Saturday, September 24, 2016

C.A.: 1977-84 TCMA Galasso Greats Larry Lajoie

(Greetings on International Rabbit Day. On this day of caring for and protecting the welfare of the ear-endowed creature, hug a bunny today. But don't let it loose in your house. Those things chew electrical cords. It's time for Cardboard Appreciation. This is the 247th in a series):

This card, from one of my favorite oddball retro sets of the 1970s, is a missed opportunity.

Larry Lajoie was one of the finest hitters of the early part of the 20th century, a Cleveland legend, and known for being the American League's first superstar, someone who helped bring legitimacy to the upstart league. He is also on the front of one of the most famous rare/expensive baseball cards, his 1933 Goudey card.

His full name is Napoleon Lajoie. On the 1933 Goudey card he is listed as Napoleon (Larry) Lajoie. I haven't heard many references to Lajoie as "Larry," but apparently it was a thing as he's "Larry" on a few of his cards.

Many more of his cards list him as "Nap" Lajoie. And that's how I came to learn of the player, as Nap Lajoie. If I were to bring him up in conversation -- which, sadly, never happens -- I would refer to him as "Nap Lajoie". For crying out loud, Cleveland was named the "Naps" when Lajoie was with the team!

"Nap" is short for Napoleon, but this card has me thinking it also meant that Lajoie was known for getting quite sleepy. Look at him on this TCMA card. He's practically in dream land. Yup, that's Nappy. Always dozing in the clubhouse, slumped over at his locker. He was quite perky on the field, but always being nudged awake in the dugout.

How great would it have been to have a photo of this sleepyhead on a card with Nap Lajoie for the name? Photo and caption in perfect harmony!

Something like this:

Night, night.

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