I have shared this story before, but not yet with this group. People who know me know that I love movies and I love baseball. For the most part these interests do not overlap — One day I’ll watch a movie, and the next day I’ll watch a baseball game, but rarely can I do both at the same time.
About a year ago I was watching Penelope, a delightful madcap romp from 1966 starring Natalie Wood, one of my favorite actresses from the past. I had never seen the movie before. And then, this scene, with Wood and Peter Falk, happened.
You can see enough of the wrapper (time 0:45 to 0:55) and the card backs (1:33 to 1:45) to confirm that this was a pack of 1966 Topps cards. This was also the first year that Ron Swoboda got a card to himself.
The entire movie is fun, but this scene alone is priceless. This is the card that Penelope found at the top of her pack.
Many of you likely know of the great band The Baseball Project. Their members include several wonderful rock musicians who gained their fame in other bands, including Scott McCaughey, Steve Wynn, Linda Pitmon, Peter Buck and Mike Mills. I could go and on, and I might at some point, but they write and perform songs about baseball, and they have made four great records. I have seen them live four times.
Their most recent record (called The 3rd) came out in 2014 (guys, its time), and includes a fantastic song about collecting baseball cards that speaks to my young adult years rather pointedly.
I can’t find a video performance on-line, but here is the audio. Have a listen, and then buy the CD/record. Then buy the rest of them.
One of my favorite blogs is Josh Wilker’s Cardboard Gods. Josh takes a different slant than most baseball card blogs, which are mainly nostalgia. Josh uses one card to help tell some (often quite personal, sometimes funny and/or emotional) story about his own life, or about the world around him.
Several years ago he took some of his blog content, added several new entries, and turned out a book, also called Cardboard Gods. I highly recommend the book as well.
Note that we have a Blogroll over to the lower right. If you have any other blogs that are worthy of promotion via SABR’s Baseball Cards committee, let’s add them. Also, feel free to post about them as well.
For those of you who don’t know, Bruce Markusen writes a column devoted to baseball cards (usually focusing on a single card) for the Hall of Fame web site. He has a new entry today, which is on the 1968 Don Mincher card.
Bruce is a member of this committee, but even if he wasn’t I would recommend giving his column a read. At the very bottom of the page there are some links to earlier entries, but you might need Google to find the rest.
Several years ago Arthur Zillante reviewed a few baseball books for SABR’s Baseball Research Journal. You can read his review here. Feel free to “comment” about these books and others.
Partly to test out our brand new blog (for SABR’s Baseball Cards committee), I thought I would provide links to a series of articles I wrote in the spring of 2016 on Topps baseball cards. Here they are.
April 7. Part 1: Introduction.
April 14. Part 2: Taking Over. (focus on 1956-57)
April 21. Part 3: Innovative Subsets. (focus on 1958-61)
April 28. Part 4: Men Without Hats. (focus on 1962-63)
May 5. Part 5: Rookie Cards. (focus on 1964-67)
May 12. Part 6: Conflict. (focus on 1968-69)
May 19. Part 7: Collecting. (focus on 1970-71)
May 26. Part 8: Grey Backs. (focus on 1972-75)
June 2. Part 9: Competition. (focus on 1976-80)
June 9. Part 10: The Best of the Best.
More posts like this coming.
— Mark Armour