Friday, January 30, 2009
Vintage Fridays: Tom Matchick, 1973 Topps #631
This card was recently sent to me by Andy, who rebounded from a false start with his 1978 Topps blog and has gotten back in his wheelhouse with a fun and informative blog about the 1988 Score Rookie & Traded set. It's a rare beauty, not because of utility infielder Tom Matchick and his awkward hunched-over pose, but because of the backdrop. In the days before action photos were all the rage in baseball cards, Topps did most of their photography either in Spring Training or in New York, when players from around the league came to town to play the Yankees (and later the Mets). But as soon as I eyeballed this card, I recognized Tom's environs. The ugly makeshift green fence. The red National beer sign on top of the left-center field scoreboard. And of course, the Orioles logo to the right of said scoreboard. This is indeed Memorial Stadium, the all-purpose jewel of 33rd Street in Baltimore, as it was in 1972. It's a sight for sore eyes, and it's almost enough to make me stop wondering why Matchick would be attempting to field ground balls near the righty on-deck circle.