A couple of weeks ago, fellow blogger 1967ers showed his 1969 O-Pee-Chee Johnny Bench card. Here's a Topps counterpart showing the exact same photo:
Since this was a posed shot during Spring Training, I look past the fact that he's appearing to pose as a catcher near the outfield foul line. With a catcher's mitt but no other protective gear. However, there would be better (and worse) pictures of Bench to come, so no use getting on him for his first solo appearance on a Topps card.
However...being the observant person I am, my eye focused on this billboard above Bench's head:
It says "Village Inn Pancake House, We Never Close."
The Reds trained at Al Lopez Field in Tampa at the time, at the site of today's Raymond James Stadium. Although Al Lopez Field is no longer there -- like much of Florida, it's been bulldozed and rebuilt into something newer -- Village Inns are still all over the area. In fact, I ate at one in St. Petersburg just a few weeks ago.
There's no phone number or address given, so there's no way of knowing which location was being advertised or if it's still around. But it's nice to see something in a vintage card that is a link to something in my present.
Happy New Year! - I decided that New Year's Day was the perfect time to feature the first card of the 1973 Topps set. That was back in 2011, and today is the first day since...
4 years ago