Wednesday, January 21, 2009

#12 -- Jose Cardenal

Love the sneer. Or is it a wry smile? He was a big league hitter, but traveled around a lot with a reputation of being moody, flippant or hypochondriac. Late in his career with the Phillies, Pete Rose accused him of corking bats. With 138 lifetime homers, he should have done a better job. Of course he's listed here as only being 5-10, 155.

This card also lists him as being Bert Campaneris' cousin. Everyone knows in 1965 the A's let Campy play all 9 positions in a meaningless September game. Somehow, things worked out that the first batter Bert faced was his cousin Jose. Jose grounded out to second. I'm sure that had to stick in his craw.

In 1972, Jose was the rightfielder for the Cubs and had a good season. He had a fine 5 year run with the Cubbies, some of the best of his career. His last game was Game 6 of the 1980 World Series for the Royals. He went out with singles off Steve Carlton and Tug McGraw in his last 2 at bats after hitting .340 and starting 16 games in the outfield down the stretch.

1972 feature

Even though as a 4 year old in 1968 I pestered my dad until he got me a bumper sticker for my toy box, 1972 is the first presidential election I remember. I was a weird kid that watched the national news every night and, while I may not have understood what the stories meant, I certainly knew what was going on.

Richard Nixon was not going to face any significant challenge from the Republicans. He had a solid first term and actually performed better than expected. Early on, the Democrats hoped to run Senator Ted Kennedy against him, but the Chappaquiddick incident derailed that run. Senator Hubert Humphrey of Minnesota, who was defeated by Nixon in 1968, was then expected to be the nominee, and faced significant challenges from segregationist Governor George Wallace, moderate Senator Ed Muskie and Senator George McGovern. We know who got the Democratic nomination, but the way it all played out was fascinating. We'll look at all of that later.

The 1972 nomination process didn't produce the chaos that plagued the 1968 Democratic Convention in Chicago, but there were plenty of stories. Most of them will prove that the names may change, but politics doesn't change much over the years.