Wednesday, March 13, 2013

1962 TOPPS HARMON KILLEBREW


PAUL BUNYAN WITH A BAT.



WAS JUST STARTING TO PUT IT ALL TOGETHER.


THE FRONT PAGE

  • If you had three guesses to name the player who hit the most home runs in the 1960s, what would they be? Hank AaronWillie Mays? Frank Robinson? Try barrel-chested Harmon Killebrew with 393. Incidentally, Aaron hit 375, Mays 350 and Robinson 316.
  • Killebrew, an unassuming Hall of Famer as there ever was, belted 573 in his 22-year career and did so with class and humility

THE BACK PAGE

  • He topped his '61 season power numbers the next year by hitting 48 and driving in 126. But he would hit only .243.
  • Another one of those creepy '62 cartoons drawn by some half-assed police sketch artist.

PHOTO PLAY

  • Nice shot from old Yankee Stadium and a peek at the sleeve patch showing the cartoon twins from across the river in St. Paul and Minneapolis shaking hands. Wonder if they represent Killebrew and Bob Allison?

EXTRA, EXTRA

  • In '62, Killebrew was amid a 14-year stretch in which he would hit 530 homers with 1,424 RBI and an OPS of .917.
  • Finished second to Mays in RBI in the '60s (1,107-1,013).
  • Won his first and only MVP in '69, leading the league in homers with 49 and RBI with 140. He also was walked a league-leading 145 times.
  • Finished in the top five in MVP voting six times.
  • Frank Howard and Mickey Mantle were the only other players with as much raw power as Killer during that era, if you ask me. 
  • Led the league in home runs six times, five in the '60s, and three consecutive years from '62-'64.
  • After hitting 26 homers in '72, Killer turned Pacifist with 32 in his final three years.
  • Retired in '75 as the all-time right-handed home run king.
  • One of five players to have a statue outside Target Field. Can you name the others?*
  • Had a forgettable season in '68, and that was before he ruptured his hamstring in the All-Star Game stretching for a throw at first. Killebrew said years later the injury was a blessing, forcing him to work harder in the off-season. It paid off with the '69 AL MVP.
  • Died in '11 from esophageal cancer.
  • Believe it or not, it took four tries for Killebrew to be elected into the Hall of Fame, which occurred in '84. OK, so he hit only .256, but look at all the damage he did when he connected.
  • Orioles manager Paul Richards said during Killebrew's '59 season, "Killebrew can knock the ball out of any park -- including Yellowstone.''
*Tony Oliva, Rod Carew, Kirby Puckett, Kent Hrbek.


PROUD TO SAY I MET AND SHOOK KILLEBREW'S HAND.

1 comment:

  1. Hard to find a better power hitter or a nicer guy or a nicer signature. Classic card.

    ReplyDelete