Tuesday, April 3, 2012

1963 Topps Project Hubbs, Smith, and Duren

I just realized it's been awhile since I update the 1963 Topps Project.  I haven't bought any if a few months but I still have quite a few to post about.  Here are three low numbers in order for you.

#15 Ken Hubbs.  Kens story is tragic.  Ken signed as an amateur free agent in 1959 with the Cubs.  He proceeded to play in the minor league ranks until 1961 when he was called up to help out at second base.  After Zimmer was drafted in the expansion draft and Jerry Kindall traded away the starting second base job was Hubbs.  While not a spectacular hitter Ken was honored with the Golden Glove award and Rookie of the Year in 1962.  Ken had a fear of flying and to confront that fear he started taking pilots lessons and eventually got his pilots license.  Sadly Ken was killed in a plane crash in February of 1964 when the plane he was flying never made it to his destination, he was 22.

#16 Al Smith.  Al Smith was a two time All-Star that played with the Indians, White Sox, Orioles, and Red Sox.  Al was actually traded in 1963 to the Orioles with Luis Aparicio.   Al's best year statistically was 1955, but the year before he was crucial in helping take the Indians to the World Series, unfortunately the Giants swept the series. Al's final year was 1964 where he divided his playing time between Boston and Cleveland.  After baseball Al went on to be supervisor of parks for Chicago.  Al past way in early 2002 at the age of 73

#17 Ryne Duren.  Cool fact about Ryne Duren, the character Ricky "Wild Thing" Vaughn (Charlie Sheen) from the movie Major League as inspired by him.  Ryne was know for his blazing fast ball and huge thick glasses.  In Ryne's 11 years in the Majors, he played for 8 different teams, never staying one place longer than 2 years before he was traded.  While featured here in a Angels jersey, Duren actually played with the Phillies in 1963. Ryne was named an All-Star 4 times and help the 1958 Yankees win the World Series.  Ryne Sandberg is also named in honor of Duren.  Duren pasted away in early 2011 at the age of 81.

No comments:

Post a Comment