Friday, December 27, 2019

1981 Topps Jim Kern

The front: Is Kern deep in prayer? Or just signing an autograph? The background is uncharacteristically blurry for this set.

The back: Kern was known as one of the craziest personalities in baseball. Topps hints at it with the blurb about the hat, though I couldn’t find any other references to the hat online.

The player: A three-time All Star, Kern was an excellent closer on some bad Indians and Rangers teams, saving 75 games between 1976 and 1979. Injuries limited his effectiveness after that, as he pitched for four more teams through 1986 without much success.

The man: Kern was known for pulling pranks and general outlandish behavior. He earned the nickname “The Amazing Emu” after running around the clubhouse while crowing and flapping his arms. After his career ended he began a company that organized hunting and fishing trips, called the Emu Outfitting Company, which still exists today, and has organized numerous trips throughout North and South America. He also does a great deal of wildlife photography.

My collection: I have 16 of his cards, from 1975 to 1983. I would be interested in trading for 1982 Topps Coca-Cola Reds #11.

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