my personal tribute to the "team that should have been", the 1969 Cubs; tidbits of my philosophy of life and baseball cards
Wait til Next Year . . . is making a come back.
I am going to mix a bit of the philosophy of my life into this blog as I continue to highlight some of my baseball card collection. (hoping the card collectors of this world welcome me back)
Its been a tough 18 months for me . . . the Chicago Cubs have had it rough as well. This site will be devoted to all those who need to define what "wait til next year" means.
Friday, January 2, 2009
Billy Williams - 1962 All Star Rookie
The year is 1969 and it is my first year playing “organized” baseball. I remember my father taking me to the sporting goods store and wanting to buy me my first real baseball glove. I picked out a Rawlings Fastback with Billy Williams name stamped right there in the palm. I still have this tattered, worn, shaped perfectly yet “old” glove. I remember shaping this glove by placing a ball in it, tying it with string and storing it under my mattress at night. This glove is a constant reminder to me of my childhood, playing ball (both 12” and little league as it was called back in the day in suburban Chicago). This glove fits perfectly alongside my collection of baseball cards.
Billy Williams, one of the all time greatest Chicago Cubs, a classy professional. Billy Williams played or coached for the Chicago Cubs for 31 years. Billy Williams, the iron man of his time, played in more than 150 games for twelve consecutive seasons. Billy Williams # 26 was retired by the Chicago Cubs in August 1987. Billy Williams, second in MVP voting twice losing out to Johnny Bench – both times his offensive numbers were better yet was snubbed by voters for the Big Red Machine’s leader behind the plate. Billy Williams, Rookie of the Year, 1961. Billy Williams Hall of Famer.
The card I am featuring is Williams’ 1962 Rookie card #288, highlighted by his Topps All Star Rookie trophy. The Topps ’62 cards have a somewhat bland look to them, brown border, rather small print area for the team and player name yet has a cute touch to it by have the corner look like the page is flipping over.
The back of the cards have the nine basic stats yet only show the current year, labeled simply as “year” and career totals labeled as “life”. An interesting (at least to me) tidbit is that Billy Williams is the only position player who played on the 1969 Chicago Cubs team that ever played a game in the post season, with the Oakland Athletics in 1975.
Thank you Billy Williams for playing for the Cubs, living Cubbie Blue and being such a vital part of my childhood (as Jimmy Buffet says in a song: “I may be growing old but not up”). I think for tonight I will put this card in my glove, put a string around it and put it under my mattress.