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Monday, July 30, 2007

Card of the Week 7/30


The Simpsons just raked in 75 million bucks at the box office, so what better choice then the greatest Simpson (sorry, Joe) to play in the majors for card of the week?

Born in Dalton, GA, Harry Simpson was known as 'Goody' in his hometown for his helpfulness. He later was stuck with the nickname 'Suitcase' after a character in the popular comic strip Toonerville Folks who had feet the size of suitcases. Harry started his career in 1946 in the Negro League with the Philadelphia Stars where he was a teammate of Satchel Paige and Bill Cash. He raked the ball in the minor leagues in 1949 and 1950, earning him a call up to the Cleveland Indians in '51. Harry had a great glove, but didn't produce much at the plate as a rookie. Harry showed some promise in '52 with 10 homers and a .266 average, but a regression in '53 sent him back to the minors. The Kansas City A's purchased his contract from Cleveland in 1955, and Goody went on to have a career year in '56, hitting 293 with 105 RBI's and 21 homers. Harry went to the Yankees in '57 in the Billy Martin trade and played in the World Series against the Braves. Harry just missed out on a championship when he was shipped back to the A's in '58 at the trading deadline a year to the day of his last trade. Harry ended his major league run (and earned the 'Suitcase' moniker) in 1959 as he started the year with the A's, got flipped to the White Sox for Ray Boone and finally sent to the Pirates for Ted Kluszewski.

Harry wound up his career bouncing around the minors before finishing up in the Mexican League. Despite putting up good numbers in the minors, he never got another shot in The Show. Harry was one of the first black players to be called up to the major leagues. Only a dozen had made the majors before 1951, and only 5 teams had even integrated by the time of his debut. #150 is one of the first cards I ever had from my favorite set, 1953 Topps, and it shows a great smile from Goody after his breakout season of '52.

2 comments:

Russ said...

Being born and raised in Dalton, we heard a lot about Harry on school field trips to the town archives building. Harry also has a stretch of Ga. Hwy. 52/US 76 in Dalton named after him.

Michael said...

My favorite player. He should have had a another shot at the majors in 1961 & 1962 when the AL & NL expanded as he was having excellent seasons in the PCL.
I was called "Suitcase" as a kid and usually kept one of his baseball cards in my little league cap for luck. Rest in Peace.