Monday, February 25, 2013

no. 149 - mike hershberger

Who is the man: Mike Hershberger spent 49 games with the Milwaukee Brewers in their first season in 1970. He was pictured with the Seattle Pilots on his 1970 Topps card -- after being dealt from the Athletics in January of 1970 -- but of course never played as a Pilot as the franchise moved from Seattle to Milwaukee after the 1969 season.

Can ya dig it: I am falling in love with the Brewers cards in the set. This one, plus this one and this one obviously were taken on the same day -- pregame practice at Yankee Stadium. I love all the players in the background.

Right on: This is Hershberger's final card.

You see this cat Hershberger is a bad mother: Hershberger led the league in sacrifice flies in 1966, but he stayed in the majors for 11 years thanks to his fielding -- particularly his terrific throwing arm. He was among American League assist leaders and led the league in double plays turned by an outfielder several times.

Shut your mouth: Hershberger played for the Kansas City A's from 1965-67. In an interview last year a couple of months before his death, he said that he was surprised that no one on the team has written a book about all the experiences the players had with Charlie O., the mule that owner Charlie O. Finley had travel with the team.

No one understands him but his woman: Hershberger's successor at the right field position for A's was Reggie Jackson in 1968. Nine years later, Hershberger was a spectator in the upper deck of Yankee Stadium when Jackson hit his three home runs in Game 6 of the World Series.

(A word about the back): "He was released 11-10-70." Ouch. The White Sox, the team for whom he played his first four years in the majors, signed him for the 1971 season before he retired.


  1. Man, that transaction line is harsh. It's one thing if you're adding something like "Now with White Sox", but to mention that he was released? That's like saying "As of press time, this loser didn't have a job". Topps should've just let it slide.

  2. I believe for many people the 1971 topps set represents the first time anyone saw a color picture of a Milwaukee Brewer uniform. Of course this was long before the information age... I had the 1970 Hersberger card, which is kind of snapshot of probably the strangest spring training of all time, the 1970 Pilots. Apparently after spring training the equipment was all packed up and told to wait in Las Vegas either go northwest or northeast to Milwaukee...the rest is history. Never the less a team would never run like that today.

  3. Does this mean that circa 1970-1971, November 10 was too late to make changes in the upcoming Topps cards?