1961 Topps #404 Rogers Hornsby (Highlight card)
1962 Topps #314 Colavito's Power (Rocky Colavito IA)
1955 Bowman #202 Mickey Mantle 1963 Jello #15 Mickey Mantle (hand cut from Jello dessert box)
Our Slugger Gallery will start off with baseball's most beloved slugger, Mickey Mantle. Mantle didn't just hit Home Runs, he hit towering, mammoth shots including a 565 foot blast at Washington's Griffith
Stadium! WOW! Mantle also almost hit a ball completely out of Yankee Stadium on May 22, 1963 against the Kansas City Athletics. The ball was still rising when it hit the facade above the right field stands. Who
knows how far that one would have gone. Keep in mind this was "B.S." (before steroids). Thanks to guys like Mickey Mantle, the word "tape measure home run" was born. Mantle went on to hit 536 lifetime Home
Runs in his injury plagued career. Like the player himself, Mickey Mantle baseball cards are extremely popular today.
A lot of collectors confuse the 1963 Jello cards as being "Post cereal" cards, but the '63 Jello cards are separate issues. Like the Post cereal cards, the Jello cards were intended to be cut from the box (cards on
complete boxes are rare today). If cut properly the Jello cards should measure 3-3/8" x 2-1/2." The Post cereal cards measure a bit wider side to side; 3-1/2" x 2-1/2." There are also slight print differences. While
the 1963 Post cereal set is considered to be the toughest to complete among the 1961-1963 Post issues, the 1963 Jello set is just as tough. In fact the Jello cards are tougher to find in higher grades. This is due to the
fact that the baseball cards themselves took up almost the entire back of the Jello box. To cut the card out without creasing it, you would have to carefully unfold the box and cut. Plus the edges of the card almost
come to the edges of the Jello box so they were susceptible to wear even without being cut out. To give you an example of how tough the Jello cards are, the highest graded example of a 1963 Jello card (by PSA) is a
PSA 5 EX (Excellent), while there are several high grade 1963 Post Mickey Mantle cards out there, including NM-MT and MINT cards.
"Where have you gone Joe DiMaggio...our nation turns it's lonely eyes to you..." (from the Simon & Garfunkel song "Mrs.
Robinson"). "Joltin' Joe" was an American idol, well before the ridiculous television show that attempts to make superstars out
of nobodys. Before TV and blatant self-promotion there was a shy and withdrawn Italian kid from the San Francisco Bay area
that could smash the ball and make effortless catches in the outfield. To top it off he showcased his talents in "The House That
Ruth Built," Yankee Stadium. In fact DiMaggio was so good, he made the the Yankee fans almost forget about Babe Ruth who
was traded to the Boston (Braves). What really put Joe D on the pedestal was his amazing 56 game hitting streak in 1941.
How good was Joe DiMaggio that year? Good enough to win the American League MVP over Ted Williams, who happened
to bat over .400 that same year (.406). That 56 game hit streak is still intact today. Unbelievable. Despite some serious
injuries throughout his career, DiMaggio put up some unholy numbers including a .325 career batting average, 2215 hits,
131 triples, 361 HRs, and 1537 RBIs. Keep in mind DiMaggio had a relatively short career (only 13 seasons!). Joe & the
Yanks went to 10 World Series and won 9 of those contests! To further the legend, DiMaggio married the most desirable
woman in the world at the time, Marilyn Monroe.
Here is an amazing statistic; while most sluggers pay the price with strikeouts, in Joe D's entire career, the most times he ever
struck out in a season was 39 times (in 1936, his rookie season)! For his career, Joe DiMaggio struck out only 369 times!
Compare to Mark Reynolds who struck out a record 223 times in 2009 and Hall of Famer Reggie Jackson, who struck out
2597 times (all-time leader) during his career. Amazing!
Joe DiMaggio did not appear on too many baseball cards. His rookie card is considered the 1939 Playball but he also
appeared on some early World Wide Gum and Goudey issues. After World War II started for American in 1941, baseball
cards were pretty much halted up until 1948-49 with the Leaf set. DiMaggio is card #1 in that set but he did not appear on a
1950's Topps or Bowman gum card. The only 1950's issues of Joe DiMaggio are the 1951 & 1952 Berk Ross cards. This
1952 Berk Ross Joe DiMaggio card (left) is his last card as he had retired after the 1951 World Series.
1952 Berk Ross Joe DiMaggio
|Hank Aaron is really underrated. Consider this: Everyone knows that Aaron is the All-Time Home Run King with 755
round-trippers. But did you know that Hank Aaron also won 2 batting titles? Did you know that he stole as many as 31
bases in a season? Did you know that in post season play Aaron hit .357 in the 1969 League Championship series and
hit .364 in two World Series (1957, 1958)? Did you know that his lifetime batting average was .305? Did you know
that he received death threats before breaking Babe Ruth's home run mark in 1974? This is a very special player and a
special person as well. Aaron had natural talent but can you imaging the character of the man having to endure racism
throughout his playing career? A very special person indeed.
This is one of Hank Aaron's best cards. Not only is it from his MVP season (.322, 198 hits, 44 HR, 132 RBI), but
check out the picture carefully. The giveaway is the number "44" on his jersey. It is backwards. Topps reversed the
negative and it was not caught during the press runs. Hence you have a left-handed Hank Aaron card though Aaron hit all
755 home runs batting right-handed. Special card, special player.
1957 Topps #20 Hank Aaron UER
1948 Sport Thrills 12 Most Dramatic HR 1962 Topps #140 Babe Ruth Special 1935 Goudey 4-1 Jimmy Foxx
Lou Gehrig and Babe Ruth vintage baseball cards are, well, pretty damn expensive. Even lower grade examples during their playing days sell for a several hundred dollars each. However there are some
affordable alternatives. Take for instance the 1948 Sport Thrills #12 "Most Dramatic Home Run" (above left) which features both Gehrig and Ruth. It lists for $50 in ungraded VG condition. Most Topps cards
featuring the two sluggers are even cheaper. The 1962 Topps card #140 Babe Ruth Special (above center) was part of a 10-card subset highlighting the career of Babe Ruth and features Lou Gehrig as well. As
you can see by the price tag, it is also affordable. Topps also issued highlight cards of Gehrig and Ruth in 1961, 1973, and 1976. Real bargains!
Jimmie Foxx (aka. "THE BEAST" or "Double X") was a right handed Lou Gehrig. He was a star slugger for the Philadelphia Athletics and also the Boston Red Sox. Can you imagine a line-up featuring Foxx and
Ted Williams? They were teammates for about 4 years (1939-1942). From 1929 through 1941 Jimmie Foxx drove in no less than 100 runs, including a whopping 175 RBIs in 1938. Foxx went on to win 4 HR crowns
(including 50 or more twice), 2 Batting Titles, and A.L. MVP Award 3 times. He did not win a World Series while with Boston, but did go to the World Series 3 consecutive years while with Philadelphia (1929-1931),
winning 2 of those contests. A real champ! This 1935 Goudey 4 in 1 card (above right) features Foxx while with Philadelphia and is much cheaper than his 1933-34 Goudey cards. Jimmie Foxx died at the age of 59
1962 Topps #316 Killebrew Sends One Into Orbit (Harmon Killebrew)
"The Killer" deserves to have his own page. Talk about sluggers, Harmon Killebrew was 100% steroid-free slugger! This guy bashed the ball, hitting 573 lifetime home runs in spite of the
fact that his first few big league seasons were part-time with the Washington Nationals/ Senators. It is as a Minnesota Twin he is best known and Killebrew helped lead his team to the 1965
World Series against the Dodgers. He was a 6 time Home Run Champ and also won the American League MVP in 1969 (49 HRs, 140 RBIs, 145 bases on balls). Keep in mind that had
Killebrew played in a big city like New York or Los Angeles his cards would probably be double what they are worth now. As it stands, they are a great bargain. This 1962 Topps card
(above) shows the "Killer" mashing the ball into the seats. One of the greatest sluggers ever and a classy guy to boot.
"Who is that MAN???" asked Brooklyn Dodger fans when this Cardinal great would uncoil and
deliver clutch hits all over Ebbett's Field. Hence came the nickname "Stan The Man." Stan Musial
racked up 3,330 hits; including 725 doubles, 177 triples, and 475 home runs! His lifetime
slugging average was a robust .559. He scored 1,949 runs while driving in 1,951. Musial won
7 batting crowns in his great career and his lifetime batting average was .331. He is STAN THE
Stan Musial was pictured on just a few Bowman and Topps issues. His cards are quite inexpensive
(compared to say Joe DiMaggio or Ted Williams) and this translates to a BARGAIN for collectors.
You cannot go wrong with a Stan Musial card. One of his best and least expensive cards is this
1958 Topps #476 Stan Musial All-Star card (left) which was his first Topps card. It was triple
printed, hence it is not difficult to find. You can pick up a nice ungraded NM example for around
$25-$30 (it lists at $32.50 in the 2006 SCD Standard Catalog of Baseball Cards, Krause
Publications). Compare that to Ted Williams' All-Star card (card #485, $75) and Mickey Mantle
AS (#487, $105) from the same set. No wonder Stan is smiling; he knows a good thing when he
1958 Topps #476 Stan Musial AS
There isn't too much to say about Ted Williams that hasn't already been said. But when you talk about sluggers, you have to include "Teddy Ballgame." Williams combined both power and
average- while sluggers like Aaron, Mays, Mantle, etc. finished with lifetime batting averages around .300 (no small feat), Ted Williams finished with not only 521 Home Runs, but also a
hefty .344 lifetime batting mark! Some hitters are lucky to reach .344 in a season, let alone bat .344 lifetime. Williams is still the last player to bat .400 (.406 in 1941). Williams averaged
just 50 strikeouts (over 162 game schedule) per season, meaning usually he was tearing up American League pitching. And consider that Ted Williams lost nearly 5 prime seasons serving
our country as a Marine fighter pilot. Williams is not only one of the game's greatest sluggers but a true American legend as well!
1953 Bowman Color #80 Ralph Kiner
1954 Dan Dee Potato Chips Gil Hodges 1962 Post Cereal #101 Gil Hodges (Hand cut from cereal box)
Probably the most deserving player without a plaque at Cooperstown is the Dodgers great slugging first baseman Gil Hodges. It is truly a travesty that he is not a member of Baseball's Hall Of Fame. Regardless, most
baseball fans would agree that Hodges should be a HOFer and he was a fan favorite. Check out these stats; 1921 hits, 295 doubles, 370 home runs, 1274 RBIs and a lifetime .273 batting average. Keep in mind that
Hodges played in an era when 20 or more HRs meant you were a slugger. Hodges had 11 consecutive seasons with 22 or more HRs (including a personal high of 42), and 7 consecutive 100+ RBI seasons. He also
slugged 4 home runs in a 9 inning game. Also note that Hodges also lost at least three seasons to the Marine Corps. and had he played those 3 seasons he would surely have hit over 400 HRs, which back then was a
sure ticket to the Hall Of Fame. As it was, Gil Hodges was the All Time National League HR Leader (370) at the time of his retirement in 1963. Gil Hodges was also one of the finest first basemen in baseball (3 time Gold
Glove winner) and he was a nice guy to boot. Of course, Hodges later became manager of the New York Mets and led the "Miracle Mets" to their first World Championship in 1969. Why he has been ignored is just a
real shame. Sadly, Gil Hodges passed away on December 2, 1972. He was just 48 years old.
The 1954 Dan Dee Potato Chips Gil Hodges (above left) is a pretty tough card, issued in bags of greasy chips. As such they are normally found in lower to mid grades. The 1962 Post Cereal #101 Gil Hodges
(above right) is also a fairly tough card. It was short printed and is tough to find nicely cut from the cereal box. As you can imagine, excited kids would cut these out and back then baseball cards were not "worth"
significant amounts of money like they are today. So it is a challenge to find well cut examples.
1959 Topps #563 Willie Mays All Star (back view)
"Say Hey!" One of the game's greatest sluggers, and perhaps it's best player all-time is Willie Mays. At one time or another throughout Mays' career, he led the N.L. in batting average, slugging average, hits, triples, home
runs, runs, and stolen bases. That's just on offense. I won't even talk about defense though Mays is regarded as probably the best outfielder of all-time. Willie led the league in slugging 5 times in his career (no small feat
considering he had guys like Hank Aaron, Ernie Banks, Eddie Mathews, etc. in the same league). He hit 660 lifetime HR's, most of them in a lousy ballpark (Candlestick in San Francisco). He drove in almost 2,000 runs
(1903) and this was pre-steroids folks! He also finished his career with a lifetime .302 batting mark, which seems low by today's standards but keep in mind Mays played half of his career in the 1960's which was considered
to be a pitcher dominate era. You had guys like Sandy Koufax, Don Drysdale, Warren Spahn, Juan Marichal, Bob Gibson, Tom Seaver, etc., just to name a few pitchers who Mays would have faced on a regular basis. The
pitching mound was also much higher than it is today, giving the pitcher an extra advantage. This 1959 Topps #563 Willie Mays Sporting News All Star card was included in the high numbered series which means it is
scarcer than Willie's regular Topps card (#50) from the same year.
|1939-46 Salutation Exhibits Ted Williams
1952 Mother's Cookies #32 Mel Ott (back view)
Here is a slugger that you don't hear about too often, Mel Ott. Mel Ott was only 5'-9" and weighed about 170 lbs., yet at the time of his retirement in 1947, he was the game's 3rd all-time
home run hitter behind Babe Ruth, and Jimmy Foxx. Ott smashed 511 HRs in his career, with a lifetime .533 slugging average, 2876 hits, 488 doubles, 1859 runs, 1861 RBIs, 1708
bases on balls. Incredibly in 22 seasons (all with the New York Giants), Ott only struck out 896 times. In comparison, Reggie Jackson hit 563 home runs in 21 seasons, but struck out 2597
times in his career (I believe that is a record). Mel Ott appeared in 3 World Series for the Giants, batting .295 with 4 HRs and 10 RBIs. Tragically, Ott was killed on November 21, 1958
from injuries sustained in a car crash. He was only 49 years old. Click HERE for more on Mel Ott and his obituary from 1958 (courtesy of The Deadball Era).
In 1952 and 1953, Mother's Cookies issued sets of Pacific Coast League players and managers. Included in the 1952 Mother's Cookies set is this card (above) of legendary slugger
Melvin "Mel" Ott, who was then manager of the Oakland Oaks. The Mother's Cookies are pretty tough to find, especially so in high grades.
Referred to as "Exhibits" as they were issued by the Exhibit Supply Company of Chicago IL, these postcard-size cards were sold for 1 penny in vending machines. There are two Ted
Williams cards; one features Williams swinging and this one pictures him in his batting stance with his number "9" showing. This is a very tough card to find. The other Williams Exhibit is
much easier to acquire and is a real bargain for those wanting a vintage Ted Williams card. The more common Williams Exhibit (#9 not showing; swinging) lists for $35 in NM condition
(expect to pay a bit more), while this one (#9 showing; batting stance) lists for $375 in the same condition
TRIVIA QUESTION #2: What was the most times Ted Williams struck out in a single season? Scroll down to the bottom of this page for answer.
Ralph Kiner (above left) was pure slugger. He led the National League in home runs his first seven seasons in the big leagues! Check out these home run numbers: 23, 51, 40, 54, 47, 42,
37. Keep in mind that in those days hitting 20 or more HR's meant you were a slugger. Kiner hit 50 or more home runs TWICE! In only 10 seasons, Ralph Kiner hit 369 home runs, numbers
that put this slugger in Baseball's Hall of Fame.
Larry Doby (above right) played only 13 big league seasons, mostly with the Cleveland Indians. He hit 253 career home runs, averaging 27 per season with 103 RBIs (over 162 game
schedule). Doby led the American League twice in Home Runs, bashing 32 HRs in both 1952 and 1954 (keep in mind Mickey Mantle was in the American League at this time). Larry Doby does
not get the publicity Jackie Robinson gets, but he was the first African American to play in the American League. He had to endure the same abuse as did Robinson. Doby was elected to the Hall
of Fame in 1998. He died in 2003.
1971 Topps #230 Willie Stargell
1960 Post Mickey Mantle (cut from cereal box)
In 1960, Post cereal issued large "framed" pictures of sports stars on the backs of their cereal boxes. Included were Frank Gifford, Johnny Unitas, Bob Cousy, Bob Pettit, Don Drysdale, Al
Kaline, Harmon Killebrew, Ed Mathews, and Mickey Mantle. I am sure many were taped or pinned to kid's walls as there are not too many examples out there. Period. Very scarce issue
today. They must have been on to something as Post began issuing (200) card sets the following year, from 1961 through 1963.
Wilver Dornel Stargell, or Willie Stargell played for the Pittsburgh Pirates from 1962 to 1982. He batted .282 lifetime, with 475 Home Runs and 1,540 RBIs. Over a 162 game schedule, Willie averaged 33 HRs
and 106 RBIs per season. Stargell led the NL in Home Runs twice, in 1971 (48) and 1973 (44). Fifteen times in his career he hit 20 or more home runs. Twice he hit home runs completely out of Dodger Stadium; this
was when Dodger Stadium was considered a "pitcher friendly" park. In 1979 Willie shared the NL MVP Award with Keith Hernandez. Stargell, or "Pops" as he was affectionately called, batted .281 and swatted 32
home runs in only 424 at-bats in leading the Bucs to the World Series. In the '79 World Series vs. the Baltimore Orioles, Stargell batted .455 with 12 hits, 4 doubles, 3 HRs, and 7 RBIs. The Pirates won the Series in
7 games with "Pops" leading the way. Willie Stargell was voted into the Hall Of Fame in 1987. Sadly, Willie Stargell passed away on April 9, 2001. He was only 61 years old. I remember seeing Stargell play,
especially in that 1979 World Series and I will always remember him as a leader (there was no doubt he was the leader of that team), fun guy, and just one of those players who seemed to enjoy playing. I wish we
could see that more in today's players but now it is more of a business and it is too serious. Maybe it came to him later in his career, but that is what I remember about Willie Stargell. Rest in peace, Pops.
1968 Topps #330 Roger Maris
Everyone remembers Roger Maris as the (Steroid Free) single season HR champ with the 61 home runs in 1961. The previous season, Roger had finished 2nd in the AL HR race with 39
(behind Mantle, 40). In 1963, while considered "flop of the year" by the media, Maris connected for "only" 33 home runs. He had 100 RBI's for the 3rd consecutive year. In only 12
seasons, Maris bashed 275 HR's. That equates to 22.9 home runs a season. Not bad considering Maris played most of his career in the pitching dominant 1960's. Maris also hit 6 career
World Series home runs! For more on Maris, check out our Roger Maris Page!
This 1968 Topps #330 Roger Maris is his last card as an active player, featuring him as a member of the NL Champion St. Louis Cardinals. Maris retired after the 1968 World Series.
A few choice Mickey Mantle cards for your enjoyment....
Trivia Answer #1: Duke Snider, 326 HRs, 1031 RBIs.
Trivia Answer #2: 64, in 1939 (his rookie season).
Trivia Answer #3: Dave Kingman (aka"KONG" or "Sky King")
1962 Topps #318 The Switch Hitter Connects (Mickey Mantle)
Top to bottom: 1955 Bowman #202, 1960 Topps #350 Clockwise from top left: 1957 Topps #95, 1959 Topps #10, 1963 Topps #200, 1966 Topps #50
1974 Topps #283 Mike Schmidt
Mike Schmidt was probably the premier slugger of the National League from the mid-1970's through 1980's. From 1974-1987, Schmidt slugged no less than 21 HRs, averaging about 37
per season! He led the N.L. in home runs an incredible 8 times including a career high 48 in 1980. A lot of fans think that Brooks Robinson is the all-time best third sacker; however Schmidt
was no slouch at third either. He won 12 Gold Gloves at the hot corner. Add 3 NL MVP Awards (1980, 1981, 1986), a yearly All-Star selection, a World Series title (1980, including MVP of
the Series!) and you have a Hall Of Famer. Schmidt was elected to the Hall Of Fame in 1995.
1933 Goudey Big League Chewing Gum #53 Babe Ruth (back view)
George Herman Ruth started the home run craze. Not only did he break all the existing home run records (mostly his own) he set the standard for sluggers today. Every
slugger since has been compared to Ruth. Gehrig, Ted Williams, Joe DiMaggio, Mickey Mantle, Henry Aaron.... Not only are the players compared, but their stats as well.
For awhile, no one thought Ruth's single season (60) and all-time home run record (714) would ever be broken. Enter Roger Maris (61) and Hank Aaron (755). Ralph
Kiner was compared to Ruth because of his home run output (he lead the NL in HR's his first seven years in the big leagues) and of course Mickey Mantle's power was
compared to Ruth's. So today, Babe Ruth cards are probably the highlight or cornerstone of any baseball card collection.
The 1933 Goudey Big League Chewing Gum set of baseball cards is considered a true classic. The set includes 4 different Babe Ruth cards and they are the most
expensive cards in the series. Of course at the time Ruth was larger than life, a baseball AND American Icon so putting four different Ruth cards was a smart ploy by the
Goudey Gum Company. The set also features two cards of Lou Gehrig, plus tons of Hall of Famers like Jimmie Foxx, Rogers Hornsby, Tris Speaker, Mel Ott, Carl Hubbell,
Paul & Lloyd Waner, and more. While Ruth was featured on several issues during his playing career, none are as popular as these 1933 Goudey Babe Ruth cards. Even
in low grades the cards sell for good money; this 1933 Goudey #53 Babe Ruth graded SGC 30 Good lists for $1650 (approx.) in this condition.
1958 Topps #487 Mickey Mantle All Star
If you want an affordable vintage Mickey Mantle baseball card from the 1950's, your best bet might be this 1958 Topps #487 Mickey Mantle All Star card. It was triple printed so it is
not hard to find and it is also very inexpensive. Expect to pay around $55 for a nice ungraded EX example. The card above grades about VG; it would sell for around $35, which is pretty cheap
for a vintage 1950's Mickey Mantle baseball card.
1971 Topps Super Proof Hank Aaron
I saw this card on eBay and it seemed ridiculously priced for a vintage graded Hank Aaron proof card. $110? I wish I had the extra dough because I would have bought it. Anyway Topps
issued "Super" cards in 1969, 1970, and 1971. The 1969 Topps Super cards were small; they were called "Super" because of their superior color and high gloss fronts. The 1969 Topps
Super cards were issued in limited quantities as a test issue and are very valuable today. In 1970 and 1971 Topps Super cards really became "Super Sized." They are about postcard size
with rounded corners like the 1969 Topps Super cards. The 1970-71 Topps Super cards are very affordable today and are not difficult to find. This 1971 Topps Super Proof Hank
Aaron is a blank back proof card with square corners intact. What a terrific picture of "Hammerin' Hank!"
April 28,1971 Wire Photo Willie Mays & Hank Aaron
1934 Goudey #37 Lou Gehrig (Back view)
1948 Swell Sport Thrills #16 Three Run Homer In Ninth! (Ted Williams)
One of the underrated sets of the 1940's (along with the 1941 Double Play cards) is the 1948 Swell Sports Thrills cards. A small set consisting of just 20 cards, each one depicts a historic
baseball moment. Featured cards include Babe Ruth's called HR shot in the World Series, Jackie Robinson's Major League Debut in '47, Lou Gehrig's 4 HR's in a game, and more. This
particular card features Ted Williams' game winning 9th inning HR in the 1941All Star Game. Williams is seen here arriving at home plate and look who is greeting him- Joe DiMaggio
(wearing number 5). This card depicts two of the best hitters ever and can be had for less than a hundred bucks ( a bargain considering most 1940's DiMaggio and Williams cards sell for a
few hundred to over a thousand dollars (depending on condition). I recently saw this card for sale (All Marty's Stuff) for $100 (graded SGC 30 VG; looks nicer). Even at this price I think this
card is a bargain.
Dave Kingman (aka. "Kong" or "Sky King") was really the first player (non Steroids) to hit over 400 career home runs and NOT be the Hall of Fame. Kingman hit 442 HRs, usually of the mammoth variety and drove in
1210 runs. Over 162 game schedule "Kong" would have averaged 37 HRs and 101 RBIs per season! Unfortunately for Kingman he also average 152 strikeouts per season, hence a career batting average of .236. Not
exactly Ted Williams (.344 lifetime) but if you are talking about pure sluggers you have to mention Dave Kingman. Kingman's best year was probably as a member of the Chicago Cubs in 1979. He swatted 48 HRs (Led
NL) with 115 RBIs and had a career high .288 batting mark. He led the league twice in HRs (1979, 1982) and without a doubt would have more if not for Mike Schmidt (see above).
Dave Kingman baseball cards are dirt cheap. His 1972 Topps rookie card (#147) lists for an anemic (like Kingman's batting average) $6 in NM condition. The 1973 Topps Dave Kingman bubble gum card (above left)
is his 2nd year card and lists for $1 in NM. But my personal favorite is 1974 Topps #610 (above right; $0.75) showing KONG in action. Kingman started his career as an outfielder with the San Francisco Giants in
1971 so at one time the Giants had an outfield trio of Dave Kingman (442 career HRs), Willie Mays (660), and Bobby Bonds (332). If my math is right that is 1434 gopher balls. That has to be some sort of record.
1955 Topps Double Headers #69/70 Ted Williams 1959 Home Run Derby Duke Snider
1961 Topps #44 1960 AL Home Run Leaders (Mantle, Maris, Lemon, Colavito)
What a great card this is. One affordable way to pick up cards of your favorite sluggers is to get League Leader cards. Topps started producing Leaders cards in 1961 and they were so popular Topps continued
producing them almost every year thereafter. This is a terrific "M & M Boys" collectible, featuring both Mickey Mantle and Roger Maris. Mantle led the American League with 40 HRs while Maris finished
right behind him with 39. Maris went on to win the AL MVP Award in 1960 (he led the league in RBI's and won a Gold Glove in right field for the Yanks) and again in 1961, the year he set the single season record
with 61 home runs. I picked up this card for $35 and I think it's worth every penny and then some. Mantle's regular 1961 Topps card (#300) runs about $200 in graded EX condition, while the regular Maris card
(#2) runs about $75 in similar condition. So League Leader cards are a great bargain. Also note the card also includes sluggers Jim Lemon and Rocky Colavito.
1959 Fleer Ted Williams #2 Ted's Idol - Babe Ruth
How about two of the Greatest Sluggers of All-Time on one baseball card? Check out this 1959 Fleer Ted Williams #2 "Ted's Idol - Babe Ruth." Both of these sluggers had
astronomical slugging and batting marks, way before "Performance Enhancing Drugs" were even heard of. This is as good as it gets folks!
Trivia Question #1: What slugger hit the most home runs and drove drove in the most runs in the
1950's? Scroll down to the bottom of this page for the answer.
1980 Topps #600 Reggie Jackson
Reggie Jackson blasted 563 home runs in his career, including a career high 47 in 1969. 4 times he lead the league in HRs, 3 times in slugging. Reggie hit a mammoth HR in the 1971 All-Star Game that nearly went
out of Tiger Stadium. In 1973 he won the American League Most Valuable Player Award in leading the Oakland A's to their second of three consecutive World Series Championships. That year Reggie led the AL in runs
(99), HRs (32), RBIs (117) and Slugging (.531). Reggie won the World Series MVP in '73 by hitting .310, with 9 hits, 3 doubles, 1 triple, and 6 RBIs. But that was just the beginning of Reggie's World Series heroics. In
the 1977 World Series as a member of the New York Yankees, Reggie blasted a record 5 home runs while batting .450 (Reggie's career batting average was .262), earning him the moniker "Mr. October." In 5 World
Series, "Mr. October" hit .357 with 10 HRs and 24 RBIs. The only drawback to Reggie Jackson was the strikeouts, he averaged 149 per season, but that is the price most sluggers pay when they swing for the fences.
And if you ever saw Reggie Jackson swing, you knew he wasn't swinging just to "put the ball in play." Check out the above 1980 Topps #600 Reggie Jackson card which shows Reggie doing what Reggie did
best, swinging for the fences.
1953 Bowman Color #59 Mickey Mantle (back view)
With all due respect to all the many Mickey Mantle baseball cards out there, this is my personal favorite; the 1953 Bowman Color #59 Mickey Mantle. Most would say the 1952 Topps #311 Mickey Mantle,
the most desired post-war baseball card on planet earth. However this may be more because of the importance of the 1952 Topps baseball set, or because of it's scarcity (it was included in the rare high numbered
series). But my favorite in terms of visual appeal is this 1953 Bowman Color Mickey Mantle bubble gum card. Bowman gum had been given notice by Topps that they were seriously going to contend for a piece of
the bubble gum picture card market. So in 1953, Bowman produced it's largest card to date and the photos were given top priority. Using Kodachrome "technology" at the time, these beautiful uncluttered photos
were just that. Topps chose to use artist's paintings for the individual cards in their 1953 effort, which is considered a classic today. But the 1953 Bowman Color issue is probably the one 1950's issue that shows
what the players actually looked like in the 1950's. A picture taken in time. Look at the photo! Mickey Mantle swinging with Yankee Stadium and blue sky in the background. It doesn't get any better than this.
Unfortunately Topps would buy out Bowman Gum within a couple years. Bowman's last issue was the 1955 "TV" card design.
If you enjoyed the SLUGGER'S PAGE! be sure to check out our PITCHER'S PAGE! Or to see the many pages on our site, go to the HOME page, scroll down to the Table of Contents and explore the many pages, all
free! Thanks for visiting! Tim
1957 Topps #35 Frank Robinson
You always hear about the last Triple Crown Winner (Carl Yastrzemski in 1967), but you rarely hear about Frank Robinson, who won the Triple Crown in 1966. Robinson had just been traded to Baltimore from
Cincinnati and he responded by hitting .316, with 49 HR's and 122 RBI's. It is also no small wonder that the Orioles went on to win the World Series that year, sweeping the L.A. Dodgers in 4 games. For his
efforts, Frank Robby won the 1966 AL MVP Award. With a strong pitching staff and the two Robinson's (Brooks & Frank), the O's went on to play in 3 more World Series. If you want to see some impressive batting
marks, check out the career statistics for Frank Robinson. He started off with a bang, hitting a record 38 HRs in his rookie season (1956). Robinson led the Reds to the World Series in 1961 and won the NL Most
Valuable Player Award. Frank Robinson went on to hit 586 HR's (he was 4th All-Time in HRs at the time of his retirement), 1812 RBI's, and a lifetime .294 batting mark. In 1975 he became the first black manager in
Major League Baseball with Cleveland. He continued managing after his playing career was over. But here is how under appreciated Frank Robinson is; in 2005 one of his own players on the Washington Nationals
asked him if he "had ever played in the majors." Unbelievable.
1959 Doyusha JCM 30b Sadaharu Oh
I don't really know too much about Japanese baseball except that it was started after WW ll with help by the great Frank "Lefty" O'Doul." The Japanese fell in love with the sport and today you can see the influence of
great Japanese players like Hideo Nomo, Ischiro Suzuki and Hideo Matsui. But the one big name in Japanese baseball is Sadahura Oh, who is the All-Time Leader in career Home Runs. Oh slugged 868 career HRs,
which is more than Barry Bonds, Hank Aaron, and Babe Ruth. I shouldn't mention Bonds in the same breath but hey, the fans loved it at the time (especially ignorant Giants fans) and in general, the fans are idiots. Back
to Oh. Sadahuru Oh played from 1959 to 1980 and hit 33 or more HRs for 19 consecutive seasons! He hit over 50 HRs three times (including a career high 55 in 1964) and even in his last season he belted 30 HRs.
Incredible. So we just had to include an Oh card on our slugger page. Oh, and Oh had a lifetime .301 batting mark including a career high .355 in 1973! Considering Oh hit just .236 his last season, I imagine he
retired out of pride in keeping his batting mark over .301. Mickey Mantle later said that he should have retired after the 1964 season as he played 4 more seasons and saw his career batting mark go from over .300 to
.298 lifetime. There was a lot of pride back then.
|1953 Bowman Color #13 Gus Zernial
|Some of you may never have heard of Gus Zernial, but he was one of the American League's top sluggers during the 1950's. Yep, Gus could wallop the ball. In Zernial's first full season (1950) he belted 29
HRs with 93 RBIs, while batting a very respectable .280. The White Sox traded him to the Philadelphia Athletics the following season in a deal that sent Minnie Minoso to Chicago. Gus responded by leading
the AL in HRs (33) and RBIs (129). During the decade Gus Zernial's HR totals look like this beginning with 1950: 29, 33, 29, 42, 14, 30, 16, 27. His last two seasons (with Detroit), Zernial was primarily a
pinch hitter and he belted 5 HRs with 23 RBIs while batting .323 in 1958. His final season (1959) he hit 7 more HRs with 26 RBIs in limited duty. What does this all mean? It means that during the decade of
the 1950's, Gus Zernial slugged 232 HRs with 738 RBIs for lowly teams like the Chicago White Sox and Philadelphia Athletics. In comparison, Hall of Fame slugger Mickey Mantle slugged 280 HRs with 841
RBIs with the New York Yankees star-loaded team. In fact only 2 sluggers hit more home runs than Zernial during the 1950's. Those players? Mickey Mantle and Yogi Berra, both Yankees. Yet you never hear
of Gus Zernial. Another little known fact; Zernial had a short career (only 11 seasons) but still hit 237 HRs with 776 RBIs. That works out to an average (162 game schedule) of 31 HRs with 102 RBIs per
season! For more on Gus Zernial, check out http://www.guszernial.com
1968 Topps #490 Super Stars (Harmon Killebrew, Willie Mays, Mickey Mantle)
It doesn't get much better than this. Topps began experimenting with special player "combination" cards beginning in 1957, probably copied from rival Bowman Gum's 1953 Color
set, which featured a couple cards with multiple stars on them (one featured Mantle with Yogi Berra and Hank Bauer, another with Billy Martin and Phil Rizzuto). Topps tried it in 1957
and just about every year after that. This 1968 Topps #490 Super Stars combination card includes Hall of Fame sluggers Harmon Killebrew, Willie Mays, and Mickey Mantle,
who combined hit 1769 career home runs while driving in 4996 runs (and all Steroid Free!)!!! The photo was probably taken at the All Star Game the previous year (1967 at Anaheim
Harmon Killebrew 1936 - 2011
| 1973 Topps #23 Dave Kingman 1974 Topps #610 Dave Kingman
TRIVIA TIME #3: What slugger averaged 37 Home Runs and 101 RBIs over his entire career (162 game schedule average) and is NOT in the Hall of Fame? Scroll down to the bottom
of this page for the answer.
1973 Topps #560 Frank Howard
One of the most prolific sluggers of the 1960's was Frank "Hondo" Howard (aka. "The Capital Punisher"). Howard put up Hall of Fame type numbers in essentially 14 big
league seasons. "Hondo," all 6'-7" of him, belted 370 lifetime home runs, including a career high 48 in 1969. He also led the American League in HRs twice with 44 HRs in
both 1968 and 1970. Over a 162 game average, Frank Howard would slug 33 HRs and 96 RBIs per season! While pale in comparison to today's inflated statistics, remember
that the 1960's were considered the "era of the pitchers," with pitchers like Bob Gibson, Denny McLain, Sandy Koufax, Don Drysdale etc. and a very high pitchers' mound (17").
A player with 20 HRs was considered a "Slugger," and only one American League player batted over .300 in 1968 (Carl Yastrzemski won the Batting Crown with a .301
batting average!). Howard started off his career with the Los Angeles Dodgers and won a World Series ring in 1963. He hit a massive HR in Game 4 to beat Whitey Ford and
the Yankees to complete a 4-game series sweep. He was traded to the lowly Washington Senators prior to the 1965 season but it was with the Senators that Howard really put it
together. With the addition of Ted Williams as Manager in 1969, Hondo's batting mark jumped 22 points from the previous season (.296 compared to .274). In fact, for a
nearly 7 foot giant, Howard compiled a fine .273 lifetime batting mark (compare to Hall of Famer Harmon Killebrew at .256). Howard led the Al in RBIs in 1970 (126) and
drove in 1119 runs in his career. Four times he finished in the top 10 in MVP balloting. Hondo finished his career with the Detroit Tigers in 1973.
Frank Howard baseball cards are very inexpensive. His first card was included in the 1960 Topps series; the back of his rookie card states that "This giant of a man poled a HR
that may still be traveling..." You can pick up his 1960 Topps card for about ten dollars in EX or better condition. His last card was included in the 1973 high series and is
somewhat difficult to find in high grades. There are also numerous League Leader cards that feature Howard (usually in the Home Run or RBI Departments). My personal favorite
is this 1973 bubble gum picture card from Topps.