Wednesday, October 21, 2009

1953 Topps Project - Post #37

#156 - Jim Rivera - Chicago White Sox

I haven't posted one of my 1953 Topps cards since way back in June, and I haven't purchased one since long before that even. Ultimately I'm not sure if I'll continue my quest for a complete '53 Topps set or not, but I've decided that I'll at least make an effort to post some more of the cards that I already have before I make a decision. The 37th card in my set is Jim Rivera of the Chicago White Sox...

Jim played a total of 10 seasons in the bigs for the St. Louis Browns, Chicago White Sox and Kansas City Athletics, although the bulk of his career was spent with Chicago. Jim's birthname is actually Manuel Joseph Rivera, but he was better known as Jungle Jim due to his aggresive playing style. Jim was a speedster on the base paths who led the league in triples in 1953 and in stolen bases in 1955. He finished second in stolen bases 6 times! I guess it was hard to surpass teammate Luis Aparicio for a while there.

If you're wondering why someone so successful only lasted for 10 seasons, it's because Jim was 29 when he finally broke into the league. According to Baseball Reference, there are some sources that say his late start can be attributed to a stint in prison while serving in the Army. I can't find anything to confirm this though, does anybody know for sure?

Set Status: 37/274 (14%)

2 comments:

MattR said...

According to a post on this site (http://www.baseball-fever.com/showthread.php?t=70955), Rivera was accused of raping an officer's daughter while in the army. She was found to still be a virgin, so the charge was changed to attempted rape, Rivera was found guilty, and he served over four years in an Atlanta penitentiary.

shanediaz82 said...

Thanks for the comment Matt, that link was great! Amazing that he was accused of rape again in 1952.

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