Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Card Show Haul #3 - 1956 Topps - Can you throw a baseball 445 feet, 10 inches???

My last couple of posts have highlighted my recent visit to the Independence Mall Card Show.  My goal of getting a card from the 50s was met with my new 55 Bowman Billy Shantz, but I was also able to bring home seven cards from the 1956 Topps set.  This new stash allowed me to complete a page in my vintage binder so I was thrilled to be able to make a good purchase at just over $1 per card.

I will be honest in that I don't know much about any of the 6 players above but they are just cool vintage cardboard.  I do find it interesting that Al Silvera finished his 2 year major league career with exactly 1 hit.  Bill Wight would eventually sign Hall of Famer Joe Morgan.  Johnny Antonelli went 21-7 for the Giants in 1954 and led them to a World Series sweep of the Indians.

However, the winner of the Best Answer to Worthless Trivia Award goes to...we'll get to that shortly.  After his major league career was over, this Omaha Cardinal took a baseball on August 1, 1957 and launched it from the right field corner to the left field corner.  He was given a 6 step running start, but this is still one amazing feat for the Guiness Book of World Record holder, Glen Gorbous.  Now you know!

My final 1956 Topps card is Jackie Jensen who is probably the best player of this card show haul (1958 A.L. M.V.P.), but it's his story that is so fascinating.  To me the best part of a card show is when you can engage a dealer in some great conversation about the cards that you are buying.  Jensen was the left fielder with the New York Yankees during the 1950-1952 seasons.  The dealer asked me if I knew what Jensen's biggest obstacle was?  I said it was Mickey Mantle who would take over Jensen's spot and allow him to be traded to the Washington Senators.  He smiled but told me that I was wrong.

You see during the 1950s teams began using a new method of transportation.  When the expansion of teams to the West Coast continued, teams started using this method much more to the dismay of Jensen.  Jackie was afraid to fly!  He would be helped a great deal by Red Sox owner, Tom Yawkey, who paid for therapy treatments, but his fear was just too great to overcome.  After a brief retirement in 1960, Jensen came back in 1961 after hypnotherapy treatments.  However, due to his declined production, Jensen would retire for good to spend more time with his family.  I would love to find a copy of his biography, The Golden Boy, to learn more about his interesting life and career.

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