Thursday, December 5, 2013

Another shot for Jack Daniels

It's not surprising that Braves outfielder Jack Daniels had only a single career-contemporary baseball card (1953 Bowman) because he had only one season in the major leagues.

After five seasons in the Boston Braves farm system, including three years at Class A Hartford in the Eastern League, Daniels got his chance as a fourth outfielder for the 1952 team.  He had three things going for him: He was a left-handed batter, he had good speed in the outfield and on the bases, and he had a strong throwing arm.

1953 Bowman
No professional ballplayer can truly be said to have been unsuccessful if he played even a single season in a major league uniform back in the days when the big leagues comprised just 16 teams. Let's just say that Daniels didn't meet expectations.

He was used with minimal success as a pinch-hitter most of the first two months of the 1952 season, then generally was platooned with Bob Thorpe in right field. He batted only .187 for the year, with a pair of home runs. 

Daniels does hold the distinction of being the only major league player to have been hit by a pitch from Ron Necciai, the Pirates strikeout phenom. On Aug. 24, Necciai hit Daniels in the back of the head in the third inning. He was carried off on a stretcher. He spent a night and a day at Pittsburgh's Presbyterian Hospital as a precaution, and rejoined the team in Cincinnati on Aug. 27. 

When the Braves moved to Milwaukee for 1953, they had acquired Andy Pafko for their regular right fielder and Daniels' days in the big leagues were over. Pafko generally hit about 100 points higher than Daniels.

He played six more seasons in the high minors, batting about .247 and twice challenging for his league's home run title. He was second in the Southern Association in 1956 with 34, and fifth in the American Association in 1954 with 23.

Topps certainly couldn't be faulted for leaving Daniels out of its 1952 and 1953 sets, but when I find a nice portrait photo on the internet, I figured it would make a good-looking 1952 Topps-style card.

The front of my custom card utilizes the background from of my favorite '52T Braves cards, Johnny Antonelli.

I credit fellow custom-card maker John Rumierz with an assist on my card back. John specializes in creating 1952-format cards for every player who appeared in the major leagues in 1952 . . . he has done hundreds.
He graciously acceded to my request for a scan of his card's back so I could pick up Daniels' "Past Year" and "Lifetime" stats, saving me a lot of time and frustration searching them out.


  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  2. Thanks for the info. Jack was my uncle...great guy who I think had one "killer" season in the minors. There was an article about it, think I may have a copy.


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