Sunday, February 4, 2018

Some Cards from the Conlon Collection (Part 2 of 2)

A couple of months ago, I posted 9 cards from the Conlon collection, and said that some others would follow.  It's taken me a while, but here they are.  I must have bought about 5 packs back in the day; I have a bit under 100 Conlon cards total.  I think I appreciate them more now than when I bought them, which was when they were first released in 1991.
Connie Mack.
Cornelius McGillicuddy, better known as Connie Mack, was a Philadelphia institution, and his card here is a portrait with the HOF designation on it.  Mack was inducted at Cooperstown in the second class, in 1937, but he kept managing his A's until 1950 (and they were his A's by then -- he assumed full ownership in 1936).  By the end, the team didn't hadn't done well in years -- between 1934 and 1950, their best finish was 4th in the AL, and they were frequently last.  Their stadium, Shibe Park, which was known as Connie Mack Stadium by the time Dad attended games there in the 50s and 60s, was also not doing too well, and desperately needed replacing by the time the Phillies moved to the Vet in 1971.  But we remember the good times, and Mack had many good seasons, winning five World Series, the last in 1930.  The Phillies honor Mack's memory; he was the first of the Philadelphia Athletics inducted onto the Philadelphia Baseball Wall of Fame.
Gabby Hartnett.
Gabby Hartnett of the Cubs was the NL MVP in 1935, with a .344 batting average and 91 RBI.  In batting average, he was third in the league, behind Arky Vaughan of the Pirates and Joe Medwick of the Cardinals.  In RBI, he placed 9th.  The award was surely not just for these numbers, but also because he had a great defensive year.  The card makes a point of saying the award came from the Baseball Writer's Association, drawing attention to the fact that the method of determining the league MVPs has changed over time.  The current system, in which the award is voted by the writers, started in 1931.
Sam Jones.
Harry Hooper.
Here we have two cards, of pitcher Sam Jones and outfielder Harry Hooper, commemorating the Red Sox World Series-winning team of 1916.  Since these cards were issued in 1991, it was the 75th anniversary of the 1916 championship Sox.  Even though we weren't an AL family, watching the Phillies at home, mainly, I must have caught the occassional Red Sox-Yankees game on TV.  It's impossible to forget the Yankees fans taunting the Red Sox with chants of "nineteen-eighteen" to remind them they hadn't won the World Series since 1918, two years after this 1916 triumph.  That's all in the past, though, as the Sox have won more World Series than the Yankees since the turn of the current century.
Jewel Ens.
Jewel Ens is pictured here as a coach for the Tigers in 1932.  Ens played for the Pirates from 1922-1925; while the Pirates won the 1925 World Series, he appeared in only 3 regular-season games and none in the Series.  According to Wikipedia, though, he was actually a player-coach from 1923-1925.  He took over managing the Bucs 1929-1931.  He didn't manage again after that, but was a coach for several teams.
Babe Herman.
This card of Babe Herman is from the "great stories" subset, about catching a baseball, or a "baseball," from a plane.  The story doesn't appear to be about Herman, but the back of the card quotes Herman in telling it.  Wilbert Robinson, manager of the Dodgers, had agreed to try to catch a baseball dropped from a plane as a promotion.  What was dropped, though, was actually a grapefruit, which, quite naturally, exploded upon being caught.  There was some commotion in the confusion.
Daffy Dean.
Just like some of the cards above celebrated the 75th anniversary of the Red Sox winning the World Series, some of the cards celebrate 100 years of Cardinals baseball.  This card of Paul "Daffy" Dean, showing him in 1939, has the Cardinals anniversary notation in the corner.  As a Pirates and Phillies fan, it's hard for me to get excited about the Cardinals, whom I think of as the NL version of the Yankees -- they haven't won nearly as many World Series as the Yankees, but it feels like it sometimes.  Dean pitched in the majors from 1934 through 1943, with a career record of 50-34, and pitched alongside his more successful brother, Dizzy Dean, for several years.
Walter Holke.
Walter Holke played in the majors from 1914 through 1925, for the Giants, Braves, Phillies, and Reds.  As the card front notes, he hit into an unassisted triple play on October 6, 1923, while he was with the Phils.  This seems like a good time to mention a related, but better, memory for Phillies fans, when Mickey Morandini turned the tables and executed an unassisted triple play as a fielder, as I've blogged about before.
Gavvy Cravath.
This card calls Gavvy Cravath the home run king of the dead ball era, roughly the first two decades of the 20th century.  I'm a fan of "small ball," in which baserunning and strategy are important, but the dead ball era took this to the extreme.  In 1915, Cravath, of the Phillies, led the majors in home runs with a then-astounding total of 24.  The AL leader in 1915 was Braggo Roth, with 7.
Heinie Manush.
I'll wrap up this post with Heinie Manush, pictured here with the Senators in 1932.  The card front notes that Manush made the Hall in 1964; his selection came via the Veterans Committee.  Manush had a career batting average of .330, and made 2,524 career hits, and was known as a solid defensive outfielder.

That all for today.  Thanks for reading!

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