Great names deserve to be together, even if only briefly.
Fleer realized this early on in their run during the 1980s, and they capitalized on the idea with their Super Star Specials. I mean, who can forget the Holland-Tunnell card pair, or the Carlton & Fisk, Steve & Carlton mind-blow.
And it’s sort of a shame that Darryl Strawberry never got to play with Rocky Cherry, don’t you think?
Speaking of berry-themed players, one of the great baseball names that has sort of slid into the dusty corners of time is Firpo Marberry.
Sure, Firpo was born as “Frederick,” but once he made the majors with the Washington Senators in 1923, he became known for a constant scowl. That severe expression and other mannerisms reminded some onlookers of boxer Luis Firpo, and the nickname was born.
Marberry rode that intensity to a successful 14-year career split among the Senators, Detroit Tigers, and New York Giants. All in all, Firpo put up a glistening 148-88 record with a sturdy 3.43 ERA.
Not a Hall of Fame career, but certainly All-Star level, if such a thing had existed then.
Find Firpo Marberry cards on eBay (affiliate link)
Find Firpo Marberry cards on Amazon (affiliate link)
Marberry was star enough, though, that he appeared in several of the scant baseball card sets of the day, including the legendary 1933 Goudey set.
And it was that marriage that set up another cardboard coupling … a half century later.
By 1983, Renata Galasso was one of the biggest mail-order dealers in the hobby, and certainly one of the most exotic names in the game.
Beyond that, in addition to selling current and older cards, she (and her company, Renata Galasso, Inc.) had taken up producing sets of their own — specialty issues focused on certain themes and reprint runs of classic issues.
And it was in that latter endeavor that Galasso and Marberry crossed paths.
Because, thanks to RGI’s rehash of that age-old Goudy issue, we have the beauty that is the (deep breath, now) … 1983 Renata Galasso 1933 Goudey Reprint Fred “Firpo” Marberry baseball card.
And that’ gotta be some sort of record for great baseball card names all crammed into one line of text … right?
Of course, you could also go for a real 1933 Goudey Firpo Marberry, where he appears as “Fred” on card #104. Or, you could ask Santa for something really outrageous, like an almost complete set of the classics, like this one offered up on eBay:
It’s missing (of course) the Nap Lajoie and several others, but it’s still a mouthwatering vintage lot.
Check out the full listing on eBay right here (affiliate link).