apologies to the bard.
i bring to you tonight, among other things, this 1958 topps pee wee reese card
then a couple of years ago, i was reading joe garagiola's book "baseball is a funny game"
and in a section wherein he discusses nicknames of the 1950's, he notes that reese's nickname is actually "the champ".
while joe can't spell, he does reference marbles! mystery solved. now it is possible that this information was included in roger kahn's classic "the boys of summer" but if so the information didn't register between the time i read the book and first saw the back of pee wee's card. other nicknames garagiola notes in the book that you won't find on baseball reference include lee walls (captain midnight) and bill virdon (cyclops). both of those had to do with their glasses that they wore.
the pee wee card up top (and all the other cards you will see in this post) came my way from thorzul - now at death stare cards - as part of a vintage collection team break he hosted. it was an upgrade for my team collection, as were a number of cards that i received. cases in point:
1959 topps don zimmer
1959 topps rip repulski
1960 fleer joe medwick
i am sure that joe g. would want you to know that medwick's nickname was "ducky"
1960 topps frank howard
1962 topps league leaders featuring wally moon
1962 topps daryl spencer
1967 topps john werhas
1976 topps league leaders featuring andy messersmith
now this card wasn't an upgrade for me, but it does feature some folks with strong nicknames. there's tom terrific, but john the count of montefusco takes the prize. as for messersmith, he was called "bluto".
1971 fleer laughlin world series 1949
names are a big part of these next two cards
thorzul offered the set checklists up for grabs, and i was able to upgrade a couple from my 1974 set. we see right at the start of that checklist a couple of players with some great nickames - hammerin' hank and catfish hunter.
the dodger team checklist features some signatures taken from topps contracts, so you get formal names like "david e." lopes and "ronald" cey and "william joseph" buckner instead of dave and ron and bill, respectively. "thomas" john surgery just wouldn't sound the same.
finally, i also came away with this card
while i was hoping for a koufax or four in my lot, i was not disappointed by the return. thanks thorzul!