Friday, March 6, 2009

Great baseball card story from Barry Bonnell

I asked Barry Bonnell to take a look at my blog and send me any baseball card stories he had. My post about players holding up cards with their name on it elicited this great story about a prank he and teammate Garth Iorg tried to pull on the Topps photographer:
"My story about cards comes from one year in Toronto, 82 or 83, I can't remember which. Garth Iorg and I were in spring training down in Dunedin, stretching before our workout when a photographer asked us to pose for Topps. He took an individual head shot of each of us and then asked me what my number was. I thought it would be fun to cause a mix-up so I gave him Garth's number, 16. Garth caught right on and gave my number for his own ID, 9. We laughed about it and went on with our business. Those pictures never wound up on a card but they did get on the replay board at every American League ballpark. Whenever I came to bat they flashed up Garth's picture and the joke was on me because Garth is a lot uglier. But I suspect that's why they make players hold up an ID card now. I never held a card for a picture at any time during my career."
If it was 1982 or 1983 that this story took place, then that would mean the 1983 and 1984 Topps set. In 1982, Iorg had a mustache and Bonnell didn't:

Which means the incident probably took place in 1983. For their 1984 cards, Topps kept their identities straight, even though they used very similar pictures for the action shot!

Thanks, Barry!

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