Sunday, February 18, 2018
'56 of the month: Ron Negray
I like it when I discover cards in my collection of players who were Dodgers at another point in their career. I like it even more when I also find a card of that player as a Dodger.
Ron Negray is featured on just two Topps cards. He's in the 1956 and 1957 Topps sets as a member of the Philadelphia Phillies.
Because the Dodgers were so good at that time and there were relatively few teams, Negray spent much of his time with the Dodgers in the minors. He played seven seasons with Brooklyn farm teams like Valdosta, Newport News, Elmira, Pueblo and Saint Paul.
He was traded to the Phillies in June 1955, just four months before Brooklyn won its first World Series.
However, Negray did get to play for another famous Brooklyn Dodgers team. He appeared briefly with the 1952 Boys of Summer.
Therefore, he received a card in the 1974 TCMA set:
Outside of the 1990 Target all-inclusive Dodgers set, it is the only set where you can find a card of Negray as a Dodger.
That is a bit unfortunate, because Negray also played for the Los Angeles Dodgers and how cool would it be to have a card of him with both teams? He was traded back to the Dodgers from the Phillies in 1957, and he pitched for L.A. in its first season in 1958. Wikipedia says he was the starting pitcher in the franchise's first spring training game as the L.A. Dodgers.
Negray pitched in just four games for the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1952 and four more games for the L.A. Dodgers in 1958. That makes me wonder if he appeared the fewest times among players who played for both Brooklyn and Los Angeles. (Quick research tells me he's not. Jackie Collum pitched in three games for Brooklyn in '57 and two games for L.A. in '58).
There's another always fascinating 1956 back for you to enjoy. I don't know what that character is supposed to be in the first cartoon. Hummingbird perhaps? (Hummer = fastball).
Negray's final big league season was in 1958 but he continued his career through 1963, playing in the minors and in Latin America. After his career he was a successful sporting goods salesman.
Negray is fast approaching his 88th birthday. He is one of four remaining members of the '52 Dodgers who are still living. The others are Joe Landrum, Carl Erskine and Bobby Morgan.
Here is an interesting interview with him from a couple of years ago.
I always appreciate having a blog so I can get to know cards like this.