Monday, August 30, 2010

A Classic Film Scene

Pride of the Yankees was made in 1942, which was a really long time ago when it comes to collecting habits.

Watch the following the three-minute mark, the young Lou Gehrig pulls cards out of his pocket:

While trying to get into a neighborhood baseball game, he offers Sweet Caporal cards as a bribe.

One of the cards he says he has is Hans Wagner, but it's more likely that the scriptwriter considered names of the baseball stars of 1914 (a date seen on the wall young Lou crawls under) than having any idea that Wagner's T206 card was scarce. It also explains how Gehrig says he has a Grover Cleveland Alexander card when no T206 card exists of him.

However, the part with Babe Ruth's card shows the difference between collectors than and now: when the older kid looks at the last card, he scoffs, "Babe Ruth...a rookie?!" before tossing the card down. Back in the early days of the hobby, kids weren't interested in untested rookies. Compare that to the current era where players like Stephen Strasberg and others with high potential but little on-field performance are made into bigger stars than certain Hall of Famers entirely due to speculation. Even though he's scheduled for arm surgery, it remains to be seen whether he'll become the next Nolan Ryan or will join the ranks of past hobby busts like Joe Charbonneau, Ron Kittle and Jose Canseco.

By the way, if you look closely at that card scene, the actors are using scraps of paper as props, while the one shot of a Babe Ruth rookie card is seen as a quick close-up in the palm of a hand (probably stock footage taken elsewhere).

1 comment:

  1. Awesomeness, thanks for the insight!!!

    It's funny how card collecting has changed. The irony is that they were prolly right in the old days in regards to RC's and vets. However, I'm still going to collect both.