I've had this copy of "The Boys of Summer" probably from around the time it came out. One of the great things about books is that they wait for you. I did read this once upon a time. I also have had books on my shelves that I didn't read for the first time until many years later. There are books now that sit unread. Books are patient. "I'm here when you're ready", they seem to say. Well, I was ready to read this one again. When I first picked it up I was like the players in the first half of the book. Now I'm even older than the Dodgers when we meet them in the second half. It's a different experience but I know I enjoyed it the first time and and enjoyed it again. I think Bill Veeck's blurb on the back cover is perfect.
I'm not very organized so it wasn't easy but I did my best to find a card for each of the players Roger Kahn visited in the second half of the book. For those I didn't have or couldn't find (I know I have a 1960 Carl Furillo somewhere) I inserted a photo from Getty Images. Here they are in order they appeared in the book.
I didn't DVR it or anything but I did catch bits of it. It had a lot of well known judges
It also starred a rather strange but compelling British host by the name of Tommy Maitland. But ABC pulled one over on me. As Chico Marx would say, We fool-a you good!"
Tommy Maitland is actually Austin Powers, aka Mike Myers. I knew there was something special about the guy but I had no idea. Apparently I wasn't the only one. ABC announced the gag a couple of weeks ago. Here's one report. I only found out myself while doing a little research for this post.
I do remember watching the orginal Gong Show as a teen in the late 1970's. Fleer put out a set of Gong Show cards/stickers in 1977. I found this small lot on eBay.
Yes, Chuck is wearing a cool (at the time current) LA Kings jersey.
Originally the network insisted that Chuck Barris wear a tuxedo. He wasn't happy about it and it didn't last.
The show was known for being "racy". The ultimate was an act called called "Have You Got a Nickel?" later known as "the Popsicle Twins". Google it if you're curious.
Three of the regular judges were Arte Johnson, Jaye P. Morgan, and Jamie Farr. This may be one of the episodes Jamie Farr was talking about in the clip at the bottom.
The backs are puzzle pieces. I couldn't find the complete image online.
This post owes its inspiration to our good friend Fuji and this post from last October. He found an Archie Bunker card game at one his is legendary flea markets. I appreciate his bargain hunting skills. The game cost him one dollar. Pretty good. They're going for between $10 and $20 shipped on eBay. I guess that speaks to the continuing legacy of Norman Lear's groundbreaking show.
Topps paid tribute to the show in their terrific 2011 "American Pie" set.
I didn't have to go to a flea market to find a vintage All in the Family item. I've had one that I bought new back in the early 1970's for 95cents. It's one of those items that isn't worth much but that's hard to let go of. As collectors, you know what I mean, right?
References to Archie Bunker still come up in conversation these days, particularly when discussing politics. I'll leave you with one from page 57:
"Now, for instance, you got Feldman for treasurer. That's perfect. Them people know how to handle money, y'know what I mean? Then you got Salvatory for District Attorney--to keep an eye on Feldman. And let me tell you about them Eyetalians--when you do find an honest one you really got something! Then you got a Mick--O'Reilly--to make sure the graft is equally distributed--and you get Nelson, an American, to do the TV appearances, to make the rest of them look respectable"
I watched a good portion of both NFL Conference Championship games last Sunday. When the playoff began my two favorites were the LA Rams and the Buffalo Bills. My reasons aren't very deep. I like that the Rams are back in California (can we send the Cardinals back to St.Louis?) Or maybe back to Chicago. Right now I wouldn't mind if the Bears went to the desert. In the AFC the Bills would have been nostalgic as well not having been to the big game since the "oh so close" Jim Kelly era. I dislike the Patriots for the same reason a lot of fan dislike the Yankees so I'm rooting for the Eagles in Super Bowl LII.
I had four or five of these value packs in my stash so I opened one. Below are the highlights by position. The special Super Star pack is at the end. (I guess my scanner sucks since I see funky stripes on all the cards that aren't really there.) Upper Deck did it's usual great job with the photography and though partly covered by stats there is a bonus image on the back.