Monday, March 1, 2010

1963 Topps Paint by Numbers: Lew Krausse

The scan doesn't do this card justice. The field looks like it was watered with radioactive sewage from the Manhattan Project until Lew Krausse just sprang up one day. Lew's uni is practically floating in space around his body, I mean he's certainly not wearing it. And in the inset shot below it looks like the "KC" on his hat was added with an oversized crayon. That or he's wearing an epically oversized cap.
I'm guessing he's actually wearing a Minor League uni from his days with Binghamton, hence all of the artificial flavoring.
The highlight of the card, though, is the cartoon. Topps recycled and reused a number of these over the years, but this one is pretty unique: the image of a buckskin-clad scout beating hedges with a contract until ballplayers pop out. Guess the one in yellow is Lew. Things have changed a bit in the 24-hours news cycle, no?

Another thing, too. Note that is says Lew came up at 18, threw a shutout in his first game in the Majors, then spent '62 in the minors recovering from arm trouble. Now, in all fairness Krausse did go on to have a 12 year career as a reliever and spot starter (ERA+ of 85), but this is just more anecdotal evidence about "pitching them too many innings while they are still young." I still go apoplectic when people talk about pitching from the late 1800's to the early 1980's as though there was no such thing as arm troubles. If you have read ANYTHING about pitching from A.G. Spalding to to Albert Bender to Gene Conley, you know that a lot of the alcohol problems that plagued the sport from early on came from pitchers throwing through immense pain. Well, that and frat-style on the road partying but still: if you wake up and can't lift your arm to your head to comb your hair, you're gonna have to do a lot of painkilling just to get dressed, much less go nine innings.

Anyway, still full of snow up here. Have a good one and good night Pumpsie Green, wherever you are!

1 comment:

  1. Great Post - Great Card - This card id worth in sheer enjoyment than 30 of todays common cards - these cards did not try to be fun - they just were