(Poor) Roger Maris, 1964 Topps

Poor Roger Maris, 1964 Topps, ed

Pocket-weary, scuffed, and battered, Roger Maris gazes skyward in defiant optimism. More than anyone, he should know how pinstripes can suppress the ecstasy of flight. At age 29, the navy blue cap sits atop a ravine-furrowed brow, conceals bald patches and tufts of gray—distressed vestiges from 1961. An expanse of black netting looms behind his back. In high, deserted tiers, no crowd of a thousand empetalled faces quivers with applause. But even bold trajectory always dips eventually. So Roger plays with bone chips, a broken hand; he wracks his knees on grandstand dives; and, come retirement, he combats the Hodgkin’s lymphoma whose cytology reveals periwinkle profusions among white blood cells. What history has since transpired: wrinkles extend in cellulose varicose veins from center to edges frayed. Yet still he stares through folds of time; he lifts his head, as if to trace the measured beat of ash wood—its resonant, aerial song arcing through the pale-blue down above.

*Previously appeared in Harpur Palate 13.2 (Winter/Spring 2014), page 63.

Best Worst Mickey Mantles, Part II

It’s time to expand the digital collection of the best worst Mickey Mantles. Some of these appear just mildly, colorfully marred–while others belong in a category specially reserved for the utterly wretched, shipwrecked, and weather-wracked. . . . And, again, if you happen to have a beautifully ruined Mickey Mantle that you’d like to share, then by all means please feel free to comment to this post with a link to your own poor Mickey Mantle.

 

1956 Topps 135 Mickey Mantle

1957 TOPPS BASEBLL #95 MICKEY MANTLE YANKEES GREAT LOOK

1959 Topps Mickey Mantle 10

1961 Topps Mickey Mantle 300

1962 Topps 18 Managers Dream Mickey Mantle Willie Mays

1962 TOPPS 200 MICKEY MANTLE

1962 TOPPS BASEBALL 471 MICKEY MANTLE ALL STAR

1963 Topps 2 A.L. Batting Leaders Mickey Mantle

1963-mantle-bombers-ed1

1965 Mickey Mantle 350

1965 Topps 350 Mickey Mantle

1965 Topps Micky Mantle

1968 Topps 280 Mickey Mantle

Mickey Mantle 1959 Topps Bazooka

Mickey Mantle 1968 TOPPS GAME 2 Baseball Game Card - Needs a good home