Friday, May 22, 2009

1976 Topps, Marty Pattin

#492 Marty Pattin

Here is the second card that I got signed by Marty at the Spring into Sports youth clinic two weeks ago. I only had two cards of Marty, so this will be the last one. I got this card prior to Royals Fanfest since Marty was supposedly going to be there. He wasn't there and I contemplated sending it through the mail to get signed. I held off on that and was lucky enough when this cool clinic came to town. The card is not in the best of shape, but that doesn't really matter to me.

In case you don't know it, Marty is known as the Duck because he does a spot-on Donald Duck impersonation. At the autograph signing after the clinic, one of the local high school softball coaches got into a small converstion with him while both of them were talking in Donald voices. I was too far away to hear what was being said, but John Mayberry mentioned that Marty might have met his match.

Here is an interesting excert from Jim Bouton's "Ball Four" about Marty-

"I had a long talk with Marty Pattin on the bus. He's had a tough, interesting life. He's from Charleston, Illinois, and his mother and father were separated when he was a baby and he was shipped off to live with his mother's folks. He was still a junior in high school when his grandfather died, so he moved into a rooming house and tried to work his way through the rest of high school. It was there he met a man named Walt Warmouth who helped him get through school - not only high school but college. Warmouth owned a restaurant, and Marty worked there and got his meals there, and every once in a while he'd get a call from the clothing store in town and be told he could pick up a suit and a bunch of other stuff and it was all paid for. they never would tell him who had paid, but Marty knew anyway. "The guy was like a father to me," Marty said. "And not only to me. He must have sent dozens of kids through school just the way he did me." Marty has a masters degree in industrial arts, and when he can he likes to help kids. That's why he signed up for the clinic.

"What a terribly lonely life Marty must have had. Hell, it was a traumatic experience for me just going away to college and living in a dorm with a bunch of other kids. And here's Marty, still in high school, living in a rooming house. Not only that, but he goes on to become an All-American boy, complete with all the good conventional values. Like he was telling the kids at the clinic that sure it was difficult to throw a ball well or be a good basketball player. It was difficult to do a lot of things, but that they were all capable of doing a lot of difficult things if they were willing to work hard and practice. I guess he ought to know."

Forty years later, Marty is still doing clinics and still spreading the same message. That's good stuff.

And one last updated remark. My favorite part about this card is the old Royals scoreboard. That beauty stood for 34 years and even in its updated version, it is still one of the most recognizable scoreboards in baseball.

1 comment:

Orioles Magic said...

Nice post and good insight on Marty. It's great to hear about guys like Marty that persevere through life's tough spots.

I've also been meaning to get in touch with you to see if you have a need list. I am going through some older autos and might be able to help you out.