08 April 2012

sportscaster goodness - johnny bench, dodger lurkers, and joe mauer's sideburns

when i was a kid, i didn't care much for johnny bench.  first of all, he was on the reds who at that time were a bigger nl west rival to the dodgers than the giants.  secondly, he was the best catcher in the national league and in my mind prevented steve yeager from being an all-star catcher every season.  lastly, he had a couple of rings that steve yeager didn't have.  over time, i learned to respect the talent (and the cool cards topps made of bench - especially 1973 and 1976) although i have never purchased a can of krylon paint.  i don't care if there are 'no runs, no drips, no errors.'

so, imagine my joy when i came across this card - a 1977-79 sportscaster card with steve yeager about to drill the living snot out of bench
that's a fantastically cropped photo.  here's the back, which is all about the different kinds of interference one might encounter on the baseball diamond
i'm not sure if i agree that catcher's interference is all that common.  the photo on the front really isn't referred to at all until you get to the caption at the bottom which explains that blocking the plate isn't interference.  i have a lot of respect for guys like ray fosse and mike scioscia who blocked the plate to their own detriment.

bench also had a sportscaster card of his very own, on which he again shared space with a dodger
this photo looks like it is from the late 1960's or early 1970's considering the uniforms, the shinguards and the joe mauer sideburns bench is sporting.  i'm pretty sure that the number on the dodger uniform is 15.  knowing that bench debuted in 1967, it could be bob miller except that miller was a right-handed batter.  from 1968 through 1970, tom haller (a fellow backstop) wore 15.  he hit from the left side, and when he went to the tigers in 1971, dick allen took the number 15.  then, starting in 1972, davey lopes wore 15 and held it through the 1981 campaign.

so, it looks like the background lurker is tom haller.  i'm hoping bench dropped the pop up.

here's to you, johnny bench.  these two cards, at least, look better with dodgers on them.

1 comment:

MrMopar said...

More eerie similarities between our collections. I have a binder full of Sportscasters...love them!