Wednesday, December 3, 2014

'59 Topps set build #8/572 Coot Veal

I haven't done a lot of writing lately due to the Thanksgiving holiday and the fatigue that set in because of it.  So to break out of the malaise that has been gripping me lately, it's time to feature a card that has its own blog. 

Card #52:  Coot Veal

I thought for the longest time that this wasn't a real name.   Just a figment of someone's imagination, along the lines of the Sports Illustrated Sidd Finch April Fools gag back in 1985.  Not until I discovered DHoff's blog a couple of years back did I realize that the gentleman does indeed exist.

Coot's full name is Orville Inman Veal, and he was born in Sandersville, GA.

Career beginnings:   He was signed by the Detroit Tigers as an amateur free agent in 1952.

Career Line:  .231 average, 1 HR and 51 RBI in 247 games played.

I mentioned on the Bill Hall post about whether there would be other cards in the set that had detailed minor league statistics, well here you go!  Veal's card back details a 6 year journey from the time he signed in '52 to his eventual debut and selection to the '58 all rookie team with the Tigers.

Loved to face:  Bob Grim  6 for 13 (.462)
Hated to face:  Hoyt Wilhelm 1 for 12 with 4 K's (.083)

Coot's only career home run came in 1959 off of White Sox lefty Billy Pierce.

How'd he fare in 1959?  Coot wound up being more of a defensive replacement in 1959, appearing in 77 games but only garnering 89 ABs.  Coot hit .202 with 1 HR and 15 RBI's that year. 

  • Coot's career was short lived, only lasting 6 seasons in the majors.  
  • He was drafted by the Angels in the 1960 expansion draft, and was traded that very same day to the Washington Senators where he spent the '61 season.
  • Coot has the distinction of being the first player to get a base hit for the expansion Senators in the '61 season.  He also scored the first run, driven in by a Gene Woodling triple with 2 outs in the first inning.  The Senators lost to the White Sox 4-3.
  • His '62 season with the Pirates consisted of only 1 AB.
  • Coot would spend parts of the '63 and '64 seasons in the minors before retiring at the age of 32
The card that I own is in really nice shape, there are no creases or markings of any kind.   The corners are a bit soft, but it's still a really nice copy of Veal's RC.

I love the cartoon on the back that features Coot receiving a trophy for making the '58 all rookie team.  The cartoon guy in the top hat and tails reminds me of Brian Doyle Murray in the movie Groundhog Day.  

I also never knew what the "Pony League" was, but learned today that Pony is short for Pennsylvania-Ontario-New York.  See, you do learn something new every day...

thanks for reading, Robert


  1. Love these posts. 1 AB as a I need a Coot card.

  2. I got to wondering "Why didn't the Senators just draft Coot Veal in the first place?" Turns out that the 1960 expansion was badly handled, each team drafted more players from certain teams than they were supposed to be allowed to, and trades like Coot Veal for Ken Aspromonte was the result.

    I got my info from SABR's website: