Wednesday, July 1, 2015

The Last 10

The first time I became interested in the number 10 was (coincidentally) as a ten-year old boy. The number didn't belong to a baseball player I admired but was the name of a popular movie at the time.

If you're anywhere close to my age (or older), then you know what movie I'm referring to. Blake Edwards' 1979 romantic comedy tells the tale of a Los Angeles composer (Dudley Moore) who is enduring a mid-life crisis and becomes infatuated with a sexy, much younger woman (played by the beautiful Bo Derek). Now, I never saw the movie, but to my ten year-old self, there was something strangely fascinating seeing (on the movie trailer) Derek's character running on a beach in Mexico wearing her skin-colored, one-piece swimsuit. The sequence has become quite iconic in our pop culture and for guys our age it ranks right up there with the Farrah Fawcett poster.

The number wouldn't have much meaning to me until about sixteen years later, when Braves rookie Chipper Jones (who wore 16 during his 1993 cup-of-coffee) donned it during his first full season (1995)- and thereafter- in the majors. I was a fan of Chipper's prior to his major league debut, despite never having seen him play, and would have bought a #10 jersey had I not already owned one (and had I not been such a cheapskate). Here was a guy who was the number 1 pick in the nation and rocketed through the farm system- what wasn't to like? Besides, with a nickname like Chipper you knew he'd be something special! He became my favorite player and would be through the end of his playing career.

I certainly can't speak for Chipper, or any player, for that matter, but I've got to think that there are very few moments in your professional career that would be as gratifying as having your number retired while entering into an organization's Hall of Fame. For Jones, the ceremony took place two years ago this past Sunday and was brilliantly included in this year's Stadium Club release.

A big shout-out to Topps (Sooz!!) for another set chockfull of great photos. And the Chipper...a perfect 'Ten'!


  1. Such a great card. I was always number 10 because of Chipper.

  2. In many respects, I prefer photos of retired players looking retired -- in suits or as coaches rather than during their playing days. Perhaps a future set for Panini could be a "where are they now" or "what they did after they played" set where they don't need a license -- but where the set isn't crappy artwork like Goodwin Champions. That Chipper is just a great card.

    1. Have you seen the Maddux from '15 TSC, it's him golfing and it's perfect.

    2. Yes- and as great as it is, I hate those dorkey glasses (I used to have a pair, too)

  3. Never saw 10, but I definitely knew about it. When I was a kid, I always wanted to watch it (for obvious reasons). As for the Farrah Fawcett poster, my brother had it hanging up on his bedroom door. I kept it there after he moved out. Eventually I took it down and replaced it with those SI posters you could order from magazines.