Monday, April 2, 2018

The Collector Helps Me Collect 1959 Topps

I realize I've been very heavy on the buyback posts here on the blog recently, but there are many other collecting projects that I have going on.  Two of those involve 1950s baseball sets that I'm casually collecting; 1950 Bowman and 1959 Topps.

Recently Chris, who writes the excellent blog The Collector, was kind enough to send me a pair of singles for my '59 set build.  By the way, if you haven't checked out the "Sports Card Tour" posts he's been featuring in recent months I highly recommend heading over there and catching up on the backlog.  Anyway, Chris made it to a card show recently and as his note to me indicated, he couldn't find a single Topps buyback at the show, so he got me a couple of Topps "originals" instead!

The first card Chris sent along is pitcher Clem Labine of the Los Angeles Dodgers.  Clem was a staple with the Brooklyn/Los Angeles franchise throughout the '50s, and was a big part of the team's 1955 World Series championship.  Fantastic card.  Clem served as a paratrooper in World War II, something I never knew until I received this card and typed up this post.

A big part of the reason I enjoy collecting and blogging as that each and every card is a chance for a learning experience/research.  This card is a prime example, not only for the paratrooper factoid...
...but because I learned on the back that Labine is from Woonsocket, RI!  Pretty cool that a key member of the '50s Brooklyn Dodgers hailed from the little state that I was also born in, and that I call home today.  I had no idea!

Here's the other card Chris sent my way, and I should probably note here just how great a condition these two cards are in.  Certainly among the best examples in my binder and cards I'll never even need to consider upgrading.

Constable was sort of a middling reliever who appeared in 56 total games across a handful of seasons.  A nice enough card, especially since I like franchises of the past like the Washington Senators, but as Chris remarked in his note to me the real highlight of this one is the back:

Not because it contains a kick-ass cartoon paying homage to Constable's nickname, the "Sheriff" (though that's a killer nickname if I do say so myself!).  Nope, what makes this one great is the write-up that indicates that Jimmy "retired from baseball in April".

That may have been accurate at the time, but Constable ended up making a comeback that saw him pitch in a handful of games with the Braves in 1962 and the Giants in 1963!  I guess this is an uncorrected error?  Haha.

Chris, it was incredibly thoughtful of you not only to send me this great duo, but also to scour a card show looking for buybacks on my behalf.  Thank you!  I'll make sure to hit you back with some Sox cards here!


Hackenbush said...

The Constable cartoon is great too. Reminds me of something you might see in a 1950's/1960's animated cartoon.

Chris said...

Happy to help with your set build, and thanks for the kind words about my blog/tour. I didn't realize Labine was an RI guy when I plucked it out of the box, I mostly picked him because he was a Brooklyn Dodger and the card was in nice shape. The dealer had hundreds of very nice 1959 singles so I went right for the higher numbers.

Isn't it odd that Constable would retire before the card was released, then un-retire years after? He kinda made Topps look foolish. (then again, Topps called him a "reliefer" so they already sounded foolish to me!)

Marc said...

There are a few other MLB players that call Woonsocket their hometown. Labine being one of them. Also on the list; Rocco Baldelli, Gabby Hartnett, and the infamous Nap Lajoie.

Nice pair of cards from Chris.

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