Sunday, December 30, 2012

Random Topps Card of the Day: 1958 Topps #462 Gary Geiger

It's Retro Sunday!!! Thanks to the Topps Card Randomizer, introducing the Random Topps Card of the Day for Sunday, December 30, 2012:

  • Official Card Set Name and Card Number: 1958 Topps #462.
  • Player Name, position, team: Gary Geiger, outfielder, Cleveland Indians.
  • Major League Debut: April 15, 1958.
  • Last Line of Statistics: 1957 stats (Rochester - AAA-International): 100 Games, 238 AB, 34 Runs, 53 Hits, 3 2B, 3 #B, 9 HR, 24 RBI, .223 B.Avg, 168 PO, 8 A, 3 E, .983 F.Avg.
  • Any special information about player: Signed with the Cardinals as a Free Agent before the 1954 season. Drafted by the Indians in the Rule 5 Draft, 12/02/1957. Bats: left. Throws: right.
  • Number of regular Topps Cards (includes regular and traded cards only): 11. This is his first Topps card.
  • Blurb on the back: "Gary is one of three center-fielders the indians are carrying this year, and his terrific throwing arm has won him a shot at third base.  The one thing that seems to be certain of him is that he belongs somewhere in the lineup."
  • Commentary:  Yes, many of the photos used in the 1958 Topps set were headshots.  But for those players with action shots I have to ask, "What was the point was of cutting out the entire background, and cropping the player in a solid colored background?"  This isn't 1955 Topps, where the concept worked (at least there was a headshot AND an action shot utilized in that design).  This card was shortprinted in the final series of the 1958 product.  Why?  According to the Number One Source in the Hobby, "All-Star Cards of Stan Musial and Mickey Mantle were triple-printed, the cards they replaced (443, 446, 450, 462) on the printing sheet were hence printed in shorter supply than other cards..." If this happened today, a certain blogger who has been taking his talents to twitter lately would be screaming bloody murder.  There are two cartoons with captions relating to Geiger.  The first indicates that Gary switched to the outfield from pitching.  He was signed as a pitcher, but as the Cardinals had a ton of pitching prospects, Gary was asked to move to the outfield.  He happily obliged.  The second says that he's a smooth-stroking singles hitter.  Gary Geiger played in the majors for 12 years.  It is said that if he could have been one of the best players in the league if he wasn't so injury prone. In 1958, Geiger played in 91 games, hitting a home run and driving in 6 rbi's.  As he had experience as a pitcher, he also pitched in one game that year, going two innings, striking out two batters, and allowing only one run in a 7-4 loss to the Orioles.  This would also be his only year with the Indians as he was traded by the Indians with Vic Wertz to the Red Sox for Jim Piersall. More of Geiger's story can be found at the SABR Biography Website.  Gary Geiger passed away on April 24, 1996 from cirrhosis of the liver.  He was 59 years old.  Geiger's cards have been used in the Topps Heritage buyback program since 2008, the year Heritage honored the 1959 Topps set.  
  • Lo-Hi Beckett value: $10.00-$20.00.
  • How many cards of this player do I own?: 0.
In case you're actually wondering, I don't own this card, but was able to get a crystal clean copy of the image from the from the Baseball Card Cyber Museum. So thank you Joe McAnally and the folks at the BCCM..

Well, it's back to normal on Monday. Tomorrow's card will be: 1998 Topps #32. Post will arrive at 1:00 PM CST. Come on back then to see what the Topps Card Randomizer gets us to look at then.


JayBee Anama

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