Thursday, August 21, 2008

1953 Topps Project - Post #27

#63 - Gus Niarhos - Boston Red Sox

What can you really say about Gus Niarhos? I had no idea who he was before buying this card and writing up this post, and I'm guessing that you probably don't either. One of the things I like the most about the 1953 Topps set is the backgrounds, but Gus' is about as boring as they come. No clouds, no old time ballpark or outfield fence, no texture, just a plain yellow background.
Apparently Topps used the most bland backgrounds for the most bland players. Gus Niarhos was a backup catcher over 9 seasons in the majors. Niarhos came to the majors as a catcher with the Yankees, which was apparently a tough spot to be in. I guess they had some other guy named Yogi who was pretty decent. He played in 83 games in 1948 and 66 in 1951, but other than that he never eclipsed 45 games in a season. He had a decent batting average in 1950, but was only a .252 career hitter. He never reached 20 RBI in a season and only went yard once in his entire career. Gus went on to become a coach for the Kansas City A's organization, and passed away in 2004 at the age of 84.
On a side note, this is my 27th 1953 Topps Project post, which means I've covered about 10% of the set so far. I'm really enjoying learning about all of these forgotten players from yesteryear. It's been a while since I've showcased a star of any measure though, but I've got a pretty nice card up next for post 28. Stay tuned...

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