Saturday, March 31, 2012

no. 33 - del unser

What a card: This is Del Unser's final card as a member of the Washington Senators. He is "disguised" as a Cleveland Indian -- his new team -- on his 1972 Topps card (we all know he was really wearing a Senators uniform in that photo).

Can ya dig it: If you're a set collector and just beginning to collect a certain set, perhaps you know the feeling of going to a card show, asking the dealer to see the set that you are collecting, and then just pulling random cards that you need based on how they strike your fancy. This is a card that I gravitated to immediately while at a card show and going through a 1971 Topps binder. I loved that red Senators helmet.

Right on: Unser's career began with three great cards, his 1969, 1970 and 1971 Topps cards. Perhaps one of the best card openings for a player ever.

You see this cat Unser is a bad mother: Unser tied a major league record by hitting a home run in three consecutive pinch-hit appearances while with the Phillies in 1979. He was immortalized for his feat on a 1980 Topps Highlights card.

Shut your mouth: Unser's third consecutive pinch home run came off of Rollie Fingers. In Unser's next pinch-hit appearance, he faced Fingers again. This time, Fingers struck out Unser on a breaking ball.

No one understands him but his woman: Unser's father is named Al, but they aren't related to the racing Unsers. That doesn't stop people from constantly asking the question, though. Unser's father played in the major leagues during the 1940s.

(A word about the back): It seems odd that someone who had "a fine throwing arm" would end up being known for his pinch-hitting ability later in his career and used almost exclusively as a pinch-hitter.


  1. Topps missed the boat with Del Unser in their 1968 set. No Senators Rookies card, no late-series AL Rookies card, no nuthin'.

    Same with Bobby Bonds and Reggie Jackson, two other rookie sensations in 1968.

  2. Got this one! I love the helmet too.