Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Shirt Off My Back 2 - Electric Bugaloo


Topps has secured rights for 16 former players that are huge names in the card industry – rightfully so. The biggest names are Jackie Robinson, Gherig, Cobb, Cy Young, Campanella, among others. I think its freaking unbelievable considering that for some of the guys, there has not been a card produced in years! I mentioned in my post about jersey cards that the supply for these guys has to be dwindling – especially for Gherig, Cobb and Cy Young. These guys played in an era where there was no memorabilia industry, so I think its weird that there can be so many relics available for them. Granted, most of them played for 20 years, but still, I think the dryer probably ate more of the jerseys than are out there for UD and Topps to buy.

Does anyone else besides me think that cutting up historical pieces of the national pasttime to insert in baseball cards is blasphemy? I can understand for people like Jeter, Griffey, Jordan, and others, because they all played with the idea that UD should get some of the Jerseys each year. But for Gherig, Cy Young, and a lot of others, their jerseys and bats should be preserved for future generations to admire the game back then, before it was about sticking syringes in your ass and socking dingers to make that huge-mungous contract even more huge-mungous.

On a lighter(?) note, people like Cobb hated black people being involved in the game, so I think its kind of hilarious and sad that he would be included on a card with Jackie Robinson. Maybe there should be a Kennedy/Castro relic card made to show off classic hater/hatee relationships through history.

I am eager to see what they will dig up in 10 years when they run out of HOF jerseys to put in these things (*crosses fingers for a “person used” DNA card*).


  1. Regarding Cobb and his hatred of blacks in the game. You need to do a little more research on the subject. Was he a racist? Yup. Was he more racist than Speaker or Hornsby or most southern people at the time? Not really.

    "That boy Campanella needs only a couple more years at his present pace to become the all time catcher in my book . . . excellent receiver, fine in handling pitchers, smart, dynamite with the stick (bat), and an expert in plays at the plate." 2/2/54 Baltimore Afro-American, "From A to Z", by Sam Lacy.

    Here's another quote from Ty before his death in 1961: Ty declared, "Mays is the only man in baseball, I'd pay to see play." (Baltimore Afro-American, Saturday, 8/20/66. "New Wave of Expletives greet Mays' homer feat", by Sam Lacy)

    One last quote: "Certainly it is O.K. for them to play," he said, "I see no reason in the world why we shouldn't compete with colored athletes as long as they conduct themselves with politeness and gentility. "Let me say also that no white man has the right to be less of a gentleman than a colored man, in my book that goes not only for baseball but in all walks of life." 1/29/52 Independent Journal.

    The first 2 quotes are from a black paper written by a black hall of fame baseball writer. There are dozens more examples of Cobb being genteel. Like his visits to Negro League games where he sat on the bench with the players and talked baseball for hours. Or the hospital he built in a black neighborhood in Georgia. He also established a scholarship fund that mostly benefits poor black Georgians, and willed 25% of his estate to the fund (2.5 million dollars in 1961). Most Cobb historians believe he built the hospital and established the scholarship to help make up for his past racist attitudes.


  2. Wow, thank you for that, very informative.

    Do realize my pathetic attempts at humor are usually only about 60% accurate. Remember, books and me go together like a treadmill and me.

  3. Well in this case about 23% accurate. But I agree with you 100% about vintage game used memorabilia. It's a disgusting practice that needs to be stopped. Destroying a piece of history so that greedy card companies and ignorant collectors can get a tiny scrap of cloth or a sliver of wood is pathetic. A one inch square piece of a uniform or bat is NOT a piece of history. The history is destroyed when the bat or uniform was cut up. Imagine going to the Hall Of Fame with your grandkids and showing them a pile of one inch squares. Future generations will look at this practice with anger and scorn. And I have a strong feeling that your doubts about the authenticity of these scraps will prove to be true. Remember that 1/1 Ruth/Cobb/Wagner/Johnson auto card? 2 of those signatures were fakes. It wouldn't surprise me in the least to find out that 25% or more of the game used cards have fake memorabilia in them. They'll use all kind of bullshit excuses like the player probably wore the uniform or it might be the players bat. But without having the uniform or bat intact there is no way to know.

    PS I'm a returning collector (about 3 months back) and like getting the unbiased view on cards you give. I'm an old school set builder so anything about building new or old sets and I'd like to see more baseball. Keep it up.

  4. I forgot all about that quad cut card - or at least dual cut and two fake.

    Thank you so much for your comments, very nice to see that Im not the only one who feels disgusted by the practice of vintage jersey cards.