Tag Archives: Billy Martin

6 Uncorrected Baseball Card Errors

Topps Made A Mistake

When you produce thousands of baseball cards over many decades you’re going to make some mistakes. Eagle-eyed baseball card collectors usually catch the errors. They would then write in to Topps baseball card company and sometimes the cards would get corrected.  Some mistakes were pretty obvious and could have been caught and corrected.

None of these were.

For a couple of these cards, if you are an old time baseball fan, you might recognize what the mistake is. For the others it takes a sharp eye. See if you can spot the mistake on each of these cards.

First our lead photo of the 1957 Topps Hank Aaron card. The mistake is not that his proper name is Henry, not Hank. Look closely.

Second, the 1969 Topps Larry Haney card. The Seattle Pilots lasted only one season before moving to Milwaukee and becoming the Brewers. Haney’s error is difficult to discern.

Third up is the 1959 Topps card of 1957 World Series pitching star, Lew Burdette. Lew looks pretty serious doesn’t he?

Fourth is the man who is probably better known for the surgery named after him rather than his pitching career. Tommy John won 288 games. This is his 1969 Topps card.

Claude Raymond’s 1966 Topps card poses him looking up at something. Should he really be looking up?

Before Billy Martin’s multiple managing stints with the Yankees, he was the manager of the Detroit Tigers and before that the Minnesota Twins. This is his 1972 Topps card.

So what are the errors that Topps didn’t catch and never bothered to correct?

The first card of Hank Aaron is probably the easiest error to spot. The print is reversed. Look at Aaron’s uniform number 44. Most people know the great slugger batted right handed, not left.

Next, you probably wouldn’t pay much attention to Larry Haney’s card. It shows the catcher posed ready to catch a ball.  Ardent students of the game know that almost no left handed catchers have ever played major league baseball. No, Haney is not the exception, once again, Topps reversed the negative. It is the same photo Topps used of Haney for his 1968 card except they got that one right.

With Lew Burdette’s card, one mistake is right in print and it is not a big deal. It is “Lew,” not “Lou.” But that is not the big error. Lew Burdette had a sense of humor. He asked his teammate and future Hall-of-Fame pitcher Warren Spahn if he could borrow his glove. That would be fine except that Spahn was a lefty and Burdette was a righty. Many children wrote to Topps in 1959 informing them of the “mistake.” Continue reading

Thurman Munson And Billy Martin Argue A Call

Thurman Munson Is Out And Billy Martin Does Not Agree

Thurman Munson Billy Martin argue call July 21 1978

There was no instant replay back when this scene occurred on July 21, 1978 as Billy Martin pleads his case in vain to umpire Durwood Merrill. Believe it or not, they are arguing that Munson should have been called safe when he attempted to steal home.

The Yankees were playing the Minnesota Twins at Metropolitan Stadium, a place very familiar to Yankees manager Billy Martin and the theft of home. When Martin managed the Twins in 1969 he taught Rod Carew how to swipe home and Carew ended up with a record seven steals of home.

It was not a big deal that Munson was called out in this instance, as the Yankees won the game 4-0.

Yankees In Spring Training -1954

Jerry Coleman & Billy Martin, Yankees Spring Training, St. Petersburg 1954

Billy Martin Jerry Coleman 3 2 1954

Two Men Holding The Bag

St. Petersburg, FL – March 2 – Jerry Coleman, left, and Billy Martin, hero of the New York Yankees’ 1953 World Series victory, indulge in some training camp antics as both squat on second base at today’s workout. Billy playfully plunks ball in Jerry’s mitt. Should Martin go into service Coleman is expected to take over Billy’s second base spot. (AP Wirephoto) 1954

Sure enough Billy Martin did indeed miss the entire 1954 season to serve in the military. Coleman had missed most of  the previous two seasons serving in the military, flying combat missions in Korea. In 1954 Coleman played in 107 games, 79 of them at second base, but the versatile Gil McDougald was the Yankees primary second baseman for the season. The Yankees unprecedented run of five consecutive world championships came to an end even though they won 103 games.  The Cleveland Indians won the 1954 American League championship with a record 111 victories.

Can you imagine today’s ballplayer’s having to interrupt their careers by having to perform military service?

Billy Martin, Mickey Mantle Prepare For The 1952 World Series

Martin, Mantle Prepare Series Strategy

60 years ago, the World Series started on the first day of October. This year the World Series will begin October 24!

Here is another one of these great baseball news photographs. This one is from UPI dated September 30 1952. The caption reads:

New York: New York Yankee Second Baseman Billy Martin (left), who, because of injuries caused during the recent season has caused manager Casey Stengel to makeup an emergency line-up in case he, Gene Woodling and Gil McDougald could not play in the World Series against the Brooklyn Dodgers, shows outfielder Mickey Mantle the bat he hopes to make talk business against the NL pennant winners. Despite Stengel’s emergency measures, however, Martin, along with McDougald and Woodling said, Sept. 30, that they were fit and ready to go.  The series opens Oct. 1 in Ebbets Field, Brooklyn.

The Yankees would go on to win their fourth consecutive World Series championship, beating the Dodgers four games to three.

Vintage Photos – Stealing Home

or Jackie Robinson Makes Stealing Home Look Easy

One of the most famous film highlights of a baseball game is from September 28, Game 1 of the 1955 World Series where the Brooklyn Dodgers star Jackie Robinson stole home against the New York Yankees. The photograph above captures the bang-bang action. The play was incredibly close and you could look at the film 100 times and still not be sure of the outcome. Robinson was called safe by umpire Bill Summers. To this day, Yankees catcher Yogi Berra vehemently Continue reading

Stealing Home

The Most Exciting Play in Baseball Was Accomplished by Rod Carew Seven Times in 1969

Rod Carew’s 2nd steal of home in 1969 – April 19, 3rd inning vs. California Angels. Harmon Killebrew is #3.

It’s a play you hardly see anymore-  the pure stealing of home plate. Not part of a double steal or a failed suicide squeeze attempt.

At the urging of Minnesota Twins manager Billy Martin in 1969, second baseman Rod Carew swiped home an astonishing seven times in one season, tying the major league record of Pete Reiser of the Brooklyn Dodgers set back in 1946.

You’d think that Carew must have stolen a lot of bases that year considering his constant stealing of home. Amazingly, Carew stole a total of only 19 bases that year!

Carew, the future Hall of Famer, told the story of how he perfected the steal of home in his 1979 autobiography Carew by Rod Carew with Ira Berkow (Simon and Schuster ,1979) which is excerpted here.

Carew stole home his record tying seventh time on July 16, 1969  in the second inning against the Chicago White Sox in the first game of a double header at the Twins home park, Metropolitan Stadium. The Twins ended up winning the game 9-8. Continue reading