Hoyt Wilhelm, rookie pitcher New York Giants – 1952

It was Wilhelm’s rookie season, and he was nearly impossible to hit.

Hoyt was never a good batter, and had very little power. It is a huge fluke that his first time at bat he hit a home run.

Wilhelm had a long and glorious career (29 professional seasons) as a fireman, and was inducted into the Hall Of Fame.

Wounded in the Battle Of The Bulge during ww2, he earned the nickname “Sarge” as a ballplayer.

wilhelm1You can click the image below to read it:

wilhelm2This card was less than $5 on eBay.

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The Four Horsemen of Notre Dame – 1925

These print sample cards from Texas depict the four men who first made Notre Dame football world-famous.

With a quarterback, fullback, and two halfbacks, the Fighting Irish had an unprecedented ground attack. With Knute Rockne as coach, and a line known as “The Seven Mules” they were amazing. The team finished 10-0 then won the Rose Bowl.

Famed sportswriter Grantland Rice gave them their nickname in this 1924 quote from his article about the Fighting Irish defeating Army:

“Outlined against a blue-gray October sky, the Four Horsemen rode again. In dramatic lore their names are Death, Destruction, Pestilence, and Famine. But those are aliases. Their real names are: Stuhldreher, Crowley, Miller and Layden. They formed the crest of the South Bend cyclone before which another fighting Army team was swept over the precipice at the Polo Grounds this afternoon as 55,000 spectators peered down upon the bewildering panorama spread out upon the green plain below.”

Image3 Image4 Image5 Image6 Image7 Image8 Image9 Image10The set of 4 cards sells for about $10 on eBay. Circa 1998

They are not computer or digital printing, they were made on a real press using real ink and thick glossy-front card stock.

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Chicago Cubs rookies Ron Santo & Billy Williams – 1960

It was a pretty good season for rookies at Wrigley Field in 1960.

These two Hall Of Famers later joined Ernie Banks and some other great players (Kessinger, Beckert, Jenkins, Hundley, Holtzman to name a few) to make up the best team to ever fail to make the NL playoffs.The whole infield from Hundley all the way around to Santo made the NL All Star team that season.

The Cubbies were in first place for most of the year. Then, on September 9th, a photo was published in the New York newspapers of a black cat crossing in front of Santo, who was in the on-deck circle at Shea Stadium during a game against the Mets.

The rest, as they say, is history.

The manager was Leo “the Lip” Durocher. That was 1969, the year of the Miracle Mets.

However, this card is set 9 years earlier in 1960.

The Cubs started off in ’60 with Charlie Grimm as manager, but he was let go early and Lou Boudreau took his place. What a switch, from laid-back fun-loving banjo-playing Good Time Charlie to an intense no-nonsense Boudreau.

This was the season when Santo won the starting job at 3rd base.  Talk about Brooks Robinson til you’re blue in the face – I’ll take Ron Santo any day.  He was the most reliable third baseman of the era.

And Billy Williams?  He would have to wait another season to break in as a starter, but once he made the lineup, he was consistently excellent.  He was probably the the most underrated guy in baseball during his career.

The 1960 Cubs ended up in 7th place, then in ’61 finished in 7th again, this time with 4 different managers.

Image1

The card mentions that Santo drives a Rambler. Remember those gas hogs??

Image2The card was issued in 2005 by Superior, sold on eBay for about $5.00

The card is not computer or digital printing, it was made on a real press using real ink and thick glossy-front card stock.

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