Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Bryce Harpukkah: Day Two: Walker '56 Ranger

Day two of Harpukkah brings us more gifts of vintage. The card of today's post was actually one of the last ones I picked up, trying to find a good way to spend my last couple bucks. What better way to do it then to take a walk down '56 lane:

After some straddling of the fence, leaning toward 1955, I've come to choose 1956 as my favorite year of vintage Topps. It's the fantastic background shots that really make this set. And here we have a play at the plate. It doesn't get better than that. There's an interesting slide going on here. Let's take a closer look:

I guess the runner slid past the base. But that looks like home plate at his cleats. So, he's doing some kind of wacky feet-first belly-flop maneuver, maybe? Perhaps he's just cowering, rather than charging, due to Walker '56 Ranger's ability to do some American karate.

I can't help but notice how old Walker Cooper looks in his unglamorous headshot. Turns out he was only 40 in this picture, yet he has a very grandfatherly look. Don't mean to pick on you, Walker, I'm just saying. His aged good looks don't detract from his great career a catcher: 8 all-star appearances and a career percentage of 44% in throwing out base stealers.

This card came off eBay in a free shipping auction. I mention this only because you never know exactly how they're going to ship when you get this deal. Walker came in a white envelope with one stamp, and when I opened it up, there was no top loader, cardboard, not even a penny sleeve. Gutsy mailing. But he arrived without a crease, and the card's in pretty great shape.

There's more vintage to come during Harpukkah, so stay tuned.

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