Uncommon commons. Contemporary accounts of 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 figure that if I found these items of interest, so would other vintage card collectors.
In the late 1950s and early 1960s, Baltimore Orioles prospect Steve Dalkowski was usually the fastest pitcher in his minor league -- and the wildest.
Between 1957-1965, Dalkowski worked 995 innings at all levels of the minor leagues. He struck out 1,396 (12.63 per nine innings), but he walked 1,354 (12.25 per nine innings). His minor league career won-loss record was 46-80.
In 1960, pitching for the Class A Stockton Ports, the 21-year-old Dalkowski tied the California League record with 19 strikeouts in a game against the Reno Silver Sox. The lefty became the fourth pitcher in the circuit's 18-year history to notch 19 Ks in a game.
It looked like he was a cinch to break the record in the eighth inning when Bobby Cox, in his first year of pro ball, came to the plate.
Dalkowski had just walked in the go-ahead run, but Cox had struck out in his four previous at-bats. Dalkowski got two strikes on Cox, but rather than becoming Dalkowski's 20th strikeout victim, Cox hit a grand slam home run. Reno won 8-3.
Though he never appeared in a major league game, Dalkowski was included on a 1963 Topps Rookie Stars card. Cox also appeared on Just one Topps card during his 1968-1969 playing days with the Yankees, in 1969.
I have been a baseball card (and other bubblegum cards) collector since the age of three. I am the former editor and publisher of the sportscards and memorabilia periodicals and books at Krause Publications (SCD, et al). I am the former editor of the Standard Catalog of Baseball Cards.