Saturday, September 11, 2010

#9 - Mickey Lolich (DET)

Uhm, what can I say?  This is Mickey Lolich.  I always liked Mickey.  I always associated him with the '68 Tigers championship team, where he won three of their four WS games.  I had his '71 Topps card in my shoebox, and for some reason I just loved it.  He has a very similar pose on the two cards: the my-followthrough-just-stopped-and-I'm-waiting-to-see-if-the-batter-hits-a-line-drive-at-my-head pose.

Here, Mickey is donning the Tigers' new road uniforms, with the orange "D" on the cap, and the added piping and blue and orange striping.  In my opinion, this is a major downgrade from their classic road uni's.  The Tigers also adopted the double knit polyester pullover pajama uniforms, with the elastic waistband and no belt.  Mickey was a switch-hitting pitcher, a very rare breed indeed.  I also notice a drastic increase in sloppy penmanship from his '71 autograph to the one here.  Mickey is also the first player in this card set to weigh 200 lbs or more.

Cartoon: Mickey relaxes by riding a motorcycle?  So does Jeff Kent.  Times have changed in just a few decades with guaranteed contracts - and their severe off-the-field activity clauses.  These days, a player riding a motorcycle is grounds for contract termination and Tweet humor.

Background ballpark: This picture was taken at Comiskey Park.  Notice the break in the double decks in center field, and the scoreboard.  I also love the arched openings that so define Old Comiskey.  Also notice what appears to be two-tone grass just behind his back, and a sliver just off his right shoulder.  In the early 70's, Comiskey Park had a bizarre playing surface configuration.  Astro-turf in the infield, and real grass in the outfield.  Foul territory had a seam between grass and artificial turf stretching from first and third bases to the stands.

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