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Monday, June 20, 2011

June Vintage Show Top Ten #7

Tonight we have some 1954 Topps action for the price of a 2011 retail pack.

1954 Topps #226 Jeshosie Heard

The little green dot on the card sleeve means it was two bucks. Yes, this is Orioles Day on the blog. Here's a '54 rookie card of pitcher Jehosie "Jay" Heard. I think it was the only Topps card Jay ever got, as he made two appearances for the O's in '54 before being sent back to the Pacific Coast League. Those two games were significant ones as Jehosie was the first black player on the Baltimore Orioles.

The Orioles had technically integrated seven years earlier when the St. Louis Browns called up Hank Thompson and Willard Brown to the club in 1947. Jehosie was still the first for the franchise to wear a Baltimore uniform. Despite never playing baseball until playing on an Army team during World War Two, Jay went on to win a pennant with his hometown Birmingham Black Barons of the Negro Leagues and pitched well in the minors and Pacific Coast League. The 'toons on the back of the card feature his 20-win season and no-hitter in 1952. I actually passed this card up at least once at previous shows but I'm glad I finally picked it up. There's some real gems in the bargain box if you just look...


Cheap Card Collecting said...

nice card! love finding history in old cards.

Kevin said...

I posted the Archives reprint of this card a few years back.

I'm still bitter that the Orioles didn't keep Satchel Paige when they moved east from St. Louis. He had a 3.53 ERA and 11 saves for the Browns in 1953, and he was at least 46 at the time!

mrhaverkamp said...

Could Jehosie have been MLB's first black left-hander ever? I collect 'em, so thanks for the new addition to my ever growing list, Dayf!