Ah, my first 1952 Topps card. Hopefully not to be my last. And yes, it’s not pretty or in great condition, but I really treasure this card. But who is this Sam Mele? Well, baseball-reference has an actual photo of the guy:
So I’d say Topps’ artists got it pretty much right. Sam joined the Senators in 1949 and hit .242/.288/.337, pretty ugly for someone who played 1B and corner outfield.
Overall, Sam hit .269/.332/.413 in his years with the Senators, from 1949 to 1952, good for a 101 OPS+. If he was a fourth outfield type, that wouldn’t be too bad, but it appears he was used as a starter, so he wasn’t exactly setting the world on fire.
In the end, though, I’m glad to have this card in my collection. Notch another Senator I’d never heard of before!