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.

Baseball Reference
Beckett Database

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