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Thursday, November 15, 2007

Red Sox Tribute - 1909 T206 Jake Stahl

If I know my audience by now, I know that you guys just loooooove old ugly cards. Well do I have a treat for you! This card is so ugly when talking about it you have to pronounce it OOG-a-lee to get across just how beat it really is. But since it's a T206 card (and I'm not talking 'bout Topps) it is by default in Gem Mint condition. It just has a bit more character than most Gem Mint cards.

Isn't that just gorgeous?!? I have a bunch of old T206s in this condition. There was a memorabilia store called The Paper Chase in Atlanta a while back that sold magazines and posters and movies and all kinds of stuff and also had a few baseball cards on the side. Apparently they acquired a collection of T206s that had been stapled to a scrapbook that was thrown in the sewer. I was about 11 or 12 when there were selling these and I went berserk over them. I had a bunch of reprints from Dover and Baseball Card Hobby Report so I was excited to see real T206s for sale. I bought a few for a buck apiece with all the money I had, saved up about 40 bucks and went back but was denied buying more when I pissed off the guy behind the counter (long story, maybe I'll tell it later) and finally picked up a few more after they had been picked over. I have a couple dozen of these beauties including this fine specimen of Boston Red Sox player-manager Jake Stahl.

Jake led the Red Sox to their best record and a World Series victory as a first baseman and manager in 1912. Jake was a decent catcher and first basemen for the Red Sox, Senators and Yankees (then Highlanders) and was one of the youngest player-managers in the league. Stahl was out of baseball and working for a bank when his father in law bought the Red Sox and installed Jake as manager. That's right, he BOUGHT the team. This kids, is why you work hard and go to college (University of Illinois in Jake's case) and get a degree so you can find a swanky broad with a rich daddy who can buy a ballclub for you to manage. Nepotism aside, Jake lead the formerly underachieving Sox to their 2nd title. Unfortunately for Jake the team president, scared that Stahl would take over his cushy job, forced him out of the manager's job the next season and ultimately out of baseball. No other Red Sox manager has beat the 105 wins Jake lead the team to in 1912.

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