Today’s card of the day comes from one of the other sets that I am working on, 1951 Bowman. There are a few reasons why I chose this set, which I will get into later. There are a few reasons why I regret picking this set. They are Willie and Mickey. Very expensive rookie cards of two great centerfielders for New York teams. Willie and Mickey are generally followed by the Duke and here he is. Shown on card #32 in the 1951 set. 1951 was Duke’s 3rd full season in the major leagues with Brooklyn after 4 years in the minors and a year off for military service. He played in his 2nd All Star Game in 1951and drove in over 100 runs for the second straight year. The background of this card is so green that Duke in his white and blue really jump out at you. The rendering shows him completing his swing, most likely during batting practice. Most of the seats are empty, but the ushers are ready. Here is what the good folks at Bowman Gum Inc. had to say about the Silver Fox on the back of the card:
Paced the National League in 1950 in base hits (199) and in total bases (343). Batted .321, fourth NL high. Banged out 31 doubles, 10 triples, 31 homers. Drove in 107 runs. In 1949, Duke’s first season as a Dodger regular, hit .292. Began in organized ball in 1944. Spent ’45 in service. Minor-league experience includes St. Paul, Fort Worth and Monteral. Classy fielder, strong hitter.
Bowman didn’t waste time with complete sentences, but they were right about him as classy and strong. He won the World Series with the Dodgers in 1955 and again in ’59 and he went into the Hall of Fame on his 11th try in 1980. I have about 15 cards from this set so far. Get in touch if you have any to trade. 68 years, LATER!