Today’s Pittsburgh Pirates Card of the Day features the great Elroy Face, who turns 95 years old today. He spent 15 seasons with the Pirates, joining the club in 1953, before getting traded away on the same day he tied a major record. He’s one of the best relievers of all-time, coming from an era when pitching one inning was saved for guys who did mop-up work. He doesn’t get the respect he deserves because he actually worked for his saves, instead of backing into them by doing the minimum.
Today we check out Face on a card produced by the Ted Williams Card Company, which was established in 1993. They put out a set of 160 cards, including some players who were active at the time, and a lot of all-time greats. Face is on card #77 from that set.
Here’s the front of the card:
I wish the Ted Williams Company put out more sets because this is a great looking set. I love the look of a color photo on top of a black & white photo in the background, which two different looking photos. The borderless look works well too. I’m not 100% sure what they were going for on the right side, but it works EXCEPT for the name being almost the same color as the background. I’m sure not all of you saw his name going up the side from the bottom to the top, but I missed it at first glance. I’m a fan of the company label up top. Looks like a sweet spot on a baseball bat.
Here’s the back of the card:
Count me as a fan of the back as well. The right side background from the front is now on the left side on the back. The rest of the background is a little hard to see, but it’s a Pirates logo that appears to be branded into wood. That would have worked better if the wood was a little lighter, but I still like it. There’s a small bio section that notes his 18-1 record from 1959.
What I like to do is look at these cards and see how they did picking the five best seasons of each player, by comparing those seasons to WAR stats. Face’s five best seasons according to them (listed in chronological order) are: 1958, 1959, 1960, 1962 and 1966. If you go by his WAR, his five best seasons (listed by best WAR first are: 1962, 1959, 1955, 1956, 1960. His 1958 season was sixth, so it just missed. The 1966 season ranks eighth. I’ll note that the 1955-56 seasons are helped out by the fact that they are his two highest seasons for innings pitched, which helped the WAR numbers.
I mentioned that Face tied a record on the day he was traded. He pitched his 802nd game with the same team, which tied the great Walter Johnson for the most games pitched with one team. It’s no longer a record, thanks to the existence of one-inning relievers. Face just can’t escape those bums.
This card is a popular card to get autographed, and Face has had 29 years to sign it for people. There are currently eight autographed copies on Ebay, which range from $12 to $50, with the highest priced one being authenticated. However, there’s another authenticated one for $22.50, with a best offer option. He has a nice looking autograph as well. If you just want the basic card with no frills, seven people have it for $3 or less. You might want to consider getting the entire set for $20 delivered.