Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Gonna Make You Notice

You may, may not, or may kinda remember I said I got a 1981 Topps Sticker Album for my dad for his birthday. I also got one for myself, and four boxes of packs of stickers. It was fun trying to recognize the old players, if the stick'em wasn't as strong as it was 27 years ago the first time we did this.

I noticed something odd on Gary Matthews' sticker. He seemed to have a rather large object in his back pocket. This ain't no batting glove:
It almost looks like a hat. The Braves' hat was blue with a white front panel, so it could be. Also, he's clearly not wearing his hat under his helmet.

I started looking around for more evidence of this phenomenon. And sure enough, I found this shot of him on the Phillies:

There it is again. Hat in pocket. I did find where someone in a UniWatch comment thread mentioned how Sarge used to knock his own helmet off basically as soon as he hit the ball and started running to first. So obviously this guy didn't like wearing a hat. But that doesn't really explain why he'd want it on him at all times--if only at his hip.

Bonus: While searching this stuff, I came across this '74 Topps card of Matthews:

What a great shot. The horizontal cards were always extra fun. What the hell is McNamara doing? Does he ever know what to do at Shea Stadium? My retrosheet research tells me this play happened in the fifth inning of the Giants-Mets game on Saturday, August 25th, 1973. Tito Fuentes has just singled to left, and a hustling Matthews scoots into third, losing his headgear as per tradition. Wayne Garrett is the Mets' third baseman. Barry Bonds' dad would fly out, stranding Gary Matthews, Jr.'s dad at third. The Giants still won, 1-0, beating Tom Seaver, and keeping the Mets in last place. What a crazy September that was in the NL East. As late as September 1st, all six teams were within six games of each other. Imagine being dead last in a six-team division in late August, and then winning that division? The Mets did it in 1973.

Reminds me of ol' Trot carrying his hat in his back pocket through most of the '03 season...
Didn't see that on the radio. Thanks.

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Location: Rhode Island, United States