Sunday, October 14, 2012

Too Soon









In the wake of the Orioles ALDS(?) loss to the Yankees it's just too soon for me to post a Mickey Mantle card, even if it is one I've finally picked up after several years of trying. So instead I'll post one of the other '58 All Star cards I scored off eBay.
The 1958 Topps All Star cards comprise one of my favorite subsets ever put out by Topps. I like everything about them. Because of the All Star cards the '58 set was one I considered chasing and blogging before I settled on the 1959.

And while I was doing my weekly scan of the online bidding site I came across a dealer who was selling reasonable copies of not only the Mantle but this Ted Williams along with a few others I needed. I haven't actively pursued a Ted Williams card but since I don't have any outside of his managerial cards from the late 60's/early 70's Topps sets I figured this was a good opportunity to add a card of one of the all time greats. The fact that it was from this subset made it even better. This is the last time Topps featured Williams on a card during his career. Fleer, of course, had it own dedicated 'Ted' set in '59. Williams did show up on the 1959 Topps Red Sox team card. You can see him if you look close.

My scan really does the card a disservice. The scuffing that shows itself in the scan isn't nearly as noticeable on the actual card. Ted's head (and I'm going to eschew the obvious jokes for the time being) dominates the front of the card and quite a few of the cards are portraits. A couple of exceptions will show up here soon.
The added bonus is the fact that the cards carry the Sport magazine imprint of the front. I grew up a dedicated Sport reader. It was a monthly so my folks were not as reluctant to buy me a subscription as they were when I wanted one to the Sporting News. (I usually bought that myself with money I saved from my allowance or my newspaper delivering job.)

But the back of the card is 100% gold for a guy who loved the stat laden team and leader cards of the 1960's. How great is a rundown of the player versus each club in the league? And look at Williams' '57 numbers! He hit .474 with 9 homers and 20 RBI and 22 runs scored against the Indians. His next highest average came against the Yanks. He tattooed Whitey Ford and company at a .453 clip. His lowest average against any team was .333 versus both Washington and the White Sox. The Orioles actually held him to one homer and seven ribbies. Part of that probably was a result of the dimensions of Memorial Stadium in those days.

And check out the write-up. It all but canonizes Ted. I love the last line especially..."Ted is truly a remarkable man." And this, to me at least is a truly remarkable card. Check back for some others coming soon, including the Mantle.