Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Frank Howard is GIANT Sized!

Welcome Nitty Gritty card collectors. It is time for another card of the day from the 1964 Topps Giants set. This one is card #24 of the Los Angeles Dodgers’ slugger Frank “Hondo” Howard. Here is the Nitty Gritty straight from Topps on the back of the card.
Frank Howard collected the only two hits off Yankees ace Whitey Ford in the finale of the 1963 World Series. Smacking a homerun and a single, the Los Angeles Dodgers’ outfielder provided the victory margin in the 2-1 ballgame. All told, Frank batted .300 vs. the Yanks in the October classic. One of the biggest men in baseball, 6’7” Howard has hit some of the longest home runs in the game. In his year of organized baseball, Frank batted .333 at Green Bay and led the I.I.I. circuit with 37 homeruns and 119 runs batted in. Frank hit .356 at Victoria and then .319 at Spokane in ’59. In 1960, the youngster was the National League Rookie of the Year.

Topps has been pretty creative with their card titles in this set, but they fell flat with this one, “Frank gets a big hit”. They scored big time with the card celebrating this event in the regular set. The title on card #139 in the 1964 (regular sized) Topps set. The title on that card is “Sealing Yanks Doom”. Now that has a MUCH better ring to it. That card and Frank Howard were profiled on my brother blog, the Collective Troll, you can read the whole story right HERE. Of course, not too long (only 2 months) after Howard sealed the Yanks doom in 1963, he went to Washington to play with the Senators beginning in 1964. It was there that he assumed his new identity as the Capital Punisher. He would flourish there, representing Washington in 4 All Star Games and leading the American League in homers twice. Howard hit 382 (56th all time) homers over his 15 year career. Not many of those homers were as important as his blast on October 3, 1963 off of Whitey Ford. Not many homers were big enough to earn a player 2 cards, one of them GIANT sized. Please continue to check out this blog and its brother blog the Collective Troll for more on this over-sized and super awesome set. From big to small, look for posts soon on the quest to finish 1951 Bowman as well. I love this hobby! 55 years, LATER!

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