Thursday, June 26, 2014

Oisk, ain't he grand?

I can't remember where I saw this '52 Carl Erskine card. So if you are reading this and you posted it, thanks! When I saw it I knew right away that I wanted a copy.

Erskine had a card in the 1959 Topps set and of course I posted it over there. It's a nice one, I love the pink framed cards, but this '52 Topps is much better. On the '59 he's a Los Angeles Dodger, nothing wrong with that, but to me he's a BROOKLYN Dodger as he is here on the '52. I usually don't flip out over portrait cards (that's one reason I thought my '14 Heritage pack sucked.... almost all portraits). But this one is a definite exception. Erskine appears to be having the time of his life. And why not. He's pitching in the majors, he's a Dodger, in Brooklyn and the Brooklyn-ites love him. Heck, he even has black hair, it says so right there on the back of the card!

Maybe the card could have been better with a different background. A glimpse of Ebbets Field, or a sky shot with some puffy clouds, but I'm fine with it the way it is.

'Oisk' is still alive and kicking at the age of 87. He has a website and from that site I'm posting a list of "Did You Know?" facts.

• Earned his nickname “Oisk” from Brooklyn fans who called him “Cal Oyskin” in their “Brooklynese” accents; last name eventually shortened to “Oisk” when yelled from the stands of Ebbets Field, the home of the Brooklyn Dodgers.
• Elected into Indiana Baseball Hall of Fame in 1979.
• Wrote two books, “Tales from the Dodger Dugout” and “What I learned from Jackie Robinson.”
• Featured in “The Boys of Summer,” a book written by Roger Kahn recounting the history of the Brooklyn Dodgers baseball team up to their victory in the 1955 World Series.
• Holds Honorary Doctorate degrees from Anderson University and Marian College.
• Recipient of the 1956 National Jaycee's Ten Outstanding Young Men of America Award in.
• Charter member of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes
• Served in the U.S. Navy
• A national and state representative for Indiana Special Olympics.
• President of the First National Bank in Anderson, Indiana from 1982-1993
• Coached the Anderson College baseball team for 12 seasons, winning four championships.

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