Thursday, January 18, 2018

#43 Gil McDougald

#43 Gil McDougald
8 of 274
2.9% complete

"His Walk About" - Gil's MLB walk about was a relatively short one of "only" ten seasons.  I say only, because it was a wildly successful tenure in the majors for McDougald that saw him collect 1,291 hits, play in 8 World Series, be named 5 All-Star Teams and win the Rookie of the Year Award in 1951.

"That's Not a Knife" - McDougald was born May 19, 1928 in San Francisco, California.  His last Major League Game was game 7 of the 1960 World Series which ended with Bill Mazeroski's walk-off home run.  After his retirement, he became head coach of the Fordham baseball team.

"More of a love bite really..." - This McDougald card is in very nice shape.  Rounded corners are about the only real defect that you don't have to squint to find.

"Down Under" - Gil McDougald is card #372, one of those pesky hi-numbers, down below in the 1952 set.  As such I don't have it.  Maybe I'm biased and overly infatuated with the elusiveness of the '52 hi-numbers, but I'm going give the nod to the original over this '53 sequel.  For some reason it looks like Gil is standing in a horse stable to me on this '53.  The 52's keep a 5-3 edge in this running tally.

"At the Oscars"
AL Rookie of the Year 1951
Lou Gehrig Memorial Award 1958
5x All-Star ('52, '56, '57, '58, '59
5x World Series Champion ('51-53, '56, '58)
8x AL Pennant Winner
1st AL Triples '57
1st AL Defensive WAR '57
2nd AL Triples '59
4th AL Triples '55
4th AL Stolen Bases '52
5th AL MVP Voting '57
7th AL MVP Voting '56
7th AL Batting Avg. '51
9th AL MVP Voting '51
9th AL Batting Avg. '56

Thursday, January 11, 2018

#35 Irv Noren

#35 Irv Noren
7 of 274
2.5% complete

"His Walk About" - Irv played for six teams over the course of 11 seasons, the majority of them with the New York Yankees from 1952-56.  With the Yankees he made his only All-Star team in '54, and won three World Series Rings ('52, '53, & '56).  In total Noren collected 857 hits while posting a career .257 avg.

"That's Not a Knife" - Born in Jamestown, New York in 1924, Noren is another two sport pro, having played Professional Basketball for the Chicago American Gears.  A World War II vet, Noren would up his World Series Ring count to five by serving as the third base coach for the Oakland Athletics in 1972 and '73.

"More of a love bite really..." - This Noren arrived in my hands in really great shape.  It's nice enough that I don't even feel like nit picking.  Let's just call it a very nice card.

"Down Under" - Irv Noren is card #40 in the 1952 set (and I have two of them!).  I prefer the sequel in '53 and it's probably the easiest choice I've made so far.  It isn't close.  The right field stands of Yankee stadium are a lot more interesting than the blue sky on the '52.  The 52's still hold a 4-3 lead seven cards in.

"At the Oscars"
All-Star '54
5x World Series Rings (3x Player, 2x Coach)
4th AL Batting Avg. '54
4th AL Triples '50
7th AL Doubles '51
8th AL Stolen Bases '51
10th AL RBI's '51

Friday, January 5, 2018

#50 Chuck Dressen

#50 Chuck Dressen
6 of 274
2.2% complete

"His Walk About" - Dressen had two walk about's in major league baseball.  His first as a player lasted from 1925-1933, and saw him collect 603 hits while posting a career .272 avg.  He subsequently spent 16 seasons as a manager, this card is from that walk about, and 1953 was during a stint that saw Dressen skipper the Brooklyn Dodgers to two straight National League Pennants in 1952 and '53.  His career record was 1008 wins and 973 losses.  In 1953 his Dodgers went an impressive 105-49.

"That's Not a Knife" - Born in 1894 in Decatur, Illinois, Dressen was a two sport star, playing professional football as a quarterback for the Decatur Staley's (who would become the Chicago Bears) while he was in minor leagues.  After a solid Major League Career, Dressen made his name as manager of the Brooklyn Dodgers, including the historic run from 1951-53, chronicled in Roger Khan''s "Boys of Summer."  1951 was the year of the epic Dodger collapse down the stretch, culminating with the famous (or infamous depending on your point of view) Bobby Thompson "Shot Heard Round the World."

"More of a love bite really..." - There isn't too much as far as signs of wear on this card.  No major creases, marks or paper loss, but no one is going to confuse it as a near mint example either.

"Down Under" - Yet again, Dressen is another guy who was a hi-number (that I don't have) in the 1952 set.  His card is #377.  I prefer this '53 sequel to original, and it's not all that close.  This '53 is just a fantastic looking card with a great background.  The '52 doesn't have a lot to offer.  The 52's still hold a 4-2 lead six cards in.

"At the Oscars"
3rd NL Doubles '27
5th NL Walks '27
10th NL Triples '27

Friday, December 29, 2017

#34 George Shuba

#34 George Shuba
5 of 274
1.8% complete

"His Walk About" - Shuba's MLB walk about consisted of 351 games over seven seasons, all with the Brooklyn Dodgers.  He picked up 211 hits while batting .259.  Shuba also saw time in three different World Series with the Dodgers in '52, '53 and won a ring in '55.  He batted .333 in 12 World Series at-bats.

"That's Not a Knife" - The youngest of ten children, Shuba was born in Youngstown, Ohio in 1914.  His father had just emigrated from Czechoslovakia in 1912.  In 1947 Shuba was with the Dodgers farm club the Montreal Royals.  He was on deck when Jackie Robinson hit his first home run with the Royals, and his handshake with Robinson as he crossed home was picked up by the A.P. and became a symbol of racial tolerance.  

"More of a love bite really..." - This card is really in very nice shape.  I'm not sure what it looked like coming out of the pack in '53, but it couldn't have been too much better looking than it is now.

"Down Under" - Shuba is card number #326 in the 1952 Topps set.  That's another hi-number, and another one that I don't have.  This is another close call, but I'm going go ahead and say that I prefer the original to the sequel.  The 52's hold a 4-1 lead five cards in.

"At the Oscars"
1955 World Series Ring
31st NL MVP Voting '52

Thursday, December 21, 2017

#3 George Crowe

 #3 George Crowe
4 of 274
1.4% complete

"His Walk About" - Crowe's MLB walk about lasted 9 season's, and saw him collect 457 hits while batting .270 with 81 home runs.  His best year was 1957 when he hit 31 homers and drove in 92 runs for the Cincinnati Reds.  Named an All-Star in 1958, Crowe never played in a World Series.

"That's Not a Knife" - Born a Hoosier in Whiteland, Indiana, Crowe was the inaugural winner of Indiana's "Mr. Basketball Award" in 1943.  During his time in the Negro League, Crowe also played Professional Basketball for the Los Angles Red Devils, where one of his teammates was Jackie Robinson.   

"More of a love bite really..." - This card's only real scar is the paper-loss on the back.  It's not a huge bit of damage, but it obscures the number enough that I had to "research" to figure out if it was card number 3 or 8.

"Down Under" - Crowe is card number #360 in the 1952 Topps set.  That's a dreaded hi-number, and I don't have it.  As tempted as I am to go with this '53 on the strength of the Yankee Stadium facade in the background, I'm going to give the edge to the '52 original to this '53 sequel.  The 52's hold a 3-1 lead four cards in.

"At the Oscars"
NL All-Star '58
6th NL Home Runs '57 (31)
8th NL RBI's '57 (92)  
8th NL Hit By Pitch '52 (5)

Thursday, December 14, 2017

#22 Howie Fox

#22 Howie Fox
3 of 274
1.1% complete

"His Walk About" - Howie's MLB walk about lasted 9 season's, seven with the Reds and one apiece with the Phillies and Orioles to end his career.  Fox tossed 1,108.1 innings and was credited with 43 wins and 72 loses while posting a career of 4.33 ERA.

"That's Not a Knife" - Actually, it was a knife.  Following his last season with Baltimore in '54, the Coburg, Oregon born Fox opened a tavern in San Antonio where he was pitching for a minor league team.  During a disturbance at the bar, Fox was stabbed to death, while trying to eject three men.

"More of a love bite really..." - This card came through it's own walk about in pretty good shape.  There's nothing that pops out too much as far as damage, and I'll happily take 273 more cards just like it.

"Down Under" - Fox is card #209 in 1952 Topps.  My copy is in terrible shape, so that may be influencing my decision, but I'm going to say I like this sequel better than the original.

"At the Oscars"
1949 NL Loss Leader (19)
1949 NL Leader Assists as P (65)
1951 4th NL WAR for Pitchers
1945 NL 4th Games Played
1945 NL 7th in losses
1951 NL 8th in losses

Thursday, December 7, 2017

#18 Ted Lepcio

#18 Ted Lepcio
2 of 274
0.7% complete

"His Walk About" - Ted's MLB walk about last 10 season's.  He picked up 512 hits, 69 home runs, and batted .245 over that period of time.  He never saw the post-season.

"That's Not a Knife" - Born Utica, New York, Ted attended Seton Hall.  He was signed by the Red Sox while playing amateur baseball in Oneida, NY, in 1951.  A year later he was in the majors.  He was roommates with Jimmy Piersall on the road, and is credited with often saving Piersall from being beaten up by other teammates in the book "Fear Strikes Out," which chronicles Peirsall's struggle with bi-polar disorder.

"More of a love bite really..." - This card has some pretty rough edges, which I'm quickly discovering to be a common theme among 53's, and decent crease running up about half the length of the card.

"Down Under" - Lepcio is card #335 in 1952 Topps.  That's a hi-number that I don't own.  Going off nothing more than the picture that I've seen of it, I think I prefer the original.

"At the Oscars"
1954 AL Leader in Range Factor/9 inn as 2B
1954 AL Leader in Range Factor/Game as 2B