1953 Topps #228 Hal Newhouser
Lefty "Prince" Hal Newhouser absolutely ruined the American League from 1944 to 1946. His totals for those years: 80 wins, 27 losses, five saves. 20 shutouts. 674 Strikeouts. 1/99 ERA. 2 MVPs. One World Championship. Hal relied on good control and a ridiculous curve ball to get batters out. Hal's number was retired by the Tigers in 1997, five years after he was elected to the Hall of Fame by the Veteran's committee. Miserable spoilsports will point to the fact that Hal's best years were in wartime and that he only had 207 wins and he was a Detroit Tiger and not a New York Yankee, and that the only players that should be allowed into the hall of Fame are the ones who have bold, italic, underlined large red font by their names, but to those spoilsports, I say fie. Fie and phooey. Harold Newhouser beat the Cubs in the seventh game of the 1945 World Series and for that alone, he is a Hall of Famer to me.
The career stat line on this card shows that Hal got his 200th win in 1952. His arm was pretty much kaputt after that one. He won no games in 1953 and his final year in 1955. In '54 he had a comeback as a reliever for the Cleveland Indians and got in one last World Series. At the show there were a handful of '53 short prints I needed. Hal was the only Hall of Famer in the bunch so I opted for this one to add the the collection for this trip.
There was one other Hall of Famer I could have picked up at the show. In the off-grade expensive card case there was a '53 Topps card I needed. It had a $50 price tag on it and with the show discount I could have picked it up for $44. In order to buy it I would have had to run to the bank and get out more cash which I probably could have gotten away with but really shouldn't have done. In the end, I decided to sleep on it, and if I really had to have it I could hit the show real quick on my lunch break on Sunday. As it turned out, that Sunday, my water heater sprung a leak which eventually turned into a flooded basement and about a grand on the Lowe's credit card. So I certainly didn't have the time to go get it and when all was said and done, really didn't have the money. I will end up regretting it however. I know this now and honestly I knew it as I walked out that door on that Saturday.
I left a 1953 Topps Yogi Berra on the table for $44.
A few years from now when the only cards I need for this set are HALL OF FAMERS and I look at the price tags for a '53 Yogi, I will regret it. Just as much as I regret not getting that '53 Jackie Robinson for $25 at a card show back in 1990. I'll regret it and then go take a hot shower.