Friday, October 22, 2021

#172 Frank Torre - Milwaukee Braves

Frank Joseph Torre
Milwaukee Braves
First Base

Bats:  Left  Throws:  Left  Height:  6'4"  Weight:  200
Born:  December 30, 1931, Brooklyn, NY
Signed:  Signed by the Boston Braves as an amateur free agent, October 20, 1950
Major League Teams:  Milwaukee Braves 1956-1960; Philadelphia Phillies 1962-1963
Died:  September 13, 2014, Palm Beach Gardens, FL (age 82)

Frank Torre appeared in parts of seven big league seasons with the Braves and Phillies, and was the regular first baseman for the Braves in 1957 when they won their first (and only) World Championship in Milwaukee.  Torre had seen limited playing time in 1956, but he was thrust into the line-up when regular first baseman Joe Adcock (#320) broke his leg on June 23, 1957.  Torre hit an even .300 (3 for 10, with two home runs) in the 1957 World Series as the Braves shocked the Yankees, prevailing in seven games.  Torre enjoyed a career year in 1958, batting .309 with six home runs and 55 RBIs (all career highs) as he started the season in a platoon with Adcock but soon won the every day job.  The Braves couldn't repeat in the World Series though, falling this time to the Yankees in seven games.  Torre and Adcock returned to a platoon in 1959, but by 1960 Adcock had developed into a more consistent hitter.  After spending the entire 1961 season in the minors, Torre was sold to the Phillies, where he'd spend the final two seasons of his big league career.

Torre appeared in 714 games, batting .273 with 13 home runs and 179 RBIs.  He'd later work for both Adirodack Bats and Rawlings Sporting Goods.  In October 1996, Frank shared the national spotlight with his younger brother Joe, as Frank had heart transplant surgery the night before Joe would win his first World Series as manager of the Yankees.

Building the Set

September 2, 2000 from Shore Mall Baseball Card Show - Card #172
This is one of two cards purchased at the Shore Mall Baseball Card Show, held in Egg Harbor Township, New Jersey on the first Saturday in September 2000.  I can't say for certain, but I'm assuming my Dad and I attended this show together.  The Shore Mall was once one of the best malls in South Jersey, and it had one of the largest and coolest hobby stores around - Beachcomber Coins & Collectibles.  The store was huge and contained a large assortment of baseball cards, coins, comic books, action figures, trains, memorabilia and a whole host of other treasures.  The store has apparently since left the Shore Mall and it now occupies an old Wawa on the Black Horse Pike in Egg Harbor Township.  Again, I'm making assumptions here, but Beachcomber was most likely the sponsoring dealer at this show.

We spent $20 on this Torre card and the Billy Goodman (#245) card, as dutifully noted in red ink on the back of one of our checklists dated August 31, 1999.

The Card / Braves Team Set
This is Torre's rookie card, and kudos to Topps for getting him a card in the set's second series as Torre had only made his debut earlier in the season on April 20th.  It looks as if Torre is showing off his first base form while standing in the midst of a pleasant looking farm?  The Topps cartoonist didn't have a lot of material to work with for the back of Torre's card, so we get a nebulous statement about his minor league record and a prediction for stardom, with his ability as a fine fielder highlighted in the middle.

1956 Season
Torre spent his rookie season as Adcock's back-up, appearing in 111 games, but making only 26 starts at first base.  An excellent fielder, Torre was often used as a defensive replacement, and he appeared in 89 games in the field at first.  In 159 at-bats, Torre batted .258 with six doubles and 16 RBIs.

Phillies Career
Torre spent the entire 1962 and 1963 seasons with the Phillies, appearing in a total of 200 games and batting .286.  Only 56 of those 200 appearances were starts, and he was primarily used as a pinch-hitter or a late inning defensive replacement at first base for Roy Sievers (#75), repeating the relationship he had with Adcock while with the Braves.  On May 3, 1962, Torre faced off against his former team, the Braves, for the first time, going 3 for 4 with a double and three RBIs.  The game also marked the first time both Torre brothers appeared in a game together, although Joe departed the game in the second inning after being hit on the elbow by a pitch from Art Mahaffey.

1957 Topps #37
1958 Topps #117
1959 Topps #65
1962 Topps #303
1963 Topps #161

Other Notable Baseball Cards

First Mainstream Card:  1956 Topps #172
Topps Flagship Set Appearances (7):  1956-1960, 1962-1963
Most Recent Mainstream Card:  2012 Topps Heritage Real One Autographs #RO-FTO

30 - Torre non-parallel baseball cards in the Beckett online database as of 10/15/21.

Baseball Reference
Beckett Database
The Phillies Room
The Trading Card Database

Friday, October 15, 2021

#171 Jim Wilson - Baltimore Orioles

James Alger Wilson
Baltimore Orioles

Bats:  Right  Throws:  Right  Height:  6'1"  Weight:  200
Born:  February 20, 1922, San Diego, CA
Signed:  Signed by the Boston Red Sox as an amateur free agent before 1943 season
Major League Teams:  Boston Red Sox 1945-1946; St. Louis Browns 1948; Philadelphia Athletics 1949; Boston Braves 1951-1952; Milwaukee Braves 1953-1954; Baltimore Orioles 1955-1956; Chicago White Sox 1956-1958
Died:  September 2, 1986, Newport Beach, CA (age 64)

After a few false starts in the majors beginning in 1945, Jim Wilson was finally given a chance to regularly pitch in a starting rotation, and was an All-Star for three seasons in a row between 1954 and 1956 with the Braves and Orioles.  On June 12, 1954, Wilson threw the first no-hitter in Milwaukee baseball history, blanking the Phillies at Milwaukee County Stadium.  He won at least 12 games for second division teams in three different seasons, but also led the league in losses with 18 in 1955.  Although Wilson was named to three All-Star teams, he only pitched in one game, striking out Willie Mays (#130) in the 1956 contest to end the fifth inning.  Wilson had been acquired by the White Sox in May 1956, and in 1957 he enjoyed a career year.  He went 15-8 that season with a 3.48 ERA with 12 complete games and a league-leading five shutouts.  Wilson would retire following the 1958 season and begin the next phase of his career as a long-time scout and front office executive.  He owned a lifetime record of 86-89 with a 4.01 ERA and 692 strikeouts over 257 games pitched.  Wilson was a solid fielder throughout his career, and he recorded a perfect fielding percentage (1.000) in three straight seasons (1956, 1957, 1958).

He worked as a scout first for the Orioles (1959-1963) and then for the Houston Colt .45s/Astros (1964-1971).  Wilson shared credit for signing Jim Palmer and Andy Etchebarren for the Orioles and Larry Dierker for the Colt .45s.  He came back to Milwaukee to work for the Brewers in 1971 and was named the club's general manager in 1972.  Wilson pulled off a seven-player deal with the Phillies in October 1972 that brought Don Money to the Brewers and he selected Robin Yount with the club's first pick in the June 1973 amateur player draft.

Building the Set
February 7, 2007 from Dad's eBay purchases - Card #288
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 detested the 40 minute ride 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 begun failing 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, 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.

August 9, 2007 - Dad with Jenna, Doug and me riding a merry-go-round
in Ocean City
This background is needed to better explain how this Wilson 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 handed me a pair of Orioles cards on February 7, 2007 - this Wilson card and the Willie Miranda (#103) card.

Throughout 2007, I suspect he 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.  Not to ruin the ending for this blog, but this is how we finished the 1956 Topps set.  Not with one last glorious purchase at a baseball card show, but with my Dad systematically and methodically checking off cards from our checklist through eBay purchases.

Together with my Mom, he'd deliver the last 29 cards we needed to complete the set in 2007 as a Christmas present to me that year.

The Card / Orioles Team Set
I guess Topps went with an action shot of Wilson here given his strength as a fielder, but upon closer review I'm not sure if that's Wilson stretching at first base trying to corral a wild throw.  Wilson wore #19 with the Braves in 1953 and 1954 and #36 with the Orioles in 1955.  The fielder looks like he has a uniform number starting with a 2.  If the fielder is the pitcher here, I'd think he'd be facing the other way as he simultaneously ran towards first and turned to catch a throw.  So maybe the runner is Wilson?  I'm starting to think Wilson isn't actually in this action photo at all.

This is his return to Topps baseball cards after an exclusive two-year run with Bowman in 1954 and 1955.  On the back of the card, his team-leading 12 wins in 1955 are highlighted, as is his 1954 no-hitter.  The middle panel piqued my curiosity.  On August 8, 1945, Wilson was on the mound for the Red Sox in a game against the Tigers.  He started and pitched 9 1/3 innings and was struck in the head by a live drive off the bat of Hank Greenberg in the 10th.  The ball fractured Wilson's skull, knocking him unconscious and leaving a half-inch dent in his head over his right ear.  He amazingly made a full recovery from the life-threatening injury and was discharged from the hospital on August 24th.  At the time, it was thought Wilson would never pitch again but he was ready to go for spring training in 1946.

1956 Season
Wilson began the year in the Orioles' starting pitching rotation, making seven starts and going 4-2 with a 5.03 ERA.  On May 21st, Wilson and Dave Philley (#222) were dealt to the White Sox for Mike Fornieles, Connie Johnson (#326), George Kell (#195) and Bob Nieman (#267).  The White Sox were in desperate need of another starting pitcher, and despite struggling in his first season in Chicago, Wilson was named to his third and final All-Star team.  He went 9-12 with a 4.06 ERA with the White Sox over 28 games pitched, serving as the fourth starter in a rotation that also consisted of Billy Pierce (#160), Dick Donovan (#18) and Jack Harshman (#29).

1952 Topps #276
1953 Topps #208
1954 Bowman #16
1957 Topps #330
1958 Topps #163

Other Notable Baseball Cards

First Mainstream Card:  1952 Topps #276
Topps Flagship Set Appearances (5):  1952-1953, 1956-1958
Most Recent Mainstream Card:  1991 Topps Archives 1953 #208

27 - Wilson non-parallel baseball cards in the Beckett online database as of 10/8/21.

Baseball Reference
Beckett Database
The Trading Card Database

Friday, October 8, 2021

#170 Bill Virdon - St. Louis Cardinals

William Charles Virdon
St. Louis Cardinals

Bats:  Left  Throws:  Right  Height:  6'0"  Weight:  175
Born:  June 9, 1931, Hazel Park, MI
Signed:  Signed by the New York Yankees as an amateur free agent before 1950 season
Major League Teams:  St. Louis Cardinals 1955-1956; Pittsburgh Pirates 1956-1965, 1968
As a Manager:  Pittsburgh Pirates 1972-1973; New York Yankees 1974-1975; Houston Astros 1975-1982; Montreal Expos 1983-1984

Bill Virdon was the 1955 N.L. Rookie of the Year, winning the award in a year in which he hit his career highs in both home runs (17) and RBIs (68) as the every day center fielder for the Cardinals.  In May 1956, the Cardinals dealt Virdon to the Pirates, and that's where he'd play the rest of his big league career.  With the Pirates, Virdon was the team's regular center fielder for the decade between 1956 and 1965, winning a Gold Glove in 1962 and a World Championship with the club in 1960.  He led the league in triples with 10 in 1962 and finished in the top ten twice for assists by an outfielder due to his strong throwing arm.  Virdon retired following the 1965 season to focus on coaching and managing, but was activated for a few games in 1968 when the Pirates had a rash of players depart for military service.  For his career, Virdon batted .267 with 81 triples, 91 home runs and 502 RBIs.

Virdon managed for parts of 13 seasons in the majors, compiling a lifetime record of 995-921.  He was named The Sporting News' Manager of the Year in 1974 and 1980.  He had three first place finishes during his managerial career, with the Pirates in 1972 and with the Astros in 1980 and 1981.  Virdon also had four different stints as a coach with the Pirates (1968-1971, 1986, 1993, 2001-2002) and briefly returned to the Astros as a coach in 1997.

My earliest memory of Virdon is when Phillies broadcaster Richie Ashburn (#120) told viewers during the 1980 NLCS that Virdon reminded him of his elementary school math teacher.  (That might not be the exact quote, but you get the gist.)

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

Building the Set

February 2, 1991 in Millville, NJ - Card #96
1991 was a black hole year in terms of collecting our 1956 Topps set.  We only added three cards to our set (I think . . . see here for explanation) and as I was a junior in high school when this card was purchased, I had college, girls, friends and general high school stuff on my mind and not necessarily old baseball cards.  My notes show this card was purchased at a baseball card show held inside Millville Memorial High School (Millville's junior high school where I attended 8th and 9th grades) for $5.  My Dad spent several decades as a guidance counselor at Memorial, so we may have even ventured up to his office the Saturday of this show.  Thinking about Memorial High School now, I'm reminded of its "old building" smell and the indented stairs that led upstairs to the second level, worn down from nearly a century of foot traffic.

The Card / Cardinals Team Set
This is Virdon's first Topps card and his rookie card appeared in the 1955 Bowman set.  The action shot here could be absolutely anyone, as the fielder's face is completely obscured.  The first panel of the cartoon on the back mentions the trade that originally brought Virdon to the Cardinals.  On April 11, 1954, Virdon was one of three players, along with Emil Telling and Mel Wright, dealt by the Yankees to St. Louis in exchange for slugger Enos Slaughter (#109).  The second cartoon panel attributes Virdon's improvement as a hitter to his decision to start wearing glasses.

1956 Season
It's odd to see the reigning Rookie of the Year traded in the season after winning the award, but that's what happened with Virdon.  He was the opening day center fielder for the Cardinals and appeared in 24 games with the club before the May 17th trade to the Pirates.  Virdon was dealt to Pittsburgh for outfielder Bobby Del Greco and pitcher Dick Littlefield.  The Pirates were slowly rebuilding and Virdon found himself inserted as the team's new regular center fielder with Lee Walls in left and Roberto Clemente (#33) in right.  In 133 games with the Pirates, Virdon batted .334, leading the team, and had eight home runs to go along with 37 RBIs.  He overall average for the year of .319 placed him second in the league after Hank Aaron (#31), who hit .334 overall. 

1955 Bowman #296
1959 Topps #190
1961 Topps #70
1972 Topps #661
1984 Topps #111

Other Notable Baseball Cards
First Mainstream Card:  1955 Bowman #296
Topps Flagship Set Appearances (21):  1956-1965, 1972-1973, 1975-1981, 1983-1984
Most Recent Mainstream Card:  2014 Topps Heritage Real One Autographs #ROA-BV

129 - Virdon non-parallel baseball cards in the Beckett online database as of 10/7/21.

1965 Topps Blog

Friday, October 1, 2021

#169 Bob Nelson - Baltimore Orioles

Robert Sidney Nelson
Baltimore Orioles

Bats:  Left  Throws:  Left  Height:  6'3"  Weight:  205
Born:  August 7, 1936, Dallas, TX
Signed:  Signed by the Baltimore Orioles as an amateur free agent, June 20, 1955
Major League Teams:  Baltimore Orioles 1955-1957
Died:  July 22, 2011, Mesquite, TX (age 74)

Tex Nelson was signed as a bonus baby by the Orioles following his high school graduation and was required to stay on the Orioles roster for his first season.  He appeared sparingly with the Orioles, playing in 25 games in 1955, 39 games in 1956 and 15 games in 1957.  His roommate Brooks Robinson gave him his "Tex" nickname, which joined his high school nickname of the "Babe Ruth of Texas."  Nelson batted .205 in his big league career with a pair of doubles, a pair of triples and 11 RBIs.  He played in the minors for four more seasons until 1961, ultimately retiring and returning to Texas.  Nelson collected 75 home runs and 243 RBIs over four and a half years in the minors.

2005 Topps Heritage
Real One Autographs #RO-BN
Building the Set

January 18, 2003 in Plymouth Meeting, PA - Card #236
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 Nelson 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 Nelson's first and last readily available baseball card, and he'd sign reprints of the cards for inclusion in the 2005 Topps Heritage Real One Autographs set.  His only other somewhat recent baseball card can be found in the 1991 Crown/Coca-Cola Baltimore Orioles set.  (Nelson appeared on a few Orioles oddball issuances in the mid-1950s.)  The back of the card highlights his high school baseball career and mentions his bonus baby status in the final cartoon panel.  The Topps artist depicts Nelson's Texas high school baseball team as cowboys riding horses.

1956 Season
Nelson was on the Orioles roster for the entire season as a 19-year-old, batting .2016 (14 for 68) with two doubles and five RBIs.  He started nine games in right field and five games in left field, while appearing 15 times as a pinch-hitter.

Other Notable Baseball Cards

First Mainstream Card:  1956 Topps #169
Topps Flagship Set Appearances (1):  1956
Most Recent Mainstream Card:  2005 Topps Heritage Real One Autographs #RO-BN

7 - Nelson non-parallel baseball cards in the Beckett online database as of 9/26/21.

Baseball Reference
Beckett Database
The Trading Card Database

Friday, September 24, 2021

#168 Sammy White - Boston Red Sox

Sammy Charles White
Boston Red Sox

Bats:  Right  Throws:  Right  Height:  6'3"  Weight:  195
Born:  July 7, 1927, Wenatchee, WA
Acquired:  Traded by Seattle (PCL) to the Boston Red Sox for 3 players to be named later and optional assignment of Windy McCall and John Hoffman, May 16, 1949
Major League Teams:  Boston Red Sox 1951-1959; Milwaukee Braves 1961; Philadelphia Phillies 1962
Died:  August 4, 1991, Princeville, HI (age 64)

An all-around athlete, Sammy White could have signed to play professional basketball with the Minneapolis Lakers, but was forbidden to do so by the team holding his baseball contract - the Red Sox.  With the Red Sox, White was the club's regular catcher and a fan favorite between 1952 and 1959, enjoying an All-Star season in 1953.  His best season came in 1954 when he batted .282 with career highs in both home runs (14) and RBIs (75).  White was known as a good fielding catcher with a strong arm.  He led all American League catchers with baserunners caught stealing in 1955 and 1956.  After nine seasons with the Red Sox, White was traded to the Indians on March 16, 1960, but he refused to report, opting to retire instead, and the three-player trade was voided.  White sat out the 1960 season, returning after a year off to play parts of the next two seasons as a back-up with the Braves and Phillies.

In 1,043 major league games, White batted .262 with 916 hits, 66 home runs and 421 RBIs.  His caught stealing percentage of 47.2% is currently 57th all-time.  White would go on to become a professional bowler and then a professional golfer, spending the last years of his life living in Hawaii close to his friend and former teammate Frank Sullivan (#71).

Building the Set
Summer of 1983 or 1984 in Millville, NJ - Card #18
This was one of the Original 44, and I recently re-told the story of how my Dad and I started collecting this set with the Ed Mathews (#107) post.  There were a lot of these Original 44 cards bunched together, meaning the original owner must have opened a few Series Two packs.  Seven of the Original 44 came from Series One, with 11 coming from Series Two.  This is the last of those 11, and first ten covered were Mathews, Yogi Berra (#110), Jim Brady (#126), Eddie Yost (#128), Willie Mays (#130), the Cardinals team card (#134), Johnny Logan (#136), Johnny Antonelli (#138), Harvey Kuenn (#155) and Red Schoendienst (#165).

The Card / Red Sox Team Set
At first, I assumed the catcher in the action shot was White but it appears to be yet another cameo by Yankees catcher Berra and White is the runner doing the face plant at home plate.  This card marks White's return to Topps sets after a two-year absence and exclusive appearances with Bowman in 1954 and 1955.  The cartoon panels on the back highlight his collegiate basketball career and his strong throwing arm.  The middle panel shows White scoring three times in one inning - a feat he accomplished on June 18, 1953, when the Red Sox scored 17 runs in the seventh inning at Fenway Park against the Tigers, and they'd go on to a 23-3 win.

If you're keeping score at home, this is the fifth card in the set with the red-orange color bar combination on the front.  Preceding White were Hal Smith (#62), Babe Birrer (#84), Jim Davis (#102) and Jake Martin (#129).

1956 Season
White was the Red Sox' opening day catcher, and he'd make 112 starts behind the plate during the season.  He batted .245 with five home runs and 44 RBIs, and he caught the no-hitter thrown by Mel Parnell on July 14th.

I first wrote about White's appearance in the Norman Rockwell painting The Rookie, back when I posted Sullivan's card.  On an off-day during the 1956 season, White, Sullivan and Jackie Jensen (#115) were told to take a drive to meet with who they were told was a photographer.  The photographer, who was actually famous painter Norman Rockwell, used the photographs he took that day as the basis of his painting, The Rookie, which appeared on the cover of The Saturday Evening Post in March 1957.  Sullivan, who actually wore #18 at the time, is the player with the #8 peaking through on his back and White is shown to the far left holding a catcher's mitt.  In 2014, the original Rockwell painting sold for $22.5 million.

Phillies Career
White and Sullivan reunited briefly with the Phillies during the 1962 season.  White was signed prior to the season to serve as a veteran back-up to Clay Dalrymple.  White made 31 starts at catcher, and would ultimately lose additional playing time to Bob Oldis who served as Dalrymple's back-up during the final months of the season.  In 41 games, White batted .216 and appeared in his final big league game on August 23, 1962.  He was released by the Phillies following the season.

1952 Topps #345
1953 Topps #139
1954 Bowman #34
1957 Topps #163
1962 Topps #494

Other Notable Baseball Cards

First Mainstream Card:  1952 Topps #345
Topps Flagship Set Appearances (8):  1952-1953, 1956-1960, 1962
Most Recent Mainstream Card:  1991 Topps Archives 1953 #139

34 - White non-parallel baseball cards in the Beckett online database as of 9/19/21.

Baseball Reference
Beckett Database
The Phillies Room
The Trading Card Database

Friday, September 17, 2021

#167 Harry Dorish - Baltimore Orioles

Harry Dorish
Baltimore Orioles

Bats:  Right  Throws:  Right  Height:  5'11"  Weight:  204
Born:  July 13, 1921, Swoyersville, PA
Signed:  Signed by the Boston Red Sox as an amateur free agent before 1941 season
Major League Teams:  Boston Red Sox 1947-1949; St. Louis Browns 1950; Chicago White Sox 1951-1955; Baltimore Orioles 1955-1956; Boston Red Sox 1956
Died:  December 31, 2000, Wilkes-Barre, PA (age 79)

Harry Dorish, more commonly known by his nickname, Fritz, pitched for 10 seasons in the American League after missing three years in the minors while serving during World War II.  Dorish was primarily a reliever throughout his career and his best seasons came in the early 1950s while a member of the White Sox bullpen.  During his 5 1/2 years with the White Sox, he went 31-20 over 176 appearances with a 3.02 ERA and 39 saves.  He led the league with 11 saves in 1952 and followed that up by saving 17 games in 1953.  Dorish was dealt to the Orioles on June 6, 1955 for catcher Les Moss as the White Sox were in need of more offense.  He pitched well for the Orioles for the remainder of 1955, reunited with his former mentor and now Orioles manager Paul Richards.  Dorish missed time in 1956 after being spiked by the Senators' Clint Courtney (#159) and requiring 12 stitches in his heel and on June 25th that year he was sold back to his original team, the Red Sox.  His last action in the majors came with the Red Sox in 1956, and he'd then attempt to play three more seasons in the minors before retiring.

Dorish earned a lifetime record of 45-43 over 323 games with 48 saves.  He stayed in baseball through the 1988 season as a minor and major league coach and long-time scout spending time in the organizations of the Red Sox, Astros and Indians.  Dorish served as the pitching coach for the Red Sox (1963) and Braves (1968-1971).

Building the Set
December 28, 2007 from Dad's eBay purchase - Card #318
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.

December 24, 2007 - Dad with his first grandson
Our son Doug had just turned one, and on Christmas morning 2007, we were anxiously awaiting the arrival of our families to our house to celebrate the day.  I've had a few rough Christmases, but this was one of the worst as my Dad ended up in the hospital that day and it was the beginning of his health struggles that would continue until he passed away in late 2011.  He was discharged from the hospital three days later, and it was only then we celebrated Christmas together, on December 28th, and I opened the package containing the last of the cards needed for our 1956 Topps set.

Dad was understandably distraught that Christmas, but not solely because of his own health issues.  Because of his unselfish nature, he was worried that he had ruined Christmas for everyone since we had spent the holidays in a hospital.  He was also upset that his surprise package containing those last 29 baseball cards sat in the back seat of his car for three days until he recovered enough to come home.  I was just happy to have him out of the hospital, but I do remember feeling confused and somewhat hopeless as we weren't quite sure yet what was wrong with him.

I don't have any pictures from December 28th, which is unusual for me.  I'm assuming I was just happy that Dad was out of the hospital and taking pictures never crossed my mind.

The Card / Orioles Team Set
I'm not convinced that's Dorish at all in the action photo.  The #7 appears to be on the back of the runner's jersey and Dorish wore a uniform number ending in 7 once in his career, with the 1949 Red Sox team.  He wore #12 while with the White Sox in 1955, and took #23 when he joined the Orioles.  #7 on the Orioles in 1955 was shortstop Willie Miranda (#103).  The head shot used for Dorish is the same as his 1954 Topps card, with Topps replacing the White Sox logo on his cap with an Orioles logo.  Flipping to the back, the three cartoons celebrate his success as a reliever, his best pitch - the sinker, and his role as the Orioles' top "reliefer" in 1955.  Topps shaves a year off his birth date too, as Dorish was actually born in 1921.

1956 Season
In his final year in the majors, Dorish began the season with the Orioles, appearing in 13 games.  As mentioned above, Dorish was spiked by Courtney in a game, leading to an ankle injury.  On April 22nd, in the top of the seventh inning of an Orioles-Senators game, Courtney pinch-hit for shortstop Jerry Snyder and was retired with a ground ball fielded by Orioles first baseman Gus Triandos (#80) and fed to Dorish, covering first.  I'm guessing this is when Dorish suffered the spiking injury, as he wouldn't pitch again until May 3rd.  He'd join the Red Sox in early July, appearing in 15 more games.  In total, between the two teams, Dorish appeared in 28 games, going 0-2 with a 3.83 ERA over 42 1/3 innings pitched.

1951 Bowman #266
1952 Topps #303
1953 Topps #145
1954 Topps #110
1955 Bowman #248

Other Notable Baseball Cards

First Mainstream Card:  1951 Bowman #266
Topps Flagship Set Appearances (4):  1952-1954, 1956
Most Recent Mainstream Card:  1994 Topps Archives 1954 #110

23 - Dorish non-parallel baseball cards in the Beckett online database as of 9/11/21.

Baseball Reference
Beckett Database
The Trading Card Database