Friday, April 15, 2011

1975 Shakey's Pizza West Coast Greats Baseball #5, Ernie Lombardi

Pizza might not be "American" as apple pie, but it's just as much a staple of our modern diet. Mozzarella even passed cheddar as the nation's most-consumed cheese, thanks to our love of every size and topping combination you can shred and sprinkle it on. Mmm, lunchtime.

Card front

This makes two mentions of Mr. Lombardi in one week, since Dave Frishberg also included him in the song "Van Lingle Mungo." Ernie looks a little dour here, but he hit well enough (126 lifetime OPS+) and long enough (1931-1947) for the Veterans Committee to posthumously enshrine him in 1986. Of course, Shakey's beat them by a full decade--take that, Vets!

Card back

I grew up a half-mile from that Bellevue (Washington) location and ate many a meal there, gorging on their lunch buffet of fast food slices and spiced steak fries. "Aurora" and "Lake City" mean neighborhoods in Seattle itself--Bellevue and West Seattle are separated from Seattle by bodies of water.

This card set includes 18 retired MLB players born somewhere on the West Coast and I assume people obtained cards during restaurant visits. Shakey's followed with similar sets in 1976-77, ceasing only after the Mariners came to town, as fan attention moved to players they could actually see on the field.

Value: Lombardi cost me a few dollars on eBay. Ted Williams is the set's biggest name and runs $10 or more.

Fakes / reprints: Haven't seen any in the marketplace.


night owl said...

Although Shakey's Pizza seemed like mostly a West Coast chain in the '70s, there was one right next to the Dairy Queen in the east coast town I lived in as a child. I desperately wanted to eat there, but we only went to DQ.

Had I known you could get cards from Shakey's, I might have jumped out of a moving car to get there.

Matthew Glidden said...

Ha! That's quite a mental image, but I can picture it happening...