What’s In A Name?

Now before you start saying “Oh no, Andy’s going on about Panini National Treasures again” just hear me out!

There’s a hell of a lot to like, if not love, about this particular release. None more so than copious amount of relic cards of ballplayers from the 1900’s to the 1930’s – many of whom have never been widely available in Baseball card sets prior to National Treasures.

In case you weren’t aware ALL of the base cards is this set are relics #’d/99 or less! So while it’s NOT impossible to put a complete base set together – it IS pretty much impossible to put a base set together, especially when you consider there’s a Walter Johnson relic #’d/4, a Stan Musial #’d/2 and a Richie Ashburn #’d/1!! IN THE BASE SET!!!

Click on this link to visit Cardboard Connection for a complete breakdown of the product and the checklist!

However with all the various subsets to choose from there is one in particular that has stood out for me as a lot of fun – a variant set based on player’s nicknames.

Throughout the history of the game there have numerous monikers attached to different players, the majority of them very familiar to fans of the game and to the public in general – Joltin’ Joe, Iron Man, Hammerin’ Hank and Catfish, to name but a few! Some were a little bit more obscure – Old Aches & Pains (Luke Appling), Beauty (Dave Bancroft) and The Heater from Van Meter (Bob Feller), are just a few that spring to mind!

Here’s a few examples from National Treasures –

and my particular favourite

‘Big Poison’!!! What an awesome nickname!!

Paul Waner, along with his brother Lloyd (‘Little Poison’), both played together in the same Pittsburgh outfield for 14 years during the 20’s and 30’s. They still rank as the best-hitting brothers in major league history with a combined 5,611 hits – 517 more than the three Alou brothers and 758 more than the three DiMaggio brothers. Paul amassed 3,152 hits, and his .333 lifetime average ranks among the highest ever in the game. Lloyd, a lifetime .316 hitter, collected 2,459 hits, and had it not been for health problems, he might have cleared the 3,000 hit milestone as well.

While the origin of this name has never been properly pinned down, popular Baseball folklore attributes them to the distinctive pronunciation of fans in New York City. Allegedly at a game at Ebbets Field  a Dodgers fan described ruefully how the Pirates’ “Big Person” and “Little Person” were hurting the Dodgers team that day. In “Brooklyn-ese’, the names came out sounding like Big Poison and Little Poison.

So there you go!! Do yourself a favour and check out some of these cards!

I can’t stress enough that you won’t regret it!!

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