Card of the Moment #54
October 26th, 2010 by slangon

1963 Topps #88 Ron Hansen

Today’s Card of the Moment comes to us from one of my favorite sets from the 60’s, the 1963 Topps flagship set. It is card #88 of Baltimore Orioles shortstop Ron Hansen. Actually, by the time this card came out, Ron had already been sent off to Chicago along with Hall of Famer Hoyt Wilhelm, Pete Ward and Dave Nicholson, in exchange for Hall of Famer Luis Aparicio and Al Smith.

Ron is one of my favorite types of players to write about just because I never heard of him, but after doing a little bit of research, it turns out there’s a lot of interesting things about him. First off he was the 1960 A.L. Rookie of the Year. He’s just another in a long line of guys who’ve won that distinction and then for one reason or another became lost to history. I actually think you can create a collection of Rookie of the Year winner’s rookie cards and there would only be a handful of cards that would be a pain in the ass to get. When you look at the players who’ve won Rookie of the Year over time, theres a few Willie Mays’ and Pete Roses and Rod Carews in there, but there’s a lot more Don Schwalls and Sam Jethroes and Carl Mortons. It would be a pretty interesting collection.

Anyway, after winning the 1960 R.O.Y. award, the year he also made it to the American League All-Star team, Ron had a few solid seasons for Baltimore before being called into military service during the Cuban Missile Crisis. While in the Marines, he aggravated a back injury that had hampered him for most of his career.

Upon returning from the service, he was shipped off to Chicago in the above mentioned trade. While there, he continued his fine play, especially defensively. He led the A.L. twice in double plays and 4 times in assists. During a doubleheader in 1965, he tied an AL record with 18 total chances in the first game and added 10 more in the second for a total of 28, to set a major league record for a doubleheader.

Ron led the league with 162 games played in 1965, but in 1966 was again sidelined with back problems, appearing in only 23 games. He had surgery for a ruptured spinal disc and came back to play 157 games in 1967.

During the off-season The White Sox sent Ron, Dennis Higgins and Steve Jones to the Washington Senators in exchange for Tim Cullen, Buster Narum and Bob Priddy. While in our nation’s capital, Ron didn’t make much impact with the bat, but kept up his fine fielding. In fact, on July 30, he turned the 8th unassisted triple play in Major League history. The Senators were facing the Indians and in the bottom of the 1st, Cleveland had runners on 1st and 2nd with no outs. There was a full count against Cleveland’s catcher Joe Azcue. The runners went on the pay-off pitch, which Azcue lined right at Hansen, who stepped on second base to double off Dave Nelson and tagged Russ Snyder as he was coming into second. The last unassisted triple play before that was turned by Detroit first baseman Johnny Neun in 1927. Fans of the U.T.P. would have to wait another 26 years to see John Valentin turn one for Boston in 1994.

Two days after the triple play, Ron hit a grand slam to break open a game against the Tigers. The following day he was traded back to the White Sox in exchange for Tim Cullen, making them the only players in Major League history to be traded twice for each other within the same season.

One Response to “Card of the Moment #54”

  1. Nice story! I hope that Andrew Bailey, AL ROY 2009, will not be forgotten in the years to come!

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