“Found” Cards
January 27th, 2012 by slangon

You know that feeling you get when you pull your winter jacket out of the closet for the first time? You know, you put on this jacket that you haven’t worn in about 9 months, stick you hand in the pocket and pull out a $20 bill? That’s a pretty awesome feeling, right? Well, now pretend that instead of pulling out your winter coat you’re cleaning your desk. And pretend that instead of your winter coat, you find a manilla envelope that you totally forgot about. And now pretend that instead of $20, it’s a stack of old baseball cards that you forgot that you ordered.

Apparently that’s what happened to me. It’s not that I don’t remember ordering these cards, because now that I see them I totally do. I guess what happened is that I ended up getting them in mid-December, right around the same time that I was receiving a lot of packages because I try to do as much Christmas shopping online as I possibly can. Because most of those Christmas packages are for my wife or my kids, I usually end up needing to grab them off the porch and squirrel them away quickly before people start asking too many questions. I reckon this envelope full of cards got caught up in that madness and ended up being forgotten about until a few days ago when I was straightening up my office.

On one hand I feel kind of like a dope for letting that happen, but on the other hand it was pretty awesome coming across a bunch of cool cards that I forgot that I had. It’s kind of like playing a bunch of songs on a jukebox at a crowded bar. By the time your songs actually come on, you pretty much forgot what you played, but you know you’re going to like it. Let’s see what we got, shall we?

The “newest” cards in the bunch were a couple of 1962’s.

1962 Topps #292 Jerry Kindall

Although I pretty love any old baseball card, these super tight close-up, no hat, bleh looking cards disappoint me sorely. That’s not to say I’d ever stop hoarding them. There is something visually interesting though about the contrast of Jerry’s super flat flat-top and the angle of the grandstand, or whatever that is behind him. According to his Wikipedia page: “No one since 1920 with at least 2000 at-bats has a lower career batting average than Kindall’s .213.” At least he’s always got that going for him.

1962 Topps #12 Harry Craft

It’s a little hard to tell through the fog of scratches and scuffs on this card, but it’s another borderline boring close-up of a guy who you can’t tell what team he’s affiliated with. The one saving grace for this one is that I love the look on Harry’s face. It’s exactly the same look my 3 year son has when he realizes he just did something wrong and is trying to figure out if anyone noticed. Before he started to manage, Harry had a short, unspectacular playing career with the Reds from 1937-1942. One interesting highlight to his playing days was that he caught the final out in Johnny Vander Meer’s second consecutive no-hitter (a pop fly off of the bat of fellow future manager Leo “The Lip” Durocher).

1962 Topps #196 Terry Fox

This is more like it as far as posed cards. Pretty much full body shot. Check. You can tell what team he’s on. Check. Semi-nice view of the stands behind him. Check. This card is one of the many cards in the 1962 set that had a green tint variation. Looking at the 2 versions on Check Out My Cards, though, I’ll be damned if I can tell the difference. Considering this sucker ran me a whole 2 bits, I’s be inclined to think it’s not the green tint. Then again, both versions of this particular card have the same exact book value, so who the hell knows.

1962 Topps #229 Jesus McFarlane

I love this dude’s name. It’s so disjointed. Like Juan Epstein. His full name is even better. Orlando de Jesus Quesada McFarlane. A really suspicious line from the back of his card: “One of the most consistent hitters in the Pirate’s chain during the past four years, Jesus suddenly started hitting with power at Ashville in 1961.” Hmmm. Suddenly started hitting with power, eh? What is this? 1995?

Now lets head on into the Way-Back Machineā„¢ and head to Chicago, 1958.

1958 Topps #138 Earl Torgeson

Some people don’t seem to be huge fans of the 1958 set, and I guess thinking about it I can see why. It’s a little unexciting coming off of that incredible run of designs from 1953-1956. It doesn’t even have the innovativeness of 1957 Topps with its color photography. I like it though. Maybe it all goes back to the fact that the first really “old” card that I ever got as a10 or 11 year old kid was from this set. To me it just looks like a 50’s baseball card. That being said, apparently I failed to check my master list when purchasing these cards because I already had a copy of this one sitting in my 50’s binder. If anyone is interested in a slightly loved 1958 Earl Torgeson card, throw me an offer.

1958 Topps #11 Jim Rivera

This card I did need. “Jungle” Jim Rivera was Earls teammate on a pretty good ’58 Pale Hose team that finished 2nd in the A.L. with a 82-72 record. Of course, they finished 10 games out of 1st behind the World Series Champion Yankees. Like the ’62 Terry Fox card above, this is one of 2 variations of this card. On this one, the team name is in white letters but there is also a version where the team name is in all yellow letters. Of course, this is the more common, thus less valuable of the two.

I didn’t land anything from the yawn inducing ’57 set or the ass kicking ’56 set, but I did score a few 55’s.

1955 Topps #170 Jim Pearce

James Madison Pearce sounds like he was our 8th President. Our maybe the bastard Frankenstein child of out 4th and 14th Presidents.

1955 Topps #173 Bob Kline

I’ve long admired the “colorized” photo look of the mid-50’s, pre-color photo Topps cards. This Bob Kline card looks much more like an actual painting than a colorized photograph, though. Both the head shot and the posed action shot. Trivia question: On October 1, 1933, Babe Ruth made the final pitching appearance of his career against the Red Sox. He pitched 9 innings, giving up 5 runs, but still picking up the win. Who was the losing pitcher in that game? (Hint: It’s Bob Kline.)

I also scored 5 more ’54 Topps cards. That makes 16 cards from this set for me and everyone is beat to high heaven, just like I like ’em.

1954 Topps #31 Johnny Klippstein

I’m sure I’ve mentioned this before, but I think the period of 1954-1956 is one of the most interesting in all the years of Topps design, just because I find it fascinating to the the progression from one year to the next. I can’t really think of too many other eras in Topps’ history where one years design so blatantly piggy-backs the previous years. I’m also sure I’ve mentioned this before, but team logos were so much cooler back in olden times.

1954 Topps #78 Ted Kazanski

Every time I look at this card, or think of Ted Kazanski’s name, in my head I keep saying Ted Kaczynski. An interesting note about this Ted is that he was the first teenager to hit an inside the park home run in the Major’s. He did it on September 2, 1953 as a 19 year old. He hit it off of Vinegar Bend Mizell. He was the only person under 20 to have done that until Ken Griffey Jr. did it on May 21, 1989, also as a 19 year old.

1954 Topps #123 Bobby Adams

Bobby Adams is not necessarily a household name. Not by a long shot. Maybe it’s because of the rather generic sounding name. Maybe it’s the .269 career average or 37 career homers (over the course of 14 years). Maybe because he never player for a team that finished higher than third place. He’s one of those kind of players that I always thought were cool, though, just for one thing. When he took his grandkids to the Baseball Hall of Fame, he could stop in front of Robin Roberts plaque and say “Kids, you see this guy here? On May 13, 1954, I hit a lead off home run off of him. He went on to retire the next 27 batters. He never pitched a no hitter in his career and I had something to do with that.” I always thought that if I couldn’t be a Hall of Fame caliber Major Leaguer, I’d like to be that guy.

1954 Topps #131 Reno Bertoia

I’ve heard of plenty of Italian-American ball players, but an Italian-Canadian ball player? Preposterous.

1954 Topps #149 Jim Robertson

This is by far the best condition of all the cards that I got in this particular haul. There’s a bit of corner rounding and that one little crease on the right side on level with Jim’s adams apple. Other than that, I think I can safely call this card my nicest 1954 Topps card. Oddly enough, I didn’t order it. I actually ordered 1955 Topps #149 which is Ray Crone.

Finally, I scored a lone ’53.

1953 Topps #98 Cal Abrams

I think I had that same look on my face when I found this envelope. It’s a funny thing. It seems like 1953 Topps and 1956 Topps are constantly battling for my favorite set of the 50’s. And it also always seems like whatever one I got last takes the title. Until I pick up another 1956 Topps card, 1953 Topps is officially my favorite set of the 50’s.

There you go. See what happens when you clean your room, kids?

2 Responses to ““Found” Cards”

  1. Wow! Great cards and lots of terrific trivia. Two things from me: 1 Jerry Kindall looks like he could have been one of the Gemini astronauts. 2 You mentioned Wilmer “Vinegar Bend” Mizell. His 1953 Topps card is one of my all-time favorites, http://canthavetoomanycards.blogspot.com/2010/03/card-of-day_22.html

  2. I searched for that Cal Abrams for YEARS and you had it lying around in an envelope. Then again, I have a Michael Jordan rookie lying on my desk underneath a bunch of old Cubs right now so maybe I should just shut up.

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