So yeah, that's a pretty happy card. I found it that way in a 5 cent box of vintage commons and had to give the little feller a home. This would be a pretty cool card even without the feature enhancements. 73 Topps is a nice, underrated set. The pre-renovation Yankee Stadium in the background is pretty cool. Plus Ron Blomberg made history the year this card hit the market. Ron Blomberg historical? No way! WAY.
Boomer Blomberg was made the number one overall pick in the 1967 draft by the Yankees. Ron came out of Druid Hills High school in Decatur, GA, a school that was a few miles from my house. My high school played them for homecoming my senior year. As a tuba player in the marching band, I got to watch my school beat them by a ridiculous score of something like 63-7 for the only homecoming victory my school had the whole time I went there. We were roundly mocked by the entire state (and especially by the neighboring Druid Hills students) for actually allowing them to score. But I digress - Ron's another Atlanta guy is what I'm trying to say. The "Great Jewish Hope" of the Yankees was a spectacular athlete who was a Parade All-American in baseball, football and basketball, but he turned down the scholarships to sign with the Yankees.
Ron was a fantastic hitter, but had his career shortened by injuries. In seven shortened years with the Yankees and one final season with the White Sox, he had an OPS+ of 140 for his career. Ron was on fire during this 1973 season and made the cover of Sports Illustrated with Bobby Murcer. While he didn't end up the superstar he looked destined to be, he is a baseball immortal for being the first designated hitter ever on April 6th, 1973. Ron was walked in the first inning with the bases loaded by Luis Tiant in a 15-5 debacle of a loss to the Boston Red Sox in Fenway. Ron became the first DH (Designated Hebrew) by virtue of the Sox and Yankees' 1:37pm first pitch. Other DHes on this first day were Orlando Cepeda (Red Sox), Ollie Brown (Brewers), Terry Crowley (Orioles), Ed Kirkpatrick (Royals), Tommy McCraw (Angels), Tony Oliva (Twins) and Billy North (A's). Ron was the first though, so he will always be famous or infamous depending on how big a purist you are. But is that the only reason why he's Card of the Week? Of course not! Check out the 'toon on the back!
Ron loves New York Knishes! (hey, that would make a good name for a basketball team) I love knishes too! I could eat a whole platter of potato knishes right now. Of course I'm rather fond of all sorts of savory pocket-type pastries. Perogis, raviolis, empanadas, calzones, Jamaican meat patties, wontons... you get the drift. I LIKES TO EAT. So Smilin' Ron Blomberg's cartoon where he chows down on a huge pile of knishes gave me an extra bit of needed happiness this evening. For your historic achievement and your love of fine food I salute you Ron Blomberg, and deem you well worthy of Card of the Week.