Monday, December 7, 2009

#50 - Brooks Robinson

Card fact: The first, honest-to-goodness all-star card! Yeah, yeah, I know about Aaron. But that card is an imposter. Everyone knows '75 all-star cards have yellow and red borders.

What I thought about this card then: Did not see it. But if I did, I would think it was awesome. Game action rules. Especially back then. I remember seeing the card a few years later in a book or something, and I thought it was the coolest card ever. It remains one my favorite cards in the set.

What I think about this card now: OK, this has bothered me for way too long: why did Robinson wear that batting helmet with the short brim? Was this common then? How come Robinson is the only guy who seemed to wear it? Or am I just not up on the batting helmet fashion practices of 1960s/early 1970s major leaguers?

Other stuff: The color freak is speaking now: you DO NOT use blue lettering inside the all-star star with the American League! The American League is RED and the National League is BLUE.

Back facts: Brooks Calbert's career was so long at this point that Topps couldn't even spare the line that runs under the "year, club, at-bat, runs ..." heading, or the line that comes before the major league totals. But they got all the years in there! See that Upper Deck? That's why you lost your MLB license. OK, maybe not. But if I were king, that would be the reason.

Other blog stuff: This is a variation of the other "yellow-red" combo, since this features the name in yellow letters, and the other combo features the name in black letters. But I'm not coming up with separate "define the design" names for each of them. My plate is full.


Play at the Plate said...

I'm with you on the colors. The "Orioles" doesn't look right in blue either. Of course, looks didn't seem to play a big role in color combos or letter choices in this wacky set.

Eggrocket said...

I totally agree with the Upper Deck/Statistics slam! When UD came out I thought they looked slick, but there was just something "not right" about them. I finally realized that they were leaving off stats to protect their precious design. That's Garbage! In the 70s, Stats RULED. I remember pulling this card as a nine-year-old (before I knew who Brooks Robinson was, or what "pulling" was for that matter) and I took one look at the back and I realized: this guy must be somebody important...he was so awesome they could barely squeeze all his awesomeness on the back of his card.

I've never been a UD fan, and I know it's petty, but that's due in large part to their total disrespect of the almighty stat. If I wanted to collect stuff that all looked alike I would have collected pennies ... or paper clips ... or Hardy Boys books.

gcrl said...

yes, full career stat totals can and should be expected.
i am a big fan of the plural first name, by the way. not sure why.

GOGOSOX60 said...

A huge Brooks fan during the 70's and any Brooks card pulled out of a pack was a major cause for delight and celebration!!!!

Fleerfan said...

Here's Brooks Robinson's explanation for the short brim on the batting helmet:


I get many emails and whenever I do speaking engagements almost every question is: Why did I have a short brim? I think I was the only player that wore the short brim in the Majors and I never realized it got that much attention until I left the game. But back in the early ’70s, the Commissioner’s Office made it mandatory for anyone coming into the big leagues to wear a flap on your hat. If you were already in Major League Baseball you had a choice whether to do that or not. Of course, I wanted to wear the flap because it gave me more protection. I had been hit 3 or 4 times in the head and so the more protection, the better for me. When I got the helmet with the flap and put it on, it seemed like the bill was a little longer than my normal hat. The flap was a little longer and consequently when I went up to hit I could see the brim and part of the flap. It made me lose my concentration. I took care of it by taking a hacksaw blade and cut off about 1 ½ inches off the brim and about ½ off the flap. That’s how I got my short brim."

Here's the link to the blog he was writing for a while where this answer comes from:

night owl said...

Awesome, Fleerfan! I've wanted an answer for that for years!

Jim from Downingtown said...

I'm with you Eggrocket! Topps made sure to get all the stats in, even if they had to cut ALL commentary (and sometimes minor-league stats).

I never collected UD cards (except for the Phillies cards from 90-92, and 07-08), but Donruss did the same thing in the early 1990s.