Monday, November 22, 2010

#31 - Mgr/Coaches Preston Gomez (HOU)

This is the first manager/coach card in this set.  The manager's photo is smaller due to the cut and paste heads of the coaches.  This is just classic ballcard type of stuff.  Off the top of my head, I don't know if the '74 Cubs team card is this way, but I've seen at least one Cubs team card that was made up of all cut and paste heads.  There really aren't stats on the back, but there is a handy little summary of each one's playing experience.  I like seeing the coaching staff, because it places them in time with a team, and there's little to no other stats for coaches.  Managers have their own pages on stat websites, but where would one go for coaches or even bullpen catchers? 

Anyway, I remember little about Preston Gomez, but I do remember hearing his name all the time.  This card probably helped that greatly.  Roger Craig and Bob Lillis have certainly made the rounds in ML history.  I couldn't have possibly known this from this card, but a bit over a decade later, Craig would become one of the most popular skippers for the Giants.  The world of baseball, with it's inside, good ol' boys network is an interesting study in itself.  I wonder if anybody's written a book about it.  Gomez was born in Cuba.  I'm wondering when he came here to the States.  Surely before Castro took power.

Okay, here's the first airbrush job on a non-Trades card.  It's only a small head shot, but notice that Roger Craig's hat has been airbrushed.  He wasn't a coach for the 'Stros in 1973, so Topps took the liberty to paint him up like one.  I 'spect Hub Kittle's probably fairly old by now, being born back in nineteen and seventeen.

Cartoon:  None

Ballpark background:  This looks like a dugout to his right, and the fence has non-major league advertising.  I'm guessing this is spring training.


  1. I think Preston Gomez was the Padres' 1st-ever manager.

  2. ... and Grady Hatton was the Astros' manager in 1966 & 1967.