Tuesday, November 2, 2010

#6 Dick Simpson : The Journeyman

To be honest, I never thought much of this card because I never thought much of any of the Indians and Reds baseball cards. Look at the uniforms! I grew up feeling queasy
when seeing the Houston Astros orange and yellow nightmare of a jersey but at the very least and if nothing else, they didn't have a vest! another strike against this card is it follows a card featuring one of the greatest Yankees pitchers of all time in Whitey Ford and that makes a little known utility outfielder for the Reds seem smaller than he really is, but come on! He was a professional baseball player not a career minor leaguer who never made it out of the bush league!

Dick Simpson was a journeyman who played for seven different teams over the course of his seven years in the majors. His career batting average was not anything to write home about, just .207 and over the course of seven seasons, he managed only 107 hits. I do not know the man, or his family but I imagine if there were any player around who remembers every home run he ever hit in the majors, Dick Simpson would be him. He only hit 15 in his career. I imagine Jose Oquendo and Tom Lawless would remember their home runs too. Lawless hit two in his eight seasons and Oquendo hit just 14 in his 12 years in the big leagues.

Since Simpson was not the greatest hitter he must have been near perfect in the outfield and he was. In 211 games, he committed only 8 errors and managed 6 assists.

As I said, the uniforms of the Reds and Indians just look rotten to me. I don't know if it was an Ohio thing or what but vests in baseball just do not seem right in that state or anywhere else, but you be the judge.  The red pinstriped hat and vest wasn't helping much either. The team name with its yellowish green lettering matches the color of the Spring training ball field behind Simpson. This is yet another Spring training photo because you see a small outfield wall which is likely covered with advertisements for local hardware and liquor stores.

Some of my all time favorite cards show the majestic stadiums in the background. Almost all of the stadiums in these old cards are long gone, in fact only two and half are still standing. Fenway, Wrigley and half of Tigers Stadium (Detroit.....if you are going to tear the damn thing down, just do it and don't leave it half destroyed like the rest of your city).

The card back says Simpson was part of the Frank Robinson deal that sent the slugger to the Orioles but I decided to make note of that tidbit at the end of this entry. I can't stand it when lesser known players are best known because of someone else's successes. Examples Ed Hearn was part of the David Cone to Mets trade. Stu Miller is only known for giving up Mantle's 500th home run. Al Downing (who had a tremendious career too) gave up the Aaron's 715th home run and on and on. These were baseball players, not people on the wrong side of history. They deserve the respect of anyone who never made it that far in any profession and who have never tried.

1 comment:

  1. The Pirates had vests too! Well, Pittsburgh is like, East Ohio, so... :)