Monday, August 29, 2016

#51 Jim Russell


#51 Jim Russell
Progress: 1st of this card
194 of 407  47.6% complete
How acquired: $6.00 on ebay
Condition: Good
This card could be the only one in my collection to feature two defunct teams.  He's wearing a Boston Braves hat, while the logo on the card reflects his trade to the Brooklyn Dodgers.  The novelty of it probably impresses me far too much, but I'm not ashamed to admit it.  

The 16 games this card shows Russell to have played in '51 were the last 16 of his career.   That's another trivial bit that I probably get too much of a kick out of.  Those 16 games allowed Jim to have a Topps card made of him.  For my entire childhood, I considered having a Topps card as about as high an honor a person could receive in life.  I'm guessing this is Russell's only card, but I like to think somewhere he has kids or grand kids who take a huge sigh of relief at the fact that he had one.  Because without the Topps card to prove it, being in the majors without one is much like the proverbial tree falling in the forest.

Stats: 10 seasons, 959 hits, 67 home runs, .267 avg.

Best Hall of Fame Showing: N/A



Friday, August 26, 2016

#69 Virgil Stallcup




















#69 Virgil Stallcup
Progress: 1st of this card
193 0f 407  47.4% complete
How acquired: $5.50 on ebay
Condition: Good 
There are no major flaws on this card beyond a reasonable amount of wear, which one should expect when talking about a card that is now 64 years old.  Stallcup had a very nice run from '48-51, during which time he was the every day shortstop for the Reds and twice led NL shortstops in fielding percentage ('50 and '51).  Stallcup has one of the darker wiki pages that I've come across while doing this blog.  If you're interested, here's a link, but it's not going to  brighten your day. 

Stats: 7 seasons, 497 hits, 22 home runs, .241 avg

Best Hall of Fame Showing: N/A

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

#73 William "Bugs" Werle


#73 William Werle
Progress: 1st of this card
192 of 407  47.2% complete
How acquired: $6.00 on ebay
Condition: Good
I over paid for this card of "Bugs."  It's pretty faded on the back, has erased pencil marks on the front, and pen marks on the back.  None of which was desernable from the ebay listing.  None of that is anything I can't live with, far from it, but this card merits the $2-4 range, nothing north of $5.  Zoom in and read the card back, it's worth the extra 15 seconds out of your day.  The claim of being "the only man in baseball to make a study of insects," probably still holds true today.

Stats: 6 seasons, 29 wins, 39 loses,  4.69 ERA

Best Hall of Fame Showing: N/A

Saturday, August 13, 2016

#82 Duane Pillete


#82 Duane Pillette 
Progress: 1st of this card
191 of 407  46.9% complete
How acquired: $3.50 on ebay
Condition: Good
There's nothing wrong with this card, other than the Browns jersey, but all the top loaders in the world wouldn't have prevented that.  The jersey looks very generic.  Like what your high school art teacher who called runs points, and asked how many minutes were in an inning, would think a baseball jersey is supposed to look like  (No offense to art teachers, my mother is a retired high school art teacher, albeit, one who knows the minutiae of sports).

Pillete missed out on the father/son subset by a couple of decades, but he's got the prerequisites.  His father, Herman Pillete played seven seasons with the Tigers and Reds from 1917 to 1924.  

Stats: 8 seasons, 38 wins, 66 losses, 4.40 ERA, led AL with 14 losses and 106 earned runs (which if you read me a lot, you know I consider that boast worthy, as it means you were good enough to play a lot,  I'd trade left leg to have had that much MLB action to my name).

Best Hall of Fame Showing: N/A

Thursday, August 4, 2016

#89 Johnny Lipon


#89 Johnny Lipon
Progress: 1st of this card 
190 of 407  46.7% complete
How acquired: $4.00 on ebay
Condition: Fair
This Lipon card shows it's age, which is exactly the way I like my 52's.  Lipon, who lost three years to military service, appeared in 748 games over 9 major league seasons.  But he spent over thirty years managing minors league teams.  As reward for his three decades of coaching, he was named the interim manager of the of the Cleveland Indians for the last 59 games of the 1971 season.  Cleveland finished last and Lipon was never given another shot, which strikes me as wildly unfair.

Stats: 9 seasons, 690 hits, 10 home runs, .259 avg. 

Best Hall of Fame Showing: N/A

Monday, July 25, 2016

#104 Don Kolloway

 #104 Don Kolloway
Progress: 1st of this card
189 of 407  46.4% complete
How acquired: $4.00 on ebay
Condition: Fair
This isn't what I would call all that exciting of a card, but it's not the worst one in the set either.  The color guy at Topps appears to have gotten a little carried away on Kolloway's cheeks, giving a Kebler Elf look.  

Stats: 12 seasons, 1089 hits, 29 home runs, .271 avg., led AL with 40 doubles in 1942. 

Best Hall of Fame Showing: N/A

Friday, July 22, 2016

#133 Al Widmar














#133 Al Widmar
Progress: 1st of this card
188 of 407  46.2% complete
How acquired: $4.00 on ebay
Condition: Fair
This card has no shortage of flaws.  That doesn't make it any less awesome though.  This is one I've seen pop from time to time on ebay for years, but it always sold for more than I had arbirtraly deemed then it should.  But I finally have a copy, albeit, a very well worn copy.  Widmar didn't have much of a career as a player, but he managaged for a decade in the minors before being named pitching coach of the Toronto Blue Jays, and ultimately landed in Toronto's front office.

Stats: 5 seasons, 13 wins, 30 losses, 5.21 ERA

Best Hall of Fame Showing: N/A