Author Topic: Favorite Baseball Cards  (Read 2429 times)

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Re: Jim Walewander: 1988 Topps
« Reply #105 on: September 01, 2018, 09:19:30 PM »
I've always loved the Topps 1988 Jim Walewander card. 

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It's not an action card but shows a clean cut, very serious young man.   Which is ironic because Walewander was definitely a free spirit - of the Frosted Flake
variety.  A middle infielder in the Detroit Tigers organization, he very easily have become depressed, as he had the great Lou Whitaker and Alan
Trammell ahead of him.  Fortunately, for the City of Detroit and the world in general, not too much bothered Walewander,  He became a bit of a
sensation late in the 1987 season.   Sparky Anderson used him mostly as a pinch runner as he ran the bases well and had very good speed. 
He scored some key runs against the Jays in the magical late season drive where the Tigers caught and passed Toronto to make the playoffs.

It really wasn't for his play that he became a minor sensation.  His first big league at bat was against awesome curveballer, Bert Blyleven.  When asked
after the game by reporters on how he found Blyleven. Walewander said "From the dugout, I went into the On Deck circle and then when it was time
I went into the batters box.  When I looked up, there Blyleven was on the mound".   The Detroit press went banana's........  Finally a guy that wasn't
going to say "I'm just here to help the team"  Word got out  about Walewander's apartment.   He used Aluminium Foil as shades because it was
 "Great at keeping the Sun out".   He had a giant stuffed fish on his wall and when asked why he had such a grotesque thing, he said simply:
 "I keep my spare change in it's mouth so it won't get lost in the couch cushions".   

Then there was The Dead Milkmen.  Jim Walewander was probably the biggest Dead Milkmen fan in the world.  When they were playing in Detroit,
Walewander looked them up and invited them out to Tiger Stadium the next day.   In a surreal moment, Sparky Anderson met the Milkmen and
yes indeed,  There is a photo taken before the game.

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Sparky dutifully wrote Walewander's name on the Lineup Card and Walewander came through.  He hit his only Major League home run ever that day.
After the game, the press asked him if the Dead Milkmen gave him inspiration.  Walewander said "No.  They gave me a T-Shirt".   Asked what else he
remembered about the homer he said:  "It was a righthander," he says. "A white guy. I hit it off a white righthander."   When asked about his
childhood heroes he said "Ayn Rand and Thoreau. They had a kid and it was me."

Before long he had both a book and a song called "Jim Walewander Blues" by a local band - pretty amazing for an obscure utility infielder with less than
250 career at bats.............
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Walewander got an MBA from UCLA after his MLB career was over.   Not sure what he is doing but I am sure what ever office he is working
in is not a boring place with the 'Wales' around.    :)

Great stuff!! So funny about Dead Milkman n Sparky. And thing I find myself doing n liking college ball (not metal) but cause the kids are clean cut n more disciplined. Sorta. But good stuff, keep them coming!