Monday, May 20, 2019

lurking historically

i am sure that it is not fun in the moment, but in the grand scheme of things, i think giving up a historic hit wouldn't be the worst thing in the world. for al downing, it means that you get to show up on new baseball cards from time to time.  case in point, this 2019 topps online 150 years of baseball card commemorating hank aaron's record breaking 715th career home run.

there's downing on the mound, with joe ferguson behind the plate. bill russell and davey lopes are there in the background, too, but steve garvey and ron cey are just outside of the image, unfortunately.  the dodgers also happen to be wearing black armbands in honor of ken mcmullen's wife who had recently passed away, but this card goes in my lurker collection as there is a different version of this card in the memorials collection.

i met downing once when i was a kid. it was at a benefit thing, and he was really nice to me. i knew that he had served up this historic home run, but i was more impressed that he had worn the dodger uniform. i didn't ask him about how he feels about being remembered primarily for allowing a historic home run, so i don't really know if it bothers him or not.

i am guessing that pete rose won't be part of this set, so there is little chance of a card with eric show sitting on the mound after surrendering hit number 4192, or, for that matter, of pete and steve garvey at first base in the aftermath.  speaking of which, it's pretty cool that the garv was on the field for 715 and 4192, as well as nolan ryan's record breaking 5th career no-hitter.  and, since he wasn't the pitcher, maybe the memories aren't quite as bittersweet.


  1. Eric Show, not Ed Whitson surrending hit number 4192

    1. Ah yes. I got my 80s padres pitchers mixed up. Thanks.

  2. As much as I dislike Topps flooding the hobby with cheesy inserts... I've gotta admit I like this card. The simple design paired with this fantastic photograph makes this card special.