07 May 2013

i got you, babe

it's not the oldest dodger card i own, but this 1939 play ball babe phelps card is only the second 1930's issue in my collection.
who would have thought that a card from back then would only cost a few bucks today.  here's the back
a few things about phelps - he was the dodgers' catcher in their first night game (1938 - also johnny vander meer's second straight no-hitter) and their first televised game (1939), and he also became good friends with his nick-namesake babe ruth during ruth's tenure as a dodger coach.  he may be best remembered for his .367 batting average in 1936 - the highest ever for a catcher who qualified for the batting crown - although he finished second to paul waner.  these days, his 349 plate appearances wouldn't qualify him for the title, so most lists show joe mauer's .365 in 2009 as the record for backstops.

phelps was eventually replaced behind the plate by mickey owens, and he sat out the latter part of the 1941 season due to health problems, paving the way for owens' famed dropped third strike.  the dodgers eventually traded him to pittsburgh in the deal that netted them hall of famer arky vaughn, and phelps was later traded by the pirates to the phillies for another babe - dahlgren.

welcome to the collection babe!

No comments: