Monday, September 2, 2013
no. 208 - billy martin
Who is the man: Billy Martin was hired by the Tigers as manager prior to the 1971 season. It was his second MLB managerial job. Martin managed the Twins in 1969 but was fired after the season, in part because he punched out his own pitcher, Dave Boswell, in a bar.
Can ya dig it: Martin is actually wearing a Twins uniform and cap but it has been airbrushed only in the way that Topps could do airbrushing between 1968-72. It is wonderfully blatant.
Right on: Check out the cute little circles that Martin used to dot his "I"s.
You see this cat Martin is a bad mother: Nawwwwwwww! He was a putty cat! I count 18 separate physical fights between Martin and players, fans and marshmallow salesmen during his playing and managing career. I'm sure I'm missing some.
Shut your mouth: Martin had one of the most famous sports quotes of the 1970s. As the Yankees manager in 1978, he had had enough of rumors that he was going to be fired. After a game against the White Sox, he told reporters in Chicago's O'Hare Airport, referring to Reggie Jackson and George Steinbrenner: "One's a born liar and the other's convicted."
No one understands him but his woman: Martin was hired by Tigers general manager Jim Campbell in a bid to recapture the magic the Tigers achieved in the late 1960s. Campbell fired very popular manager Mayo Smith and selected Martin because of his fiery reputation. The veteran Tigers players hated him and outfielder Jim Northrup called Martin the worst manager he ever had. Martin was fired in September 1973 after telling his pitchers to throw spitballs against the Indians.
(A word about the back): My, that "D" is very large on Martin's cap.