Sunday, May 15, 2016

Awesome night card, pt. 259 and 260: oldest and newest

With little time and even less motivation, it's time to determine whether the oldest night card I own and one of the newest night cards I own will make the Night Card Binder.

The oldest card, of course, is vastly more interesting. This is a 1950 Bowman card of pitcher Marino Pieretti. Even if you know nothing about Pieretti, and that was me about 10 minutes ago, it's a fascinating card. Check out the painted glow from the lights beaming down on the right-hander.

Now, look at the back. There are two points of interest for me. First, observe Pieretti's height and weight. Five-seven, 158 pounds. Those are my measurements there. Dammit, if I was born in 1921, I could've been a major league pitcher even at 5-7.

Next, note that Pieretti was born in Italy. That's pretty cool.

Pieretti was raised in San Francisco, where baseball thrived in the 1940s and 50s. Pieretti was popular in the area long after his playing career ended. But in 1977, he had liver cancer and the prognosis wasn't good. Depressed, he barely left the house. His friends decided to take him out to dinner. Pieretti got plastered and the dinner was deemed a great success. They did it again the next month and it became a tradition. Pieretti lived four more years and even after his death the monthly dinners continued and those who attended became known as "The Friends of Marino Pieretti." As of 2015, they were still meeting and can be spotted wearing green jackets.

OK, after that little story, this card better damn well make the binder.

But first let's check out one of the newest night cards I own.

Despite everything I've said about 2016 Topps, I like this card. It might be my favorite card from the set.

You just don't see that much of the night sky on a single card very often. And the smoke effect, which in 99 percent of the cards is just awful and distracting, makes it appear as if -- like in the Pieretti card -- the lights are illuminating Johnny Cueto.

I don't need to do any research to inform you about Cueto. You all know his story. And this card probably marks the last moment in which I enjoyed his work. He's now a hated Giant and completely disgusting.

However, we restrict our Night Card Binder judgements to the contents of the card only.

All right, here is the big moment:


Night Card Binder candidate: Marino Pieretti, 1950 Bowman, #181
Does it make the binder?: YES (It knocks out this card, which is very sad, but not even Rickey can compete with 1950 Bowman).

Night Card Binder candidate: Johnny Cueto, World Series Highlights, 2016 Topps, #61
Does it make the binder?: YES. (It knocks out this card).

And that closes another Friends of Night Owl meeting. Sorry, I don't have any money for jackets.


  1. Love the story about The Friends of Mario Pieretti!

    1. Me too, great story!

      ...And Marcus Stroman is 5'8", so being a few inches below 6' and being a Major League pitcher are still not mutually exclusive things...

  2. I did a blog about him at
    Interesting man~!

  3. Glad to see the cueto make the binder.

  4. Great on both accounts (cards). I don't believe that I've seen actual stars shining like that on a baseball card. As for the smoke.....pretend its the glow from the moon ring.

  5. Cueto as a Giant, just makes me one sad panda.

  6. Just passing by this blog...first time I've ever read it. Seems like a site I'll start visiting more often. As for the Cueto card, I agree, it is a great card. As a lifelong Royals fan, I was thrilled to have a chance to be at Game 2 of the World Series last year. I was FAR away from the action (2nd row from the top in the upper deck) but it will likely go down as one of my favorite baseball memories in my lifetime. From up there the field was just GLOWING down below, and it FELT like the lights were focused on Cueto all night. After he mixed in some great as well as awful starts for the Royals during the regular and post season, it was pretty apparent his "Royals Legacy" was basically going to be decided that evening. Around KC we will likely always refer to Game 2 as "The Cueto Game". He was DOMINANT that night. Complete game, one run, two the WORLD SERIES!?!?! The crowd was chanting his name and you could see his confidence GROWING as the game went on. When it was all over, we all left the stadium KNOWING we were on the verge of something special. Turns out our Royals would not return to KC until after they were crowned.

    So, back to the a card collector since childhood, one of the special benefits of having my team win the World Series was looking forward to World Series Highlights cards (oddly Topps was NOT making World Series cards in 1986...the last time my Royals were reigning champs...does anyone know why they stopped for awhile?). So when I bought a hobby box of Topps this Spring, I was most excited to pull the World Series cards. I got three out of the four...and the Cueto was one of them. Such a great card to serve as a reminder of such a great night.