I’ve really been in the mood for vintage lately. As much as I like modern cardboard, there’s something about the older stuff that has a certain poetry to it. It’s a combination of being a chronicle of the history of the game that I was never around to witness and the stories that the cardboard has to tell. It’s why I regularly read the vintage sportscards blogs and drool over some of the stuff I see in other peoples’ posts. I used to think I couldn’t have this stuff, that it was too expensive, but I’ve since learned that it’s only as expensive as you make it. While the pristine old stuff is nice to look at, I think I might actually prefer old cards that look like this Cass Michaels card. What secrets does it bear from its nearly 50 years of existence?
I can get information on Cass Michaels the man, and even a legit picture. He was born in 1926, making him 25 when this card was issued. He made his major league debut at an absolutely insane 17 years old. Can you even fathom that? It’d be like Bryce Harper jumping straight to the majors. I know he came from the White Sox in 1950, part of a trade with Bob Kuzava and Johnny Ostrowski for Al Kozar, Eddie Robinson and Ray Scarborough. None of those names mean anything to me now, but I’m sure they will in the future.
The second baseman hit .250/.345/.322 in his 106 games for the Nationals in 1950, somewhere a little below average for a second baseman in that day and age. He hung around for 1951, then was traded away in 1952.
See, I can know all that, but I have no way of knowing who pulled this card first, and what it may have gone through in its path to my collection. It’s the possibilities that intrigue me and make me love vintage cardboard.