Monday, September 26, 2011

Old Milwaukee: 1958 Topps #283 Ray Shearer

Collectors often complain of the inclusion of career minor-leaguers in sets; players who take up a spot on the checklist, while that utility player or relief pitcher who has had five years of major league service is left out. And while we see that in today's card market, it's not just a recent issue-as evidenced in today's subject: Ray Shearer.

Shearer spent the 1957 and 1958 seasons at AAA Wichita, where he went from hitting .316 to .283- not to mention a sharp decline in HR and RBI production. Not a very good thing when you're 29 years old. So, why did he have a card in the '58 set? Well, his 1957 numbers were good (but remember, he was 28 at the time), and he did hit .500 with a .667 OBP for the big league club during their championship season. Granted, he only had two official at-bats (three plate appearances). His only hit came in the last game of the '57 season, in his final major league at-bat. By 1959, Ray had moved on to the Red's organization before playing for the Yankees, Indians, and Red Sox organizations as well.

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