Saturday, July 22, 2017

1960 Fleer Autograph Project - Part 5

Goodness. It has been well over a month since I last posted. I have been active in the hobby area, but I have been bad about writing blog posts.  I have made some progress on my 1970 and 1972 Topps sets. I am down to needing 195 cards to complete the 720 card 1970 set and 105 to complete the 787 card 1972 set. Additionally, I actually have 7 posts (including this one) in the draft folder regarding my Fleer autograph project, and 3 more cards in the mail, so I need to start cranking them out.  Life has been busy. But, that is the way of this modern era, so I just need suck it up and get these done.

Here is the 5th signed 1960 Fleer card I have added to my collection.

This Lefty Gomez was the second most expensive acquisition on this project at the time, at $32.50 delivered.  As things go, I am sure it will get worse as I get further along.  It already has. But, I'm not going to worry about that now.

I am not a writer, and I can't really do justice to any of these posts when there are fabulous resources on line.  But, I am not a fan of the "look at what I bought kthxbai" posts, so I need to add some color. so, I try to throw in some observations about the players career and life.  If you really want to read more about Lefty Gomez, I strongly encourage you to read his SABR biography, which some of what follows is derived from.

Yes, I ended that sentence with a preposition.  I told you, I am not a writer.

Lefty Gomez had a 14 year MLB career from 1930 to 1943. The first 13 of those years were with the Yankees and the last was a partial season with the Washington Senators. He compiled a 189-102 career W-L record, with a 3.34 ERA. For the more modern stat-head, he had a career 125 ERA+.  During his career, he had four twenty win seasons, including a 26-5 in 1934 when he finished 3rd in the MVP voting behind winner Mickey Cochrane and Charlie Gehringer, but ahead of season WAR leader Lou Gehrig. Interestingly, as measured by both ERA+ and WAR, his finest season was 1937, when he compiled a 21-11 record while racking up 193 and 9.4 on the two sabrmetrics, respectively. He was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1972, by the Veteran's Committee. He passed away in 1989 at the age of 80.

Gomez had something of a reputation as a wit. Indeed, after the 1932 World Series, won by his Yankees, Lefty did a 12 week stint as a vaudevillian for the princely sum of $3000 per week.  Much of his humor was at his own expense.   My favorite story was his reaction to NASA being confused about a white object Neil Armstrong found on the moon.  His reaction was “I knew immediately what it was. It was a home run ball hit off me in 1937 by Jimmie Foxx.” Indeed, Gomez faced Foxx more than any other player in his pitching career and Foxx was clearly the winner. Jimmie Fox's slash line, in 172 plate appearances against Gomez was .341/.471/.739 with 13 home runs. Ouch.

What I am listening to: Symphony of Destruction by Megadeth


  1. I heard from a friend who lived in the east bay area in the San Francisco area that in his later life when Gomez lived in Rodeo he invited high school students into his home as they walked home from school and he told them stories about his life. I assume he spent time talking about playing for the great Yankees teams from the 1930s (he had a record of 6 wins and no losses in seven World Series starts with four complete games). Maybe he also shared some stores about his time as a vaudevillian. $3000 a week in 1932 was a pretty good wage. Thank you for your post.

    1. I never had colorful neighbors like that growing up. That would have been cool!