Thursday, February 17, 2011
Trippi's short-lived baseball comeback
Over the years I had used the films to research feature articles and columns that appeared in SCD and Baseball Cards magazine. In that process I discovered that each issue of those venerable sports weeklies had many tidbits that as a collector of baseball and football cards I found interesting because they helped bring to life the faces on the cards I collected. I figured that if I found those items of interest, so would other vintage card collectors, so from time to time I compiled my notes into columns that I called "Uncommon Commons."
Trippi was provisionally sold to the Chicago White Sox for 1948, but when the team demanded he quit playing pro football, he opted for the gridiron career. Trippi had begun his NFL career with the Chicago Cardinals in 1947.
In 1953, Trippi considered a comeback in professional baseball. When Atlanta sold his contract to Jacksonville of the South Atlantic League, Trippi demand 40% of the sales price, according to a provision in his 1947 contract. Crackers' president Earl Mann replied that Trippi was only due a piece of the action if his contract was sold to a higher classification minor league, not a step down.
After his playing days, Trippi returned to the University of Georgia for a time as head baseball coach.
Charley Trippi never appeared on a baseball card, but he was in both the Leaf and Bowman football card sets in 1948, and in every Bowman set from 1950-55.