A Garr-eat Cause

I got this 45 years ago.


I got this yesterday.


There is something magical to me about Ralph Garr. He had some stellar years, hitting .300 and above when that was valued, and stealing some bases, when that mattered too. WAR isn’t kind to him, though he did have 5+ WAR in 1971 and 1974 (when he led the NL in BA). And he wore White Sox shorts.


I liked Ralph Garr, enough to send him a letter almost a half-century ago (!), and enough to make my first purchase from Signatures for Soldiers, a 501(c3) that raises money for disabled vets. I know of them via Twitter – @Sig4Soldiers – and watch their Tweets, but it was “The Roadrunner” that made me take the plunge with my first order. It won’t be my last. Check them out.

They had lots of Garrs, from different years and manufacturers, but I went for a 1973 Topps. I am in awe of those of you out there who collect signed complete sets. I can’t quite imagine the effort that takes.  I have a small, slowly growing, collection of 1973 signed cards, so ol’ Ralph fit right in.

I may keep adding to this little group of 13, if I find more and the price is right, but I’ll never go for a complete set and, really, there can’t be one. If you ever see an autographed copy of this card, run!

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Author: Jeff Katz

Jeff Katz is the former Mayor of Cooperstown, the “Birthplace of Baseball” and home to the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. His latest book, Split Season:1981 - Fernandomania, the Bronx Zoo, and the Strike that Saved Baseball, (Thomas Dunne Books, 2015), received national attention, with coverage appearing in The New York Times, Chicago Tribune, Sporting News and NPR’s Only a Game, among others. Katz appeared on ESPN’s Olbermann and The Sporting Life with Jeremy Schaap and MLB Network’s MLB Now, with Brian Kenny. Split Season: 1981 was a finalist for the 2016 Casey Award for Best Baseball Book of the Year.

11 thoughts on “A Garr-eat Cause”

  1. My first Sigs For Soldiers purchase was a Jim Abbott 88 Traded. Which got lost in the mail so he was nice enough to send me a replacement. I’ve been meaning to go through the spreadsheet and put a small stack together but that’ll be in a while.

    Ralph Garr-wise. How is there no card of him rocking the shorts (are there any cards showing the shorts?).

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I saw a tweet about the Garr signing, and wanted to buy one, but couldn’t find any way to respond. I don’t have a Twitter account so DM was not an option. Is there an email to buy these in the future?

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Great post. Bringing back memories of the beautiful store model Garr Adirondack I had as a kid. Collecting an auto card for an entire set is fun. I’m working on a 2004 set. It is kind of speculative since ya don’t know for sure how many signed cards from the set even exist. But it is quite affordable for most cards because people don’t pay a lot for non-certified.

    Liked by 1 person

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