The Quest for the 1960 Topps Set, Part XII
September 14th, 2010 by slangon

I’m still plugging away at this set, little by little. I actually ending up posting my wantlist for this set recently, and when laying it out, I decided to include the numbers indicating how close I was to completion. A nerdy exercise, yes, but I found that it really encouraged me to keep going on this. With the inclusion of this batch of cards (which I’m breaking into several posts just to milk the blogging material) I’m just a shade under halfway there. Not too bad when you consider that I really only started collecting this set 6 months ago.

What I really find encouraging is how well I’ve been managing to do with the Hall of Famer cards. Initially that was a big concern of mine and several times almost made me abandon this set. Well, I’ve kept pace pretty well. I’m actually 48% finished with the set as a whole and 45% finished with the HOF cards. I’d say that’s pretty close.

Anyway, here’s some cards.

#412 Bob Anderson

Smilin’ Bob here played 7 seasons in the Majors, 6 with the Cubs and 1 with the Tigers. He was involved in a very bizarre sounding play in a game against the Cardinals in 1959. Apparently, Stan Musial was at bat with a 3-1 count. Bob threw him a high and inside fastball that Stan checked his swing on, but the ball ticked off his bat and the ball sailed to the backstop. The ump called it ball 4 and Musial trotted to first. Sammy Taylor, the Cubs catcher turned around to argue that the ball hit his bat and should be a foul. While that was going on, Bob started to walk in toward home to see what was going on and the ump thought he wanted a new ball, which he gave him. Meanwhile, Alvin Dark, the Cubs third baseman, alertly retrieved the original ball that was at the backstop. While all this confusion was happening, Musial broke for second when both Dark and Anderson threw to that base to try and get him out. Anderson’s throw sailed into center, but Dark’s was on target. It was ruled that Dark had the legit ball and Musial was called out. The Cardinals played the remainder of the game under protest, but later dropped that protest after they won 4-1.

#91 Bennie Daniels

I find it interesting that this is actually the second time I’ve mentioned Bennie on this blog. Last time we saw him, he was the ace of the 1962 Senators staff with a 12-10 record. He also happens to have been the starting pitcher in both the last game played at Ebbets Field and the last game played at Griffith Stadium. He also won the first game ever played at RFK stadium.

#79 Walt Dropo

It’s funny how quickly a Rookie of the Year winner can turn into just another piece of cardboard. Especially when you consider that Walt beat out Whitey Ford for that honor in 1950, and not by a little bit either. Walt had 15 1st place votes to Whitey’s 6. That year he hit .322 with 34 homers and 144 RBI. 144!?!?

#168 Alex Grammas

Alex came up with Cardinals in 1954, where he turned 100 double plays with second baseman Red Schoendienst. That sounds like a lot to me.

#340 Harvey Haddix

Harvey is best know for taking a perfect game into the 13th inning before losing to the Milwaukee Braves. It ended in an error, and intentional walk and a 3-run homer that was later ruled to be a ground rule double due to Joe Adcock passing Hank Aaron on the base paths. The official score was reduced to 1-0 in favor of the Braves.

#192 Danny O’Connell

Danny was a fellow Jersey boy. He was born in Paterson and died in Clifton. He also played 10 years in the Majors, hitting a fairly respectable .260 for his career and came in 3 in the 1950 N.L. Rookie of the Year voting behind Sam Jethroe and Bob Miller. Wow. Doesn’t sound like there was much of a rookie class that year.

#143 Al Spangler Rookie Star

I’ve been defiantly noticing that the images that they use on the Rookie Star cards look an awful lot like paintings. I wonder if that is the case, or if it’s just all in my head. By the way, did you know that Al’s nickname was Spanky? Spanky Spangler. Now that’s a name.

#167 Valmy Thomas

Valmy was technically born in Puerto Rico, but is considered to be the first Major Leaguer from the U.S. Virgin Islands. Apparently when his mom was ready to pop him out, she went to P.R. to give birth, believing medical care to be better on that island. He only played one more season after this card came out, after which he spent some time playing for the Atlanta Crackers of the International League. While there, he was apparently shot and critically wounded by one Cleveland Lyons in a dispute over a woman.

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