Tuesday, February 5, 2013

The Cathedral Gallery

Welcome Back to the Cathedral Memorabilia Gallery.  Right here we have a 1952 Topps Richie Ashburn.  The '52 Topps card design is very similar to an oil painting.  It is not a true photograph but an artistic depiction of each players' likeness.  The 'Father of  the Modern Baseball Card', Sy Berger with the help of Woody Gelman collaborated on the project in 1951.  Berger was a mainstay at the Topps Corporation for 50 years and his basic Card Design of a picture, the player's name and all the statistical and biographical information on the back, which he originated, is still how most cards are produced.

If you've ever seen a 1952 Topps Card, you'll notice it's BIGGER than most other cards.  The normal measurements for cards are 3-1/2 x 2-1/2.  The 407-Card Set from 1952, which most people remember of course for the Mickey Mantle, measures a robust 3-3/4 x 2-5/8 inches.  It's Massive!!!  And the Painting Style gives it a unique look harkening back to a simpler time when less was most certainly more.

You can read more about the Topps Company and it's history on the Wikipedia page at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Topps
I had to make a personal edit to the page.  They had incorrect measurements for the 1952 Cards (they had 2-3/4 x 3-5/8).

Richie Ashburn was a career .308 hitter for the Phillies, Cubs & Mets.  One of the "Whiz-Kids" from the 1950 Phillies who got their name for their good play and youthful inexperience, Ashburn patrolled center field in Shibe Park/Connie Mack Stadium from '48 to '59.  He led the National League in hitting twice, made 6 All-Star teams and was a great defensive player.  Richie accumulated 2,574 hits in just 15 seasons and was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1995 alongside Michael Jack Schmidt.  Youngsters like me came to know him as "Whitey" the grandpa-figure, announcer who always had great insight and commentary during the Phillies games.  Whitey and Harry Kalas made for one of the best play-by-play tandems I've ever witnessed.  Harry 'the voice' enunciated with Gusto, and Whitey gave the in's and out's of the game all ballplayers and fans alike could appreciate.  Even though I was only a kid when I last saw them do a broadcast, Rich & Harry left a lasting impression on me the way they called a ball game.  Thanks Whitey & Harry, you're the best.

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