Monday, March 16, 2009

Vintage Indians from the Bluegrass State!

Not too long ago, I received a rather nice email. In it, the author said he enjoyed reading my blog and that he had decided he was no longer collecting anything before 1956. He also asked if I would like some of his 1956 Tribers that were still on my 'want' list. I was ecstatic! Well, the joy I felt then doesn't even touch the excitement I felt when I opened up today's mail and found these great Indians inside!

The cards the Bluegrass Tribe sent to me are from the Topps '56 series. The first group includes Mike Garcia, a 3x all-star and pitcher during the '48 series win. Garcia was also one of the "Big Four" in Cleveland at the time. "Chico" Carrasquel. Carrasquel was the first latino to be selected for the AL all-star team ever. He added 3 more all-star appearances during his career. Jose Santiago had a 27 game career in the big leagues. Maybe the nickname 'pantalones' had something to do with that. And the fourth guy in this group is Dale Mitchell. Mitchell made two all-star appearances and three world series appearances in his career.

Hal Naragon leads off this next foursome. He caught in the 1954 world series for the Tribe. He is followed by Ray Narleski. Narleski probably could have found stardom for his pitching, but he was the fifth wheel in the Tribe's "Big Four" (Feller, Lemon, Wynn, and Garcia). Don Mossi appeared in the 1954 world series and one all-star game. And the final fellow in this foursome is Jim Hegan. Hegan was selected to five all-star teams and played in two world series.

The final card in the envelope is Gene Woodling. Woodling played for several teams, racking up one all-star showing and FIVE world series championships. Had he played to the Tribe in 1948, he would have had half a dozen.

One of the things I noticed while flipping the cards over in my hands was that some of the backs were nearly white, while others were more 'old cardboard' colored. I've seen more current Tiffany cards with duller backs!

I love these vintage Indians cards and the fact that I was able to add every one of them to my collection thanks to the generosity of a reader in bluegrass country! Thank you so much, Harold!!


  1. Wow, that's very generous of Harold.

    I have some of those '56 Indians. The whole '56 set is great.

  2. Gene Woodling was my Father in Law and over the years I loved hearing the stories from his playing days. At his funeral I also met Hal Narragon a very nice man. Two Great Ballplayers.

  3. Night Owl - I agree! I love the design on these cards.

    Strub - Thank you for reading along! I enjoy hearing from relatives of the players I post and discuss. I think sometimes people forget these are not just pictures on cardboard.