Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Many stats he led, and records he owns. Talkin' 'bout Puddin' Head Jones

This one's for Jon at A Penny Sleeve for Your Thoughts.

A couple years back I had been looking through websites and card dealers and such and kept seeing different cards from the 1950's.  I had none in my collection, but I had seen some at different shows, especially the National.  I wanted to add some as type specimens, but felt like just getting random cards of anyone wouldn't be very satisfying, so I thought having samples of the same player would show much better.

The next question was, of course, who to choose?  My knowledge of the sport at that time is minimal, so I would just choose someone interesting, but still affordable.  Ted Williams, Stan Musial, and Yogi Berra are great, but would cost a fortune to collect in any volume.  A clever nickname was a good starting point.  Quick research led me to Willie "Puddin' Head" Jones of the 1950 "Whiz Kids" Philadelphia Phillies.  A comparison of his card images with those of fellow Phillie and second nominee Granville Wilbur "Granny" Hamner gave Mr. Jones the victory.

Ol' Puddin' Head got his nickname from the popular song in the 1930's.  Except in name, Mr. Willie doesn't really resemble the subject of the lyrics (which don't start until about 45 seconds in) except that he did well in his career too.  I don't see anywhere that Willie started at such a low point like "Wooden head" did....

So anyway, I've been picking up Willie's cards for a good while now, and have most of the basics and a few oddballs at this point.  Kinda went about it a little different than most, in that initially, instead of a typed text list, I printed out a page of images of his cards and wrote the sets and numbers next to the pictures so I could match them at a glance.  I remember either at Chantilly or one National I was shopping at Uncle Dick's tables, and he and his grandson were fascinated by my printout.

I also don't store his cards in a binder with all the rest of my player collections.  Being that half the cards are not the standard 2½" by 3½"size, it is not possible to put them in order in nine (or six, or even eight) pocket sheets.  So I just keep them in top loaders and card savers in a stack in my baseball cabinet.

Won't keep you waiting any longer.  On to the cards!  I left the penny sleeves on, so there are streaks and lines that aren't on the actual cards.

1949 Bowman RC, 1950 Bowman, my first oddball 1951 Berk Ross (still attached to Bobby Brown), 1951 Topps Blue Back, 1951 Bowman, and probably my favorite, 1952 Bowman.  Nice dense signature, and he includes the nickname.

Starts with both 1952 Topps, the red and black backs, then the SP 1953 Bowman color, '53 Topps, '54 Bowman, '54, '55, and '56 Topps.  Got some good deals on these.  The '52's were $17 and $25 respectively, and '52's in general are a hot item.

The most well known and widely traded and owned of the bunch, 1957 through 1961 Topps.  '59 and '60 are my second copies, as I have the others in their respective sets ('59 is finished).  Willie looks happier in these compared to the older ones besides his first few.

Skipping ahead a little, these are the modern Topps Archive reprints of the early issues in regulation size.  Scanned front and backs, and included my other favorite Mr. Jones for scale.  These are the easy ones from the dime and quarter boxes. 

And finally, a couple cool oversize issues.  1958 Hires Root Beer with the advertisement tab, and a 1952 Red Man without the bottom tab.  Since these didn't break the bank, and there aren't 900 other cards to finish him off, I'll probably get the respective tabless/tabbed versions of these two as well.

So there you are.  It's a modest collection so far, but I hope you enjoyed the look at these cards from a somewhat earlier era.


Tony Burbs said...

That's a cool idea to build a collection around. Especially so when it's built around an all-time classic nickname like "Puddin' Head." Those Hires Root Beer cards are always the class of any bunch, at least in my humble opinion. The knothole in the fence effect is perfect for the day.

Jon said...

Wow! I think you're being a bit modest by saying that's only a modest collection. I didn't even realize he had so many cards, and I hadn't even heard of the Hires Root Beer cards before. Thanks for doing this post, I think I will now be on the lookout for a few more of his cards.