Monday, June 1, 2015
#417 - John Franco
What a card: This is John Franco's rookie card in a Topps set. His first major-issue card appears in the 1984 Fleer Update set.
My observation on the front: Franco doesn't look right to me without his mustache. I've observed in his post-career appearances that he doesn't have a mustache anymore, so it's not as bizarre to me as when he was pitching for the Mets and I picked up a Reds card of his and there was no mustache.
More opinion from me: This is an '85 Topps rookie card that doesn't get much notice. It's all Clemens, McGwire, Puckett, Davis, Hershiser.
Something you might know: Franco pitched 21 years and finished with 454 saves, the second most at the time of his retirement and still the most for a left-hander.
Something you might not know: Franco's familiarity with mobsters may have helped lead to the downfall of a prominent Canadian politician. New York City newspapers in 2004 reported that Franco had supplied tickets to mobsters for Mets games in Montreal. The members of the Bonanno crime family reportedly received a tour of the Mets locker room then and were often invited to hang out with members of the team after games. What followed was an article in the New York Daily News revealing that Liberal Party politician Alfonso Gagliano was a member of the mafia and associated with the Bonanno family. A political scandal in Canada erupted and Gagliano was dismissed. He later filed a lawsuit against the Canadian government.
My observation on the back: During the mid-1980s, the Dodgers were known for consistently drawing the largest crowds per season. But they've since been exceeded by other teams that have been able to draw more than 4 million fans per year. The Dodgers have never done that.
The blog wants to speak now: The TV category is updated.