Friday, July 27, 2012

Card #9 Ron Hansen of the ChiSox

Pardon my shameful absence from this blog. I can sum up my departure with one simple word. SCHOOL. I have returned for now and here is card #9 of the 1967 Topps set featuring Ron Hansen.
Unlike most of the previous cards, this one appears to be taken in a Major League stadium during a previous baseball season. I am only assuming this because of the size of those press boxes in the background. On the other hand, why are there no stadium seats over those press boxes? Maybe this is the Sox's spring training home back in the mid 60's?
Because Hansen has some history with the White Sox prior to the issuing of this card the picture could go as far back as 1963. I will hazard to guess that this picture was taken during the 1963 season because this picture simply resembles the others Topps used in their 1964 set. I wish I had more to go on but the White Sox didn't change their uniforms for much of the 60's and that along with the players career history are all anyone can go on.
It's odd but I don't remember purple ever appearing as part of the Topps design before the '67 set. The use of purple does add a striking contrast against the Sox uniforms which frankly do look like ripoffs of the Yankee uniforms. Jean Shepherd once said  you can tell the good ball clubs from the bad ones because the best teams never bother to change their uniforms. There is some truth to that when you consider the Yankees, Cardinals, Tigers, Dodgers all won numoerous World Championships and their uniforms haven't changed much. Adding to that, teams like the White Sox, Cubs, Astros, Padres all varied their uniforms for years and, well their histories speak for themselves. The theory falls flat when you consider the teams like the Orioles, and Pirates who both won championships in the late 60's and 70's and they had some of the most blinding outfits in the history of the league (maybe that's why they won).

I know nothing about Ron Hansen. His stats indicate that he was probably a great fielder and possible utility man who never was much of threat at the plate. This was fairly common in baseball prior to the big time power hitting middle infielders who started popping up in the Majors in the mid 90's.

Hansen spent most of his career with the White Sox though for some odd reason in 1968 he ended up with the Senators for part of the year and returned to the ChiSox in '69. He went to the Yankees for a couple of years before finishing his career with the Kansas City Royals in 1972 at the age of 34. He didn't go on to play in the minors but he did manage briefly for the Paintsville Brewers

1 comment:

  1. Hansen was actually his team's regular shortstop from 1960 to 1968 (except when injured during '62 and '66). Topps clearly used the "INFIELD" designation in error, as Hansen played 157 games at shortstop, and played no other position in 1967. (Possibly because he missed so much time in 1966, Topps wrote him off as a regular.)