Skip to main content

Awesome night card, pt. 237: don't forget dad


There was a time when I thought baseball players suddenly appeared one day on a baseball field on TV or on a baseball card. There was no sense of "where they came from," their family history, or even the path that they took through youth baseball, the school years and the minor leagues.

For awhile, I was aware of only the player, and if that player had a dad who played in the major leagues, I had no idea. Baseball players didn't come from other people. They were just THERE.

That changed a little bit when Topps issued the Father & Son subset in the 1976 set. That's where I found out that Buddy Bell and Bob Boone had fathers who also played in the majors.

When Cal Ripken Jr. arrived in the majors in 1981 and became a sensation in 1982, I'd hear about how his father -- Cal Ripken Sr. -- was a coach on the team. But since I didn't live in Baltimore and didn't care about coaches, that knowledge faded quickly.

Somehow, while collecting cards in the '80s, Cal Ripken Sr.'s 1982 Donruss card escaped my view. So did the SuperStar Special card in 1985 Fleer that featured Ripken Sr. and Jr. And Ripken Sr.'s first appearance as manager of the Orioles in 1987 Topps Traded was never on my radar either.

It wasn't until the 1988 Topps set, when Ripken Jr.'s brother and Ripken Sr.'s son Billy made his first flagship appearance, that I became aware of father and son and son and how cool it was.


For the first time in my experience, there were three players from the same family each with their own individual card in the same set.

Pretty awesome.

Of course, Ripken Sr. didn't last long as manager of the Orioles. After one full year in 1987, he was fired six games into Baltimore's season-opening 21-game losing streak in 1988. Except for an appearance on a 1989 Bowman card with Ripken Jr., that would be it for cards of Sr.

But the transition was complete. I was now aware of the father AND the son. And in fact, it's now gone the other way.

There are countless times on this blog where I have called Prince Fielder "Cecil". I've slipped and referred to Kyle Drabek as Doug. And I'm all too eager to tell you that I have Nick Swisher's dad's rookie card and how I knew about Steve long before Nick ever uttered his first "bro".

I'm now more likely to know the baseball-playing dad than the baseball-playing son.

It's also extra-cool when I discover a current player has a dad who played in the majors, because I'm much more familiar with the dad's career. For example, I didn't know until now that the Blue Jays' Steve Tolleson is the son of former Rangers and Yankees glasses-wearing infielder Wayne Tolleson. And I'm ashamed to say that I've gone all these years unaware that the A's Ike Davis is the son of former Yankees and Twins closer Ron Davis, who once struck out eight straight batters in a game.

That knowledge makes me appreciate the current players more, and remember their dad's careers all over again.

Don't forget dad. He's done some pretty cool stuff.

Happy Father's Day.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Night Card Binder candidate: Cal Ripken Jr., 2001 Upper Deck, #90
Does it make the binder?: Yes.

Comments

Zippy Zappy said…
Now I'm curious to know if you've ever referred to Scott Van Slyke as Andy Van Slyke, Dee Gordon as Tom Gordon, and Ken Griffey as Ken Griffey.
or Raul Mondesi as Raul Mondesi or Mike Piazza as Mike Piazza, LOL. A post showing all of the Father & Sons baseball players would be pretty cool. There must be a ton by now.
Not to mention the 3 generational groups like the Boones.
GCA said…
That should be one of next year's insert series.
Some of my player collection guys are dads now. Chris Speier and son Justin, Ivan DeJesus and Jr..
And most famously Bobby and Barry Bonds!
Once a Cub said…
The three Ripkens share 1988 Donruss card:

http://www.tradingcarddb.com/Images/Cards/Baseball/119/119-625Fr.jpg

Popular posts from this blog

This guy was everywhere

It's interesting how athletes from the past are remembered and whether they remain in the public conscious or not.

Hall of Fame players usually survive in baseball conversations long after they've played because they've been immortalized in Cooperstown. Then there are players who didn't reach the Hall but were still very good and somehow, some way, are still remembered.

Players like Dick Allen, Rusty Staub, Vida Blue and Mickey Rivers live on decades later as younger generations pick up on their legacies. Then there are all-stars like Bert Campaneris, who almost never get discussed anymore.

There is just one memory of Campaneris that younger fans most assuredly know. I don't even need to mention it. You know what's coming, even if Lerrin LaGrow didn't.

But there was much more to Campaneris than one momentary loss of reason.

A couple of months ago, when watching old baseball games on youtube hadn't gotten old yet, I was watching a World Series game from…

Some of you have wandered into a giveaway

Thanks to all who voted in the comments for their favorite 1970s Topps card of Bert Campaneris.

I didn't know how this little project would go, since I wasn't installing a poll and, let's face it, the whole theme of the post is how Campaneris these days doesn't get the respect he once did. (Also, I was stunned by the amount of folks who never heard about the bat-throwing moment. Where am I hanging out that I see that mentioned at least every other month?)

A surprising 31 people voted for their favorite Campy and the one with the most votes was the one I saw first, the '75 Topps Campy card above.

The voting totals:

'75 Campy - 11 votes
'70 Campy - 4
'72 Campy - 4
'73 Campy - 4
'76 Campy - 4
'74 Campy - 3
'78 Campy - 1

My thanks to the readers who indulged me with their votes, or even if they didn't vote, their comments on that post. To show my appreciation -- for reading, for commenting, for joining in my card talk even if it might …

Return of the king

(If you haven't voted for your favorite Bert Campaneris '70s card in the last post, I invite you to do so).

So you've been away for a few years and want everyone to know that you're back.

How do you do that?

Do what The Diamond King did when he returned to card blogging last month: Bombard readers with contests and giveaways! Well, you've certainly gotten MY attention, sir!

I'll start with the giveaways first. Since he returned, the Diamond King has issued multiple "Diamond King 9" giveaways, straight out of the chute and rapid fire in the last month-plus. As I've said before, I am very slow to get to these "first come, first serve" giveaways. I used to think "I spend too much time on the computer" and now I realize "I don't spend enough time on the computer at all!"

But I was able to nab two cards out of the many giveaways.


I won this key 1981 Fleer Star Sticker of The Hawk. I have since acquired several more &#…