Sunday, January 6, 2013

Random Topps Card of the Day: 1963 Topps #216 Gene Conley

It's Retro Sunday!!! Thanks to the Topps Card Randomizer, introducing the Random Topps Card of the Day for Sunday, January 06, 2013:

  • Official Card Set Name and Card Number: 1963 Topps #216.
  • Player Name, position, team: Gene Conley, pitcher, Boston Red Sox.
  • Major League Debut: April 17, 1952.
  • Last Line of Statistics: 1962 stats (Red Sox): 34 G, 242 IP, 15-14, .517 PCT, 134 SO, 68 BB, 3.94 ERA.
  • Any special information about player: Signed with the Braves as a Free Agent before the 1951 season. Traded by the Phillies to the Red Sox 12/15/1960. Bats: right. Throws: right.
  • Number of regular Topps Cards (includes regular and traded cards only): 12. This is his eleventh Topps card.
  • Blurb on the back: "The tall righty had his winningest season in the majors in '62."
  • Commentary: I love researching the cards and subjects for Retro Sundays. It truly is a look at the past, of players I have never really come across or heard of. Their stories are worth reading and researching. And in the 1950's and 60's, there wasn't a story as unique as Gene Conley's. Before Bo Jackson, before Deion Sanders, Gene Conley was a professional two-sport athlete. But while Bo and Deion were NFL players during the baseball offseason, Conley spent his winters with the Boston Celtics of the NBA. He is also the the only athlete to own dual-sport championships (a World Series title with the Milwaukee Braves in 1957 and three straight NBA Championships with the Boston Celtics from 1958 through 1961). He is also the only athlete to play for three franchises in the same city for two different sports (he debuted with the Boston Braves in 1952). Sometimes, he would go directly from the NBA to MLB without taking an offseason.  By the time he joined the Boston Red Sox, Conley was a three-time All-Star (with both the Braves and Phillies). Prior to the 1963 baseball season, as a member of the New York Knicks, he suffered injuries to his pitching hand's index finger and ankle. His basketball injuries affected his play during the baseball season for most of the year. He finished the year with a 3-4 record, a 6.64 ERA, and 14 K's. He was released by the Red Sox in April of 1964, and signed with the Indians the next day. But rotator cuff injuries were took their toll on Conley, and after he was released by the Indians in June , 1964, his MLB career was finished. He played one more season of basketball with the Knicks, and then retired from that game when that season was over. As a baseball player, he finished his career with a 91-96 record, a 3.82 ERA, 888 strikeouts, and a WHIP of 1.333 in 11 seasons. As a basketball player, he appeared in 351 games, scored 2069 points, collected 2212 rebounds, and 201 assists in six seasons. In retirement, he owned and operated a industrial packaging supply company in Foxboro, MA. He and his wife also fought for the pension rights of NBA players who had retired prior to the 1965 season, thus forming the NBA Old-Timers Association. More of Conley's story can be found at the SABR Biography Website.
  • 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: 2012 Topps Update Series #US15. 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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