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#348 Ed Lopat

08/25/2009

348 Ed Lopat348 Ed Lopat back

Topps was diligent in making sure that every manager was represented in their sets, but apparently they had a rough time tracking down Ed Lopat for a photo in 1964. So they just used the exact same picture they used in 1963. I guess they figured if they zoomed in a bit we wouldn’t figure it out:

This is, thus far, the first card I’ve noticed that used an old picture, but I suspect there might be others.

My example is sharp, but cut pretty poorly. It’s a common card and lists for $8 in NM condition in SMR.

Ed Lopat was possibly not even the manager of the A’s when this card was released to the public (This is from the 5th series). He was sacked after 52 games, with K.C. holding a 17-35 record. He had managed them to a 73-89 record in 1963. After being fired from this job, Lopat never held another managerial position.

Lopat is best known for his solid career as a member of the Yankees. Had he started his career earlier (he didn’t debut until age 26) and spent all of it New York (his first four years were with the White Sox), he could’ve had a shot at making the Hall of Fame.

The difference between playing for the Sox and Yankees was quite evident. Lopat was almost exactly the same pitcher in Chicago that he was in New York (White Sox: 3.18 ERA, 1.27 WHIP, 9.1 H/9; Yankees: 3.19 ERA, 1.28 WHIP, 9.1 H/9). But his record with the White Sox was 50-49, while he was 113-59 with the Yankees (run support!). He won five consecutive World Series titles from 1949 to 1953 with the Yanks.

Lopat’s best year was 1953, when he was 16-4 with a league-leading 2.42 ERA. He also led the league in WHIP (1.13) and BB/9 (1.6). Lopat never struck out many batters, but was successful because he threw a steady diet of off-speed pitches that kept batters off-balance.

He got off to a bad start, by Yankee standards, in 1955, and was traded to the Orioles for Jim McDonald, who never even pitched for New York. Lopat was released after the ’64 season and never pitched again.

He died in Connecticut in 1992 at the age of 73. Here’s his New York Times obituary.

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