08 November 2012

the age of bessent

i really do appreciate don bessent's 1959 topps card.
the vast majority of the dodger team set from that year is featured with yellow backgrounds.  yes, there is some green and some pink, and even an orange, but bessent's card is the one that really stands out in that sea of yellow.

even his facsimile signature is interesting since he went by his middle name (donald), but signed using his first name (fred) for topps. to make things even better, the 1959 card is his final tribute, and luckily for us, topps was putting full career stats on the back in 1959.
bessent was originally signed by the yankees, but after he hurt his back and missed the 1952 season, he was selected by the dodgers in the minor league draft.  he debuted in july of 1955 and went on to pitch in three of the world series games that year against the yankees, allowing no runs in 3.1 innings of work.  he also pitched in the 1956 fall classic, and earned a win as the text on the back of his 1959 card mentions.

out on the west coast in 1958, bessent became the first relief pitcher in los angeles dodger history when he relieved don drysdale in the los angeles dodgers' first game, which was played in san francisco on 4/15/58.  later in the season, bessent was injured again, and he wound up spending the next three years back in the dodgers' minor league farm system.  then, in 1962, he played his last year of minor league ball, splitting time between the indians' and orioles' organizations but did not make it back to the big leagues.

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