28 November 2012

as always, avert your eyes

yes, it's time to show off (?) another 2008 tristar signa cuts card from my collection.  this one is of ralph branca, and features a chopped up 1988 pacific card
tristar lets me know that branca was a '3x all-star'.  i'm here to tell you that he was also a '2x dodger'. that's right - this is a dodger double dipper post!

[this is the forty-fifth installment in the double dippers posts.  here are the previous posts - brett butler, omar daaleric young, nick willhitechris gwynn, mickey hatcherdave anderson, don zimmerrafael landestoy, dave hansen, jose vizcaino, hideo nomo, greg maddux, mike madduxjon garland, chan ho parkvicente romogene mauch, denny lewallyn, von joshua, joe moellerdioner navarro, rudy seanez, bart shirleyrandy wolf, ismael valdes, bobby castillo, mike devereaux, pete richert, jay johnstone, jesse orosco, lee lacy, giovanni carrara, jeff weaverted sizemore,  orel hershisertom goodwinjoe fergusoneddie murraymatt lukeken mcmullen, tim wallach, jerry grote, and don sutton.]

branca debuted for the dodgers as an 18-year old in 1944.  three years later, he won 21 games and was the ace of the staff.  branca remained with the dodgers through the 1952 season, but was waived by the team after 7 appearances in 1953.  he was claimed by the tigers, and pitched in detroit for about a year, spanning the latter part of the '53 season as well as the first half of the 1954 campaign.  in july of '54, the tigers released branca, and he signed with the yankees a few days later.  he made 5 appearances for the yankees, including 3 starts, and was 1-0 with a 2.84 era.  unfortunately for branca, the yankees missed out on the pennant that year despite winning 103 games (cleveland won 111), and he was released shortly after the end of the season.

branca was only 28 when the yankees released him, but he remained unsigned for the entire 1955 season and most of 1956.  in fact, it wasn't until september 6th that the dodgers brought branca back to ebbets field for the last time.  the next day, branca made his first and only appearance of the season, and the last of his career.  he was brought in to relieve ed roebuck in a game which had the dodgers trailing the giants 6-1.  branca pitched the eighth and ninth innings, allowing no runs and striking out two, including willie mays.  not a bad way to go out.

usually i will show a card or two from the players year(s) in between their stints as dodgers, but i don't think there are any branca cards showing him as a tiger or a yankee, except for the 1991 topps archives 1953 card that should have been thingy which i don't own.  i do have a couple of his cards from his first stint as a dodger, but there is no 1957 card to cap his career.

i do have this 1993 ted williams card
but the back only features 5 of branca's season statistics, all during his first run as a dodger.

here's to you, ralph branca - another dodgers double dipper!

i can't believe i made it through the entire post without mentioning bobby thomson.

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