Sunday, December 23, 2012

Random Topps Card of the Day: 1965 Topps #490 Earl Battey

It's Retro Sunday!!! Thanks to the Topps Card Randomizer, introducing the Random Topps Card of the Day for Sunday, December 23, 2012:

  • Official Card Set Name and Card Number: 1965 Topps #490.
  • Player Name, position, team: Earl Battey, catcher, Minnesota Twins.
  • Major League Debut: September 10, 1955.
  • Last Line of Statistics: 1964 stats (Twins): 131 G, 405 AB, 33 R, 110 H, 17 2B, 1 3B, 12 HR, 52 RBI, .272 AVG.
  • Any special information about player: Signed with the White Sox as a Free Agent before the 1953 season. Traded by the White Sox to the Senators 04/04/1960.  Bats: right. Throws: right.
  • Number of regular Topps Cards (includes regular and traded cards only): 11. This is his ninth Topps card.
  • Blurb on the back: "Wears Little League head protector at bat because of frequent injuries.  Earl caught over 100 games for last five seasons."
  • Commentary: For the second Retro Sunday in a row, the Randomizer selects a card from the pennant-happy 1965 Topps set.  After playing parts of five seasons with the Chicago White Sox (which included their 1959 AL Pennant-winning season), Battey was traded to the Senators and became their primary catcher.   As captioned on the back of his Topps card (next to a drawing of a catcher using a basket to catch a popup, Battey was a three-time Gold Glove winner with the Washington Senators/Minnesota Twins.  He also appeared on four AL All-Star teams and was a three-time MVP candidate.  He was no slouch at the plate either, hitting a .277 clip (.354/.412/.766 in the OBP/SLG/OPS percentages) in his eight seasons with the franchise.  In 1965, Battey (and did I mention that he has a name that was just suited for baseball headline writers), drove opposing pitchers nuts (you thought I was going to say batty didn't you...).  Sure his 6 home runs was lower than expected (he averaged 16.2 runs in his previous five seasons), but he only struck out 23 times, walked 50 times (7 intentionally) and had 117 hits in 394 at bats.  He was a factor in getting the Twins to World Series in 1965.  Battey retired from MLB in 1967, and had a fulfilling life after baseball.  He earned his undergraduate degree in education (Summa Cum Laude), was a high school teacher and baseball coach.  Earl Battey passed away on November 15, 2003 in Ocala, Florida from cancer.  He was 68 years old. The following year, Battey was posthumously inducted into the Twins Hall of Fame. In 2010, he was named one of the Twins top 50 players of all time.
  • Lo-Hi Beckett value: $3.00-$8.00.
  • 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: 2000 Topps Traded and Rookies #T64. 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

1 comment:

Jim from Downingtown said...

Battey's debut was in 1955 (not 1964). He was a regular from 1960-67).