Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Yogi Berra in My Collection

I have a number of Yogi Berra cards, but I only consider one to be a real card.  To me, a card is "real" if it's issued for a year in which the player was still playing.  So, anything more than a year after retirement doesn't fully count.  The one real card I have, then, is a 1954 Red Man Tobacco card; I posted my similar Robin Roberts card earlier, where I said that I bought these from a friend in high school.
1954 Red Man Tobacco card (without tab).
All my Berra cards after that are either as a manager, a coach, or for nostalgia.  I guess manager cards are "real" in that he was serving as manager at the time, but they're just not as satisfying as cards as a player.  Here he is in 1974 as manager of the Mets, together with his coaching staff.  He did a respectable job managing the Mets from 1972-1975, with a record of 292-296, plus a 6-6 postseason record, losing the 1973 World Series to the A's in 7 games.
1974 Topps Yogi Berra.
In 1975, Topps celebrated its 25th annual base set with cards celebrating the league MVP's.  Berra was a 3-time MVP and there were three of these cards of him, but I only have two.  Berra won in 1954 and 1955, along with Willie Mays in 1954 and Roy Campanella in 1955.  I only have one "real" Willie Mays card, and none of Campanella, so these cards help represent them in my collection.  I do have one card each of Berra, Campanella, and Mays on my wantlist, though.
These next two are of him as a coach in a 1982 Donruss card, and as manager in his 1985 Topps card.  While I'm sure there are other individual cards of coaches out there in existence, it sure isn't common, and I would bet Donruss made the card of him just to be able to offer a Yogi Berra card.
1982 Donruss Yogi Berra.
1985 Topps Yogi Berra.
Finally, we have two nostalgia cards, the Leaf Candy City Team and the Circle K Home Run Kings.  I'm sure I have more cards like this from other sets, either Baseball Immortals, or SUPERSTAR, some Pacific cards, or from K-Mart sets, or whatnot.  It's no wonder there's no shortage of such cards of him, given how likeable and popular he was, not to mention how accomplished (10 World Series wins as a player, 3 more as a coach, 18 All-Star appearances, 3 MVP awards, 358 career home runs, and 1,430 career RBIs).  Somehow it took two ballots to make the Hall of Fame, though.
Leaf Candy City Team Yogi Berra card.
1985 Topps Circle K Home Run Kings Yogi Berra card.

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