Baseball Toaster Bronx Banter
If You Didn't You Wouldn't Be in Here
2008-05-16 10:17
by Alex Belth
Note: The Bronx Banter blog has moved to
As we wait around for what Banterite Sliced Bread calls the Schlubway Serious...

When I turned 30, my dear friend Alan made me a great mix cd, stacked with soul records from 1971, the year I was born.  "I Know You Got Soul," "Mr. Big Stuff," "Spanish Harlem,"  "Do the Funky Penguin,"  "A Natural Man," and one of my all-time favorite cuts, "Family Affair" are all featured.  (For my 40th, maybe he'll make me a mix of the best rock n roll songs from that year. What would those records be?)  Here is the cover art for the cd, including a card Alan made of me with my old moniker Al Dente (the back cover of the cd, looks like the back of an old card, but instead of stats, you get the track listing; it includes the tidbit, "Alex loves records," taken from an old Alex Johnson card).  The picture of me was actually taken by Alan in Gravesend, Brooklyn in 1999.  I'm wearing a t-shirt that my boy Javier brought back from the Dominican for me, "Sammy's 61," celebrating Sosa's monster 1998 season.  The cup in my right hand is from Nathan's on Coney Island.

Can you name all the cards--even the bits and pieces--in this collage?

Comments (63)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2008-05-16 10:46:49
1.   bp1
I think I see a "Big O" Oscar Gamble on the left.
2008-05-16 10:50:42
2.   Alex Belth
How could you tell? LOL
2008-05-16 10:54:48
3.   Bama Yankee
That's Boog Powell in the upper right corner:
2008-05-16 10:58:04
4.   Alex Belth
Yup. Who is in the upper left?
2008-05-16 11:02:06
5.   bp1
2 LOL - no kidding. He was one of my favorites as a kid (probably everyone's). What kid didn't try to imitate his batting stance when fooling around?

Is that George Foster underneath Don Baylor?

2008-05-16 11:06:54
6.   Alex Belth
Yup again. That am be G. Foster. What a mug.
2008-05-16 11:07:23
7.   Bama Yankee
5 Yes, good eye. That's Tuscaloosa, Alabama native George Foster.
2008-05-16 11:13:17
8.   Josh Wilker
Dusty Baker to the left of Boog, I think.

I think I may have wasted my life: even before I read the autograph I could tell from the teeth that Derrel Thomas was the player featured in the card next to Baker.

2008-05-16 11:14:31
9.   JL25and3
Is the Piniella rookie card from the Royals or the Pilots?
2008-05-16 11:14:37
10.   bp1
6 7 I'm showing my age, lol. Nobody can miss Zim on the bottom, either, but he's as obvious as Gamble.

Man - look at Willie. What a kid. Geez.

Alex - cool CD cover. That was quite a gift.

2008-05-16 11:15:38
11.   JL25and3
The Indians catcher is Fosse, obviously.
2008-05-16 11:17:54
12.   Alex Belth
Yes or Fosse, yes on Dusty and that's Sweet Lou from the Royals.
2008-05-16 11:18:48
13.   williamnyy23
8 Yep...that's Dusty...Bobby V is down in the right hand corner and Davey Johnson's name is pretty evident.

The hard one is the lefty in the top left.

2008-05-16 11:19:41
14.   Alex Belth
Also, it was an amazing gift, arguably the best one I've ever gotten in my life. The care and effort he took with the cover alone was moving, but those records! Oh, man, was that a great time for soul records.
2008-05-16 11:20:29
15.   Alex Belth
I'm counting on Josh W to come up with the card on the top left...
2008-05-16 11:21:21
16.   williamnyy23
Also, the smiling Royal looks like Willie Wilson.
2008-05-16 11:22:11
17.   bp1
8 Hold on - that's Boog and not Don Zimmer on the bottom?
2008-05-16 11:22:29
18.   Raf
13 That's not a lefty; that's a RHB completing his swing. If I didn't know better, I'd say that was Kong.
2008-05-16 11:24:08
19.   bp1
16 That's what I was thinking (looked like Dave Parker till I noticed the cap), but I can't seem to place the Red Sox guy next to Alex. Anyone?
2008-05-16 11:24:14
20.   Josh Wilker
18 : That's a good guess. I was thinking Brooks Robinson, but it's a wild stab.
2008-05-16 11:24:18
21.   williamnyy23
18 You're right about the righty...and now that I look closely, Kong is a good guess too. Looks like a Giants uniform.
2008-05-16 11:24:21
22.   JL25and3
17 Boog at the top right, Baker just to his left - in a Braves cap. Dusty never played for the Giants.
2008-05-16 11:26:49
23.   Alex Belth
For shame, you gotta be able to identify the guy in the Red Sox uniform. And no, that's not Willie Wilson.
2008-05-16 11:28:19
24.   ms october
4 yeah anyone know who is the upper left - that is the toughest one

concur with bp1 really cool cd cover

7 hi bama - i was just thinking the other day about how for a fairly small populace state there are a good number of top athletes from bama - yet by and large it seems the communities they come from do not make much of a deal about them at all - there's a few exceptions - leeds is very proud of charles - but i know huntsville could give a damn about jimmy key - what do you think - am i off base?

2008-05-16 11:30:05
25.   williamnyy23
23 Jenkins?
2008-05-16 11:30:56
26.   Josh Wilker
23 : Since no one else has come up with it, I'll spill the beans: that's El Tiante, pre-facial hair.
2008-05-16 11:31:24
27.   williamnyy23
23 Of course's definitely Hal McRae!
2008-05-16 11:31:54
28.   williamnyy23
26 I wanted to guess that, but I can't picture him clean shaven.
2008-05-16 11:33:33
29.   bp1
23 Shaking my head here. I come up empty. (hanging my head in shame)
2008-05-16 11:34:29
30.   bp1
26 Oh geez. Good one.
2008-05-16 11:35:50
31.   Raf
I believe that's Garry Maddox between Willie & Zim
2008-05-16 11:36:23
32.   JL25and3
27 You're right, McRae.
2008-05-16 11:37:21
33.   williamnyy23
31 It definitely is...nice job...any more left?
2008-05-16 11:37:32
34.   Bama Yankee
I believe Raf is correct, that's Kingman in the upper left.
2008-05-16 11:38:20
35.   Jon Weisman
Bobby Grich on the upper left?
2008-05-16 11:39:50
36.   Raf
33 The sideburns were a dead giveaway :)
2008-05-16 11:41:43
37.   Bama Yankee
2008-05-16 11:45:26
38.   JL25and3
12 Alex, I know Piniella won ROY with the Royals that year. But he was with the Pilots through spring training - traded to the Royals 4/1/69. So my question was about how the card identified him...and I haven't been able to find that card so far.
2008-05-16 11:47:14
39.   Alex Belth
Hal McRae is right! Did we get the Pirate on the top? Nope, not Bobby Grich.
2008-05-16 11:47:46
40.   Bama Yankee
2008-05-16 11:49:07
41.   Raf
38 The card ID's him as a Seattle Pilot.

1969 Topps #394

2008-05-16 11:50:03
42.   Raf
39 The Pirate is Larry Demery
2008-05-16 11:50:58
43.   JL25and3
40 Thanks, Bama. That's what I thought.
2008-05-16 11:55:44
44.   JL25and3
41 And Raf. Thanks.
2008-05-16 12:02:50
45.   Alex Belth
Yup, Demery is correct!
2008-05-16 12:03:20
46.   Alex Belth
Yessir, that's Gary Maddox.
2008-05-16 12:04:06
47.   Alex Belth
Two more...the guy next to Dusty with the buck teeth and mustache and the upper left...C'mon, you can do it!
2008-05-16 12:06:32
48.   Josh Wilker
47 : Already IDed: See 8 and see 40 , which confirms Raf's guess.
2008-05-16 12:07:00
49.   Raf
47 The buck-toothed guy is Derrel Thomas, and the guy in the upper left is Dave Kingman.
2008-05-16 12:07:44
50.   Raf
Demery & Thomas were easy guesses, given their names are right there on the cards :)
Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2008-05-16 12:07:48
51.   Bama Yankee
24 Good question, Ms. October. Alabama has had more than it's share of famous athletes. I never really have thought about them not getting the home town recognition they deserve.

You're probably right about Jimmy Key. Although, I do recall the Huntsville sports anchors (do you remember Harold Bugg?) always referring to Key as the "former Butler High standout". Maybe people in Huntsville have not forgotten that he spurned both Bama and Auburn to go to Clemson... Who knows.

2008-05-16 12:08:54
52.   Alex Belth
KONG! That's him. Classic.

Good calls guys.

2008-05-16 12:23:04
53.   Bama Yankee
52 I think we got 'em all, Alex (thanks for the fun exercise). Just one question: Are you trying to pull a David Blaine "levitation" in that center picture? ;-)
2008-05-16 12:23:38
54.   ms october
51 oh man - harold bugg - what a blast from the past - good theory on jimmy key - could be

52 alex was there any method to the madness - did you have these cards or these were people/players you liked growing up or just a bunch of random but interesting cards?

2008-05-16 12:56:20
55.   Raf
The weather is still pretty miserable, I doubt that they'll get the game in tonight. If that's the case, I hope they call it instead of having the fans schlep all the way down there to find the game in a rain delay, then cancelled.
2008-05-16 13:04:39
56.   DarrenF

Post has a picture of Randolph sitting alone in the dugout. The caption says this was during the game. Does anybody know if this was really during the game? It seems like it must be after the game. If this was during the game, it doesn't look good.

2008-05-16 13:18:26
57.   Alex Belth
Hey, actually I didn't make the cover, my friend did. I think the only method was getting guys who looked kind of cool/funny or guys that Alan knew I liked.
2008-05-16 13:29:13
58.   Rich Lederer
Cool CD cover and contest. Well done.

Best rock songs of 1971 (my sophomore year in high school)? I'll preface my choices by saying that it wasn't a very good year for rock and roll. There was more bubblegum tied to songs than baseball cards that year.

In any event, I would go with any and all songs from Who's Next (including Won't Get Fooled Again), Stairway to Heaven and Black Dog by Led Zeppelin, Get It On (Bang a Gong) by T. Rex, Wild Night by Van Morrison, Theme from Shaft by Isaac Hayes ("Shut Your Mouth"), Have You Ever Seen the Rain by Creedence Clearwater Revival, Changes by Bowie, Black Magic Woman by Santana, and a personal favorite Signs by the Five Man Electrical Band (although I'm not sure it would qualify as rock and roll).

Other great songs that filled the airwaves that year (but more pop or ballads than rock): American Pie by Don McLean, Imagine by John Lennon, and Your Song and Tiny Dancer by Elton John.

2008-05-16 13:31:32
59.   OldYanksFan
Not a word about the man who was the first to bring a hair blow dryer into the clubhouse?
2008-05-16 13:36:33
60.   Alex Belth
2008-05-16 13:36:46
61.   SteveF
1971 was a decent year for rock albums. Led Zeppelin (IV), The Who (Who's Next), and The Rolling Stones (Sticky Fingers) come to mind, though I've never been a fan of the Stones.

Hope you folks enjoy your annual Yanks-Mets festivities, though I suspect the smack talk will be somewhat subdued this year.

2008-05-16 17:48:59
62.   Sliced Bread
0 Thanks fer the shout, Alex.

61 Word. '71 was rock solid. Traffic's "Low Spark of High Heeled Boys," Tull's "Aqualung," and what was that Joni Mitchell joint? and the one Steven Crosby did that year?

I was 5 years old, jammin' to mom's Simon & Garfunkel.

Yo, this is what you should have been driving Year 1:

2008-05-16 17:52:20
63.   Sliced Bread
62 David Crosby, dummy. and it was "If I Could Only Remember My Name."

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