Sunday, June 10, 2012

50 Years in Cards: 1974

Part 13 of our 50-year Moustache Growth...
What is it: 1974 Topps #8, George Theodore

What makes it interesting: I had a hard time picking a suitable card from '74, mostly a lost season for the Mets following the "Ya Gotta Believe" run in '73. I arrived at George "The Stork" Theodore primarily for the cult following Theodore and this particular card seem to have.

In addition to Theodore being a generally offbeat sort of character who just happened to play baseball (Bud Harrelson once said of George, "He looks like he was put together by committee,") Theodore's lone Baseball card is rather unique, as cards go. Many of the '74 cards have little pictures on the back with a fun fact about the player (Tom Seaver "Enjoys playing Bridge," Cleon Jones "ran 100 yd dash in 9.7 seconds in high school," and John Milner "has hit some of the longest homers in Shea Stadium history" to name a few). The best thing anyone could come up with on George Theodore is that he "Likes marshmallow milk shakes." For some reason, this seems so fitting for him.

Theodore was of limited ability as a ballplayer, and had a penchant for getting hurt more often than not. His playing career was mostly short-circuited by a violent outfield collision with Don Hahn in '73 that left him with a dislocated hip. His playing career lasted all of two seasons, both with the Mets, where you could count his career totals in Home Runs AND RBIs on your fingers and toes. Nonetheless, because he was so unique in stature, so gangly and miscast on the field, with his aviator glasses and mutant sideburns, and so quotable in philosophy, Theodore became one of the more beloved figures in Mets history, one of the many odd sort of characters that Mets history seems to be dotted with.

Card Back:

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