Monday, January 21, 2008

Lesser Known Reds Fact

Drum roll please.

Without further ado. For your gazing pleasure.
A Pristine (as far as my collection goes)
1971 Topps
No. 478 Bernie Carbo
Topps All-Star Rookie Subset
That's right ladies and gentlecollectors!
Gaze upon the trophy presented by Topps after finishing second in N.L Rookie of the Year balloting. Wayne Simpson of the Reds was fourth.
Fear to stare into the eyes of one one of the least heralded of famous home run producers. Wonder in amazement as a monkey holds a smoking gun in the batting cage behind our hero.
Probably trying to take out an A's scout.

The 1971 Topps set is probably one of the hardest in history to collect in mint (by 1981 standards) condition. The black borders chipped easily. No one really took care of the cards back then and they are consistently found with miss cuts and not well centered. But who cared back in 1970? Not the kids collecting who gave them to me in 1981 during the Sugar Bowl. About the only time I ever rooted for UGA to win. These guys were now in HIGH SCHOOL and were GROWN UP so could not collect anymore. The cards ranged form 1968 - 1976 and in all amounted to over 12,000 cards from all three sports. You name it it was there. The 1971 Topps baseball set frustrated me even then. Only set outside of 71 this much a pain was 1970 with the gray borders. But I digress. This card is provided by a trade with Indians Cards, Always.

The reason I post this bit of history is because of how important Bernie Carbo is to the game of baseball as a whole.

After a ROY caliber season, Bernie had a Mario Mendoza caliber season. He was traded to the Cardinals in 1972 and then the Red Sox in 1974. But it was in 1975 were he staged the setup for the climax of the second greatest game in World Series history. All Reds' clinchers tie for first. Coming to bat against the Reds in the eighth inning with two on and down by three he swung and missed. Fouled off a pitch. Watched a ball. Swing and - Crack - three run homer. Tie game. Game Six is tied. Through the ninth, tenth, eleventh and into the bottom of the twelfth. Then up steps Pudge (the original). Fisrt pitch - home run off the foul pole (caught by Griffey Sr. by th way) and the game was reborn. New attendance records after 2 decades of no growth. New revenue streams from new fans. And more baseball cards.
So give thanks out there for this unsung hero of baseball cards.
Without him, there might not have been 1986 Sportflics.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Carbo was one of my favorites in the game I made up for myself.