March 11, 2010

Antonio Oliva Lopez Hernandes Javique

That's Tony Oliva to you and I, boys and girls.

There is so much to love about Tony's 1973 Topps card...

1973 #80 Tony Oliva

Let's begin with Tony's home city of Bloomington, Minnesota [home of the Mall of America, by the way]. Topps couldn't quite squeeze in the whole word so they shortened it to "Bl'mingt'n, Minn." I realize that the two letter state abbreviations were not used then but why are you using an apostrophe for the third "o"? It doesn't save any space!

Then we have the unfortunate cartoon accompanying the card. "Tony Enjoys Swimming."

And there's Tony, fully clothed in a baseball uniform swimming in a body of water...I'm not sure why the idea that you might not want to accentuate a Cuban player's swimming skills didn't occur to Topps. But it was a different era wasn't it?

Now let's turn to my shiny Oliva jersey/bat two piece.

2005 Playoff Absolute AH-68 Tony Oliva Jersey/Bat Relic #42/100
Actually, the card claims it is a "jersey-prime" piece. What does the word "prime" suggest exactly? I'm assuming it means the piece is not from the arm pit or crotch area of the pants...Those areas would have to be "un-prime."

You'll also take note that there is black marker writing on the jersey piece. I wish I knew what the larger scribbling was. I'm betting it was Rod Carew writing on Tony's jersey when he fell asleep in the locker room again.

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