Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Billy Harris Vintage Dodger

Former Dodger Billy Harris is excited about being a part of Topps upcoming 2009 Heritage Baseball card set. He only had a couple cups of coffee in the big leagues, but stayed in the Dodger organization from 1951 to 1960.

"(The photo) was taken in Vero Beach, Florida -- Dodgertown," said Harris, a member of both the the New Brunswick and Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame who has lived in Tri-Cities since 1962. "What (Topps) gave me was two sets of spikes a year, three gloves a year and a set of golf clubs."

But as the hobby developed and became flooded with new product, card companies found that a higher premium was being placed on vintage sets, such as the 1960s set.

"Ten years ago, it was a big deal, but I thought (the hobby) died out. With the reprinting of these cards, it must be getting popular again," said Harris, whom Topps paid $500 to autograph the cards. "Now, I'm making more money on my cards then I did when I played."

There will be three subsets of Harris autographs in the Heritage edition. There will be 100 cards signed in blue ink and 60 special edition cards signed in red ink, both on the original design base set. A third subset -- a 25-card dual-auto set titled "Past and Present" -- will feature Harris and current Dodgers' pitching phenom Clayton Kershaw.

I don't know if putting Kershaw and Harris on the same card is the best thing in the world. I would prefer Sandy Koufax or another Dodger great. Nevertheless, it's great that even unsung and relatively unknown Dodgers from the past are getting a chance to show up on cardboard again.

Hat Tip: SCD:

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