Card of the Moment #39
July 22nd, 2010 by slangon

I haven’t done a Card of the Moment in quite a spell it seems. I guess all of my moments have been taken up by the on going Gint-A-Cuffs shenanigans. Well, we’ll fix that. I’ll just dip into that awesome pile of beat up vintage that sent my way via Chris from Project ’62.

1961 Topps #110 Vida Pinson

I had heard the name Vada Pinson every now and again in reading about baseball and it’s history. I think it stuck more in my head because of the unusualness of the name itself rather than any stories about the man. Researching him for this post kind of changed that for me, which is kind of what I love about doing these Card of the Moment write ups.

He played for 18 seasons, mostly in Cincinatti, posting a career .286 batting avarage with 256 homers and 1170 RBI. He was a 2 time All-Star and won the Gold Glove once.

Every year when it comes time for the Baseball Writers to tally their votes for the Hall of Fame, you always hear about guys who are “borderline Hall of Famers”. It seems that Vada Pinson definitely falls into that category. Although there are no set numbers for induction into the Hall of Fame, usually 3000 hits will assure that you get in. Pinson finished with 2757. Most people with 500 doubles will get in. Pinson had 485. Typically, 1500 runs scored is enough to get a nod. Pinson scored 1366 in his career.

One interesting fact about Vada is that while at McClymonds High School in Oakland, Ca. he played trumpet in the high school band. He was so talented with music that he very seriously considered playing the trumpet as a career. However the coach at McClymonds, George Powles, who had also helped develop the talents of major league teammates Frank Robinson and Curt Flood as well as basketball superstar Bill Russell, talked him into pursuing professional baseball.

He signed with the Reds in 1956, just before his 18th birthday. After spending 2 years lighting up the Minor Leagues, Vada was invited to the Reds spring training camp in 1958. He was so quiet that spring that the Reds coach Jimmy Dykes thought that he was a Hispanic player. Dykes spoke to him in gestures and broken English until Pinson finally said, “Mr. Dykes, if there is something you want me to do with my stance, please tell me.” You could of knocked Jimmy over with a feather.

Lastly, I leave you with this rather bizarre cartoon from the back of this card.

2 Responses to “Card of the Moment #39”

  1. Great post. I do love those old cartoons. I’ve always thought Topps should collect the best ones in a book. It would make a great Christmas stocking suffer.

  2. “I play here today!” is classic. What would the cartoon caption be for Chris Brown (the oft-injured Giant 3B)? “My toe! My toe!”

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