Thursday, March 16, 2017
no. 639 - tom haller
Who is the man: Tom Haller was in his fourth and final season with the Dodgers when this card was issued. He was L.A.'s starting catcher for a third straight year in 1970 but didn't play as often as he did in '68 and '69.
Can ya dig it: That is one tight crop on Haller. It's so tight, I've often wondered if Topps was hiding an airbrushing. But Haller had been with L.A. for so long by this time there would be no reason for it. (And it's clearly an L.A. cap).
Right on: Haller is featured on one of the most disturbing Dodger cards in my collection. It's his 1969 Topps card in which he's actually wearing a Giants uniform. It's also the same photo that was used on his 1964 Topps card (5 years prior!).
You see that cat is a bad mother: Haller was known as one of the best defensive catchers of the 1960s and made the All-Star team three straight years between 1966-68.
Shut your mouth: Haller's brother, Bill, was an umpire in the American League. When Haller came over to the Tigers in 1972, they worked behind the plate in the same game on July 14 as Detroit played Kansas City. It was the first time that had happened in MLB history.
No one understands him but his woman: Haller was involved in the first trade between the Dodgers and Giants since the two teams moved to the west coast in 1958. Haller was traded to L.A. for infielder Ron Hunt in February 1968.
(A word about the back): Haller still holds the National League record for most double plays executed by a catcher. Meanwhile, the AL record has stood since 1916.