Wednesday, February 9, 2011

1971 Milk Duds Baseball #5, Thurman Munson

February 8 (yesterday, as of this writing) was "truck day" for many baseball teams, as they pack up gear and supplies for 2011 spring training destinations Florida (a.k.a., the Grapefruit League) and Arizona (the Cactus League). This NESN photo of Red Sox trucks escaping from Titanic icebergs Boston snow piles nicely captures New England's winter Zeitgeist, where baseball cannot start soon enough.

Card (box) front

Pitchers and catchers report first to spring training, so this blog's happy to don the tools of ignorance for one of the disco era's best, Thurman Munson. He played for only ten years before dying tragically in a 1979 plane crash, but appeared on several #5 cards. (Links below go to their set profiles.)

Munson started growing his signature mustache in mid-1972 and added a beard in the late 70s, so this card photo (taken during spring training?) features his last clean-cut look.

1972 Topps #441

Milk Duds re-used numbers for multiple players, with LA Dodger Billy Grabarkewitz and California Angel Andy Messersmith also sharing #5 with Munson. Andy's card profile goes into detail about the baseball set; today's post will note that currently offers a sweet deal (har) on 24-packs of the selfsame candy at $11 + free shipping.

Card (box) back

Value: This complete box cost $35 on eBay, which is well over the price of individual panels. Cut-away players run a few dollars, but most boxes go for over $10.

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

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