Monday, August 17, 2009

1948 Bowman #24 Emil (Dutch) Leonard

I have a lot of Phillies baseball cards in my collection. Until recently however, the oldest cards in my collection were from the 1951 Bowman set, as my Dad has been slowly but steadily adding '51 Bowman Phillies cards to "his" collection. The Phillies were established in 1883, so this means there are 67 years of Phillies baseball cards missing from my collection. Now I'm not about to break the bank on a bunch of rare early 20th Century tobacco cards, but I have recently scoured eBay and won a few reasonably priced pre-1950 Phillies cards. I'll be featuring these cards in posts over the next few weeks.

Some readers of this blog would maintain that 1948 was a very good year. In this year of monumental debuts, Bowman released its first baseball card set - a 48-card black and white mini set. The set featured the first widely circulated baseball cards of Stan Musial, Yogi Berra, Phil Rizzuto and Warren Spahn. There are only two Phillies cards in the '48 Bowman set - this Dutch Leonard card and Emil Verban - so I'm half way to completing the Phillies team set.

Between 1933 and 1953, Dutch Leonard enjoyed a 20-year Major League career with the Brooklyn Dodgers, Washington Senators, Phillies and Chicago Cubs. He was a five-time All-Star, winning a total of 191 games behind an incredibly deceptive knuckleball. Wearing number 20, he pitched for the Phils in 1947 and 1948 back when the team originally wore the blue cap and cream colored uniform combo they presently wear as their day-game alternate uniforms. Over his two-year span with the Phils, Dutch's record was 29-29 with a 2.60 ERA. He completed 35 of his 59 games started - a testament to the durability of that era's pitchers. Dutch was traded to the Chicago Cubs in December 1948 with Monk Dubiel for Hank Borowy and Eddie Waitkus.

Dutch passed away in April 1983 in Springfield, Illinois, at the age of 74.

And one more thing: Ask for Blony Bubble Gum.


Matt Runyon said...

Nice. I'm working on doing the same thing with the Giants.

Jim said...

One of the cool things about collecting these older cards is that I've never seen them before, not even in pictures.