Tuesday, September 30, 2008

1950 Big League Stars Baseball #5, John Simmons

Time for more multi-lingualism! The Big League Stars set features French and English on each card, all the better to socialize your medicine with. (Sorry, that's "appeal to its Canadian audience.") This batch of 48 blank-backed cards represents World Wide Gum's (WWG) first post-war effort and profiles the International League, which included both American and Canadian teams. Montreal's Royals, Brooklyn's AAA farm club known for prepping Jackie Robinson a few years earlier, won the 1949 title and WWG probably capitalized on the interest by making these cards.

Card front (blank back)

The 1950 set breaks WWG tradition by presenting all-new content, not just recycling Goudey's look-and-feel. (Boston-based Goudey owned Montreal-based WWG and they worked together on earlier Canadian sets a la the more recent Topps and O-Pee-Chee relationship.) It seems a misnomer to call a minors-only set "Big League," but that's in the modern context of huge money sports. Montreal, at least, owned multiple recent titles and the prestige of being connected to a New York parent. (Unknowingly, they even fielded the strong bat and arm of The future Rifleman.) You couldn't call this set "Major League," but many of its players would end up in the the bigs sooner than later.

John Simmons didn't have much of an MLB career, just one year with Washinton in 1949. However, I can't ignore the statistical oddity of his batting line. 20 hits in 93 at bats, a .215 average. More specifically, he had 20 singles in 93 at bats for a matching .215 slugging percentage. 11 walks against only 6 Ks bumped his OBP a bit, but is it mean of me to suspect that a few of those walks were cursory and intentional, just to get to the pitcher?


PunkRockPaint said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
PunkRockPaint said...

Hmmmm... try something else.


Spike Glidden said...

Wow, excellent card! Is that what my head looks like at a 5 degree angle? Heh heh.

PunkRockPaint said...

4.8 degree angle.