Saturday, October 6, 2012

1953 Topps Project - Dick Brodowski

Another month, another card towards my 1953 Topps baseball set. Today's subject is Dick Brodowski of the Boston Red Sox:

Is this one of the oldest night cards out there?  Night Owl?

If Richard Stanley Brodowski looks young to you in this painting, it's because he was really just a kid at the time this card was released.  This piece of cardboard is from a different era altogether.  There weren't any pitch counts, or innings counts for Dick here.  He wasn't groomed for years and years in a farm system.  Nope, Dick Brodowski made 20 appearances (12 of them starts) with the Red Sox in 1952 at the tender age of 19 years old, going 5-5 in the Red Sox rotation. 

Not a bad start to a career at all, especially for a player so young.  Even though he appeared to be a bright prospect, Brodowski walked away from baseball after that rookie season.  For two years.  Military service.  So, although he has a card in the 1953 Topps set, he never pitched an inning in 1953, or in 1954.

When Brodowski returned for the 1955 season, he wasn't the same pitcher he once was.  He appeared just 16 times with Boston in '55 (all in relief, no starts) before being dealt away.  He'd spend an unproductive couple of years with both Washington and Cleveland, with his final Major League appearance coming in 1959.

This isn't the first time I've wondered this during this series of posts, and it probably won't be the last, but I have to ask myself whether Brodowski may have been able to stick it out and enjoy a successful career had it not been for his two-year hiatus...

Set Progress:
  49 of 274 (18%)


night owl said...

Yeah, this card was brought up to me when I speculated about the oldest night card way back when.

I suppose it is, but it's painted, so I don't know if that qualifies.

Hackenbush said...

It's a cool looking card. Dick has a bit of a saintly look to him.

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