I first became interested in Jimmy Piersall as a teenager. After a round of golf and a few beers, my dad would reminisce and he began to relate to me stories of the game he loved: baseball. Stories of Bob Feller's blazing fastball, Ryne Duren's cokebottle glasses and most of all, of the colorful antics of a young Red Sox outfielder named Jimmy Piersall. My parents were married in 1953 in the Boston area, so my father spent quite a few afternoons of 1952 and 1953 in the stands at Fenway Park watching Piersall during his most colorful period. Stories of Jimmy cleaning off homeplate with a squirt gun, leading cheers for himself in the outfield and more are what kept Jimmy in my memory for 20 years. In 1998, I renewed my childhood love of collecting baseball cards. Soon, my interests began to focus on vintage cards, and this has led me back to the memories of my childhood. One of which is a spirited young outfielder who could catch anything within a mile of him and entertain the fans like no other. Of course, that man was Jimmy Piersall. I have put this page together as a tribute to Jimmy. If you have any pictures or information that would help me make this a better place to visit, please e-mail me. And, Jimmy, if you're out there, thanks for the memories...
|Career||Multimedia||Pics||Card Checklist||Card Gallery||Links|
Piersall Career Info
NOTE: This section is still under heavy construction. If you have any good career write-ups, please send them along...
Boston Red Sox 1950-1958
Cleveland Indians 1958-1962
Washington Senators 1962-1963
New York Mets 1963
California Angels 1964-1967
All-Star: 1954, 1956 (and he was gypped out of 2 others!)
Gold Glove: 1958, 1961
The Red Sox outfielder and shortstop (1950,1952-58) was deemed by Casey Stengel at the beginning of his career to be the most natural defensive outfielder he had ever seen.
Piersall's career with the Sox was marked by his distinctive personality, which varied from contemplative and engaging to quirky. Sadly, Piersall suffered a nervous breakdown and entered a sanitarium in the middle of the 1952 season. He made a comeback in 1953, and wrote a book about his struggles with mental illness, Fear Strikes Out, which was made into a motion picture. Piersall's problems were very public, but he carried himself with dignity, and with a distinct sense of humor about his ordeals. He never quite rid himself of his unique behavior, quipping that he'd "give 'em their money's worth" if the crowds came out to see him.
Piersall was at the Midsummer Classic in 1954 and 1956, and won well-deserved Gold Gloves in 1958 and in 1961, when he was with the Indians. After he left the Sox in 1959, Piersall bounced from team to team for the remainder of his career. But the Fenway faithful remember New England native Jimmy Piersall as a member of the Red Sox forever.
|Here's the book's link on Amazon.com.|
|The 1956 movie about Piersall's struggle. I've never seen it, but Jimmy himself gives it the big "thumbs down".|
|Former Red Sox great, Jim Piersall tells the story of his struggle with bipolar disorder in The Truth Hurts. (Contemporary Books, 1985). This one is out of print, but you might be able to find a copy on eBay.|
On June 23, 1963, Piersall hits his 100th career home run and runs it out backwards!
Washington Senators Jim Piersall, Gene Woodling, Don Rudolph and Dale Long. Washington was Jimmy's least pleasant stay.
Vintage Jimmy Piersall "fieldmaster" glove.
Here, Jimmy graces the cover of Sport magazine during his tenure at Cleveland.
Vintage Jimmy Piersall Wilson A2200 Glove.
NOTE: Additional pictures, or info on any pictures listed above are appreciated.
Piersall Baseball Card Checklist
1947-1966 Exhibits - 229 *** 1947-19?? PM10 Stadium Pins - 146? 164? 1951 Bowman - 306 1952 Bowman - 189 1953 Bowman B&W - 36 1953 Red Sox Team Issue - 24 1954 Bowman - 66b 1954 Bowman - 210 1954 Colonial Meat Products Piersall - 1 1954 Colonial Meat Products Piersall - 2 1954 Red Man - AL11 1955 Bowman - 16 1955 Red Man - AL21 1956 Topps - 143 1957 Topps - 75 1958 Red Sox Jays Publishing - 7 1958 Topps - 280 1959 Indians - 16 1959 Red Sox Jays Publishing - 7 1959 Topps - 355 1960 Indians Jays Publishing - 8 1960 Topps - 159 1960 Topps Venezuelan - 159 1961 Topps - 345 1961 Topps Stamps - 139 1961 Wilson Advisory Staff Cards - 5 1962 Bazooka - 36 1962 Salada-Junket Dessert Coins - 88a (Indians) 1962 Salada-Junket Dessert Coins - 88b (Senators) 1962 Senators Newberry Little Pro - 1 1962 Shirriff Coins - 88 1962 Topps - 51 (LL) 1962 Topps - 90 1962 Topps Baseball Bucks - 68 1962 Topps Stamps - 100 1962 Topps Venezuelan - 51 (LL) 1962 Topps Venezuelan - 90 1963 Baseball Magazine (M118) - 66 1963 Statistic Back Exhibits - 53 1963 Fleer - 29 1963 Topps - 443 1964 Topps - 586 1965 OPC - 172 1965 Topps - 172 1966 Topps - 565 1967 Topps - 584 *** 1977 Spo - 10224 1978 Boston Red Sox of the 1950s - 45 1979 TCMA Baseball History Series - 188 *** 1980 Marchant - 23 *** 1981 RedSoxBG2S - 45 *** 1987 CubCan - 25 *** 1987 SpoRea - 14 1989 Pacific Legends II - 182 1989 Swell Baseball Greats - 83 1990 Pacific Legends - 44 1990 Swell Baseball Greats - 92 1991 Line Drive - 20 1991 Swell Baseball Greats - 72 1991 Topps Archives 1953 - 286 1991 Wiz Mets - 316 1992 Action Packed All-Star Gallery Series I - 49 1993 Keebler Texas Rangers - 294 (Coach) 1993 Ted Williams - 5 1993 Upper Deck All-Time Heroes - 105 1994 Upper Deck All-Time Heroes - 13 1994 Upper Deck All-Time Heroes - 13 (bronze foil) 1994 Upper Deck All-Time Heroes - 61 1994 Upper Deck All-Time Heroes - 61 (bronze foil)
NOTE - Cards marked with *** are still unverified. If you can ID these more specifically, or have any further info, please let me know. If you know of any others that I missed, please let me know that as well.
Piersall Baseball Card Gallery
|1951 Bowman #306|
(Piersall's Rookie Card)
|1952 Bowman #189|
|1953 Bowman Black and White #36|
|1954 Bowman #66b, 210|
|1954 Red Man #AL11|
|1955 Bowman #16|
|1956 Topps #143|
|1957 Topps #75|
|1958 Topps #280|
|1959 Topps #355|
|1960 Topps #159|
|1961 Topps #345|
|1962 Salada Coins #88a|
|1962 Topps #90|
|1963 Fleer #29|
|1963 Topps #443|
|1964 Topps #586|
|1965 Topps #172|
|1966 Topps #565|
|1967 Topps #584|
|1979 TCMA Baseball History Series #188|
|1989 Swell Baseball Greats #83|
|1991 Topps Archives '53 #286|
|1993 Keebler Texas Rangers #294 (Coach)|
|1993 Ted Williams #5|
NOTE: Scans of other cards, or improved scans of any pictured above are greatly appreciated.
Hall of Mediocrity - Jimmy is a member of OBC's Hall of Mediocrity - a place where great players of the past are honored for their careers which brought joy to many fans. These players have been passed over for enshrinement in Cooperstown (at least for the time being), but are deserving nonetheless of a place of honor.
The Piersall Place, copyright © 1999-2002 by Dan Austin.
This page was last updated on