Sunday, October 3, 2010

#15 - Joe Torre (STL)

Joe Torre held a rather dubious (or should I say sad?) major league record.  As player and manager, Joe participated in more games than anybody else in history without ever being in a World Series.  Until the Yankees beat the O's in the 1996 ALCS.  As manager, Joe cried.  Literally.  He then won four of the next five World Series.  It's actually a bit of a touching story.  As much as I hate things Yankees, Joe Torre is maybe the least offensive thing to ever live in the Bronx Zoo.  I actually developed respect for him over the years.

Joe's picture here looks like he's just accidentally downloaded some chin music to his iPod.  He's bending backward, having just avoided a stint on the DL, and his bat shows no signs of going around to get a strike call from the ump.  A few things to notice here.  Joe has 2000 career hits at the printing of this card.  Joe was a multiple position player for nearly his entire career.  Starting out as a catcher, he later took up first base, being C-1B for years.  Then he switched from 1st to 3rd to be a C-3B, then later to 1B-3B, with most of his games at third.  In '73, Joe flipped to mostly first base for the remainder of his career.

Cartoon:  Joe certainly has MVP numbers in '71.  Like batting .363.  But, his trophy looks more like an urn.  There's a lid with a handle on top.  Wonder what goes inside?  Whatever the design, Joe really loves it, as we can tell by the cartoon.  I wonder if he takes it to bed at night.  I never saw one like it in Little League.

Ballpark background:  Joe is wearing a gray uni, so the Cards are on the road.  I'm not familiar enough with Shea Stadium's dugouts, but this is a dugout, and I can see box seat bars on each side of Joe's waistline.  This gives me inclination to guess Shea Stadium, but I'm not totally sure.  So, I'll label this as "undetermined" and maybe come back to it later in the set in case I find other cards similar enough to convince me one way or another.

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