Saturday, March 3, 2012
no. 23 - oscar gamble
Who is the man: The man is Oscar Gamble, perhaps the most blogged-about major league baseball player in the history of time. He had just completed his second MLB season when this card hit store shelves. In fact, his last act of the 1970 season was driving in the winning run in the final game in Connie Mack Stadium in Philadelphia. He did it all without an Afro.
Can ya dig it: One of the terrific action shots in '71 Topps. We take photos like this for granted today. But it was really something to dig in '71.
Right on: This is Gamble's first solo card. He appeared on a three-player rookie card in the 1970 set.
You see this cat Gamble is a bad mother: The following oft-repeated quote of Gamble's is proof enough of his badness: "People don't think it be like it is, but it do."
Shut your mouth: Cubs manager Leo Durocher compared Gamble to Willie Mays when Gamble was just coming up in the majors with Chicago as a 19-year-old. Durocher, who managed Mays, said Gamble had a lot of the same skills that a young Mays did. Of course, Gamble had a good career, but it wasn't Mays-like. For one thing, his fielding was mediocre, at best.
No one understands him but his woman: Gamble was forced to cut his gigantic Afro when he was acquired by the Yankees from the Indians, thanks to George Steinbrenner's hair policy. Gamble didn't even get a uniform until he trimmed his hair, and there was a car waiting for him to take him to the barber.
(A word about the back): "Philadelphia Phils" could have been extended to "Philadelphia Phillies." There's enough room. I notice stuff like that.