Tuesday, June 17, 2008

2004 Upper Deck Yankee Classics Phil Linz

Who is this? Yankees shortstop Phil Linz.

What is this? An autograph card from 2004 Upper Deck Yankees Classics , card number AU-24.

Where'd I get it? Flea market.

How much did it cost? The price sticker says $15, and I bought it either half off or 65% off. Half off is $7.50, 65% off is $5, let's split the difference and say $6.25.

Why is this so special? Two words: Harmonica. Incident. As immortalized in Jim Bouton's Ball Four, after a tough loss to Chicago in 1964, Phil was on the back of the Yankee team bus practicing on his harmonica. Manager Yogi Berra didn't think playing "Mary Had a Little Lamb" was appropriate after losing a game so he told him to knock it off. Phil was wrapped up in his playing and asked Mickey Mantle what Yogi said. Mickey's response? "Play louder". One harmonica slapped out of Phil's hands later and the press had a field day giving incompetent Yankee management their excuse to fire Yogi at the end of the season. The Yanks lost the World Series in game 7 to the Cardinals, Yogi was fired unfairly and the Yankees entered one of the most dismal stretches of their existence. Poor infamous Phil finished out his career with Philly and the Mets. Phil and Yogi were good sports about it though. Phil credits the incident with keeping his name in public's mind after all these years. "All my jobs have been because of that; people remember me because of that one incident". Phil currently works for a Title Insurance Company in New York City who are kind enough so sponsor Phil's Baseball-Reference page. This is a nice looking signature from Phil, and is a great addition to the collection of any Yankee fan, anyone who loves Ball Four, or any harmonica aficionados out there.


The Bay Rat said...

I have never heard that story! Classic!

Anonymous said...

The Yankees have so many stories and I love to read them. I can totally see Mickey doing that.