So as I get back into the blogging scene, I’ll be sharing some of my pick ups over the last year plus, today is a hard to come by issue from the 1947 Tip-Top Bread set.
1947 Tip-Top Rudy York
Aside from the Cuban issued 1946 Propagandas Montiel, this is the only card from his playing days that depicts York in a Red Sox uniform. Yes Rudy is on a Red Sox team photo pack issue as well a TCMA card, but this a tough one to find. I had almost pulled the trigger on an eBay auction for the aforementioned Cuban card a couple of months prior to landing the Tip Top on eBay.
This tough, regional issue consisted of 163 cards including the following teams: Braves, Browns, Cardinals, Cubs, Dodgers, Giants, Pirates, Red Sox, Tigers, White Sox, and Yankees. The 2¼” x 3″ cards are borderless with black and white player photos on the front, advertisements on the back. The set is known for a quantity of obscure players, many of whom played during the talent-lean World War II seasons.
One of those players was Rudy York. Traded from Detroit in January of 1946, York enjoyed a fine year with the Sox hitting for a .276 average, 17 home runs and 119 runs batted in. Rudy acquitted himself well at the plate in the 1946 World Series as well; his tenth-inning home run won Game 1 for the Sox while his 3-run home run in the first inning of Game 3 gave the Red Sox an early lead that they would never surrender. The Red Sox lost Game 7, and the Series, on Enos Slaughter’s “mad dash” scoring play from first in the eighth inning. Rudy finished the Series with a .261 average, 2 home runs and 5 runs batted in.
Ted Williams later said of Rudy: “He did an awful lot for our club that year. He had more information about more pitchers in the league than anybody. He was all the time stealing signs….[he] was a big, good-natured, easy-going Indian, but a powerful guy. I wouldn’t have wanted him to get mad at me.”
Want to learn more about Mr. York, there’s a thorough bio written by SABR that tells of one time Rudy DID get mad at the legendary Ted Williams. He certainly had his vices and demons, but he enjoyed his last All-Star season in the Fens and almost raised a World Series trophy to boot.
He return to the Sox organization in 1958 as a hitting instructor for the Memphis Chicks. The following year, he was hired by Boston to serve as first-base coach under manager Pinky Higgins. When Higgins was fired by the Sox in 1959 after a July 2 loss to the Senators, Rudy acted as manager for the July 3rd game in Baltimore, won by the Orioles by a 6-1 score. He would be his only game as a manager. He hung on for a couple of years as a coach and appears on this 1960 Topps #456 coaches card.