Orioles Card "O" the Day

An intersection of two of my passions: baseball cards and the Baltimore Orioles. Updated daily?

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.


Fleerfan said...

I've always enjoyed this card as it is one of the few that really gives you a good look at Memorial Stadium with what was at that point the relatively "new" scoreboard that had been installed in during the 1970 season. You can see part of the old scoreboard on Dave McNally's 1966 card.

In a case of unintended irony, one of the few other cards where you see a glimpse of the Memorial Stadium scoreboard happens to be John Elway's rookie card (since John refused to sign with the Colts)

Rounding Thirty 3rd said...


Great job is identifying this background. Growing up as a kid, you think all the cards of your team were taken at their stadium. Only recently, reading all these blogs, have I realized how few of those old cards (I collected in late 70's - early 80's) were from 33rd street. Thanks for identifying some for me!!!

Kevin said...

Fleerfan - Thanks for the additional info! I'll have to check out the McNally card now.

Tim - No problem!

Jim from Downingtown said...

Regarding Matchick waiting for ground balls by the on-deck circle: Maybe he was violating the stenciled-on "No Pepper" signs. :)