Wednesday, April 19, 2017

#55 LA Dodgers HOFer Don Drysdale

 Next up is 5 card. Topps saved their biggest star cards for cards ending in 5 or 0 and this time it's Don Drysdale whose Major League career speaks for itself. Miuch like Sandy Koufax, and Carl Erskine in the 50's, Drysdale saw alot work and it took its toll on his arm. So much so that all three had careers end in their early 30's. It is unheard of today having starters appear in over 40 games in a season. Drysdale did it 5 seasons in a row. It paid off for the team since they won 2 titles during that stretch. He was an 8 time all star, led the majors in strikeouts 3 seasons and had a 3-3 record in the World Series. You could make an argument that Drysdale's arm began to give out in '66. The Dodgers won the pennant but he still had a losing record and was 0-2 in the World Series with a 4.50 era against the Orioles who sailed to a championship in a sweep.
I had an opportunity to get Drysdale's autograph at a card show on Rt 27 in New Jersey. My parents opted to get the Duke of Flatbush's autograph and I was thrill to meet him. Drysdale wasnt as high a priority as the man who hit the most home runs of anyone during the 1950s. Drysdale however died about 5 years after that card show of a heart attack. I never had the opportunity to meet him again. Him doing shows, especially in New Jersey turned out to be rare given his busy broadcasting career.

The card itself looks great for the set. The Dodger card have that great red lettering which implies they are America's team with the red superimposed against the white and blue of the Dodger jersey. I believe the photo is from Shea Stadium but I could be mistaken. It's not an angle you can clearly identify which stadium it is. Visiting teams occupied the 3rd base side dugout so it makes sense where the picture is taken. Shea Stadium was easier to identify after it was renovated in the mid 80s.

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