1952 Topps #31
The one thing they have in common is that it can be argued that one of their baseball cards made them famous more than their performances on the field.
The same could also be said for former MLB outfielder Gus Zernial. His 1952 Topps baseball card is one of those silly cards you see pop up from time to time. But do you know the story behind it?
Last year, Zernial's name showed up in my 100 Things A's Fans Should Know and Do Before They Die book. According to the author, the photographer attached the balls to his bat with Scotch tape in honor of the six home runs he hit in a three game span (5/13/51 to 5/16/51). The day that photo was taken, Zernial would go out and hit another home run.
Those seven home runs were the first seven he hit as a member of the Philadelphia Athletics. He had been traded by the Chicago White Sox two weeks earlier and hadn't hit a single home run in his first eight games with the team.
He wound up hitting twenty-six more that season to beat out the legendary Ted Williams and take home the American League home run title. The book also mentioned that no other American League player hit more home runs than Zernial from 1950 to 1955. And believe it or not, there were only two American League players who hit more home runs than him during the 50's: Mickey Mantle and Yogi Berra.
Pretty interesting and cool, right? But not quite as cool as his 1952 Topps card. Let's take one more look at it:
That book motivated me to look for this card and two weeks ago I found this graded copy on eBay with an opening bid of $9.99 (+ $3 shipping). I waited it out and put in a bid with 5 seconds to go... and wound up the lone bidder.
This is only the third 1952 Topps baseball card I have ever owned. The first one was the Andy Pafko my aunt bought me back in the 80's, which I eventually traded away for a 1987 Fleer Tin set and some rookie cards. The other is this mangled and torn Jerry Coleman:
1952 Topps #237
That means I only need 405 cards left to complete one of the most iconic card sets of all-time. I'm not holding my breath though. However I am holding one of the most affordable and coolest cards in the set.
Okay card collectors, here is today's question of the day...
At the beginning of this post, I mentioned nine baseball players who had one or more famous baseball cards: Herb Washington, Wally Moon, Billy Cowan, Oscar Azocar, Lowell Palmer, Billy Ripken, Don Mossi, Bip Roberts, and Kurt Bevacqua.
Without searching them up on Google...
How many of these guys' cards were you able to visualize?
Had I not written this post, I would not have been able to picture Oscar Azocar, Lowell Palmer, or Bip Roberts. I mean... I can picture a Bip Roberts card... but not his silly "hat" card. I've also seen Oscar and Lowell's cards on numerous occasions, but I forgot their names.
Looking forward to seeing who beats my score.
Happy Tuesday and sayonara!