September 27, 2006

Appreciation: 1977 Topps #523: Rollie Fingers and his Finely Waxed Mustache

And to think, it all started with Charlie O. paying Fingers a $500 bonus for growing what would become his signature (I think this is true, but I guess for now we’ll have to call it an unsubstantiated rumor). Another great thing about this card is that because he signed with the Padres after 1976, Topps had to pull his Padres uniform out of their collective asses. Or maybe not? I’m looking at it more closely, and if it’s a fake job, it’s a pretty damn good one, one of their better airbrushings.

As a side note, can you imagine if the A’s and Red Sox really had gone through with their mega-trade in the mid-1970s and the Sox got Fingers and Rudi like they were suppose to? For chrissakes, that would’ve been one of the best teams ever put together. Read Gammons’ Beyond the Sixth Game for more great writing (the stuff of a whole generation of Red Sox fans’ wet dreams).

1 comment:

Brett Ballantini said...

Fingers was pitching poorly as a starter and felt he had no future. He'd pitch two or three innings deep, then the roof would cave in. A fluke game when he was the only available pitcher in the pen resulted in him soon assuming a "stopper" role.

The moustache? Fingers was ticked at Charlie O. for underpaying him after his first or second brilliant World Series performance and grew the facial hair to break team policy and get traded. Turns out Finley loved the look and offered $300 to everyone on the team who had facial hair on Opening Day.