During my COMC shopping spree late last year, I cast my net far and wide looking for unusual cards, and I think this one fits the bill.
This is a 1972 O-Pee-Chee CFL card of Calgary Stampeder Basil Bark.
Does a guy named Basil Bark make you think of football?
Does a friendly-looking guy with styled hair make you think of football?
No offense to Basil, but he looks more like a member of The Moody Blues than he looks like a football player. (Full disclosure: I love the Moodies… well, I love the “This Is The Moody Blues”-era Moodies).
As the back of Basil’s card states, he was a two-time All-Star when he was with the Montreal Alouettes.
Moving on to more conventional areas of cardboardary, let’s check out this 1981 Kellogg’s Tug McGraw.
I never had any Kellogg’s cards in the 1970’s and 1980’s, but I’ve been making up for lost time. For a while I was just picking up certain teams and players, then I was also picking up cheap cards from any year. The more Kellogg’s I get, the more I realize that my feelings towards these cards vary greatly from year to year. I love 1970, and I’m thinking of attempting to complete the 1976 set. Then there are cards like this where they went overboard with the border. Less is more, guys, less is more. Either way, I’m still going to pick up cards of guys like Tug.
I’m thinking that anyone out there is going to fall into one of four categories with this next card.
Fans of NPB view it as an American rookie card of an outstanding Japanese pitcher.
Fans of the Cubs might say “Hey, it’s that guy who got called up from Iowa after Hammel and Samardzija got traded away! He was with the O’s?” (Note: I’m very pleased with myself because I spelled “Samardzija” correctly off the top of my head).
Fans of the Orioles will see the guy who signed a 2-year, $8M contract, pitched one game with AAA Norfolk before undergoing Tommy John surgery, and never pitched an inning in an Orioles uniform.
Everybody else will likely say “Yeah, whatever, what’s the next card?”
A former co-worker once told me about how he used to watch the Senators in the early 1970’s and enjoyed watching Bosman pitch.
He was a very good pitcher with generally bad teams. In 1969 he lead the AL with a 2.19 ERA, and in 1974 (while with Cleveland) he no-hit the soon-to-be-World-Champions A’s. In 1970 he went 16-12 for a team that lost 90 games. He’s also the second cousin of Duane Kuiper.
Just a little tangent before I go… I was looking at the transaction listings on Bosman’s baseball-reference.com page, and I saw that the Indians traded him and Jim Perry to the A’s for John “Blue Moon” Odom. After a couple of beats, I suddenly asked “Wait, Blue Moon Odom was on the Indians???” And the answer is “Yes… for a couple of weeks”. He made two relief appearances, pitched a 2-hit shutout of the Royals, and then was traded to the Braves. Odom’s final cardboard appearance came as a Brave in the 1976 set.
This discovery came the day after I found out that Rollie Fingers was with the Cardinals… for several days in December, 1980. The Cards got him from the Padres, got Bruce Sutter from the Cubs, and the Brewers said “Hey, you don’t really need two closers, do you…?” Just goes to show that you never know what you’ll find when you start digging into this stuff.