Tuesday, November 8, 2011
Pee Wee's big uniform adventure
I received this card from Heartbreaker Matt F. over at Staggering Genius. It's pretty darn awesometastical. (sorry, my daughter's phrases rub off on me).
I was so thrilled with the card, I nearly dropped it.
But, of course, Matt had to ruin my blissful ignorance with a note:
"Like I said"?
Did we have a conversation about this?
I have no memory of this at all.
Ah, geez, it really sucks getting old.
I proceeded to turn the card over ... slowly. Card backs on relics tend to disappoint.
Well! Seems legit to me! I am to be congratulated for receiving a Pee Wee Reese game-used jersey trading card that features an authentic piece of a jersey worn by Pee Wee Reese in an official Dodgers MLB game.
But that note from Matt kept gnawing at me.
So, off I went through the Heartbreaking Cards archive, searching, searching for a post on Pee Wee Reese uniform cards. Good gosh, I don't have time for this, I have a job, and stuff to do around the house, and dammit, the dog wants to go out AGAIN, where is the blasted Pee Wee post???!!!!!
And then I found it.
The jersey piece DOES look a bit out of place when you consider the era in which Pee Wee played. Reese wore wool flannel uniforms because that's what players wore in the '40s and '50s.
Wool flannel uniforms look like this:
But the wording on the back of the card had me thrown. What kind of major league baseball game would Reese have been in wearing that kind of synthetic-blend uniform?
Reese never coached for the Dodgers as far as I knew. He went into broadcasting after his career. Besides the polyester kind of uniform that seems to be represented with this scrap of jersey didn't even arrive in the majors until the early '70s.
Perhaps, as was suggested on Matt F.'s post, it came from an old-timers game.
I did find an old-timers game involving Pee Wee. It's a Yankees old-timers game from 1981, celebrating the 25th anniversary of Don Larsen's perfect game. It involves a number of Dodger old-timers from that 1956 team (why they agreed to commemorate the Larsen game, I'll never know), including Pee Wee Reese.
At about 2:18 of the video, you see Pee Wee trot out of the dugout wearing what appears to be a polyester blend Dodger uniform.
That could have been the jersey cut to bits.
An old-timers jersey is kind of cool, even if it verges on the "event-worn." But I still didn't know for sure what it was -- that was a Yankees' old-timers game, not what I consider an "official Dodgers MLB game." And I could imagine any number of other scenarios in which Pee Wee wore a modern-type uniform during a major league game. The "not knowing" still bugged me.
Then I re-read the post. And the comments. And something struck me that I ignored the first time.
I had commented on that post back when Matt first wrote it. I had forgotten all about it until I saw Matt's note and went digging. Because my memory is failing by the second.
Here is what I said:
OK, sometimes I really need to listen to me.
Never mind where the jersey bit came from.
It's a card of Pee Wee. With a uniform piece that he once wore.
That's all I need.