Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Daily Conlon: #176 Specs Toporcer - I Got 50 Cents a Week

Here are today's Daily Conlon card numbered #176 featuring St. Louis Cardinal utility man George "Specs" Toporcer talking about having one of the best jobs a kid can have.
"Back in 1912, when I was 13 years old, I got a job posting scores in an old-fashioned corner saloon at 85th Street and 1st Avenue. The scores would come in on a Western Union ticker tape, and I'd proudly write them on a large blackboard in the back room of the saloon."
Before the widespread use of radios by the masses most folks got up-to-date news of important sporting events by going to a public square or watering hole. You would watch the game in slow motion as you waited for next play to be announced.

On a side note, Toporcer was nicknamed "Specs" because he was the first Major League position player to wear glasses on the field. Also, Branch Rickey once said of Specs
"A 19-year-old boy who weighed 142 pounds and never had played a game of pro ball came off the field at Orange, New Jersey. I watched this kid and saw him take off his glasses and, with his hands outstretched, grope his way along the wall to the showers. My captain turned to me and said, `For God's sake, who sent him up?' " Toporcer, who never played baseball in high school, college, or the minors, is remembered as the first infielder to wear glasses in the majors.
Read more from him by clicking the pic below to embiggen.

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