In preparation for SABR 47 which is just a few weeks a way I have been trying to put together a checklist of cards related to the panels and presentations scheduled for this years conference. The use of the term checklist is a bit of a misnomer here, as this list is nowhere near comprehensive. It is more of a selection of cards that I find interesting that are also related to the subjects at SABR47.
Once I saw Jim Bouton was on the schedule re-reading “Ball Four” jumped to the front of my to-do list. I have read the books several times, once as a teenager, again in my 30s, and currently on the edge of my 50s. The book is the most interesting to me now – a large part of that is I have learned more about the Bouton/Seattle Pilots era via card collecting. Also today a lot more information is at your fingertips, I have checked into box scores, stats, and SABR Bios on a few dozen players while reading the book. As a more mature reader I have found parts of the book a little disconcerting, Bouton’s brashness that I found attractive in my youth now seems self-centered and arrogant. There is also the objectification of women which sometimes makes me cringe. The tell-all aspect of “Ball Four” may have been shocking at the time, to a young person today the books revelations may seem trivial – but I can easily see Bouton’s teammates getting upset with the books revelations. In some ways I think he did break some locker room ethics.
1962 Topps #592 Rookie Parade
I picked out Jim Bouton’s rookie card to represent the Pitcher and Author. The card is shared with another player noted for his off the field behavior Bo Belinsky. For the first time, Topps elected to put rookies on shared cards. It is a good idea to squeeze more players into the set but one of the unfortunate results is that the RCs of many future HOFs end upon shared cards (Stargell, Schmidt, Molitor, Rice, Carew, Sutton, Joe Morgan, Gary Carter etc.)
The 1962 Rookie Parade cards run in sequence as an eight card subset that runs from #591 – #598. While none of the cards contain Hall of Famers they do reside at the end of the final series of 1962 Topps and are somewhat scarce. The Bouton card at #592 is the second card in the subset – If you think in terms of numerical precedence this means he is featured on the 2nd Multi-player Rookie card issued by Topps. The Biggest Name on the first card #591 is Sam McDowell. That card also features Ron Taylor, Dick Radatz, Art Quirk, and Ron Nischwitz. Other notables in the set include Bob Uecker (#595), and a couple of Ball Four Luminaries Joe Pepitone (#596) and Denis Menke (#597). The full list can be found at the bottom of the checklist at Cardboard Connection.
1965 Topps #137 Bouton Wins Again
My favorite Bouton Card is from the 1965 Topps World Series Subset. You can read my thoughts on that card here.
1998 Bowman Chrome International #221
The Latino Baseball Committee is hosting Peter Bjarkman who was featured in the ESPN 30 for 30 documentary “Brothers in Exile” about Cuban brothers Livan and Orlando Hernandez. I picked out a fun one here. One of the insert sets common to Bowman features the player photo overlaying an image of a map of the country or state from which the player hails. Topps has also done this with flags in the background rather than maps.
1998 Bowman Chrome International #221 (b-side)
In addition to the map of Cuba, the international flavor of the card carries through to the back which is written in Spanish.
SABR 47 Checker
Those are just two of the cards I thought of when perusing the schedule for SABR 47. A check of other cards would including the following and many more. If you have other favorites post them in the comments. It will give collectors the opportunity to look at their collection from a different angle and in context of the SABR convention.
1953 Topps #1 Jackie Robinson (Jackie Robinson Panel)
1954 Topps #104 Mike Sandlock (RP18 Charlie Dressen’s Pacific All Stars Tour of 1945)
1961 Topps #472 MVP Yogi Berra (Yogi Berra Panel)
1970 Topps #1 New York Mets (George Vescey)
1976 SSPC #37 Dennis Eckersly RC (Keith Olbermann)
1981 Topps #291 Ken Landreaux (Olbermann)
1988 Topps #267 Billy Bean (RP24 Emasculating Rituals of MLB Players)
2002 UD Vintage Day at the Park #DP2 Derek Jeter (A Day at the Ballpark Special Session)
2010 Topps #41 Dodgers Franchise History (RP26 Happy Felton’s Knothole Gang)
2014 Topps #273 Mark DeRosa (MLB Now Panel)
Sources and Links
Standard Catalog of Baseball Cards – Bob Lemke