Thursday, September 11, 2008

Hometown Hero

Back in elementary school in my hometown of Dalton, Ga., we would take field trips to the Crown Garden and Archives which held the historical records and other items of Dalton and for much of Whitfield County. On those trips they would often tell stories of Harry "Suitcase" Simpson. Suitcase was a Negro Leaguer who often has the misconception of getting his nickname from being traded a lot, but it really came from the press in 1951 in Cleveland thinking he looked like some cartoon character of the same name. He also was nicknamed "Goody" for being a nice guy and helping out people. Perhaps we should bestow that moniker upon Tony Romo now. But Harry is somewhat of a legend back in Dalton. Not only is he important enough to teach to children still, but he has his own stretch of road named after him. I've always wanted some of Harry's cards and until e-Bay, never really had the chance as most of the stores didn't and don't have a real plethora of '50s and '60s cards. So I made a purchase and it came in the other day.
I'm now the proud owner of a 1952 Bowman of Mr. Simpson. This is now the oldest card in my collection and it might be my favorite. Yeah, it's graded, but there's certain battles you decide to fight. I've never actually examined a real '52 Bowman up close and man are they stellar. I'm going to try and get more of Harry's cards if possible and he doesn't have a long checklist so it's easily doable. So here's to Harry Simpson, the pride of Dalton, Ga.

2 comments:

dayf said...

Nice card! If you need a checklist of his cards shoot me an e-mail and I'll find my old Beckett Alphabetical checklist and type it up for you. It has all his cards up until 1998 at least.

Michael said...

Russ,
Harry Simpson has long been my baseball hero. Injuries and tragedy marred his career but he is appreciated to this day by this fan. I have a large collection of items (beyond baseball cards) related to his career. I still feel Harry deserved a shot with one of the AL or NL expansion teams in 1961 &'62 as he was having excellent seasons in the PCL.
Suitcase - Rest in Peace