Sherman Lollar of the Chicago White Sox was the very first recipient of a Rawlings Gold Glove at the catcher position. In fact, in its inaugural presentation year of 1957, it was awarded to the best player regardless of league. In subsequent years it has been divided into American and National League position players. Lollar won the award three times while it was one of the few honors never bestowed on Yankee rival Yogi Berra.
“The 2022 winners were announced prior to Tuesday’s Game 3 of the World Series between the Astros and Phillies on “Baseball Tonight” on ESPN2, with a record 14 first-time recipients earning the honor for best defensive player at each position (the old mark was 11, recorded in both 2020 and 1958, the year the award was established to include both Leagues.” For the record, only nine were presented in 1957, the fewest of all.
National League 2022:
Catcher: J.T. Realmuto, Phillies First: Christian Walker, D-Backs
Second: Brendan Rodgers, Rockies
Shortstop: Dansby Swanson, Braves
Third base: Nolan Arenado, Cardinals
Left field: Ian Happ, Cubs (first Cub at that position)
Center field: Trent Grisham, Padres
Right field: Mookie Betts, Dodgers
Pitcher: Max Fried, Braves
Utility player: Brendan Donovan, Cardinals
American League 2022:
Catcher: Jose Trevino, Yankees
Trevino is the third player in Yankees history to win a Gold Glove Award at the catcher position, joining Thurman Munson (1973-75) and Elston Howard (1963-64). Trevino led all Major League catchers with 21 defensive runs saved, which was also tied for the third-most Defensive Runs Saved in baseball, regardless of position.
First base: Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Blue Jays
Second base: Andrés Giménez, Guardians
Shortstop: Jeremy Peña, Astros
Third base: Ramón Urías, Orioles
Left field: Steven Kwan, Guardians
Center field: Myles Straw, Guardians
Right field: Kyle Tucker, Astros
Pitcher: Shane Bieber, Guardians
Utility player: D.J. LeMahieu, Yankees
In other baseball notes:
“A managerial search that included candidates such as Joe Espada, Ozzie Guillén and Ron Washington, Royals bench coach Pedro Grifol’s candidacy flew a bit under the radar.” It appears that he will be the new White Sox manager for the 2023 season, replacing Tony La Russa at the helm.
I.U. alum Kyle Schwarber of the Phillies has now reached base in ten consecutive Playoff games with a first-inning walk. He was the first to cross the plate last night with Bryce Harper’s 2-run homer. “Schwarbs” then went on to hit a 2-run bomb in the bottom of the 5th, part of a 5-homer Phillies barrage that led to a 7-0 victory over the Astros in Game 3. He was already a “Taco Hero” after stealing a base in Game 1, but has yet to be a candidate for a Gold Glove.
Tonight is game one of the World Series that practically everyone in the world can watch on TV if they want. However, that wasn’t the case up until September 30, 1947 when three networks shared the broadcast of the very first World Series featuring the Yankees and Brooklyn Dodgers. NBC televised games 1 and 5, CBS games 3 and 4, and DuMont games, 2,6, & 7. It was the first racially integrated series with Jackie Robinson going 7-27 and getting his first hit in game 2 to tie the score. Although it was televised, games were only seen on a small number of Eastern markets with stations connected via coaxial cable.
Sherm Lollar started game 3 at catcher for the Yankees wearing #29. He was a right-handed hitter and went 2-3 with two doubles, an RBI, and two runs scored. When the Dodgers brought in right-hander Ralph Branca in the 7th, manager Bucky Harris sent Lollar to the bench in favor of lefty Yogi Berra, who then proceeded to hit the very first pinch-hit home run in World Series history. The Dodgers still won 9-8, claiming their first victory in the series. Incidentally, four years later, Branca, pitching for the New York Giants, made unwelcome history again by giving up the 1951 Bobby Thomson “Shot heard round the world.”
Lollar did not play again until game 6 when he shared the catching duties with Aaron Robinson, the game 5 starter with Berra in right field. Sherm had another single and scored another run, going 3-4 in the series overall and earning his first World Series ring. His Yankees won it all in Game 7, but Robinson did the catching and Berra played right field. Neither of them had a hit. It’s the only time, so far, that the New York Yankees have won a Game 7 at home. In my collection, I have a piece of Sherm Lollar’s uniform from that series. He was traded to the St. Louis Browns in 1949 and finished his career with the Chicago White Sox starting in 1952.
Lollar’s next World Series was in 1959 with the Sox, losing to the Dodgers. He went 5-22 in that series. In 1966, he was a coach with the World Champion Baltimore Orioles.
Fellow I.U. grad, Kyle Schwarber, hit a monster home run yesterday to assist in a Game 1 Phillies NLCS victory. It sparked memories of the Cubs World Series run six years ago where he and Anthony Rizzo, now a Yankee, made history. “Riz” also hit a bomb off of Verlander last night in a losing cause in his quest for another World Series ring. “Schwarbs” has made several appearances in the All Star Game Home Run Derby, slugging 55 home runs. Rizzo and Kris Bryant both participated in 2016, the first Cubs since Sammy Sosa’s 4th attempt in 2004. The only modern day Derby that I witnessed live was Miami 2017 with Aaron Judge winning it all. I ran across an interesting article written by Arnold Bailey about the early days of the 1960 TV show. It was a great childhood memory for me, recreating the event in our back yard with a whiffle ball and bat.
From a baseball card collecting perspective, “a set of 20 baseball cards was produced picturing the collection of sluggers the show would feature. Today, those cards have gained a cult-like following and are among the hobby’s scarcest. American Motors, the show’s sponsor, produced the cards which were handed out at the carmakers’ dealerships across the country. Created in 1954, American Motors was then No. 4 behind the nation’s Big 3 (General Motors, Ford and Chrysler), with Rambler its top car. Apparently, neither AMC’s cars or its cards were overwhelmingly popular. That may be one reason why the “Home Run Derby” cards are so scarce today.” I was certainly not aware of them.
“The cards are about postcard size (3 1/8”-by-5 1/4”) and are unnumbered with blank backs. The fronts feature black-and-white posed photos, most of which show players from about waist up. The pictured player’s name and team are in two lines across the bottom. A black circle that promotes the show with a ‘See Home Run Derby on TV!'”
“The 19 players include nine future Hall of Famers (Hank Aaron, Ernie Banks, Al Kaline, Harmon Killebrew, Mickey Mantle, Eddie Mathews, Willie Mays, Frank Robinson and Duke Snider) plus 10 other sluggers of that era. All but three of the players are pictured holding a bat, either resting it on a shoulder or positioned at the start of a swing. The other three – Bob Allison, Jackie Jensen and Eddie Mathews – are attempting to hold a smile while posing for the camera.”
“Fifteen of the 16 teams that then comprised Major League Baseball were represented on the show and the cards. Only the Chicago White Sox aren’t included, although the Pale Hose won the American League pennant in 1959. But the team hit few home runs despite its winning season (the team’s homer leader was catcher Sherm Lollar with just 22). While the pennant-winning White Sox have no representative in the “Home Run Derby” lineup, the lowly Washington Senators (who finished in last place, 31 games behind Chicago) have three (Killebrew, Bob Allison and Jim Lemon).”
“The other dozen teams sent one player each to hit homers: Banks (Cubs), Ken Boyer (Cardinals), Bob Cerv (Kansas City), Rocky Colavito (Indians), Jackie Jensen (Red Sox), Kaline (Tigers), Wally Post (Phillies), Dick Stuart (Pirates) and Gus Triandos (Orioles).”
“The home run totals for the 19 players would eventually reach 7,375 by the end of their careers. So the home run lineup was a powerful group, including three of the Top 10 homer hitters of all time (Aaron, 755; Mays, 680; and Frank Robinson, 586).
The 20th card (now the hardest to find) in the set pictures Mark Scott, the play-by-play broadcaster of the original TV show and one of the creators. Here’s a link to the article with even more interesting details:
We’re experiencing very bad internet service in Skagway. I can see where the Colts and Bears both won today but can’t get any details. The same is true with my E-Bay auction that ends today for the Sherm Lollar Lanes match book -pretty sure I’ll get sniped at the last minute but it’s not worth more than the $20 bid I made. It ultimately went for $20.50 as I feared.
We spent the morning in a fog, missing most of the sights along the White Pass Summit Vintage Railroad tour. It was amazing to see how this route was built through rock and over fjords to establish a goods exchange between the city of Skagway and its Canadian neighbors. It runs along the narrow rocky trail that prospectors used during the Klondike Gold Rush of 1899. I was concerned that the Canadian Mounted police might board the train as we circled back just over the boarder, demanding my surrender for not taking the mandatory covid test that I was randomly selected to undergo (See Post # 2147). Once the threat never materialized, my wife counted over 60 waterfalls along the way back until she lost interest and began to focus on downtown shopping.
I had a Alaskan beer yesterday afternoon at Juneau’s Red Dog Saloon complete with swinging doors and sawdust floors. It was my first beer since our Portland Leadership Meeting at Two Dogs Tavern – a dog theme is apparently forming when it comes to bars. Three Dog Night is probably next or the Dog Sled Saloon. I’ve mostly stuck to premium red wines or Chef’s Table pairings, Champagne, Limoncello, and Cranberry juice/Tito’s Vodka spritzers on the cruise.
As we crossed the treacherous bridges and trestles along the way, my wife was feeling squeamish and wondering why I was’t? Well, she had me all psyched for yesterday’s Brotherhood Bridge that turned out to be just street level, plus heights don’t seem to bother me in an enclosed area like the train car. It was built to celebrate the joining of the Huna Tlingit eagle and raven clans through marriage, as it is unacceptable to marry a fellow clan member. We learned all about Alaskan tribal clan houses, Potlatch parties/hats, and totem pole lore in Ketchikan.
It made me think of all the bridges we’ve crossed just in the past few months. These include Alabama’s Selma Bridge, Michigan’s Mackinac, Florida’s Skyway, Hope Memorial in Cleveland with the Guardians, the L&I over the Ohio River linking Indiana and Kentucky, the Venice Island drawbridge in our hometown, and the many bridges that span the canals in our Islandwalk neighborhood. Tomorrow, we’ll spend some time exploring Glacier Bay where the only bridges are made of ice.
I added the 1956 Chicago White Sox Topps team card to my collection this week. I have an autographed baseball from that year and the same team photo clipped from a 1955 magazine. Sherm Lollar is in the back row next to Nellie Fox. The White Sox of 67-years later continue to underachieve with another lackluster home loss last night following the All Star break. Tim Anderson and Liam Hendriks were the Sox 2022 representatives as the American League won for the ninth straight time. The Pale Hose had finally gotten to the .500 mark on the season and within three games of first place Twins in the division before losing 8-2 to the second place Guardians. Now, the gap is 3.5 games going into today’s double header at Guaranteed Rate Stadium.
I have given up on the White Sox many times already this year. It’s frustrating to watch them fall behind early in games, leave so many potential runs on base, and make sloppy errors in an effort to catch up. Yosmani Grandal came back from the injured list to go a pitiful 0-3 in clutch situations. Luis Robert took his place on the DL with dizzy spells. Injuries and a lack of hustle have sadly become their trademark this season.
I was only 5-years old when the 1956 Sox took the field. Sherm Lollar hit .293 and had 11 home runs and 75 RBIs. It wasn’t until 1959 and the televised World Series games that he became my favorite player. Minnie Minoso led the 1956 team with a .316 batting average. Larry Doby was the home run leader with 24 on this team that finished 3rd in the American League with a record of 85-69. As far as the All Star game, Yogi Berra (2-2) of the Yankees won the starting position as catcher with Sherm (1-2) as his back-up. The NL won 7-3. I might have been a Mickey Mantle fan back then, but soon fell for #10 Sherman Lollar and have been following him ever since.
Let the Games Begin! The Playoffs are finally underway, while the Cubs have been put out of their misery. It’s hard to believe the late season success of the Cardinals or the fact that it could all for them end in one Wildcard game. My focus is now primarily on the SOX and their 76-year old manager, Tony La Russa. It’s been 16-years since they last won the World Series, but only 10-years for him in the same role with St. Louis. The White Sox lost two out of three to the A’s in last year’s Playoffs while La Russa was still enjoying retirement. Let’s hope for a deeper run in 2021.
I’m starting today in Tampa after four days in Pittsburgh. It’s a Sunday, but I actually wrote this yesterday on the plane, knowing that I would be crunched for time. I will be trading my family for my wife’s over the next three days as we make our way back to Venice. I’m glad the Braves made the Playoffs since we’ve moved into their Spring Training neighborhood. There will be some watch parties at the Stadium near our home, a great way to start a relationship with my new team. Maybe they’ll even have an afternoon game that I can stay awake to watch. Former baseball home favorites have included Chicago, St. Louis, Texas, and Seattle on our moves across the country over the past 25-years. However, the SOX will always be my favorite thanks to Sherm Lollar and the 1959 crew that become my first childhood baseball love.
It took 54-years of my lifetime for the White Sox to win a World Series and 65-years for the Cubs to claim a crown, although they were primarily my dad’s and son’s favorite. My dad originally tried to coax me into being a Detroit Tiger’s fan, that would have been even more frustrating. He did pry my allegiance away from Mickey Mantle like every other kid my age back then, but I chose the White Sox because he insisted that I support someone closer to home. If I hadn’t followed his advice, I could have been an obnoxious Yankees fan.
The Damn Yanks are slipping in the Playoff race, but the SOX are solidly in the field. The Cubs are on the outside looking in, while my dad sadly died before his Chicago team finally won it all in 2016. I’m ready for some Playoff baseball where the SOX will finally face some competition. They’ve been playing most of this injury plagued season with a firm grip on the AL Central. If they can stay healthy, they have a strong chance of winning it all. If they can’t do it, maybe the Braves can, so Let The Games begin.
The last few days I’ve taken a step back sixty years, sitting on my floor sorting baseball cards. I had some unopened packs from 1991 and 1992 to open, including The Babe Ruth Collection. There was a time when I would have left them in their wrappers, hoping they would have more value, but why deny myself the joy of opening them and organizing them into teams. In this case, there was no bubblegum involved. It was fun, until I realized that I was just one card short of completing the Babe Ruth set of 165. Card number 134 was missing, but the next day I found it stuck to another card, just before I was ready to order it on E-Bay. All the Cubs and White Sox players are placed in a special binder while all the others are lumped together in separate books. I can’t bear to throw any of them away regardless of duplicates, knowing that my entire childhood collection disappeared due to good housekeeping.
I’m certain that my now valuable Mickey Mantles were part of that loss, but if everyone had held on to their cards they all would be worthless. #7 Mickey was once my favorite player and his Yankees my team, but they were somehow replaced with #10 Sherm Lollar of the White Sox. I now have a massive collection of Sherm stuff that is only valuable to me. Mickey has made many men rich by simply investing in his memorabilia, or being lucky enough that their mom didn’t toss out their card collections. Right now, I’m even bidding for a Cancer Foundation medallion with the likeness of Sherm on one side and teammate Nellie Fox on the other. Hall of Famers like Fox drive up the value and increase bidding, which makes me think that I will probably not be the winner of this trinket. They both died at young ages due to cancer. The cheek-full of tobacco that became the shortstop’s trademark look probably didn’t help. Most ballplayers were smokers in that era, with little to do in the confines of the dugout.
There is an organization founded by Marv Samuel, a pitcher for the St. Louis Browns in the late 40s and perhaps a Lollar teammate, known as Chicago Baseball Cancer Charities. It is “a 501(c)(3) nonprofit using sports to give back by helping fund cancer research and patient care programs at Chicago-area hospitals, and supporting services to empower kids with cancer.” Billy Pierce, White Sox pitcher and teammate of Fox and Lollar, led the organization after the death of Samuel in 1993 from Leukemia. “Chicago Baseball Cancer Charities has since its founding in 1971 donated more than $11 million to fund cancer patient care, education and research programs at Chicago’s Northwestern Memorial Hospital and Children’s Memorial Hospital.” I’m assuming that the medallion was part of the fundraising elements of this organization.
I just ran across a Billy Pierce baseball card last night. He lived to be 88 and was on two World Series runners-up teams, the 1959 White Sox and 1962 San Francisco Giants. It’s amazing what you learn about the good that players do during and after their time in baseball, although Lollar died at age 53 and Fox even younger at 47, so they did not get the opportunity to give as much back. Every card and piece of memorabilia has a story. Collecting is more than just child’s play – it’s part of our history that I enjoy!