Sunday, February 22, 2015

Tony Bartirome and John O'Brien Purchases, Gene Conley Return

I haven't posted in a while; I've been really busy with school, and when I've been home I haven't gotten around to scanning my stuff.  It hasn't helped that the past few weeks have been fairly quiet on the autograph front.  I won several eBay auctions over the past few days, but those items haven't arrived here yet.

What I do have are three more 1953 Topps to plug various holes in my set.  I won #71 Tony Bartirome and #223 Johnny O'Brien in auctions, and finally got Gene Conley to sign my card, which was #215 in the set.  He also wrote a very nice note on my letter of request.

Conley is the last living man who played for the Boston Braves and the Boston Red Sox, and also one of two men to have won championships in two major sports: the 1957 World Series, with the Milwaukee Braves, and then a few NBA championships with the Boston Celtics.  He charges a $5 fee for cards.  Bartirome and O'Brien were part of a youth movement that Branch Rickey tried while he was with the Pirates.  That rebuilding effort also included Dick Groat, Bob Friend and Roy Face. Those three went on to help Pittsburgh win the 1960 World Series, but Bartirome and O'Brien never panned out.  Bartirome's MLB career was actually over by the time this card was printed; the 1952 season was his only.  O'Brien hung around for a few years, but never became an everyday player. 

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