Back in October, during the 2011 World Series, Brian at 30 Year Old Cardboard held a contest open to readers, to guess how many games the Series would go, who would win and to pick total runs as a tie-breaker. I thought the two teams were very closely matched and I was pretty sure the series would go 7. As a life long Angels fan, however, I just could not in good conscience, pick the Rangers to win. I chose the Cardinals in 7. Luckily for me that is just how it went down and I was only one to pick it!
Brian sent me over a nice batch of 7 Willie Mays cards. I did email him at the time with thanks, but now that I'm blogging again on cards, I wanted to thank him in style!
This card is a Archives print of the "Baseball Thrills" subset in the Topps '59 set, immortalizing Mays' amazing catch in the '54 series against the Indians.
Side note to you youngsters: Back in the Olden Tymes, they just put subsets numbered as a part of the rest of the set. Didn't make 'em rare. Didn't give 'em red, green, pink and blue border variations. Didn't stick no cotton-picking squirrels on there, nossirree. We just had normal cards with pictures of old men posing with their bats and gloves and that's the way we liked it.
This reprint is from the '60 Topps All-Star Selections subset. I was at a show last summer, and a guy had the original of this card in his case, right next to a Mantle of the same All-Star Selections set. The Mays was price-tagged at barely half the price of the Mantle. I told him it was criminal that the Mays card wasn't valued same as the Mantle. We talked a bit, about baseball and so on. Finally, he says he'll give me the Mantle and the Mays for $250. I said only if he followed me home and explained it all to my wife! He passed on that offer. Smart man.
I have long wished I could have been a fly on the wall at this picture and hear what the two of them were saying to each other. You figure they were being polite or you figure they were trash-talking? Remember, back then there were no divisions. You either won the National League and went to the World Series, or you went home and watched it on TV with the rest of us. There is just something about Musial's expression...
Stan: So, Willie, hear you got a big bonus this year.
Willie: Now, Stan, just smile pretty for the picture.
Stan: Cause I was thinking, you could use it to get yourself one of those new RCA CTC-11 color televisions.
Willie: Now whatever for?
Stan: Way I see it, only way Giants are going to enjoy the World Series any time soon is by watching on the TV!
Or maybe the conversation was even more sophomoric...
Stan: "Mine's Bigger."
I guess we'll never know.
This beauty, a copy of '72 Topps and is one of my favorite cards of that set. I had the original of this card at one point, pulled from a pack of my own ripping, but somewhere along the line I either traded it or lost it. When I saw this card it brought back a bunch of memories.
Brian, thanks again for the great cards!