May 19, 2013
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About Bruce MarkusenBruce Markusen is the author of seven books on baseball, including the award-winning A Baseball Dynasty: Charlie Finley’s Swingin’ A’s, the recipient of the Seymour Medal from the Society for American Baseball Research. He has also written The Team That Changed Baseball: Roberto Clemente and the 1971 Pittsburgh Pirates, Tales From The Mets Dugout, and The Orlando Cepeda Story. Bruce currently works as a museum teacher at the National Baseball Hall of Fame, the Farmers’ Museum, and the Fenimore Art Museum, all located in Cooperstown. In addition to The Hardball Times, he also contributes articles to Bronx Banter. Bruce, his wife Sue, and their daughter Madeline reside in Cooperstown.
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He went from Fenway to The Fund, with a bump in between.
Can events from 1947 be accurately re-created?
If you like stories of loud crickets, tight flannels, and large Afros, you will love Jose Cardenal.
He was the game's ultimate travelling man and lived a baseball life like no one else.
There's a reason why so many Maryland parents have named their sons for this man.
He's written a fine new book that explores baseball and America 40 years ago.
The man could play center field, not only on his baseball card, but in the 1969 World Series.
It's not just players who find their jobs on the line during spring training. Sometimes the managers have to watch for the boom.
Few batters enjoyed stepping in against this pellet-throwing left-hander.
Spring training of 2013 is not boding well for the Bombers.
His is a story of hard hitting, hard drinking, and legitimate concern.
"Daddy Wags" needs to be remembered.
It's time for the big fella to take a whack at 1973 Topps.
It's Black History Month, a perfect time to examine a link between civil rights, baseball and tragedy.
Follow a journey that took a man from drug addict to hero.
Baseball has a long history of brothers in the same clubhouse.
When talking about catchers of the 1960s, this man deserves a prominent place in the conversation.
Let's remember two players who left us, along with a favorite old radio show.
Barry made news this week when he fell short of Hall of Fame election, but his father was also a pretty fair player.
Let's begin the New Year with one of the biggest rule changes of our lifetime.
As we bid a fond farewell to 1972 Topps, a popular TV show meets a Gold Glove outfielder known as "The Bandit."
How does a knuckleballer age? And who are truly the greatest fielders?
The Great One takes his turn at Topps.
What happened to the trade-filled meetings of old?
A Windy City favorite takes the spotlight in 1972 Topps.
A Hall of Fame passing, free agent news, and a managerial hiring hit the Hot Stove this week.
He might be the best pitcher in obscurity.
The Hot Stove League season has arrived. That means managerial rumors, free agent bargaining, and even a looming Hall of Fame election.
His journey took him from Baltimore to San Diego, with stops in between. Along the way, he made impressions on everyone from Jim Bouton to Charlie Finley.
Uniforms, steadiness, and class come together in this latest entry from 1972 Topps.
Looking at Cleveland, Boston and Colorado—and remembering Bill Jauss
Where else can you find Animal House and Charlie Finley in the same place?
When the majors said no, he made the best of it.
If you like good, old-fashioned sluggers, then read about this redheaded Bucs strongboy.
Long before Billy Beane, Martin's Gang rode wild in the Bay Area.
If you think some of today's players are controversial, they're nothing compared to this man.
He was a good player, and a better man.
Many of us flipped cards, but this man liked to flip bats.
One is a pitcher, and one was a slugger, but a comparison can be made.
Summer camp, card collecting, and a little-known left-hander come together in this week's edition.
Some trades stay with us longer than others.
He's relatively forgotten now, but at one time, major league pitchers feared him.
It's a Blue Moon Rising in this week's look back at vintage Topps.
If you say that Old-Timers' Day should go go away, well, those are fighting words in these parts.
A star-crossed career comes under the microscope in the latest edition of 1972 Topps.
He's a well-known and successful manager today, but he got his start in a place far less glamorous than the major leagues.
It's time to talk about Hondo as we continue our journey through 1972 Topps.
Relievers are supposed to be a little offbeat, but this man was the king of the wacky.
He's not baseball's most famous Duke, but his 1972 card helps make him memorable.
Hitting coaches are in the news these days, bringing to mind the king of the hitting gurus.
The workings of the Baseball Reliquary prompt this week's foray into 1972 Topps.
The Can is making news again, so let's look back at a 1980s sensation.
Let's walk downtown as we return to 1972.
A current day pitcher brings back the exploits of a Hall of Famer.
Stormin' Norman, pine tar, and table legs highlight this memorable entry from 1972 Topps.
A spring training ailment recalls another tale of injury and woe from the 1980s.
The yearlong series on 1972 Topps continues with a look at a baseball original.
A career that started with so much promise became filled with twists and turns, and ultimately, tragedy.
An attempt at a retro uniform has revived interest in the origins of the Houston franchise.
You've heard of Hunt's Tomato Sauce. How about Huntz the ballplayer?
Let's pay tribute to an old-fashioned platoon player.
Here comes "The Judge," the latest centerpiece to our tribute to 1972 Topps.
What could have been. Those words can be said over and over in describing the tragic life of Tony Conigliaro.
It's time for a side of Veale with the latest review of 1972 Topps.
Beer alone did not make this man's career.
Ollie Brown, Johnny Grubb and Ernie Banks make cameos as we learn about the journey of Silent George.
A former All-Star first baseman and the architect of the "Big Red Machine" take the stage in this week's column.
For many collectors, 1972 represented an iconic set. Let's begin a year-long look back.
As the year comes to an end, so does a retrospective of 1971 Topps cards.
Five winters ago, baseball lost a popular guy known as "Dobber."
This may not be the Oscar Gamble you remember.
Trader Lane wasn't there. Neither was Syd Thrift. Or Billy Beane. But it was still one crazy swap meet.
The 1971 Topps set was a groundbreaking set, with a little shortstop supplying one of the most memorable of the cards.
Colorful characters abound over the last 45 years of Phillies history.
It's that time again. But will the Veterans Committee come up with a different decision on the great third baseman of the 1960s?
The yearlong series on Topps' 1971 set continues with the ultimate free-swinging catcher.
The Bay Area has had its share of over the past 39 years.
The Cardinals and Rangers don't have much of a history of playing each other. But there are common threads.
The Great Depression, Connie Mack Stadium, and recollections of M*A*S*H all come together in this week's Confidential.
If you like hard-nosed players, there were few tougher than this man.
Collapses are not a new thing in baseball. They just get bigger headlines today.
Two baseball deaths provide two different kinds of food for thought.
Managers are hired to be fired, but are they meant to be traded?
The national pastime and the anniversary of a tragedy come together.
On a quiet September night in 1971, nine men made baseball history.
You never know what you'll see when watching TV on the weekend. A Hall of Famer might turn up in a horror movie.
Baseball is not always joy and winning. A recent passing brings to mind some tragic losses of the past.
Two players for the price of one.
We know all about Gaylord; now let's learn about Jim.
Braun sounds like a ballplayer's name. But he wasn't all brawn; he has brains, too.
He was not a superstar, but he was an integral part of two franchises during the 1950s and 60s. He also ate right-handed pitching for breakfast.
The 40th anniversary of the 1971 Topps set gives us a good reason to talk about my one-time neighbor.
His trips to Cooperstown are becoming an annual tradition. And he always has plenty to say.
Were the A's, Rangers and Marlins justified in making managerial and coaching changes?
It's time to resume our look at 1971 Topps baseball cards, replete with Hollywood starlets, carnival barkers, and even a mention of Hugh Hefner.
So what's a symposium? It's more fun than you might think.
Baseball can embody both humor and tragedy, as we see through a pair of oldtime southpaws.
"We like Ike." Many Tigers fans expressed that sentiment back in the day. Even 10 years after he left us, there's still a lot to like about Mr. Brown.
The great fielders receive all the credit on the highlight reels. But what do the bad fielders get? Nothing, until now, when we reward them with their own all-star team.
A major league catcher from the '60s and '70s recalls a colorful career.
Willie Mays will always be linked to the Giants. Some of his teammates can be linked to good nicknames.
It's time to examine another player action shot from 1971 Topps. He was sometimes called The Big O, but it's not Oscar Gamble.
Baseball is back, but the characters never really go away.
Too much in the way of statistics, and too little in terms of stories? Bruce Markusen addresses the debate through a favorite player.
It has a funny name, but the Baseball Reliquary offers an unusual alternative to the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown.
Black borders, action shots, and a middle infielder named Cookie. They're all part of the 1971 Topps baseball card set.
He was not a household name, but his life was anything but pedestrian.
If you like good nicknames, the White Sox of the early 1970s provide an excellent stomping ground.
The 40-year look-back at 1971 Topps cards continues with one of Bruce Markusen's favorites. And don't forget to look in the background.
Baseball needs more black players and more black fans. One man may be able to help.
George Crowe was quiet, lived part of his life as a recluse, and didn't enjoy being interviewed. He was also a civil rights hero.
It's time to begin a new series on "Card Corner." Let's turn the clock back by a few decades.
There's some unfinished business left over from 2010. It's time to give relievers' nicknames their proper due.
One of baseball's great gentlemen is facing the challenge of a lifetime.
As Topps begins its countdown toward the best card ever, it's time for Card Corner to weigh in with its final installment of the year.
Topps has named Mike Schmidt's rookie card from 1973 as the 60th greatest card in history, but Bruce Markusen is thinking about a lesser known player from the 1972 set in this week's installment.