Monday, August 30, 2010
First, Hank's four Topps cards. I love these four years, and the first three are great cards of Hank. In the 1970 shot, he's holding his glove and a ball. I like it because it is different from most posed shots. The '71 is a good shot, with what appears to be Shea Stadium stands in the background. I love the double-A "aa" in lower case letters on this card. The 1972 is a good pose, and appears to be from Spring Training. Even though Hank is an aging player, the psychedelic color layout works well with his photo. Okay, to be honest, his 1973 card leaves quite a lot to be desired. He's been moved from outfield to first base, the Braves have terrible new uniforms, he's trapped in an "action" shot that has little action other than fighting the sun with his shades down, and there's a horrible outfield fence in the background.
As I looked at the back, and his milestone homers, I noticed one pitcher standing out: Sandy Koufax. Then it suddenly occurred to me that his homer off Koufax would NOT have been at Dodger Stadium, but rather at the LA Colisuem, since it was 1959. Sure enough, and here's the box score. Koufax pitched one inning, the 9th, trailing 5-0, and gave up a homer to Hank, his second of the game. With Koufax as a lefty, and that short left field fence and 40 ft. high net, he could have popped a Wally Moon shot.
As I looked at the other teams on his milestone list, I realized that he played in a great number of ballparks in his career! Most teams in the National League during his career either moved, built new ballparks, or a combination of both. Then he returned to Milwaukee in 1975 to play in the American league and racked up eleven more new stadiums. I count 37 total ballparks. Here's a list as comprehensive as I think I can get: Hank would have played in four parks against the Dodgers: Ebbet's Field in Brooklyn (1954-1957), two games in Roosevelt Stadium in Jersey City, NJ (one in 1956 and one in '57), The Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum (1958-1961), and Dodger Stadium (1962-1974); three parks against the Giants: Polo Grounds (1954-1957), Seals Stadium (1958-1959), and Candlestick Park (1960-1974); two parks against the Cardinals: Sportsman's Park (1954-1965) and Busch Stadium (1966-1974); two parks with the Braves: County Stadium (1954-1965), and Atlanta Fulton-County Stadium (1966-1974); two parks against the Reds: Crosley Field (1954-1970), and Riverfront Stadium (1970-1974); two parks against the Phillies: Shibe Park (1954-1970), and Veterans' Stadium (1971-1974); two parks against the Pirates: Forbes Field (1954-1970), and Three Rivers Stadium (1970-1974); one park against the Cubs: Wrigley Field (1954-1974); two parks against the Astros: Colts Stadium (1962-1964), and The Astrodome (1965-1974); two parks against the Mets, but only one of them new: the Polo Grounds (again, 1962-1963), Shea Stadium (1964-1974); one park against the Expos: Parc Jarry (1969-1974); and one park against the Padres: Jack Murphy Stadium (1969-1974). Then in the American League (1975-1976, unless otherwise noted): two parks against the Yankees, but only one of them new: Shea Stadium (1975 during Yankee Stadium remodel), and Yankee Stadium (1976); one park against the Orioles: Memorial Stadium; one park against the Red Sox: Fenway Park; one park against the Indians: Municipal Stadium; one park against the Tigers: Tiger Stadium; one previous park with the Brewers: County Stadium; one park against the Angels: Anaheim Stadium; one park against the White Sox: Comiskey Park; one park against the Royals: Royals Stadium; one park against the Twins: Metropolitan Stadium; one park against the A's: Oakland Coliseum; and one park against the Rangers: Arlington Stadium. Let's not forget All-Star games, either. Two parks in Washington, DC: Griffith Stadium, (1956), and RFK Stadium, (1962 [updated] and 1969); Whew! Way to go, Hank!