Saturday, December 10, 2016

I Nearly Forgot a Post Title

Not since June (Here) have I written on my continued love of Topps Fan Favorite, Archives, and Lineage autos, in particular the more obscure Redbirds. There has been a few pick ups since then. I think I will start with the oldest throwback as it regards the design and not the year issued.

Joe Presko 2011 Topps Lineage 1953 throwback.

Joe was a right-handed pitcher for the Cardinals 1951-54, though singed as an amateur free agent by the Birds in 1948 he wouldn’t make his debut until May of 1951. I am not sure why but after leaving the Redbirds after 1954 he wouldn’t play in the majors until 1957 when he was a reliever for two years with the Tigers. I assume arm troubles was the reason behind the gap as this was the reason his career ended after 1958.  He went 25-37 during his Redbird Career and he coached with his hometown Royals after his Major League career.

Phil Clark 2008 Topps Heritage-Real One Autographs 1959  throwback. 

Phil was a right-handed pitcher for the Cardinals 1958-1959. He lost his only two decisions.  The subject of one of the earliest baseball memoirs The Long Season by teammate Jim Brosnan. Phil was traded to the Dodgers after the 1959 season then went on to have a successful career in the minors.

Dick Groat   2013 Topps Heritage-Real One Autographs 1964 throwback.

Dick Groat the most well known of the subjects of today's post.

Dick was an incredible athlete and was one of those rare professional two-sport athletes. At Duke he was a two-time All-American basketball player, he would be drafted by the Fort Wayne Pistons in 1952 and would play one season as guard for the Pistons. Regarding baseball he was drafted by the Pirates by old Redbird GM Branch Rickey, he would spend 1952-1962 with the Pirates but he would have this broken up by his stint in the Army. He was almost traded for Roger Maris. In 1960 he won the World Series with the Bucs, was NL Batting Champ and was named NL MVP. Has he was a hometown boy and he thought he would spend his career with the Bucs. However, he was traded to the Redbirds in November of 1962 for pitcher Don Cardwell. 
It wouldn’t be until1990 that he would have anything to do with Pirates.

With the Cardinals he would keep leading the league in double plays and assists. He was a major reason why the Birds took the World Championship in 1964.  After the 1965 season he was traded to the Phillies and in 1967 he was sold to the SF Giants with whom he ended his career.  For his career he had a .286 Batting Average, 2,138 Hits, and 707 RBIs. Currently he announces Pitt basketball Games.


It is really hard to believe he isn’t in the Hall of Fame. How screwed up is that? He was an 8x All-Star, 2x World Champion (1960 & 1964), NL MVP in 1960, he was runner up to Sandy Koufax as NL MVP in 1963, NL Batting Champ 1960 and finished third in 1963, 1955 he led the league in Put-outs, 1958 and 1959 he led the NL in Put-Outs and Double-Plays, 1961 he led the league in Double-Plays, 1962 he led the league in Put-Outs, Double-Plays, and Assists. In 1964 he again led in Double-Plays and Assists.

Curt Simmons 2016 Topps Archives 65th Anniversary Edition 1964 throwback
Curt Simmons had a long career as a left-handed pitcher mostly with teams in the National League. His longest stint was with the Phillies were he began his career in 1947. In 1960 the Phillies dropped him because of a sore arm. The Redbirds picked him up and he would spend 1960-1966 and win a World Series in 1964 as a Cardinal. That championship season would be his last winning one and the following year he would drop 15 games for the Redbirds. He would be with the Cubs in 1966 and 1967 and would end his career with the Angels in 1967. Wiki tells us he was last player to formally retire who played in the 1940s.

In the home stretch, Barney Schultz 2014 Topps Heritage-Real One Autographs 1965 throwback.

Barney came up with the Cardinals in 1955, then after stints with the Tigers and Cubs he would return to the Redbirds in 1963 and would end his career with the Birds after the 1965 season. He would go on to coach with the Cardinals and Cubs. He famously gave up a game winning home run to Mickey Mantel in Game 3 of the 1964 World Series but did get a save in Game 1. He passed away September 6th, 2015 the year this card was issued.

The End Art Mahaffey 2015 Topps Heritage-Real One Autographs 1965 throwback

Art was a Philly when 1965 he along with Pat Corrales and Alex Johnson were traded to the Cardinals for the aforementioned Dick Groat, Bob Uecker, and Bill White. Let us say not a great Redbird career, he went 1-4 during 1966 his only season with the Birds. Actually July 17, 1966 would his last game in the Majors. He was traded to the Mets April 1967 but never played with them.

A look at the ones I am keeping my eyes out for.








4 comments:

  1. Awesome cards. I love Archives (and Heritage) autographs! They're one of my favorite things to collect each year. Sometimes I have no idea who the player is... but it's always fun to look them up and read about them.

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  2. I agree, I enjoy the players they close-it will always drive me to bust a box or two.

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  3. I love the oldies too, but it makes you wonder how Topps selects some of these guys.

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    1. I couldn't agree more, I wish I knew the print run, I mean Dick Gray going for north of $40? ahhhhh....

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