Card 11/12 Jimmy Ripple and Ernie Lombardi

Jimmy Ripple appears on two cards in the Double Play set.  You can find a more extensive writeup on him in the previous write-up on the vertical card he shares with Bucky Walters. He made his mark as a minor leaguer, with a long career as an International League star.

Ernie Lombardi had a huge bat and, especially late in his career, a huge girth.  He was quite possibly the the slowest player ever to wear a big league uniform.  I once heard an announcer say that late in his career the shortstop would often play well into left field…even beyond the limits of their arm.  They would field the ball, and try to sprint back into the infield in time to throw the Schnozz out. He was a truly gifted hitter…in fact, the last catcher to lead a league in hitting until Joe Mauer did so more than a half century later. He had a lot of trouble adjusting to life after baseball, which included a well=publicized suicide attempt in 1953. He later worked as a Giants pressbox attendant and at a gas station. An eight-time All Star, he was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1986.

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