Wednesday, September 9, 2015

If It's a Severed Head, I'm Going to Be Very Upset

QUICK!! Name that movie!

This afternoon, I was skimming through my Google Drive looking for blog inspiration, as I am often liable to do.  In my skimming, I noticed a card that I had looked fairly hard for, but had forgotten to show off on this here blog.  So, today I am going to rectify that slight:

Now, I can forgive you if you cannot tell that this famous/infamous floating head card from 1962 Topps is a Cub card because it is definitely not immediately obvious.  See that lonely levitating noggin in the upper left?  That's Jim McKnight and he was a rookie infielder for the 1962 Cubs.

Now, these multi-player, flying skull cards are not for everyone, me included.  I prefer my baseball cards to focus on one player and to, hopefully, show at least most of their body; however, I understand there are printing budgets and compromises must be made.

But Tony, why don't you quit your whining and just get a card that features only Mr. McKnight?  Well, to that I'd say, since Jim only appeared in 60 games that season and then never again sniffed the Bigs, he has no other baseball cards.  It's not like he played in the 90's, for cryin' out loud.

However, there is one (sort of) exception:

The 1962 Salada coin you see above (whose image was gratuitously ripped from Ebay) is the only other piece of sports memorabilia that showcased the young infielder.  But then, I guess a .231 career batting average and a spotty fielding record will do that to you.

I know a lot of collectors enjoy these coins and a lot of people even seem to catalog these coins or Topps Chips as cards; but, that does not compute with me.  A coin is a coin and a card is a card.  Until I can pay for my gumballs with a '91 Donruss card, nothing will sway me from that.

Sidenote - I totally understand that Salada coins are not legal tender; I was exaggerating for comedic effect.

Long story short, I have no other option than to include those other three wayward melons in my CATRC along with Jimbo.


In the course of my writing this post, I discovered that I'm not very bright and there is in fact another Jim McKnight card in existence and it's a full body shot of just him and everything.  That said, it still won't displace that '62 Topps card.

Let me explain:

 Images courtesy of the Trading Card Database

What you see above is Jim's entry into TCMA's "The 1960's" set.  It's a beautiful card that let's the picture do the talking that I would otherwise love to include.  What's the issue then?

Well, as you can plainly see, he is wearing a Cardinals uniform, even though he never suited up for them in the Majors.  He was signed by the Devil's team in 1955 and spent the first five years of his pro career in their system, before the Cubs traded Moose Moryn to acquire him (oddball "zero year" card!).

But, since the '62 Topps floating head card lists him as a member of the Cubs, it will still take priority, even though I like the above card much more overall.  One of my CATRC goals is to obtain as many Cubs players on Cubs cards as possible, after all.

Thems the breaks sometimes.

Anyway, let's talk about the guy on all this stuff, for just a minute:

Image courtesy of

As we stated earlier, he was originally part of the Cardinals system, before finding his way to Chicago in 1960.  That summer, he got a brief, 3 game cuppacoffee, but he did well - going 2 for 6 with and RBI in that time.

Unfortunately, he had the misfortune of being primarily a third baseman in the Ron Santo era, so he was never able to crack into the starting lineup.  He did get another chance as a bench piece two years later, but was unable to capitalize as a utility infielder.  

Without a use for him, the Cubs sent him to the Braves for Ken Aspromonte and though he was never again to reach the Bigs, he was far from done with baseball.  He kept lacing it up in minor league circuits through the 1972 season, playing for 18 seasons overall.

His son Jeff tripled his father's amount of time in the MLB, playing parts of 6 seasons from 1989-94 for the Orioles and the Mets (in two, separate stints).  Just like his proud papa, he also served as a spare infielder.

Sadly, Jim was killed in a car accident in 1994.  He was only 57 at the time.  Even more tragic, Jeff  also passed away at a young age, dying of complications from Leukemia just this past March.  Jeff was only 52.

Well, this post took a dark turn, didn't it?

Image courtesy of

There - that should cleanse the palette nicely.  I think that's Jim having some fun with the Salvation Army.

Anyway, I had no idea where this post was going to go when I started, in case you couldn't tell.  What a journey though; we laughed, we cried, we learned a lot about a forgotten player and my reasearch skills too.  Thanks for coming along on this ride with me.

All of this just from a floating heads card that I forgot to write about months ago.  Isn't is funny how inspiration works?

By the way, if you're still driving yourself crazy trying to remember where the quote in the post title comes from, the answer is Wayne's World. Calm yourself!

1 comment:

  1. A gun rack? A gun rack.
    I don't even own *a* gun, let alone many guns, that would necessitate an entire rack. What am I gonna do with a gun rack?