A Manager Depicted “In Action”

This is just an all-around interesting card. While only depicting a manager, the card manages to get one of the only “action” shots in the set. White Sox skipper Paul Richards is shown simultaneously wih his eyes on the field and carrying a conversation with someone in civilian clothes to his right. He was probably multitasking even further, devising new ways to shift players around the diamond.

His middle name is Rapier? Does he come from a long line of swordsmen?

Richards had several ideas that set him apart from other baseball leaders. For starters, he recognized the ability of knuckleball pitchers to win games and devised a new, oversized mitt to help catchers corral the unpredictable pitches. He also perfected the art of temporarily shifting pitchers to the outfield so a reliever could face a batter and then be replaced again by the prior pitcher.

His focus on strategic pitching and improving catcher’s gear came from personal experience. Prior to his management role that began in 1951, he had been a defensive-minded catcher with several teams. He had one of the better arms in baseball history, throwing out more than half of all potential base stealers. That arm even made a crazy appearance on a minor league pitching mound. Richards was ambidextrous in his pitching motion, allowing him to throw effectively from either side.

Richards himself was no stranger to cardboard and was depicted as a rookie in the famed 1933 Goudey set.