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Sunday, February 28, 2021

A Cap Conundrum

 I have a modest sports team cap collection.  I gathered most of them for this picture.  It's probably about 80+% of what I have.    

My wife "appropriated" a few early on in our courtship/marriage.  Funny story.  One cold Chicago day we were crossing the bridge from Millennium Park to the Modern Wing of the Art Institute when some guy yelled out, "Keep the Dodgers in Brooklyn!"  You can guess which of "her" hats she was wearing.  Maybe some day I'll get another for myself.
The Nichols Bridge

That's all prologue.  The specific cap I want to talk about is not in the "team picture". It's this Montreal Expos cap. I've had it for as long as I can remember.  Actually, my memory being akin to that of a goldfish,  it's much longer than I can remember, probably over 30 years.  It took many years until I realized there's something strange about this cap.  Do you see it?
I can't find a single photograph (aside from a couple of ads) that show this cap with a red brim.  Check out these cards.
American Needle is no fly by night operation.  They couldn't have made such a big mistake, right?  What am I missing?  Does anyone know if or when the Expos wore a cap like this?  These days they make caps in any number of variations, from camo to all black, Spring Training to Warm-up.  I don't think they were doing that in the 1980's.  

Any help would be appreciated.
As always thanks for stopping by.  

Thursday, February 25, 2021

Happy Birthday to My Favorite Player

 Today would have been Ron Santo's 81st birthday.  Ronnie's been gone for 10 years now but he's certainly not forgotten.  I'm not a religious man but it's nice to imagine him reminiscing with all of the guys who passed in the last year, including his infield-mate Glenn Beckert. 

This is my favorite card.  It's a TTM from the days following Ron's retirement in the 1970's.

When Santo's jersey was retired by the Cubs in 2003 he famously said to the crowd at Wrigley Field, "This is my Hall of Fame."  
Ron finally did make it to the Hall of Fame but it's still sad to many of us that he didn't get to enjoy it in life.  I've never worn this shirt.  It's a really nice tribute.

I heard the cake discussion live on the radio.

Rest in Peace Ron!

Sunday, February 21, 2021

Chicago Baseball Parks 1937

 Baseball season is almost here.  Spring training games begin in less than two weeks. Opening Day is about 6 weeks away.  The White Sox, who look to have an exciting team, will not be playing in Comiskey Field.  Did the Sox ever play in Comiskey Field?  As far as I know it was always Comiskey Park.  The Cubs, as they have been since 1916, will be playing in Wrigley Field.

This card dates from 1937.  I tried my best to figure out where the Wrigley image came from.  I had no luck at all.  Was it taken from an actual photograph?  Note all the fans standing on the field.   Can anyone date it? 

Thursday, February 18, 2021

(I'm Late to) Project 2020

I wasn't sure how I felt about Topps Project 2020 when it began.  I may have even been a bit confused by it.  I certainly didn't understand the frenzy.  There was a frenzy, right?  So now it's 2021 and I noticed some really low starting prices on the one player I'm most interested in, Sandy Koufax.  Impulsively I bid on the one I found most interesting, the Tyson Beck.

I'm going to ask the most obvious question.  What's the deal with the barbed wire?  I Googled and don't think I found a definitive answer.  I'd like the card better without it.  Maybe I'd like it better if I understood it.
So now I have a Project 2020 card.  I don't have any buyers remorse, nor am I that excited.  Pardon me if I sound like the guy late to the movie who's asking what's going on but how do you feel about the set at this point.  Did you buy any?  Planning to?

This is my only vintage Sandy.

Sunday, February 14, 2021

Happy Valentines Day?

My wife and I don't actually celebrate Valentine's Day.  The cynic in me sees it as an over-commercialized  excuse for companies to guilt us into buying cards, flowers, chocolates etc. at marked up prices.  It's not that I don't love my wife or enjoy giving her gifts. (Truth be told I did buy her a couple of bags of Ghirardelli  heart chocolates yesterday.  The dark chocolate sea salt hearts are her current favorite.)  I just don't like feeling that it's an obligation.  I'm probably in the minority.  Is there a Cranky Old Men Anonymous? 

On a more positive note here are some Valentine related cards. 

I like to play up my crankyness but I really am just a sentimental old fool.  My postcard collection includes about a hundred early 20th century romantic images.  I saw this one and loved illustration.  It dates from around 1906.

This card actually deserves it's own post.  You may see it again.

Bob Love's #10 jersey was the second in Bull's history to be retired (Jerry Sloan's #4 was first).  He was a key member of the first Bulls teams I remember watching as a kid.  These days he's the Director of Community Affairs and Goodwill Ambassador for the Bulls.

There have certainly been times in my life when Valentine's Day was sad and lonely.

Mr. Valentinetti turned 92 last September.  As you can see Vito is in the "played on both Chicago teams" club.  I think this photograph is from his time with the Cubs.  He wore #57 on the North Side.
If you're alone today, have some chocolate.  If you're in love, have some chocolate.  Chocolate's always good.  (Unless you can't eat it for medical reasons).  What's your favorite chocolate?

Thursday, February 11, 2021

This Day in Sports

 On this day 50 years ago Jean Beliveau scored his 500th goal, just the fourth player in NHL history to reach the milestone.  Gentleman Jean won 17 Stanley Cup Championships, 10 as a player and an additional 7 as an executive.

Jean had one of the all-time great signatures. As classy as he was. This card is never leaving my collection.

Monday, February 8, 2021

My Turn at Bat

 I'm sure lots of you keep your eyes open for old sports books (or new ones).  I was excited to find this one at a local thrift store.  Did you know that in the UK they're called "charity shops"?  I like that.  I also like their term "wheelie bin" for the plastic garbage can you take to the curb.  I call ours that now.  But I digress.

Here's the book I found recently.  Some of you have probably read it.  I think I've seen The Science of Hitting but I don't think I've ever seen any edition of this one.  The book is copyrighted 1969.   This copy is a 4th edition.

I don't seem to have either the 1969 or 1970 cards but I did find this one.  Ted had such a winning smile, didn't he?
Here's Ted not looking quite as happy.  He was a complicated man.

This is a bound galley of Leigh Montville's book on Ted.
I took this one out from the library.  I do not retain well what I read but I do know I preferred this one to the Montville.  On Amazon they've both received 4-1/2 stars.  
This book, a larger format paperback, is on my sports bookshelf.  I think it was a gift.  I haven't read it yet.

I did a post about this about 6 years ago.  A friend of my Dad's gave it to me.  I have no clue whether the autograph is authentic or not.  It looks reasonably good but there are a lot of fakes out there.  I read, probably in one of the books above, that Ted's son, John Henry, signed a lot of things.  Who knows.  Any opinions?

What's your most exciting book find, sports or otherwise?

Thursday, February 4, 2021

Before the Bridge

 As I've said, my main postal focus is Chicago but as with trading cards I love variety as well.  This is a card that just came in the mail a few days ago.  Probably dating from around 1907 it is titled Golden Gate from Lands End S. F. Cal.  Yes, that Golden Gate.  Take a look into the distance.  This photograph would have been taken decades before the beginning of construction of the iconic bridge that bears it's name. 

This is from approximately the same place..
Back of the postcard.
A short video about the Golden Gate Bridge.

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