 212 assists. When his glory days on the diamond ended, he continued on in the game as a manager, scout, and coach.

Ed Lennox played in Major League Baseball for the Philadelphia Athletics, Brooklyn Superbas, Chicago Cubs, and Pittsburgh Rebels. While playing for the Rebels in 1914, Lennox hit for the cycle on May 6, becoming the only Federal League player to do so. He also hit pinch-hit home runs in consecutive games on June 10 and 11, a feat that was not accomplished again until Victor Martinez of the Detroit Tigers did so against the Miami Marlins on April 4 and 5, 2016.

Brooklyn Superbas NL (1904–1910; player/manager: 1909) In the 20th century only one rookie led his league in triples and homers, and his name was Harry “Judge” Lumley. As a 23-year-old rookie in 1904, Lumley also finished second only to Honus Wagner in total bases and second only to “Bad Bill” Dahlen in RBI. He developed into one of the most feared sluggers of his era and Brooklyn’s most popular player. By the time Lumley was included in the T206 set in 1909, his once-bright career was in full decline due to ongoing weight issues and resulting injuries. An injured ankle led to a .216 average in 1908, and he only played 55 games in 1909 due to a shoulder injury, hitting .250 with no homers as the Superbas’ player/manager. He went just 55–98 (.359) as Brooklyn’s manager, and was replaced in 1910 by Bill Dahlen. Lumley was player/manager of the Binghamton Bingoes in the New York State League for three seasons. He retired in 1913 as a career .335 minor league hitter and ran a tavern in Binghamton.

Ballplayers of Irish descent - Hugh Duffy, Wee Willie Keeler, Big Ed Delahanty, John McGraw, et al. - played a major factor in our National Pastime’s surge to ever-greater popularity in the 1880s and the 1890s and the first decade of this century. According to a 1989 article in The Irish Echo, fully one-third to one-half of all major leaguers in the 1890s were of Irish ancestry. Joining those ranks in 1901 was William Alphonse Maloney. High batting averages were not Billy’s forte. Slick fielding and, especially, base stealing were where he earned his highest marks. It appeared for a while, though, as if he would not get another chance to showcase them. Following his rather unsatisfying 1902 season, he was sent down to Kansas City in the Western League (1903) and then Minneapolis in the American Association (1904). His work in Minneapolis impressed Chicago Cubs manager Frank Selee, however, and Billy returned to the majors - and a starting outfield berth - with the Cubbies in 1905. It would be his best year.

Doc Marshall was a professional baseball player who played catcher from 1904 to 1909. He briefly managed the Chicago Whales during the inaugural Federal League season. In 1907, while playing for the Cardinals he led all catchers in assists and errors. Marshall was purchased by the Chicago Cubs on May 29, 1908 and made a number of appearances that season, but did not play in the 1908 World Series for the champion Cubs. He also played with the Des Moines Undertakers of the Western League and the Milwaukee Brewers and St. Paul Saints of the American Association. After retiring from baseball, he became a doctor and practiced medicine for 45 years in Clinton.

If there were a Hall of Fame for pinch hitters, one of the first to enter would be Harry Elwood "Moose" McCormick. In 1922, when asked how he explained his pinch-hitting success, McCormick said, "It was because I never worried when I went to the plate. I always thought this when I was asked to bat for another: ''Well, if I fail, no fault can be found with me, for if everybody on the team had been hitting I would never had been called on.'"

Although he was one of the biggest men in the major leagues at the dawn of the 20th century, at 5-foot-11 and 206 pounds, he was hardly a power pitcher. In his prime years, he relied almost exclusively on a baffling, rising curve ball that was so dear to him he gave it a nickname, “Old Sal.” He used a peculiar underarm pitching style but also sometimes threw a devastating sinker with a more conventional overhand motion. John McGraw often said he thought the use of two radically different pitching motions may have lessened the strain on his arm and contributed to making him so durable. He said that when pitching his doubleheaders, McGinnity would sometimes throw one game overhand and work the other game with underarm motion. “He was a close second to McGraw when it came to needling players,” Ed Burkholder once wrote in Sport. “When he was on the mound, an enemy baserunner was in a constant state of nerves, and his bantering with the batter in the box contributed much to his success.”4 Legendary manager Connie Mack described simply described McGinnity as “a magician,” noting that “he knew all the tricks for putting a batter on the spot.” McGinnity also mixed in a healthy dose of guile and an almost unmatched understanding of how to manipulate batters. He occasionally blended in a spitball, was expert at using the quick pitch, and never hesitated to brush back a hitter who stood too close to the plate. His 40 hit batsmen in 1900 are still the major-league record.

John McGraw was perhaps the National League's most influential figure in the Deadball Era. From 1902 to 1932 he led the New York Giants to 10 National League pennants, three World Series championships, and 21 first- or second-place finishes in 29 full seasons at their helm. His 2,784 managerial victories are second only to Connie Mack's 3,731, but in 1927 Mack himself proclaimed, "There has been only one manager — and his name is McGraw." The pugnacious McGraw's impact on the game, moreover, was even greater than his record suggests. As a player he helped develop "inside baseball," which put a premium on strategy and guile, and later managed the way he'd played, seeking out every advantage for his Giants. Known as Mugsy (a nickname he detested) and Little Napoleon (for his dictatorial methods), McGraw administered harsh tongue-lashings to his players and frequently fought with umpires; he was ejected from 118 contests during his career, far more than any other manager. "McGraw eats gunpowder every morning for breakfast and washes it down with warm blood," said Giants coach Arlie Latham.

Due to a single base-running blunder on September 23, 1908, Fred Merkle became known by such unflattering epithets as "Bonehead," "Leather Skull," and "Ivory Pate." Those who knew the right-handed cleanup hitter, however, described him as a "gentleman and scholar" and "voracious reader"; in fact, teammate Chief Meyers called him "the smartest man on the club." Baseball Magazine described the 6'1", 190 pound Merkle as "a hard hitter who usually delivers in the pinches" and "the most finished fielder in his league," but what really set him apart from other first basemen was his ability as a base runner. One of the few Deadball Era players who routinely slid head-first, Merkle "was not what one could call a very fast man on a sprint," wrote John McGraw, "but he was adept at stealing third. He never started unless he had the right lead, and once he started he rarely missed." Arguably Merkle's "boner" cost the Giants the 1908 pennant, though McGraw always defended him, pointing out that his team had lost a dozen other games that it should have won that season. Nonetheless the misplay continued to haunt Merkle, who batted only .191 without a single home run in 79 games the next season. "Listen to them hoot," he reportedly said to the manager. "You're making a mistake to keep me here. They don't want me." McGraw replied, "I wish I had more players like you. Don't pay any attention to those weathercocks. They'll be cheering you the next time you make a good play." McGraw's patience was rewarded in 1910 when Merkle replaced Tenney and batted .292 with 70 RBI as the Giants regular first baseman and cleanup hitter. The next year he batted .283 with career highs in home runs (12), RBI (84), and stolen bases (49), finishing seventh in the Chalmers Award voting. One of his dozen homers was reportedly "the longest four-base hit ever seen on the Cincinnati grounds." Merkle enjoyed his finest season in 1912 when he batted a career-high .309 with 11 home runs, 84 RBI, and 37 stolen bases. In Game Eight of that year's World Series against the Boston Red Sox, however, he figured in another luckless play. Fred was poised to be the hero when his single in the top of the 10th inning scored Red Murray from second to give the Giants the lead. The bottom half began with Fred Snodgrass' infamous muff in center field, allowing pinch-hitter Clyde Engle to reach second base. After Harry Hooper flied out and Steve Yerkes walked, Tris Speaker hit a high foul near the first-base coach's box. Though most observers agreed that it was his ball, Merkle backed away when Mathewson called for the catcher, Meyers, to make the catch. The ball fell to the ground, giving Speaker another chance, and this time he slashed a long single to right that started the Sox's winning rally. In New York, the headlines the next day read "Bonehead Merkle Does It Again."

Back in an era when a manager's responsibilities often included both the duties of a modern skipper plus those of today's general manager, Pat Moran excelled at each role. In a span of six years Moran took over two mediocre franchises with little history of winning, rebuilt and reassembled their players, and managed each to a pennant. Unfortunately, his place in the pantheon of great managers never solidified due to his unexpected and premature death at age 48. Although Pat Moran never became a star and played in more than 100 games only twice, he nevertheless proved a valuable player on several teams. More significantly, he excelled at all aspects of the manager's job, from assembling the players, to coaching the pitchers, to orchestrating a game, to the handling of men. After inheriting two of the National League's also-ran clubs he finished first twice, including one World Series championship, and second four times in only nine years of managing. For this brief period, Moran managed at as high a level as any manager ever. Sadly, a premature death robbed him of the extensive career he could have enjoyed.

"Red Murray was for years noted as one of the greatest outfielders in the National League," wrote J.C. Kofoed in the April 1924 issue of Baseball Magazine. "His throwing arm was the best ever, his ground covering ability and sureness of eye were classic. Furthermore, he was remarkably fast as a base runner, and noted as a batter as well." In his seven seasons as a regular, Murray led NL outfielders in home runs, runs batted in, stolen bases, and assists a total of 16 times. Despite his impressive statistics in power hitting, baserunning, and fielding, he remains one of the least-recognized stars of the Deadball Era.

Frank Malcolm Owen (December 23, 1879 – November 24, 1942) was a pitcher in Major League Baseball who played eight seasons with the Detroit Tigers and Chicago White Sox. Born in Ypsilanti, Michigan (and nicknamed "Yip" for it), he pitched the final six innings of Game 2 of the 1906 World Series, replacing Doc White. In 194 career games, Owen had an 82–67 won-loss record with a 2.55 ERA. Owen was the first American League pitcher to pitch complete game wins in both games of a doubleheader, winning against the St. Louis Browns on 1 July 1905.[1] Owen was mistakenly referred to as "Billy Owen" in the 1906 version of the "Fan Craze" board game, released by the Fan Craze Co of Cincinnati.[2] In 1904, as a member of the White Sox, in 315 innings of work, he handled 151 chances (21 PO, 130 A) without an error and also executed 8 double plays.

Starting 217 games as a Browns pitcher and relieving in 49 more, Barney Pelty was, along with shortstop Bobby Wallace, the common thread on a team that flirted with destiny and fell into oblivion. Armed with an excellent curveball that kept opposing hitters off-balance, the 5'9", 175-lb right-hander recorded 22 career shutouts, but also was shut out 32 times, meaning that fully a quarter of his decisions ended as a shutout, one way or the other. In his best season, 1906, Pelty finished with a 1.59 ERA, which still stands as a record for the lowest single season ERA in Browns/Orioles franchise history, and a league-best .202 opponents batting average, but still won only 16 games. A man of cautious intelligence, with handsomely broad features and prominent ears that made him seem slightly older than he was, Pelty was often used by his managers as a field coach, and after his baseball career dabbled in trade and politics. One of only a handful of Jewish ballplayers during the Deadball Era, "the Yiddish Curver" made no attempt to hide his heritage, but was also not a religious person. If he faced anti-Semitism, he certainly never complained publicly or let it be known that it bothered him. He was a proud man who dealt with life the way he dealt with the hard-luck team he played for, with a quiet and dignified professionalism.

A side-wheeling left-hander with a great pick-off move to first base that kept runners close, Jack Pfiester posted a lifetime 2.02 ERA over eight seasons, the third best of all-time for pitchers with at least 1,000 innings, but he is best remembered for his seven shutouts and 15-5 career record against the hated New York Giants. "No longer will Chicago's fans struggle with the pretzel curves of the great southpaw's patronymic; no longer will it be mispronounced by seven out of every eight bugs and bugettes," wrote I. E. Sanborn of the Chicago Tribune after Pfiester's 2-1 victory over the Giants on August 30, 1908. "Pfiester, the spelling of which has been the occasion of as many wagers as its mispronunciation, will be dropped as meaningless and inappropriate, and for the rest of time and part of eternity Mr. Pfiester of private life will be known to the public and the historians as Jack the Giant Killer."

A side-wheeling left-hander with a great pick-off move to first base that kept runners close, Jack Pfiester posted a lifetime 2.02 ERA over eight seasons, the third best of all-time for pitchers with at least 1,000 innings, but he is best remembered for his seven shutouts and 15-5 career record against the hated New York Giants. "No longer will Chicago's fans struggle with the pretzel curves of the great southpaw's patronymic; no longer will it be mispronounced by seven out of every eight bugs and bugettes," wrote I. E. Sanborn of the Chicago Tribune after Pfiester's 2-1 victory over the Giants on August 30, 1908. "Pfiester, the spelling of which has been the occasion of as many wagers as its mispronunciation, will be dropped as meaningless and inappropriate, and for the rest of time and part of eternity Mr. Pfiester of private life will be known to the public and the historians as Jack the Giant Killer."

John McGraw once said that Arthur “Bugs” Raymond was the best pitcher he ever tried to manage. Considered one of the best spitball pitchers of the era, Raymond was also one of the game’s biggest boozers. Teammate Rube Marquard once said that Bugs didn’t spit on the ball, he just breathed on it and it came up drunk. His best season was 1909, when he went 18–12 with 2.47 ERA, despite quitting the Giants with six weeks left in the season to tend bar. Sadly, many felt the more he drank, the better he pitched, feeding his habit. McGraw tried to help Raymond beat his addiction, sending him away for treatment, but he was kicked out of the program for horsing around. Finally admitting defeat, McGraw kicked Raymond off the team in 1911 after he left the Giants’ bullpen during a game to go to a local bar. Raymond went back to Chicago and played in the United States League for the Chicago Green Sox for a short time in 1912. In September of that year, 30-year-old Bugs Raymond died of head injuries suffered in a brawl during a game at the same sandlot field in Chicago where he had played baseball as a kid.

1909-11 T206 SWEET CAPORAL 150/30 ED REULBACH

According to J.C. Kofoed of Baseball Magazine, Big Ed Reulbach was "one of the greatest pitchers that the National League ever produced, and one of the finest, clean-cut gentlemen who ever wore a big league uniform." A statuesque 6'1", 190 lb. right-hander, Reulbach employed the technique of "shadowing"?hiding the ball in his windup?as well as a high leg kick like that of Juan Marichal (according to Chief Meyers in a 1967 interview) and what was generally regarded as the finest curve ball in either league to become one baseball's most difficult pitchers to hit. He hurled two one-hitters, six two-hitters, and 13 three-hitters, and in 1906 he yielded 5.33 hits per nine innings, still the third-lowest ratio of all time. Reulbach also gave up fewer hits than innings pitched in each of his 13 seasons, a feat that was never accomplished by any pitcher in the Hall of Fame (Christy Mathewson and Cy Young also did it 13 times, but they pitched 17 and 22 seasons, respectively), and on September 26, 1908, he became the only pitcher ever to throw a doubleheader shutout.

Every human being who has lived on this Earth has done so with a shaky psychological underpinning. Most of us manage to hold onto our senses and live out our lives keeping our balance. Then there are those unfortunate ones who lose their psychological balance and go under. Major leaguers are not exempt. Claude Rossman was one of the unfortunates. Sometime after his too-brief major-league career, he had a breakdown. He died in a hospital for the insane at the age of 46. The cause was paresis, or insanity caused by syphilitic alteration of the brain. On May 4, 1907, as a baserunner, Rossman was involved in an unusual triple play pulled off by the Chicago White Sox. All the outs were tag outs. Rossman was on third base and Germany Schaefer was on second when batter Boss Schmidt sent a groundball to shortstop George Davis. Rossman headed for home but retreated to third when Davis threw the ball home, but catcher Billy Sullivan tagged him out before he could get back to the base. Schmidt had reached first, rounded the bag and was tagged out at second. Schaefer, meanwhile, ran for home and crashed into pitcher Ed Walsh, who had taken the throw from second. Walsh dropped the ball, but shortstop Davis scopped it up and tagged Schaefer. According to Baseball Triple Plays online, there have been only 13 all-tag-out triple plays in the major leaguess. Rossman excelled in the 1907 World Series, batting .474 with a .579 slugging percentage on 9 hits, including a triple. He had two runs batted in and scored one. run. Unfortunately Ty Cobb and Sam Crawford did not come through for the Tigers, hitting .200 and .238 respectively. The Tigers fell to the Chicago Cubs in four straight. In 1908, Rossman experienced the best year of his major-league career. He hit for a.294 batting average, with 33 doubles, a slugging percentage of .419, 71 runs batted in and 13 triples. His doubles total was the second best in the American League. In the 1908 World Series against the Chicago Cubs, he was 4-for-19 (.211) with 3 runs batted in. The Tigers again fell to the Cubs in the Series.

Among his banner years with the Cubs, Schulte lived up to his nickname in the 1911 season when he batted .300, led the league in RBI with 107, and assaulted National League pitching with 21 home runs, a remarkable feat during the Deadball Era. That year Schulte became the first player to top the 20 mark in doubles (30), triples (21), stolen bases (23), and home runs (21). Over the years only three other players have earned a place in the 20-20-20-20-club. The other three members? Willie Mays, Jimmy Rollins and Curtis Granderson. Schulte’s 1911 season was so spectacular that he won the Chalmers Award as MVP of the National League. The speedy Schulte also stole 233 bases over his stellar career. A bit eccentric, Schulte refused to use the heavy bats of the era, favoring a thin-handled 40-ounce bat instead, and would typically break about 50 bats each season. He also believed that if he found a hairpin on the street, it would predict his batting success, and he was often seen searching the sidewalks for hairpins before a game. Wildfire Schulte had the distinction of leading the NL in home runs in 1910 and 1911, played on four NL pennant teams (1906, 1907, 1908, 1910) and two World Series Champions (1907, 1908). By the way, he owns a .321 batting average in the World Series. Not too shabby. As his career declined, he was dealt to Pittsburgh, Philadelphia and Washington, where he ended his Major League career with the Senators. Frank played and managed for another five years in the bushes until 1923. Three days before the World Series in 1949 Wildfire Schulte’s flame went out permanently. He was 67 years old.

Teams: Cleveland Naps AL (1906) Washington Senators AL (1907–1909) “Skipper Bill” Shipke showed promise when he led the Western League in homers in 1905, drawing the attention of the Cleveland Naps. He signed with the Naps, but only had 6 at bats in the majors (without a hit) in 1906 before going back to the Western League to hit .260 and steal 35 bases. Washington bought him from the Des Moines Champs for the 1907 season, and although he finished second in fielding at third base, he hit just .196 and posted his only MLB home run. He only hit .208 in 1908 and was replaced in the starting lineup by Bob Unglaub, who was purchased from the Red Sox midseason. In 1909, Shipke went 2 for 16 (.125) for Washington in his final big league season. Shipke returned to the Western League to play for the Omaha Rourkes until 1914. He managed the Huron Packers of the South Dakota League in 1920 and the Aberdeen Grays of the Dakota League in 1922, and then scouted in the minors until he died in 1940.

Speedy Sammy Strang (born Samuel Strang Nicklin), nicknamed “The Dixie Thrush,” was a very valuable player as a starter and a utility man. Some speculate that John McGraw coined the term “pinch hitter” because Strang always came through in the “pinch” when he came up to bat. He led the league in on-base percentage in 1906 with .423. A base-stealing threat, he had 46 swipes in 1903. He played on the Giants’ 1905 championship team. After his MLB days, Strang played for the Baltimore Orioles in the Eastern League from 1908 through 1910. He also coached at Georgia Tech in 1902 and at the U.S. Military Academy from 1909 to 1917. Strang was manager and president of the Chattanooga Lookouts of the Southern Association from 1919 to 1921 and manager in 1925.

These are the saddest of possible words: “Tinker to Evers to Chance.” Trio of bear cubs, and fleeter than birds, Tinker and Evers and Chance. Ruthlessly pricking our gonfalon bubble, Making a Giant hit into a double — Words that are heavy with nothing but trouble: “Tinker to Evers to Chance.” On September 14, 1902, the scorer of the game between the Chicago and Cincinnati team wrote the results of a double play as Tinker and Evers and Chance. The following day, another double play turned by the trio was written Tinker to Evers to Chance. Those were the first and second times a scorer entered in the scorebook a double-play combination that in the history books is the most memorable of all time.

From 1907 to 1912, "Big Ed” Walsh tested the limits of a pitcher's endurance like no pitcher has since. During that stretch the spitballing right-hander led the American League in innings pitched four times, often by staggeringly large margins. He hurled a total of 2,248 innings, 300 more than any other pitcher in baseball. He started 18 more games than any other pitcher, and led the American League during that stretch in games finished and saves, though the latter statistic would not be tracked for another 60 years. His finest season came in 1908, when Walsh became the last pitcher in baseball history to win 40 games, and hurled an incredible 464 innings, 73 1/3 more than any other pitcher in baseball. A fierce competitor, Walsh wanted the heavy workload the White Sox hoisted upon him. He also fielded his position with as much agility as any pitcher in the history of the game. During his six-year stretch of historic greatness, Walsh accumulated 963 assists, an amazing 344 more than any other pitcher in baseball. He fielded bunts like a territorial animal. Once, when a new third baseman came in for a bunt with a runner on second, Walsh got to the ball but couldn't make a play to third because it was uncovered. Walsh then reputedly turned to the third baseman and said, "If you do that again, I'll kill you. On bunts on that side of the field, you stay where you belong."1 Though he finished his career with the lowest ERA (1.82) in baseball history, Walsh's arm couldn't withstand the overuse, and by 1913 the "Iron Man" pitcher was a shadow of his former self. Despite winning an impressive 182 games before his 32nd birthday, Walsh finished his career short of 200 wins.

Jacob Weimer, nicknamed "Tornado Jake" (November 29, 1873 – June 19, 1928), was an American professional baseball player. He played in Major League Baseball as a pitcher for the Chicago Cubs (1903–1905), Cincinnati Reds (1906–1908) and New York Giants (1909). He batted right-handed and threw left-handed. Weimer was born in Ottumwa, Iowa.[1] He toiled for eight years in the minor leagues, before becoming one of the top left-handers in baseball. In a seven-season career, Weimer posted a 97–69 record with 657 strikeouts and a 2.23 ERA in 1472-2/3 innings pitched. His career ERA ranks 14th all-time, 10th among post-1900 pitchers. He was also a good hitting pitcher in the majors, posting a .213 batting average (115-for-540) with 46 runs, one home run and 36 RBI. Weimer emerged as one of the Chicago Cubs' top starting pitchers in the first part of 20th century. He went 21–9 with a 2.30 ERA in his 1903 rookie season and 20–14 with 1.91 in his sophomore year. After going 18–12 with 2.26 in 1905, he was sent to the Cincinnati Reds for third baseman Harry Steinfeldt and Jimmy Sebring before 1906. In a trade that benefited both teams, Steinfeld hit .327 to lead the Cubs to their first World Series and Weimer won 20 games for Cincinnati, but eventually faded and was sent to the New York Giants after two subpar seasons. He played his final game with the Giants in 1909. Weimer died in Chicago, at the age of 54.

1909-11 T206 PIEDMONT 150 KAISER WILHELM

Few names in early 20th-century America incited as much animosity and vitriol as Kaiser Wilhelm II, the emperor of Germany. After assuming the throne in 1888, the bombastic and often tactless leader inaugurated an aggressive foreign policy program that antagonized nations and directly led to World War I, in 1914. No wonder Ohio-born Irvin Wilhelm abhorred the nickname Kaiser. A journeyman right-handed spitballer in the Deadball Era, Wilhelm debuted in 1903 and posted a lackluster 56-105 record in parts of nine big-league seasons, most notably with the Boston Beaneaters and Brooklyn Superbas. Early in Wilhelm’s career, bellicose fans hoped to unnerve him on the mound by shouting the invective “Kaiser!” Gradually, the press took up the moniker, and forever thereafter Wilhelm was known as Kaiser Wilhelm despite his vehement protestations, especially during his short stint as manager of the Philadelphia Phillies (1921-1922). All but forgotten, Wilhelm’s name was revived in 2004 when research led by SABR’s Ray Nemec determined that he held (as of 2015) the minor-league record for most consecutive scoreless innings, an eye-popping 72.1

As a rookie in 1898, Vic Willis won 25 games as a key member of the pennant-winning Boston Beaneaters, one of the top teams of the nineteenth century. Eleven years later in his penultimate season, Willis again won over 20 games as a member of the world champion Pittsburgh Pirates, one of the top teams of the Deadball Era. In between he pitched well enough to finish with 249 wins in only a 13-year career. A big man for his time at 6-foot-2, 205 pounds, Willis pitched with an overhand delivery and was known as a great strikeout pitcher. In 1995, nearly a century after his major-league debut, the Veterans Committee voted the hurler nicknamed the "Delaware Peach" into the Hall of Fame.

Owen Wilson is most remembered for hitting 36 triples in 1912, which is not only a major league record, but also a record for all of organized baseball. To the modern fan, that fact conjures up images of a speedy leadoff hitter racing around the bases, but that image does not square with Owen Wilson. At 6' 2" and 185 pounds, the left-handed hitting slugger was powerfully built and not particularly fast (his 1912 stolen base total of 16 was one shy of his career best), and he typically batted sixth or seventh in the batting order. Wilson typically blasted his triples over the heads of rival outfielders. "A three-base hit may usually be made only by driving the ball clear to the fence, particularly toward center field on most grounds," he once said. "I made 36 triples my best year, but not a few of those long drives would probably have been homers had they not been stopped by the fence."

In his interview with Lawrence Ritter for Ritter's classic book The Glory of Their Times, Davy Jones described the kaleidoscope of players who enlivened the Deadball Era. "Baseball attracted all sorts of people in those days," he explained. "We had stupid guys, smart guys, tough guys, mild guys, crazy guys, college men, slickers from the city, and hicks from the country." At times, Jones himself could seem a bit like all of the above. A rare collegian who possessed a law degree and later went on to a prosperous career in pharmacology, the intelligent Jones could also be quick-tempered and impulsive. Jones had run-ins with umpires, managers, players and fans, and once even bounced a knife-wielding robber from his drugstore. During his first years in the pros he jumped so many contracts that the press nicknamed him "The Kangaroo." "He signed so many contracts last winter that a half dozen lawyers could not have made a worse tangle," the Chicago Tribune quipped in 1902. When he finally settled down with the Detroit Tigers, the fleet-footed and pesky Jones became one of the game's best, though oft-injured, leadoff hitters. His most successful season in Detroit came in 1907, when he helped spark the Tigers to the first of three consecutive American League pennants. For years Zimmerman's inconsistency had fueled suspicion among some members of the press that he was a dishonest player, but prior to 1919 the accusations never rose above the level of vague insinuation. Words like "erratic," "episodic," and "problematic" left unspoken the fear shared by many that Zimmerman might have been selling ballgames. The events of 1919, however, removed all doubt. Before the season the Giants acquired the most notorious game-thrower of them all, Hal Chase, from the Cincinnati Reds. McGraw believed that he could reform the corrupt Chase, but instead of turning over a new leaf, Prince Hal repaid McGraw's kindness by shifting his game-fixing operations to a new city, recruiting Zimmerman as his new sidekick.

One of the wildest pitchers of the era, Larry Cheney was quite good when he could control the ball. Cheney once admitted that in his early days as a pitcher, he was never sure where the ball was going. Called up to the Cubs in 1911, Cheney’s thumb was injured fielding a line drive by Zack Wheat in his third appearance, which forced him to change his pitching style, and the rest is history. Needing to develop an overhand delivery because his thumb was too weak to grip the ball properly, he perfected his spitball which became a devastating pitch. The delivery and trajectory actually allowed the ball to rise as it approached the plate, which really affected the timing of some hitters. In 1912, his first full season, Cheney led the National League with 26 wins and 28 complete games, but also led the league with 18 wild pitches. He became one of the most dominant pitchers in the league over the next two years, with 21 wins in 1913 and 20 wins in 1914, but continued to lead the league in wild pitches. A real workhorse, Cheney logged more than 300 innings per season over that three-year period. To go along with his awesome spitball, Cheney terrorized hitters because of his wildness. His 26 wild pitches in 1914 is still a Cubs record today. That wildness finally got him traded in 1915 because his new manager, Roger Bresnahan, believed that Cheney had no mound discipline. With the Brooklyn Robins in 1916, Cheney had one more very good season, winning 18 games. That year he appeared in the World Series but really had no impact. Cheney spent 1919 between Brooklyn, Boston and Philly, getting very little playing time, and his Major League career was over. Like many players during that time period, Cheney went back down to the minors for several seasons with pretty good success. He finally retired to operate an orange grove in Florida, which evidently had a good effect on him since he lived to the ripe old age of 82.

Known for his offensive prowess as well as his blazing speed. Hans Lobert was considered one of the fastest players of the Deadball Era. Over his 14-year career he batted over .300 on four occasions, and stole 316 bases. Defensively, he was very good with a tremendous arm. As a third baseman, he led the league in putouts in 1911 and 1913; and in fielding percentage when he posted .974 in 1913. Purely from the speed perspective, legend has it that Lobert actually raced a thoroughbred before a game and also beat the legendary Jim Thorpe in a 100 yard dash. Dubbed “Hans Number 2” during his rookie year with the Pirates by teammate Honus Wagner (“Hans Number 1”), Lobert did not last long with the Pirates, but the nickname stayed with him for life. His best days were with the A’s, although he did have some successful campaigns with the Reds. By the time he reached the Giants his better playing days were behind him. Plagued by a knee injury, his last two years as a player were not productive. After he retired, Lobert had eight good seasons at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point as baseball coach, followed by management stints in the Eastern League and the International League. He returned to the Bigs to manage the Phillies for two games in 1938 going 0–2, and had one full, but dismal, season managing them in 1942, posting a 42–109 record. Lobert went on to spend many years in professional baseball serving as a scout for the Giants right up until his death at the age of 86.

Hazen Shirley “Kiki” Cuyler (August 30, 1898 - February 11, 1950) played 18 seasons with the Pittsburgh Pirates (1921-1927), the Chicago Cubs (1928-1935), the Cincinnati Reds (1935-1937 and the Brooklyn Dodgers (1938). With great speed and superb hitting ability, Cuyler collected 2,299 hits with 1,065 RBI, scoring 1.305 runs stealing 328 bases and batting a career .321 average. Consistently hitting over .300, Cuyler topped the .350-mark four times highlighted by his 1925 career year, when he hit .357, scored 144 runs leading the league with 26 triples en route to his only World Series title. Four times, Cuyler led the league in stolen bases, once in doubles and once in triples. The Veterans Committee elected Haven Shirley “Kiki” Cuyler to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1968.

Waite Charles Hoyt (September 9, 1899 - August 25, 1984) was one of the most dominant pitchers of the 1920 for the New York Yankees posting an astonishing 157-98 from 1921-1930. Hoyt pitched 21 seasons in the major leagues primarily with the Yankees (1921-1930) and the Pittsburgh Pirates (1933-1937) compiling a record of 237-182 with 1,206 strikeouts and a career 3.59. Nicknamed the Merry Mortician due to his off-season position as an undertaker, Hoyt was a key element in the 1920s Yankee dynasty as they captured 6 American League pennants and three World Series titles (1923, 1927, 1928). He added another AL pennant with the Philadelphia Athletics in 1931. Waite Hoyt retired in 1938 and began a career in broadcasting with the Brooklyn Dodgers, ending up as play-by-play announcer for the Cincinnati Reds for 24 years until 1965. After many years in Alcoholics Anonymous, Hoyt reminisced that he could have topped the 300-win mark had it not been for his excessive drinking. The Veterans Committee elected Waite Charles Hoyt to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1969.

Willie Edward Kamm (February 2, 1900 - December 21, 1988) played third base for 13 seasons with the Chicago White Sox (1923-1931) and the Cleveland Indians (1931-1935). Kamm finished his career with 1,643 hits including 348 doubles, 802 runs, 826 RBI and a .281 career batting average.

Joseph Edward Cronin (October 12, 1906 - September 7, 1984) enjoyed a 50-year career in baseball like not others before him nor after serving as a player, manager, general manager, executive and league president. Joe was born in San Francisco six months after the 1906 earthquake that claimed much of his family's belongings. However, growing up in the hot bed of baseball talent in and around San Francisco during the early 1900s, Cronin overcame obstacles and became a very gifted athlete. As a six-foot a tall 14-year old, Joe won the boys' city tennis championship in 1920 and then led Mission High School and Sacred Heart Cathedral Prep to city baseball championships in 1922 and 1924, respectively. Despite being a huge fan of the San Francisco Seals of the Pacific Coast League, given that the nearest Major League team was the St. Louis Cardinals, 2,000 miles away, Cronin signed with the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1925. After three years in the Pirates organization and little chance to land a big league spot on the left side of the infield with two of the best in the game in Glenn Wright at Shortstop and Pie Traynor at third, Washington Senators scout Joe Engel purchased Cronin for $7,500. Despite owner Clark Griffith’s disdain for the buy, Joe was able to crack the Senators lineup and bettered his numbers each of his first three seasons in D.C. ultimately setting career-highs in 1930 with a .346 average, 203 hits, 127 runs scored, 17 stolen bases and 126 RBI in a league leading 154 games. The Sporting News and baseball writers named him the league’s most valuable player. Joe finished in the top ten in MVP voting in each season from 1931 to 1933 and started the first three MLB All-Star Games at shortstop for the American League. He was a seven-time All-Star and finished second in MVP voting to Jimmie Foxx in 1933 as Foxx posted extraordinary numbers.

While Mel Ott did not fit the description of a prototypical power hitter, his tenacity and unique swing helped him reach the elusive 500 Home Run Club. With an uncanny ability to pull the ball, Ott was able to take advantage of the short porch in right field at the Polo Grounds, crushing 511 homers in his career. It was only 257 feet down the line! At the time of his retirement, Ott was the NL leader in career RBI (1,860), runs scored (1,859) and walks (1,708). Featured on two different cards in the set, #s 127 and 207, you can see the mean glare on Ott's face. The high-number Ott is the more difficult of the two cards and very difficult to find well-centered. With the stunning red background, it is also more visually appealing, yet both are important cards. Ott was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1951.

Charles Henry “Charlie” Root (March 17, 1899 - November 5, 1970) surrendered Babe Ruth’s alleged “Called Shot” in the 1932 World Series. Root pitched 17 seasons with the St. Louis Browns (1923) and the Chicago Cubs (1926-1941). In 1927, he led the National League in wins (26), games (48), innings pitched (309.0), walks (117) and batters faced (1,316). From 1926-1937, Charlie won 13 or more games in ten seasons. He played on four National League champion Cubs teams (1929, 1932, 1935, 1938) and was a five-time consideration for the Most Valuable Player Award. Charlie Root finished his career with a 201-160 record with 177 complete games, 1,459 strikeouts, 21 shutouts and a 3.59 career ERA.

1941 PLAY BALL 19 CHARLEY GEHRINGER

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.

Warren Louis Hacker (November 21, 1924 – May 22, 2002) was an American professional baseball player, a pitcher for the Chicago Cubs (1948–56), Cincinnati Redlegs (1957), Philadelphia Phillies (1957–58) and Chicago White Sox (1961).[1] He was also the uncle of former Major League shortstop Rich Hacker. Hacker's best season was in 1952, when he finished 23rd in voting for the National League Most Valuable Player Award for leading the league in WHIP (.946) and hits allowed/9ip (7.01) and having a 15–9 win–loss record, 33 games pitched (20 started), 12 complete games, 5 shutouts, 5 games finished, 1 save, 185 innings pitched, 144 hits allowed, 56 runs allowed, 53 earned runs allowed, 17 home runs allowed, 31 walks allowed, 84 strikeouts, 1 hit batsmen, 1 wild pitch, 721 batters faced, 1 balk and a 2.58 ERA. In 12 seasons Hacker had a 62–89 win loss record,[2] 306 games pitched (157 started), 47 complete games, 6 shutouts, 76 games finished, 17 saves, 1,283?1/3 innings pitched, 1,297 hits allowed, 680 runs allowed, 601 earned runs allowed, 181 home runs allowed, 320 walks allowed, 557 strikeouts,[2] 21 hit batsmen, 10 wild pitches, 5,438 batters faced, 1 balk, a 4.21 ERA[2] and a 1.26 WHIP. After leaving the major leagues in 1961, Hacker played for the Indianapolis Indians from 1962 to 1965, which he recalled as "maybe the best days I ever had in baseball."[2] He then served as a minor-league pitching coach for the Oakland As from 1967 to 1971, and for much of the 1970s he was a pitching coach in the San Diego Padres' organization

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.

1952 TOPPS 23 BILLY GOODMAN

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.

Luscious Luke Easter (August 4, 1915 - March 29, 1979) hit the longest home run at Cleveland Municipal Stadium in 1949, a shot that reportedly travelled 477 feet. Easter was a giant first baseman that, after just winning the 1948 Negro League World Series with the Homestead Grays, signed with the Cleveland Indians in 1949. Luke was 34-years-old when he joined the Tribe full-time, hitting .280 with 28 home runs, 151 hits and driving in 107 RBI in his rookie campaign. Easter’s time in the big leagues was short-lived as he only played six seasons, all with the Indians, before returning to the minors. Luke Easter posted a .274 Major League career batting average with 472 hits, 93 home runs and 340 RBI. After retiring from the bigs, he played Triple-A ball well into his forties. A holdup man tragically shot Luke to death in 1979 as he was working as a bank messenger.

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.

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.

dwin Donald “Duke” Snider (September 19, 1926 - February 27, 2011) was the hard-hitting centerfielder of the highly power-laden Brooklyn Dodgers of the 1940s and ‘50s. Snider was among three Hall of Fame centerfielders of the era alongside New York Giant, Willie Mays, and New York Yankee, Mickey Mantle. Known as “The Duke of Flatbush,” Snider outgunned the rest of the league during the 1950s, hitting more home runs than any other player with 326. Duke was an eight-time All-Star selection, was a member of six National League pennant winners and helped lead the Dodger to two World Series championships (1955 and 1959). Snider player primarily for the Brooklyn/Los Angeles Dodgers (1947-1962) with one-year stints with the Mets (1963) and the San Francisco Giants (1964) before retiring at the end of the 1964 season. Duke Snider was the last player to hit a home run in historic Ebbet’s Field in 1957 prior to the franchise moving to Los Angeles. Duke Snider retired with 2,116 hits, 1,259 runs, 1,333 RBI 407, home runs and a .295 career batting average. Edwin Donald “Duke” Snider was elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1980.

Christian Gerald Van Cuyk (January 3, 1927 – November 3, 1992) Wisconsin native Chris Van Cuyk was more a career minor leaguer than a Major League ballplayer. The 6-foot-6, 215-pound left-handed pitcher compiled a 7–11 record to go along with his 5.16 ERA in three short seasons in the majors. Signed in 1946 by the Brooklyn Dodgers, Van Cuyk put together a 103–61 record in 11 minor-league seasons spent mostly in the Dodgers farm system. In 1947, playing in the D leagues, the 20-year-old southpaw posted a sparkling 25–2 record with a 1.93 ERA. At the AA level, Van Cuyk had three 14-win seasons. Unfortunately, he could not duplicate that success in the majors. Interestingly, Van Cuyk’s older brother, Johnny, was also signed by the Dodgers in 1946, and his pitching career was no better. Chris Van Cuyk retired to Hudson, Florida, and passed away at the age of 65 in 1992.

Outside of Roberts’ 1951 Topps Major League All-Stars super rarity, his most valuable card is not his 1949 Bowman rookie, but rather his 1952 Topps card. It was the first time Roberts appeared in a mainstream Topps issue and he would not reappear in one of their sets until 1956, a year after Bowman ended its competitive run in 1955. The 1952 Topps Roberts is not only part of what many consider to be the most important post-WWII set in the hobby, ensuring a high level of demand, it is also part of the low-number series. Cards 1–80 were manufactured with both red and black ink in a few different areas on the reverse, creating two distinct variations. In addition, perhaps the most challenging, inherent condition obstacle is poor centering. Finally, the card is one of Roberts’ most attractive designs, offering excellent eye appeal in a year when he won a career-high 28 games.

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 Charles “Preacher” Roe (February 26, 1916 - November 9, 2008) caught the attention of the St. Louis Cardinals in 1937 when he struck out 26 batters in a 13-inning game while pitching for Harding University Bisons. Roe played one game for the Cards, then spent five years in the minors until the Pittsburgh Pirates acquired him in 1943. Preacher, who was given his lifetime nickname as a 3-year-old, led the National League in 1945 with 148 strikeouts and posted a 2.87 ERA in 31 starts earning his first of five All-Star selections. During the offseason in 1945, while coaching high school basketball, Roe fractured his skull in a confrontation with a referee and struggled to get back to his winning form. In 1948, Brooklyn Dodgers General Manager Branch Rickey, former GM of the Cardinals who sign Roe initially, acquired Preacher, remembering his early brilliance and hoping he could return to form. He pitched seven seasons in a Brooklyn uniform alongside Clem Labine, Don Newcombe and Carl Erskine, helping them capture three National League pennants (1949, 1952, 1953) only to fall to the New York Yankees in each World Series. Preacher enjoyed his best season in 1951 when he went 22-3 with a league leading winning percentage (880), 113 strikeouts and a 3.03 ERA en route to the 1951 The Sporting News Pitcher of the Year Award. Roe pitched for 12 seasons with the Cardinals (1938), the Pirates (1944-1947) and the Dodgers (1948-1954), earning five All-Star Game appearances. Preacher Roe finished his career with a 127-84 record, 956 career strikeouts and a career 3.43 ERA.

Gerald Lee “Gerry” Staley (August 21, 1920 - January 2, 2008) spent 15 seasons as a Major League Baseball pitcher, and as a member of the 1959 Chicago White Sox led the American League in games pitched (67) and games finished (37). The St. Louis Cardinals selected Staley in the 1942 minor league draft, but he would spend three years in the armed forces during World War II before finally taking to the mound for St. Louis (1947-1954). He put together an 89-76 record with a 4.03 ERA before being traded to the Cincinnati Reds (1955) and then the New York Yankees (1955-1956) before signing with the White Sox (1956-1961). He posted some of his best numbers in Chicago, compiling a 38-25 record and a personal best .261 ERA in 270 games, helped take the squad to the 1959 World Series, where he pitched in four games. He ended his playing days with stints on the Kansas City Athletics (1961) and Detroit Tigers (1961). A three-time All-Star (1952, 1953, 1960), Staley appeared in 640 career regular season games, and posted a 134-111 record with a 3.70 lifetime ERA, 58 complete games, 61 saves, and nine shutouts.

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.

Kenneth Edward Holcombe (August 23, 1918 – March 15, 2010) A pitcher with potential, 26-year-old Ken Holcombe had a solid rookie season in 1945. He put up sparkling numbers for the Yankees, pitching a total of 55 innings with a 3–3 record and an excellent 1.79 ERA. Unfortunately, Holcombe developed bursitis and was plagued with arm woes for the rest of his career. He went from the Yanks, to the Reds, to the White Sox, to the Browns, before ending his career with the Red Sox. His best year was 1951 when, as a starter for the Chicago White Sox, he won 11 games with a nice 3.78 ERA. Around his Major League stints, Holcombe toiled in the minors for 14 years, compiling a 133–112 record before retiring in 1954. After baseball, he returned home to North Carolina and worked as a textile manufacturing supervisor. He passed away in 2010 at the age of 91.

Walter William “Billy” Pierce (April 2, 1927 - July 31, 2015) faced New York Yankees Hall of Fame pitcher Whitey Ford 14 times during his career, pitting two of the best left handed pitchers against one another in a bitter rivalry from 1955 to 1960. He beat Ford eight times during that stretch and posted a career 25-37 record against the Yankees. The Detroit Tigers signed Billy prior to the 1945 season, debuting that same season, but didn’t find an everyday spot in a Major League lineup until he was traded to the Chicago White Sox in 1949. Pierce pitched efficiently and effectively for 13 years in Chicago despite the White Sox anemic offense. Billy led the American League three times in complete games and once in strikeouts, wins, ERA and losses. The seven-time American League All-Star threw four one-hitters and seven two-hitter in his career. In 1953, Pierce threw seven shutouts in a season that included 51 consecutive innings pitched without allowing an earned run. He pitched 18 years in the big leagues with the Tigers (1945, 1948), the White Sox (1949-1961) and the San Francisco Giants (1962-1964). Billy won a World Series as a member of the 1945 Tigers team, though he didn’t pitch, and helped the White Sox reach the Fall Classic in 1959, and the Giants in 1962. In 1958, Pierce came within one batter away from pitching the first perfect game by a left-hander in 78 years when backup catcher Ed Fitz Gerald knocked a curveball down the right field line. Pierce was named the 1956 and 1957 AL The Sporting News Pitcher of the Year after back-to-back 20-win seasons. Billy Pierce finished his career with a 211-169 record, 193 complete games, 38 shutouts, 32 saves, 1,999 strikeouts and a 3.27 career ERA in 585 games.

Delbert Rice Jr. (October 27, 1922 – January 26, 1983) A fine defensive catcher, Del Rice had a long 17-year Major League career. A member of the 1946 world champion St. Louis Cardinals, Rice led the National League in fielding percentage in 1948, double plays in 1951, putouts in 1952, and he made the All-Star team in 1953. With the Cardinals for 12 years, Rice’s ability to call a great game was evident as the pitching staff was often among the league ERA frontrunners. Rice became backup catcher for the Milwaukee Braves in 1955, but was starter Bob Buhl’s personal catcher and a contributor on the 1957 world champion Braves team. After his playing career, Rice coached and managed in both the majors and the minors, including a stint as manager of the 1972 California Angels. He was 60 years old and scouting for the San Francisco Giants when he died in 1983 at a banquet held in his honor.

Cornelius Joseph Ryan (February 27, 1920 – January 3, 1996) A versatile infielder, Connie Ryan was a starter and utility player during his 12-year Major League career. The dependable 1944 All-Star second baseman never had glitzy numbers, but he was smart, tough, and competitive. Ryan’s best season was 1947, when he batted .265 with 144 hits for the Boston Braves, and he was a member of the 1948 Braves’ NL pennant-winning team. A bit of a prankster, he got tossed from a game in 1949 for wearing a raincoat over his Braves uniform in the on-deck circle because he thought the game should be called due to heavy rain. After playing, Ryan used his baseball IQ to his advantage for more than 20 years as manager, coach, and scout. The interim manager of the 1975 Atlanta Braves, interim manager of the 1977 Texas Rangers, and US Navy WWII veteran passed away in 1996 at the age of 75.

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.

Richard Allan “Dick” Sisler (November 2, 1920 - November 20, 1998) hit one of the most famous home runs in Philadelphia Phillies history when he blasted a tenth-inning, game-winning dinger over the wall at Ebbets Field on the final day of the 1950 season to snatch the National League pennant away from the Brooklyn Dodgers. The son of Hall of Fame St. Louis Browns first baseman George Sisler came up playing first and left for the cross-town St. Louis Cardinals in 1946. He began playing professionally in the Cardinals minor league system in 1939 before serving in World War II. In 1946, Sisler joined a cast of Hall of Famers like Stan Musial, Red Schoendienst and Enos Slaughter to capture the National League pennant and World Series over the Boston Red Sox. Dick began and ended his career in a Redbirds uniform (1946-1947, 1952-1953) and played for the Phillies (1948-1951) and the Cincinnati Reds (1952) during his eight-year career. In Philadelphia he helped the “Whiz Kids” which included Hall of Famers Richie Ashburn and Robin Roberts win their first pennant in 35 years, before falling to the New York Yankees in a four-game sweep. Sisler also earned his one and only All-Star game selection that year. Dick Sisler finished his career with a .276 batting average and amassed 720 hits, 302 runs scored and 360 RBI in 799 games. When his playing days ended, Dick managed the Cincinnati Reds from 1964 to 1965, compiling a 121-94 record in 215 games at the helm.

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.

Montia Calvin Kennedy (May 11, 1922 – March 1, 1997) Hard-throwing lefty Monty Kennedy played his entire career for the New York Giants as both a spot starter and reliever. Because World War II cut short his minor-league development time, Kennedy developed his skills while in the military. Throughout his career, Kennedy’s biggest problem was his lack of command on the mound. As a rookie with the Giants in 1946, Kennedy led the National League with 116 bases on balls. His best season was 1949, when he posted a 12–14 record with a 3.43 ERA. Kennedy appeared in Game Four and Game Five of the 1951 World Series, pitching a total of three innings in relief. After eight years in the majors, he worked as a police officer and detective in Virginia for 20 years, staying close to the game by playing on the police baseball team. Kennedy died in 1997 at the age of 74.

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.

Homer Elliot "Dixie" Howell (April 24, 1920 – October 5, 1990) A pretty good defensive catcher, 27-year-old Homer “Dixie” Howell batted a career-best .276 with the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1947, his rookie season. Before that, Howell bounced around the minors for seven years and served two years in the US Army. In 1946, he played with Jackie Robinson on the Montreal Royals in the International League, the first integrated professional baseball team since the 1880s. The Louisville, Kentucky, native was one of the few southern players who welcomed Robinson. After four seasons in Cincinnati, Howell landed with the Dodgers in 1953 and was Robinson’s teammate once again. As backup to Roy Campanella on the 1955 and 1956 Dodgers’ pennant-winning squads, Howell got a ring in 1955 but did not play in the Series. Howell later played and managed in the minors, scouted for the Braves, and worked in insurance. He passed away in 1990 at the age of 70.

1952 TOPPS 136 JOHNNY SCHMITZ

John Albert "Bear Tracks" Schmitz (November 27, 1920 – October 1, 2011) A pretty good pitcher for some pretty bad teams, southpaw Johnny Schmitz should have had a more successful career. With the Cubs for eight seasons interrupted by three years in the US Navy, Schmitz returned in 1946 to lead the league with 135 strikeouts and make the All-Star team. In 1948, Schmitz won 18 games for the eighth-place Cubbies and was an All-Star again. Nicknamed “Bear Tracks” for his signature shuffle to the mound, Schmitz had brief stops with six more teams after Chicago. In 1954 at age 33, he had a resurrection of sorts, posting an 11-8 record with a sparkling 2.91 ERA for the Senators. Johnny wrapped up his 13-year MLB career with the Orioles in 1956, finishing with a 93–114 record and a good 3.55 ERA. A golfer and greenskeeper in Wisconsin after baseball, Schmitz passed away in 2011 at the ripe old age of 90.

Roy David McMillan (July 17, 1929 - November 2, 1997) spent 16 years as a Major League Baseball shortstop for three different teams, but enjoyed his greatest success during his 10 seasons (1951-1960) with the Cincinnati Reds. The Reds signed McMillan as an amateur free agent in 1947, and in 1954 recorded a then-record number of double plays (129) plus a career-high number of hits (147). A two-time All-Star (1956, 1957), he also captured three consecutive Gold Glove Awards (1957-1959). After appearing with the Milwaukee Braves (1961-1964) and New York Mets (1964-1966), he retired having played in 2,093 games. McMillan had a .243 batting average with 1,639 hits, 68 home runs, and 594 RBIs. Following his retirement, McMillan managed the Milwaukee Brewers (1972) and New York Mets (1975) – replacing Yogi Berra at the helm of the latter team.

John August Antonelli (April 30, 1930-February 28, 2020) led the National League in winning percentage (.730), ERA (2.30) and shutouts (6) in 1954, earning him his first All-Star Game appearance and the 1954 NL The Sporting News Pitcher of the Year award. Antonelli began his career with the Boston Braves (1948-1950) throwing in spots, but never finding a permanent position in the rotation or bullpen. He spent two years in the armed forces, and then returned to the newly relocated Milwaukee Braves for a season (1953). In 1954, he was traded to the New York Giants where he was added to a rotation that included Ruben Gomez and Sal Maglie. Johnny pitched for seven seasons with the New York/San Francisco Giants (1954-1957/1958-1960), and then finished his career in 1961 splitting time with the Cleveland Indians and Milwaukee Braves. He was a six-times All-Star who led the NL in shutouts twice in his 12-year career. In 1954, he helped the Giants capture the World Series over the Cleveland Indians winning Game 2. Johnny Antonelli wrapped up his career after compiling a 126-110 record with a 3.34 ERA, 1,162 strikeouts and 25 shutouts.

John Lester Moss (May 14, 1925 – August 29, 2012) Primarily a backup catcher, Les Moss was a good platoon player for three different organizations. Signed by the Browns in 1941, the 16-year-old backstop played in the minors and served in the US Merchant Marine in the Pacific and in Europe before coming up to the big leagues. A Brownie for most of his MLB career, Moss moved with the team from St. Louis to Baltimore when they became the Orioles. Over his 13 MLB seasons, Moss batted .247 with a .978 fielding percentage, very respectable for a catcher. After his Major League career, Moss went on to scout, coach, and manage in both the minor leagues and Major Leagues. He had short stints as interim manager of the 1968 Chicago White Sox and the 1979 Detroit Tigers. A career baseball guy, Moss retired in 1995 and passed away in 2012 at the age of 87.

Henry Franklin House (February 18, 1930 – March 13, 2005) According to news reports, Alabama native Frank House, a multi-sport star in high school, so impressed the Tigers that they gave him a huge $75,000 bonus plus two cars when they signed him right out of high school. The 6-foot-1 and 190-pound backstop nicknamed “Pig” debuted with Detroit in 1950 and served in the military during the Korean War. Upon his return, House was the Tigers starting catcher for four seasons. A solid backstop known for his handling of pitchers and his strong arm, House was not bad with the bat either. His best year offensively was 1955 when he batted .259 with 15 home runs for the Tigers. After his playing days, House served in the Alabama Legislature and helped establish the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame in 1967. A 1975 Alabama Sports Hall of Fame inductee, House passed away in 2005 at the age of 75.

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.

Robert Royce Usher (March 1, 1925 – December 29, 2014) was a Major League Baseball outfielder who played in parts of six seasons, appearing first for the Cincinnati Reds during 1946 and 1947, then in 1950 and 1951. He also played for the Chicago Cubs in 1952, and the Cleveland Indians and Washington Senators in 1957.

Owen Lacey Friend (March 21, 1927 – October 14, 2007) Utility infielder Owen “Red” Friend had a longer career as minor-league manager than as a Major League player. Primarily a second baseman, Friend was strictly a part-timer who was not bad with the glove but had a weak bat. After five minor-league seasons, he debuted with the Browns in October 1949 and batted .375 in a total of eight at-bats. Friend never again hit above .237 in the Bigs, but fared better in his 14 years as a minor-league player. In the majors, he played for five teams in five seasons, interrupted by two years in the US Army Medical Corps during the Korean War. After his playing days, Friend managed in the minors through 1975 for the Cardinals, Senators, Orioles, Royals, and Mets. He coached for the 1969 Kansas City Royals and scouted for the Astros, Orioles, and Royals. He passed away in 2007 at age 80.

Delmar Wesley “Del” Crandall (March 5, 1930-) is a retired Major League Baseball catcher who was considered one of the best players of the late 1950s and early 1960s, most memorably as a member of the Boston and Milwaukee Braves. Crandall signed with the Braves as an amateur free agent in 1948 and debuted with the club the following year. He spent two seasons (1949-1950) with the team in Boston, playing in 148 games, before serving two years in the military. Upon his discharge, Crandall returned to baseball and the Braves, now in Milwaukee (1953-1963), where he established himself as the team’s starting catcher. He led the National League in assists six times, in fielding percentage four times, and in putouts three times. He also made an astonishing 11 All-Star Game appearances, four Gold Glove Awards, and was a member of the 1957 World Series championship team. One of his best seasons came in 1954, as he had 79 assists, 664 putouts, and 64 RBI. By 1960, he had 158 hits, 81 runs, 77 RBI, 70 assists, and 764 putouts. After being replaced by Joe Torre as the Braves starting catcher, he was relegated to a supporting role with the San Francisco Giants (1964), Pittsburgh Pirates (1965), and Cleveland Indians (1966). In 1,573 games over 16 seasons, he finished with a batting average of .254 batting average, 179 home runs, and 657 RBI. He later served as manager of the Milwaukee Brewers (1972-1975) and Seattle Mariners (1983-1984), but never enjoyed a winning campaign with either team and finished with a managing record of 364-469.

Edward Thomas “Eddie” Miksis (September 11, 1926 - April 8, 2005) played the majority of his career in a backup capacity and despite anticipation of him becoming the everyday second baseman for the 1948 Brooklyn Dodgers, he was supplanted by color-barrier breaker and reigning National League Rookie of the Year Jackie Robinson at second. The New Jersey native and Trenton High School standout signed with the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1944 as a spry 17-year old. He played in 26 games that season on the militarily depleted roster before he too was summoned to serve in World War II. Eddie returned in1946 and spent seven seasons in a Dodgers uniform (1944, 1946-1951) with his best year coming in 1947 when he hit .267 and helped lead Dem Bums to the National League pennant. Miksis was a key member of the Dodgers team that rallied in the ninth inning of Game 4, down 2-1 with New York Yankees pitcher Bill Bevens one out away from the first ever no-hitter in World Series history. With Al Gionfriddo in second and Miksis on first, Eddie took off when Cookie Lavagetto laced a line drive off the outfield wall in right, breaking up the no0hitter, but more importantly scoring Gionfriddo and Miksis to win the game. The play was reminiscent of St. Louis Cardinals Enos Slaughter’s “Mad Dash” the year prior.

Robert Louis Ramazzotti (January 16, 1917 – February 15, 2000) If Bob Ramazzotti didn’t have bad luck, he would have had no luck at all. A very good prospect coming up the ranks, his career was derailed by a series of injuries, some life-threatening. After serving three years in the US Army, 29-year-old Ramazzotti came up to Brooklyn in 1946 with good potential. Back in the minors in 1947, he was beaned at the plate. His skull was fractured and he developed a blood clot on his brain. In critical condition, Ramazzotti soldiered through operations, a long hospital stay, and rehab to make it back to the majors. The infielder had decent seasons with the Cubs batting .262 in 1950 and .284 in 1952, but was plagued by a series of injuries that kept him from reaching his potential. After retiring from the game, Ramazzotti worked with youth baseball groups. He died in 2000 at age 83.

Joseph Hilarian Hatten (November 7, 1916 – December 16, 1988) Like a pitching meteor, Joe Hatten showed great promise right out of the gate but flamed out quickly. Over his first four seasons with the Brooklyn Dodgers, Hatten compiled 56 wins, but he had just nine wins over his final three seasons. Hatten’s command was not the best. It was not unusual for him to walk a batter or even plunk him. Hatten’s claim to fame is his complete game shutout vs. Cincinnati in 1948 when he threw only 51 pitches for the win. However, it was a five-inning game. By 1952, Hatten found himself back in the minors. He played nine more years, mostly in the Pacific Coast League. The highlight of that period was his 17-win season in 1953 for Los Angeles. Hatten went on to work as a mailman for the US Postal Service and died in 1988 at age 72 from cancer.

oseph Edward Collins (born Joseph Edward Kollonige, December 3, 1922 - August 30, 1989) enjoyed one of the most successful careers in the history of Major League Baseball, winning six World Series in a span of 10 years, the duration of his entire career. The New York Yankees signed Joe in the late 1930s and he spent the better part of a decade in their minor league system until he was eventually called up to play first base. Collins played first for the Yankees during one of the most successful eras in the history of modern sports. Because he batted left and threw left, first was the only infield position for the 6’0” New Jersey native. He was present for the player turnover that ushered Joe DiMaggio and Phil Rizzuto out and Mickey Mantle, Billy Martin and Whitey Ford in with Yogi Berra as a constant. Joe hit a career .256 average over his ten years in pinstripes, but showed little power though he did crack 16 home runs from 1952- to 1955. Collins’ best season came in 1952 when he hit .280 with 18 dingers, 120 hits, 69 runs scored and 59 RBI. He was an exceptional fielder and posted a .990 fielding percentage with 4,555 putouts, 376 assists, 49 errors and 580 double plays in 4,980 chances at first. Joe Collins participated in seven World Series where he hit four significant home runs in 36 postseason games. Joe Collins finished his career with a .256 average, 596 hits including 86 home runs, 404 runs scored and 329 RBI in 908 career games.

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.” 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. A son of the Plains, Ashburn came into this world on March 19, 1927, in Tilden, Nebraska, as one of a pair of identical twins, Don and Donna, to his parents Neil and Genevieve “Tootie” Ashburn. Nicknames were common in the Ashburn household: Everyone called the male twin by his middle name, Richie, to further distinguish him from his sister; and Genevieve was called Tootie because of her tiny size at birth.

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.

Robert Clayton “Bobby” Shantz (September 26, 1925-) was said to have possessed the best curve ball in baseball by Hall of Fame hitter Ted Williams during his time as well as a knuckle ball that manager Connie Mack refuse to let him pitch. Bobby signed with the Philadelphia Athletics in 1948 and went 18-7 with a 2.82 ERA with the Class-A Lincoln A’s before becoming a key reliever with the big club in 1949. He played six seasons n Philadelphia and relocated with the team in 1955 to Kansas City (1949-1954/1955-1956). Bobby’s best season came in 1952, when used as a starter, he led the American League in wins (24) and winning percentage (.774) with a record of 24-7, earned his second of three All-Star appearances and won the AL MVP award as he helped the A’s to their last winning record in Philadelphia. In 1957, he was traded to the New York Yankees (1957-1960) and then pitched for the Pittsburgh Pirates (1961), the Houston Colt .45’s (1962), the St. Louis Cardinals (1962-1964), the Chicago Cubs (1964) and the Philadelphia Phillies (1964). In 1957, Shantz led the American League in ERA (2.45) and helped the Yankees win the 1957, 1958 and 1960 AL pennants. That year, Bobby also began a streak of six consecutive years winning the Gold Glove and finished with eight overall. The Yankees beat the Milwaukee Braves in the 1958 World Series; however, Bobby did not pitch in the Fall Classic. Bobby Shantz retired in 1964 having posted a 119-99 record with 1,072 strikeouts, 78 complete games, 15 shutouts, 48 saves and a 3.38 career ERA in 171 starts, 192 games finished and 537 appearances. He is the brother of former A’s and Yankees catcher Bill Shantz.

1952 TOPPS 224 BRUCE EDWARDS

The Brooklyn Dodgers had great teams in the immediate post-war years, teams that would win pennants or fight for them until the last day of the season (and sometimes beyond). No team can be successful, though, without a significant presence behind the plate. In the early part of the 1946 season, the Dodgers were struggling to find that presence. Manager Leo Durocher knew the men he had—Ferrell Anderson and Don Padgett—were not the answer. Durocher was desperate to trade for a catcher, even approaching the Cardinals manager Eddie Dyer. Dyer demurred, telling Leo he was not going to help his closest rival. Sometimes the trade not made is the best move and such was the case for Durocher and the Dodgers in 1946. Forced to go to their farm system, Brooklyn called up young Bruce Edwards from their Mobile team in the Class AA Southern Association. Edwards, fresh from Military service and mature beyond his years, would be just what Leo needed, solidifying the defense and contributing greatly to the Dodgers successes of 1946 and ’47.

David Earl “Dave” Philley (May 16, 1920 - March 15, 2012) was one of the great pinch-hitters of the late 1950s and in 1958 and 1959 strung nine consecutive pinch-hits together to establish a still-standing Major League record. Philley signed with the Chicago White Sox in 1941, playing only a handful of games before spending four years in the military during World War II. Upon his return, Dave played the outfield for the White Sox where his talent, speed and exceptional range kept him in the lineup for six more seasons. He played first base and the outfield for the better part of 18 years, though his latter exploits were primarily in the pinch-hitting department. Philley played for the White Sox (1941, 1946-1951, 1956-57), the Philadelphia Athletics (1951-1953), the Cleveland Indians (1954-1955), the Baltimore Orioles (1955-1956, 1960-1961), the Detroit Tigers (1957), the Philadelphia Phillies (1958-1960), the San Francisco Giants (1960) and the Boston Red Sox (1962). Though he was a career .270 hitter, Philley did enjoy flashes of power, amassing 84 home runs, and had five seasons of .290 or better. In 1950, Dave set the record for most at-bats during a regulations double-header with 13 and then in 1961, he set an American League record with 24 pinch-hits. He helped the Cleveland Indians reach the 1954 World Series before falling to the New York Giants in a four game sweep. Dave Philley finished his career with a .270 career batting average, 1,700 hits, 789 runs, 101 stolen bases and 729 RBI in 1904 games. In the field, Dave would have garnered consideration for the Gold Glove as he led all American League outfielders in assists three times and outs once. (The presentation of Gold Gloves began in 1957.) He retired with a .982 fielding percentage, 4,094 putouts, 216 assists, 117 double plays and 79 errors in 4,389 chances.

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.

Alfonso Carrasquel Colon, better known as Chico Carrasquel (January 23, 1926 - May 26, 2005) was a superb shortstop for four different teams during his 10-year Major League Baseball career, including the Chicago White Sox (1950–1955), Cleveland Indians (1956–1958), Kansas City Athletics (1958), and Baltimore Orioles (1959). He was the first Venezuelan-born shortstop (paving the way for such figures as Luis Aparicio and Ozzie Guillen), and the first Latin American player in baseball history to start an All-Star Game. Chico began his career in 1946, playing professional baseball in Venezuela for the Cerveceria Caracas, and hitting the first home run in Venezuelan Professional Baseball history. The Brooklyn Dodgers signed Chico as a free agent in 1949 but soon sold his contract to the White Sox, where he replaced future Hall of Famer Luke Appling at short and paired with Nellie Foxx at second to become one of the game’s best double play combinations. As a rookie, Carrasquel hit for career-high .282 in 141 games and established a 24-game hitting streak. The next season, he became the first Latin American player to start an All-Star Game in what would be his first of four appearances (1951, 1953-1955), and also set an MLB record by handling 297 consecutive chances in 53 games without committing an error. Arguably, his best season came in 1954, as Chico posted career-highs in home runs (12), RBIs (62), hits (158), runs (106), extra base hits (43), and (85); he also led all American League shortstops in double plays and fielding percentage. A strained relationship with Sox manager Marty Marion prompted the team to trade Carrasquel to Cleveland, where he played 2-1/2 seasons before being sent to Kansas City and finally to Baltimore (in exchange for Dick Williams), where Chico finished his professional career. Always a disciplined hitter, Chico had 1,199 hits, 55 home runs, and 474 RBI in 1,325 games played. After leaving the game, he played and managed ball clubs in Venezuela, which coupled with his status as a big league ballplayer, elevated him to national hero status in his native land.

George Robert “Birdie” Tebbetts (November 10, 1912 - March 24, 1999) was one of the top catchers during the 1940s and 1950s, but also enjoyed success as a Major League manager for 11 seasons. Birdie backstopped a Detroit Tigers pitching staff that included Dizzy Trout, Schoolboy Rowe and Tommy Bridges while producing effectively at the plate in a lineup that included Hall of Famers Hank Greenberg, Earl Averill and Charlie Gehringer. Tebbetts played 14 years behind the plate with the Tigers (1936-1942, 1946-1947) the Boston Red Sox (1947-1950) and the Cleveland Indians (1951-1952). Tebbetts was a four-time American League All-Star and helped lead Detroit to the 1940 World Series, where they lost to the Cincinnati Reds in seven games. Birdie Tebbetts finished his playing days with a .270 career batting average with exactly 1,000 hits and 469 runs batted in. Behind the plate, he posted a .978 fielding percentage with a 46% caught stealing percentage. Following his playing days, Tebbetts managed for 11 seasons with the Cincinnati Redlegs (1954-1958), the Milwaukee Braves (1961-1962) and the Cleveland Indians (1963, 1964-1966) compiling a 748-705 record in 1,455 games managed.

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.

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.

Stanley Frank Musial (November 21, 1920 - January 19, 2013) born Stanislaw Franciszek Musial put together one of the most consistent hitting careers of any Major League player in history highlighted by the fact that he posted the exact same number of hits both home and away (1815), had 252 home runs at home and 223 away and scored 999 runs at home and 950 away. Musial grew up in the steel and zinc-rich Donora, Pennsylvania, a small town that also produced big league talent with NFL standout Dan Towler, CFL quarterback Arnold Galiffa, high school baseball standout Buddy Griffey, father and grandfather of Ken Griffey and Ken Griffey, Jr., and of course Musial. Stan came up as a pitcher with the hopes of making the big leagues on the mound, but he also showed flashes of greatness in the field that got him noticed. And as his skills developed, he was reportedly offered a scholarship to the University of Pittsburgh to play basketball, but Musial had already signed a baseball contract with the St. Louis Cardinals as a junior, though the signing was not announced until months later in order to keep his eligibility intact. Musial began his minor league career as a pitcher with Williamson in 1938 and then met former big leaguer, and future mentor Dickie Kerr who was managing the Daytona Beach Islanders. At Daytona, Kerr would help the young Musial develop posting his best year as a hurler when he went 18-5, but a severe shoulder injury playing the outfield halted Stan’s dreams of being a Major League pitcher. But thankfully, he would become one of the game’s great hitters. The injury kept the future Hall of Famers from being a “five-tool” player due to a virtual dead arm. In 1941, Stan earned a slot on the Cardinals roster after leading the Western Association with a .379 batting average and 26 home runs while adding 94 RBI. This would prove to be a brief taste of what was to come for the next 25 years.

Orestes "Minnie" Minoso (born Santurnino Orestes Armas Minoso Arrietais, November 29, 1925 - March 1, 2015) was one of two Major League players to play in five decades (Nick Altrock) and became the only player in history to play professional baseball in seven decades when he played for the St. Paul Saints in 1993 and 2003. Minnie began his career as a third baseman in the Negro Leagues, played in the Mexican league and finally joined the Cleveland Indians in 1949 as a left fielder. On May 1, 1951, Minoso became the first black player to wear a Chicago White Sox jersey and smashed his first Major League home run against the Yankees, the same game that Yankees rookie slugger, Mickey Mantle, hits his first round-tripper. Though Gil McDougald was named the 1951 Rookie of the Year by the baseball writers, Minnie earned the honor of The Sporting News Rookie of the Year. Minnie played 17 seasons in the bigs with the Indians (1949, 1951, 1958-1959), the White Sox (1951-1957, 1960-1961, 1964, 1976, 1980), the St. Louis Cardinals (1962) and the Washington Senators (1963). He led the league in hits, doubles and total bases once, triples and stolen bases three times, and as a player who would do anything to get on base, led the league ten times in HBPs. He was named to nine MLB All-Star Games and won three Gold Gloves with the Sox. Minnie posted a .974 career fielding percentage with 3,276 putouts on 3,506 chances. Minnie Minoso finished his career with his beloved White Sox with 1,963 hits including 336 doubles and 186 home runs, 1,136 runs scored, 205 stolen bases, 1,023 RBI and a .298 career batting average. Minnie remained a goodwill ambassador for the Chicago White Sox organization and was referred to as “Mr. White Sox" until his death in 2015.

Thomas Michael "Buckshot" Brown (December 6, 1927- ) Brooklyn native Tommy Brown joined his hometown Dodgers at the age of 16 in 1944, becoming the youngest MLB position player ever to play in a game, and second-youngest behind 15-year-old Reds pitcher, Joe Nuxhall. While he batted just .164 in 46 games, Brown returned to the big club and raised his average to .245 in 1945. He served in the US Army in 1946 and then returned to Brooklyn as a part-time infielder and outfielder. A member of the 1947 and 1949 Dodgers NL pennant winners, Brown batted .303 in 1949. After brief stints with the Phillies and Cubs, where he hit .320 in 1952, Brown’s MLB career ended in 1953 at just 25 years old. He played minor-league ball through 1959 and settled in Nashville where he worked for the Ford Glass Plant for 35 years.

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.

In 1954, Ted Williams was chosen to "bookend" the set for Topps. This classic set is filled with Hall of Fame rookies and a great selection of star cards, despite the absence of Mickey Mantle and Stan Musial. But these two Williams cards stand out. The #250 card was long believed to be the tougher of the two, but that theory has changed since the advent of Population Reports for graded cards. These cards measure approximately 2 5/8" by 3 ¾". Both cards are commonly found off-center with some degree of chipping along the green reverse. The presence of chipping, as long as it is not severe, will not detract from the overall grade of the card. Since the #250 card has a bright yellow background, be wary of print defects that may hinder the eye-appeal.

Monford Merrill “Monte” Irvin (February 25, 1919 - January 11, 2016) made a relatively seamless transition from the Negro Leagues to the Major Leagues. Irvin was a five-time Negro League All-Star and twice won the Negro League batting title. Moving over to the big leagues, Irvin played eight seasons for the New York Giants (1949-1955) and Chicago Cubs (1956). Monte made an immediate impact as an everyday Giant player hitting .299 or better for his first four seasons and leading the league in RBI in 1951. Irvin helped lead the Giants to the 1951 National League pennant as well as 1954 World Series championship. Seemingly playing in familiar territory, in 1951, Irvin, Hank Thompson and Willie Mays became the first all black outfield in the majors. Monte Irvin retired with 731 hits, 366 runs, 443 RBI, 99 home runs and a career .293 batting average. The Negro Leagues Committee elected Monford Merrill “Monte” Irvin to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1973.

Jack Roosevelt Robinson (January 31, 1919 - October 24, 1972) will forever be remembered for breaking the color barrier as the first black player to play in Major League Baseball since the 1880s. Brooklyn Dodgers President and General Manager Branch Rickey told Robinson he was looking for a Negro player… “with guts enough to not fight back” when facing racial discrimination. Robinson endured unthinkable abuse from fans and occasionally players, but carried himself with dignity and poise as he helped the organization to six National League pennants and the 1955 World Series championship. In 1947, Jackie Robinson won the Major League Baseball Rookie of the Year Award and in 1949, took home the National League’s Most Valuable Player award. Jackie Robinson played second base, primarily, for the Brooklyn Dodgers (1947-1956) and finished his career with 1,518 hits, 137 home runs, 734 RBI and a .311 batting average. In 1997, Robinson’s number “42” was retired by all Major League Baseball teams. Jack Roosevelt Robinson was elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1962.

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.

In the post-WWII card market, Hall of Famer rookie cards are extremely popular with collectors. Spahn, like some fellow stars of the period, didn’t make his mainstream cardboard debut until several years after making his first appearance on the field. This was simply because there were no standard sets being made. The two cards that collectors deem as official Spahn rookies are his 1948 Bowman and 1948/49 Leaf cards. While both are desirable, the edge would have to go to the Leaf Spahn (#32) for the following reasons. Leaf cards, in general, are extremely tough to find in high grade due to condition obstacles such as poor centering and print defects. The Leaf Spahn has a clear edge in overall difficulty. Furthermore, the Leaf card is booming with color, giving it an edge in eye appeal versus the black-and-white Bowman card.

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.

Edwin Donald “Duke” Snider (September 19, 1926 - February 27, 2011) was the hard-hitting centerfielder of the highly power-laden Brooklyn Dodgers of the 1940s and ‘50s. Snider was among three Hall of Fame centerfielders of the era alongside New York Giant, Willie Mays, and New York Yankee, Mickey Mantle. Known as “The Duke of Flatbush,” Snider outgunned the rest of the league during the 1950s, hitting more home runs than any other player with 326. Duke was an eight-time All-Star selection, was a member of six National League pennant winners and helped lead the Dodger to two World Series championships (1955 and 1959). Snider player primarily for the Brooklyn/Los Angeles Dodgers (1947-1962) with one-year stints with the Mets (1963) and the San Francisco Giants (1964) before retiring at the end of the 1964 season. Duke Snider was the last player to hit a home run in historic Ebbet’s Field in 1957 prior to the franchise moving to Los Angeles. Duke Snider retired with 2,116 hits, 1,259 runs, 1,333 RBI 407, home runs and a .295 career batting average. Edwin Donald “Duke” Snider was elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1980.

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.

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 to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1974.

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.

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.”

Negro Leagues: Kansas City Monarchs New Yoyk Giants 1957

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.

William Jennings Herman (July 7, 1909 - September 5, 1992) was an incredibly talented second baseman during the 1930s and ‘40s, setting numerous records that stand today. Because of his durability and everyday presence on the field, Herman led the National League in many fielding statistic such as putouts, assists, errors and fielding percentage. However, Herman was no slouch at the plate, batting over the .300-mark eight times and was very adept at the hit-and-run. Herman played primarily for the Chicago Cubs (1931-1941) but also spent time with National League team like Brooklyn, Boston and Pittsburgh and earned ten All-Star selections in 15 seasons. Billy Herman retired with a .304 career batting average with 2.345 hits, 1,163 runs, and 839 RBI. In 1936, Billy Herman had an impressive five hits on Opening Day and currently shares that record. The Veterans Committee elected William Jennings Herman to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1975.

Willie Howard Mays (May 6, 1931-) is arguably the greatest centerfielder that major League Baseball has ever seen. Mays was a 24-time All-Star selection, a 12-time Gold Glove winner, the 1951 National League Rookie of the Year, a two-time NL Most Valuable Player (1954, 1965) and a member of the 1954 World Series champion New York Giants. Playing the majority of his 22-year career in a Giants uniform (1951-1952, 1954-1972), Mays’ numbers are among the best ever including his 660 career home runs, third behind Hank Aaron and Babe Ruth at the time of his retirement. Mays is often best remembered for his the iconic photograph of “The Catch”, an over-the-shoulder grab of a long drive by Vic Wertz in Game 1 of the 1954 World Series. Mays is one of five players to have eight straight seasons topping the 100-RBI mark. Power hitting Willie Mays waited in the on-deck circle when Bobby Thomson hit the “Shot Heard ‘Round the World”, perhaps influencing the pitching choices of Ralph Branca during that legendary playoff game. Willie Mays retired with 3,283 hits, 2,062 runs scored, 1,903 RBI, 338 stolen bases, 660 home runs and career .302 batting average. Willie Howard Mays was elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1979.

There is no doubt about which Banks card rests atop all others on his master checklist. The 1954 Topps issue, one of the most popular baseball card sets ever made, is home to three ultra-important rookie cards of Hall of Famers. Along with Banks (#94), Hank Aaron and Al Kaline made their hobby debuts, while Ted Williams acted as a bookend to the set appearing on cards #1 and #250. One of the great aspects of his rookie card is how young Banks looks in his headshot. In fact, Banks is almost unrecognizable, but that young kid would soon win back-to-back NL MVP Awards. The card itself can be challenging to find well-centered and absent pesky print defects in the white background. It is the ultimate Banks card.

Gilbert Raymond Hodges (April 4, 1924 - April 2, 1972) homered in each of his last four World Series and joined Lou Gehrig as the second post-1900 player to hit four home runs in a 9-inning game. Hodges played the majority of his 16-season career with the Brooklyn/Los Angeles Dodgers (1943, 1948-1957, 1958-1961) and the New York Mets (1962-1963). He was a member of seven National League pennant winning Dodger teams, winning the World Series twice (1955, 1959). A strong and steady first baseman, Gil led the NL in double plays four times and putouts, assists and fielding percentage three times, retiring with an impressive .992 fielding percentage. Hodges was an eight-time All-Star selection and won the first three NL Gold Gloves at first base (1957-1959). In 1963, Gil was shipped to the Washington Senators to take over the managerial duties, and would remain at the helm until 1967. In 1968, Gil joined the New York Mets as manager, leading this most recent expansion team to the 1969 World Series title over the heavily favored Baltimore Orioles. This Miracle Mets team became the first World Series winner to finish the previous season 15 games under the .500-mark. Hodges was honored with The Sporting News Manager of the Year Award in 1969. Gil Hodges retired with a .273 career batting average with 1,921 hits, 370 home runs, and 1,274 RBI adding a 765-321 record as a manager.

Nicknamed "Rope" for his line-drive hitting, Boyd played in the Negro leagues with the Memphis Red Sox (1947–49), and in the major leagues for the Chicago White Sox (1951, 1953–54), Baltimore Orioles (1956–60), Kansas City Athletics (1961) and Milwaukee Braves (1961). The 5 ft 10 in (1.78 m), 170 lb (77 kg) Boyd threw and batted left-handed, and he could shine with his glove. He was a contact hitter, slight of frame, and did not produce the kind of home run power expected from a major league first baseman. He started his professional career in the Negro leagues with the Memphis Red Sox, and played three seasons for them between 1947 and 1949, batting .352, .369 and .371, respectively. In 1950, Boyd became the first black player to sign with the Chicago White Sox. He made his debut on September 8, 1951. Basically a backup player and pinch-hitter with the Sox, in 1954 he was sent to the St. Louis Cardinals, but did not play for them, spending 1954 and 1955 with Houston in the Double-A Texas League and hitting .321 and .310. At the end of the 1955 season, he was drafted by the Baltimore Orioles from St. Louis in the Rule 5 draft. In 1956 with the Orioles, he hit .311 with two homers and 11 RBI in 70 games. Boyd enjoyed a career season in 1957. Only eight batters reached the .300 mark in the American League, and he finished fourth in the batting race with a .318 average behind Ted Williams (.388), Mickey Mantle (.365) and Gene Woodling (.321), and over Nellie Fox, Minnie Miñoso, Bill Skowron and Roy Sievers. Beside this, Boyd became the first Oriole regular in the 20th century to hit over .300 in batting average. The following year, he batted .309 with a career-high seven home runs. Boyd ended his majors career in 1961. He compiled a .293 batting average with 19 home runs and 175 RBI in 693 games. Thanks to his discipline at the plate and knowledge of the strike zone, he registered an outstanding 1.465 walk-to-strikeout ratio (167-to-114). At first base, he committed only 36 errors in 4159 chances for a .991 fielding average. Bob Boyd died at age 84 in Wichita, Kansas.[2] He is a member both of the Negro League Hall of Fame and of the National Baseball Congress Hall of Fame.

When it comes to collecting cardboard of “Hammerin’ Hank,” there is no disputing what card sits atop the rest. Aaron’s 1954 Topps rookie card #128 is not only the key to a set filled with other stars and rookies, like those of fellow Hall of Famers Ernie Banks and Al Kaline, it remains one of the most recognizable images in the entire collecting world. As far as condition obstacles are concerned, poor centering, print defects in the orange background, and chipping along the green reverse are common. Beyond all of the accomplishments and gargantuan offensive numbers, the face of the 1954 Topps Aaron card symbolizes collecting. It may not generate quite the same reaction or illicit the same feelings that the 1952 Topps Mantle does, but it rests comfortably amongst the most important symbols the baseball card world has to offer.

The 1954 Topps set has always been one of the most revered baseball card issues of all time. With its booming colors and immense star selection, it’s easy to see why. Between the Ted Williams bookends (#1 and #250) are three key Hall of Famer rookie cards. Hank Aaron, Ernie Banks, and Al Kaline made their debuts here and were exclusive to Topps that year. Technically, however, there is one more Hall of Famer rookie in the set. This one belongs to Tommy Lasorda (#132). Lasorda was once a promising young lefty for the Brooklyn Dodgers long before becoming the outspoken manager of the Los Angeles Dodgers years later. After a brief stint with Brooklyn, Lasorda joined the Kansas City Athletics after being purchased in 1956. Even though Lasorda didn’t pan out with Brooklyn, the team had another young lefty waiting in the wings named Sandy Koufax. Lasorda pitched in parts of three MLB seasons (1954–1956), logging a little over 58 innings altogether. His eye-catching 1954 Topps card features a bright yellow background, which can be a haven for print defects. In addition, the card can be somewhat tough to find well centered, and keep in mind that the green portion on the reverse is easily chipped. Lasorda did appear in another period MLB issue called 1955 Golden Stamps, but there is no doubt that his classic 1954 Topps debut is the card collectors desire most.

Earle Bryan Combs (May 14, 1899 - July 21, 1976) played his entire career with the New York Yankees and was a member of the “greatest team in history” the 1927 team also referred to as Murderers Row. Combs was a fan favorite, manager favorite, media favorite and player favorite. Combs was a leadoff hitter for the Yankees finding immediate success batting .400 before suffering a broken ankle after 24 games. Combs had excellent speed, leading the American League in triple three times and collecting 154 for his career as well as stealing 278 bases, and protecting Yankee Stadium centerfield posting a .974 fielding percentage. Combs career was cut short by injuries, but he retired with 1,866 hits, 1,186 runs, and a .325 batting average in his 12 seasons in pinstripes. The Veterans Committee elected Earle Bryan Combs to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1970.

Henry Emmett “Heinie” Manush (July 20, 1901 - May 12, 1971) was a hit making machine, twice leading the American League in hits (1928, 1933). Manush played the majority of his 17-year career with the Detroit Tigers (1923-1927) and the Washington senators (1930-1935) accumulating impressive career totals of 2,524 hits including 761 extra-base hits, 1,287 runs scored and a .330 batting average. Heinie finished in the top five for MVP voting four times and placing third twice in 1932 and 1933 when Jimmie Foxx won back-to-back honors. Manush was an excellent fielder as well, posting a career .979 fielding percentage and eventually taking over center field for the Tigers as Ty Cobb’s playing days ended. The Veterans Committee elected Henry Emmett “Heinie” Manush to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1964.

The 1954 Topps set has always been one of the most revered baseball card issues of all time. With its booming colors and immense star selection, it’s easy to see why. Between the Ted Williams bookends, cards #1 and #250, are three key Hall of Famer rookie cards. Hank Aaron, Ernie Banks, and Kaline made their debuts here and were exclusive to Topps that year. They not only became stars, but all three were able to play in three different decades due to their tremendous longevity. The Kaline rookie in particular is a very eye-catching card, as his portrait and the yellow Tigers logo really pop against the background. That background can vary a little in color, from a rich cherry-red to one that exhibits a hint of orange, and it can be susceptible to print defects. Regardless, there is no doubt that the classic 1954 Topps rookie is the Kaline card to own.

Negro League: Cleveland Buckeyes Cleveland Indians 1953

Despite losing five years to World War II and the Korean War, The Splendid Splinter won two Most Valuable Player awards (1946, 1949), was a six-time American League batting champion, hit 521 home runs, led the AL in OBP 12 times, walks eight times, runs scored and total bases six times, RBI and home runs four times and retired with a lifetime batting average of .344 over his 19-year career. Prophetically, he became one of the greatest hitter to ever live. Ted Williams hit his 521st (and last) home run at Fenway Park in his final at-bat of his career. Theodore Samuel Williams was elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1966. In Ted’s induction speech for Cooperstown, Williams became one of the first enshrinees to speak out in favor of Negro League players earning consideration for induction into the Hall of Fame. Upon his retirement, Ted served as the manager for the Washington Senators/Texas Rangers for four years (1969-1971/1972) where he compiled a record of 273-364 in 637 games. Williams advocated for the “Jimmy Fund”, which raised money for adult and pediatric cancer and research at the Dana-Faber Cancer Institute in Boston, Massachusetts. He was an avid fisherman and teamed with Sear Roebuck to develop a line of sporting goods, both for baseball, but also for the outdoorsman. Forever recognized for his amazing hitting, Williams made one of his final public appearances at the 1999 MLB All-Star Game at Fenway Park notably shaking hands with fellow batting champions Wade Boggs, Tony Gwynn and others. Ted Williams died on July 5, 2002.

Theodore Samuel Williams (August 30, 1918 - July 5, 2002) was one of the few people in the world who actually lived out his dream of being remembered as, “There goes Ted Williams, the greatest hitter who ever lived.” Williams began playing in the sandlots of San Diego and moved on to high school as a pitcher, often striking out a dozen of more batters per appearance. His pitching prowess notwithstanding, Ted signed with the San Diego Padres of the Pacific Coast League and then the Minneapolis Millers of the American Association where he captured his first Triple Crown, hitting .366 with 43 home runs and 142 RBI. The Kid, as he was dubbed in Boston newspapers, was the most anticipated athletes and he did not disappoint as he led the American League in RBI with 145, blasted 31 home runs and batted .327 in his first year in Beantown. As a rookie, he finished fourth in AL MVP voting. In 1940, Williams earned his first of 19 All-Star Game appearances, but also led the league in on-base percentage for the first of 12 times during his 19-year career. He continues to hold the highest on-base percentage in the history of Major League Baseball with a .482 OBP. His preparedness was unmatched as he studied opposing pitchers and their nuances in certain situations, ultimately determining what their “out pitch” was in every case.

Albert William Kaline (December 19, 1934-April 6, 2020) was the third recipient of the Roberto Clemente Award honoring the players who best “exemplifies the game of baseball, sportsmanship, community involvement and the individual’s contribution to his team.” Kaline was a fixture in the Detroit Tigers (1953-1974) line-up for 22 seasons, earning him the nickname “Mr. Tiger” and he remains one of the most beloved sports figures in Detroit’s history. Referred to as a “bonus baby”, Al skipped time in the farm system and joined the team directly from high school, making his debut in late June of 1953 at the age of 18. In 1955, Kaline won the American League batting title with a .340 average, making him the youngest player to win the award and beating out fellow Hall of Famers George Kell, Nelson Fox and Mickey Mantle by more than 20 points. Al Kaline was an 18-times AL All-Star selection, collected 10 Gold Gloves and hit an incredible .379 against the St. Louis Cardinals leading the Tigers to the 1968 World Series title. AL Kaline retired with 3,007 hits, 1,622 runs scored, 1,583 RBI, 399 home runs and a .297 career batting average. Albert William Kaline was elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1980.

ames 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.

Stanley Camfield Hack (December 6, 1909 - December 15, 1979) was a speedy base stealer during the 1930s and 1940s and from 1938 to 1945 was considered among the best players in the league as he garnered Most Valuable Player award consideration each year. The talented third baseman hit .352 in the minor leagues in 1931 before being called up to the Chicago Cubs big club in 1932, where he remained for his entire 16-year career (1932-1947). Stan was a fixture at third on the highly talented Cubs team that featured Hall of Famers Gabby Hartnett behind the plate, Billy Herman at second and Kiki Cuyler as well as numerous All-Stars and Cub greats. Primarily a leadoff hitter, Hack was frequently among the league leaders in on-base percentage and once on base showed that he was also among the league’s elite in base stealing. He led the league twice in stolen bases and stole ten or more bases eight times, topping 20 in 1940. Stan also led the league in games once, hits twice and plate appearances three times. Hack’s best season came in 1938 when he led the league in plate appearances (707) and stolen bases (16) while batting .320 with 195 hits including 11 triples and 67 RBI to earn his first of five All-Star selections. It also began a string of eight straight years where he finished among the top 30 players in MVP voting. He appeared in four World Series with the Cubs (1932, 1935, 1938, 1945). Stan Hack finished his playing career with a .301 career batting average, 2,193 hits, 1,239 runs, 642 RBI and 165 stolen bases. He led the National league five times in putouts and tice in fielding and assists to end his career with a .959 fielding percentage. Following his playing days, Stan was tapped to lead the Cubs once again from the clubhouse as the manager from 1954 to 1956. He also managed the St. Louis Cardinals for the 1958 season and compiled a 199-272 record in four season and 475 career games at the helm as a big league skipper.

Miller was signed as a "bonus baby" amateur free agent by the hometown Detroit Tigers on June 20, 1953, receiving a $60,000 signing bonus from the team who outbid the Philadelphia Phillies and Chicago White Sox to sign Miller. The other Tigers bonus baby signed that day was future-Hall of Famer Al Kaline, who received a bonus of $35,000 and had been pursued by every major league team other than the St. Louis Browns.[3] As required by the Bonus Rule as it existed when he was signed, the Tigers had to immediately place Miller on their 40-man roster and keep him there for two years. Miller made his major league debut on June 25, less than a week after being signed to the team. Taking the mound at age 17, he is the youngest Tiger hurler to start a game. Miller finished the 1953 season with a 1–2 record in 13 appearances (all but one in relief), and an ERA of 5.94 in 36?1/3 innings of work. In the 1954 season he had a 1–1 record and the only save of his career, appearing in 22 games (all but one in relief) and ending with a 2.45 ERA in 69?2/3 innings. In the 1955 season he pitched to a 2–1 record in seven appearances (three of them starts, including his only complete game) and ending with an ERA of 2.49 in 25?1/3 innings. Miller finished with an 0–2 record in the 1956 in 11 appearances (all but three in relief), and his ERA ballooned to 5.68 in 35?2/3 innings of work.

William Jennings Herman (July 7, 1909 - September 5, 1992) was an incredibly talented second baseman during the 1930s and ‘40s, setting numerous records that stand today. Because of his durability and everyday presence on the field, Herman led the National League in many fielding statistic such as putouts, assists, errors and fielding percentage. However, Herman was no slouch at the plate, batting over the .300-mark eight times and was very adept at the hit-and-run. Herman played primarily for the Chicago Cubs (1931-1941) but also spent time with National League team like Brooklyn, Boston and Pittsburgh and earned ten All-Star selections in 15 seasons. Billy Herman retired with a .304 career batting average with 2.345 hits, 1,163 runs, and 839 RBI. In 1936, Billy Herman had an impressive five hits on Opening Day and currently shares that record. The Veterans Committee elected William Jennings Herman to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1975.

William Joseph “Moose” Skowron, Jr. (December 18, 1930 - April 27, 2012) played 1,478 games in the Majors and, all but 15, he spent at first base. He was a successful kicker at Purdue University, but baseball appeared to be his calling after he hit .500 in his sophomore season. Bill was given his nickname after a haircut in his youth resembled him to Italian dictator Mussolini, but his family cut down to “Moose” and it stuck for the remainder of his career. Moose joined the New York Yankees in 1954 and was platooned with first baseman Joe Collins until in 1958; he was made the everyday first bagger. Skowron played 14 seasons with the Yankees (1954-1962), the Los Angeles Dodgers (1963), the Washington Senators (1964), the Chicago White Sox (1964-1967) and the California Angels (1967). Moose appeared in seven World Series with the New York Yankees, winning four (156, 1958, 1961, 1962), and was the spoiler for his former Yankees team in the 1963 Fall Classic, now playing as a Dodgers, as he hit .385 and one home runs in Los Angeles’ four-game sweep of the Bombers. Moose was an excellent first baseman and finished his career with a .992 fielding percentage with 903 assist and 12,043 putouts in 13,048 chances. Bill Skowron retired after the 1967 season having batted .282 with 1,566 hits, 211 home runs and 888 RBI over 14 years. Moose was named to eight MLB All-Star Games. He currently serves as a Community Relations Representative for his hometown Chicago White Sox.

Harold Newhouser (May 20, 1921 - November 10, 1998) is considered one of the most dominant pitchers during World War II winning the American League’s Most Valuable Player Award in back-to-back seasons (1944, 1945) and capturing the Triple Crown in pitching in 1945. He remains the only pitcher to win the MVP twice in a row. Newhouser played for the Detroit Tigers (1939-1954) and the Cleveland Indians (1954-1955). Hal utilized his pinpoint control, an excellent fastball and an overhand curveball that helped his lead the league in wins four times and complete games, ERA, and strikeouts twice. He was a seven –time All-Star selection and was a member of the 1945 World Series champion Tigers. Newhouser went 2-1 with 22 strikeouts against the Chicago Cubs in the 1945 Fall Classic. Hal Newhouser retired with a record of 207-150 adding 1,796 strikeouts and posting a 3.06 ERA over 17 seasons. The Veterans Committee elected Harold Newhouser to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1992.

John Joseph “Johnny” Podres (September 30, 1932 - January 13, 2008) won ten or more games in eight of his 15 years in the Majors, but is best known for his heroics in the 1955 World Series when, as a 23-year old, he beat the Yankees 8-3 in Game 3 and shut them out 2-0 in Game 7 to help the Brooklyn Dodgers capture their first ever World Series title. He was named the first-ever World Series MVP in 1955 for his stellar performance. Johnny began his career with the Brooklyn/Los Angeles Dodgers (1953-1955, 1957/1958-1966), spent 1956 in the United States Navy, played two seasons with the Detroit Tigers (1966-1967) and finished his career with the San Diego Padres (1969). Podres led the National League in ERA (2.66) and shutouts (6) in 1957 and in winning percentage in 1961 (.783) with an 18-5 record. He helped the Dodgers win four World Series titles (1955, 1959, 1963, 1965) and earned three All-Star Game appearances. Johnny was especially clutch in the playoffs posting a 4-1 record with 18 Ks, two complete games, one shutout and a 2.11 ERA in six contests. Johnny Podres ended his career after the 1969 season having gone 148-116 with 77 complete games, 24 shutouts, 11 saves, 1,435 strikeouts and a 3.68 career ERA in 440 games and 340 starts.

Richard Morrow “Dick” Groat (November 4, 1930-) was a two-time All-American in basketball from Duke University, was voted the 1951 Helms Foundation College Basketball Player of the Year and is the first person to be inducted into the college basketball and college baseball halls of fame. Dick played the 1952-53 season with the Fort Wayne Pistons, scoring 309 points on 109 free throws and 100 field goals while pulling down 86 rebounds in 26 games. Despite his success on the hardcourts, Groat joined the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1952 at shortstop next to Hall of Famer Bill Mazeroski creating one of the greatest double play tandems in Major League history. Dick played shortstop for 14 years in the Majors with the Pirates (1952, 1955-1962), the St. Louis Cardinals (1963-1965), the Philadelphia Phillies (1966-1967) and the San Francisco Giants (1967). In 1960, Groat led the National League in batting average (.325), earning the NL Most Valuable Player Award while leading the Pirates to the 1960 World Series title over the heavily favored New York Yankees. Dick also won the 1964 World Series title with the Cardinals, again over the Yankees, and earned five NL All-Star Game selections. Over his 14 seasons, he posted a .961 career fielding percentage with 1,237 double plays. Dick Groat ended his career with a .286 career batting average with 2,138 hits including 352 doubles, 829 runs and 707 RBI in 1,929 games.

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder—at least that’s how the old saying goes. While there is no question that the most important and desirable Banks card is his 1954 Topps rookie, a compelling argument can be made for his second-year Topps card being the best-looking issue of his career. The rich, red background and yellow highlights combine for a card that is, quite frankly, more eye catching than its predecessor. Like his 1954 Topps rookie, the 1955 Topps Banks is part of an incredibly-popular set. This time, other rookies steal the show in Roberto Clemente, Harmon Killebrew, and Sandy Koufax. That said, the three major rookies that anchored the previous Topps set are all back in 1955. In contrast to his rookie, Banks provides an intense glare in the headshot used on his second Topps card instead of the innocent smile captured on the slugger’s first card.

Victor Pellot Power (November 1, 1927 - November 29, 2005) born Victor Felipe Pellot Pove – became the first Puerto Rican to play in the American League, the first to play for the Philadelphia Athletics and is the second of five players in Major League history to hit a leadoff and walk-off home run in the same game. Vic was a flamboyant first baseman and utility player with tremendous fielding ability frequently scooping the ball out of the dirt with a wide sweeping grab. Power came up with the Yankees becoming the second black player to be added to an American League and Yankees roster with catcher, Elston Howard. However, he was traded to the A’s prior to the start of the season where he would play for four and a half seasons. Power played 12 seasons for the Philadelphia/Kansas City Athletics (1954/1955-1958), the Cleveland Indians (1958-1961), the Minnesota Twins (1962-1964), the Los Angeles/California Angels (1964/1965) and the Philadelphia Phillies (1964). Vic won seven American League Gold Gloves and was named to the AL All-Star team on six occasions. He shares the record of making two unassisted double plays in one game, and despite the fact that he only stole 45 career bases, he is also one of 11 MLB players to steal home twice in one game. Vic Power ended his career with a .284 career batting average, 1,716 hits including 126 home runs, 765 runs scored and 658 RBI.

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.

Donald Albert “Don” Hoak (February 5, 1928 - October 9, 1969) spent 10 seasons as a Major League Baseball third baseman who … according to National Pastime legend … once faced a young Cuban pitcher named Fidel Castro. Hoak had originally signed with the Brooklyn Dodgers as an amateur free agent in 1947. His playing days were interrupted by a stint in the U.S. Army and a year of playing ball in Cuba, where Hoak and his teammates were once playing a game when Castro and his friends took over the field. Castro threw several wild pitches that near nearly struck Hoak in the head, who then demanded that the pitcher be ejected from the contest. Upon returning to the United States, he rejoined the Dodgers organization and debuted with the team in 1954. In the 1955 World Series, Hoak played third base in place of future Hall of Famer Jackie Robinson in the seventh and deciding game of that Series—the only World Series game Robinson did not play in during his career. Hoak proved to be an able and intense ballplayer, and in 1956 enjoyed a banner year as he set career highs in home runs (19) and RBIs (89) while leading the National League in doubles with 39. That same season, he set a National League record by striking out six times in one game during a 17-inning marathon on May 2 against the New York Giants. He went on to play for the Chicago Cubs (1956), Cincinnati Reds (1957-1958), Pittsburgh Pirates (1959-1962), and Philadelphia Phillies (1963-1964). Making it to only one All-Star Game roster in 1957, he retired after having played in 1,263 games, compiling a .265 batting average with 89 home runs and 498 RBI. He later worked as a Pirates' broadcaster for two years and a coach for the Phillies in 1967.

Charles Klein Stobbs (July 2, 1929 – July 11, 2008) A bonus baby, Chuck Stobbs was 18 years old when he debuted for the Red Sox in 1947. He got into the rotation in 1949, posting 11 wins that year, 12 wins in 1950, and ten wins in 1951. With the Washington Senators for most of his career, Stobbs had the dubious distinction of giving up probably the longest home run ever hit in the annals of baseball. It was April 17, 1953, Stobbs’ first game for the Senators, and he faced a young Mickey Mantle who smashed a home run right out of Griffith Stadium. It landed 565 feet away, in a back yard across the street. Although he played 15 Major League seasons, Stobbs is remembered for that one pitch. After retiring in 1961, he coached at George Washington University and worked for the Royals and Indians. He died in 2008 at the age of 79.

Harvey Haddix, Jr. (September 18, 1925 - January 8, 1994) spent 14 years as a pitcher in the Major Leagues, but is best remembered for pitching 12 perfect innings for the Pittsburgh Pirates in a 1959 game. The St. Louis Cardinals signed Haddix as an amateur free agent in 1947. He debuted for the Cards in 1952 and spent four seasons (1952-1956) with the team. His best season came in 1953 when he pitched 19 complete games with six shutouts, compiling a 20-9 record (including 163 strikeouts) with a 3.06 ERA. After brief stints with the Philadelphia Phillies (1956-1957) and the Cincinnati Redlegs (1958), Harvey signed with the Pittsburgh Pirates (1959-1963) and in an epic game on May 26, 1959, against the Milwaukee Braves, retired 36 consecutive batters in 12 innings – only to have a fielding error end the perfect game in the bottom of the 13th inning. He concluded his career after a stay with the Baltimore Orioles (1964-1965). A three-time All-Star (1953-1955), member of the 1960 World Series champion Pirates, and a three-time Gold Glove winner (1958-1960), Haddix retired with a 136-113 record, including 1,575 strikeouts, a 3.63 ERA, 99 complete games, 21 shutouts, and 21 saves in 2,235 innings pitched.

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.

In most cases, the rookie card is the pinnacle for collectors of Hall of Famers. That is certainly the case with Aaron; however, some second-year cards have begun to pick up steam in the market and deserve a closer look. While both the vertical 1954 Topps Aaron rookie and the horizontal 1955 Topps Aaron #47 are attractive cards from a design perspective, I would argue that the 1955 Topps card has the edge in eye appeal. The 1955 Topps Aaron is, arguably, his best-looking card ever produced. Each card features an identical headshot of Aaron, but the 1955 Topps card includes a batting pose versus a fielding shot on the 1954 card. The combination of bright colors and Aaron doing what he did best, coupled with the fact that the 1955 Topps card may be part of a slightly more desirable overall set, make this card one to watch.

Jack Roosevelt Robinson (January 31, 1919 - October 24, 1972) will forever be remembered for breaking the color barrier as the first black player to play in Major League Baseball since the 1880s. Brooklyn Dodgers President and General Manager Branch Rickey told Robinson he was looking for a Negro player… “with guts enough to not fight back” when facing racial discrimination. Robinson endured unthinkable abuse from fans and occasionally players, but carried himself with dignity and poise as he helped the organization to six National League pennants and the 1955 World Series championship. In 1947, Jackie Robinson won the Major League Baseball Rookie of the Year Award and in 1949, took home the National League’s Most Valuable Player award. Jackie Robinson played second base, primarily, for the Brooklyn Dodgers (1947-1956) and finished his career with 1,518 hits, 137 home runs, 734 RBI and a .311 batting average. In 1997, Robinson’s number “42” was retired by all Major League Baseball teams. Jack Roosevelt Robinson was elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1962.

Tremel's contract was purchased by the Cubs from the unaffiliated Shreveport Sports of the Class AA Texas League during the 1954 season after Tremel posted 2?1/2 good seasons there, winning 21 of 28 decisions, largely in relief. Appearing in 33 games for the Cubs during 1954, he finished 22 of them and was credited with one victory and four saves. Tremel started the 1955 season in the minor leagues but was recalled to the Cubs in July, and posted an MLB-career-best 3–0 record and 3.72 earned run average, with two more saves, in 23 games. He made the Cub roster at the start of the 1956 campaign, but in his only appearance, April 27 against the Cincinnati Redlegs at Crosley Field, he gave up three hits and an earned run in one-third of an inning.[1] He spent the rest of that season in the Texas League, and the rest of his professional career in the minors. He was a mainstay in the Texas circuit and with Shreveport, spending all or portions of seven of his 11 pro years with the Sports.[2] All told, Tremel worked in 57 Major League games. In 91 innings, he gave up 81 hits and 23 bases on balls, while recording 260 strikeouts.

In August 1953, as St. Louis Cardinals third baseman Ray Jablonski was putting the final touches on a brilliant rookie campaign, Gus Mancuso, the club’s broadcaster and a former longtime National League catcher, said, “The thing about Jabbo is that he’s got terrific potential as a hitter. Give him a year or so and he could be one of the best.” Parroting Mancuso a year later, The Sporting News contributor Bob Broeg added that Jablonski provided the Cardinals with “the most promising bat [to] ... join the club since Stan Musial” as Jabbo’s 84 hits at the 1954 season’s one-third marker appeared to threaten the NL single-season hits record.2 Veteran NL umpire and former major-league third baseman Babe Pinelli invoked another St. Louis slugger when he spoke of Jablonski: “He’s the best right-handed batter to come into the National League ... since Rogers Hornsby. [He] amazes me with his power.”

Rogers Hornsby said that "Jim Rivera is the only player that he would buy a ticket to see play." Speedy outfielder Jim Rivera was one of the great characters of 1950s baseball. As Chicago White Sox general manager Ed Short put it, “Jungle Jim may not have the fattest average in baseball, but he gives the fans a show with his daredevil running and sliding, his terrific fielding, and clutch hitting.”1 His all-out style made him one of the most popular White Sox, despite his troubled — and sometimes troubling — history.

Jacobs posted a .247 average and a .971 fielding percentage in his major league career. He stole 22 bases, 17 of them in 1954. His build reminded some of Nellie Fox. On April 13, 1954, in his opening day major league debut, he became the only player in major league history to collect four consecutive hits in his first four major league at bats. He is also one of only three players in major league history to go 4-for-4 in their major league debut, the others being Delino DeShields and Willie McCovey. Jacobs was a slap hitter who reached base by batting balls through the infield, and gained his ghostly nickname from his tendency to dump hits just over the heads of opposing infielders. A baseball writer gave Jacobs the nickname in 1947 when he was playing with the Johnstown, Pennsylvania club, the Johnnies, of the Middle Atlantic League. Casey Stengel once said of him, "He's always been in our hair." Jacobs was a farmhand of the Brooklyn Dodgers for eight years before becoming the property of the Philadelphia Athletics by being drafted in the winter of 1953 by Connie Mack. The Dodgers had vast minor league holdings in 1954, and loaded a number of their prospects on the roster of a single club. Under the rules of the time, only one selected player could be lost to a team per draft period. Jacobs was never called up to the Dodgers' top farm club, the Canadian Montreal Royals, because of their surplus of players. On one occasion, he was passed over when Brooklyn picked Junior Gilliam. Clyde Sukeforth hinted that the Pittsburgh Pirates might have an interest in drafting Jacobs, but the team chose Danny Lynch instead. Nevertheless, Philadelphia manager Eddie Joost was particularly impressed by Jacobs' fielding and his hit-and-run capability. On April 20, 1954, Jacobs' fourth-inning triple, followed by an error on a fly ball hit by Vic Power, gave Philadelphia a 5–0 lead over the Washington Senators. On May 3 of that season, Chicago White Sox right-hander Sandalio Consuegra, retired the first 19 Athletics' hitters before Jacobs doubled in the seventh inning with one out. Consuegra retired the next five hitters before getting into trouble in the ninth. Then Jacobs bunted successfully and Consuegra threw wildly into right field, allowing two runs to score. Chicago beat Philadelphia 14–3 at Connie Mack Stadium, with Jacobs collecting the only two hits for the losers.

Gus Triandos (July 30, 1930 - March 28, 2013) born Constandos Triandos was the first catcher in baseball history to catch a no-hitter both leagues catching Baltimore Orioles Hoyt Wilhelm’s no-no against the New York Yankees on September 2, 1958 and then Philadelphia Phillies Jim Bunning’s perfect game on June 21, 1964 against the New York Mets. Hailing from the Bay Area, a veritable breeding ground for future New York Yankees, Gus signed with the Bronx Bombers in 1948 and then spent four years in the minor league system before making his Major League debut in 1953. Unfortunately for Triandos, New York had one of the greatest catchers in history, in Yogi Berra, handling the pitching staff and Triandos was ultimately traded to the Baltimore Orioles with Gene Woodling and others for Don Larsen and Bob Turley (and others) in a 17-player deal – the largest trade in Major League Baseball history. Finally able to impact a team as a starting catcher, Gus thrived in Baltimore and was thrust into the spotlight after calling four consecutive shutouts for the Orioles Hal Brown, Billy Loes, Connie Johnson and Ray Moore. He also earned his first trip to the MLB All-Star Game after batting .318 and throwing out 68% of would-be base stealers. In 1957, he hit his one and only inside-the-park home run despite being one of the slowest runners in baseball. To that end, he holds the Major League record with the most consecutive games without being caught stealing primarily because he only attempted (and succeeded) to steal a base once in his entire 13-year career, 1,206 games. That same year, 1958, Triandos unseated Yogi Berra as the American League starting catcher, ending Berra’s eight-year stranglehold on the AL All-Star starter role. However, though he did have excellent power and posted 15 or more home runs five times during his career, Triandos was not a high production guy and was primarily known for his exceptional glove and strong arm. Gus played two seasons with the Yankees (1953-1954), spent eight years in Baltimore (1955-1962) and then finished out his career with the Detroit Tigers (1963), the Philadelphia Phillies (1964-1965) and the Houston Astros (1965). Over the course of his 1,206 career Major League games, Gus Triandos betted .244 with 954 hits, 389 runs scored, 167 home runs and 608 RBI. He also posted a .987 fielding percentage behind the plate with a 47% caught stealing rate, leading the league in 1957 and 1959 remains among some of baseball’s greatest catchers in caught stealing percentage.

James Bennett Davis (September 15, 1924 in Red Bluff, California – November 30, 1995 in San Mateo, California) was a pitcher in Major League Baseball. In 1956, he became the first pitcher in forty years to record four strikeouts in a single inning. He threw both a screwball and a knuckler.

Karl Arthur Olson (July 6, 1930 – December 25, 2010) A decent utility guy, Karl Olson enjoyed his best seasons with the Red Sox. Not a power hitter, the outfielder’s most productive year was 1954 when he batted .260 with 227 at-bats for Boston. Signed by the Red Sox in 1948, Olson put up some lofty numbers in the minors, but after serving Uncle Sam in the Korean War, he could never get his mojo back. From the Red Sox, Olson went to the Washington Senators in 1956 and wrapped up his Major League career with the Detroit Tigers in 1957. He finished up that season in the minors and retired from the game. After leaving baseball, Olson moved his family to the Lake Tahoe area. He bought a few Hamburger Heaven restaurants and later owned a successful construction company which he operated for 25 years. Karl Olson passed away in 2010 at the age of 80.

Howard Joseph “Howie” Pollet (June 26, 1921 - August 8, 1974) finished a distant sixth in strikeouts with 107 in 1946, 28 behind Chicago Cubs pitcher Johnny Schmitz’ 135, thereby dashing his chance to capture the pitching Triple Crown as he led the National League in wins (21) and ERA (2.10). The St. Louis Cardinals signed Howie in 1939, assigning him to Single-A Houston. Pollet proceeded to go 55-16 with a 2.28 ERA before being called up in late August 1941. In his first three years pitching in the Gateway City, Pollet went 20-11 and led the NL in ERA (1.75) in 1943 for the first time to earn his first of three All-Star selections. Howie spent 1944 and 1945 serving in the United States Army Air Forces, but returned to star once again for the Cards rotation. In 1946, he was the ace of the staff, going 21-10, and helped lead them to a tie for the National League pennant with the Brooklyn Dodgers. Pollet was tapped to pitch the opening game of the three game series against the Dodgers to determine the pennant and he threw a complete game 4-2 victory. St. Louis dispatched Brooklyn two days later to reach the World Series against the Boston Red Sox. They then beat the BoSox in seven games. His best years came in St. Louis (1941-1943, 1946-1951) as he also posted a 20-9 season in 1949, leading the NL in shutouts with five. Pollet pitched 14 years in the Majors with the Redbirds, the Pittsburgh Pirates (1951-1953, 1956), the Chicago Cubs (1953-1955) and the Chicago White Sox (1956). Howie Pollet finished his career with a 131-116 record, 934 strikeouts, 116 complete games, 25 shutouts and 20 saves while posting a 3.51 ERA in 277 starts and 403 appearances. After he retired, Howie returned to the Redbirds to serve as pitching coach from 1959 to 1964, helping them win the 1964 World Series armed with Hall of Famer Bob Gibson and All-Stars Curt Simmons and Mike Cuellar, among others.

Camilo Alberto (Lus) Pascual (January 20, 1934-) suffered the unfortunate circumstance of playing for a bad Washington Senators team at the start of his career despite dominating batters with a superior fastball and a knee-buckling curve. Pascual signed with the Senators in 1952 and often served as a reliever early on in his career. He averaged 29 starts throughout his career, and, from 1959-1968, Camilo had eight seasons with 10 or more wins and back-to-back 20-win years (1962-1963). He led the American League in complete games, shutouts and strikeouts three times in a five-year stretch (1959-1963). During that span he posted a 100-66 record with 90 complete games, 26 shutouts and 1,170 strikeouts. Camilo played 18 years in the Majors with the Senators/Minnesota Twins (1954-1960/1961-1966), the “new” Washington Senators (1967-1969), the Cincinnati Reds (1969), the Los Angeles Dodgers (1970) and the Cleveland Indians (1971). Pascual was a five-time American League All-Star and is still among the Senators/Twins all-time wins leaders (5th – 145) and strikeouts (3rd – 1,885). Camilo Pascual ended his career as arm issues began to limit his ability and he retired with a 174-170 record, 132 complete games, 36 shutouts, ten saves and 2,167 strikeouts in 404 starts and 529 career games.

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

Stephen Thomas Bilko (November 13, 1928 – March 7, 1978) At 6-foot-1 and 230 pounds, Steve Bilko was the prototypical power-hitting first baseman. As a Pacific Coast Leaguer playing for Los Angeles, he won a Triple Crown in 1956 and became legendary for his prodigious home runs. Hollywood took note, giving actor Phil Silvers Bilko’s last name for his humorous Sergeant Bilko TV show. Unfortunately, during his ten-year MLB career, Bilko showed only flashes of power. With the 1953 Cardinals, he slugged 21 dingers but struck out a league-high 125 times. Eight years later, Bilko became a fan favorite, smashing 20 homers for the expansion Los Angeles Angels. Known during his playing days for his ability to polish off a case of beer in record time, Bilko worked in sales for a perfume manufacturer after baseball. The 2003 Pacific Coast League Hall of Fame inductee passed away in 1978 at the young age of 49.

Catcher Johnny Riddle had one of the more unusual careers in major-league history. His big-league career spanned 19 years, from his debut with the Chicago White Sox in 1930 until his final game with the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1948. He played for five major-league teams, but he also spent long stretches of time in the minors, the longest from 1931 to 1936. In fact, during the 19 years he appeared in only seven major-league seasons and 98 games. In contrast, in his minor-league career, during which he spent 12 years with the Indianapolis Indians, he appeared in more than 1,600 games. He had earned his nickname, Mutt, by the time he played freshman basketball and football at the University of Georgia, but his son, John, said he didn’t use it much in later years.

Monford Merrill “Monte” Irvin (February 25, 1919 - January 11, 2016) made a relatively seamless transition from the Negro Leagues to the Major Leagues. Irvin was a five-time Negro League All-Star and twice won the Negro League batting title. Moving over to the big leagues, Irvin played eight seasons for the New York Giants (1949-1955) and Chicago Cubs (1956). Monte made an immediate impact as an everyday Giant player hitting .299 or better for his first four seasons and leading the league in RBI in 1951. Irvin helped lead the Giants to the 1951 National League pennant as well as 1954 World Series championship. Seemingly playing in familiar territory, in 1951, Irvin, Hank Thompson and Willie Mays became the first all black outfield in the majors. Monte Irvin retired with 731 hits, 366 runs, 443 RBI, 99 home runs and a career .293 batting average. The Negro Leagues Committee elected Monford Merrill “Monte” Irvin to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1973.

John Leonard Gray (December 11, 1926 – May 21, 2014) was an American professional baseball pitcher, who played in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the Philadelphia Athletics/Kansas City Athletics, Cleveland Indians, and Philadelphia Phillies in all or part of four baseball seasons (1954–55; 1957–58). Listed at 6 ft 4 in (1.93 m), 226 lb, he batted and threw right handed. Gray, who was born in West Palm Beach, Florida, was a graduate of Rollins College in Winter Park, Florida, where he starred for the school's baseball team in 1952. In between, Gray served for the United States Army in the Mediterranean Theater of Operations during World War II. Gray was originally signed by the New York Yankees as an amateur free agent in 1950. He spent four years in their minor league system, sporting a record of 44–39 and a 2.28 earned run average (ERA) in 745 pitching appearances before being traded to the Athletics in December 1953. Gray was of few players to be part of the Athletics in their final season in Philadelphia and their first season in Kansas City. He posted a 3–15 record and a 7.25 ERA in his two stints for the team before joining the Indians in 1957 and the Phillies in 1958. His career highlight came in 1957, when he hurled a three-hit shutout against the Baltimore Orioles at Memorial Stadium in Baltimore. In a four-season career, Gray went 4–18 with a 6.18 ERA in 48 games, including 24 starts, allowing 132 earned runs on 172 hits and 142 walks while striking out 75 in 169 innings of work

Negro Leagues: Philadelphia Stars Milwaukee Braves: 1954 R.C.

1955 TOPPS 110 GUS ZERNIAL

Gus Edward Zernial (June 27, 1923 - January 20, 2011) was one of the game’s most fearsome sluggers of the 1950s, leading the 1951 American League season with 33 home runs, and coming in second in 1953 (42) and 1955 (30). In 1950, he became the first Major Leaguer to hit four home runs in the month of October during the regular season. The left fielder played for the Chicago White Sox (1949-1951) Philadelphia Athletics (1951-1954), Kansas City Athletics (1955-1957) and Detroit Tigers (1958-1959), with his sole All-Star selection coming in 1953. The career .265 hitter retired with 237 home runs, 776 RBI, 572 runs, 159 doubles, 22 triples and 15 stolen bases in 1,234 games. An aggressive ballplayer, Zernial broke his collarbone in 1949 and again in 1954 while diving to make a catch.

With his thunderous left-handed home-run stroke, the self-converted catcher Carl “Swish” Sawatski established a reputation as one of the most feared sluggers in Organized Baseball by leading four different leagues in round-trippers in his first five years as a professional (1945 to 1949). Despite his slugging potential, Sawatski bounced around in four different organizations struggling with weight issues before finally earning a permanent spot in the big leagues with the Milwaukee Braves during their magical run to the World Series in 1957. A classic pull hitter, career backup catcher, and effective pinch-hitter, Sawatski retired in 1963 after four productive years with the St. Louis Cardinals.

In 1955, Topps produced one of its best-looking sets ever, and that is saying something considering that their previous three standard issues are all considered so appealing. The combination of color and artwork made for a spectacular visual. It was also the first time that Topps issued an entire set using a horizontal design. At the center of this beautiful set are three key rookie cards capturing the debuts of Roberto Clemente, Sandy Koufax, and Killebrew. While Killebrew doesn’t quite have the name power of the other two legends, keep in mind that the slugger was one of the early members of the revered 500 Home Run Club. Like many of the cards in the set, the Killebrew rookie has tremendous eye appeal. The two most challenging, inherent condition obstacles are subpar centering and print defects that can impact the bright yellow background around both of Killebrew’s images.

Tappe was a native and lifelong resident of Quincy, Illinois,[1] where he attended high school and Quincy University. His professional baseball career began in 1947 with the Henderson Oilers, an unaffiliated team in the Class C Lone Star League. In 1950, he was acquired by the New York Yankees' organization and then drafted by the Cubs two seasons later. Listed as 5 feet 11 inches (1.80 m) tall and 180 pounds (82 kg), he threw and batted right-handed. Tappe made his major league debut on April 24, 1954, as a late-inning defensive replacement for Chicago catcher Joe Garagiola, and would appear in 145 games for the Cubs over all or parts of six seasons during the next nine years. Described as a "weak hitter, without power,"[1] he collected only 63 hits (including ten doubles) and batted .207 with 17 runs batted in during his MLB tenure. However, he would prove valuable to the Cubs as the author of their organization-wide instruction manual, and as a "motivator with an enthusiastic attitude" whose "strength was in the development of pitchers and catchers".[1] Tappe became a coach with Cubs in 1959 and after two years in that post, he assumed his influential role in the development of the "College of Coaches" after the 1960 season.

On Friday, June 13, 1958, the Milwaukee Braves, holding a 1½-game lead atop the National League standings, opened a weekend series in St. Louis. The Braves’ starting pitcher was Joey Jay. Connecticut native Jay had not yet succeeded as a major-league pitcher, but he already held two distinctions: He was one of the original “bonus babies”; and he was the first alumnus of the Little League to make the majors. That was back in 1953, and under the bonus rule of the day, Jay had spent most of his time on the Braves’ roster, except for one full season, 1956, at Double-A and Triple-A. But in 1958 he was back with the Braves, and on this particular June evening he was making his first start of the season after appearing in four games as a reliever. In the bottom of the sixth inning, with the Braves holding a tenuous 2-0 lead, the Cardinals’ Curt Flood was on second base with two outs. The dangerous Stan Musial stepped up to the plate seeking to tie the game, or at least get the Cardinals on the scoreboard. But Jay got Musial to fly out to right field, ending the inning. The game was then halted because of rain, and eventually the last three innings were rained out, giving Jay his first victory as a starter since his rookie year of 1953.

Gerald Thomas Lynch (July 17, 1930 – March 31, 2012), nicknamed "The Hat", was an American professional baseball outfielder and pinch hitter. He played in Major League Baseball (MLB) from 1954 to 1966 for the Pittsburgh Pirates and Cincinnati Reds. He was born in Bay City, Michigan.[1] After two years of military service, he made his Major League debut at age 23 on April 15, 1954 in a 7-4 Pirates' loss to the Brooklyn Dodgers at Ebbets Field. Starting in right field and batting third, he had one hit in four at bats. In his first three at-bats he flied out twice and struck out once against Dodgers pitcher Russ Meyer. His first career hit came in the ninth inning off Meyer, as he singled and also drove in his first two runs. Lynch helped the Reds win the 1961 National League pennant. On September 26, 1961, he propelled the Reds into the World Series with his two-run home run off Cubs pitcher Bob Anderson, scoring Vada Pinson. He finished 22nd in voting for the 1961 NL MVP. He was hitless in three official at bats and four plate appearances during the 1961 World Series, which the Reds lost in five games to the New York Yankees. Lynch in 1961 Lynch is considered one of baseball's all-time best pinch hitters. He had 116 pinch hits during his career, which ranks him 10th on the all-time list. Lynch is third on the all-time pinch hit home run list (he was first when he retired) with 18, with five of those coming during the 1961 season while driving in 25 runs.

Brown found his niche as a dependable swing man, a spot starter and reliever. In his first five years in Baltimore, he compiled a 34-33 record and 3.79 ERA while the team reached .500 just once. Richards told him to use his knuckleball more: “He used to be afraid to throw his knuckler until he got ahead of the hitter. Of course the hitters wouldn’t let him get ahead. They swung at his first few pitches all the time. Now he starts off with the knuckler a lot of the time and gets it over.”9 More important, Brown cut his walks almost in half, to

dwin 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.

Without a shadow of a doubt, the Clemente card that garners the lion’s share of collector attention is his 1955 Topps rookie card (#164). Along with debut singles of Koufax and Killebrew, the Clemente rookie anchors a set that many believe to be one of Topps’ best overall productions. While the Koufax and Clemente cards offer tremendous visual appeal and are extraordinarily popular, one of the advantages the Clemente rookie has over the Koufax is its difficulty to find in high grade. The card is clearly more elusive in PSA NM-MT 8 or better than the Koufax, and the price for cards of that quality are reflected in the marketplace. There are Clemente cards that possess superior scarcity, but no other card can compete with his official rookie when it comes to demand.

Henry Albert "Hank" Bauer (July 31, 1922 – February 9, 2007) enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps one month after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. He contracted malaria on Guadalcanal and was injured twice in 32 months of combat, also earning 11 campaign ribbons. He returned to the States after the war, and signed a minor league contract with the Yankees. He worked his way through the system, and made his major league debut in September, 1948. Hank Bauer played 14 major league seasons, 1948-1959 with the Yankees and 1960-1961 with the Kansas City Athletics. Bauer was a hard-nosed right fielder who won seven World Series championships in New York, and retired from the game as a three-time All-Star with a .277 career batting average, 164 home runs and 7003 RBI. Hank Bauer had three managerial stints in the major leagues, with the Kansas City Athletics (1960–1961), Baltimore Orioles (1964–1968) and Oakland Athletics (1969). He led the Orioles to a world championship in 1966, the eighth in Bauer’s career as a player and manager.

James Madison Pearce (June 9, 1925 – July 17, 2005) was an American professional baseball baseball player and right-handed pitcher. His pro career encompassed 15 seasons and 426 games pitched, including 30 games in Major League Baseball over all or parts of five seasons, between 1949 and 1955, for the Washington Senators and Cincinnati Redlegs. The native of Zebulon, North Carolina, was listed as 6 feet 6 inches (1.98 m) tall and 180 pounds (82 kg). Pearce's lone full season came with Washington in 1950. He worked in 20 games, including three starting pitcher assignments, and won two of three decisions, including his first MLB complete game, a 9–3 triumph against the St. Louis Browns on August 28 at Griffith Stadium.[1] But he posted an abysmal 6.04 earned run average over the season in 56?2/3 innings pitched, didn't get another trial with the Senators until April 1953, and would work in only eight more big-league games in his career. Acquired by Cincinnati after an outstanding 1954 season in the Double-A Southern Association, Pearce was highly effective in two September 1954 appearances. He held the Brooklyn Dodgers scoreless in a two-inning relief stint at Ebbets Field on September 14. Then, six days later, he was selected to start against another first-division team, the Milwaukee Braves, at County Stadium. Pearce threw a complete game, 3–1 victory, with Milwaukee's only run scoring unearned when the Redlegs made two errors in the field in the seventh inning.[2] The following April 16, Pearce tried to duplicate his success against the Braves, starting against them at Cincinnati's Crosley Field. He allowed an unearned run in the second inning, and then was driven from the mound in the third when Milwaukee strung together four straight hits, good for three runs. Pearce was charged with the 9–5 loss.[3] He made one final appearance in the majors as a relief pitcher over two weeks later, allowing one earned run in one inning pitched against the Philadelphia Phillies. He spent the rest of his career in the minor leagues, retiring after the 1959 season. His major league career consisted of 30 games pitched, a 3–4 win–loss record, with 97 hits and 53 bases on balls allowed and 22 strikeouts in 85?2/3 innings pitched. His career earned run average was 5.78.

Frank Conrad Baumholtz (October 7, 1918 – December 14, 1997) Where do we start when it comes to Frank Baumholtz? Yes, he had a .290 lifetime batting average in the majors and was quite an outfielder. Good with the bat, Baumholtz batted .325 in 1952 and .306 in 1953 for the Cubs. We are not even sure that baseball was his best sport. Baumholtz was also a first-team All-American basketball player who led the Ohio University Bobcats to the National Invitation Tournament final in 1941, and he played professional basketball averaging 14 points per game. Above and beyond his athletic endeavors, he served four years in the US Navy. Lieutenant Baumholtz saw extensive action in World War II as his ship was involved in the final battles in the Pacific, off Iwo Jima and Okinawa. A star on the baseball diamond, basketball court, and the battlefield, Baumholtz passed away in 1997 at the age of 79.

James Cyril Bolger (February 23, 1932 – April 9, 2020) was an American professional baseball outfielder. He appeared in 312 games over all or parts of seven Major League Baseball (MLB) seasons, but spent over two-thirds of his big-league playing time — 260 games — as a member of the Chicago Cubs. Bolger had short stints with the Cincinnati Reds (nine games), Cleveland Indians (eight), and Philadelphia Phillies (35 games). His MLB totals included 140 hits, 14 doubles, six triples, and six home runs, with a career batting average of .229. Bolger threw and batted right-handed. During his playing days, he stood 6 feet 2 inches (1.88 m) tall and weighed 180 pounds (82 kg). Born in Cincinnati, Ohio, Bolger attended Purcell High School. He began his pro career with the 1950 Reds, also playing Minor League Baseball (MiLB) in their farm system. On October 14, 1951, Bolger was traded by the Cincinnati Redlegs to Buffalo for pitchers Moe Savransky and Tom Acker. Bolger's best MLB season came in 1957. He spent the full season with the Cubs as their fourth outfielder, appeared in 112 games (starting 57, including two starts as a third baseman), and batted a career-high .275, in 273 at-bats. The previous year, Bolger had been named a Pacific Coast League (PCL) all-star, after he batted .326, with 147 runs batted in, 193 hits, and 28 home runs, as a member of the Los Angeles Angels. Bolger's 13-year professional career ended in 1962, after he batted .319 for the Triple-A Louisville Colonels. Bolger died on April 9, 2020 at the age of 88.

Humberto Valentino Robinson (June 25, 1930 – September 29, 2009) was a middle relief pitcher in Major League Baseball who played from 1955 through 1960 for the Milwaukee Braves (1955, 1958), Cleveland Indians (1959) and Philadelphia Phillies (1959–60). Listed at 6 ft 1 in (1.85 m), 155 lb (70 kg), Robinson batted and threw right-handed. He was born in Colón, Panama. Robinson was the first Panamanian-born player to appear in a Major League game. He debuted with the Braves on April 20, 1955. In an eight-season career, Robinson posted an 8–13 record with a 3.25 ERA and four saves in 102 appearances, including seven starts and two complete games, giving up 77 earned runs on 189 hits and 90 walks while striking out 114 in 213.0 innings of work. In 10 minor league seasons, Robinson compiled a record of 122–84 with a 3.05 ERA for nine different teams (1951–57, 1960–62). He also was a main force in the pitching staff of Panamanian teams during the first stage of the Caribbean Series. Robinson died in Brooklyn, New York at the age of 79, due to complications from Alzheimer's disease.

Harry Walter Perkowski (September 6, 1922 – April 20, 2016) was a pitcher in Major League Baseball who played between 1947 and 1955 for the Cincinnati Reds / Redlegs (1947, 1949–54) and Chicago Cubs (1955). Listed at 6 feet 3 inches (1.91 m), 196 pounds (89 kg), he batted and threw left-handed. A native of Dante, Virginia, Perkowski started his baseball career playing semi-pro ball in the coal fields around his hometown. He later pitched briefly for the Natchez Giants of the Evangeline League before getting drafted and joining the U.S. Navy in 1943. Perkowski joined the amphibious force during World War II, helping escort troops and tanks into hot spots on Landing Craft Tanks. He served 19 months in the Atlantic and 11 months in the Pacific, including four invasions during the war in Africa, Sicily, Italy, and Normandy. "I was all over the place just about", he later recalled. Following his discharge from military service in 1946, Perkowski signed with the Cincinnati Reds and enjoyed an outstanding year in the Pioneer League for the Ogden Reds, posting a 23–6 record with 209 strikeouts and a 2.09 ERA in 247 innings pitched. He led the league with his 23 wins and his six shutouts tied for the league lead. In 1947, Perkowski gained a promotion to the Columbia team of the South Atlantic League, where he finished 17–12 with 133 strikeouts and a 3.57 ERA in 247 innings before joining the Reds in late September. He posted a 3.68 ERA in three games (one start) before the season ended, but Cincinnati felt he was not quite ready for the major leagues at this point. Perkowski spent 1948 with the Tulsa Oilers of the Texas League, hurling his second 20-victory season in the minors. He finished 22–10 with 163 strikeouts and a 2.98 ERA in 263 innings, leading the league in wins and hurled a remarkable 21 complete games to lead his team to a 91–63 record. In 1949, he went to the Syracuse Chiefs of the International League and posted a 14–12 record with 138 strikeouts and a 3.70 ERA in 209 innings. After that, Perkowski joined the Reds again in 1950 and remained with the team for the next five years. His most productive season came in 1952, when he went 12–10 with career-highs in innings pitched (194), strikeouts (86) and ERA (3.80). He finished 12–11 with a 4.52 ERA in 1953. On July 19 of that year, he pitched a 12-inning, three-hit, 1–0 shutout against the New York Giants at Crosley Field. Battery teammate Hobie Landrith provided the difference with a walk-off home run in the bottom of the 12th.[1] At the end of 1954, Cincinnati traded Perkowski along with Jim Bolger and Ted Tappe to the Chicago Cubs in exchange for Johnny Klippstein and Jim Willis. He made 25 appearances for the Cubs in 1955, then returned to the minors in 1956 where he continued pitching until 1960, spending time with Los Angeles, Tulsa, Memphis, Fort Worth and Denver clubs. In an eight-seas majors career, Perkowski posted a 33–40 record with a 4.37 ERA in 184 appearances.

Ferrarese was used both as a starter and reliever, throughout most of his MLB career. He began his career, as a reliever, on April 11, 1955, at the age of 26; in the first big league season, Ferrarese posted a 3.00 earned run average (ERA) in 6 games (9 innings of work).[1][2] He never quite lived up to that promise, though. Perhaps Ferrarese‘s best season when he appeared mostly as a starter was 1959. That year, he went 5 and 3, with a 3.20 ERA, in 76 innings of work. Although Ferrarese walked 51 and struck out only 45, he still gave up only 58 hits, that season. Ferrarese‘s finest season as a reliever was his last season. Spending time with the Phillies and Cardinals, he posted a combined 3.27 ERA (2.70 as a Cardinal) in 63+ innings of work. Although Ferrarese went 1 and 5, his ERA was considerably lower than the league average (4.21). Ferrarese played his final big-league game on September 22, 1962. Overall, he was 19 and 36, with a 4.00 ERA, in just over 506 innings of work. Ferrarese struck out 350 and walked 295 batters. Ferrarese's career batting average was .156 (20 for 128).[1][2] The highlights of his hitting career came on May 26, 1959, and June 22, 1962, respectively. On May 26, 1959, Ferrarese collected three hits in three at-bats, all of them, doubles. He drove in two of the three runs the Indians scored, to help his team beat the White Sox, 3 to 0. The pitchers that Ferrarese faced in that game were Dick Donovan and Gerry Staley. On June 22, 1962, facing pitcher Jim Owens, Ferrarese hit a two-run home run, in the third inning. That was not enough though, as the Phillies — his former team — beat the Cardinals, 11 to 3. In Ferrarese‘s entire 1956 season, he collected one hit in 28 at-bats that year, for a .036 average. Ferrarese struck out in only 20.3% of his at-bats. As a fielder, Ferrarese posted a .952 fielding percentage. Overall, his career statistics are most similar to those of Bryan Clark.

Gilbert Raymond Hodges (April 4, 1924 - April 2, 1972) homered in each of his last four World Series and joined Lou Gehrig as the second post-1900 player to hit four home runs in a 9-inning game. Hodges played the majority of his 16-season career with the Brooklyn/Los Angeles Dodgers (1943, 1948-1957, 1958-1961) and the New York Mets (1962-1963). He was a member of seven National League pennant winning Dodger teams, winning the World Series twice (1955, 1959). A strong and steady first baseman, Gil led the NL in double plays four times and putouts, assists and fielding percentage three times, retiring with an impressive .992 fielding percentage. Hodges was an eight-time All-Star selection and won the first three NL Gold Gloves at first base (1957-1959). In 1963, Gil was shipped to the Washington Senators to take over the managerial duties, and would remain at the helm until 1967. In 1968, Gil joined the New York Mets as manager, leading this most recent expansion team to the 1969 World Series title over the heavily favored Baltimore Orioles. This Miracle Mets team became the first World Series winner to finish the previous season 15 games under the .500-mark. Hodges was honored with The Sporting News Manager of the Year Award in 1969. Gil Hodges retired with a .273 career batting average with 1,921 hits, 370 home runs, and 1,274 RBI adding a 765-321 record as a manager.

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.

Edward Raymond “Eddie” Stanky (September 3, 1915 - June 6, 1999) had a knack for getting on base, posting a .410 on-base percentage for his career, but he was most notably the spark that began the rally leading to Bobby Thomson’s 1951 “Shot Heard ‘Round the World.” Eddie began his career as a middle infielder with the Chicago Cubs (1943-1944), was traded to the Brooklyn Dodgers (1944-1947), then played two seasons with the Boston Braves (1948-1949), the New York Giants (1950-1951) and the St. Louis Cardinals (1952-1953). When Jackie Robinson signed his monumental contract with the Dodgers in 1947, management played the color barrier breaking slugger at first base for his first year in order to keep Stanky at second base. He was part of an excellent fielding infield that included his double play mate, Pee Wee Reese. At second base, Eddie had a .975 career fielding percentage. Stanky led the National League three times in walks, twice in on-base percentage and once in plate appearances and runs scored. During Eddie’s 11-year career, he played in three World Series losing efforts with Brooklyn (1947), Boston (1948) and New York (1951). Eddie Stanky finished his career with a .268 career batting average, 1,154 hits, 811 runs and 364 RBI. Stanky also served as player/manager in St. Louis before taking over all managerial duties (1952-1955) and then managed the Chicago White Sox (1966-1968) and the Texas Rangers (1977) compiling a 467-435 record in 906 games managed.

Willie Howard Mays (May 6, 1931-) is arguably the greatest centerfielder that major League Baseball has ever seen. Mays was a 24-time All-Star selection, a 12-time Gold Glove winner, the 1951 National League Rookie of the Year, a two-time NL Most Valuable Player (1954, 1965) and a member of the 1954 World Series champion New York Giants. Playing the majority of his 22-year career in a Giants uniform (1951-1952, 1954-1972), Mays’ numbers are among the best ever including his 660 career home runs, third behind Hank Aaron and Babe Ruth at the time of his retirement. Mays is often best remembered for his the iconic photograph of “The Catch”, an over-the-shoulder grab of a long drive by Vic Wertz in Game 1 of the 1954 World Series. Mays is one of five players to have eight straight seasons topping the 100-RBI mark. Power hitting Willie Mays waited in the on-deck circle when Bobby Thomson hit the “Shot Heard ‘Round the World”, perhaps influencing the pitching choices of Ralph Branca during that legendary playoff game. Willie Mays retired with 3,283 hits, 2,062 runs scored, 1,903 RBI, 338 stolen bases, 660 home runs and career .302 batting average. Willie Howard Mays was elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1979.

Wade was originally signed as an amateur free agent pitcher by the Brooklyn Dodgers organization. He then was assigned to their Ponca City affiliate club of the Kansas–Oklahoma–Missouri League in 1947. As an 18-year-old rookie, Wade had a split season record while building a 10-9 record in 28 pitching appearances and hitting for a .318 average in 59 games as an outfielder. After that, he made the switch to outfield, where he spent the rest of his professional baseball career. Wade would go on to lead four different circuits in stolen bases during his minor league career and twice in the Venezuelan Professional Baseball League. Wade also played in the Cleveland Indians, Cincinnati Reds, Kansas City Athletics and Milwaukee Braves' minor league systems in all of part of fifteen seasons spanning 1947–1961. In 1955, he posted a .292 average with career-highs in home runs (20), runs batted in (67) and stolen bases (67) in 120 games. In addition, Wade played winter baseball with the Leones del Caracas, Navegantes del Magallanes and Indios de Oriente in Venezuela, where he built a fan base around him, earning the nickname Galgo (greyhound) for his flashy speed on the bases. In a four-season stint, he batted .304 and stole 44 bases in 163 games, and accompanied his pennant-winning Caracas to the 1953 Caribbean Series, where he batted .353.

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.

John Sherman “Sherm” Lollar (August 23, 1924 - September 24, 1977) developed into an excellent backstop in the Chicago White Sox organization and won the very first Rawlings Gold Glove for catchers, but also succeeded at the plate striking out fewer times than walking in each of his 15 seasons after becoming an everyday starter (1949-1963). The Cleveland Indians signed Lollar in 1943 and he debuted in 1946, but played much of his first six seasons platooning at catcher with Hall of Famer Yogi Berra and All-Star Jim Hegan, among others. Lollar led the Major Leagues four times in fielding percentage at his position and is the third player in history to register two hits in one inning twice in the same game. Sherm was considered a “dangerous hitter with power” and he had his best season in 1959 when he batted .265 with 22 home runs and 84 RBI as he led the White Sox to the American league pennant. He was a member of the 1947 World Series champion New York Yankees, but lost the 1959 World Series as the “Go-Go White Sox” fell to the Los Angeles Dodgers. The seven-time All-Star and three-time Gold Glove winner posted a .992 career fielding percentage with a 47% caught stealing percentage. In 1954, Lollar led the American League with a 68% caught stealing percentage. Sherm Lollar finished his career with a .264 career batting average, 1,415 hits including 244 doubles and 144 home runs, 623 runs and 808 RBI over 18 seasons. He played for the Indians (1946), the New York Yankees (1947-1948), the St. Louis Browns (1950-1951) and the White Sox (1952-1963). Following his playing days, he joined the Baltimore Orioles coaching staff and won another World Series in 1966.

This is the last card in the tremendously popular 1955 Topps baseball set, and it features Brooklyn Dodger slugger Duke Snider. In 1955, the Dodgers finally came away with a championship after defeating the rival New York Yankees. Snider was a key to the Dodger lineup filled with notable names. He enjoyed, perhaps, his best season at the plate. Snider hit .309 with 42 home runs, slugged .628, and led the league with 136 RBI and 126 runs scored. Snider would hit 40 home runs or more in five straight seasons (1953-1957) en route to his Hall of Fame induction in 1980. Always considered one of the more likable players in baseball history, Snider has always been a fan favorite. This particular card is the toughest of all the 1955 Topps cards on the list, with poor centering and print defects as the two leading condition obstacles.

1963 TOPPS 33 BO BELINSKY

My only regret is that I can’t sit in the stands and watch myself pitch.” No one ever accused southpaw Bo Belinsky of being modest. And probably no pitcher in baseball history ever got more mileage out of 28 wins (against 51 defeats) in parts of eight big-seasons as Belinsky. Belinsky took baseball by storm as a rookie with the Los Angeles Angels in 1962, and captured the hearts of the Hollywood jet set. Good-looking with a dark complexion and slicked-back black hair, the roughneck from the streets of Trenton, New Jersey, turned Tinseltown upside down when he tossed a no-hitter in his fourth big-league start, en route to winning six of his first seven starts. That gem changed his life, and cast him on an odyssey that few big-league players could ever imagine. Belinsky’s ego was as big as his fastball was daunting. He flouted the conservative mores of baseball by praising himself and living by his own rules. Days after his no-hitter, he became a regular at Hollywood afterparties, where he met Walter Winchell, an aging influential gossip columnist, who introduced him to Hollywood A-listers, and plenty of B-listers, and a seemingly endless supply of actresses and wanna-be’s who lined up to meet the most eligible bachelor in town not named Hugh Hefner. Belinsky was the country’s best-known athlete-playboy, 3½ years before Joe Willie Namath took a bite out of the Big Apple. “Playing baseball seemed only incidental,” said Belinsky in retirement. “I was just on a mad whirl day and night.” Belinsky made as many headlines with women as for his occasional pitching victories. “For both variety and sheer volume of female companions,” opined sportswriter Myron Cope, “Belinsky is an authentic lion of the boudoir.” He dated Ann-Margret, Tina Louise, and Connie Stevens, was briefly engaged to Mamie Van Doren in 1963, and married Jo Collins, Playboy’s 1965 Playmate of the Year, in 1968. “What I’m looking for is one with dough,” said Belinsky as a rookie. “I need a poor one like Custer needed more Indians.” He got his wish more than a decade later when he married Jane Weyerhaeuser, the heiress to the Weyerhaeuser paper fortune, in 1975. Both the aforementioned marriages ended in divorce. “My philosophy of life?” said Belinsky in one of his most memorable quips. “That’s easy. If music be the food of love, by all means let the band play on.”

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.

A fine major league pitcher for several years, Jim Brosnan wrote the first honest portrayal of the life of a baseball player. The Long Season and subsequent works have earned him continued praise ever since. His writings paved the way for many other players’ “autobiographies,” usually written with considerable help, and filled with more tawdriness but less humor and heart. Fifty years on, Brosnan’s books remain the gold standard for baseball memoirs.

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.

Mateo Rojas “Matty” Alou (December 22, 1938 - November 3, 2011) batted .300 or better in seven seasons showing that he was the best hitter-for-average of the three Alou brothers (Felipe, Jesus), despite also being the Smallest in the trio at 5’9” tall. Matty played 15 seasons in the majors for the San Francisco Giants (1960-1965), Pittsburgh Pirates (1966-1970), St. Louis Cardinals (1971-1972, 1973), Oakland Athletics (1972), New York Yankees (1973) and San Diego Padres (1974). In 1966, Matty captured the batting title as he hit .342 as a new member of the Pirates team that included Hall of Famers Roberto Clemente and Willie Stargell as his outfield mates. He had a career year in 1969 as he led the National League in plate appearances (746), at-bats (698), hits (231) and doubles (41). He was named to back-to-back MLB All-Star Games in 1968 and 1969 and was a member of the World Series champions Oakland Athletics in 1972. Matty Alou finished his career with a .307 career batting average, 1,777 hits including 236 doubles and 427 RBI. Unlike older brother Felipe who became a Major League manager following his playing days in MLB, Matty played three season in the Japanese, then retired to manage in his home country of the Dominican Republic.

Eugene Lewis “Gene” Freese (January 8, 1934 - June 18, 2013) played second and third base for 12 years in the Major Leagues with six different teams. The Pittsburgh Pirates signed Gene as a free agent in 1953 out of West Liberty State College and he debuted for the Bucs in 1955. Freese played for the Pirates (1955-1958, 1964-1965), the St. Louis Cardinals (1958), the Philadelphia Phillies (1959), the Chicago White Sox (1960, 1965-1966), the Cincinnati Reds (1961-1963) and the Houston Astros (1966). Gene’s best season came as a Cincinnati Red in 1961 when he batted .277 with 159 hits including 26 home runs, 78 runs and 87 RBI as he helped the Reds win the 1961 National League pennant. Gene Freese retired after the 1966 season having amassed 877 hits including 115 home runs, 429 runs scored and 432 RBI while batting .254 in 1,115 big league games.

Billy Leo Williams (June 15, 1938-) held the National League record of consecutive games played (1,117) before if was topped by Steve Garvey (1,207), and included leading the NL in games played five times, missing only 28 games from 1962-1973. Billy possessed a sweet-smooth swing that helped him win the 1961 National League Rookie of the Year Award and garnered him six All-Star game selections. Sweet-swinging Billy Williams played 18 seasons for the Chicago Cubs (1959-1974) and the Oakland A’s (1975-1976). He learned his signature sweet swing from Hall of Fame legend Rogers Hornsby. Billy was among fellow Cubs Hall of Famers Fergie Jenkins and Ernie Banks and fan favorite Ron Santo who never played in the World Series. His only postseason experience came with the 1975 A’s who lost the ALCS to the Boston Red Sox. His finest season came in 1972 when he won the NL batting title with a .333 average adding 191 hits including 37 home runs and 122 RBI. Billy Williams retired with 2,711 hits, 1,410 runs scored, 426 home runs, 1,475 RBI and a .290 career batting average. Billy Leo Williams was elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1987.

Harmon Clayton Killebrew (June 29, 1936 - May 17, 2011) blasted a 530 ft. home run into the upper deck of Metropolitan Stadium, reportedly shattering two chairs, which were eventually repainted and never sold again. Signed as a boy wonder, the Washington Senators-turned-Minnesota Twins slugger caused fans, media and player alike to wonder if he might be the player to surpass the almighty Babe Ruth’s records. Killer led the American League six times in home runs, topping the 40-mark eight times. He drove in 100 or more runs nine times during his career and was a fixture among Most Valuable Player voting for eleven years, winning the prestigious award in 1969. Harmon played 22 seasons for the Washington Senators/Minnesota Twins (1954-1960, 1960-1974) and the Kansas City Royals (1975). Killebrew’s gentle nature both on and off the field helped him be a versatile asset to keep in the line-up, playing wherever asked without complaint in order to keep him mighty bat in the game. Harmon Killebrew retired with 573 home runs, 2,086 hits, 1,584 RBI, a .509 career slugging percentage, and a .256 career batting average. Harmon Clayton Killebrew was elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1984.