Thursday, May 11, 2017

Summer of '74

Matthew Prigge cranked up his blog, Summer of '74, in February. It's a consistently good read and Matt is also a prolific Twitter-er (? LOL) and has authored a bunch of other things worth checking out. He also recently sent me a package full of really neat and unexpected items. First up is the Gino Marchetti signed card shown above. Gino is a Baltimore legend, one of the toughest and most relentless defensive players you could ever hope to see. The story that tells his tale best is that he broke his leg in the famous '58 NFL Title game versus the Giants but refused to let the team trainers cart him off to the locker room. Instead he made them put the stretcher down so he could watch the game from the sidelines.  

Matthew also sent me some presidential buttons for my collection. I don't think that's happened before. These 3" LBJ and RFK pinbacks are fantastic additions. Lately I've been working on ways to display my pins and buttons. Office wall space is at a premium but it'll get done. 

My research says the LBJ isn't rare but it's brand new to me. I've never seen either of these before. 

Of course Bobby Kennedy died in June of 1968 while campaigning for the Democratic nomination. Turbulent times in America.

Matt also stuffed the package with a stack of Orioles cards. Most all of them came from a time I wasn't collecting so they are welcome additions to various binders. I'll show and comment on just some of them including all these Cal Ripken cards:

This may be my only 2000 Topps baseball card.

I bailed on collecting in 1990 so the '91 Upper Decks sprinkled thru the post are all new. I really was a big UD fan when they came on the collecting scene. It's ironic the their phony bologna Ben McDonald rookie 'error' is the card that ended my collecting back then.

This Paul Blair is one of those Topps reissues. I always loved this card and the design.

More '91 UDs and an '84 Topps Mike Flanagan.

'87 Donruss Fred Lynn. Do Red Sox fans blink when they see Lynn in orange and black? Is this Donruss' best design?

Giving all the card makers equal time here is Dave Schmidt on a Fleer card next to Brady Anderson.

Billy Ripken, '90 UD. No cuss words visible.

Finally the Oriole that Orioles fans love to hate, Mike Mussina. This was a nice simple design for Leaf. Boring? Maybe..but I liked it. I don't think I have many of them though.

Matt's blog title got me to thinking of what I was doing in the summer of 1974. I was working two jobs, one on campus at the University of Houston Rec/Athletics and the other at the Houston Post. I was also pondering life as a 'single' again after briefly not being so. I was probably drinking too much (those last two items are inter-related). And I was contemplating how I was going to explain to my folks why I still was facing an uphill climb to graduate.

Luckily all that was a long time ago. And I'm here to thank Matt for the generous package. It's much appreciated.


  1. Cool stuff - I just discovered Summer of '74 myself and I must agree that it's always a solid read.

    Those presidential buttons are fascinating. I've always enjoyed admiring them from afar because I really don't need another collection. Maybe someday.

  2. I've completed one trade with Summer of 74. It is a good read. Love the two buttons

  3. Glad it all arrived safely! I was a huge Moose fan back when he was still with the O's. I got him via TTM a year or so back... gorgeous sig.

    1. He bailed to NY during my 'baseball is dead to me' decade so I really never was a part of the 'Moose is the anti-Christ' movement. But later on I sure discovered it was a real thing. He's steadily built Hall of Fame support for the four years he's been eligible. I think his career is right on the Hall borderline. Could go either way.