I've always been a fan of Joe Garagiola. I remember reading Baseball is a Funny Game, the book he 'wrote' in 1960. When I was a kid I loved his stories of baseball's weird situations and strange plays. The only times I enjoyed the Today Show was the period when he was a co-host. He did Yankee games in the mid-1960s and did NBC's Game of the Week for many years.
This summer he will be awarded the Buck O'Neil Lifetime Achievement Award in Cooperstown at the annual awards presentation on July 26. It's a long deserved honor as far as I'm concerned. Joe has spent his life in the game after being drafted by the Cardinals at the age of 16. He received the Ford Frick Award in 1996 at the Hall for his broadcasting career many years ago. But this Buck O'Neill Award honors his dedication to the game.
This week on his Baseball by the Letters blog Tom Owens had a post concerning Joe which noted that he is no longer fulfilling autograph requests due to his recent health issues. I hated to hear that. I sure hope that Joe will be able to attend the Hall weekend this summer to bask in some baseball glory one more time.
This card really reflects Garagiola pretty well. Great smile and wearing the catching gear he loved to joke about. The set as a whole I can take or leave but some of the cards are pretty sweet and this is one of them.