Dave Madison was a winner. He finished a very brief, 158 inning MLB career with a win percentage above .500. It’s not that he was good; his pitching was actually pretty ineffective. He allowed an average of two baserunners per inning and demonstrated overall sub-replacement value performance. Madison just happened to be on the mound when his teams scratched across enough runs to get into the W column.

He was traded twice in the 1952 season. Madison started the year with the New York Yankees, but his contract was sold to the St. Louis Browns before he could see any action. He was then traded to the Detroit Tigers in August. Given that he is pictured with the Browns in the final series of 1952 Topps, the timing of this transaction probably contains some hints as to when the card manufacturer was finalizing its checklist. Topps elected to show his minor league record rather than the results of the 3 MLB innings he had thrown to date.

Like the player it depicts, my 1952 Topps Dave Madison card looks like it barely made it out of whatever game it was playing. Someone mauled the borders and the effect is amplified by an off-center back. Still, the card is a scarce high number and cost me less than a pizza. That makes it a win in my book.