1969 TOPPS #529 ED KIRKPATRICK - Beckett Value: $3
What's not to LOVE about this photo? One of my favorite things about this franchise is how little our uniforms have changed from day one to today. Sure, there's been the powder blues and some awful variations in the late 90's, but all-in-all we've stayed true to our roots. One word makes this uni better though... wool. And that floppy hat. Now let's break the rest of this photo down.
Look at that freakin' snarl! Ned Yost and GMDM would have been in love with ol' Spanky. He waltzes into spring training with a dozen women in his Mustang, grabs his bat, turns to the cameraman, WINKS, then cocks his head and snarls for this photo. At least that's how I expect it went down. The instance this photo was shot, the franchise was born. Grit baby!
Plus points for the gorgeous shot of the Ft. Myers spring facility in the background. Also, is it just me or is this a spitting image of Mike Sweeney? This probably deserves a 10, but I can't be handing out tens in only my second post, that's bush league.
The 1969 set is pretty blah in my book, but that's not a bad thing. It does what a baseball card should. It displays the player and team name with a simple border. I like it, but nothing too memorable.
Card Back: 8/10
Ed hit .381 for Quad Cities in 1962. That sounds impressive, but history tends to forget that balls were made of eggshells back then. Thankfully we have this cartoon to remind us of that. This card back is pretty much perfect. A nice summary, clean stats, clever cartoon, etc.. The only thing holding it back is that it's pink. Ain't no self-respectin' boy want their cards to be pink in 1969.
Overall Score: 8/10
Kirkpatrick's 1969 Season:
In 1969 the brand new Royals relied on Kirkpatrick to be the ultimate spork, filling in wherever they needed him. Primarily an outfielder, Ed played every position at one time or another in '69 except pitcher and shortstop. Through 722 innings in the field, Ed committed just one single error for a .995 Fld%. Despite not having a set spot in the starting nine, Ed also led the team with 14 HR and a .451 SLG. 14 HR's isn't much, but for Municipal Stadium it was quite a feat. With corners of 350' and 450' in center, getting it out of the park was no simple task. Not only did he have a little pop, he also had a .348 OBP. Ed stayed with the Royals through 1973 and bounced around before retiring in 1977. Ed passed away in November of 2010.