1959 Topps: Bob Malkmus & Jim Lemon

Today we’re going to cover two older cards of players I had never heard of before obtaining their cards.

Bobby Malkmus was only ever a regular player in one year, 1961, when he was with the Phillies. In 1959, he played in only six games for the Senators, with zero plate appearances. In 1958, he had appeared in 41 games with a -0.5 WAR. He appears to have had zero power and zero speed. Obviously, he was glove-only, pretty typical for a second baseman in those days, but he still ranked a 32 OPS+, which…yeah. Even for a second baseman, it sucks. He had had some good seasons in the minors, though, putting in a 300/361/498 slash in 1959 at AA Denver. Ultimately, though, he was a major league bit player.

Jim Lemon was a bit more successful, playing many complete seasons, including full seasons in 58 and 59. Of course, he was coming off of leading the league in strikeouts with 120 in 1958, but he had also OPSed 114 with a .9 WAR and slugged 29 home runs. So no superstar or even star, but the kind of guy you could stick in the outfield and generally forget about. Kind of a Ryan Church of his day, I guess. His playing days wound down in 1963, with the White Sox, and became a manager and scout after that, passing away from melanoma in 2006 at the ripe old age of 78.


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