Baseball cards chronicle careers of New Orleans area major leaguers – Crescent City Sports

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Over the years, baseball history has been documented through many forms of media. One of the most popular cards are baseball cards. There was a time when baseball fans, especially young ones, relied heavily on the biographies and statistics on the backs of baseball cards to learn about major league players. It wasn't until around the mid-1990s that Retrosheet,, and other baseball-related Internet sites were able to keep up with player information.

As early as the dawn of baseball, people have been making trading cards showing baseball players. Although they cost much more today, they remain a favorite among sports memorabilia collectors.

New Orleans has produced some major leaguers over the years. According to, John Peters was the first New Orleans-area major leaguer in 1874 as a member of the National Association's Chicago White Stockings.But not until Gretna native Mel Ott Signing with the New York Giants in 1926 at age 17, the metropolitan area player became one of the sport's major stars.

In 1929, Ott appeared on his first major baseball card, along with three other Giants players, in what became known as the 4-on-1 Showcase Card Set. The future Hall of Famer later appeared in the better-known bands of the 1930s and early 1940s with Goudey, the Diamond Stars and Bowman Play Ball. Due to the age and low print runs of these early sets, these cards have become valuable. Starting in the 1960s, card manufacturers began producing sets featuring former major league stars. Ott, who retired in 1947, was one of the most popular players as he was the National League career home run leader until 1966 when Willie Mays surpassed his mark of 511.

Starting in the early 2000s, Ott frequently appeared in subsets of Topps' main issues. Topps often uses his signature kicking stance.

Connie Ryan Was a preppy player at Jesuit High School and the first player to receive a full baseball scholarship to Louisiana State University in 1939. team. Other major series in which Ryan appeared included the 1952 Topps and Bowman episode and the 1953 and 1954 Topps episodes. Ryan retired after the 1954 season and served as a coach with the Atlanta Braves and Texas Rangers and as a scout for various organizations.

Ryan's major league contemporary is the former Fortier High pitching star Howie Paulette. The left-hander played three seasons (1941-1943) with the St. Louis Cardinals before missing two seasons due to World War II. He returned from military service in 1946 and led the Cardinals to the World Series A championship with a 21-10 record and a 2.10 ERA. In 1949, he had another 20-win season with the Cardinals. From 1949 to 1955, he appeared in Topps and Bowman magazines as a member of the Cardinals, Cubs and Pirates. His final season was 1956.

Mel ParnellParnell pitched for the Boston Red Sox from 1947 to 1956 and was known as the “Yankee Killer” for his five-game winning streak against the Yankees in 1953. , was selected to the All-American team three times. His first baseball card was a 1950 Bowman series.

Larry Gilbert (1914) and his sons. Charlie (1940-1943, 1946-1947) and Tukey Gilbert (1950, 1953) had a short career in the major leagues, but only Tukey succeeded in a major baseball card release in 1952 in the popular Topps series. The brothers were included in a locally produced collection of former Jesuit High School products that played in the major leagues.

former holy cross high school standout Lenny Yochim After becoming a renowned longtime scout for the Pittsburgh Pirates, he spent 10 seasons in the minor leagues before making just 12 major league appearances in 1951 and 1954.

In the nascent days of modern baseball cards in the early 1950s, Yochim signed an agreement with Bowman Gum Inc. in March 1952, allowing the use of his image in their baseball card sets. He was initially compensated $10 for granting Bowman exclusive rights to produce his cards, and he earned $100 for each year he was on the major league roster for at least 31 days. However, since Jochim never became a major league regular, he never appeared on the Bowman card, although he did receive a $100 bonus during the 1954 season. In 2008, the Panini card maker worked with former Venezuelan Winter League players to create a set of baseball card stickers. Joachim has been included since 1955 when he threw the league's first no-hitter.

Rusty Stubb Graduated from Jesuit High School in 1961 and signed with the Houston Colt '45 (the forerunner of the Astros). He went on to play 23 seasons in the major leagues, playing for Houston, New York Mets, Montreal, Detroit and Texas. The six-time All-Star has more than 500 hits for every team except the Rangers and has 2,716 hits in his career. Staub first appeared on the 1963 Topps Rookie Star Card, along with three other major league prospects. He appeared in the Topps series for each of the five major league teams, including the first Donruss and Fleer series in the 1980s. He ended his career with the Mets in 1985.

Mike Miley Was a standout shortstop and quarterback at East Jefferson High School and later played both sports at LSU. He was selected twice in the first round of the June amateur draft, once by Cincinnati in 1971 out of East Jefferson and again in 1974 by the California Angels after completing his junior season at LSU. Team selected. He signed with the Angels in 1974 and entered the major leagues in 1975. His only baseball cards are from the 1976 and 1977 Topps series.

Like Miley, Frank Wells Was a baseball and football player at De La Salle High School and later played both sports for Tulane University. In 1980, he was drafted by the Kansas City Royals with the 16th overall pick in the first round.

The right-hander ended up pitching in the major leagues for nine seasons, primarily as a reliever. In addition to the Royals, Wells also played with the Cleveland Indians, Seattle Mariners and Toronto Blue Jays in 1983 and 1991. Error” card, as it contains Will Clark's linebacker statistics. He also has cards in the Fleer, Donruss, and Score sets.

Will ClarkThe Jesuit High School product played in the Babe Ruth World Series, American Legion World Series, College World Series and Olympics before signing with the San Francisco Giants in 1985. The second overall pick.

Clark went on to a 15-year career with the Giants, Texas Rangers, Baltimore Orioles and St. Louis Cardinals. He is a six-time All-Star with a career slash line of .303/.384/.497. His first major league baseball card was produced in 1986 as part of the Topps update set. He appeared on four of his teams' cards. Thanks to the proliferation of baseball card sets beginning in the mid-1980s and the emergence of parallel series of major cards in the 1990s, Clark easily appeared on more than 1,500 different cards. He retired in 2000 but remains a popular player in archival and anniversary sets produced by Topps.

One of the closest major league teams in the New Orleans area is Aaron Loop. He prepped at Hahnville High School and later pitched for Tulane University.

Lupp has been a relief pitcher his entire career, with his first major league team being the 2012 Toronto Blue Jays. He is a member of the 2020 American League Champion Tampa Bay Rays. His best season came in 2021 with the New York Mets, when he went 6-0 with a 0.90 ERA. During the remainder of his career, which ended in 2023, he appeared in several issues of the magazine.

The baseball card hobby has grown to the point where most kids can no longer afford cards. High-quality vintage baseball cards are now considered works of art and command prices comparable to those of works of art. Some cards currently in production are only available as digital non-fungible tokens (NFTs), considered investments by collectors, but their baseball card holdings can only be viewed online.

Despite the trends noted above, there's always something special when flipping through a baseball card binder featuring Ott, Parnell, Staub, Clark and other of our hometown heroes.

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