Monday, August 6, 2012
Mondays with Hoyt, Episode 12
This is a unique piece of my Hoyt Wilhelm collection, in more ways than one.
It's probably the only Hoyt card I own that I know absolutely nothing about, aside from the obvious fact that it was issued by the Hills company.
However, one thing I can tell you is that it's one of the best presents I've ever received, as it was one of the birthday gifts I received from my dad this year.
I'd never seen it before my 20th birthday, and I don't know if I would've ever crossed paths with it again had it not been for my dad's keen eye.
I didn't even know that Wilhelm became a pitching coach after his playing days came to an end.
Which brings me to the major "unique" factor of this card. It's the only minor league card of Hoyt Wilhelm in my collection.
Personally, I'd say that minor league issues are the biggest "hit-or-miss" commodities in the hobby. There's a few minor league cards that I'm currently chasing for my own collection, yet there's others that I already own that I kind of wish I didn't have in the first place. (Royal Rookies, anyone?)
While the photo of Hoyt might not be the greatest on record, I am absolutely ecstatic that this card has found its way into my hands. I've always felt that guys who stick around and coach or manage in the minors are usually the ones that have true passion for the game of baseball.
It's safe to say that Hoyt Wilhelm belongs in that category, especially considering he retired from the game weeks before his 50th birthday. Here, he's pictured during his tenure as the pitching coach for the Triple-A Nashville Sounds.
Perhaps my favorite thing about this card are the dozens of advertisements in the background. I've often wondered how minor league clubs make any money, since attendance figures in most parks are absurdly low.
It's got to be the ads.
If there's one thing I'm a fan of in this hobby, it's the "uniqueness" factor. This card definitely has it, more so than almost any other one I own.
It's a true diamond in the rough.