Monday, January 3, 2011
#411 - George Mitterwald
Card fact: Another dugout shot! This is the first card of George Mitterwald as a Cub (I refuse to count that traded thing in 1974). It also might be the only card of a player rubbing his eye, or inserting a contact, or whatever he's doing.
What I thought about this card: Didn't see it.
What I think about this card now: I'm fairly certain that is the Cub logo on Mitterwald's left sleeve. For a minute, I thought Topps was trying to disguise the fact that Mitterwald was wearing a Twins uniform, but the Twins didn't wear pinstripes in the mid-1970s.
Other stuff: Mitterwald, nicknamed "Baron von Mitterwald," was a middling catcher for the Twins and the Cubs. He played most of the games behind the plate for Minnesota in 1970, 71 and 73. When he was traded to the Cubs for Randy Hundley in the offseason, his playing time declined, even though he began his Chicago days with a bang.
In April of 1974, Mitterwald hit three home runs, including a grand slam in an 18-9 victory over the Pirates. He drove in eight runs. According to this report, he did it with a hangover.
Mitterwald didn't hit much after that and his career was done after the 1977 season. He became a manager in the minor leagues and was manager of the Duluth-Superior Dukes when Ila Borders became the first female professional pitcher with the team in 1997.
Back facts: I've never heard of a banjo hit. The fielder looks absolutely freaked out.
Other blog stuff: On this date in 2003, it was announced that the Baseball Hall of Fame game between major league teams would take place on a different weekend than the Hall of Fame induction ceremonies for the first time in history. The reason was because of a conflict in the major league schedule. It marked the beginning of the end of the Hall of Fame game, which eventually became a casualty of MLB's schedule-tinkering and teams' unwillingness to play an exhibition in midseason. Too bad.