Cardboard Hero: Joe Morgan 1981

See that up there? The one on the right?

I loved that card. That very card. You can tell I'm not exaggerating. Look at it! That wear and tear across the front came courtesy of this guy. I'm pointing my thumbs at myself.

It was these very same thumbs (considerably less aged) that caused the damage. At 12, I was crazy for Joe Morgan and the way he played the game. I didn't even mind that he had left my beloved Reds. To this day, he is still an all-time favorite firmly ensconced in my Tier One Player Collection.

But, beyond the actual player and his unique talents for a second basemen in that era, I loved the card itself.

I don't know what happened moments before this picture was taken. Maybe a double to shallow right-center field. Just a guess. Doesn't matter really. To me, the card sums up how Morgan played the game - an engine ready to go full boar. A "sparkplug" is probably more apt to describe Morgan. The point is, he's all fired up.

That's just how this card always struck me.

I love the Houston uniform in this shot - not too gaudy, but just gaudy enough. I love the big star - that kind of sums up Morgan's career. I love the traditional high pants. I love the bold orange hat.

I loved the shot itself with the blurry background helping to isolate Morgan. If there was one flaw to my card it was this. Too dark. I could never really see Morgan's expression.

And that's where Kyle from the fine Juuust A Bit Outside (JABO) blog comes in. JABO sent me the card on the left and, oh, I don't know, dozens and dozens more. Soon, I'll post some of the favorites from that trade package. Suffice to say, JABO knocked healthy chunks off of both my 1981 list and my 1983 list. He is, most decidedly, the man!

I had no idea that there were lighter versions of the '81 Morgan. It's nice to have a fresh copy in hand for my 1981 box that one day will go into a binder.

As for my original copy, it stays in my Morgan binder.

It is, after all, one of my cardboard heroes.

Note: And a new sign-off is born!!!!! No? Sigh.

Note II (Return of the Note): Thus begins Cardboard Heroes, a new blog feature looking at the favorite cards in my collection. One of these days, when I've done enough of these, I may just rank my 100 favorite, or 200, or 1,000. Nah, probably not 1,000.

Note III: Insert obligatory Fun-Time reminder here.

Note IV: Rest assured, my true heroes are people I actually know, mostly linked to me by blood. Except for Buddy Biancalana. 

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