30 Day Baseball Card Challenge

Friday, August 7, 2015

Throw Your Hands Up in the Air

Last month, I wrote about meeting the first Japanese baseball player in Major League Baseball history.  But I failed to mention that it was my first time visiting my alma mater in over a decade.

I arrived about an hour before the Masanori Murakami book signing, so I decided to walk around campus and check out my old stomping grounds.  Here's a look at San Jose State University's iconic Tower Hall:

I apologize for the poor lighting... due to the time of day, I was forced to take the photographs while facing the sun.  Tower Hall is one of the oldest buildings in San Jose and looks exactly the way I left it when I graduated back in 1996.

However I did notice one nice addition to the campus:

Back in 2005, SJSU honored their two former Olympic medal winning students with this beautiful statue.

For those who may not recognize the Olympians, back in 1968 Tommie Smith took home the gold medal in the 200m race, while John Carlos won the bronze.

At the medal ceremony, the two athletes protested racial segregation by raising their black gloved fists and lowering their heads while on the podium.

Interesting Fact:  If you're wondering why one of them raised his right hand, while the other raised his left... Mr. Carlos accidentally left his gloves at the Olympic Village, so he borrowed Smith's left glove.

One More Interesting Fact:  Peter Norman was an Australian sprinter and the third member on the podium.  All three athletes wore Olympic Project for Human Rights badges when they received their medals and it was Norman who actually gave Carlos the idea to borrow Smith's glove.

A Final Interesting Fact:  John Carlos and Tommie Smith both gave eulogies and served as pallbearers at Peter Norman's funeral back in 2006.

Okay now onto the card featured at the top of this post.  After the book signing, I went home and searched for cards of all three Olympians.  As soon as I found out that Smith had autographs in both Allen & Ginter and Americana, I targeted them on eBay.

After a few weeks, I won the 2012 Americana Heroes and Legends autograph for $8.85 (+ $2.98 shipping).  It's a nice addition to my San Jose State University PC, but I'd really like to get my hands on his 2007 A&G autograph, because they feature on-card autographs.  Unfortunately... they are way out of my price range for the time being.

I hope all of you had a great week.  I'm officially on my summer break and have already started building everyone's care packages.  Stay tuned.  I should have some of them ready to go by tomorrow or Monday.

Happy Friday and sayonara!


  1. Very cool. That color statue is great.

  2. Such an iconic moment - where sports and activism intersect. As a former track athlete, seeing great cards like this makes me want to get a little runner collection going!

  3. the junior junkie - i'm so glad i decided to walk around the campus. if i didn't... i never would have been blessed with the statue's awesomeness.

    tony burbs - i agree 100%. i've actually considered creating a runner pc too.