Friday, November 25, 2011

Cardboard appreciation: 1973 Topps Frank Robinson

(Today is Black Friday. This day, since I stopped working in department stores, has meant only one thing to me -- stay away from any store at all costs. I will do my Christmas shopping on a random Tuesday morning, thank you. And stay sane while doing it. Here's to appreciating sanity. And baseball cards. It's Cardboard Appreciation time. This is the 126th in a series):

I finally decided this week to take this card out of my binder of random sets from the 1960s and '70s and place it in my Dodger binder with my other Dodger cards from 1973.

This is a big move for me. Because this card does not meet any of the criteria for gaining admittance in a Dodger binder.

Robinson is not listed as a Dodger. He is not wearing a uniform that advertises the Dodgers. According to words on the card, he is absolutely not a Dodger.

But we collectors know better. This card has been shown many times, mostly because it is one of the most blatant examples of a last-minute fix ever depicted on cardboard.

In my business, there are different editions of the newspaper. The later editions are distinguished by affixing a star onto the top of the pages that have been altered. I don't know why it's so urgent that there be a star on those pages, but the folks who run the presses get really anxious when a last edition page does not have a star. They get so anxious that if it's late enough and there's no time to add the star through the usual computer means, someone will get out a pen and scribble a third-grade star on the top of the page.

I often wonder what readers think when they see the scribbled star while drinking their morning coffee. "I always knew that third-graders wrote these stories."

It's probably along the same lines of what they thought when they saw this Frank Robinson card.

"What third-grader applied WHITE-OUT over the word 'Dodgers' on his uniform?"

Everything else about this photo screams Dodgers. The numbering, the rest of the uniform, the helmet, the scoreboard, the dugout, the seats, the fans, the stadium. There is no mistaking that it is a Dodger game, featuring a Dodger in Dodger Stadium.

There is nothing "Angels" about this card. Who reads the tiny lettering at the bottom anyway?

So, I am breaking my own rule. It is now a Dodger card and goes in the Dodger binder.

Of course, that leaves the door open for cards like this:

That is Brett Butler about ready to dump Geronimo Pena on his head. I doubt I'll ever put this in a Dodger binder. But there is a whole lot of Dodger goodness on this card.

It makes me wonder if what I'm doing with F-Robby is a good thing.

This team collecting stuff isn't easy, you know.


  1. It is a good thing to keep this card with the Dodgers. I have this card with my other Dodgers in order to complete the team set.

  2. I think it's ok to make one exception for this Dodger. Anything you can do to get Frank Robinson in your Dodger binder should be done. While you're at it - please write a note to the Hall of Fame and point out that he had nearly twice as many HR, RBI and just about every stat you could think of with the Reds as he did with the Orioles. If they could please correct their plaque, it would be much appreciated.