Monday, December 6, 2010

Now batting...

Do you know this boy?

Here is a hint...

 Give up yet?

Here's another hint...
 Still don't know?

Maybe you have heard of the other guy, Roy Rogers?

No, not Terry Moore. The other guy.

It's none other than the great hitter, the Big Jawn, Johnny Mize.  I will admit that I was never fully aware of Johnny Mize's accomplishments as a player.  He just isn't a guy that you hear mentioned all too often with the likes of the Mantle's, Ruth's and Mays's'es's.  But the sad part about that is that he should be. 

As for the cards, I had never seen such a thing before.  There are 12 of them that I found.  They aren't in the best condition because they are obviously not normal size.  They were kind of floating around on the bottom of a 5000 count box, not upright, but under the cards that were stacked above them.  I think they may have experienced some water damage a some point or another as well because many of them resemble a Ruffles potato chip.  There is no designation on the back showing year, production, numbering, printing...anything.  These were a little difficult to figure out but the internet is a wonderful thing.

In 1977, collector John A. Douglas took the initiative to right a wrong.  Mize had been retired as an active player for almost 25 years.  But despite his amazing stats, including being the only first basement to lead the NL in batting average for 7 years straight, he remained outside the hallowed halls of Cooperstown.  In fact, he was nearly left off the ballot each and every year by those who select new members for the National Baseball Hall of Fame. 
So Mr. Douglas set out on his campaign to fix this travesty.  Douglas decided to issue a 20-card set designed like a scrapbook that would feature all the qualifications that Mize had for enshrinement into the hall.  Each card is 3-1/8" by 3-7/8", has a black and white photo of Johnny in different phases of his career, and features a gold border.  The backs, as I stated, feature an all sorts of interesting facts about Big Jawn, including many statements by Johnny's contemporaries about him like Jackie Jensen, Ted Williams, Ken Keltner, James "Cool Papa" Bell, Allie Reynolds, and Ernie Lombardi.  Mize was finally elected in 1981.

Welcome to the card garage, Johnny Mize.

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