Friday, September 27, 2013

WORTH A THOUSAND WORDS


DO AS I DO, NOT AS I SAY, YOUNG FELLER.


What in tarnation was Casey Stengel attempting to communicate on this 1959 Topps theme card? 

What were those "Words of Wisdom''? Oh, the wheels spin. To have been a fly on the camera lens. Any card of Stengel's with "words'' in the title has to be featured at The Cardboard Examiner.

Don Larsen, with a wonderful befuddled look, didn't throw a knuckleball; he had trouble commanding the pitches he did throw, but he certainly had the proper demeanor. (Mickey Mantle nicknamed him "Gooney Bird.''), so perhaps Stengel was encouraging Larsen to try the pitch.

Maybe he was demonstrating the proper way to grate your fingernails against a chalkboard to get a team's attention during a slump. Maybe he was showing what arthritis does to your fingers.

Of course, it was always dangerous trying to get inside the head of the Ole Perfessor. All I know is this is an interesting card made even better with the big red circle hovering like the sun.

Gives it a kinda Far East vibe. Hey, you think Case was demonstrating a martial arts move?

The sun was setting on both their Yankee careers. Larsen would be traded in December '59 to the Athletics, Stengel fired after the '60 World Series loss.


WORDS AND STENGEL WERE LIKE OIL AND VINEGAR.


The back of this classic is also amusing, with Topps crediting Stengel for the Yankee dynasty and why Larsen threw the World Series perfecto. While a manager is important, players win championships. Was true then as it is today. And I doubt Casey had any influence over Larsen's gem in Game 5 against the Dodgers other than strategic butt pats and sparing him any Stengelese in the late innings.

No such luck for Larsen here. Thankfully, Topps captured the moment on cardboard.

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