Mehring Monday: Special Cards
I am a bit pressed for time today so I am going to pull a topic that I have been saving for just such an occasion.
If you collected baseball cards around the time I did, you were looking forward to getting Reggie Jackson, Robin Yount, Rod Carew, Mike Schmidt, and all the other great players of the time in that pack. I did, too.
But, I also looked forward to those other cards. The ones with the leaders from the previous season. The ones with the top rookies for the upcoming season. The ones that pointed out the family connections. The ones that talke about trades in the offseason. The ones that I am going to share today.
Like this one about trades. I can’t decide which looks more wrong. Mickey Lolich in a Mets cap or Ron Santo in that red cap. Imagine what they could have done with Photoshop in the 1970’s.
Baseball is a game for Fathers & Sons. Don’t believe that? The proof is in the card! I am pretty sure there is a card out there that has the three generations of Boones out there somewhere. I just don’t have it.
It’s a game for rookies and brothers, too. JIM GANTNER sighting! GARTH IORG sighting! Jim Rice had to share that card in 1975. And check out Jack Morris as a young Tiger on that ’78 Rookie Pitchers card.
It’s a game for leaders. Phil Niekro struck out NL 262 batters in 1977. Nolan Ryan struck out 341 AL batters in 1977. Wait a minute…Rod Carew led the AL in batting….Larry Hisle led the AL in RBI….both guys were on the Twins….Hisle hit behind Carew in the order? That makes complete sense!
There is also room of the record breakers. Like Willie McCovey breaking a record you didn’t know existed. The back of his card notes that “McCovey hit two homer in one inning, 6-27-77 to set one big league mark and set another NL standard”. No other player had ever hit two homers in an inning twice until McCovey. One of those homers on June 27 was a grand slam for his 17th homer with the bases loaded. Note that the idiosyncratic comma before the date in the quote from the back of the card is in the original…for some reason.
There are Legends, too. Yes. I consider Bobby Grich a legend. Dude could play!
Speaking of playing…look at these players and these achievements. Also, the 1974 World Series cards is about Game Five, a 3-2 win by Oakland over the Dodgers that sealed the Swingin’ A’s third straight Championship.
Then, there are the cards with odd combinations. Fountain of Youth for Willie Stargell and Pete Rose? Phil and Joe Niekro tied for the NL lead in victories in 1979? With 21? Really?:
Here are some other cards of note. Like this tongue twister: Sammy Stewart struck out seven straight in his first MLB game. Also, Gene Garber was a Super Veteran! I have one for Yaz, but couldn’t find it this morning.
Have I mentioned that I love that Kurt Bevacqua bubble gum card? Well, I do!