When I think of things that are vintage that I love in addition to the obvious one -- baseball cards -- my thoughts of course go to music since I played saxophone (all of them...soprano, alto, tenor, and baritone) for 12 years back in school. I can't play any more, but I still love the jazz standards I learned back then. Frank Sinatra is a singer to whom I would never have listened back in the 1980s, but I love a lot of his music these days.
In a lot of respects, that is similar to how I have started viewing vintage cards. Those "old" cards from the 1950s and 1960s -- while cool to see in the 1980s -- had nothing for me because I was a kid and wanted new and shiny. These days, though, my appreciation for those vintage cards has turned into an outright desire to put together a full run of Topps cards of the Milwaukee Braves (and why I'll collect anything Milwaukee Braves). It's also why I have player collections for Eddie Mathews, Lew Burdette, Warren Spahn, and Joe Adcock.
Now, I don't have one for Hank Aaron because he was never a part of the stories I heard as a kid. I think that's because Aaron was still prominent 30 years ago -- and is today -- but Mathews, Burdette, Spahn, and Adcock were purely in my mind's eye. No books about them, no autobiographies, no odes on Grecian urns -- just stories from my grandfather and mother about watching them play.
That's a long way of introducing a PWE, but it gives some context for why I care about a team that ceased to exist 6 seasons before I was born.
Commishbob is the blogging standard-bearer for those vintage days. Whether it is championing the cause for why Robert at $30 a week habit should put together the 1959 Topps set next -- a very successful campaign, I'll add, since 1959 won -- or contributing to the 1963 Topps blog, Bob is the man when it comes to what I consider vintage. My definition is "was the card issued before I started collecting in earnest in 1977?" Well, Bob and Mark Hoyle, but Mark is smarter than the rest of us and just comments.
Anyway, I was very excited when I got this PWE in the mail a week ago mainly because I was not expecting it. When I opened it, though, I was even more excited.
This is a 1966 Topps Rub-Off of Ed Mathews, who is famously the only player to play in all three locations in which the Braves called home. He only played as a rookie in Boston, but he hit 25 homers there. He only played in 1966 in Atlanta, and hit 16 homers there. With Milwaukee, though, he hit 452 homers and hit .277/.385/.528. You'll win a lot of games with a guy like that on your team.
Bob did not limit his giving with the rub-off. He added this 1965 Topps Embossed card of Mathews. These two cards are the first two cards of Mathews in my collection from his playing days.
If Bob had stopped with just those two cards/items, it would have been an incredible PWE. But he did not stop there:
Yes, Bob sent me two cards from that fantastic 1962 set that spawned the creation of a tribute set in the guise of Topps' base set twenty-five years later in 1987. As was the case for Eddie Mathews, these two cards are the first two cards that I own of Spahn that were issued during his playing days.
In other words, as always, the Commissioner has gone above and beyond in sending these cards my way.
Thank you very much, Bob, for the great cards!