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Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Knucksie Autograph

Quickie post for Fuji, he might take my extra credit point away for this one. I got a splitting headache tonight though and I can't stay up all night writing. He wants to know what my favorite player was when I was a kid. As a Braves fan I had two: Bob Horner for hitting and Phil Niekro for pitching. I honestly liked Horner best. He was a home run hitter (when healthy) and had curly hair and glasses like me. Everyone else could like pretty boy Murphy, Horner was my guy. Then collusion happened and he want to Japan and then to the Cardinals (blecch) and then the knees gave up. I still collect Horner today, but there just ain't that much out there for him. There's a couple of jersey cards (I think I have a patch card), there's a bat card (got that too), I think I have his Fan Favorites autograph and I have a couple of on card autos. I have most of his cards already including the oddball 1978 Coca-Cola card that pre-dated his 1979 Topps rookie. It actually might be a good project to go through my stuff and see how close I am to having every single Bob Horner card ever. A quick look on COMC shows I got most of that stuff already.So nothing really stands out. Sorry Bob, gotta go with Knucksie.

Niekro became a favorite basically due to his 1981 Topps card. I mean, he was a Brave, and our best pitcher and all, but that 1981 card sealed it for me. I probably posted it a half dozen times but I literally have 15 minutes to write this so you'll have to Google it. It shows Knucksie winding up ready to pitch and to a 9 year old who knew nothing of the strange faces pitchers make while in the process of hurling a spheroid at maximum velocity it looked like Phil had a big 'ol smile on his face. Plus the back of the card had a gigantic amount of stats! Phil had more stats than a whole pack full of my other cards! Had I not pulled that Niekro out of a random pack of '81 Topps my favorite Braves pitcher may have ended up being Tony Brizzolara, who knows?

Oh yeah, favorite piece of memorabilia. That's what this post is supposed to be about. Ok, it's right up above. No, that's not a card, although you may recognize the design. More about that in a minute. I got this card about 10 years ago. I don't remember if it was right before or just after my grandfather passed away, but either way my grandmother was moving out of her house to go live with my uncle and she was having a garage sale. Long story short (and because I don't need to be airing dirty laundry on this blog) I was stressed out of my mind, had worked very late the night before and when I arrived early that Saturday morning to help with the garage sale I ended up getting in a huge fight with a family member and stomped off. I drove around for a while trying to cool off (it was easier to do that back when the price of gas started with 1) and I heard on one of the sports talk radio stations that Phil was doing a signing up in Flowery Branch for charity. Hey, why not? My afternoon was clear. I drove from Marietta to Flowery Branch (not a small trip)((I need to cut down on the parentheses)for real) somehow managed to find the place and got two autographs from Knucksie. One on this card and one on a baseball. From what I remember I didn't pay more than about $30 for both.  I got this card here which is about 4"x6" in size, larger than a regular card. The design is based on the 2000 Upper Deck Legends autograph design that he had tweaked a bit and reprinted for his signings. The autograph is fantastic, blue sharpie, strong and readable. Phil also signed a baseball with the sharpie which didn't go quite as well. Who cares? I got to meet Knucksie! A rotten day turned great thanks to a promo on a radio station. Thanks Phil!


Carl Crawford Cards said...

9/26/87 My folks took me down to a game in ATL. I got autos from Vida Blue and Atlee Hammaker. What I remember most is gaining home the next day and listening to Niekro's last start on the radio as we drove home. His getting hammered was a perfect metaphor for the Braves of the 1980s.

And yeah, Horner was pretty awesome. It sux he ever left the Braves.

Fuji said...

Damn... your 15 minute posts are better than my 1 hour posts! Love the Knucksie auto... now I'm off to check out that 81 Topps card.