My Dual Autograph Wish List
The Dual Auto craze is nothing new to the collecting world.In 1994, Upper Deck seeded dual autographed cards of baseball greats Mickey Mantle and Ken Griffey Jr. into random packs of its product, reviving interest in its otherwise mediocre product.In the 14 years since, dual autos have infiltrated the industry, sometimes chronicling the greats of yesteryear, the aspiring stars of tomorrow, or in many cases, combining the two.Like many dead horses within the industry, the concept of the dual auto has been beaten to a pulp. Rather than scrap the idea altogether, I propose that the industry tweak the dual auto a little to capture significant moments in modern baseball history - the humorous, tragic, and pivotal events that have become embedded in baseball lore.Below, I submit 5 dual autos I would love to see in my next pack of baseball cards.
5.) Tommy Lasorda and the Phillie Phanatic - “Can't we all just get along?"
This rivaly spanned nearly 20 years and on one day in 1988, it took a turn for the ugly.The portly Lasorda was often the butt of the infamous Phillies mascot's crowd pleasing antics as a dummy dressed in one of Lasorda's Dodger uniforms was pulverized in effigy before the home crowd fans.Prior to a 1988 visit to Veterans Stadium, Lasorda contacted the Phillies' front office to request an end to the defamations of Lasorda's caricature.Rather than comply, the Phillie Phanatic upped the ante, mowing over the Lasorda dummy with an ATV.This proved to be too much for Lasorda who charged out of the dugout and tackled the lovable green fuzzball to the ground.A battle over the faux Lasorda ensued with the real Tommy winning and tossing it into the dugout.Apparently unfulfilled, Lasorda engaged in a vigorous tug-of-war over the ATV.As the battle ensued, Dodgers players tossed the dummy back on to the field.To this day, Lasorda is still bitter about the rivalry even stating on his blog that the Phanatic's antics “exhibits violence and disrespect".Hmmm, I guess that pummeling goofy looking stuffed animals is OK.
4.) Don Zimmer/Pedro Martinez - “Ole!"
No, I don't have a fascination with angry fat men, but this melee in Game 3 of the 2003 ALCS personifies the intensely bitter rivalry between the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees.Like many brawls , preceding incidents led to the fracas.Early in the game, Karim Garcia was plunked in the back by Red Sox ace Pedro Martinez.Garcia responded by sliding hard into Sox 2B Todd Walker on a force out.Later in the game, Roger Clemens, who at the time was thought to be pitching in his final game at Fenway Park, buzzes Manny Ramirez's tower prompting Man Ram to charge the mound.Both dugouts cleared leading to the memorable moment.Yankees bench coach Don “Popeye" Zimmer made a bee-line for Pedro Martinez swinging at his head.Pedro deftly dodged the punch and evasively tossed Zimmer to the ground.Zimmer rolled a couple of times before being helped up by teammates.Zimmer's fine…$5,000, Pedro's fine….$50,000, a dual auto chronicling the event…priceless.
3.) Rob Dibble/Lou Pinella -“You don't want to be treated like a man!"
This will be the last one involving angry brawling managers…I promise.Late in the 1992 season, then Cincinnati Red manager Lou Pinella pulled hot-headed All-Star closer Rob Dibble from a game.Dibble was vehemently displeased with the move and had words with Sweet Lou in the Reds dugout.The argument turned into a post game wrestling match in which Pinella shouted the infamous line “I'd treat you like a man, but you don't want to be treated like a man!" The audio footage from this melee still makes me chuckle. Pinella and Dibble are close friends to this day and this incident has become a punchline (not literally) between them.
2.) George Brett/Tim McClelland -“@%^and^and*#?^%#$#!!!"
Who can ever forget the footage of this outburst?In 1983, when the Royals and Yankees were formidable rivals, George Brett had just gone upper tank against the Yankees closer Goose Gossage to give the Royals a 5-4 lead.As Brett rounded the bases, Yankees manager Billy Martin protested to home plate umpire Tim McClelland that Brett's bat had an illegal amount of pine tar on it.McClelland dutifully measured it across home plate and then raised his right arm to signal that Brett's long homerun was a long out.A wild-eyed and crazy haired Brett sprinted from the dugout and maniacally spouted a profanity-laced tirade.I swear, if McClelland had a taser, he might have used it right there.Much forgotten about this incident was the fact that baseball cheater extraordinaire Gaylord Perry grabbed the bat from McClelland's hands and tossed it to Rocky Colavito who proceeded to try and hide it.Security officials repossessed the bat which now resides in the Hall of Fame.
1.) Billy Buckner/Mookie Wilson - “Yeah, but what about Calvin Schiraldi?"
Had 2004 or 2007 never happened for the Red Sox, this infamous moment in baseball history would haunt me so much more.Even the most casual of sports fans know this incident all too well.With the Mets on the ropes in Game 6 of the 1986 World Series, Mets outfielder Mookie Wilson hit a slow roller up the 1st base line to the sure handed Bill Buckner.Wilson hustledup the line briefly diverting Buckner's attention from the ball.Consequently the ball rolled through his wickets as Ray Knight scored the winning run.Buckner's error made him a pariah in Beantown until 2004, but many people fail to remember that it was Calvin Schiraldi who coughed up the two run lead in the 8th and Bob Stanley who threw the wild pitch that allowed tying run Kevin Mitchell to score and winning run Ray Knight to move to 3B.I remember watching helplessly as a passionate, albeit new, 11 year old Red Sox fan.Even at that young age, I knew that the Red Sox had no shot of winning Game 7.Sure enough, the Mets rolled over Boston 8-5 en route to their second World Series championship.
There are my favorite 5 potential dual autos.I invite you to add to the list.Baseball is a game of rich historical moments, perhaps someday the card industry make more of an effort to chronicle them!