All-Sports Trivia and Collector Notes for the New Year

by on November 4th, 2010
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These challenges are fairly tough, but short, so no peeking at the answers (and no internet searches, which would likely be useless for two of these three):

First, true or false: independent film maker John Sayles has his own baseball card.

Second, name the only individual enshrined in both the Baseball and Pro Football Halls of Fame.

Third, give the greatest handicapped performance in the “regular” Olympics (not the Paralympics).

The Answers:

#1: Don’t you hate ambiguous questions? Does this mean Sayles owns his card (if it exists)? Or does it mean that Sayles is pictured alone on a baseball card? A two-part answer is thus in order. If the question has to do with what Sayles owns, the answer is who knows but Sayles? If the question has to do with the existence of a Sayles-alone baseball card, though, the answer is false, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t a Sayles card. As per the card in my hand as I type one-handed, the director appears on card #54 of the 1988 Pacific set issued in conjunction with the release of Sayles’ great film about the 1919 Black Sox scandal, Eight Men Out. On it Sayles is pictured with legendary journalist Studs Terkel. In the film Sayles played Ring Lardner, and Terkel played Hugh Fullerton, the Chicago writer who broke the news of the scandal.

#2: Cal Hubbard is the only person celebrated both at Cooperstown and Canton. A versatile giant for his time (T-E-DE-G), the Missouri native stood either 6′ 2″ or 6′ 5″, weighed 250, 253, or 265 pounds, and ran 100 yards in eleven seconds, depending on your source. He played for the New York (football) Giants in 1927 and ’28, and the Green Bay Packers, Pittsburgh Steelers (one game), and New York again from 1929 through ’36. After his football days, he became an A.L. umpire and umpire supervisor, totaling 30 years of service in blue. Additionally, as per ESPN the (print) Magazine this past November 14th, Hubbard’s collectible matchbook cover from the ’30s is the rarest in that niche market, and will cost you $1400. On that matchbook Hubbard is described as “the biggest man in professional ball” (at 265), resembling “the Empire State Building when on the field.”

#3: This may be a matter of opinion, depending on how one defines “handicapped,” but I’d argue the answer is Karoly Takacs, the two-time gold medalist in rapid-fire (pistol) shooting. While serving in World War II, the Hungarian sharpshooter had his right (shooting) hand blown off by a grenade, so he taught himself to shoot left-handed. In 1948 and 1952 he took the gold in his challenging event, which requires a marksman to hit five targets in as little as four seconds. He is pictured on the now very rare collector card originally issued as an insert in Sports Illustrated for Kids. Sorry, I can’t give a date on that, but yeah, I have that card too.

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