The Quest for the 1960 Topps Set, Part XXXII
December 31st, 2011 by slangon

Here’s the remainder of the 1960 Topps cards that Reader Jim traded me.

#81 Russ Snyder

Russ Snyder looks to be a pretty, um, shall we say, unexcitable fellow. He played 12 seasons of unflappable ball for 5 teams, including the A’s, the O’s, the White Sox, the Indians and the Brewers. During that time he posted a moderate .271 batting average. According to Russ himself, though, there were 2 incidents from his career that were anything but average. Apparently in 1962, while playing for the Orioles against the A’s, he got 2 hits in an inning as a pinch hitter. He led the inning off with a pinch hit homer and after Baltimore batted around, he picked up a single later in the inning. He also scored from second on a sac fly. Boog Powell hit a deep fly ball in Griffith Stadium, which had a very deep center field. Russ tagged up and moved to third, but the Senators lollygagged the ball back in so he scored.

#66 Bob Trowbridge

Bob spent 5 years in the Major’s, mostly with the Braves, including their 1957 World Series win over the Yankees. After that year, however, he only managed 1 win per season for his final 3 seasons. He ended up as a prison guard in the same upstate New York town where he was born. He sadly died at the age of 49 after suffering a heart attack.

#126 Chuck Estrada

In his rookie year in 1960, Chuck went 18-11, was named to the All-Star team, came in second in Rookie of the Year voting, and came in 12th in MVP voting. Two seasons later, he went 9-17, leading the league in losses. Baseballs a crazy game.

#190 Gene Woodling

Future former Met Gene Woodling had a long 17 year career in the Majors, playing for the Indians, Pirates, Yankees, Orioles, Senators and Mets. He was the kind of guy who never led the league in homer runs, or RBIs, but did lead the league in things like on-base percentage and fielding percentage. I also would like to say that I really like that cartoon oriole sleeve patch and I’m glad to hear that they’re bringing it back.

#114 Ken Aspromonte

When I was a youngster during my first go round collecting, I was not very exposed to vintage cards. Somehow I managed to land a small handful of late 50’s/early 60’s cards at the local card and comic book store near where I picked up newspapers for my paper route. I was convinced that all cards before 1970 were manufactured with round corners, much like this Ken Aspromonte.

#177 Johnny Kucks

Johnny Kucks (pronounced “cooks”) is a local Jersey boy. He actually went to the same high school in Jersey City as my great aunt, although he is a few years younger than her. He led the American League in hitting batters in 1959. Hooray New Jersey.

#150 Billy Pierce

I’ve always been pretty intrigued by the whole “hero number” thing that Topps had going on. For those of you that don’t know Topps always gave out card numbers based on how big of a star you were. Guys like Mickey Mantle and Willie Mays would always end up with numbers like 100, 200, 300, etc. and if you ended up with card number 472, well, you probably weren’t feeling too good about your self. Numbers ending in 50 weren’t as good as numbers ending in 00, but they were still pretty darn good. Initially, I was thinking to myself, how did this Billy Pierce guy get number 150? Then I looked up his stats. He played 18 seasons in the Majors and won over 200 games. He also struck out 1999 batters. I wonder if that drove him nuts not having gotten that last guy for an even 2000. He was also a 7 time All-Star, had back-to-back 20 win seasons, led the league in complete games 3 years in a row, had a sub-3 ERA 5 times, including a league leading 1.97 in 1955, and was nicknamed “Billy the Kid”. How have I not known about him?

That’s it for the 1960 cards that Jim sent. Thanks again to him for the cards. I also want to wish everyone a fun, safe New Years Eve and best of luck in the new year. I also just want to thank everyone for making 2011 such a fun blogging experience. Happy New Year everyone!

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