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#259 Harry Bright

07/01/2009

259 Harry Bright259 Harry Bright back

This is Bright’s only card featuring him in a Yankee uniform. It has soft corners and a small crease in the upper left. All in all, a VG-EX card (probably EX without the crease). This is a common card, and a NM example lists for $8.

The trivia question on the back asks “who holds the homer record for 1st basemen?” This seems to suggest that they’re looking for the career record, but they were actually looking for the single-season record, which is provided by Topps as Hank Greenberg, who hit 58 home runs in 1938. That record remained until Mark McGwire passed it in 1998. Greenberg still holds the AL record.

Topps also gets another detail wrong on the back of the card. They tout Bright’s proficiency as a utility man, saying that he’s played all nine positions. Well, he never pitched in a Major League game, nor did he play shortstop or center field. In the minors, it appears as if he did pitch at least one game for Topeka in 1951 and he did play 82 games at SS in 1960 in the PCL. So he technically did play all nine positions at some point in his professional career. The assertion that he hit .413 in 1950 is true.

Bright was a career minor-leaguer who got a few chances to play in the big leagues, but never really stuck with any one team. In fact, he would only play four games for the Yankees in 1964 after picking up 173 PA with them in 1963. Bright struck out as a pinch hitter in Game 1 of the 1963 World Series, giving Sandy Koufax a WS-record 15 Ks for the game.

Harry’s only season as a full-time player was 1962, when he batted .273/.319/.462 in 425 PA with the Senators. He hit 17 of his 32 career home runs that season.

The Yankees released Bright near the end of the 1964 season, and he signed with the Cubs for 1965. But he only appeared in 26 games as a pinch hitter (not once taking the field at any time), and last appeared in a Major League game on June 30th.

He played in the minors for a couple more seasons, and got into managing in 1967. He managed for parts of 12 seasons, compiling a managerial record of 645-784. He appeared in at least 1,650 minor league games, and had his biggest year in 1960 for Salt Lake of the PCL, when he hit 27 homers with 119 RBI and a .922 OPS.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. rickbeaver permalink
    09/27/2013 6:21 pm

    The Yankees hope of Harry becoming the next Mantle when Mickey was injured in ’63 never came to pass……

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