Sunday, May 8, 2011

1954 St. Louis Cardinals

St. Louis's Lone Baseball Team
1954 marked the first year that the city of St. Louis only had one major league baseball team, with the Browns moving to Baltimore and becoming the Orioles. The Cardinals had finished in 3rd place the previous three seasons, but with the town to themselves, they fell to 6th place in 1954. Before the season, they traded away a hall-of-famer to the Yankees, Enos Slaughter, but replaced him with the 1954 NL Rookie of the Year, Wally Moon. They also picked up shortstop Alex Grammas from the Reds. Stan Musial was the offensive leader on this team, leading the team in all of the triple crown categories. He led the team in home runs, nearly doubling the 2nd best home run hitter, Rip Repulski 35 to 19. Harvey Haddix leading the pitching staff, leading the team in wins and strikeouts.

Starter and Hall-of-Fame/All-Star Scores
Exclusive players to a set are in italics

Topps Regulars (11): Bill Sarni, Ray Jablonski, Alex Grammas, Rip Repulski, Wally Moon, Solly Hemus, Harvey Haddix, Tom Poholsky, Stu Miller, Joe Presko, Cot Deal

Bowman Regulars (8): Red Schoendienst, Rip Repulski, Solly Hemus, Vic Raschi (shown with Yankees), Al Brazle, Jerry Staley, Stu Miller, Joe Presko

Topps All-Stars & Hall-of-Famers (2): Ray Jablonski, Harvey Haddix

Bowman All-Stars & Hall-of-Famers (1): Red Schoendienst

The Cardinals give an advantage to Topps. The only key player on a card in 1954 missing in the Topps set is hall-of-famer Red Schoendiest. There are actually several regulars who are missing in both sets: 1st baseman Joe Cunningham, 1st baseman Tom Alston, pitchers Brook Lawrence, Gordon Jones, Royce Lint, and Ralph Beard. Also missing in both of these sets of course is the biggest Cardinal omission of all...Stan Musial. But you could get a 1954 card of Stan Musial, you just had to look at the Red Heart set in 1954. More on that set below.

Red Heart

The Red Heart set consisted of 33 cards. They were distributed nationally with dog food. Yes dog food, although, this isn't the only time I have seen this happen. I am covering 1984 (well at least slowly), and there was a 33 card set distributed with dog food by Ralston Purina. I specifically remember getting those cards in bags of dog food. Anyway, to see the complete set of 1954 Red Heart cards, check out this website which has a scan of all 33 cards in the set.

This, of course is the only set to get a Stan Musial card in 1954. Supposedly, the big guns (Topps and Bowman) didn't pay him what he thought he was worth, but Red Heart had no problem. They also had a Mickey Mantle card in the set. How these cards were obtained was by sending in labels of dog food to get one set of 11 cards. This explains why the cards have three different background colors (blue, green, red). Rumour has it that these cards may have been available to order as late as the 1970s.

__ TO 194 C Bill Sarni STL

1B Joe Cunningham
__ BO 110 2B Red Schoendienst STL
__ TO 26 3B Ray Jablonski STL
__ TO 151 SS Alex Grammas STL
__ TO 115 LF Rip Repulski STL
__ TO 137 CF Wally Moon STL
__ RH 23 RF Stan Musial STL
__ TO 117 SS Solly Hemus STL

1B Tom Alston

Starting Pitchers
__ TO 9 SP Harvey Haddix STL

SP Brooks Lawrence
__ TO 142 SP Tom Poholsky STL

SP Gordon Jones
__ BO 33 SP Vic Raschi NYY

Relief Pitchers
__ BO 142 CL Al Brazle STL
__ BO 14 RP Jerry Staley STL

RP Royce Lint

SP Ralph Beard
__ TO 164 RP Stu Miller STL
__ TO 135 RP Joe Presko STL
__ TO 192 RP Cot Deal STL

Other Players
__ BO 30 C Del Rice STL

UT Joe Frazier
__ TO 158 OF Peanuts Lowrey STL
__ BO 78 C Sal Yvars STL

RF Tom Burgess

1B Steve Bilko
__ TO 191 SS Dick Schofield STL
__ BO 174 3B Pete Castiglione STL

RP Ben Wade

RP Mel Wright

RP Hal White
__ TO 118 RP Carl Scheib PHA

SP Bill Greason
__ BO 222 SP Memo Luna STL

__ TO 38 MG Eddie Stanky STL
__ TO 147 CO Johnny Riddle STL
__ TO 237 CO Mike Ryba STL

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