Friday, March 22, 2013

AUTOS FROM THE ARCHIVES: DICK GROAT


LOVE THOSE BUCCO SLEEVELESS JERSEYS.


THIS IS HOW THE BACK OF A BASEBALL CARD SHOULD LOOK.



In this feature, the 2012 Topps Archives Fan Favorites Autographs will be showcased. So far, nearly all are my first autograph of that player and were found on sale at COMC. I don't have anywhere near the 82 that were issued, but I'm getting enough to milk this feature for a while. Most are very affordable, and the set offers a nice variety of players from the '50s to the '90s.  


THE CARD

  • Even if this wasn't autographed by Dick Groat, it'd be a sweet 1961 knockoff. The line on the outfield wall and partial sign with the arrow gives it a geometrically cool look. Then there's the body angle of Groat preparing to gobble up a grounder, the awesome stirrups, the electric green turf ... A lot to like here, including the fact the typography is spot-on.

THE AUTOGRAPH

  • Bold and clear, every letter stands out. Current players and family physicians, take note.

THE PLAYER

  • Groat, a five-time All-Star, was the '60 NL MVP after winning the batting crown with a .325 average. He added only two home runs and 50 RBI, but his defense, combined with second baseman Bill Mazeroski, formed an air-tight seal in the middle infield. 
  • Incidentally, teammate and third baseman Don Hoak (.282/16/79) was second in MVP voting, and Willie Mays (.319/29/103) and Ernie Banks (.271/41/117) followed. Groat played a major role in the Pirates' magical '60 season that ended with the upset victory over the heavily favored Yankees in the World Series.

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