Saturday, February 2, 2019

Favorite Cards: Baltimore Orioles (AL)

1987 Topps #728 - Tippy Martinez

I'm not sure which I was aware of first in life - my dog named Tippy or Tippy Martinez. I picked out a black Cockapoo puppy in the early eighties and out of thin air, the name Tippy came to me. I know Tippy Martinez had a career that dated back into the 70s, but I honestly could not think of him before I had my dog Tippy.

There was something about Tippy Martinez that made me happy. To this day I struggle to know exactly what that was. He was never on any of the teams I followed. It was something more than just the name. It was the way he carried himself in photographs. Tippy was mysterious and otherworldly to a small kid from the south suburbs of Chicago.

There were dozens of Tippy Martinez cards (it seemed like I pulled him from packs more often than most other players back then), but the 1987 Topps card reminded me of something more. Something that caught my eye in the newspaper, in books, on television and probably more. He reminded me of Spike.

Sometimes personality shows through photographs and my imagination, as a kid, came up with Tippy Martinez being a likable, funny guy that lived in the desert by a cactus and so happened to pitch in the majors. Looking back on that, as an adult, it sounds preposterous. It's the same imagination that had me peeking out windows spying on a neighbor because he looked like he could be in the Crimson Guard. The same imagination that had me pick out G.I. Joe action figures and play Ghostbusters with them instead. Yup. Vivid to the core.

Tippy probably stood out more because of the unusual name and my dog's name. A vivid imagination can and will take you on strange journeys. Those journeys may be filled with dogs and baseball players, but they are still awesome trips.

In case you were wondering. This is Tippy.

You guessed it. Tippy was a fun loving dog who loved to dance.

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