This week’s trip down memory lane takes us back to 1978. It was a time of disco, Iranian revolts, Catholic popes dropping like flies and some guy named Jim Jones convincing more than 900 people to commit suicide by drinking Kool-Aid laced with poison.
Yes, they were heady times, friends.
It was also the third straight year the Phillies won the NL East, and the third straight year the Danny Ozark-led Phils faltered in the NLCS.
If you think you’re experiencing disappointment now, this 2012 season doesn’t hold a candle to the late ’70s.
All of which brings us to our piece of Phillies memorabilia for this week.
This is the 1979 Topps baseball card of Mike Schmidt. You’ve heard of him before. He’s famous.
First of all, this is just a glorious baseball card. Notice the frilly script in the bottom left-hand corner. I’m not sure what font that is, but I think my sister drew the same kind of font on my wedding invitations.
And the picture is a work of art. Clearly, something has either caught Mike’s eye off camera, or he’s got a lazy right eye. And I’d like to shake the hand of the man who convinced Schmidt to wear a batting helmet with no ear flaps for the picture. I realize the ear flaps were still years away from being implemented, but was his wool hat really so hard to find? Perhaps the wool hat was not able to withstand the “white man afro” that was so popular during the late ’70s, early ’80s. I’m not exactly sure how Mike was able to shove all his red-headed, feathered locks under that helmet, but it’s clear much of it was trying to escape out the sides.
Of course, there’s the trademark mustache. That’s always gotta be there. And I gotta say, Mike decided to go a little formal in this picture, rocking out the collared shirt under the zipper jersey.
The amazing thing is, Schmidt looked no different from every other caucasian on the planet at the time. Can’t you just imagine Mike and the boys heading out to the discotheque after yet another tense contest with the Pirates, rocking out to some Donna Summer and KC and the Sunshine Band, his whole life still in front of him?
Look at those eyes. They’re looking into the future. They’re looking into his soul. They’re looking into OUR souls.
This baseball card of Mike Schmidt has inspired me. I’m not cutting my hair ever again. I’m going feathered from here on out.
And… I’m wearing nothing but flap-less batting helmets from now on.
Because I wanna be… I wanna be like Mike.