Friday, January 10, 2014

Happy Birthday Willie McCovey

It is kind of late in the day but I couldn't let the day go by without wishing a Happy Birthday to my favorite player of all time Willie McCovey.  Stretch turns 76 years old today and has been retired since 1980. Due to his bad knees and so so health he doesn't make as many appearances as he used to but I did hear he was at the 49ers final regular season and the finale at Candlestick Park (unless of course some amazing stuff happens this weekend and the Niners get another home game).  All of my memories of Willie Mac are from The Stick during my younger years and I was up in the Bay Area this week for work and drove by Candlestick and experienced mixed feelings.  Let's face it, the place is a dump, but it is the dump of all my childhood Giants and Niners memories.

I decided to share a few of the cards from my McCovey collection to honor his birthday. These are cards that are some of my favorites and I don't believe I have featured many of them on the blog prior to today.

This is a TCMA card honoring the 1962 NL Championship team.  The photo on the card is great with Willie looking into the camera and holding 5 bats (wonder if Nick from Dime Box has this in his bat barrel mini-collection).  The black and white photo with the Orange border just works so well.

This is a unique card showing McCovey's Hall of Fame Plaque.  It is a thin metal card with the picture of the plaque somehow etched into the metal.  Stretch was a deserving first ballot HOFer with 521 career HRs when 500 HRs meant something.

This is 1973 Topps Candy Lid, it is actually much smaller than a card despite how the scan looks.  It has a nice background of the Stick either before a game or during a game with very few fans (happened a lot in the 70s and early 80s). This was a hard item for me to track down when I started my McCovey collection and I am very glad to have it.

This is a 1964 Topps Stand Up card. I love these and wish I could have a bunch of them and set them up and play with them.  This one isn't in the greatest shape with a crease at the top and some side and corner damage but just having one of these in my collection is a major coup.  McCovey was short printed in this set and these don't come up for sale too often and rarely at a price I could afford.  I have had it for a few years and don't remember how much I paid but I am pretty sure it was more than I would typically pay for a card.

The final two cards I will share are both from 1960 Topps.  His All-Star card is on the top and his official Rookie card on the bottom.  While Sport Magazine and Topps picked him as a 1960 All Star, he didn't make his first All-Star team until 1963.  I have loved both of these cards forever and was lucky enough to inherit them from my dad's collection when I was a young kid.  These two cards are additional cards for my player collection.  I think the 60 and shadow in the background really make the All-Star card pop. The Rookie card shows a young McCovey and the All-Star Rookie Trophy.  Definitely an iconic card of the Hall of Famer and my favorite player of all time.

Happy Birthday Willie!!!

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