As I mentioned in my previous post about the Red Man cards I got at a recent card show, I ran across a number of 1950’s Red Man Tobacco cards from the 1950’s and even though they were lesser-condition commons, I couldn’t walk away from them at $1 each.
It wasn’t until I was writing up this post that I realized that I’ve got four cards here and they each represent one of the four years of Red Man Tobacco cards. Believe me, I’m not organized enough to do that on purpose.
1952 Red Man Wes Westrum
Westrum played 11 years for the New York Giants, was a starter for several years and made two All-Star teams. Known for his defense and handling of pitchers, Westrum retired as a player just before the Giants moved west. He spent a number of years coaching and managing for the Mets (replacing Casey Stengel in 1965) and Giants.
1953 Red Man Eddie Robinson
Eddie Robinson is the one player in this post I know very little about as a player, although I vaguely remember him being the Texas Rangers’ GM in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s. He played in 13 seasons for 7 different American League teams; the Boston Red Sox are the only 1950’s A.L. franchise he didn’t play for (although he only played 4 games for the Orioles and 13 games for the Tigers). He spent 7 years as a starting first baseman and made 4 All-Star teams.
1954 Red Man Gene Woodling
Woodling played from 1943 to 1962, losing two years to Military service. He once lead the AL with a .429 OBP and has a career .386 OBP, which is tied with 3 other players for 127th best all-time. Over the course of 26 World Series games he had 27 hits with 5 doubles, 2 triples and 3 homers; scored 21 runs and batted .318. As a scout, he signed Thurman Munson for the Yankees.
1955 Red Man Henry (Hank) Thompson
Henry “Hank” Thompson was among the first African-Americans in the Majors in 1947 with the St. Louis Browns, but did not stick with the Browns and went back to the Negro American League Kansas City Monarchs. He’d later be acquired by the Giants, where he play for 8 years, mostly as a third baseman. Aside from being among the first African-Americans in the Majors and being involved in a number of “firsts” (first African-American batter/pitcher matchup, first all-African-American outfield), he also set a Major League record in 1950 by being involved in 43 double-plays as a third baseman, a record which has since been broken.