Sometimes a post just falls together. This was originally just a “Ya Get Whatcha Get” post featuring four random cards, but I realized that three of the cards featured a Canadian connection (not to be confused with “The Mexican Connection”, the Billy Joel instrumental that plays just before he comes out on stage).
I’m not one to walk away from a theme that presents itself, so I went looking for another card to complete the quartet, swapped it in, and here we are.
First off, we have a 2014 Bowman Prospects card of Trevor Gretzky (and yes, he’s the son of who you’d think). Trevor is not Canadian, having been born and raised in Los Angeles, but he’s the son of a prominent Canadian, so that’s close enough.
Even though this is his first Bowman card, he’s already in a different organization after having been involved in a trade that was noteworthy for non-baseball reasons. Back last March, Gretzky got traded to the Angels for Matt Scoscia (and yes, he’s the son of who you’d think). Gretzky went on a tear in 11 games in Rookie level Orem, got bumped up to the Low-A Burlington Bees…. and did not go on a tear. He just turned 22, so there’s still time for him to figure things out.
Get this line from his Minor League Baseball bio: “…played football in high school alongside Nick Montana and Trey Smith, the sons of Joe Montana and actor Will Smith…”
I don’t know what to follow that up with, so I’ll move on…
This next card is uniquely Canadian, as it’s an O-Pee-Chee set that has no Topps equivalent. This is a 1991 O-Pee-Chee Premier card of Jeff Conine. I’ve been a fan of “Niner” ever since he was on the Orioles
Jeff Conine was the Grover Cleveland of MLB in the he had non-consecutive stints with the Royals (1990-92 & 1998), Marlins (1993-97 & 2003-05) and Orioles (1999-2003 & 2006).
Getting a bit more Canadian, here’s a 1974 Kellogg’s card of the Expos’ Ken Singleton. Singleton spent 3 years in Montreal and in 1973 he lead the league in OBP (not something that’s going to get you on a Topps “League Leaders” card).
I’ve got to say, I’ve spent so much time this winter creating custom 1974 Kellogg’s cards that it’s a bit odd to look at a real one.
Ken’s uncle Harvey Singleton played for the Toronto Argonauts of the Canadian Football League.
…And speaking of the CFL…
This next card is one of my favorites from my recent COMC shopping sprees. It’s a 1972 O-Pee-Chee CFL card of Edmonton Eskimos tackle Charlie Turner.
Check out the facial hair on this dude! I don’t even know what you’d call that.
Being an offensive lineman in the CFL, I couldn’t a lot of information on him outside of what’s on Wikipedia and a few off-handed references. He won the “Outstanding Offensive Lineman” award in 1975, won two Grey Cups (the CFL championship) in Edmonton and one in Hamilton. A newspaper clipping I found in Google News says that he signed with the AFL’s Buffalo Bills in 1966, but I couldn’t find any more information about that.
During the nearly-two-month NFL players’ strike of 1982, I watched the CFL games that got broadcast in the U.S. to fill the programming time, and became something of an Eskimos fan.
Sharp-eyed football collectors will notice that this design is very similar, but not identical, to 1972 Topps. The font and corners are different, there’s no thin black border around the edge of the photo, and there are probably other things I’m not picking up on. Here’s the back.
You can’t argue that “Bloqueur Offensif” sounds a lot more impressive than “Offensive Tackle”.
There were a couple of other CFL cards I picked up, but I’ll share them another time.
Has anybody else picked up something Canadian recently? And yes, Labatt’s, Molson, Canadian Club or Tim Horton’s Donuts are all valid answers.