Sunday, December 2, 2012

Random Topps Card of the Day: 1968 Topps #213 Chico Ruiz

It's Retro Sunday!!! Thanks to the Topps Card Randomizer, introducing the Random Topps Card of the Day for Sunday, December 2, 2012:

  • Official Card Set Name and Card Number: 1968 Topps #213.
  • Player Name, position, team: Chico Ruiz, infield, Cincinnati Reds.
  • Major League Debut: April 13, 1964.
  • Last Line of Statistics: 1967 stats (Reds): 250 AB, 55 H, 12 2B, 4 3B, 0 HR, 13 RBI, .220 AVG.
  • Any special information about player: Signed with the Redlegs as a Free Agent before the 1958 season. Bats: both. Throws: left.
  • Number of regular Topps Cards (includes regular and traded cards only): 9. This is his sixth Topps card.
  • Blurb on the back: "A swift-footed infielder, Chico led the California League with 61 stolen bases in 1959, the Sally League with 55 thefts in 1960 and the American Association with 44 swipes in 1961!  In 1966, Chico was the Reds' top pinch-hitter with a fantastic .371 batting average!"
  • Commentary: The burlap sack set.  The now iconic 1968 Topps set featured a unique pattern that has not been repeated since.  You have to admit that this was an interesting design choice.  The back of Ruiz' Topps card includes a cartoon trivia question asking, "Which Red pitcher set the club mark for winning 20 games?"  The answer:  Paul Derringer - 4 times.  Depending on how you spell his name, Giraldo (or Hiraldo) Sablon Ruiz tore up the bases in the minor leagues in during the 1960's.  So much so that the Reds decided to bring him to the majors in 1964.  For fans of the Philadelphia Phillies, Chico Ruiz' name is as infamous as Bucky Dent's to those in Red Sox Nation.  It is said that his steal of home on a fateful September 21 game, the only run scored that day, was the beginning of the end of the Phillies chances of winning the NL pennant.  Primarily used as a pinch hitter, he appeared in 105 games, a career high, in 1967 thanks in large part to an injury to teammate Leo Cardenas.  On days he would start, he comfortably covered 2nd and short for the Reds.  In 1968, Ruiz appeared in 85 games, again as a pinch hitter/pinch runner, although he did start at second for a majority of the Reds' games in September.  He hit .259 with 13 runs batted in, 2 doubles, 1 triple, stole 9 bases, and had an OPS of .558.  He was traded to the California Angels at the end of the 1969 season.  Tragically, Chico Ruiz' life was cut short on February 9, 1972, when he drove his car into a sign pole outside of San Diego.  He was only 33 years old.    
  • Lo-Hi Beckett value: $0.75-$2.00.
  • 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: 2004 Topps #54. 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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