Another one of my favorite cards from the classic 1971 Topps set is card #275, Vada Pinson, one of the most underrated players of his day.
|Is he safe, or out?!|
What a nice action shot of Pinson at the plate right after a slide, looking at the ump to see what the call is.
On top of that, who's the catcher with his back to the camera, ball in hand? None other than the king of photo-bombing other players' cards, former Yankee captain Thurman Munson!
Vada Pinson is SO underrated it's a sin!
I mean, here's a guy who had a brilliant 18-year career, garnering 2757 hits, 485 doubles, 127 triples, 256 homers, 305 stolen bases and over 1300+ runs and 1100+ runs batted in!
Four times he had over 200 hits in a season, and lead his league in a major statistic seven times (runs, hits, doubles and triples).
I'm sure playing the outfield in the National League during the era of Clemente, Aaron and Mays doesn't help!
But this guy put up some pretty hefty years for Cincinnati!
For example check out his line in 1959, his first full season in the big leagues: 131 runs scored, 205 hits, 47 doubles, nine triples, 20 homers and 84 runs batted in, with 21 stolen bases thrown in and a .316 batting average!
In 1961, when teammate Frank Robinson won his N.L. M.V.P. award after leading the Reds to the World Series against the Yanks, Pinson quietly put together his own amazing year, hitting .343 with 101 runs scored, 208 hits, 34 doubles, eight triples and 16 homers along with 87 runs batted in and 23 stolen bases.
I put Pinson in that class of players like Dave Parker, Al Oliver, Ted Simmons and Steve Garvey. Players that inexplicably got little or no "love" when it came time for Hall of Fame consideration.