Saturday, January 19, 2013

Binder Page Heroes - Campy Edition

Hey everybody,

Roy Campanella is a throw back to the days when catchers were scrappy kegs with legs and a mitt. 
He's also a Brooklyn legend with a connection to Dodger legend that runs well beyond the chalk lines.  

This is my Campy binder page.  Cards from Campanella's playing days have been priced outta my league since I started collecting, so most of my collection is Campy appearing in modern tribute cards.  These are still great haves and I can thank my blogger brethren for helping the collection to grow.  

However, the jewel of my Campy collection - the card that is the "Centerpiece" - is pretty dang cool baseball card history and one of my favorite personal card show finds ever...

(You say you don't know what a "Centerpiece" card is?  Where are you from - Mars?  Get on over to the 2-time blogger o' the year champ's page - here.  Bloody heathen.)

Meanwhile, here we go...

 First up is a '95 Topps reprint of Campy's '52 card. Young, rocking the bat, breaking the color barrier, catching in Brooklyn. Life is good. 

 Above is a shiny insert with a very cool blue mirror finish.  Although Campy rightfully gets tons of topps respect and his cards continue to show up in sets, lots of us  - including yours truly - complain that topps lazily recycles the same old pics.  The card above is a classic example of this laziness.

That said, I love the photo itself.  I presume this pic is from a game in Ebbits Field, home of the Boys of Summer.  I love the faces of the people in the crowd behind Campy.  Those people are a microcosm of Flatbush when it was Flatbush.  Just look at those iconic faces.  Do I see a WW2 member of the Navy wearing his swabbie cap?  Check out Zabruder back there trying out his new camera. Imagine how cool those films are that he shot from those seats. 

I got that card in a trade.  :)

Above is a cool insert from not too long ago - topps 2011.  I caught this one in a trade also.  Here we see Campy sporting the very pimpish, "Hey baby.  I'm a B-17 pilot.", mustache of the times.  My old man wore this same mustache from the Battle of the Bulge till he passed away 40 years later.

Here we get a pretty good card back.  Simple, classic design and career numbers. 

Yet another card that came to me in a trade.  If you're curious who sent which cards, you can check my "Trades Made" page here.  There you can find brief notes of what cards I received in each of my trades. 

The card above is from the Fleer 2002 Greats of the Game set.  While the color-schema of the card is a little bland, this is a great shot of Campy's old-time catcher's gear.

Roy Campanella was a central figure in the great Boys of Summer Brooklyn club.  He was a top catcher in the majors and was all set to continue his roll as the Dodgers moved west to sunny Los Angeles, but while driving out to join the team in LA, it was his car and his life that rolled over instead.

Next Post: B.P.H. Campy Part 2