Friday, June 7, 2013

The Quest for '60: 1960 Topps #12 Milt Pappas

Ah yes - how about a nice vintage break?

The crusade to complete my old man's 1960 Topps set is marching on and today we add Mr. Pappas to the mix!

I like the Oriole perched on top of the baseball in the logo on the lower left hand side of the card.   The close-up, color mug shot of Milt is pretty typical of the '60 set but the posed action wind-up shot to the left is pretty nicely framed.   I like the front of this card.

Mr. Pappas was coming off of a pretty successful year in 1959 where he went 15-9, pitching 15 complete games (not all of his wins were CG's though!).   Can you imagine pitchers doing that on such a regular basis today?   Me neither.......He had made his debut with the club in relief against the Yankees in August of '57 and quickly joined the rotation as a regular for the start of '58.  

The Yankees won that game, by the way.

Admirably, Pappas began a streak of eleven straight seasons of double-digit wins in '58 by going 10-10.   He would become the ace of Baltimore's staff, demonstrating excellent control on his way to three All-Star selections.   He threw a no-hitter on September 2, 1972 - a year before retirement as he finished out with the Chicago Cubs!   Mr. Pappas no-hit Don Zimmer's Padres, a line-up that included Mr. Johnny Jeter, who went 0-3 that day.   And you know who Johnny Jeter is, don't you?!?!?!

The father of major leaguer Shaw Jeter, of course.


Pappas' no-no was ONE OUT away from being a perfect game and would end up being the last no-hitter by a Cubs pitcher until Carlos Zambrano tossed one against the Astros in 2008.   Did I read that correctly?   Yo?!   There's even some pretty decent drama surrounding the walk issued to the 27th batter and the grudge between Pappas and umpire Bruce Froemming hat would last for years......

Here's the back of card #12:

Absolutely shocked that a guy named Milt likes to bowl!

The color scheme and layout of the 1960 set will always hold a special place in my heart - for obvious reasons - but I dig it!

You get the usual biographical information up top, including the player's height in a 6:03 format.....I found that to be kind of interesting.   I had never noticed it before?   Plus, Milt was pretty tall for those days.....Mr. Pappas was from Detroit which was where former star Hal Newhouser found him and got Milt in touch with the Orioles (or vice versa).  

I like the list of highlights, too.   My favorite part of this write-up is Topps' use of the thesaurus to break up consecutive uses of the word "hits" by replacing it with "Safeties".   There's also no bullet point for item #6 on the list (July 14 game)!?   Oh, wait a second......unless Pappas beat himself, it looks like we have another error for this card.   On July 14th, Pappas did indeed hurl a five hit, 3-1 win but it was against the Kansas City Athletics.   Huh........S$$$$P ERROR?!?!?
I kid.

Interesting note - Roger Maris hit the 12th of his final 16 home runs for the Athletics off of Pappas in the 2nd inning.   A deep solo shot to right field!   Good stuff, good stuff.......

Great card!   Welcome to the stack, Mr. Pappas!

Thanks for reading.

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