Do you think this counts for our ongoing series of players with two first names? Elston sounds more like a last name, but it gets the job done, I'd say. At any rate, this is a pretty nifty card featuring the first black player to be a regular for the Yankees.
Fun facts about Elston Howard:
-Born in St. Louis, MO, Elston started his pro baseball career with the Negro League club in Kansas City before signing with the Yankees in 1950.
-Missed the 1951-1952 seasons while serving in the U.S. Army during the Korean War, and was 26 by the time he debuted with New York in 1955. Playing primarily in the outfield (as the Yanks had Yogi Berra behind the plate), he hit .290 with ten homers and a career-best seven triples in 97 games.
-Played in ten World Series, coming out on the winning side four times. Homered off of Don Newcombe in his first postseason at-bat in 1955, one of five career Fall Classic home runs. He also drove in 19 runs in Series play.
-Was credited with innovating the weighted batting donut.
-Became the first black American Leaguer to win the MVP award in 1963, when he hit .287 with 85 RBI and a career-high 28 home runs.
-Was traded to Boston halfway through the 1967 season and became a respected veteran counselor to the young pitching staff of the soon-to-be A.L. champs.
-Coached first base for the Yankees from 1969 through 1979, and spent 1980 in the club's front office before dying that December of heart failure at age 51. New York retired his uniform number 32 in 1984.