Tuesday, April 9, 2013

1953 Topps Project - Ellis Kinder

Back at the beginning of the year I laid out my goals for 2013, as many bloggers do.  In some areas, such as growing my Red Sox and Whalers collections, and trading, I've done very well.  In others, not so well.  My desire to complete a 1953 Topps set in PSA 6 grade is one of those areas that's been a bit neglected.  At the end of 2012 I'd accumulated and posted an even 50 cards from the set, and I stated that I'd like to increase that number to 65 by the end of 2013.  So far I've posted exactly one and we're already in April, time to get moving!

Today's subject doubles as a new card for my 1953 Topps set, as well as a new Red Sox card.  Ellis certainly had an interesting career, as he didn't break into the big leagues until 1946 at age 31!  After spending his first couple of MLB seasons with the St. Louis Browns, the Red Sox picked him up in a trade prior to the 1948 season.  It was the 1949 season where he truly blossomed though, going an impressive 23-6 as a starter for Boston and leading the league with 6 shutouts.  Kinder would actually finish 5th in MVP voting that year.

For some reason the Red Sox decided to tamper with the situation and moved Ellis Kinder to the bullpen for the 1951 season.  He responded by leading the league in appearances (63) and saves (14), and again finishing in the top 10 for AL MVP voting.  Ellis saw the most action of his career the season this card was released, as he appeared in a league-leading 69 games in 1953, posted a career best 1.85 ERA, and finished with 27 saves, also tops in the league.

After the 1955 season, the St. Louis Cardinals claimed Ellis off waivers from the Red Sox.  He'd last a couple more seasons before finally hanging up the spikes after his 1957 campaign with the Chicago White Sox.  Unfortunately, just 11 years after retiring Kinder passed away as a result of undergoing open heart surgery.  He was just 54 years old.

Set Progress:  52 of 274 (19%)

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