Wednesday, June 26, 2019

1967 Topps #165 Cleon Jones

I often find the "Where are They Now" features on retired ballplayer fascinated. Particularly those that are accomplished off the field.

Recently I saw a a news item on 1960s-1970s era Mets outfielder Cleon Jones.

1967 Topps #165 Cleon Jones

Jones has returned to the community where he was raised, Africatown Alabama which is near Mobile. He is 76 now and is busy helping out townspeople and elderly folks fixing and painting their homes. Africatown is an historic town in the area which is attempting to build a museum to honor the communities past. To read about the towns history, I strongly recommend you read this Alabama Newscenter article to find out about Africatown and Cleon Jones' efforts.

1967 Topps
Seeing the story about Cleon Jones also gives us a chance to add a column to our All-Star Rookie Cup Series. Unless team Phungo returns to serious blogging the Series will remain unfinished, but I do think it is within the realm of possibility to get up a Rookie Cup from each year and all the Phillies.

For his 1966 Cleon Jones received a single Rookie of the Year vote, good enough to place him 4th in the voting which was won by Reds Infielder Tommy Helms. Jones played 13 years which is wear several of his 1966 Topps Rookie All-Stars mates fall. The leader for tenure appears to be Woodie Fryman (LHP 18 years), while George Scott (1B) led the crew in WAR (36.5, Jones = 18.5). 

1967 Topps #165 Cleon Jones (b-side)

No pressure here, just that the back of Cleon Jones' first solo card mentions Hank Aaron, Billy Williams and Willie McCovey (featured on the very first Topps All-Star Rookie Cup card)

One of the many reason blog output has been slow is I have diverted my hobby time to artwork - mainly sketching baseball cards. Cleon Jones off the field charity inspired me to create a 5x7 based off of his 1967T card coupled with his efforts in Africatown.

1967T Cleon Jones (Phungo Original 5x7 in 2019 06 24)

Chief among my customizations is changing the bat to a paint roller. I also added a different trophy, changed the Mets team designation to Africatown and gave Cleon a background of a refurbished home rather than Shea Stadium.

Sources and Links
1967 Topps Rookie Cup Index (1966 Winners)
Phungo Sketch Index
Alabama NewsCenter
Baseballl-ref BR-Bullpen

Sunday, June 9, 2019

Anniversary 60 Years ago: Rocky Colavito 4 Home Run Day

June 10th marks the 60th anniversary of an historic game between the Cleveland Indians and Baltimore Orioles. That Day Rocky Colavito became the 6th major league player to record a 4 Home Run game.

1964 Topps Jumbo #9 Rocky Colavito

The Indians won that game 11-8 with Colavito accounting for 6 RBI. Notice that the above card features Rocky as an Athletic not an Indian. Well that is because of the back of the card...

1959 Topps Jumbo #9 Rocky's Hot Bat (b-side)

As we can see the headline on this card is all about the 4 Homer game which is described in the cards first coupe sentences. The remainder of the text discusses Colavito's home run legacy all the way back to his minor league days.

Rocky Colavito's four home run game is also featured on the back of a 1964 Topps base card, #109. Colavito, however, does not appear on the front of that card, to find out more click here.

Sloppy Topps
The photo on the b-side of the card is also not with the Indians. Colavito wore three different numbers with Cleveland 6, 21 and 38 but never 7. The two squads for which he donned #7 were the Detroit Tigers and Kansas City A's. I am thinking that this photo is with the Tigers as Rocky Colavito didn't join the Athletics until 1964. The front appears to be an Airbrushed Tigers photo as well. 

1964 Topps Jumbo
I love this set and I have it on the back burner to build. They are referred to Jumbo or Giant cards because they are oversized at just over 3"x5". I go with Jumbo because when you search on "1964 Topps Giant" you get a bunch of Willy Mays cards, but not necessarily Jumbos. 

Colavito's Four Home Run Game
Baseball-Ref Box
1964 Topps #109 (Rusty Staub)

Sources and Links
Game Dated Cards Index
1964 Topps Jumbo Index
Cardboard Connection

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

1944 June 6: D-Day and Baseball

This week marks the 75th anniversary of D-Day. To commemorate the event in a baseball related way I wanted to pass on a bit of the sports history from the era.

The pending Allied Invasion had been rumored for some time prior to D-Day and major league baseball made plans to postpone any games on the date if possible.  This possibility was discussed in the June 1 1944 issue of the Sporting News - issued just days prior to D-Day.


1944 JUN 01 The Sporting News pg 1

There were two MLB games scheduled for June 6 1944 and indeed neither were played. I am assuming the time difference between Europe and the States allowed for proper scheduling changes. Those rescheduling of those games was mentioned in the June 7 1944 issue of the Philadelphia Inquirer. Horse Racing was the sport of kings in the era so you need to go a few paragraphs down to see a mention of the two games.

1944 JUN 07 Philadelphia Inquirer Pg 24

If you want to see a modern representation of the postponed games you can look to the terrific archive of baseball statistic history, Baseball-Reference.

Baseball-Ref Scores from Tuesday June 6 1944

Notice that when you do a search for games played on D-Day Baseball-Reference notes

"No Games Were or Have Yet Been Played on This Date"


Sources and Links 


Philadelphia Inquirer (1944 06 07)

The Sporting News (1944 06 01)

a thousand words

a thousand words
2008 World Champions