Sunday, May 12, 2013

Sunday Night Baseball and #TWTW 1966 Topps #55 Ken Hawk Harrelson

Tonight Sunday Night Baseball features a battle of struggling squads the Chicago White Sox host the LA Angels.

Rather than look at a player representing one of these squads, we have decided to profile a broadcaster for the White Sox.

1966 Topps #55 Ken Harrelson

I am sure that for many ChiSox fans "Hawk" Harrelson is fun to listen to, for the rest of us who get the Sox via WGN America on cable he is really tough to handle.  I think most local baseball broadcasts show some favoritism to the home squad, and I am fine with that - That is who most of the fans following their broadcast are following so why not? well Harrelson takes it to a whole new level

Recently Ken Harrelson created a buzz by how he handled a discussion of  SABRmetrics on an MLB Network program.  At one point during the clip Harrelson brings up his own SABR stat TWTW "The Will To Win". Almost instantly the hashtag #TWTW was trending. It was the talk of many a baseball nerd site.

On the Field

Harrelson's career lasted 9 seasons with four AL clubs A's, Senators(the pre-Rangers ones), BoSox, and Indians.  His best year was 1968 when he finished 3rd in the MVP voting behind 31 Game winner Denny McClain and his McClain's Tiger teammate Bill Freehan.   Harrelson banged out 35 Homer Runs and led the league with 109 RBIs in 1968.  The season is a true Anomaly for Harrelson who had career numbers in almost every offensive category and hit 35 points above his career average.  His OPS+ in 1968 was 155 no other season in his career exceeded 115. 

Ken Harrelson played on one World Series team, the 1967 Red Sox who lost to the Cardinals in 7 games. Hawk went 1-14 in the series and had a tough game 7 striking out twice.  He batted as the potential tying run in the bottom of the 9th and grounded into a double play. Apparently Harrelson's #TWTW was pretty low that day.

I really like this card.  many of the 1966 Topps cards are head shots with the remainder posed "action" shots, most of which are batting.  There are a few fielding shots, but I can't think of any that are similar to Harrelson here.  His glove is right in the camera and takes up about a quarter of the shot.  The diagonal team banner works with the shot as well.  Here we have a player who is not one of my favorites married with a design that also isn't one of my favorites yet the two together make for a winning combo - largely due to a good pix.   

The above 1966 Topps Ken Harrelson card is a common - low number cards in that set can be found in the 3 for dollar bin.  Ken Harrelson's Rookie Card is 1964 #419  - commons from that middle series go for a dollar, since Hawk's card is a Rookie that would likely double that price.  His last card was 1971 Topps #510 (common lesst than a quarter)    

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a thousand words

a thousand words
2008 World Champions