Friday, May 24, 2024

#292 Luis Aparicio - Chicago White Sox


Luis Ernesto Aparicio
Chicago White Sox
Shortstop


Bats:  Right  Throws:  Right  Height:  5'9"  Weight:  160
Born:  April 29, 1934, Maracaibo, Venezuela
Signed:  Signed by the Chicago White Sox as an amateur free agent before 1954 season
Major League Teams:  Chicago White Sox 1956-1962; Baltimore Orioles 1963-1967; Chicago White Sox 1968-1970; Boston Red Sox 1971-1973
Hall of Fame Induction:  1984

Known for his exceptional defense and base running skills, Luis Aparicio played for 18 seasons in the majors, primarily for the White Sox.  Ted Williams (#5) called him "the best shortstop he had ever seen."  Aparicio made his debut in 1956, winning the American League Rookie of the Year honors after batting .266 and leading the league with 21 stolen bases.  It was to be the first of nine straight years in which Aparicio led the league or tied for the league lead in stolen bases, and he eclipsed the 50 stolen base mark in four of those seasons.  Aparicio helped lead his "Go-Go" White Sox to the World Series in 1959, and he was American League MVP runner-up.  Dealt to the Orioles before the 1963 season, Aparicio's production declined slightly but his defensive skills didn't.  He reunited with the White Sox in 1968 and enjoyed a late career resurgence making three more All-Star teams in his late 30s with the White Sox and Red Sox.

Aparicio retired with 2,677 career hits, 506 stolen bases (currently 38th all-time) and a .262 lifetime average.  Upon his retirement, he was the all-time leader for hits, games played, assists and double plays by a shortstop, and his record nine Gold Gloves was matched by Omar Vizquel in 2001.  Derek Jeter broke his all-time hits record by a shortstop in 2009.  Aparicio was the first native Venezuelan inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1984, and his #11 was retired by the White Sox that same year.

Some text for this post originally appeared on my 1965 Topps blog.

Building the Set
December 25, 2000 from San Diego, CA (Kit Young Cards) - Card #292
Continuing a decade-long tradition, this was the "big" card under the tree on Christmas morning from Santa Claus, via my Dad by way of Kit Young Cards.  The early 2000s were a strange time for me, and looking back on pictures from this era I don't really recognize myself.  It's as if a majority of what happened from the late 1990s to the early 2000s is something I vaguely remember from a story I had read, and not something I actually lived through.  I have a few blurry and rushed photos from Christmas morning 2000, but nothing worth sharing and nothing that jogged my memory of having opened a present from my parents to find this Aparicio card.

The Card / White Sox Team Set
Kudos to Topps for rushing a card for Aparicio into the set's fourth and final series.  He had made his major league debut on April 17, 1956 and Topps must have been determined to get a card of the American League's best new rookie in its set.  The jumping action photo was seemingly a favorite pose for Topps photographers back in the day, especially for infielders.  The cartoons on the back of the card highlight Aparaicio's quick ascent to the White Sox starting line-up due mainly to his stellar defense and his speed.

Given this is a rookie card for a Hall of Famer, it's no surprise Topps has reprinted the card numerous times.  By my unofficial tally, there are eight different reprints available, including three with on-card autographs.

1956 Season
On October 25, 1955, the White Sox traded Chico Carrasquel (#230), a four-time American League All-Star shortstop, with Jim Busby (#330) to the Indians for outfielder Larry Toby (#250).  The White Sox knew Aparicio was ready for the majors, and their confidence in him was so high they made the shocking move of dealing away Carrasquel.  Aparicio did not disappoint.  He started 151 of the White Sox 154 games at shortstop, leading the league in assists, putouts, double plays, but also errors.  Aparicio received 22 of 24 first place votes in the postseason Rookie of the Year voting, with Rocky Colavito and Tito Francona receiving the remaining two votes.

1959 Topps #310
1962 Topps #325
1965 Topps #410
1970 Topps #315
1974 Topps #61

Other Notable Baseball Cards

First Mainstream Card:  1956 Topps #292
Topps Flagship Set Appearances (19):  1956-1974
Most Recent Mainstream Card:  2023 Topps Allen & Ginter #345

1,036 - Aparicio non-parallel baseball cards in the Beckett online database as of 5/20/24.

Sources:  
1965 Topps Blog
SABR
The Trading Card Database

Previous Card / Next Card
Set Order: #291 Frank Kellert - Chicago Cubs / #293 Stu Miller - St. Louis Cardinals
Order Collected: #325 Don Liddle - New York Giants / #164 Harmon Killebrew - Washington Nationals

Sunday, May 19, 2024

#291 Frank Kellert - Chicago Cubs


Frank William Kellert
Chicago Cubs
First Base

Bats:  Right  Throws:  Right  Height:  6'2"  Weight:  185
Born:  July 6, 1924, Oklahoma City, OK
Signed:  Signed by the St. Louis Cardinals as an amateur free agent before 1949 season
Major League Teams:  St. Louis Browns 1953; Baltimore Orioles 1954; Brooklyn Dodgers 1955; Chicago Cubs 1956
Died:  November 19, 1976, Oklahoma City, OK (age 52)

Frank Kellert had a front row seat with the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1955 as the team won its only World Championship before relocating to Los Angeles two years later.  Kellert had his best professional season in 1954 with the San Antonio Missions, the Orioles' top farm team.  He won Texas League MVP honors, hitting .316 with 41 home runs and 146 RBIs.  On the strength of his 1954 season, the Dodgers acquired him from the Orioles on March 17, 1955 for Erv Palica (#206).  Kellert spent the entire 1955 season with Brooklyn, appearing in 39 games and making 17 starts at first base to occasionally give Gil Hodges (#145) some days off.  He batted .325 (26 for 80) for the Dodgers during the regular season and made three pinch-hitting appearances in the World Series, going 1 for 3.  Kellert was at-bat in the eighth inning of Game 1 when Jackie Robinson (#30) stole home, evading Yogi Berra's (#110) tag.

Kellert moved to Chicago for the 1956 season, his last in the majors.  He played for three more years in the minors before retiring in 1959.  In 122 big league games, Kellert batted .231 with 57 hits, eight home runs and 37 RBIs.

July 12, 2007
Building the Set

July 12, 2007 from Dad's eBay purchases - Card #299
Our first son Doug was born in December 2006, and this happy event led directly to my Dad visiting us on a more regular basis.  Dad was living by himself at this point in Mays Landing, New Jersey and he didn't enjoy the 40 minute drive north to our house.  Among all the very positive memories I have of my Dad, one of my few negative memories is the fact he absolutely seemed to loathe driving and that loathing increased exponentially if there was traffic or if it were dark.  But he made the trips anyway, sometimes staying no more than an hour, because he was so incredibly anxious and excited to spend time with his grandson.

By the time his second grandson (Ben) was born in April 2010, my Dad's health had started to fail and whatever visits we had were pre-arranged or consisted of us visiting him.  Which is why these visits during Doug's infancy and first few years are so special to me.  My Dad would show up usually unannounced, ecstatic to see Doug, there would be some small talk and we'd complain about the Phillies, and then he'd leave.  But on his way out, he'd always say he'd see us again in a few days and I'd look forward to these visits.

This background is needed to better explain how this Kellert card came into our set.  In 2007, My Dad's days mostly consisted of an occasional round of golf, calls and visits to his kids - my sister and me, watching cable news, an afternoon nap and scouring eBay.  Most (but not all) of his eBay purchases benefitted me in the form of 1956 Topps cards we needed for our set.  He'd show up at our house for a visit with Doug and nonchalantly hand me one of his recent purchases.  He brought this Kellert card, by itself, on July 12, 2007.  This would have a Thursday, and I may not have even been home at the the time of his visit.  Pictures from the time show Doug going through a major drooling phase.

Throughout 2007, I suspect my Dad had a backlog of purchased 1956 Topps cards piled up on his desk at his house, and he'd grab one or two to deliver to me as he was heading out the door to make the 40 minute drive to visit Doug.

1995 Topps Archives Brooklyn Dodgers #114
The Card / 
Cubs Team Set
My goodness, Mr. Kellert had a long neck.  I think it's more likely Kellert is the runner in the action photo, but he could also be the first baseman.  This is his first and last appearance in a Topps flagship set, although Topps did create a 1955 inspired card for him in their 1995 Topps Archives Brooklyn Dodgers set.  

The first cartoon panel on the back is perhaps the most depressing cartoon panel in the entire set.  While serving in the Army during World War II, Kellert was on a transport ship torpedoed by German submarines in the Mediterranean.  Kellert himself survived by floating on debris for over 24 hours, but over 2,100 soldiers were lost in the attack.

1956 Season
A week after the Dodgers won the Championship, Kellert was placed on waivers and selected by the Cubs.  He assumed much of the same role he had with the Dodgers, but he did receive quite a few pinch-hitting opportunities.  Kellert started 25 games at first base, with regular Dee Fondy (#112) getting the other 132 starts.  As a pinch-hitter, Kellert batted .263 with 10 hits and five RBIs.  He batted .186 overall, with four home runs and 17 RBIs.  In January 1957, Kellert was dealt to the Red Sox.

Other Notable Baseball Cards

First Mainstream Card:  1956 Topps #291
Topps Flagship Set Appearances (1):  1956
Most Recent Mainstream Card:  1995 Topps Archives Brooklyn Dodgers #114

11 - Kellert non-parallel baseball cards in the Beckett online database as of 5/19/24.

Sources:  
Baseball Reference
Beckett Database

Friday, May 10, 2024

#290 Curt Simmons - Philadelphia Phillies


Curtis Thomas Simmons
Philadelphia Phillies
Pitcher


Bats:  Left  Throws:  Left  Height:  5'11"  Weight:  175
Born:  May 19, 1929, Egypt, PA
Signed:  Signed by the Philadelphia Phillies as an amateur free agent before 1947 season
Major League Teams:  Philadelphia Phillies 1947-1950, 1952-1960; St. Louis Cardinals 1960-1966; Chicago Cubs 1966-1967; California Angels 1967
Died:  December 13, 2022, Ambler, PA (age 93)

Curt Simmons will forever be associated with the beloved Whiz Kids, the 1950 Phillies club that made it to the World Series for the first time since 1915.  Simmons was a 17-game winner for the Phillies in 1950 and formed a solid one-two punch atop their starting pitching rotation with Robin Roberts (#180).  He missed the 1950 World Series against the Yankees after being drafted to serve in the Korean War.  Simmons was a three-time All-Star with the Phillies in 1952, 1953 and 1957.  He won at least 12 games with the club in six different seasons.  Released by the Phillies in May 1960, Simmons signed with the Cardinals where he enjoyed a career resurgence.  His best seasons actually came during his time in St. Louis as he went 15-9 in 1963 with a 2.48 ERA and was 18-9 for the team in 1964 when they upset the Phillies in the final week of the season to advance to the World Series.  Simmons pitched well in his Game 3 and Game 6 starts, and while he was the losing pitcher in Game 6, he compiled a 2.51 ERA over 14 1/3 innings.  The Cardinals would win the series in seven games over the Yankees.

A competent fielder as well, Simmons had errorless seasons in 1950, 1952, 1957 and 1963.  Simmons would finish up his 20-year big league career with a few seasons with the Cubs and Angels, retiring in 1967.  At the time, along with Smoky Burgess (#192), he was the last person to retire who had played in the majors in the 1940s.  Simmons had a lifetime record of 193-183 with a 3.54 ERA over 569 games pitched.  His career strikeout total of 1,697 is currently 149th on the all-time list.  Henry Aaron (#31) named Simmons as one of the toughest pitchers he faced during his career.

Some text for this post originally appeared on my 1965 Topps blog.

Building the Set

December 25, 1994 from San Diego, CA - Card #139
The Roy Campanella (#101) card was my "big" present from Santa for Christmas 1994.  With my Dad's help, Santa secured the Campanella card from Kit Young Cards in San Diego for what my notes say was $75.  That price seems steep, but there were six other cards from the 1956 Topps set under the Christmas tree that year from Kit Young Cards, including this Simmons card, with the other six cards costing a combined $20.  In December 1994, I would have been home from college for the winter break of my junior year.

This was the last Christmas my family and I spent in the house on 12th Street in my hometown where I grew up.  My parents were in the process of building a new house and we'd visit the construction site throughout that winter break.  I had a tough time leaving my childhood home behind and the 1994-1995 timeframe brought about quite a few major changes in my life.

The Card / Phillies Team Set
This card marks Simmons' first Topps card since 1952, as he appeared exclusively in Bowman sets in 1953, 1954 and 1955.  The action shot shows part of the #28 he wore between 1948 and 1960 with the Phillies.  The first and last cartoon panels explain his abbreviated season in 1955 (due to an arm injury) and his lively fastball.  The middle cartoon panel highlights a game from May 16, 1953, when Simmons came close to a perfect game.  He allowed a lead-off single to Bill Bruton (#185) in the bottom of the first inning, and then retired the next 26 Braves batters in order.

1956 Season
Once again Simmons and Roberts sat atop the Phillies rotation, with Harvey Haddix (#77) joining the duo for his first of two seasons in Philadelphia.  Simmons was 15-10 with a 3.36 ERA in 33 games overall and 27 starts.  He threw 14 complete games and just missed the 200 inning plateau with 198 innings pitched.

Phillies Career
The Phillies signed Simmons as a bonus baby in 1947 for $65,000, one of the highest amounts received to date by an amateur player.  He made his debut on September 28th that season and he'd be a fixture in the Phillies' starting pitching rotation for the next decade.  He was the National League's starting pitcher in the 1952 All-Star Game, hosted at Shibe Park, and he pitched three shutout innings while striking out three.  With the Phillies entering a rebuilding phase, Simmons was released by the club on May 17, 1960.  He'd return briefly to the franchise in 1970 as a member of the Phillies' minor league instructional staff.

With the Phillies, he was 115-110 with a 3.66 ERA in 325 games.  Simmons was inducted onto the Phillies Wall of Fame in 1993, and he was by far the best left-handed pitcher in franchise history until Steve Carlton, Chris Short and Cole Hamels all came along.  Simmons still ranks in the top ten among all Phillies pitchers in games started (263), shutouts (18), wins (115), innings pitched (1,939 2/3), and strikeouts (1,052).

1949 Bowman #14
1952 Topps #203
1957 Topps #158
1963 Topps #22
1967 Topps #39

Other Notable Baseball Cards

First Mainstream Card:  1949 Bowman #14
Topps Flagship Set Appearances (13):  1952, 1956-1967
Most Recent Mainstream Card:  2016 Topps Heritage Real One Autographs #ROA-CS

95 - Simmons non-parallel baseball cards in the Beckett online database as of 5/9/24.

Sources:  

Friday, May 3, 2024

#289 Hal Jeffcoat - Cincinnati Redlegs


Harold Bentley Jeffcoat
Cincinnati Redlegs
Pitcher

Bats:  Right  Throws:  Right  Height:  5'10"  Weight:  185
Born:  September 6, 1924, West Columbia, SC
Signed:  Signed by the Chicago Cubs as an amateur free agent before 1946 season
Major League Teams:  Chicago Cubs 1948-1955; Cincinnati Redlegs 1956-1958; Cincinnati Reds 1959; St. Louis Cardinals 1959
Died:  August 30, 2007, Tampa, FL (age 82)

Hal Jeffcoat served in the U.S. Army during World War II, and was awarded with a Purple Heart after being wounded during the Italian Campaign.  His professional baseball career began after the war, and as a rookie center fielder for the Cubs in 1948 he compiled his best season.  In 134 games that year, a career high, Jeffcoat batted .279 with 16 doubles, four home runs and 42 RBIs, also a career high.  Playing all three outfield positions, Jeffcoat had several solid seasons with the Cubs and his pivot to full-time pitching came somewhat unexpectedly.  He had a surprisingly strong five inning outing toward the end of spring training in 1954, leading manager Stan Hack to make him a member of the team's bullpen.

Jeffocat recorded a team-leading seven saves in 1954 for the Cubs.  Dealt to the Redlegs in November 1955 for Hobie Landrith (#314), Jeffcoat joined Cincinnati's starting pitching rotation in 1957.  He was 12-13 that season with a 4.52 ERA in 31 starts, throwing 10 complete games and 207 innings.  Jeffcoat threw his only career shutout on June 9, 1957 against the Dodgers.  His final action in the majors came in 1959 with the Cardinals, and Jeffcoat retired from baseball following a comeback attempt with the Reds' top farm team in 1960.  As a batter, Jeffcoat earned a career .248 average with 26 home runs and 188 RBIs.  As a pitcher, he was 39-37 lifetime, with a 4.22 ERA in 245 games pitched.

Building the Set
December 25, 1994 from San Diego, CA - Card #138
The Roy Campanella (#101) card was my "big" present from Santa for Christmas 1994.  With my Dad's help, Santa secured the Campanella card from Kit Young Cards in San Diego for what my notes say was $75.  That price seems steep, but there were six other cards from the 1956 Topps set under the Christmas tree that year from Kit Young Cards, including this Jeffcoat card, with the other six cards costing a combined $20.  In December 1994, I would have been home from college for the winter break of my junior year.

This was the last Christmas my family and I spent in the house on 12th Street in my hometown where I grew up.  My parents were in the process of building a new house and we'd visit the construction site throughout that winter break.  I had a tough time leaving my childhood home behind and the 1994-1995 timeframe brought about quite a few major changes in my life.

The Card / Redlegs Team Set
Jeffcoat returned to Topps with this card following a two year absence and exclusive appearances in the 1954 and 1955 Bowman sets.  He's wearing Cubs gear in both photos, with Topps taking the time to update the logo on his hat for the portrait, but apparently leaving the rounded Cubs C on his hat in the action photo.  The cartoons on the back highlight his ability to both pitch and play the outfield and also show him leaving a cub behind following his trade from Chicago.

1956 Season
In his third season as a full-time pitcher, and his first season in Cincinnati, Jeffcoat was 8-2 with a 3.84 ERA in 38 games, which included 16 starts.  He threw 171 innings overall and a pair of complete games.  On June 23, 1956 against the Dodgers, Jeffcoat hit Don Zimmer (#99) in the face with a fastball, breaking Zimmer's cheekbone and causing permanent damage.  Zimmer was never the same player after the beaning.

1951 Bowman #211
1952 Topps #341
1953 Topps #29
1957 Topps #93
1959 Topps #81

Other Notable Baseball Cards

First Mainstream Card:  1951 Bowman #211
Topps Flagship Set Appearances (6):  1952-1953, 1956-1959
Most Recent Mainstream Card:  1991 Topps Archives 1953 #29

30 - Jeffcoat non-parallel baseball cards in the Beckett online database as of 5/3/24.

Sources:  
Baseball Reference
Beckett Database

Friday, April 26, 2024

#288 Bob Cerv - New York Yankees


Robert Henry Cerv
New York Yankees
Outfield

Bats:  Right  Throws:  Right  Height:  6'0"  Weight:  200
Born:  May 5, 1925, Weston, NE
Signed:  Signed by the New York Yankees as an amateur free agent before 1950 season
Major League Teams:  New York Yankees 1951-1956; Kansas City Athletics 1958-1960; New York Yankees 1960; Los Angeles Angels 1961; New York Yankees 1961-1962; Houston Colt .45s 1962
Died:  April 6, 2017, Blair, NE (age 91)

A baseball and basketball star at his home state University of Nebraska, Bob Cerv signed with the Yankees in 1950 and would begin his first of three stints with the club in 1951.  Cerv was infrequently used on the star-packed Yankees teams of the early 1950s and most of his playing time came as a pinch-hitter for Casey Stengel's perennial pennant winners.  He'd visit three World Series with the club in 1955, 1956 and 1960, batting .258 (8 for 31) over 10 World Series games.  Following the 1956 season, Cerv was sold to the Athletics where he'd thrive after earning regular playing time.  His career year came in 1958 when he batted .305 with 38 home runs and 104 RBIs, finishing fourth in the American League MVP voting.  Cerv was the starting left fielder for the American League in the 1958 All-Star Game, collecting a first inning single off Warren Spahn (#10).

Cerv briefly returned to the Yankees in 1960 and was selected by the Angels in that year's expansion draft.  He was the first ever left fielder for the Angels, but after just 18 games with the club was re-acquired by the Yankees.  Cerv shared an apartment with Mickey Mantle (#135) and Roger Maris during the historic 1961 season in which Maris broke Babe Ruth's single season home run record.  Cerv finished up his playing days with 19 games for the expansion Colt .45s in 1962.  He batted .276 for his career, collecting 624 hits, 105 home runs and 374 RBIs.

Building the Set
December 28, 2007 from Dad's eBay purchase - Card #335
I last shared this full story with the Foster Castleman (#271) post in late December, but I'll repeat myself, in an edited version, here.  The way my Dad and I finished the 1956 Topps set was somewhat anti-climatic but nevertheless a joyful memory.  Leading up to the Christmas of 2007, my Dad (with the help of my Mom) scoured eBay and other online baseball card stores for the remaining 29 cards we needed to complete the set.  Throughout the weeks and months leading up to the holidays, he knew we had completed the set but he kept it quiet, wanting to surprise me on Christmas morning.  I have no idea, and I'll never know, what the true last card was that he acquired to finish off the set.  And I have no record, nor was he able to tell me, how much they had paid for any of these final 29 cards.  This Cerv card was one of the final 29.  It was one of the commons included in a memorable haul that included the cards of Pee Wee Reese (#260), Roberto Clemente (#33), Whitey Ford (#240) and a spotless checklist card for the 1st and 3rd Series.

The Card / Yankees Team Set
What's going on in the action photo?  At first glance, I thought it was a play at the plate, but it looks as if it's actually a play at first base with the ball floating in mid air and the first baseman no where to be seen.  A right fielder looks on in the distance, likely also amazed by the floating baseball.  The first cartoon panel highlights how close Cerv's RBI total (22) for 1955 was to his hits total (29).

1956 Season
Cerv spent the entire season with the Yankees, getting into 54 games overall and making 30 starts in left field or center field.  He batted .304 with three home runs and 25 RBIs.  Late in the season, Stengel apparently called Cerv aside and said, "Nobody knows this, but one of us has just been traded to Kansas City."  The deal was put off until after the World Series.  In the World Series, won by the Yankees in seven games, Cerv made one appearance as a pinch-hitter, singling for pitcher Johnny Kucks (#88) in the sixth inning of Game 1.

1953 Topps #210
1955 Bowman #306
1958 Topps #329
1959 Topps #100
1962 Topps #169

Other Notable Baseball Cards

First Mainstream Card:  1953 Topps #210
Topps Flagship Set Appearances (8):  1953, 1956-1962
Most Recent Mainstream Card:  2011 Topps Heritage Real One Autographs #ROA-BC

59 - Cerv non-parallel baseball cards in the Beckett online database as of 4/6/24.

Sources:  
Baseball Reference
Beckett Database

Friday, April 19, 2024

#287 Bobby Adams - Baltimore Orioles


Robert Henry Adams
Baltimore Orioles
Second Base-Third Base

Bats:  Right  Throws:  Right  Height:  5'10"  Weight:  160
Born:  December 14, 1921, Tuolumne, CA
Signed:  Signed by the Cincinnati Reds as an amateur free agent before 1939 season
Major League Teams:  Cincinnati Reds 1946-1952; Cincinnati Redlegs 1953-1955; Chicago White Sox 1955; Baltimore Orioles 1956; Chicago Cubs 1957-1959
Died:  February 13, 1997, Gig Harbor, WA (age 75)

Bobby Adams spent a decade of his 14-year major league career with the Reds/Redlegs, enjoying his best seasons in the early 1950s with the club.  Adams assumed regular second baseman duties as a rookie with the Reds in 1946.  He'd back up Benny Zientara in 1947 and 1948, although he was the club's opening day second baseman for both those seasons.  Adams regained a starting job in 1951, moving over to third base, and his career year came in 1952 when he batted .283 while leading the National League with 637 at-bats.  He'd have another fine season in 1953, batting .275 and leading all National League third baseman in assists for the second year in a row.  Sold to the White Sox in July 1955, Adams would spend the rest of his career as a reserve infielder with the White Sox, Orioles and Cubs.

He batted .269 overall with 1,082 hits, 37 home runs and 303 RBIs.  Adams stayed with the Cubs after retiring as a player, and was a member of their College of Coaches between 1961 and 1965.  He'd manage the Triple-A Tacoma Cubs between 1966 and 1971, returning as a major league coach for the Cubs in 1973.

January 19, 2003 - NFC Championship Game at The Vet
Building the Set

January 18, 2003 in Plymouth Meeting, PA - Card #241
In January 2003, I added seven cards to our set, purchased at a baseball card show held inside the Plymouth Meeting Mall.  I paid $45 for the seven cards, which included this Adams card.  My Topps set building had stalled out somewhat in 2003 as I had switched over to become primarily a Phillies collector, and I was also spending my disposable income trying to put together the early Topps Heritage sets.  This was the first of only 18 cards we added to our set in 2003, but we did cross the threshold of needing less than 100 cards to complete the set late in the year.

The Card / Orioles Team Set
This is one of only two "2d base-3d base" position combinations in the set, along with Gil McDougald (#225), although Topps used "2nd-3rd base" for McDougald's card.  The action shot could feature Adams as a member of the White Sox looking to see where the ball went after it apparently got by him.  Adams wore #25 during his brief time with the White Sox, and that could be the number on the back of the fielder.  The head shot is the same used for Adams' 1955 Topps card, and Topps swapped out a Reds hat for an Orioles hat.

The cartoons on the back of the card highlight Adams' hustling play, his move to third base from second base and his move to the American League for the 1955 season.

1956 Season
Adams was traded by the White Sox to the Orioles on October 18, 1955 for outfielder Cal Abrams.  The Orioles' opening day third baseman, Adams struggled mightily at the plate over the season's first two months, and the club released him on May 28th.  The Orioles apparently realized they had made a  mistake, as they brought Adams back on June 4th, only for him to be released again on July 17th.  It looks as if he landed with the Orioles' Double-A team after that, as Adams appeared in 46 games for the San Antonio Missions, batting .310.  In his 41 games with the Orioles between April and July, Adams batted .225.

1948-49 Leaf #54
1952 Topps #249
1953 Bowman Color #108
1955 Topps #178
1959 Topps #249

Other Notable Baseball Cards

First Mainstream Card:  1948-49 Leaf #54
Topps Flagship Set Appearances (7):  1952-1956, 1958-1959
Most Recent Mainstream Card:  1994 Topps Archives 1954 #123

32 - Adams non-parallel baseball cards in the Beckett online database as of 4/6/24.

Sources:  
Baseball Reference
Beckett Database