Sunday, November 3, 2013

Random Topps Card of the Day: 1969 Topps #316 Hal Lanier

It's Retro Sunday!!! Thanks to the Topps Card Randomizer, introducing the Random Topps Card of the Day for Sunday, November 3, 2013:

  • Official Card Set Name and Card Number: 1969 Topps #316.
  • Player Name, position, team: Hal Lanier, shortstop, San Francisco Giants.
  • Major League Debut: June 18, 1964.
  • Last Line of Statistics: 1968 stats (Giants): 151 G, 486 AB, 37 R, 100 H, 14 2B, 1 3B, 0 HR, 27 RBI, .206 AVG.
  • Any special information about player: Signed with the Giants as a Free Agent before the 1961 season. Bats: right. Throws: right.
  • Number of regular Topps Cards (includes regular and traded cards only): 14. This is his fifth Topps card.
  • Blurb on the back: "One of the better glove men in the majors, Hal is equally at home at shortstop or at 2nd base. In 1962, he led the California League in putouts and fielding. The following year, Hal turned the same trick in the Eastern League."
  • Commentary: One look at his hitting numbers in the majors, and the blurb on the back of the card and you would think that Harold Clifton Lanier was just a "Good fielder, terrible hitter" who managed to get every day playing time because of his stellar defense. And yes, you'd be correct. In ten major league seasons, Lanier hit for a .228 average but had a fielding percentage of .975 covering all four spots in the infield. But his minor league numbers will tell you a different story. The cartoon on the back of the card will tell you that Hal "led the Eastern League with 163 hits in 1963." In Fresno, the Giants' California League team during the 1962 season, Lanier hit .312 with 173 hits. So he showed he could hit as well as field. After his first season in the majors, Hal was named to Topps' All-Star Rookie Team as the second baseman. In 1969, Lanier hit .228 with 35 rbi's, 101 hits, scored 33 runs, and had percentages of .265/.279/.543. Defensively, he committed 25 errors in 807 chances for a .969 percentage. He was part of 98 double plays and assisted in 530 putouts (he had 252 of his own). After 8 years in San Francisco, Lanier spent parts of two seasons with the Yankees before retiring as a player. He went back to the minors as a manager and became a coach for the St. Louis Cardinals. He would go on to manage the Houston Astros, winning the NL Manager of the Year award in 1986, his first year at the helm. He would finish his MLB managerial career with a 254-232 record, but has continued managing in the independent leagues all the way through the 2013 season.
  • Lo-Hi Beckett value: $1.00-$2.50.
  • How many cards of this player do I own?: 4.

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: 1991 Topps #259. 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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