Tuesday, May 13, 2008

1976 Topps Tribute: Stuff in Back Pockets

As the few of you know, I have trouble sticking with purely objective or even subjective analysis of baseball cards or the hobby as a whole. I enjoy the simple oddities of pictures on cards. Players used to put their batting gloves in their back pockets until too many fingers got broken. Then they started holding them to keep their hands closed while sliding head first. So what is that back pocket for if a player doesn't hold their can of snuff there?

Joe Niekro, brother of Phil (see last post), hid his contraband fingernail clippers back there in the 80's. But this post is about 1976 Topps. Here are 2 cards featuring Stuff in Back Pockets:
















Billy Williams has his batting helmet on and is actually playing in a game. He has conveniently stored his regular ball-cap in his back pocket. Williams played DH for all but 7 games during the 1975 season. He hardly needed that cap!

That brings us to John Curtis and his back pocket! What is it? He is fake pitching while wearing his nylon, long-sleeve, collared shirt under his uni. That could be an extra jacket for that brisk St.Louis air. Or it could be a uniform matching umbrella. Either way he could have taken it out to make the fake pose more believable.

Billy Willams made the HOF in 1987 (Vets Committee) He was good for a lot of years. Jeff Bagwell compares favorably to Williams. I say Bagwell should be a Hall of Famer.

John Curtis was a journeyman pitcher in the mold of Bob Shirley or Shane Rawley. He did lead the AL with 4 shutouts in 1973. I have nothing else to say about Curtis but I would like to know what's in that pocket!

Next up: A Smile

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