This is just one of several excellent vintage oddballs that I just received from Bob, who comments around these parts as "Commish". It's a Topps Deckle Edge, and the product name is self-explanatory. I scanned the card against a black CD jewel case so you could see the postage stamp-like edges. The black-and-white photo is a nice touch, as is the blue facsimile signature. It looks really authentic! The cards are smaller than a standard baseball card, measuring 2 and 1/4" X 3 and 1/4". They were inserted randomly in wax packs of 1969 Topps, and the full set consisted of 33 cards. The back is blank except for the card number and player name at the bottom.
This is an intriguing photo choice for Boog Powell. You'll notice that he looks especially young and trim, and there are uniform cues that suggest that the photo was taken much earlier than 1968. Boog would have worn the older-fashioned perched bird two-tone cap in 1961-1962, his first two years with the club. The smiling cartoon bird sleeve patch and zipper-front script "Baltimore" road jersey would have been consistent with those years as well. Of course, he also is wearing #16, which he wore in 1962 and surrendered to newly acquired veteran Al Smith the following year. At that point, Powell took up #26 and the rest is history.
I also took notice of the bunting on the wall behind him. Topps traditionally did a lot of their photography at Yankee Stadium back in the day, and in 1962 Boog and the Birds did indeed open their season in the Bronx. He went 0-for-4 with three strikeouts while batting third and playing left field; the O's lost 7-6 when Hal Brown gave up three straight hits (including a Mickey Mantle leadoff home run) to blow an eighth-inning lead.
Luckily, there would be better times against the Yankees. His 41 career home runs against the pinstripers were his highest total vs. any opponent, and he hit 22 of them at Yankee Stadium, making him one of the most prolific lefty visitors in the history of that ballpark.
Thanks, Bob! This card took me on a pretty interesting trip.