New series time - I have always wanted to do a series based on a subset or insert set. I will open this with the old "I don't know if I will ever finish this" caveat.
My first angle for a post on this card was find the original photo and figure out what game this picture is from, Forutunately CommishBob of the "topps 1959 one f/g card at a time blog" has already done the research for us. Turns out Banks was safe and it was a big run, the go ahead run in an extra inning game versus the Braves.
1958 MVP Award
Ernie Banks won the 1958 MVP award by taking 2/3 of the 24 first place votes. He led the NL in both Home Runs (47) and RBI (129) with a very respectable .313 batting average. The oddity in Banks 1958 election is that the Cubs finished 5th in the 8 team National League - 10 games under .500.
By today's metrics the WAR winner for 1958 was Willie Mays with a 10.2 over Banks' 9.5. The two were closer when using only offensive WAR, with Mays winning again 8.8 - 8.6. The '58 Giants did not win the NL title either, finishing 3rd, 12 games behind the pennant winning Braves.
The top Braves player in the MVP voting was Hank Aaron who finished 3rd. He was also 3rd in WAR. So kudos to the BBWAA of 1958, who basically got it right. While Mays won the WAR, it certainly be argued that Banks HR and RBI crowns were more significant. Hank Aaron was in the mix about where he should of been, although his vote total may have been split with teammate Warren Spahn.
Biggest MVP snub as far as WAR is concerned was the Cardinals Ken Boyer (WAR-4th / MVP-13th ) , special mention to Phillies Richie Ashburn (WAR-4/MVP-7). Most MVP Overrated were a couple of Pirates Frank Thomas (WAR-17/MVP-4) and Bob Friend (WAR-20/MVP-6).
Phungo Ernie Banks HoF Index
1959 Topps #350 (Memorial Posting)
1959 Topps #469 Baseball Thrills
1964 Topps #55
1966 Topps #110
2009 Phungo #14
Sources n Links
1959 Topps Baseball Thrills Index
topps 59 one f/g card at a time