Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Fare-thee-wells

Recently, I published a couple of blog posts on the final Major League appearances of Brewers legends Rollie Fingers and Cecil Cooper for my Brewers history blog at expressmilwaukee.com. They were a follow-up to a couple of posts I'd written previously on the last games of Robin Yount and Henry Aaron. Aaron's farewell was largely ignored by the baseball world and Aaron himself seemed eager just to get it over with after struggling for two seasons with the Brewers. Yount, in his own Yount way, seemed nonplussed by the whole thing and delayed his decision on whether or not to retire until the last possible moment. In writing about Cooper and Fingers, I really had not idea what I would find out. I found both to be rather sad ends to extraordinary careers, with Fingers only a shadow of his former self and Cooper unable to even crack the lineup. By the end of their final season, there was no pomp or celebration. Just two tired men looking to leave Milwaukee and hoping to catch on somewhere else.



Learning the stories of their final seasons (and final appearances) has, for me, brought a touch of melancholy to their "sunset" cards. Fingers looks every bit his age on his 1986 Topps issue and a haggard-looking Cooper seems to have just weakly popped up on his '88 Topps. 

Let's have a blog bat-around! Is there a particular card that, for you, is tinged with sadness? 

4 comments:

  1. My favorite baseball card is also my saddest baseball card, for obvious reasons: 1973 Topps Roberto Clemente.

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    1. Agreed. It's a simple and touching tribute.

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  2. I've been pretty disappointed that neither Mark Teixeira nor Alex Rodriguez has gotten a farewell card so far in 2017. That's surprising to me. Maybe in series 2? But really should have been done in S1.

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    1. Interesting point. I hadn't even thought about that. I'd like to see an Arod sunset. Tex I could take or leave.

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