1956 Topps: Old Folks, Shanty, Yatcha And Dee

This post was going to be all about four 1956 Topps commons, and sharing a little bit about the players, but as I looked into them, almost all of them had interesting nicknames, so I’m focusing more on that.

Ellis “Old Folks” Kinder apparently got his name from the fact that he was 31 years old when he broke in with the Browns in 1946, and was 34 when he had his most success, going 23-6 with 6 shutouts for the 1949 Red Sox.

1956 Topps Ellis Kinder
The blank jersey in the “action shot” appears to be due to Kinder changing teams in the offseason, as the Cardinals got him on waivers from the Red Sox.  His time with the Cards would be short, as he’d get lost on waivers to the White Sox that July.

To a child of the 1970’s like myself, Jim Hegan will always be the father of 1B/OF Mike Hegan… But Hegan was well-known as an outstanding defensive catcher who caught three no-hitters and made five all-Star teams.
1956 Topps Jim Hegan
His nickname was “Shanty” for reasons I wasn’t able to determine.

Johnny Logan’s nickname was the one that initially grabbed my attention:  “Yatcha”.  Apparently it’s a bastardization of a Russian phrase used to quiet him down as a small child.
1956 Topps Johnny Logan
“Fiery”, “hard-nosed” and “scrappy” are ways I’ve seen Logan described.  I think that gives a pretty good impression of the guy.

Dee Fondy is the only player in this post to lack a nickname, but there’s another description of him that I found as interesting:  “Fleet first baseman”.  That’s not a description one hears very often.  Sure enough, he finished in the top 10 in stolen bases five times, and his 20 SB’s in 1954 was third in the league.
1956 Topps Dee Fondy
Dee wasn’t even a nickname, that was his legal first name.  I’m going to retroactively call him “No-nickname Fondy”.



4 thoughts on “1956 Topps: Old Folks, Shanty, Yatcha And Dee

  1. 1956 Topps are my favorites…I own 1 – Willie Mays. You get 2 pics of the player plus you get to try to figure out who the other people in the action shot are. In the Willie Mays card you learn how to slide.

  2. “Shanty” is an old timey slur for a poor Irishman. So it could have been his nickname because of his heritage or it could also be a nod to “Shanty” Hogan who was a fairly decent catcher in the late ’20s early ’30s.

  3. “No-nickname Fondy” I like it. It’s better than “yatcha”

    I’ll have to read more of your posts about 56 Topps. I’m sorta-kinda collecting the set but I know nothing about the players (aside from the HOF legends of course)

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