This card is the 1981 Topps Drake’s card of Carlton. I really like this card because it is one of the first cards that shows him in a White Sox uniform. He left the Red Sox and signed with the White Sox just before the 1981 season started, so all of his regular issue cards from that year show him as a Red Sox player. He signed very late with the White Sox, March 18th to be exact. Anyway as far as my collection goes this is the first card that I have of him playing for the South Side. When I first saw this card I figured that it had to be rare, but I have found a couple of them since that time. Heck they even through one in as part of the bundle that started this whole crazy idea. And as a side note check out that uniform. This picture was taken during the days of the ‘pajama’ uniforms. I will get into those with a later card. There is a better story to go with this card. After a glitch made him a free agent, Carlton started off the year in Fenway Park facing his old team. A quirk in the schedule made it possible for him to play his old team on opening day. He celebrated that fact by hitting a three run homer in the eighth inning off of Bob Stanley that helped propel the White Sox to a 5-3 win. This was a great start to a White Sox career that would end with his number retired, and a statue in left field.
By the way this is an exercise for me in getting in touch with my past. It is about memories that specific cards bring back to me. If any of these cards brings back a memory of yours, or even if you have something to say about the card in general your comments are appreciated. I may even screw up some facts from time to time. As the years go by I tend to remember things a little bit greater than they actually occurred. 68 more cards to go.
During the Purdue game last night I found out that one of our suppliers had an extra ticket to opening day, and he wanted to know if I would go. What kind of a question is that to ask a sports junkie? I said yes, so unless the weather in uncooperative as it was last year any time I got tickets I will be at opening day. Now I am even more excited to see the start of the baseball season.