Did you think I was kidding? This was THE got-to shot for Topps photographers in the 1950s and 60s. Today's inductee is Pedro Ramos.
The inset picture is painfully airbrushed, which makes me think that's his Twins uni from two years before. It's a posed shot but we've got another player in the background, those omnipresent stands, and the jersey photographs really well with that unfortunate smiling Indian on the sleeve. The shadows are what really make this card. It's something Topps could re-learn nowadays with everything being washed out in favor of over-the-top electric colors on cards. Shadows are good. Depth is good. And Ramos...I'm assuming that's chaw in his right cheek. That or he just cut one. That smile is too damn wry to be trusted.
Career-wise Ramos posted a respectable ERA+ of 95 over 15 seasons. For the most part his best years were also his worst. Playing for the late-1950s and early-1960s Senators and Twins he led the league in losses but still made an AS team and had some respectable numbers. I'm guessing run support had a lot to do with that. The funny thing is, in 1964 (with the Yankees of all teams) he put up an ERA+ of 279 over 13 games. When I first saw that I figured he did that in a start or two in a short season, but he DID pitch in a fair number of games to put up some otherworldly numbers, striking out a batter an inning.
Have a good one everybody and goodnight Pumpsie Green, wherever you are!