I don’t hide the fact that I have been known to steal ideas from other bloggers… I was reading Sharpe Since 92 yesterday and he had posted a well loved 1969 Reggie Jackson rookie card he found at his parent’s house. He also mentioned Jim Palmer cards, too-I found a few of those at Mom and Dad's, but that is another post for another day, but this will serve its own foreshadowing purpose... I commented that I love digging around my parent’s garage and storage. They have never thrown away anything that was mine and even though they have moved several times since I was a kid, they still have all of my old stuff. The problem is, everything that I wanted, I took. Still there is the occasional gem. This brings me to the next blog to rip-off-this idea "borrowed" from Closet Full of Cardboard. He posted that he is going to chase the 1969 Topps set and posted a want list here. He has a double of the Roberto Clemente from ’69 that I would love to add to my collection, so I told him I would see what I have from ’69. I have all of my vintage singles neatly put in order and kept in an office at work-I have enough cards all over the house. I did look around and find one 1969 card, that coincidentally came from my parents a few months back. I planned on doing a one-card post on it before I sent it along with the others to Jeff for his set, but I checked his list and I get to keep this one, which is good, because it has a little history. My local card shop, when I was a kid was a card and comic books store. Eventually it became solely a comics shop, but in the mid 80s it was 50/50. All of the cards from the 60's and 70’s were kept in binders and kept behind the counter. The stars were out in display cases, but the commons were kept in the binder by year. The binder had a generic price list on the front. 1965 Topps was my favorite set, but these cards were 2 bucks a pop and although I stared at the binder often, I never bought out of it. Its funny, but you can find ‘65s far cheaper now… The most affordable cards of the 60’s were 1969-these were 75 cents a pop, three quarters or in my case generally 45 pennies, a dime and 4 nickels. The card shop attendant groaned when he saw me coming. I would hang around for hours and never spend more than 2 dollars and it was always in change… Anyway, I stared at that ’69 binder so much I know the order of the cards pretty well. I would seek out off condition cards and try and get them for than 75 cents, too. One day I noticed the crease in the corner of this card and promptly offered up 50 cents for it. With a nod (and without a smile) the offer was accepted and the card was mine! It was stuffed into a top loader and stuffed in my pocket, on my bike I hopped and I was off for more 8 year old debauchery. This card would be special because it wasn’t for me; it was a gift for my Dad. I have mentioned that my father wasn’t a baseball fan. He was and still is a racing fan. He was a professional front engine drag racer to a certain degree of success and fame. His business was camshafts for race cars and he pretty much lived and breathed speed. What card did I get him? A 1969 Topps Dick Bosman! Why Dick Bosman, why for my Dad? Well, flip the card and the answer will be clear to you. The card was actually well received. Turns out that Dad and Mr. Bosman were acquaintances of some sort, but my father didn’t realize that he was a former ballplayer. Within a few months I had myself a Dick Bosman autographed ball and card, Dad put them into a case with a plaque with Bosman’s no hitter date on it. Oh, and he saved the original card I had given him, plus all of the others we got together. Once I knew that my Dad knew him, it became fun to collect his cards together. It was around that time that me and Dad went to our first card show together (Mom generally took me) and we picked up 3 more Bosman cards that day. We also noticed that the ’69 wasn’t the only card back that mentioned his love of racing. We always intended to get them signed, but the cards and Dick were never in the same place at the same time. Dad returned a small stack of Bosman cards to me a few months ago, thanking me for the original and I thanked him again for the ball and card display, which remains in my father’s den for safe keeping with some of my Danny Tartabull memorabilia and a few of my old jerseys and trophies. It’s just safe there. We talked about going to that card show, too. We talked all night actually. My Dad has a heart condition and isn’t supposed to drink caffeine, but can on a rare occasion. He had two cups of coffee with me and we stayed up very late. And it all started with that 1969 Topps card that I bargained for and purchased for 50 cents over 25 years ago. My Dad introduced me to Mr. Bosman when I was a teenager and as an adult I have interviewed Dick. I saw him recently as he is a roving pitching instructor in the Rays organization. We went for coffee and he spoke candidly (off the record) with his assessment of some of the Rays young arms. He is a fantastic man with a pretty storied career in baseball and he, like my Dad, likes to drive fast. I won’t go over his career numbers here, but I will this post with a couple of fun trivia questions.
Who was the starting pitcher in the last Washington Senators game?
Who was the starting pitcher in the first Texas Rangers game?
Who is the only pitcher in MLB history to lose a game because of his own fielding error?
Who threw the 190th no hitter in MLB history?
After three straight World Series wins the A’s traded Blue Moon Odom, who did they trade him for?
Who led the American League with a 2.19 ERA in 1969?
In 1974 3 American League hurlers tossed no-hitters, but only two were All Stars, who was not named to the team despite throwing a no-hitter one week before the game?
What pitcher made one of the most infamous errors of 1974 after leading the AL in fielding percentage in 1970 when he had no errors in 51 chances?
Some of those questions were a bit of a stretch, but they have something in common. The correct answer to all 8 questions would be my friend, Dick Bosman. His '69 Topps will always be my favorite, but the '71 is awesome, too. The composition with the palm trees in the background (he is a Florida native) and the little star in the signature, perfect! His 1967 rookie card is one I have never tracked down and the action shot on his '73 (which I don't own) is awesome!
Thanks to Sharpe Since 92 and Closet Full of Cardboard for allowing me (without permission) to steal (er, be inspired by) their posting ideas. Thanks to my Dad for saving these cards for all of these years and thanks to Mr. Dick Bosman for allowing my Dad and I to find common ground in baseball. If you have any spare 1969 Topps cards laying around, find Jeff's list here. Troll out.