Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Card of the Day - 1958 Topps Haywood Sullivan

Today's card of the day came from the dollar box at the local hobby shop a few months back. If you thought the New York Rangers card I showed off last was in rough shape, check out this beauty:

1958 Topps - #197 - Haywood Sullivan

I would normally avoid any card in this condition, but I bit on this one for a few reasons. First of all, it's from the 1950's which is my absolute favorite decade for baseball cards (although the '58 set might very well be the worst of the decade). It's also a Red Sox card that I didn't have, and I'm a sucker for catcher cards on top of that.

Sullivan didn't have much of a career as a player, and is better known to Red Sox fans for his role within the organization's front office. In the late 1970's, when Red Sox owner Tom Yawkey passed away, Sullivan and Tom's wife Jean formed an ownership group that ended up purchasing the team. Sullivan was named GM a short while later.

Unfortunately Haywood is better known to Red Sox nation for his mistakes and blunders in the GM role, including the loss of Luis Tiant (as a free agent) to the Yankees and the trade that sent Bill Lee to Montreal. The biggest run of mistakes occurred in the 1980 off-season, when Rick Burleson, Carlton Fisk and Fred Lynn were all up for free agency. Sullivan dropped the ball and did not get contract offers in the mail to Fisk or Lynn by MLB's deadline, ultimately losing both players.

Even though he is known more for his organizational failures than his success on the field as a player, I'm happy to add this card to my Red Sox collection. Someday I'll replace it with a nicer copy but for now this one will do just fine.

1 comment:

Dave H said...

Wow, he would have been one of the tallest players in the league...especially at the catch position!

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