Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Vintage Variety From Project '62

I really haven't posted any vintage cards for a while, and that's mainly because I haven't been fortunate enough to acquire many lately. That should change this year, because one of the things I want to do is collect more vintage Topps team sets. Based on what I've seen so far, the prospects for 2010 releases don't look very promising. Old school is going to be the way of the samuri for this year's collective Tao.

All of the great cards in this post come courtesy of a trade with Project '62. Chris emailed me with some amazing vintage scans, and was kind enough to send them over even though there wasn't a whole lot of vintage I could send back in return.

1972 Topps Eddie Watt
A psychedelic tombstone of a pitcher I know very little about. A little research reveals that his career was marginal at best. That didn't stop me from picking up his 2004 Upper Deck Legends autograph card from checkoutmycards. It's amazing how many retired players have autographs in modern sets, including some you wouldn't expect, like Eddie Watt.

1962 Topps Earl Robinson
If you blinked, you may have missed the career of Earl Robinson in it's entirety. It only lasted 170 games, just barely more than one modern season. After breaking through with the Dodgers in '58, Robinson spent 3 seasons in Baltimore. '61, '62 & '64. I wonder what happened to him in '63?

1962 Topps Milt Pappas

Most people only know Pappas as the guy who brought Frank Robinson to the Orioles. Well... before being that guy, he was a pretty good pitcher, and at one point was the ace of Baltimore's staff. Pappas would have an All-Star season in '62, the first of his career.

1962 Topps Marv Breeding
Marv Breeding was another guy with a short career, playing just 4 seasons in the major leagues. I guess with a last name like that, you are destined for other things.

1962 Topps Dick Hall
Although I wasn't alive to see or hear about Dick Hall, the numbers don't lie. Over 16 seasons Hall earned himself a respectable .554 winning percentage, and a 3.34 ERA mostly as a reliever/occasional starter. It's the contributions of guys like Dick here that go largely unnoticed over the course of a season, but have a huge impact on it's outcome. Underrated? Perhaps. Under-appreciated? Most definitely.

1958 Topps Joe Ginsberg
Judging by his career numbers, Joe spent all but 2 of his seasons as a back-up catcher. He hung around the majors for 13 seasons, but only played in 695 games. Ginsberg also qualifies as a bit of a journeyman, having spent time with 7 teams over his 13 seasons. He came to Baltimore in '56 via a trade with the Kansas City Athletics, who had in turn acquired him from Cleveland a season earlier.

1958 Topps Al Pilarcik

Pilarcik is yet another early Oriole with a less than remarkable career. He played 6 seasons, 5 with Baltimore after debuting with the Kansas City Athletics in 1956. If I had to guess by just looking at stats, I'd say his best season had to have been 1959, in which he played in 130 games, and hit .282. The '59 Topps Pilarcik was one of the first cards I came to possess in my quest for the '59 O's team set.

1958 Topps Hal Brown

Another journeyman pitcher, only this time a guy who was mainly used as a starter. Over 14 seasons and 4 teams Brown moved on with a career record of 85-92 over 211 career starts.

1958 Topps Gus Triandos

Triandos was a solid catcher for a number of seasons in the mid-late fifties, and would have an All-Star season the year this card was printed. Gus was originally signed by, and made his debut with the Yankees, which is something I didn't know until looking him up on Baseball Reference to write this post. I almost feel bad for the guy now, knowing he had to play on some pretty miserable Oriole teams in the fifties.

Thanks for the old-school O's Chris. I had a lot of fun looking at these cards, and even more fun looking up some of these players on Baseball Reference. You've gotten me off to a pretty good start on both the '58 and '62 Orioles team sets, and I will definitely be putting together a vintage want list in the near future. Scratch that, future. "Near" implies that I plan on not being lazy in the immediate interval following my typing of this post, and that is already highly improbable.


  1. Those '58's are AMAZING!!!! If you were seriously wondering what Earl Robinson was uo to in '63, he was the assistant men's basketball coach for the Cal Bears. In '57 he was the captain of the Cal baseball and basketball teams and led them to a Nat'l Title... He had all kinds of offers to play pro baseball, football and basketball but Gil Hodges convinced him to sign with the Dodgers... The moral to the story is don't take career advice from Gil Hodges...

  2. Here's a little known fact:

    In 1959 Gus Triandos and Joe Ginsberg allowed a whopping 49 passed balls (the Yankees had a total of 11). They were not bad catchers. It happened to be the only year kuckleballer Hoyt Wilhelm was a full time starter (27 games) 32 total.

    Cliff Clavin

  3. It's fun learning about these old-timey O's. I've really enjoyed learning about them in my research too.

  4. Pretty nice, I enjoy the 62 Topps cards, I bought the Boog Powell rookie out of that set as a gift for my father (his favorite player growing up).

  5. Ohhh...Vintage Orioles! Can't go wrong. Especially 1958 Orioles.

  6. Nice cards.

    What team sets are you working on?