Thursday, April 9, 2020

Johnny Antonelli - My Dad's Guy

I certainly get more of a thrill out of 50s and 60s cards than I do penny cards from the junk wax era, and reckoned that it made some sense to collect at least one player that played back then. There will be more, but I had to start somewhere, and I started with Johnny Antonelli.

Antonelli was a 5-time All-Star and two-time 20-game winner for the New York and San Francisco Giants, and played from 1948 until 1961. He actually had a chance to play for the 1962 expansion New York Mets, who set the record for futility by losing 120 games that year, but our boy Johnny chose to "retire" at the age of 31 rather than take his talents back to the Polo Grounds with Casey Stengel and the boys.

Johnny Antonelli was also my dad's favorite player when he was a kid and a teenager, just as Jack Clark was mine. My dad introduced me to the sport of baseball in 1976, as I recount in this post of mine on a different blog. So when it came time to figure out which 50s/60s dude I was going to collect first, well - I mean I'm accumulating McCovey cards for sure, but the more affordable way to complete a guy's cards is to begin with someone with a shorter career and much lower price tags on his cards, right? And plus I knew my dad would get a kick out of it (he's still with us, sheltering in place in San Jose, California).

The card you see up top is a 1954 Bowman. Let's take a look at the other four Antonellis I've managed to grab so far. First, a 1956 Topps:

1957 Topps:

Then it's on to San Francisco.....this one's from 1959 Topps:

...and finally this one from 1960 Topps, with the amazing alternating red/black letters:

Only one more year in baseball for Johnny Antonelli after that. He passed away just over a month ago (!) at his home in Rochester, NY, on February 28th, 2020. The Trading Card Database says he has 81 cards in total, so my quest is on, and I'll share what I can in this space during the months to come.


  1. Good luck! Would be cool to complete that run.

  2. Best of luck! By the way... Oak Grove Little League? That's the league I played in as a kid. I noticed on your team photo the name Bloop. Was that the name of your coach? If so, he was my coach as well (at some point... majors... or senior minors).

  3. Always love hearing the backstories on why people collect the players they do. Cool Antonelli cards here -- though that's one strange airbrush job on the '54 Bowman.

  4. Great collection! I love that it's inspired by your Dad too. I've got a copy of that '54 Bowman myself and always thought it was a great card. Interesting that his name is in type font while most cards from that set feature signatures.


Sorry about the moderation captcha thing, but it's to keep the spammers out.