Saturday, July 26, 2014

My Yankees Collection - 2011 Gypsy Queen "The Great Ones" Thurman Munson (mini)

Many moons ago, I was able to stop by what has become the closest hobby shop to me in Columbia, SC. I wrote about my discovery of this LCS back in 2012. While this current LCS scarcity is probably best for my wallet, what I wouldn't give for a hometown shop!

During this rare visit, I was able to snag some supplies and a card that I needed for my 1960 Topps set-build. I also performed an obligatory flip through the "Yankees Stars" box on the shop's counter. Most of these were over-priced, but I couldn't pass on this one!

As any Yankee collector will tell you, we have a special place in our heart for Mr. Munson. And even though I wasn't able to watch him play, he lives on as one of the best "lunch-pail" type ballplayers to ever put on pinstripes. SO many accomplishments in such a short time with the sad early ending that we all know by heart, I view every one of Thurman's cards as a unique opportunity to learn more about him and, in some small/weird way, pay tribute to his legacy. Capturing his iconic 1971 All-Star Rookie card was a big day in my collecting timeline, but even the smaller (literally), modern era cards provide a rich, enjoyable experience. This card lived up to the task.

As a bonus, it's a 2011 Gypsy Queen, one of my all-time favorite sets! A double-bonus, you say?! It's a mini. While I'm not a 'mini' collector, I find them curiously interesting. This card of Munson gives us a fantastic action image of Thurman, in full color, as he casts his [vintage] catcher's mask aside. Munson is gnawing on some chaw with a beautiful scowl beneath his memorable mustache.


I think it's a great looking card. The overall impression is a bit dark, but I think this approach suits the historic nature of its hobby throw-back design. It seems to boil with baseball and cardboard history overtones, doesn't it? A tobacco card-era throwback of a tobacco-chewing baseball player. The dark borders, in combination with its small size might also have made it difficult to preserve the condition of the edges, but this one seems to have survived fairly intact.

Here's the back:

A simple, informative card back. Thurman, the Yanks' captain, led the league in singles for 1975....Topps makes an interesting statement about rarity of players who can produce runs without power. Is this, for the most part, accepted baseball wisdom? I feel like I should do some digging around on baseball-reference!

For now, though, let's just enjoy this card. Welcome home, Thurman! You truly were a Great One!

Thanks for reading,


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