Card of the Moment #82
January 30th, 2012 by slangon

Today’s Card of the Moment is brought to us by the colors green and yellow. And the letter W, although you wouldn’t know it from this card.

1966 Topps #149 Dick Nen

Most times, when I’m writing these Card of the Moment posts, I’ll do a search for the player and read through a couple of different articles and glean together as many out of the ordinary facts about said player as I can find. Other times, I find it a little tough to find any information on a particular player outside of their numerical stats. In the case of Dick Nen, everything I found was of the second fiddle variety.

Usually one of my first stops in looking for info on a guy is Baseball-Reference, specifically their BR-Bullpen page. Whoever penned Dick’s seems to be more interested in anybody else other than Dick Nen.

It starts off well enough.

Dick Nen, as a 23-year-old rookie, hit a key home run for the Dodgers in the 1963 pennant race. Most of his six-year career was spent with the Washington Senators as a first baseman.

Okay. He hit an unspecified “key home run” for the Dodgers as a rookie and spent most of his career with the Senators. A little vague, but whatever.

The rest of his write up kind of falls off the tracks however when it comes to sticking to the subject of Dick Nen. Some of the key pieces of information that we learn about people other than Dick include:

  • He was managed by Ted Williams and Gil Hodges.
  • During the 1966 season, Ken Harrelson is listed as the Senator’s regular first baseman even though Dick was in more games.
  • While on the Cubs, he was a back-up to Ernie Banks.
  • He is Robb Nen’s father.
  • While in the minors, he was Jeff Burroughs’ teammate.

Even the few facts about Dick that seemingly are about Dick end up being a little backhanded. For instance, the writer talks about how during his 1961 minor league campaign, Dick dominated the California League by hitting .351 with 32 dingers and 144 RBI, but then parenthetically adds that he tied for the league lead in doubles with his teammate Louis Ertle, who doesn’t even have a Baseball-Reference page of his own. They also bring up the fact that Dick was the first player from Cal State Long Beach to make it to the Majors, but then points out that 25 others have done it after him.

Topps seems to have gotten in on the Dick Nen dismissing as well. Aside from finding it necessary to put “Rookie of the Year” in quotes, they were so anxious to mention that Dick was basically a throw-in in the deal that brought Frank Howard to D.C. that they gave it top billing over all the ass-kicking Dick did in the minors.

Sort of makes me wonder how many other guys entire Major League legacy revolves around their relationships to other players?

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