One of my most enjoyable collecting moments is when I can cross off a card from a set-building list. I was able to do just that the other day when I scooped up this crispy and magnificently off-centered Bob Anderson from the 1960 Topps set:
The corners and edges are really sharp on this Anderson card but the printing press gods stepped away from their desks when this one rolled off the assembly line at the Topps factory! No matter, it is another beautiful building block in my quest to complete the 1960 set. The colors on the front of the card are also really sharp.
But who is Bob Anderson?
|The bullpen pitcher's lamentation in the cartoon is terrific!|
Apparently, Bob Anderson was the professional fencer who played the part of Darth Vader in the original Star Wars trilogy during the light saber scenes......and he was also this Bob Anderson! There's a great chronology of Mr. Anderson's highlights from the '59 season for us to enjoy. I love the use of the term "safeties" to describe the number of hits Bob surrendered to the Dodgers on Independence Day. Apparently Mr. Anderson owned the Dodgers that year, had a personal best against the Braves and was well on his way to the history books against the Cardinals later on in the season.
But I think Topps missed a dandy.....TO THE WIKIPEDIA, BATMAN!
"Bob Anderson was involved in one of baseball history's most unusual plays. It occurred during a game played on June 30, 1959, between the St. Louis Cardinals and Chicago Cubs. Stan Musial was at the plate, with a count of 3-1. Anderson's next pitch was errant, evading catcher Sammy Taylor and rolling all the way to the backstop. Umpire Vic Delmore called ball four, however Anderson and Taylor contended that Musial foul tipped the ball. Because the ball was still in play, and because Delmore was embroiled in an argument with the catcher and pitcher, Musial took it upon himself to try for second base. Seeing that Musial was trying for second, Alvin Dark ran to the backstop to retrieve the ball which had found its way into the hands of field announcer, Pat Pieper.
Dark retrieved the ball from Pieper. Absentmindedly, however, Delmore pulled out a new ball and gave it to Taylor. Anderson finally noticed that Musial was trying for second, took the new ball, and threw it to second baseman Tony Taylor. Anderson's throw flew over Tony Taylor's head into the outfield. Dark, at the same time that Anderson threw the new ball, threw the original ball to shortstop Ernie Banks. Musial, though, did not see Dark's throw and only noticed Anderson's ball fly over the second baseman's head, so he tried to go to third base. On his way there, he was tagged out by Banks, and after a delay he was ruled out."
Is that awesome or what? This story alone makes me want to go digging through the Ryan's Pitch archives for some Musial, Ernie and Alvin Dark cards. I swear I just saw an Alvin the other day. Stay tuned for that! And as for Mr. Pipier - all I can say is, WOW. I was not aware of his story and am so grateful for the research induced by this card that has now brought him to my attention. If you don't know about Pat Pipier and the place he holds in Chicago Cubs history, I highly suggest you check it out!
As usual, I feel compelled to check out the box score on baseball-reference.com as well:
|Top of the 4th, Cardinals Batting, Ahead 2-1, Cubs' Bob Anderson facing 5-6-7|
|t4||2-1||0||---||O||STL||G. Cimoli||B. Anderson||-2%||61%||Groundout: SS-1B|
|t4||2-1||1||---||O||STL||S. Musial||B. Anderson||-2%||59%||Walk; Musial out at 2B/3B-SS|
|t4||2-1||2||---||STL||H. Smith||B. Anderson||1%||60%||Single to SS|
|t4||2-1||2||1--||O||STL||D. Gray||B. Anderson||-2%||58%||Strikeout|
|0 runs, 1 hit, 0 errors, 1 LOB. Cardinals 2, Cubs 1.|
Ha! Glorious....."Walk; Musial out at 2B/3B-SS" - yeah, I suppose that one would've been a head scratcher for Topps design teams as they debated on what to list on the card. What might have been?
Welcome to the set, Mr. Anderson and thank you for today's great baseball history lesson!
Thanks for reading and have a safe weekend, everybody.