Saturday, May 18, 2024

1961 Fleer Autograph Project - Part 42

I've really struggled to get this one out. Since my last post in this series, I've added two more signed 1961 Fleer cards, bringing my total to 72. I started this quest in January of 2017. The first card was Burleigh Grimes and, at the time, I commented "If I had to guess, I would think it would be fairly difficult to get more than 50-60 such cards for this set."  It is a bit mind-boggling that I have exceeded that level and I have been blessed to acquire a number of cards I would have considered out of reach 7 years ago.

 But, let's move on to the next signed 1961 Fleer card: #119 Joe Kuhel.  I think my inertia in working on this post is the fact that I had no idea who the subject was prior to starting the research for this post.  He was just a common card when I was building the set originally.  At the time, I was more focused on card numbers than names and biographies. Shame on me.

Let's learn a bit more about Joe Kuhel:

  1. On June 11, 1939 in the first game of a home twin bill between his Chicago White Sox and the Boston Red cox, Kuhel went 3 for 4 off Hall of Fame pitcher Lefty Grove including a walk-off 2 run home run in the bottom of the ninth. 
  2. He was adopted.
  3. After a single year in high school, he started an apprenticeship as a leather cutter. He continued as such until his fine sandlot play got him some playing time with the Class B Flint Vehicles of the Michigan-Ontario League at the end of the 1924 season.
  4. From there his career was a steady, but slow, upward trajectory to his major league debut on July 31, 1930.
  5. His minor league career included 3 years with the Kansas City Blues where he hit, respectively, .325, .327, and .372.  He was purchased by the Washington Senators and ended up replacing Joe Judge as the permanent first baseman in May of  '31 when the elder Judge went down with appendicitis. 
  6. After his playing days, he worked for 20 years as a sales manager for the Roper Sales Corporation in Kansas City.  I've not had much luck looking for that company.  Mostly I just get western wear store selling roper boots.
  7. He was a member of the American Society of Amateur Magicians

What I am listening to: Hold On by The Alabama Shakes

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