Wednesday, April 17, 2013

1948 Bowman #25 Dutch Leonard played by CJ Nitkowski in 42

I imagine the Phillies will be featured as a lot of bad guys in the Jackie Robinson biopic 42.  One of the Phillies pitchers from the era that is featured in the film is Dutch Leonard.

1948 Bowman #24 Emil (Dutch) Leonard

Dutch Leonard only played two seasons for the Phils but that was good enough to get him on two Bowman cards (1948-49).

Leonard was a right handed knuckle ball pitcher. His career spanned 20 seasons (1933-53) 9 of which were spent with the Washington Senators. He was a 5 time all-star that never got the chance to play in the postseason. He tallied 191 wins in his career v 181 losses. Twenty of those wins came in 1939 when Dutch Leonard finished 7th in the MVP voting behind 6 future Hall of Famers (DiMaggio, Foxx, Feller, Ted Williams, Ruffing, Bill Dickey)   

Also of note, Dutch Leonard tied for the NL lead in saves in 1935 with 8 EIGHT! - doubt it was a stat at the time.

1995 Topps #84 CJ Nitkowski Draft Pick (image swiped from Baseball Card Database)

Dutch Leonard is played by another Major Leaguer in 42, CJ Nitkowski.  Once again Hollywood has taken some liberties with history - and the issue can be spotted on these two cards.  Dutch was a right-hander, whlle CJ is a southpaw.

CJ Nitkowski is also a columnist and penned an interesting article about his own experiences with racism while pitching in Japan.  Nitkowski is active on Twitter @CJNitkowski and also has his own blog.   

Finally to tie all this together the Phils are facing Reds tonight in a desperate attempt to salvage a game in this series and a 3-3 road trip.  Nitkowski was drafted by the Reds 19 years ago. 

For the Collector

The Dutch Leonard card is one of two Phillies represented in 1948 Bowman. I always tell Phils fans that want to build a vintage team set that is the one to pick - interestingly the other Phillies player in that set is another Emil, Emil Verban.  Off condition 1948 Bowman commons from the low series can be had for about $2.    

1 comment:

MR REFUND said...

Dutch Leonard was a boyhood friend of my grandfather.

Dutch came to town and gave a clinic back in 1969. He threw BP to us as a righty.

Could not believe that he was portrayed as a lefty in the movie.

I noticed it "right" away.

Mike Kolar 1-800-Mr-Refund

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