Thursday, February 4, 2010

1967 Topps Al McBean Pittsburgh Pirates

The mailbox was unkind today starting hopefully a short streak of no additions to my 1967 Topps Autographed Baseball card set. Nevertheless, I delved back into my collection to find the only pitcher to pitch in the Major Leagues from the United States Virgin Islands. That is the distinction of Al McBean, pitcher for the Pittsburgh Pirates. Card number 203 in the 1967 Topps Baseball set of 609 cards.

This autograph was obtained through a mail request to Al McBean in the Virgin Islands on January 9, 2009 and he returned the card signed with a beautiful blue signature and the "09" inscription after 10 days. Not a bad turnaround for the Post Office.

Al McBean's major league baseball career lasted 10 seasons and he played for the Pirates, San Diego Padres (during their first year) and Los Angeles. Mainly a relief pitcher during his career accumulating 63 saves and posting a 3.13 career earned run average. He also started a couple of the years, winning 67 games for his career while striking out 575. But what really distinguished the St. Thomas native -- whom Red Schoendienst called "the funniest man I've ever seen in a baseball uniform" -- was his love of playing for the crowd. Al had a name as a flashy, "mod" dresser too.

To learn more about Al McBean, read his biography by clicking his name.

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