After spending the day out kayaking in the sun, I'm exhausted. How about a quick 1953 Topps Project post as a night-cap?
When things on that front quieted down, Hegan returned to Cleveland for the 1946 season, and became the team's primary catcher. He never swung a huge bat, and wasn't known for his offensive prowess, but was recognized as one of the best defensive catchers/pitching staff managers in the game. His selection for the 1947 American League All-Star team is proof of this (a feat he'd accomplish four more times in his career).
Jim's tenure as the Indians' primary backstop lasted a full 11 seasons, from 1946 to 1956. Prior to the '58 season he was dealt to the Tigers. He'd go on to play with the Phillies, Giants and Cubs before retiring after the 1960 season. He was signed by the Yankees at the tail end of that 1960 season, but never appeared in a game.
As I mentioned above, Hegan was widely regarded as a top, maybe the top, defensive catcher of his day. You don't have to look hard to find quotes from multiple HOF pitchers, and opponents even, saying just that. Had he been able to swing the stick just a bit better, he'd probably be a HOFer or at the very least a household name.
Set Progress: 75 of 274 (27%)
Vintage Fridays: Bill Wight, 1956 Topps #286 - This is another of the 1950s cards that I picked up from COMC's Amazon store last week. I keep chipping away at the 1956 set, picking up lesser names and ...