Monday, July 8, 2013
no. 190 - bob tolan
Who is the man: Bob Tolan had completed his second season with the National League champion Reds, leading the league in steals (and also caught stealing). Around the time this card was created, he was rupturing his Achilles tendon playing basketball, which would prevent him from playing the entire 1971 season.
Can ya dig it: I've always dug cards of players featured with batting helmets. From an early age, I viewed batting helmets as cooler than regular caps.
Right on: This card unfortunately does not feature Tolan's unique batting stance, which is shown on a number of his other cards (1972, 1973 and 1977 Topps in particular). Tolan held his hands so high that they would be parallel with the top of his head.
You see this cat Tolan is a bad mother: Tolan was always in trouble with the Reds. The basketball injury violated his contract. Then, two years later, he went AWOL and grew a beard, violated Reds team policy and Cincinnati suspended the bad-ass for the rest of the season.
Shut your mouth: During the 1973 season, Tolan picked a fight with Dodgers outfielder Willie Crawford. The two were both L.A. natives and longtime friends. Crawford was offering help to Tolan, who was struggling at the time. But Tolan would have none of it.
No one understands him but his woman: Tolan signed his name "Bobby" and he was known as "Bobby," but Topps insisted on calling him "Bob" on all of his cards.
(A word about the back): Tolan hit a home run in that Game 2 of the 1970 NLCS, and it gets shunned for a mention of his stolen base.