Swings and misses – supersized edition!

As I sent out a ton of letters prior to my vacation, I came home to a bunch of mail. Not all of them were hits though, got back a few unsigned cards and more signed cards without accompanying questionnaires. So, let’s take a look at this week’s outs.

1959 Topps

Clevenger was one of two cards that came back unsigned because of health reasons. His wife sent me a form letter letting me know that Tex has Alzheimer’s and has been unable to write for a while. Primarily a reliever, Clevenger had a career 36-37 mark with 30 saves during eight years in the big leagues. He pitched for Boston, Washington, the L.A. Angels and the Yankees, where he was the part of two World Series winning teams. His wife sent along a fantastic page about his career, which is below. You can read more about his stats here.

Scan copy 2

1959 Topps

Esposito was the second player with health problems. One of his children responded with a note saying he is no longer able to read or write. A veteran of 10 Major League seasons, Esposito played nine years for the White Sox before concluding his career with a year in Kansas City. A .207 career hitter, Esposito was never a regular but did get into 560 MLB games. His best season was 1958 when he played in 98 games and hit .247 for the White Sox.

Scan 168
1959 Topps

Hansen was one of five guys who signed the card but did not fill out the survey. The American League Rookie of the Year in 1960, Hansen had a solid 15-year run in the majors, coming up with Baltimore and finishing with the Royals in 1972. Along the way he made stops with the White Sox, Senators and Yankees. He hit .255 for the Orioles in 1960 with 22 home runs and 86 RBI. He earned his lone trip to the All-Star Game that season and finished fifth in MVP voting. He would earn MVP votes three more times in his career, but never again cracked the top 10.

1959 Topps

Roach had an eight-year stint in the majors. He broke in with the Braves in 1953 and stayed through 1954 before departing for two years of military service. He returned in 1957 and remained in Milwaukee until being traded to the Cubs in 1961. His career high in games actually came in his final season when he played 65 games for the Phillies.

1959 Topps

Qualters pitched in 34 big league games for the Phillies and White Sox. With no wins or losses in his career, Qualters is the only player to appear on four different Topps baseball cards without ever recording one or the other. (Wikipedia)

Scan copy
1959 Topps

Perhaps most notable for his career as a pitching coach, Fischer pitched for nine seasons in the big leagues, winning 45 games and losing 58 in the process. He pitched for five different teams over those nine years, finishing with a 4.34 ERA. His best year was 1960 when he went 8-8 for the Senators and Tigers. In 1962, he pitched 84 and 1/3 innings without giving up a walk. Following his on-field career, Fischer served as pitching coach for three different Major League teams. As of 2017, he still works in the game, serving as the Kansas City Royals senior pitching advisor.

1959 Topps

Clark pitched in 14 games for St. Louis in 1958 and 1959. He did not win a game, but lost two and earned one save.

1959 Topps

Raydon’s card came back with no signature and no explanation. Can’t win them all, I suppose. His lone season in the big leagues was 1958 when he went 8-4 with a 3.62 ERA for Pittsburgh. Raydon pitched for three more years in the minors, but never returned to the Major Leagues.

Published by Chris

Writer, historian, father, intrepid traveller, journalist, aging punk ... I am actually in a Hall of Fame.

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