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Monday, November 12, 2007

Card Of the Week 11/12

In honor of Veteran's Day, The Card of the Week is a Korean War Time Capsule card of Whitey Ford from the 2001 Topps Heritage set. This card features a swatch of one of Whitey's Korean War uniforms and came out during the Baby Boomer retro craze at the turn of the century. While intellectually I am appalled that such a piece of history was hacked up to sell trading cards (which, incidentally didn't need selling - those damn 2001 Heritage packs evaporated off the shelves) I still love this card for the sheer coolness factor.

Whitey jokes about his time as a private in the Army during the Korean War on the back of this card, but he and hundreds of other ballplayers served their country. Braves star Hank Gowdy was the first baseball player to enlist during World War 1. Gowdy is one of many baseball war heroes including Ted Williams, Moe Berg and Bob Feller. Some players were wounded and a few didn't come back. Players who weren't off to war could still help out by selling war bonds and by providing entertainment to distract from the war.

Times have changed, there's no more draft, and it's almost inconceivable to think of young players like David Wright, Dontrelle Willis or Troy Tulowitzki being called off to Iraq. Ration cards and war bonds are also obsolete relics, instead we are called to go shopping to spur on the economy. Even so, we shouldn't forget there are still thousands of men and women serving the country around the world who should be thanked and remembered along with those who have served in the past. Thanks to all the veterans out there for your service to our country.


Anonymous said...

Very cool card.

Anonymous said...

Great Choice. I will always have a soft spot for those who played the games and served our country in the military whether in war time or not.

Jeff said...

I am pretty sure that the uniforms they used for these cards, and the other 3 in the set (Don Newcombe, Willie Mays, and Ted Williams) are not actual uniforms worn by the player on the card. I have a feeling that Topps simply acquired one uniform from an army surplus store (or possibly a more reputable outlet, who knows) and used the same one for all 4 players. Notice that it simply says it is a "worn piece of uniform" and doesn't specify who wore it, as most GU cards do. I really love this blog - it helps me feel like not so much of a weirdo.

dayf said...

To be honest, I'd much rather this be a uniform worn by Joe Schlobotnik than one of Mays, Williams, Newk or Whitey. Those would make a much bigger impact hanging in a museum instead of being chopped to bits and put on a card. The Braves museum at Turner Field had an exhibit with some players' military uniforms the last time I was there and it was pretty cool. This is a neat card of Whitey whether he actually wore this bit of cloth or not.

Anonymous said...

My grandfather served with whitey ford during the korean war, interesting times, wish I knew so much more in details.

God bless those who serve for our country !