Uncommon commons: In more than 30 years in sportscards publishing I have thrown hundreds of notes into files about the players – usually non-star players – who made up the majority of the baseball and football cards I collected as a kid. Today, I keep adding to those files as I peruse microfilms of The Sporting News from the 1880s through the 1960s. I found these tidbits brought some life to the player pictures on those cards. I figure that if I enjoyed them, you might too.
This is the second time I've had occasion to post about former N.Y. Giants and Milwaukee Braves pitcher Dave Koslo; the first time was my May 31, 2011 entry.
Back when I was publisher at Sports Collectors Digest, Koslo's grandson was one of my ad salesmen. Koslo had been born and died in Mensaha, Wis., less than an hour east of our headquarters in Iola. I once did a column in SCD about Koslo's gravesite in Menasha. His black marble headstone features a thick glass "window" behind which is a color pitcher of Koslo while with the Giants.
If I recall correctly, along with a few of his career stats, there is an inscription on the marker along the lines of, "He was something of an iron man."
The St. Louis Cardinals of 1950-52 probably had a different nickname for him.
While poring over the 1952 run of The Sporting News microfilm, I discovered that between June 11, 1950, and Sept. 14, 1952, Koslo won 13 straight decisions over the Cardinals. During that stretch he also racked up two saves and six no-decisions.
I'm sure there are similar winning streaks by other pitchers against a particular team, but I found this one appealing because Koslo was related to an old acquaintance and was a former Milwaukee Brave.
By the way, while with the Braves, Koslo pitched against the Cardinals three times, having no decisions in two of the games and the historic loss mentioned in my May 31, 2011, entry.
In our next posting, I'll look at a couple of Koslo's moundmates who also enjoyed prolonged mastery over particular teams.