Monday, April 2, 2012

1990 TOPPS A. BARTLETT GIAMATTI

IN BART I TRUSTED.
LEFT HIS MARK DURING A BRIEF STEWARDSHIP.


THE FRONT PAGE

  • I need to eliminate the stink from yesterday's April Fools' ass-clowns, so I figured this card of the former commissioner would be a breath of fresh air.

THE BACK PAGE

  • A sincere and touching observation from a brilliant man who was a passionate fan. I imagine he'd have baseball on his pay-no-mind list today. He would've turned 74 on Wednesday. Seems appropriate his birthday falls at the beginning of baseball season.

PHOTO PLAY

  • Taken at Tiger Stadium, I believe, this photo works well despite the busy border. Good color and composition.

EXTRA, EXTRA

  • Giamatti succeeded Peter Ueberroth as commissioner, and I wonder how different the game I used to love would be if he didn't die from a heart attack in 1989 after exactly five months on the job.
  • How would he have handled the performance-enhancing drug scourge that poisoned the game? Would he have cancelled the '94 World Series? Signed off on expanding the playoffs? Interleague play? Too bad he didn't have more time and the Milwaukee used car salesman less.
  • As NL president beginning in '86, Giamatti, Yale educated and the former university president, championed improving the ballpark experience for the fan and railed against the lack of minorities in managing/coaching and in front offices.
  • His other noteworthy action as president was suspending Pete Rose for 30 days for shoving umpire Dave Pallone in '88. Of course, that confrontation was the opening act for the gambling investigation Giamatti would launch against Rose the next year. 
  • Eight days after banishing Rose, Giamatti died.
  • "For being book smart, I thought he had a lot of street smarts, which is tough to find sometimes,'' Whitey Herzog told The Washington Post in '89.
  • Two more quotes, both from Giamatti: 
  • "The people of America care about baseball, not about your squalid little squabbles,'' he said about the players and their strike in  '81. "Re-assume your dignity and remember that you are the temporary custodians of an enduring public trust.'' 
  • To Thomas Boswell in '89: "The largest thing I've learned is the enormous grip that this game has on people, the extent to which it really is very important. It goes way down deep. It really does bind together. It's cliche and sounds sentimental, but I have now seen it from the inside.''

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