Tuesday, October 7, 2014

1954 Bowman Vic Wertz.... Cardboard Art



Someone, I can't remember who, posted this card not long ago. I had a copy in my Orioles teams collection but I thought it was worth finding a second copy for my binder of 'favorite' cards. I just love it. Wertz is airbrushed/painted into an Orioles uniform which was pure speculation at the time since the Orioles had yet to take the field after the move from St. Louis.

Wertz was only in Baltimore until the first of June in 1954. The trade that sent him to the Indians was certainly fortuitous for both him and the Indians. He hit 14 homers for the Tribe before the season ended and the AL champs faced the Giants in the World Series. Wertz hit .500 is part of one of the most famous plays in Series history. His line shot to the far reaches of the Polo Grounds was hauled in by Willie Mays, a catch that helped shape Mays' legend.

This is from Wertz' Wikipedia page:

Victor Woodrow Wertz (February 9, 1925 – July 7, 1983) was a Major League Baseball first baseman and outfielder. He had a seventeen-year career from 1947 to 1963. He was signed as a free agent by the Detroit Tigers in 1942 and played for the Tigers, St. Louis Browns, Baltimore Orioles, Cleveland Indians, Boston Red Sox and Minnesota Twins, all of the American League.
Wertz finished in the Top 15 in MVP voting five times: 1949 (10th), 1950 (10th), 1956 (9th), 1957 (6th), and 1960 (14th).
Wertz was among the Top 10 in the American League in home runs in 1949 (20), 1950 (27), 1951 (27), 1952 (23), 1953 (19), 1956 (32), and 1957 (28). His 1956 total of 32 home runs was 2nd best in the AL. For his career, he hit 266 home runs and 1,178 RBIs with a .469 career slugging average and a .364 career on-base percentage. He hit for the cycle on September 14, 1947 while in his rookie season with Detroit.
He was elected to the American League All-Star team four times (1949, 1951, 1952 and 1957). He missed part of the 1955 season when stricken with a nonparalytic form of polio but returned in 1956.
Wertz hit the long fly ball that Willie Mays caught in the 1954 World Series (see The Catch). It went over 450 feet to dead center of the Polo Grounds in New York, and a sportswriter said, "It would have been a home run in any other park, including Yellowstone."
He was a World War II veteran, worked in the Detroit area beer distribution business during and after his baseball career, was known for his baldness, and was very well liked by fans because of his winning personality.