Wednesday, October 17, 2012

1953 Topps Project - Paul LaPalme

Today's post is somewhat of a minor milestone for me, as I reach the 50th card towards my 1953 Topps baseball set...

The subject of my 50th card, Paul LaPalme, isn't exactly a household name.  He made appearances in only 7 MLB seasons, from 1951 through 1957.  In part this was due to the fact that he wasn't exactly a stellar player, and in part it was due to his late start.  After all, he was 27 years old by the time he first took the mound in 1951 with the Pittsburgh Pirates.  His very first start resulted in an impressive 8-0 shutout.  Unfortunately for Paul that was probably the highlight of his MLB career.

I guess his nickname is evidence of his average playing ability.  Unlike famous baseball nicknames like "The Sultan of Swat" or "The Vacuum Cleaner", which fittingly described elite attributes of the game's star athletes, Paul was simply dubbed "Lefty" for no other reason than the fact that he threw left-handed.  He was never an All-Star and he never set any records, but this card is still interesting to me because of LaPalme's local ties.  Paul was born and raised in the state of Massachusetts, not too far from where I live now.  He passed away in 2010 as a resident of Leominster, MA, the same town listed as his home on the very back of this card nearly 60 years ago:

I consider completing this set to be a true lifelong project.  There are just so many things that interest me in the hobby that it's difficult at times to stay so narrowly focused on a single set like this.  These cards were the subject of some of my very first blog posts way back in January of 2008.  It's been almost five years now, and crossing the threshold of 50 cards feels pretty good.  At the current pace though, I'd be looking at another 22 years to finish off the set, and I'm still missing some of the biggest cards like Mickey Mantle and Willie Mays.  I guess that's why they say collecting is a journey and not a race.  I am proud of the fact that five years in I am just as committed to finishing this as I was on day one.  Hopefully I'll get there someday, even if that day comes in the year 2034! 

Set Progress:  50 of 274 (18%)

1 comment:

Michael Chase said...

Wow, that's really awesome!! 53 is probably my all-time favorite set. I have a grand total of 1 card from that year.

I like when you said "collecting is a journey and not a race"...I couldn't agree more.

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