Friday, September 16, 2016

In Memoriam

The end of life is such a melancholy and somber topic (for me)... that I usually don't talk or think about it unless I have to.  I'm not saying that I won't talk about it... I just prefer to talk and write about happier things like bacon, Game of Thrones, and baseball cards.

However last weekend I was surrounded by it.  My parents were in town to attend the memorial services for a family friend.  And with it being the 15th Anniversary of the September 11th attacks, I couldn't help but think about the thousands of lives lost on that tragic day.

Plus there's the stress of me destroying my work laptop and quite possibly losing nine years worth of lesson plans, presentations, activities, and handouts with the understanding that all of this could have been prevented had I just backed up my computer.

In short... the weekend was pretty depressing and frustrating.

Thankfully I made time to sit down and catch up on a week's worth of card blog reading... which helped take my mind off of things.  I wrapped up the weekend by opening two care packages on Sunday evening.  One of them inspired today's post.  The other I'll share another day.

There's the saying "good things come in small packages" and that's exactly what I received from Angus over at Dawg Day Cards.  He built me a super generous birthday care package that included a card from my Top 10 Most Wanted List... but before we look at that, let's check out the other items he sent:

1993 Humpty Dumpty #14 Rickey Henderson

Always excited to add a new Rickey Henderson oddball issue to the collection.  Food issues rule... especially when they're miniature.

2016 Topps National Trading Card Day #34 and #43

Another oddball issue!  Angus is on a roll!  I saw these over on Beckett last month and thought they looked pretty cool.  They kind of remind me of a Upper Deck set from a few years ago.

1983 Post Cereal Team Card

Okay... it's time to show off my favorite card of the package:

1985/86 O-Pee-Chee #110

As a teacher, I feel bad choosing favorites... especially since I appreciate all of the cards Angus sent.

But I've wanted this card for as long as I can remember.  I've seen plenty of copies over the years, but I held out hoping that one day I'd find one sitting in a dime box or something.

If you're not familiar with Pelle Lindbergh... he was a star goalie for the Philadelphia Flyers and Team Sweden in the mid 80's who tragically passed away at the age of twenty-five after crashing his Porsche into a school late one evening while intoxicated.  To be honest... I didn't follow hockey until the Sharks arrived in the early 90's... but I remember guys talking about the card when I worked at a card shop back in college.

I always thought it was cool that O-Pee-Chee took the time to add the tiny black strip at the bottom of the card to honor him.  I'm not sure how many times card companies have taken the time to do this, but I remember Topps honored Bart Giamatti back in 1990:

1990 Topps #396

Donruss and Score also produced tribute cards for Giamatti... but I'm not exactly sure if I own them or not.  However... thanks to COMC... here's what they look like:

COMC Images

I do own a Larry Fritsch "In Memoriam" trading card:

There are two other Fritsch tribute cards, which I think I have laying around somewhere.

COMC Image

His family obviously tried to mimic the 1964 Topps Ken Hubbs card, which has replaced the Lindbergh on my Top 10 Wantlist.

COMC Image

A quick Google search led me to this Jim Umbrict card from the same set.  At the bottom of the card it mentions his passing earlier in the year.

There's also a subset of "In Memoriam" cards in the 1994 Conlon baseball card set, but since they honored the players decades after their playing years, I left them out of this post.

In 2008... Topps honored Sean Taylor with a card posthumously in their Topps Progression set:

COMC Image

Finally there's the 1970-71 O-Pee-Chee hockey card of Terry Sawchuk:

COMC Image

I'm sure there are other "In Memoriam" trading cards floating around out there.  If you happen to know of any, feel free to leave them in the comment section below.

Thank you Angus for this awesome birthday care package!

Happy Friday and sayonara!


night owl said...

2006 Topps Traded had an in memoriam card for Cory Lidle.

buckstorecards said...

Gil Hodges' OPC card in 1972 might count, although all they did was add "Deceased April 2, 1972" to they card not an In Memoriam.

The Lost Collector said...

Hmm, I was going to go with the Lidle card as well. I can't think of any others. I checked to see if Thruman Munson had one but didn't find one.

gcrl said...

there's a 1989 t&m umpires card of lee weyer which notes his passing on the back. several umpires in the set are wearing black armbands in memoriam of weyer. i wrote about it a while back -

Commishbob said...

Wasn't aware of that Terry Sawchuk card. I met him before a Rangers game outside Madison Square Garden. I remember when he died and the strange circumstances around it. Funny the things you remember.

Jeremya1um said...

I wish Topps had done these types of cards for Steve Olin, Tim Crews, Darryl Kile, Mike Darr, Josh Hancock, Nick Adenhart, Joe Kennedy, and Oscar Tavares among others. I might do a series of customs to give them a final card. A few people have done a final Munson custom, pretty sure if you Google it you can find some.

Angus said...

Glad you enjoyed the cards! I remember when Lindbergh's accident happened and the shock of losing such a talented player. That card is a favorite of a few of my friends.

Sadly I am posting this comment in British Columbia going to a funeral tomorrow.

buckstorecards said...

In 1999's Be A Player Memorabilia set, there were tribute cards to Steve Chaisson and Dmitri Tertyshny as well. The final 4 cards in their 2011 Heroes and Prospects sets were tribute cards to Luc Bourdon, Rick Rypien, Derek Boogaard and Wade Belak.

Fuji said...

It's really cool to see so many companies honored players in one way or another. Thanks for all of the feedback. I won't be starting a "in memoriam" collection anytime soon, but at least this post and your comments will be a resource for collectors who might be interested.

night owl - can't believe it's already been 10 years. seems like it's only been a few years since i heard the tragic news.

buckstorecards - that definitely counts. gonna need to dig and see if i have that card sitting in my vintage binder

the lost collector - munson was probably one of the first athletes i can remember passing away during his career. i was still really young, but i old enough to understand death.

gcrl - very cool. i'll definitely check it out. thanks for sharing.

commishbob - you have some of the greatest sports memories. ever considered writing a book?

jeremya1um - do it! i remember most of the stories behind the names in your list. gonna need to look up josh hancock though.

angus - sorry to hear about your loss. in general i'm not a big fan of events involving crowds, but funerals are probably my least favorite thing in the world to attend.

buckstorecards - 2011 was a rough year for hockey fans. :(