Wednesday, December 16, 2009

TTM Success-Charlie Maxwell

Charlie Maxwell 1955

I want to kick off this post by commenting on two things about Charlie's autograph and this card. First, I like how Charlie did something that most players try to avoid; he signed across his face. Many times, especially with these Crown cards which are smaller than normal cards, players will try to squeeze their autograph into a corner or a small lighter portion of the card, or will occasionally sign them on the back. I like how Charlie was bold and/or smart enough to just sign across his face so he had plenty of room for the personalization and his signature without compromising his autograph.

Also, I love this Crown set; without it, I wouldn't have cards to get signed of hundreds of short-term Orioles players between 1954-91. But it makes me mad that they use some pictures of guys wearing other teams' uniforms. OK, I know Charlie was only an Oriole for four games in 1955, but I don't believe that there isn't a picture of him wearing Orioles gear somewhere. Even a blurry, crappy shot would be better than this one of him in a stupid Red Sox hat. And even if I concede that it's possible no one has a picture of Charlie from those four games 50+ years ago, this set has some much more recent players in other team's uniforms too. The good about the set far outweighs the bad, but I'm just trying to make my point.

And now moving on to some information about Charlie's career. As I mentioned above, he only appeared in four games for the Orioles at the beginning of the '55 season, all as a pinch hitter, and he went 0-4. There's not too much else to say about Charlie's time with the O's, but he had a good MLB career with some other teams and he is mostly remembered for his time with the Detroit Tigers between 1955-1962. Over those seasons, he made two All-Star teams ('56 & '57) and received MVP votes ('56, '57 & '60) three times.

Another interesting thing about Charlie is his abundance of cool nicknames. My favorites are "Sunday Charlie" and the "Sabbath Smasher" which both came about from his tendency to hit home runs on Sundays. He also was called "Paw Paw" or "Ol' Paw Paw" after his hometown of Paw Paw, Michigan and "Smokey" for reasons that I was unable to confirm. I can guess that he smoked a lot, but don't want to accuse Charlie without being sure of that.

And I just wrote a lot more than I ever thought that I would or could about Charlie Maxwell but hey, I was in the zone today. It happens sometimes.

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