Saturday, January 21, 2012
My first 1961 Fleer - Miller Huggins
For Christmas I got a Kindle Fire. I didn’t ask for one, but was pretty excited to receive it. I like new toys. This is a new toy. It was the day before we were set to go the hospital for the birth of our son, so I downloaded a book called “Luckiest.” It’s the Lou Gehrig story.
Gehrig’s first manager was Miller Huggins. Of course I had heard the name and knew who he was, but I knew little about him otherwise. While Gehrig is obviously the subject of the book, Huggins was featured a bit early on as manager for the Yankees. He lead the team to their first three World Series titles. He was an old school (even for the 1920’s) presence and he often went head to head with the Babe. He was a disciplinarian who liked structure and rules. Ruth was the opposite. Gehrig, however, thrived in this sort of environment. He needed authority and guidance. Huggins was the perfect manager for a blossoming young star like Gehrig.
Huggins actually passed away during the season in 1929 at the age of 50. Can you imagine a manager passing away during the season now? I surely can’t. He always came off as a lot older than he was – he was a worrier and he didn’t age well. He had condition under high right eye that turned into sepsis and claimed his life. A few years later, the Yankees gave Huggins a monument in the outfield – the first in what would eventually become Monument Park. He was elected to the Hall of Fame by the Veteran’s Committee in 1964.
I picked up this Huggins 1961 Fleer for about $1 including shipping. I thought it was really cool and I didn’t have any vintage Fleer cards. The condition isn’t great – although the color is much better than this goofy scan. Either way, it certainly is an interesting pick up and I’m glad to add it to my collection.