Thursday, November 4, 2010

1980 TCMA Baseball All-Time Dodgers #5, Sandy Koufax

It doesn't get much more bonus baby than this shot of Sanford Koufax. His jaw line's yet to refine, facial hair seems non-existent, and that banner might as well say "YOU'RE SIXTEEN!" (He was actually 19 at signature date.)

Card front

Brooklyn's 1st contract paid Sandy both a $6000 salary and $14000 signing bonus. By 1955 labor rules, the big bonus also meant keeping him on a major league roster for at least 2 years. Any attempt to send Koufax or another "baby" to a minor-league team would mean a trip through waivers first. (This encouraged teams to spend their bonus money judiciously, since waiver claims only cost another team the player's remaining salary.)

Koufax rode the dugout pine for a few months, in part to work on his wildness, but finally debuted in mop-up duty on June 24th against the Milwaukee Braves. He made none other than All-Time Giant #5 Bobby Thomson his first strike out.

Card back

Like TCMA's other All-Time teams, this 12-card set includes 8 position players, 3 pitchers, and a manager.
  • MGR Walt Alston
  • P Sandy Koufax
  • P Hugh Casey
  • P Dazzy Vance
  • C Roy Campanella
  • 1B Gil Hodges
  • 2B Jackie Robinson
  • 3B Jim Gilliam
  • SS Pee Wee Reese
  • OF Duke Snider
  • OF Dixie Walker
  • OF Zach Wheat

Dazzy Vance led the NL in Ks for 7 straight seasons, pitched 600 more innings than Sandy, and still had 300 fewer strike outs! Few have--or ever will--reach the heights Koufax hit from 1961 to 1965.

Value: lists singles from this set for $2 or less.

Fakes / reprints: Haven't seen any in the market.

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