I’m continuing to sort through research on players depicted in a small collection of beat up 1952 Topps high numbers. Today’s selection is Bob Hooper on Card #340. Like many players comprising this series he had limited MLB experience. Unlike many in the same situation he had already appeared on a baseball card in the prior year. A 15-10 record in 1950 caught Bowman’s attention and prompted the card manufacturer to include him as a rookie alongside Willie Mays and Mickey Mantle in the ’51 checklist.
Hooper finished his 620-inning career with a 40-41 record, a surprising outcome considering he played for the lowly Philadelphia Athletics. Descriptions of his pitching reveal a serviceable hurler, albeit one whose control could quickly disappear. Hooper walked batters nearly 50% more often than generating a strikeout. With hitters already connecting for a .265 average this was like inviting the offense to bat well above .300. That was simply unsustainable and combined with nagging shoulder issues to bring his brief career to a close.
After hanging up his spikes he managed a few 1950s minor league teams. Hooper soon after joined a New Jersey high school as a physical education instructor.
This particular card was part of an eight card lot that I purchased from a Canadian collector. The card’s back indicates Hooper himself was Canadian by birth.