The 1950 Phillies. The Whiz Kids. The mid-point of the century. This part of the project will probably be the most challenging. This was not a championship team, so they're not as well-remembered among the general baseball public like the Gashouse Gang or the Yankees or the Boys of Summer. After all, it was 65 years ago, finding autographs of players from this era (especially the non-stars) will be a challenge.
Baseball Biography: Dick Sisler was the son of a MLB HOFer himself (George Sisler, he of the season of 257 hits, which stood as a record until Ichiro came along). He was signed by the Cardinals as an amateur free agent in 1939 during his age 18 season. He progressed through the minor leagues until after the 1942 season, when he joined the Navy for World War II, missing the 1943-1945 seasons. He came back to the Cardinals for the 1946-1947 seasons, winning a championship in 1946, and striking up a friendship with Ernest Hemingway. He was traded to the Phillies before the 1948 season, and established himself as a starting first baseman in 1949. He played in the majors until 1953 for the Phillies, Reds, and Cardinals, and continued playing in the minors until 1958.
Role on the 1950 Phillies: Dick Sisler was the starting left fielder on the 1950 Phillies, hitting .296/.373/.442, a 115 OPS+. It was the best year of his career, earning him his only all-star game nod. He also set or tied career highs in home runs, RBIs, runs, BB, 2B, hits, total bases, etc. His moment in the sun was on the last day of the season. The Phillies were 1 game up on the Dodgers. With the game tied 1-1 in the top of the 10th inning, he hit a 3-run home run off Don Newcombe and sent the Phillies to their first pennant in 35 years.
Card Facts: This is a 2012 Leaf History of Baseball card. This set was a pure cut signature set, with cut auto per pack/box. The checklist was enormous, so it had a variety of players from the greatest of the great to all-stars to team favorites. The SRP of this set was $40 per card, a value product. Many of the harder to find players could probably be found through this set.