My Recent Red Man Acquisitions, Part 2

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.

Super Aaron And Red Man Lemon

A friend of mine swears he saw “Super Aaron And Red Man Lemon” open for Parliament Funkadelic when they played Madison Square Garden in the 1970’s and they were AWESOME!

OK, fine, I made that up.  Within the context of this post, “Super Aaron” and “Red Man Lemon” refer to two beautiful, oversized cards I recently picked up from COMC.

“Super Aaron” is my 1970 Topps Super Hank Aaron (or “A-A-Ron”, as Key & Peele now have me thinking). One thing I’ve noticed about COMC is that their scanners highlight every flaw on a card… which is a good thing, since you want to be able to see those flaws… but I’ve found that it often makes a non-mint card look worse than it is.
1970 Topps Super Hank Aaron
This card is obviously miscut, but it looks a lot worse in scans than it does in person. In person, it’s still a nice card that I’m very happy to add to my collection.

Like the football Supers, the back is generally the same as the regular 1970 Hank Aaron, but with a different card number.
1970 Topps Super Aaron back

Here’s “Red Man Lemon”… more specifically, a 1953 Red Man Bob Lemon.  Whenever I’m doing a shopping spree on COMC, I always look to see if there’s anything relatively inexpensive in the Red Man section, and this was the acquisition this time around.  Any Red Man cards in my price range is missing the redemption tab at the bottom, but ask me if I care.
1953 Red Man Bob Lemon
I grew up thinking of Bob Lemon as a manager with the Yankees, White Sox and Royals, but he’s far better known as a Hall-Of-Fame pitcher. What I hadn’t known is that he started out as a position player… In fact, he was the centerfielder for one of Bob Feller’s no-hitters. Lemon lost time to World War II, and that combined with his start as an infielder meant that his pitching career was fairly short for a HOFer.  However,  he had an impressive run from 1947 to 1956. During that 10 year period he went 197-111, struck out 1,185 batters, threw 31 shutouts, pitched complete games in more than half of his starts, was a 7-time All-Star, a 7-time 20-game winner and no-hit the Tigers in 1948.

Here’s the back of the card, which is all about the promotion that Red Man was running.
1953 Red Man Bob Lemon Back

Merry Christmas, everybody!

Black Friday: Bob And The Red Men

When COMC had it’s Black Friday promotion, I bought somewhere in the neighborhood of 150 cards.  I’ve shown a few cards here and there over the past few days, but this is the official kickoff of this particular round of “show and tell”.

I’ll start off the festivities with a trio of oversized cards, two of which feature Hall-of-Famers.

First off, we have a beeeeee-yoootiful 1955 Red Man Henry Thompson card.

1955 Red Man Hank Thompson

This card is in quite nice shape for a 58-year old card;  there’s a pinhole up in the corner of the box, the corners are slightly dinged, and the tab is missing from the bottom, but I don’t care about any of this.  I just see an awesome addition to my collection.

Slightly older and in worse shape is this Ralph Kiner:

1953 Red Man Ralph Kiner

Yeah, the cards a little rougher, but he’s also a HOFer so you’ve got to have some give and take here.    As you can see, someone “updated” the card with a ball point pen.  What you can’t see is that some of the back has been torn away; it looks like this may have been pasted into someone’s album.  The actual artwork remains unblemished, which makes it more than nice enough for me.

Ralph Kiner went to the Cubs in a mid-season trade that involved 10 players and $150,000.  According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Inflation Calculator, that’s equivalent to $1.3M in today’s dollars.  That’s a hell of a deal.

Moving forward to the 1960’s, we have another Hall-Of-Famer;  an affordable copy of this card has eluded me for years…

1964 Topps Giants  Bob Clemente

Yes indeed, it’s “Bob” Clemente.  It seems ridiculous now to think that “Roberto” was too exotic for the youth of America to process, but apparently it was.  You could make a good drinking game out of the number of times “Bob” is used on the back of the card.
1964 Topps Giants Bob Clemente back

Now that I’ve got “Bob”, I need just 7 SP’s to complete the set…. Hah!  “Just 7 SP’s”.   Among the seven are Sandy Koufax and Willie Mays… it’ll be a challenge to finish this set off while staying within my budget, but we’ll see what happens.