Monday, September 14, 2015

Happy Birthday Tim Wallach: 3 Autographed Cards

Famous people born on September 14th include singer Amy Winehouse, rapper Nas, actors Andrew Lincoln (The Walking Dead), Sam Neill (Jurassic Park), Tyler Perry (Gone Girl), Melissa Leo (The Fighter), and Callum Keith Rennie (Californication), wrestler Maurice "Mad Dog" Vachon, and comedian Mike Ward.

Also, myself, and former baseball star third baseman Tim Wallach. When I was a kid, most years, there was a Montréal Expos game at the Olympic Stadium on that day, and I'd go, and they'd say it was his birthday, and I felt special because it was mine too. There was even one year where my name appeared on the scoreboard, and I got to meet him and have him sign cards for me.
I'm not sure if any of these cards are from that day, because as is the case with my favourite player (Tim Raines), I have a ton of Wallach-signed stuff. He, Raines and Gary Carter are my Holy Trinity of baseball players, though I never got to meet Carter.

Wallach was usually among the league leaders in Game-Winning RBIs, and twice led for doubles, with 42 each time. The Expos were always a run-first team, putting emphasis on doubles and stolen bases (of which Raines was the champion) instead of raw power, and #29 also holds the team record for inside-the-park home runs, both in a single season and over a career. He did have some power to his game, however, surpassing the 20-homer mark five times (with a high of 28 in 1982).

He was also a three-time Gold Glove winner, in the Mike Schmidt, Terry Pendleton and Matt Williams era, no less.

Here are the three cards I chose to feature today, all of them signed in blue sharpie, starting with card #685 from Topps' 1986 Topps set:

He's shown from the side of the field near the bench, in his regular batting stance (upright), sporting the team's classic powder-blue (away) uniform, as is the case in the following card, from Fleer's 1990 Fleer set (card #364), except there he's shown mid-swing:
There's also this one where he's wearing the team's 1990s grey (away) uniform, watching a ball he hit go deep into center field:
It's card #570 from Topps' 1993 Topps collection, one of the last baseball sets I tried to complete.

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