Fred Wenz Reaction
Some nice comments on the Fred Wenz post from last Friday.
Josh Wilker, the voice of the mathematically eliminated, and author of the “Cardboard Gods” book and website, was nice enough to post the link on his Facebook page, which, I pointed out to him, had exactly 714 fans, and to which he responded, “I've also noticed the long tribute-like pause at 714 fans. Maybe a link to your piece will finally be the Al Downing fastball needed to get to 715.” Whatever the cause, by the end of the day he was at 715. Wilker's book is much recommended. So is liking it on Facebook.
I also heard from a few folks who suffered the same kind of Fred Wenz blues I did. My friend Dan:
I too was victimized by multiple Fred Wenzes in the summer of '71. And Chico Salmons, Wade Blasingames and Jose Laboys. Not exactly prime trade bait.
Bob, who grew up near LA, wrote:
The very first pack of baseball cards I ever bought was in 1971. My mom gave me a dime and I went over to the liquor store, the Cork 'N' Bib, next to the supermarket. My brother Tom helped me buy the pack. The very first card I saw when I opened the pack was Fred Wenz.
Mark explained away some of the mystery on the Cardboard Gods' FB page:
One of the tricky things about baseball cards in that period is that they were released in series. So the first series, which came out in April when everyone was excited about the new year and the new cards, included Wenz (card #92). If you were looking for Killebrew, he did not come out until series 5 (#550) probably in July or August when many people had stopped collecting for the year. Most kids (like me) did not really fully grasp what was happening at the time.
After 41 years, the clouds parted. So not a conspiracy at all but, what, poor planning? Excellent business model? Super annoying? Poor Dick Drago, #752. Did anyone get his card? Is it worth more now as a result?
Still doesn't explain why we kept getting Fred Wenz (#92), instead of, say, Willie McCovey (#50) or Reggie Jackson (#20). But it does explain Wade Blasingame (#79).
All Fred Wenz, all the time.