Thursday, January 12, 2017

a memorial patch for joe garagiola

my first introduction to joe garagiola came courtesy of nbc's saturday telecasts of the 'game of the week'.  i later came to know him as the guy behind the bubble gum bubble blowing contest featured on the iconic 1976 topps card and as an advocate against the use of chewing tobacco.

i believe one of garagiola's last gigs at nbc was the 1988 world series where he was matched up (as he had been for many years) with vin scully.  ten years later, he joined the arizona diamondbacks as a part time announcer, and served in that capacity until 2013.

following garagiola's death in march of 2016, the team added a memorial patch to their uniforms.  you can see it on the right sleeve of brandon drury's jersey on this 2016 topps stadium club card
as is often the case with sleeve patches, it was moved to the chest during the all-star game, as evidenced by this 2016 topps update paul goldschmidt card
i believe that this is the first memorial patch that the diamondbacks have worn for a team affiliated person.  in addition to the newton patch worn by every team on opening day of the 2013 season, they've previously worn a patch to honor 19 firefighters killed battling the yarnell hill fire in 2013, and in spring training of 2015, they wore a patch to honor kayla mueller,
an arizona native killed by the islamic state in syria following 18 months of captivity.

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