Archive for Harvey Haddix

Rookie/Prospect Card Six Pack #13

Posted in Rookie Card Six Pack with tags , , , , , , , on March 13, 2014 by Cardboard Icons

IMG_71431953 Topps Bill Connelly, 1953 Topps John Logan, 1953 Topps Charlie Bishop, 1953 Topps Harvey Haddix, 1953 Topps Bill Glynn, 1953 Topps Art Schult

A 1958 Topps Mickey Mantle for $5? Whaaaat

Posted in Newspaperman with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on March 11, 2010 by Cardboard Icons

For weeks, I’d been itching to get back to one of my local card shops to dig through their vintage bargain bins. The Topps Million Giveaway promotion has rejuvenated my love for the old, smelly cards. So instead of paying inflated prices for a cardboard lottery ticket hoping to get something made before 1970, I decided to call the shots — I was going to chose what I wanted. And so I did. In the end I came away with five cards for $14.

The first  is a 1954 Bowman rookie of St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Memo Luna. Luna is a Mexican Baseball Hall of Famer. Born Guillermo Romero Luna, the lefty played in all of one game in his major league career. On April 20, 1954, Memo pitched just two-thirds of an inning, giving up six hits and two earned runs. And then poof, it was over; his Major League Dreams snuffed out. While his MLB numbers aren’t anything to gawk at, Luna actually played professional ball for 20 years What I have not figured out is how he got the nickname “Memo.”

I actually wish that I had gone to this card shop a week earlier. Nine days ago I paid $1 for a 1955 Topps Harvey Haddix card just to say I owned one of the guy who threw 12 perfect innings in a losing effort. And then lo and behold I found this 1961 Topps card yesterday commemorating that occasion. It still boggles my mind that Haddix tossed the equivalent of 1 1/4 of a perfect game and still came out on the losing end. This card is awesome, by the way. Very timely considering it is a “Baseball Thrills” subset, just like the ones that are in the 2010 Topps Heritage set.

I thought I bought a Milt Pappas rookie before, but a quick check of my blog via my cell phone was showing no signs of it. I would have posted it in my Rookie Card Showcase.  Anyhow, for $2 I was not going to pass on this 1958 Topps card. Pappas tossed a no-hitter (almost a perfect game) with the Cubs late in his career. And although he was not a HOFer, he remains one of the best pitchers of his era, tallying more than 200 wins and 1,700-plus strikeouts. Solid career.

And from one Oriole to another who had a slightly more decorated career. OK,  who am I kidding, this guy had a much more accomplished career. Brooks Robinson is one of the best third basemen to ever play the game and there was no way I was going to pass on a third-year card of a guy like that for $5. Yes, the card has some issues. There is a crease down the middle, but it’s really not as bad as it looks. And for the price, there was nothing to quibble about.

And lastly, the 1958 Topps Mickey Mantle card to which the headline alludes. Yes, this is a Yankee team checklist card, but it does feature some of legendary names: Mickey Mantle, Yogi Berra, Casey Stengel, Whitey Ford, Sal Maglie, Tony Kubek, Elston Howard, Hank Bauer and more. Want to guess where Mantle is? He’s the shortest guy on the top row. Awesome, right? Oh, and don’t harass me about the card’s condition. If it looked any better than this, I wouldn’t own it because it would have cost me more than the $5 I paid.

Shameless Plug: Don’t miss your chance to win a 1958 Topps Mickey Mantle / Hank Aaron card.

Sad reality for the vintage Topps Million Giveaway

Posted in Newspaperman with tags , , , , , , , on March 5, 2010 by Cardboard Icons

So the other day I made a stop at my local card shop to dig through the bargain vintage boxes. It had been a few months since I dug through these so I figured it was worth a shot since I was craving some old cardboard. As I thumbed through the decades-old cards encased in Card Saver I holders, I came upon a stack of 1955 and 1956 Topps cards and immediately thought of one of my best Topps Million redemption cards — 1956 Bob Friend.

I’ve redeemed about 15  of the Topps Million Giveaway redemptions and the first two cards I got were from the 1950s. I was proud to have pulled them. And then of course came this dose of reality at my local card shop. In the stack of 1956s was a copy of the same Bob Friend card I had pulled in my redemption. The price? $2. Yes, two freakin’ dollars!

I knew the Friend would not fetch me much if I wanted to sell it, but holding the same card in hand and knowing that it would cost me less than a pack of top loaders or 2010 Topps baseball (packs are up to $3 now at my LCS) was even further proof of how crazy things have gotten with this giveaway. If anyone pulls anything made before 1980, it seems like collectors rejoice. And if the card is from the 1950s, then the collector has struck virtual gold. Of course reality will show us that unless you’ve got a star card or a high number short print, the overwhelming majority of cards from even the 1950s can be had for just a few dollars.

I half contemplated buying the Friend but figured that would cheapen the experience of actually receiving the card from Topps sometime in the next two months. Instead I elected to buy two 1955 Topps cards for a buck each — Harvey Haddix and Dick Groat.

Neither of these cards are mint or worth a ton. But I figured that if I had pulled these through the Topps Million Giveaway I would be elated.

Haddix is the guy who lost a perfect game in the 13th inning of a 1959 game against the Braves. He also was a 20-game winner in 1953, a season in which he also threw 19 complete games.

Groat was the 1960 National League Most Valuable Player and is a member of the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame. Yes, basketball. Groat arguably had a more accomplished basketball career than baseball. He was a stud at Duke University and was elected a United Press International Player of the Year in 1952. He was the third pick overall that same year, taken by the Fort Wayne Pistons of the NBA.