Sunday, May 28, 2017

#279 Ed "Bud" Stewart


#279 Ed Stewart
Progress: 1st of this card
246 of 407  60.4% complete
How acquired: $6.76 on eBay
Condition: Excellent
This is one of my favorite cards in the set so far.  I don't know how many different artists Topps had colorizing these photos, but whoever did this one deserves an award.  All of the colors work together beautifully, the greens and yellows in the grandstand contrast perfectly with the fantastic White Sox logo.  Stewart himself looks great, with far more detail in his face than most other cards in this set.  The uniform is also far more crisp than most other cards with the sharp pinstripes and great detail to the "Sox" on the hat.  The bat stretching the length of the card is another nice little touch that could have easily been painted out by a less enthusiastic artist.

Stats: 9 seasons, 547 hits, 32 home runs, .268 avg., led NL in pinch hits in '41, 2nd in NL in triples (13) in '48

Best Hall of Fame Showing: N/A

Saturday, May 27, 2017

#259 Bob Addis


#259 Bob Addis
Progress: 1st of this card
245 of 407  60.2% complete
How acquired: $4.00 on eBay
Condition: Good
The paper loss on the face of Addis is the obvious issue with this card.  There's some more on the edges, but it's more or less disguised by the white borders.  Thankfully, the scuff on the face is off to the side and not too obtrusive.  Addis only had more than 30 at-bats in a season twice, but was rewarded with two different Topps cards (also had one in '53), so that's not too shabby for the former Marine.  If my grandfather had appeared in parts of four MLB seasons but had never shown up on a Topps card, I think it would have felt like the proverbial tree in falling in the forest.  These cards are what legitimized players for me as a kid, and in some respects still do as a guy pushing forty.  

Stats: 4 seasons, 208 games, 150 hits, 2 home runs, .281 avg.

Best Hall of Fame Showing: N/A

Friday, May 26, 2017

#196 Solly Hemus


#196 Solly Hemus
Progress: 1st of this card
244 of 407  
60% Complete!!!
How acquired: $5.99 on eBay
Condition: Good'
I ended up getting this one for about half of what I was willing to pay.  Not that I "wanted" to pay that much (or even this much), but having tracked it's sales the last year or so, I had set a $12 goal for this guy.  Hemus is described on his wiki page as being; "a hard-nosed player known for battling with opponents and umpires."  During his final season in 1959 he served as a player/manager for the Cardinals, and then managed the club for another season and a half before being canned.  Per wiki, as manager he told Curt Flood and Bob Gibson to find another career as they weren't good enough to cut it in MLB.  Gibson didn't describe Hemus as "hard-nosed."  He had another term for Hemus.  Stan Musial also found himself in Hemus' doghouse along with Ken Boyer and Jim Bronsan, all of whom objected to Hemus's use of racial slurs.  It sounds like you can add teammates to the list of umpires and opponents that the "hard-nosed" Hemus was known for battling.  Probably not by coincidence, Hemus led the NL in HBP on three different occassions.

Stats: 11 seasons, 731 hits, 51 home runs, .273 avg.

Best Hall of Fame Showing: 0.3% 1966

Thursday, May 25, 2017

#174 Clarence "Cuddles" Marshall


#174 Clarence Marshall
Progress: 1st of this card
243 of 407  59.7% complete
How acquired: $5.00 on eBay
Condition: Very Good
"Cuddles" hadn't pitched in the majors since the 1950 season when this card was issued, and that wouldn't change after this card was issued.  1950 would be his last big league action.  Despite a limited career that saw Marshall go 7-7 over parts of four seasons, he'll forever be in the record books as the pitcher that started the first night game ever played in Yankee Stadium.  Marshall was saddled with a loss in that game after giving up 2 runs over seven innings.  The Washington Senators won 2-1.

I'm not wild about these lighter stock cards that show up in this series.  The "white" backs completely change the nature of the card.  The front of the card is fine.  Marshall looks like he's wearing a glove from a previous decade (or more).  I'm guessing the early 50's were a bit of a transitional period for gloves.  There are a good number of cards from this set that show players wearing gloves that look a little antiquated.  It's not something I notice on cards later in the decade.

Stats: 4 seasons, 15 GS, 5.98 ERA, 185 IP, 69 SO

Best Hall of Fame Showing: N/A

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

#43 Ray Scarborough


#43 Ray Scarborough
Progress: 1st of this card
242 of 407  59.4% complete
How acquired: $5.50 on eBay
Condition: Fair
The parade of Red Sox cards continues with this Ray Scarborough.  This is one of my last first series (#1-80) needs.  There are a few cards in that series that just don't seem to pop up for sale very often, outside of the $50+ graded copies, this Scarborough is one of them.  The price is more than I would have liked to pay for a card with this much surface wear, but I just headed Mick Jagger's advice and ponied up the money.  The result I found, was that I got what I need.  

Stats: 10 seasons, All-Star, 80 wins, 85 losses, 4.13 ERA, World Series Ring with Yankees in '52.

Best Hall of Fame Showing: N/A

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

#290 Joe Astroth


#290 Joe Astroth
Progress: 1st of this card
241 of 407 59.2% complete
How acquired: $4.25 one eBay
Condition: Fair
Something took a bite off of the corner of this card.  It's in otherwise okay shape, albeit, a little bit boring to look at.  Even Astroth looks bored with this card.  Of the solid color backgrounds used in this set, the yellow ones are my least favorite.  They just don't work for me.  Astroth didn't do much at the plate but appears to have been a very good defensive catcher.  In 1953 he led the league in a number of defensive categories.

Stats: 10 seasons, 401 hits, 13 home runs, .254 avg.

Best Hall of Fame Showing: N/A

Monday, May 22, 2017

#255 Clyde Vollmer
















#225 Clyde Vollmer
Progress: 1st of this card
240 of 407 59% complete
How acquired: $2.29 on eBay
Condition: Very Good
I seem to pick up cards in random spurts of the same team.  After feeling like every card I was posting was a White Sox, Vollmer is now the third Red Sox in a row.  It doesn't feel that way when I'm buying them, but I'm also a lot more focused on the number on the back of the card than I am the logo on the front of them when I'm buying these.  This Vollmer was a welcome find at this price.  I'm not sure how many more "needs" I'll be able to secure under the $5 threshold, let alone at this number.

Vollmer was coming off of his best (and what would remain his best) MLB season in 1951 when this card was printed.  Vollmer never made an All-Star team during his ten seasons, but does go into the record books for being one of the only players to hit a home run on the first pitch (not just first at-bat) they ever saw, becoming the 4th player to do so on May 31, 1942 off of Max Butcher.  I have no idea how many guys have done it as of today.  

Stats: 10 seasons, 508 hits, 69 home runs, 339 RBI, .251 avg.

Best Hall of Fame Showing: N/A