Gorgeous George

Posted by Jonathan @ RGB Cards | Posted in , , ,

My first short print of the 2010 season is fitting, because it's the guy who shares card No. 125 with one of my all-time favorite players. It's George Sisler of the St. Louis Browns, the man who held the single-season hits record until Ichiro broke it in 2004. That act forever cemented the two players in history, and if I had to guess, this Legendary Lineage card is not the first, nor will it be the last, to feature these two players.

Sisler is largely forgotten to fans today (at least, he certainly was until 2004, and has since faded back into obscurity). It didn't help that he played for the St. Louis Browns, perennial doormats of the American League. But Sisler's feats were remembered for a while after he left the game, and he was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1939.

Sisler was signed as a pitcher, but, much like another George of the same vintage (Ruth), he was converted to a position player so that the Browns could have his potent bat in the lineup as much as possible. It certainly worked, as during his record-setting 1920 season (when he took the hitting crown from that bastard Ty Cobb), Sisler played not just every game, but every inning. He also finished second to that "other" George in home runs. With a career that spanned the dead ball and lively ball eras, Sisler proved himself to be a speedster on the bases (Ichiro still hasn't caught up to him in stolen bases) who could also hit the ball out of the park if need be.

I'm glad to have this as the first short point in my collection for a couple of reasons. First, there is the connection with Ichiro. I targeted this card because of it, I won't lie. But secondly, George Sisler played for the St. Louis Browns. Leaving aside how good the Browns' logo and orange-brown swoosh look on that card (and they look damn good), there's a more significant reason. In 1954, the Browns left St. Louis...

...and became the Baltimore Orioles.

So there you go. A short printed card of one of the great "forgotten" Hall of Famers, a player who will forever be linked to the greatest hitter of all time (and Ichiro is the greatest hitter of all time - sorry, Pete), and the best player in history for the team that would go on to become the Orioles. And, frankly, it's just a great looking card. I can't wait for it to get here so I can add it next to Mr. Suzuki.

By the way, I also tried to get a Joe Morgan short print, but got outbid at the end. Since the auction ended when I was in the middle of teaching a class, not much I could do about that. Oh well. My time will come.

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