|JOSEPH GETS A D FOR PENMANSHIP.|
|BUT TOPPS GETS A DO-OVER ON HIS LAST NAME.|
THE FRONT PAGE
- My only 1952 Topps and I had to be talked into buying it.
- I wonder if he was ever confused with Joseph Paul DiMaggio, who incidentally grew up in San Francisco, Joe DeMaestri's hometown?
- His name is misspelled on the front.
THE BACK PAGE
- "Eyes: Blue'' "Hair: Brown.'' Too funny. Is this his baseball card or his driver's license?
- What about organ donation?
- These '52s are pieces of art. I can only dream of how a complete set would look in an album, turning the pages.
- So what's DeMaestri's claim to fame, other than having an eerily similar name to one of the game's greats? A couple of things, actually.
- He came to the Yankees from the Kansas City Athletics as part of the trade that included Roger Maris in December 1959, exactly eight years after DiMaggio retired.
- And with the Yankees in '60, he replaced shortstop Tony Kubek, who took a bad hop to the throat in the eighth inning of Game 7. He was on the field an inning later to watch Bill Mazeroski gallop around the bases windmilling his helmet after slamming the game- and Series-winning homer.
- DeMaestri played 11 seasons, hitting .236 with 49 HRs and 281 RBI.
- In '52, his second season, he hit .226 in 186 at-bats.
- Not sure why or how, but he made the '57 AL All-Star team with the Athletics; for the season, he hit .245 with a career-high nine homers and 33 RBI. He didn't get into the game. Harvey Kuenn started at short and was replaced by Gil McDougald.
- Oats is still kicking it at age 83.