Monday, May 20, 2013

1960 Topps Managers, Solly Hemus and Jimmie Dykes




The one quality every manager's card should always have is a picture showing them doing something managerial. Unfortunately managers don't actually do much. They lean on the dugout railing, talk to the pitching coach, scratch out names on the line-up card posted on the wall, make phone calls to the bullpen and lean over and spit. That's pretty much it.

But Topps did a good job of making Solly Hemus and Jimmy Dykes look like managers. Solly was in the second of three years (2.5 actually) as Cardinals' manager. A long time Cardinal, he had returned to St. Louis from a stint with the Phils and gave the role of player/manager a shot in 1959. He didn't play much, just getting 26 at bats, but after finishing in 7th place he came back in 1960 solely as the skipper. His team finished third. He was let go as manager mid-way through 1961 with the Cards in fifth.

In his 1960 card he props himself on the railing and gazes off into the middle distance. He's probably hoping Stan Musial will play a few more years.




I know for sure what Jimmie/Jimmy Dykes is doing. He's composing a letter asking Topps to at least spell his name the same way on both sides of his cards.

Jimmy/Jimmie managed for twenty one years in the big leagues, mostly with the White Sox. He was a player/manager for his first six seasons in Chicago. He later had stints with the Athletics, Reds, Orioles, Tigers and Indians. His three year run with the A's was the longest of any with those clubs. He averaged a fifth place finish in his long managerial career and three 3rd place finishes with the ChiSox were the best he could muster.

He had 21 seasons as a player and hit .280 for his career. He played in three World Series and won two of them. All that time in a dugout certainly helped him perfect the 'foot up on the dugout looking thoughtful' step thing.