Saturday, April 29, 2023

More Lesser Knowns

I'm not sure if anyone other than me finds the "Lesser Known" collection interesting, but in the off chance someone does, here are some recent additions. 

Starting with the son of a Hall of Famer and the brother of a Hall of Famer.

Lou Boudreau's son played five minor league seasons, reaching as high as AA.

Albert "Butts" Wagner was the brother of Honus Wagner. Albert played one season in MLB. 
Here's a much better picture of the older brother: 

Ralph Garr Sr. played 13 major league seasons. His son, Ralph Jr. played just four seasons in the minors, topping out at Single A.

I don't follow the NBA much these days, but I do know the name Donovan Mitchell. He's been an All-Star the past four seasons, beginning his career in Utah and now playing for the Cavaliers. The minor leaguer with the same name reached AAA with the New Orleans Zephyrs in 1998.

The name Larry Allen reminds me of the dominant Cowboys lineman from the 90s Super Bowl winning teams. Here's his minor league baseball name sake, who was in the White Sox organization and reached single-A:

See my full list here: Wax Pack Wonders: The Lesser Knowns. And click here for some additional posts about these players: Wax Pack Wonders: Lesser Known. I'm always on the lookout for more cards to add to the list, so feel free to add suggestions in the comments below. 

Monday, April 17, 2023

A 1955 Bowman 100th Birthday: Solly Hemus

Welcome to the third installment of my series featuring players from the 1955 Bowman set that would have turned 100 this year. Players featured thus far:

  • Red Schoendienst - February 2
  • Jim Hughes - March 21

Today's featured player is Solly Hemus (card #107), who I'm spotlighting on what would have been his 100th birthday. 

My actual 1955 Bowman card of Solly Hemus:

Date of Birth: 

April 17, 1923 (card incorrectly says 1924)

First Year in Organized Baseball:

1946 with the Pocatello (ID) Cardinals, a Class C team for the St. Louis Cardinals organization. 

Link to a Really Old Baseball Guy:

Hemus played with 36-year-old Joe "Ducky" Medwick on the 1948 Double-A Houston Buffaloes. Medwick began his pro career in 1930 and was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1968.

1934-36 National Chicle Diamond Stars (R327) #66 - Joe "Ducky" Medwick

Link to a Much Younger Guy:

Hemus played with Tim McCarver on the 1959 St. Louis Cardinals, when McCarver was a 17-year-old rookie. McCarver retired after the 1980 season.

1981 Fleer - Tim McCarver

Interesting Facts: 

  • Served in the U.S. Navy during World War II.
  • Acted as player-manager for the 1959 Cardinals, and also managed the team in 1960 and 1961.
  • Hemus died October 2, 2017, at the age of 94.

Thursday, April 6, 2023

The Short Guys of 1973 Topps

As a short guy myself, I appreciate those athletes of my height (or shorter!) that have made a name for themselves in professional sports. A couple of favorites that come to mind are Tony Campana (5'8"), formerly of the Cubs and Diamondbacks, and Doug Flutie, who I enjoyed watching upon his return to the NFL in the late 90s. A Google search claims that Flutie is 5'10", meaning he's somehow grown an inch or two since retiring at age 43. Maybe I should start saying I'm 5'10". 

I recently chronicled the tallest players from 1973 Topps, but today is an ode to the short guys, all of them less than 5'8". 

The Shortest Players of 1973 Topps

Joe Morgan (5'7")

Who knew this list would feature a Hall of Famer? And it would feature two more if I included manager cards (Yogi Berra and Earl Weaver were both 5'7").

Vic Davalillo (5'7")

After the 1973 season, Davalillo spent a few years playing in Mexico, returning to MLB with the Dodgers in 1977. He retired after the 1980 season, having spent his final years appearing primarily as a pinch hitter. Davalillo's older brother Pompeyo, who played just one MLB season (1953), was 5'3". 

Walt Williams (5'6")

Williams overall height was affected, according to his obituary, by a typhus injection he received as a young child that caused his neck to shrink. 

Freddie Patek (5'4" or 5'5")

One of the great cards from the set and one that is very characteristic of 1973 Topps. It just happens to belong to the shortest player in the league at the time, too. The card lists Patek at 5'4", though official records now indicate he is 5'5".

Do you have any favorite "short" baseball players or other athletes?