Did you try the ultimate baseball card quiz of identifying players in the ’53 Bowman set by just looking at the color photo on the front of the card? On our previous visit, eight cards of major leaguers from that era were shown. Here’s the photo once more along with the answers.
Starting at the top left…
> Forrest “Smokey” Burgess #28, Phillies C – Only 26 at the time, this short & stocky backstop played 18 seasons, made six All-Star teams and had a lifetime BA of .295
> Roy McMillan #26, Reds SS – At age 23, this defensive wizard had already completed his first full season. Played 16 seasons and won the Gold Glove three times.
> Bob Friend #16, Pirates P – Had a record of only 13-30 in his first two seasons but went on to become the Bucs ace in the late 50’s. Won 22 games in 1958 and another 18 in 1960, when the Pirates won it all. Pitched 16 years with 197 victories.
> Sam Jethroe #3, Braves OF – Played in the Negro Leagues during the 40’s and didn’t appear in the majors until 1950 at age 33. That season, he led the NL with 35 SB’s and was honored as the Rookie-of-the-Year. Although his skills deteriorated in his mid-30’s, he still played five productive seasons in the AAA International League (’54-’58) before retiring at age 41.
Moving to the bottom right…
> Chico Carrasquel #54, White Sox SS – One of the first successful Latin players, he was born in Venezuela and stepped right into the starting line-up in 1950 when he finished 3rd in the ROY balloting. Made four All-Star teams and played ten seasons in the majors.
> Mel Parnell #66, Red Sox P – One the first left-handers to be successful in Fenway Park, he was 25-7 in 1949 with a league leading 295 innings pitched. He won twenty games again (21-8) in ’53 and pitched a no-hitter against the White Sox in 1956. A 10 year-old fan was in the stands that day…you can probably guess his identity.
> Harry “Suitcase” Simpson #86, Indians OF – One of the most enduring nicknames in the history of the game, he played for six teams in eight seasons (including twice for the A’s). His signature year was ’56 when he made the All-Star team and led the AL with 11 Triples.
> Fred Hutchinson #132, Tigers P – He pitched ten productive seasons in the majors with a record of 95-71, but his legacy was a Manager for the Tigers, Cardinals & Reds..winning the pennant with Cincinnati in 1961. He was still the Reds Manager in ’64 when stricken with lung cancer and died at age 45. The “Hutch Award” is presented annually to an active player who “best exemplifies the fighting spirit and competitive desire” of Fred Hutchinson.
Hope you had fun with the quiz…there’s a great story attached to each card.