My local (located 75 miles away) has 2 card shows per year, one the weekend of the SuperBowl and another in July. I'm never here for the July show, so I try to hit the SuperBowl show. I scanned these cards on Friday with the intention of using them in a later post, but with Stan the Man's passing I'll throw them out there. Everyone around here knows I'm a sucker for off-condition vintage, and these are OFF condition, but for the price why not.
Stan was $5. Stan is universally loved for being a great guy, the leader of the Cards. Heck, even Pujols declined to be labeled "El hombre" in deference to "The Man." On this card in particular I love the contrast between the inset photo and the main portrait. The inset is the "lights/camera/action" Stan we all know and love, while in the main shot he's half-smiling, almost growling. It's his last baseball card, and you get the feeling the shot has a wry, Mid-Western, tongue in cheek, "Jesus, not this again?!" feel to it. Remember, he's been cards since 1948 at this point and wasn't the 20-year old kid who hit Saint Louis in 1941.
Then we have this guy:
Also pretty beat, though for the $7 I couldn't complain about a 1966 Sandy Koufax. I traded away my only Koufax to acquire a 1974 starter set and had been looking for a new one ever since. In connecting these cards, the funny thing is "The Man" absolutely owned "The Left Arm of God" to the tune of a .341/.432/.553 slash line over 44 ABs. For trivia's sake, two other notable slashes: Hank Aaron (.362/.431/.647 in 130 ABs) and the Quad Cities' own Gene Oliver (.392/.426/.647 in 54 ABs).
Now, by the transitive property, considering that Koufax is one of the greatest of all time, not only does Aaron's sustained excellence stand out in almost three times as many ABs versus Koufax, but you gain a deeper appreciation of the fairly anonymous Oliver given that he has the makings of a HOF case based on his comparative dominance of Koufax. Strange world, isn't it?
Anyway, just two random vintage pickups on a Monday. RIP "The Man" and Earl Weaver.
Good night Pumpsie Green, wherever you are!