Friday, May 10, 2013

#525 Eddie Bressoud

Here we are at last...the end of the road. One last time, I would like to thank everyone who has read, shared, or commented on this blog over the last five years and change. I didn't post these entries on anything resembling a consistent schedule, so it means a lot to me that you hung in there and offered feedback and kind words. An even bigger thanks goes to all who helped me accomplish something that started off as a pipe dream: collecting a complete set of cards that predates me by 17 years. At the outset, I assumed that I might be able to cobble together a fair share of 1965 Topps through some overly-generous trades, but I was pleasantly surprised by how many of you were willing to help - and how much you were willing to help! I never imagined that some of you folks would be glad to send along cards without even expecting anything in return. I hope that my gratitude and my few words about those cards will suffice in some small way.

I had a lot of fun in completing my first vintage set completely from scratch, and I'd like to think that the information I acquired in researching these players helped to make me a better baseball fan. As I went along in this process, I made some significant changes in the way I presented the cards I'd acquired. I started off presenting both sides of the various trades in a summary-style post, and didn't offer much detail on the players featured. Later I focused on each new card individually, with full player biographies in multiple-paragraph form. That became a bit tedious and cumbersome, so I switched to the bullet-point presentation that I still use today. As I drew closer to completing the set, I considered re-posting all of the early cards with new bullet-point formats, for consistency's sake. But ultimately, I decided to leave the blog as-is. I think it helps illustrate the changing process that I used to complete and appreciate the 1965 Topps set. I'd also like to announce the pending launch of STILL ANOTHER card blog, because I am a glutton for punishment. This time it's a set I've already completed, and one that dates back to the very onset of my fandom: the 1993 Topps base set. If you've got room on your blogroll for one more set blog, hold on to that link. I'm really looking forward to spending the next few years revisiting the cards that consumed much of my attention 20 years ago. I'm hoping to update over there on a near-daily basis, but we'll see what the future holds. Now then...on with the final card of 1965!

It's fitting in a way that Eddie Bressoud takes us home, since I don't know the first thing about him. In what is likely my very last update to the 1965 Topps blog, I am going to learn about a player who has escaped my attention thus far.

Fun facts about Eddie Bressoud:
-A native Los Angeleno, Eddie signed with the New York Giants as a teenager in 1950.

-He served in the military during the 1953 and 1954 seasons, delaying his big league debut until 1956. In his initial game on June 14, Bressoud had the unenviable task of facing future Cooperstown resident Warren Spahn. The young infielder went hitless in his first three tries, but ultimately notched a single against Spahn in the eighth inning.

-In a half-dozen seasons with the Giants, Eddie averaged only 74 games a year with a below-average batting line of .239/.299/.369. But the Houston club made him their first pick in the October 1961 expansion draft and flipped him to the Red Sox a month later for shortstop Don Buddin. It proved to be a lopsided deal, as Buddin hit .163 in 40 games for the Colts and was out of the majors by season's end; Bressoud, meanwhile, found Boston much to his liking.

-Bressoud rapped 40 doubles for the Sox in 1962, as well as nine triples, 14 home runs, and 68 RBI. His triples and RBI totals would be career highs.

-Eddie reached the 20-homer plateau for the only time in his career in 1963. Highlights included four two-homer games, his only career walk-off shot (June 26 against Pedro Ramos of the Indians), and his first career grand slam (August 22 against Chicago's Taylor Phillips).

-1964 was a career year for Bressoud, as he batted .293/.372/.456 with 41 doubles and made his only All-Star team.

-He declined sharply after that, with an OPS dip of 180 points the next season. Boston traded the shortstop to the Mets for the 1966 campaign, and he lasted one year in New York before finishing his career as a reserve for the World Champion Cardinals squad in 1967. Eddie appeared in two World Series games as a late-inning defensive replacement, a low-key farewell for the 12-year major league veteran.

-His career batting line was .252/.319/.401 with 94 home runs and 365 RBI.

-Following his playing career, Bressoud earned his college degree from UCLA. He also spent two seasons managing in the minors for the Angels, and was a scout for the Halos for a time. Later he taught physical education and coached the baseball team at De Anza College in Cupertino, CA.

-Eddie still lives in San Ramon, CA. He celebrated his 81st birthday a week ago.

18 comments:

  1. Congrats, Kevin on finishing this very memorable set, and memorable blog.

    The '93 set is interesting, I was starting to lose interest in cards that year, so I could use a fresh approach on that set.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Kevin,

    I have enjoyed your 1965 blog immensely - learning about some players that were not around by the late 1960s.


    Jim

    ReplyDelete
  3. My alltime favorite Topps set---this set-- and you made it that much more enjoyable.

    Thanks Kevin

    ReplyDelete
  4. Great job and congrats on your marriage. This set brought back a lot of memories (I was 9 in 1965) and I knew most of the players but there were several that I had never heard of. And those were the ones that were most interesting to me.

    Thanks again.

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  11. Congrats Kevin! What an accomplishment! Happy collecting!
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