Washington Senators Friday: Karl Olson

1957 Topps

You’re looking at a man whose career was almost over at this point. Ole was signed as a free agent in 1948 by the BoSox, and would end up debuting with the team in 51 after start with “C” level San Jose and working his way up through the system. He wasn’t a particularly hard hitter until the 50 season, when he hit 23 home runs with AA Birmingham. He only played in five major league games in 51, then spent the entire 52 season in the military before coming back up with the Sox in 53. He would never be a full-time major leaguer, though. In fact, this card, representing his 56 season, would be the year he played the most games in the majors with 106.

Before that, though, he played in 101 games in 1954, hitting .260/.293/.344 with 1 home run for a 67 OPS+. He spent little time with Boston in 55 before getting traded with with Al Curtis, Dick Brodowski, Neil Chrisley, and Tex Clevenger to the Washington Senators for Bob Porterfield, Johnny Schmitz, Tom Umphlett, and Mickey Vernon. At least one of those names meant something. Washington gave him a shot in 56, and he didn’t produce much, hitting .246/.305/.329 for a 71 OPS+ and a -1.8 WAR. Understandably, the Senators didn’t stick with him very long in 57, and the Red Sox purchased him then flipped him to Detroit, where he finished the year and was done.

The Baseball-Reference bullpen also informed me that he hit into 2 triple plays in 279 career games and 681 at bats, the fastest player to 2 triple plays in history. Ollie Beard hit 2 in 331 career games and Chubby Dean hit 2 in 1047 at bats.

So here’s to you, Karl Olson. Where are you today?

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