Monday, July 23, 2018

#77 Johnny Mize

#77 John Mize
25 of 274
9.1% complete

"His Walk About" - Mize made his MLB debut in 1936 with the St. Louis Cardinals.  Over the next 18 years he'd play 15 MLB seasons (he lost three years to military service in his prime) and be named to ten All-Star teams.  Along the way, he played for the Cardinals, New York Giants, and New York Yankees, making at least one All-Star team with each squad.  A 4x League Leader in Home Runs, Mize would retire with 359 homers, 2,011 hits, and a .312 lifetime average.  In 1939 Mize just missed winning a Triple Crown, when he led the NL in home runs and batting average, but finished 3rd in RBI's.  Before ending his walkabout with an induction ceremony in Cooperstown, Mize won five World Series Rings with the New York Yankees.

"That's Not a Knife" - But it is some extremely impressive baseball pedigree.  Mize's wikipedia page describes him as being a distant cousin of Ty Cobb, and a "second cousin married" to Babe Ruth.  I'm not sure what that means, but when you lead the league in homers four times, and make ten All-Star teams I'm inclined to think it means something.

"More of a love bite really..." - This card may have been glued to inside a scrap book at some point in its history, given the stain pattern on the back and the way the wrinkles along the front edge give the appearance of having been peeled off of a page.  That said, it's still a very nice looking card.

"Down Under" - Mize is card #129 the 1952 set.  Let me first say, that I really like this 1953 card.  Particularly the way it names Mize as "John" on the front.  That said, there's really no debate here.   Between the Yankee Stadium facade and the three bats, the '52 is a far superior looking card.  With this Mize, the sets are now all tied up at 12-12-1.

"At the Oscars"
Baseball Hall of Fame Inductee 1981
10x All-Star 
5x World Series Champion
Led NL Home Runs 4x ('39, '40, '47, '48)
NL Batting Champion '39
Led NL RBI's 3x ('40, '42, '47)
Led NL Runs '47
Led NL Doubles '41
Led NL Triples '38
2nd NL MVP voting '39
2nd NL MVP voting '40
3rd NL MVP voting '47
5th NL MVP voting '42

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

#75 Mike Garcia

#75 Mike Garcia
24 of 274
8.7% complete

"His Walk About" - Over the course of 14 MLB Seasons Mike Garcia compiled a 142-97 record and posted a 3.27 ERA.  A three time All-Star, Garcia twice won 20+ games and had a four year stretch where he won at least 18 games each year with the Indians.  He spent his first 12 seasons in Cleveland forming a formidable rotation along with Bob Feller, Early Wynn, and Bob Lemon.  "The Big Four" led Cleveland to the AL Pennant in 1954.

"That's Not a Knife" - But it was a cigarette, and those things will kill you too.  "Mexican Mike," as the Cleveland press dubbed him, served as a sponsor of Camel Cigarettes during his playing career.  Hard to imagine Clayton Kershaw pitching cigarette ads today.

"More of a love bite really..." - This card suffers from some fairly significant "snow" on the front and also boast the usual well rounded corners.  Ultimately, I'd say it's in pretty good shape and see zero reason to seek an upgrade.

"Down Under" - Garcia is card #272 in the 1952 set.  The two cards are actually strikingly similar, but I feel the '52 is clearly the nicer of the two.  It's just far more detailed.  That brings the '52 set closer, but '53 still leads 12-11-1.

"At the Oscars"
3x All-Star ('52, '53, '54)
Led AL ERA 2x ('49, '54)
Led AL in Shutouts 2x ('52, '54)
9th AL MVP voting '59
2nd AL ERA '52
3rd AL Wins '52
4th AL Wins '51
4th AL Wins '54
2nd AL Shutouts '56
3rd AL Shutouts '49

Monday, April 16, 2018

#70 Ed Yuhas

#70 Ed Yuhas
23 of 274
8.4% complete

"His Walk About" - After an extremely promising rookie season with St. Louis in 1952, that saw Yuhas post a 12-2 record and 2.74 ERA, Ed pitched in only one inning in 1953, injuring his arm in the process, and would never appear in a major league game again.

"That's Not a Knife" - Yuhas (at least to my knowledge) didn't carry a knife in the MLB, but he did retire in some exclusive company.  Yuhas finished 31st in 1952 NL MVP voting.  So at the time of his retirement following the 1953 season, he was, and remains, one of only three players to receive MVP votes in all but one of their MLB seasons.  The other two are Ted Williams and Joe Dimaggio.

"More of a love bite really..." - This card suffers from a fairly serious crease in the upper right corner, but it still has pretty good eye appeal.

"Down Under" - Yuhas, despite having never appeared in a game prior to the '52 season, snuck into the '52 set at card #386, likely a late signing by Sy Berger after a strong rookie campaign.  But 386 is a high number, and as such, I don't have it.  I can't say I really care for either of these cards all that much, but I lean towards the '53 as the background is somewhat more interesting.  That extends the 1953 lead to 12-10-1.

"At the Oscars"
31st NL MVP Voting '52
3rd NL Games '52
7th NL Saves '52

Monday, April 9, 2018

#67 Roy Sievers

#67 Carl Scheib
22 of 274
8% complete

"His Walk About" - Sievers had a fantastic 17 year career in the big leagues that saw him play for five clubs.  Had he spent his entire career with one franchise he could very well have his jersey hanging in a stadium somewhere.  As it stands, the 1948 Rookie of the Year and 4x All-Star finished with 318 home runs, and 1,147 RBI's.  Sievers made a run at the Triple Crown in Washington in 1957 when when he led the AL in home runs (41) and RBI's (114), while finishing 8th in batting (.301).

"That's Not a Knife" - Nope, it was a bit of a snub.  When Sievers hit his 300th home run, he was at the time only the 22nd MLB player to ever reach that number.  He and Gil Hodges hold the dubious distinction of being the first two players to reach 300 homers and not be inducted into the Hall of Fame.

"More of a love bite really..." - This card has some issues.  Someone felt the need to clip the upper right corner, I presume to remove some tape.  That decision was probably made after the attempt to remove tape from the top center of the card resulted in all that paper loss.  I would have preferred more paper loss in the corner, but in the end, it's still a baseball card.

"Down Under" - Sievers is card #64 in the 1952 set.  I'm not wild about the horizontal cards in the '52 set, and I'm of the opinion that all of the red on the Sievers card completely overwhelms it.  While the '53 isn't great, I do like the Yankee Stadium facade that can be seen in the background.  All in all, this is a pretty easy call in favor of the '53.  That puts 1953 back in the lead 11-10-1.

"At the Oscars"
AL Rookie of The Year 1949
4x All-Star ('56, '57, '59, '61)
AL Home Run Leader '57
AL RBI Leader '57
3rd AL MVP Voting '57
6th AL MVP Voting '58
7th AL MVP Voting '60
3rd AL Home Runs '58
4th AL Home Runs '56
5th AL Home Runs '54
3rd AL RBI's '58
4th AL RBI's '55
5th AL RBI's 54

Friday, April 6, 2018

#57 Carl Scheib

#57 Carl Scheib
21 of 274
7.6% complete

"His Walk About" - Carl spent 11 years in the big leagues, almost entirely with the Philadelphia Athletics.  In his final year, 1954, Carl appeared in one game for the Athletics, before wrapping up his career with the St. Louis Cardinals, who appeared in four games with.  He went 45-65 for his career with an ERA of 4.88 when it was all said and done.  I'm not sure Scheib's time in the majors couldn't have been better spent as a hitter.  With a .250 career average, Scheib saw a 104 at-bats in 1948, batting .298 with an OPS of .839 while driving in 21, hitting 2 homers, 3 triples, and 8 doubles.  Extrapolate that out to a 500-600 at-bat season and those numbers look very respectable.

"That's Not a Knife" - Nope, it was a book.  "Wonder Boy - The Story of Carl Scheib: The Youngest Player in American League History" by Lawrence Knorr, is biography on Scheib published in 2016.  Scheib was the youngest player to ever appear in an MLB game when he made his debut in 1943.  The record didn't stand long, as Joe Nuxhall broke it the following season.

"More of a love bite really..." - This card appears to have been the victim of a scotch tape attack, but has managed to survive without too much scaring.  I kind of like the look of the discolored tape on these older cards.  Or at least, I prefer it to the paper loss that often occurs during attempts to remove it.

"Down Under" - Scheib is card #116 in the 1952 set.  Scheib looks like two different people on these two cards, which makes picking which one I like more a little difficult.  As much as I love the red background on the '52, the little background scene at home plate on this '53 is just enough to slightly tip the scales towards the sequel.  It's close, but I prefer the '53.  That ties things back up again at 10-10-1.  

"At the Oscars"
AL Wild Pitch Leader '50
2nd AL Saves '51
2nd AL Games Finished '51
8th AL Complete Games '48

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

#56 Gerald Staley

#56 Gerald Staley
20 of 274
7.3% complete

"His Walk About" - "Gerry" hung around for an impressive 15 MLB seasons.  The first 8 years were spent in St. Louis as a starter, where he strung together five straight years of at least 10 wins, including an impressive run from '51-53 where he won 19, 17, and 18 while being named to two All-Star teams (he would be named to a 3rd towards the end of his career).  The final seven years of Staley's walk about were spent coming out of the bullpen, mostly with the White Sox, but with stops as a K.C. Athletic, Detroit Tiger, New York Yankee, and Cincinnati Red as well.

"That's Not a Knife" - And it wasn't a World Series Ring either, but Gerry did help the White Sox win the 1959 AL Pennant before eventually dropping the World Series to the Dodgers in six games.  Gerry appeared in 64 games for the Sox and finished 45 of them while being named to his 3rd All-Star team and finishing 23rd in AL MVP voiting.

"More of a love bite really..." - This card has some significant horizontal creasing, which is a bit unusual.  I'm not sure how that happens in the course of normal wear and tear, but there they are, running vertically down the center of the card.

"Down Under" - Staley is card #79 in the 1952 set.  While I'm not in love with his '52 card by any means, I do prefer it by no small margin to this '53.  That call puts the 52's back in the lead 10-9-1.  

"At the Oscars"
AL Saves Leader '59
AL Games Leader '59
2nd AL Games '60
3rd AL Wins '52
4th AL Saves '49
4th AL Shutouts '51
5th AL Wins '53

Friday, March 9, 2018

#55 Maurice McDermott

#55 Maurice McDermott
19 of 274
6.9% complete

"His Walk About" - 12 MLB seasons, the first six with Boston, the next six split between five different cities, was the ground covered by McDermott.  A 3.91 career ERA was posted by McDermott, along with 69 wins and he also picked up a World Series ring with the Yankees in 1956.

"That's Not a Knife" - It was in fact an Arizona Lottery ticket good for $7,000,000 that McDermott found in his possession in  1991.  McDermott who had spent time in jail for multiple DUI arrest due to his struggles with drinking, gave up alcohol after cashing in his winning ticket.

"More of a love bite really..." - This card has more than its fair share of surface wear, both front and back.  The corners are mere memories at this point and there is some pretty good creasing as well.  But when it's all said and done, it's a completely acceptable copy.

"Down Under" - McDermott is card #119 in the 1952 set, I actually have two copies of it, both in pretty terrible shape.  While McDermott clearly appears to be in better health on this '53, I prefer the '52 card.  There's something about the way the green background contrast with the Red Sox uniform that I really like.  This ties things up a 9-9-1.  

"At the Oscars"
World Series Ring '56 Yankees
AL Strikeouts per/9inn Leader '51 & '52
5th AL Wins '53
5th AL Strikeouts '51
6th AL ERA '53
9th AL ERA '51