Friday, November 20, 2020

#124 Don Kaiser - Chicago Cubs

Clyde Donald Kaiser
Chicago Cubs

Bats:  Right  Throws:  Right  Height:  6'5"  Weight:  195
Born:  February 3, 1935, Byng, OK
Signed:  Signed by the Chicago Cubs as an amateur free agent, February 8, 1955
Major League Teams:  Chicago Cubs 1955-1957

The first bonus baby signed by the Cubs, Don Kaiser then had to spend the first two years of his professional baseball career on the Cubs active roster.  He appeared in 11 games in 1955, pitching in just 18 1/3 innings but then became a semi-regular starting pitcher with the Cubs in 1956.  Kaiser appeared in parts of three seasons with the Cubs, making 58 appearances and going 6-15 with a 4.15 ERA over 240 2/3 innings pitched.  Kaiser appeared in his final Cubs game in September 1957.  He was traded to the Braves in December 1957 and then the Tigers in October 1959, but never made it back to the Major Leagues.  He pitched in the minor leagues through the 1961 season, retiring following that season at the age of 26.

Building the Set

February 9, 2002 in Cooperstown, NY - Card #232
This is one of only four cards I purchased in 2002, which was one of the tougher years for me personally.  I made a solo unscheduled and unplanned trip to Cooperstown in early 2002 in an attempt to clear my mind one weekend.  It was an escape.  Thinking back on that time now 18 years later, I realize Cooperstown was a logical choice for me to make my escape as I could leave my present worries behind and live in the past for a few days.  I spent a lot of time walking around the Hall of Fame, taking my time and actually relaxing.

I didn't have a lot of money for this trip, but I visited Baseball Nostalgia that Saturday afternoon and purchased four cards for our 1956 Topps set, including this Kaiser card.  The other three cards purchased were Jim Davis (#102), Joe Frazier (#141) and Tom Gorman (#246) and the four cards together cost me $18.50.  That's a fairly low price to pay for some much needed baseball card therapy.

I'm happy to see Baseball Nostalgia is still open.  My wife and I have discussed taking a trip back to Cooperstown when everything gets back to normal as neither of our boys have ever visited before.  Whenever that trip happens, I'll be sure to pay a visit to Baseball Nostalgia.

The Card / Cubs Team Set
This is Kaiser's rookie card, and the first of only two mainstream baseball cards he'd receive.  I had assumed his action photo was taken at Wrigley Field, but he's wearing a Cubs road uniform here.  Wherever he is, an early arriving fan, wearing a tannish suit, makes a cameo appearance in the background.  On the back of the card, Topps highlights his $50,000 bonus baby contract as well as his successful high school baseball exploits.

Kaiser signed reprints of his 1957 Topps card for inclusion in the 2006 Topps Heritage Real One Autographs insert set.

1956 Season
Kaiser spent the entire 1956 season on the Cubs roster, appearing in 27 games and making 22 starts.  He went 4-9 with a 3.59 ERA over 150 1/3 innings pitched, a career high for him over his seven professional seasons.  Kaiser threw his one and only career complete game shutout against the Braves on July 1st, allowing six hits and striking out five.

1957 Topps #134

Other Notable Baseball Cards

First Mainstream Card:  1956 Topps #124
Topps Flagship Set Appearances (2):  1956-1957
Most Recent Mainstream Card:  2006 Topps Heritage Real One Autographs #ROA-DK

4 - Kaiser non-parallel baseball cards in the Beckett online database as of 11/14/20.

Baseball Reference
Beckett Database
The Trading Card Database

No comments:

Post a Comment