Sunday, October 17, 2010
This is one of my favorite cards in the 1974 set. It's because Gary's pose is so classic first baseman. And he's left handed which adds to the effect. He also looks like a real major league first baseman. He's one of the guys that played first base after Willie McCovey, my favorite all time player, was traded to the Padres. And I didn't hate him for it.
For a few years in the 70's, the Giants changed their uniforms slightly. The letters across the chest were changed from black w/ orange trim to orange w/ black trim. I'm not sure I like them. Gary was also notable in 1977 when he led off the entire season, in the top of the first on Opening Day in LA, and hit a home run. The Giants didn't quite turn that into a wire-to-wire season like they did their 2003 Opening Day leadoff homer. But Gary didn't seem to need that, as he played the following year during the second half of the season with the WS champs Yanks.
Cartoon: I don't recall reading that Gary was a professional musician. It looks here like he's playing the trumpet with the sound coming out upside down. I wonder what instrument(s) Gary actually played, and how much did he make. I'm sure he wasn't a member of Led Zeppelin, so maybe baseball paid more.
Ballpark background: Gary is pictured here at Candlestick Park. Notice the horrid green of the artificial turf. Yuck. There's a player or coach just off his right shoulder. Above this figure is the left field foul pole. As the lower deck seats change from orange to a dingy red, the box seats changed into bleacher seats, divided by a chain link fence. The upper deck curves around the foul pole, but behind the bleacher section, which is about 30 feet itself behind the fence where the scoreboard is located. The upper deck in left field may be the furthest stands from the field of any ballpark ever. It was no fun to sit up there. And those were the end zone seats for football.