Tuesday, January 20, 2009

#10 - Amos Otis

Amos Otis

Amos was the Royals’ first big star and fan favorites. I remember going to games and getting sick of the fans chanting “A-O, A-O” incessantly. He could do it all: run, field, throw, hit for power and average. He didn’t get a lot of attention, but was an All-Star and one of the best Royals ever. I got to see him play at Royals Stadium in the 1973 All-Star Game and he went 2-2.
Think of the best AL centerfielders of the 70’s. Fred Lynn comes to mind. Mickey Rivers was a good leadoff hitter. Reggie Jackson played center until the A’s got Billy North in 1973. Bobby Murcer was there for the Yankees in the first half of the decade. The Orioles had Paul Blair and Al Bumbry. However for consistency over the entire decade, a case could be made that Amos was the best of the bunch in the AL, but he’s probably not going to come to mind in that discussion.

I got this card autographed through the mail by Amos in the early part of this decade. I think I counted about 67 different 1972 autographed cards. That's my other enjoyment in the hobby. It started on a rainy Saturday in September 1999 when I decided to send off some of my doubles for autographs to fuel my 4 year old son's interest in baseball. When the cards started coming back, he loved it, but I realized it would be just as easy to put 2 cards in the envelopes as 1. He's 14 now and I'm not sure how into autograhped cards he is when there's skateboards, Facebook and video games. But we still collect and recently went over the 1900 mark on autographs from different ballplayers. According to SportsCollectors Net, Amos still signs through the mail, but now he charges $5/card.

1972 Feature

At this point, the only radio I ever listened to was an AM station in the car that my folks liked that played Top 40 music. I'd also listen to Cardinal games, but only if I was home because they came in on a local FM station and the car (1970 Monte Carlo) didn't have FM. I've looked back over the Billboard Number Ones for the year and I wasn't really a big fan of any of them.

However, there were two 1972 song I heard more than any other and neither one was a Number One. The first finished the year as #93, the other was #72. I'm going to go with the #93 song and leave #72 to later. The New Seekers sang this song at #93 that became a cultural landmark for 1972 (Gag, I'm starting to sound like Casey Kasem.) You see, the Coca-Cola corporation changed a couple of the words and made it a famous commercial. Coke may not have brought world peace, but they did achieve world domination.


  1. That Coke commerical reminds me of being a kid and staying up at night to watch a Charlie Brown Christmas, one of the few times I could stay up that late back when I was 7 years old.

    I ended up buying an entire CD (this was before music downloading on your computer) just for the one song, just to relive the memory. Ah, nostalgia!

  2. Wow! And I thought that I had a ton of autographs.

  3. Impressive collection of autographs!

  4. Another guy that could have made the Hall of Fame in a better hitter's park. Otis was a great center fielder.

    Otis was also one of the worst trades that the Mets ever made, when they recieved Joe Foy. (Yes, the Nolan Ryan trade was worse.)

    P.S. Love the site. I have read all the posts.

  5. I see that AO played at Harlan in first professional season. Harlan is the county seat of the county I grew up in, in the state of Kentucky. It's hard to believe a town that small could have a minor league team. Only about 3000 people, if that, reside there now. It was a D league from what I have read about them and played in the Appalachian League. Probably the most famous player to have played at harlan was Denny McLain.