Card of the Day: 1963 Topps Tom Tresh

About a year ago, I purchased a very odd auction for about $3. The auction featured a poor title, and very fuzzy picture, but there was one card I could make out — one of those 2007 Topps Derek Jeter cards featuring Mickey Mantle and George Bush. The card at the time was still selling for $15 alone, so I bought to lot in order to re-sell the Jeter card. But when the lot of cards arrived, I found another treasure, this 1963 Topps Tom Tresh.

I’m going to be honest, before Thursday I really had no clue who Tresh was. All I knew was that I had his vintage baseball card, that it was a shortprint worth about $60 and was supposed to be headed for eBay at any time.

But as I unwound from the Red Sox comeback win Thursday in Game Five of the American League Championship Series, I saw Tresh’s name appear on the crawler on ESPN. Tresh, at age 70, had died. That’s when I decided to dig this card out of the box and do a little research.

Not until about 20 minutes ago did I know that Tresh was an American League Rookie of the Year (1962), a player who only got a chance to break in as the Yankees shortstop because Tony Kubek was called to service in the U.S. Army. I also didn’t know that he was an important part of the 1962 Yankees World Series team. Tresh hit a three-run homer in Game Five of that series, and then made a fantastic play in Game Seven to preserve a one-run lead, according to published reports. And another thing I had no clue about was that he was one of the inventors of Slide-Rite, a training tool to aid players in learning how to slide correctly.

Tresh may not have been one of the legendary Yankees, but given the fact that I am a fan of the game, I’m thinking I may just have to keep this card.

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