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#119 Gary Kolb

07/14/2009

119 Gary Kolb119 Gary Kolb back

Outside of being off-center, this is a pretty nice card. The colors still really pop on the front. Unfortunately, it’s of Gary Kolb. This is Kolb’s rookie card, but still is considered just a common card from the low series, and SMR is $8 for a NM example.

Incidentally, Kolb didn’t play for the Cardinals in 1964. Just before the season started he was traded to the Braves for Bob Uecker. Uecker’s ’64 card was from the final series, so he is shown as being a member of the Cards (although he’s still wearing a Braves uniform in his photo).

The trivia question on the back asks who holds the NL record for RBI in a single game. At the time, it was Jim Bottomley, who had 12 RBI on September 16, 1924. That’s still the record, but he now shares it with Mark Whiten, who also had 12 in a game on September 7, 1993. Both players did it as a member of the Cardinals, which is the team Kolb is representing on this card. Odd that Topps didn’t just ask for the MLB record, since the answer would’ve still been the same. The AL record is held by Tony Lazzeri, who had 11 RBI in a game for the Yankees in 1936.

Gary Kolb didn’t have much of an MLB career. He had brief stints with the Cards in 1960 and 1962, but finally spent most of his time with the big club in 1963. He still only had 119 plate appearances, but he put up a nice .271/.403/.479 line with five triples and three homers.

After his trade to Milwaukee for Uecker, he spent the first half of the season in AAA with Denver. He was called up in late June and was horrible, going 12-for-64 with one extra-base hit (a double). He was relegated to a pinch-hitting role with the Braves in 1965, then traded in July to the Mets for Jesse Gonder. He started at all three outfield spots for the Mets for the remainder of the season, but hit a dismal .167 with a .414 OPS.

He was banished to AAA for the entire 1966 season, and then traded to the Pirates. He spent another year in AAA before getting a chance with Pittsburgh in 1968. He was with the Pirates the entire season as a backup outfielder and catcher, but still didn’t do much at the plate. He was 3-for-37, mostly as a pinch-hitter, in 1969. That was the end of his major-league career. Overall, he hit .209/.281/.296 in 501 career PA.

Aside from being traded for Uecker, he’s most notable for being the cousin of Dan Kolb, who had a couple of nice years as the Brewers closer a few years ago, but fell off the map after being traded to Atlanta.

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