Herold (Muddy) Ruel, 1933 Goudey

1933 Goudey #18 Herold Muddy Ruel

Muddy certainly seems appropriate for the battered condition of this card (and while this was purchased at a basement bargain price, the seller’s stated “fair” condition is dubious at best). Also, I am not quite sure how Herold earned his nickname, “Muddy.” Perhaps it had something to do with a scrappy, persistent playing style; on the other hand, most players from this era are assigned some kind of eccentric nickname on their trading card. In fact, I wonder how many of these colorful cardboard monikers are simply the result of some sensationalizing publisher, editor, or designer–or, better yet, some alliteratively artistic staff member starved for creative output. In any case, good ol’ Mud seems to have been a fairly solid player in his time. He batted over the often notable .300 threshold on more than a few occasions, and he played catcher for HOFer Walter (“Barney” or “The Big Train”) Johnson. The back of this Goudey card also informs that “He’s a lawyer, as well as a ballplayer . . . and passed the bar.” I can’t think of many other ballplayers with a law degree to fall back on, although in today’s marketplace the baseball skills are probably the better safety net. (Unless you graduate with honors from an Ivy League or other prestigious program, chances are you’ll be working the same Starbucks barista gig as you did in undergrad.) So take it from Muddy: just forget about law altogether–and play ball!

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