Chicago Cubs pitcher Bob Kelly looks happy to be on his first baseball card. He was apparently just as happy to be playing given the enthusiasm he exudes in a recent interview with Ball Nine (Go read it!). The man is a walking, talking baseball anecdote machine, telling listeners about the time a teammate distracted a batter by kicking off a shoe during a windup and how he interrupted Frankie Frisch’s yardwork while on a family vacation. A fan of the game for as long as he could remember, Kelly approached his time in the majors like a fan getting a fantasy camp experience.
Kelly wasn’t exactly the most overpowering pitcher. By the time he appeared on a baseball card he had less than 90 games left in his major league career. He managed to put together 3 wins above replacement while in the big leagues. Considering that his lifetime record was 12-18, that tells you how little run support the 1950s Cubs and Reds were generating.
I found this particular Bob Kelly card on eBay. Like most high numbers that fall within my budget it is pretty beat up. At least this one is intact, which is more than can be said for a few other high numbers in the collection.