Thursday, February 25, 2010

Classic card of the week


Chicago White Sox, 1990 Upper Deck

Who doesn’t love baseball nostalgia? Ya’ know, besides everybody in this picture. I know I do! Baseball card, take us back to the good ol’ days:



The year was 1917.

A year I remember well.

The White Sox won a hundred games for the only time in their history as they routed the New York Giants, 4-2,

“Routed?”

in the World Series.

Who can ever forget when the White Sox won the 1917 World Series?! It was a glorious time for baseball, a time when only white players could play, and two of the four teams in the league made it to the World Series, and drunkenness and general debauchery throughout the sport were not only accepted, but encouraged. But it was an even better time for the White Sox in particular, who were only two years away from a betting scandal that would cost them the 1919 World Series and earn their most famous player, Shoeless Joe Jackson, a lifetime ban from the sport. Good times! Coincidentally, one of the major players from that game-throwing scandal -– Chick Gandil –- was also a member of this 1917 team. Though I doubt he was involved in anything shiesty then because, whatever. Nostalgia!

July 11th 1990 was “Turn Back the Clock Day” –- at least in a baseball sense – at Comiskey Park.

Just as an fyi to the reader, July 11th 1990 was not a worldwide “Turn Back the Clock Day,” whereas every person on planet earth literally turned their clock back to the year 1917 and planned the rest of their day accordingly, by wearing a suit and top hat to go get a newspaper from the annoying kid on the corner or, if you happened to be a woman, by doing nothing at all and liking it. It was strictly in a baseball sense.

On that afternoon, the Sox met the Brewers in a rescheduled game and replicated the sights and sounds, feel and flavor of World War I era baseball.

Hmmm, rescheduled game? So really what we’re dealing with here is: the same organization responsible for Disco Demolition Night now had to deal with a rescheduled game –- which typically saw lukewarm draws at the gate -– and came up with the gimmick of "Turn Back the Clock Day," which just so happened to be on the heels of the popular 1988 film “Eight Men Out” that detailed the aforementioned betting scandal. Nothing wrong with that, I just want to call it like it is.

Besides, who doesn’t want to capture the feel and flavor of World War I era baseball?! I mean, when I watch baseball, I want to feel like I’m distracting myself from the brutal and unforgiving war that is happening abroad, and I want the flavor to be: popcorny.

A PA announcer shouted the starting lineups via megaphone.

Fun! For the 23 fans who could hear it. For further evidence of how fun this day was I refer you once again to the front of the card. Check out Ozzie Guillen right in the middle. He looks like he just found out he has to play a game against the Brewers on a day he had previously set aside to take his kids to the water park.

Kids enjoyed eating 5-cent popcorn

Yes! Also, popcorn for your other kid: $12.

and the players wore 1917-era uniforms.

Yes, I can see that. And 1917 was not an era. It was a year. But let’s not forget about the excitement of the actual game:

The White Sox squandered a 9-3 lead, eventually losing 12-9 in thirteen innings. The heartbreaking loss may be a more recent memory, but the greatest team to ever take the field at Comiskey Park, the 1917 Sox, will live on forever.

Son: Dad, that was brutal. The White Sox suck. Plus the popcorn tasted like cardboard. I’m sorry you took off from work today to take me to the game and then got fired.

Dad: That’s okay, son. Remember –- we’ll always have the 1917 White Sox.

Son: I love you Dad!

Did you know?

The water park Ozzie Guillen had planned on going to that day was called, "Bunt, Steal & Splash!" It was later shut down due to health code violations.

2 comments:

Mark's Ephemera said...

The Veeck family only had the 1917 RBtC day just to meet payroll. You see, they also adjusted player salaries. That meant, on average, each player only made $23 for the game.

Darren Wheeler said...

The "rescheduled game" comment on the card comes from the fact that the opening of the 1990 season was delayed due to an owner lockout of the players. MLB missed about the first four games of the season, all of which were made up, "rescheduled," through doubleheaders and playing games on what normally would have been an off-day. The White Sox organization brilliantly took advantage of the All-Star game being played across town at Wrigley Field and the presence of the national media and set up the "Turn-Back-The-Clock" game to take place the day after the All-Star game (which normally would have been an off-day, rescheduling a missed game with the Brewers from the lockout), taking advantage of the media's presence for this historic final season in the then-oldest ballpark in major league baseball.