Monday, November 7, 2011

Phils, Red Sox, Cardinals: Lend Me Your Ears (1956 Version)

In ’56, Topps came up with a truly classic design.  The background is a typical stadium scene, with a small figure of the player off to one side.  The other side has a cutout close-up.  To separate the close-up from the background, the cutout has a subtle white edging.

It’s a really good look … unless you happen to have big ears.  In that case, all the outline does is point out, like a flashing neon sign, just how big those ears really are.  In fact, I’d go so far as to say they make those ears look twice their normal size.

So here they are, a bunch of poor schmoes whose ears really aren’t as big as they look …

Daryl Spencer was a regular infielder in the ‘50s who moved to Japan at the end of his career and made a big splash.   Some great stories here and here.

Great name.  In 1957, George and Frank Zupo became the first battery in the history of baseball whose last names both began with "Z".  George bounced around major league bullpens for eight years, leading the AL in saves in 1956.


Bo Jackson, Deion Sanders, Jim Thorpe …  All guys who played in multiple sports on the major league level.  As was Gene Conley.  Wait.  Gene who?

In fact, Conley did something none of these other guys did.  Not only did he play in MLB and the NBA, but he won championships in both, with the ’57 Braves and with the Celtics from ’59 through ’61.

Russ Meyer was a famous B movie auteur, known for such gems as Faster Pussycat! Kill! Kill! and Vixen!

Wait, no.  Wrong Russ Meyer.  Our Russ was a journeyman starter who pitched for six clubs over 13 seasons.  His main claim to fame was once winning 24 consecutive road starts without a loss.  He also had a major fixation on large breasts.  Wait, no, sorry.  Wrong Russ Meyer. 

Hey, bat wings!  In fact, that would have been a really good nickname for Don.  He doesn’t seem to have had one otherwise.

Don Liddle’s claim to fame is his being on the mound for Willie Mays’ famous back-to-home catch in the ’54 World Series.  In fact, that was the only batter Liddle faced that day.  "Well, I got my man," Liddle reportedly said as he came back to the dugout.  Droll, very droll.

Holy Mickey Mouse!  Lots more of these babies right here.


You know those cute little French bulldogs?  Well, I think Jim might have been one in a former life.

Aw …  So cute!  Just put an old A’s cap on him, and he’s Jim Finigan.  (Ah, if only I could use PhotoShop.)

* - author has this card

So, how about some big ones from the '60s and '70s?

No comments:

Post a Comment