I last received cards from Jim not all that long ago--back in July, in fact. So I didn't really have any reason to expect to find a PWE from him in my mailbox yesterday. That last package was stuffed with lots of Tigers base and inserts and capped off by a crazy old 1952 Bowman base of Tigers P Bob Swift. So what would be in store for me this time?
I ripped open the envelope to find some cards nicely secured in a corner pocket of a standard binder page. These two cards were on the front and back:
Oh, wait a sec, there was a card sandwiched between those two like they were just there to protect this one, which is a good idea since it's kind of small. Hmmm, what is this?
Vic Wertz, which, to reiterate, is from 1950, is AWESOME! Hailing from a Bowman set made in 1950, or 65 years ago, this card details Wertz's 1949 season, which makes since since, and I don't think I've mentioned this, it was produced in 1950. Which I think is kind of a big deal.
Wertz, a Pennsylvania native, was signed by Detroit in 1942, and the WWII vet went on to play in parts of 17 seasons, nine of which were spent with the Tigers. A career .277 hitter with 266 homers, the 1B/OF was a four-time All-Star who also saw game action with the Indians, Red Sox, Orioles/Browns, and Twins. His name is forever linked to Willie Mays after the Say-Hey Kid caught Vic's would-be (anywhere else) homer in the '54 Series. After his playing career he went on to do a lot of good for the Special Olympics and numerous charities, leaving a positive legacy both on the diamond and off.
This beautiful card of a well-known player is tied for the oldest in my baseball vintage collection along with fellow Tiger Dick Kryhoski from the same set (courtesy of Scott at Sports Cards Ate My Brain) and I can't begin to imagine why I deserve such a nice card, so I'll just go ahead and thank Jim for his customary generosity. Although he's no longer treating those of us who followed his blog to new writing, GCRL has proved that he's still plenty active on the trade front, so I, for one, won't be ceasing sending him cards, and I hope everyone reading this gets in the holiday spirit and remembers to send cards his way as well.