In Honor of Milt Pappas

Milt Pappas, a pitcher who was as great as his legendary name, passed away on Tuesday. He's been a favorite of mine because I love pitchers who pitch forever and I regularly pick up his cards when I find them at card shows. Here are a few of my favorites from my collection.

Pappas' rookie card can be found in 1958 Topps (on the left) which is sort of odd as he only played in four games and a total of nine innings pitched in the 1958 season. As the back of his card denotes, Pappas went straight from high school to the majors at 18 years of age. I love Milt's 1964 Topps card (on the right) as it features the "shoulder patch bird." The Baltimore Orioles have some major problems naming their mascots (even today their mascot is called the Oriole Bird). The bird's face was on the Oriole player's shoulder from 1955-1962 and so Topps used a severely outdated photograph for his 1964 card.

The 1962 season saw Milt make the All-Star team and his 1963 season was one of his best with the Orioles as he went 16-9. Milt's 1963 Topps card (on the left) has him in the wined up position although it is clearly obvious that he isn't holding a baseball in his pitching hand. On the right, is Milt's stamp from the 1962 Topps Stamps set. Two stamps came attached to each other and were inserted into 1962 Topps in an attempt to have kids purchase more packs. In total there are 200 stamps in the set (with one of the stamp have a printing variation). Milt is a common in the set with the high point being Hank Aaron's card which is stamp #1 on the checklist.

Milt is often remembered as being a part of the trade that sent Frank Robinson from the Reds to the Orioles in 1965. Robinson would go onto with the MVP and the Triple Crown while Milt would have a few good seasons with the team (going 16-13 in 1967) before being again traded to the Braves.

Milt also have up home run #59 to Roger Maris on his way to break Babe Ruth's record and while I was visiting the Bob Feller Museum I picked up an autographed ball with Pappas stating that fact. It is one of my favorite autographed ball inscriptions that I have in my collection.


Tony Burbs said…
Milt was a truly underrated pitcher and always seemed to be quite courteous with fans. Nice write-up!
defgav said…
That inscribed ball is super cool.