Friday, February 29, 2008

Bubblegum Card of the Week: Jim Mandich

Hello! And welcome to my new Friday feature, Bubblegum Card of the Week™!

What is this?

Well, I have a modest collection of cards, mostly baseball, mostly from the '70s and '80s. However, I have lots of other cool sports and non-sports cards from the last 40-plus years. So, I'll present a favorite card each Friday, and then provide accompanying commentary... Let's get right to it, shall we?

Our first specimen is this 1977 Topps football card, #372. Its subject, Jim Mandich, played tight end for the Miami Dolphins from 1970 to '77. He caught passes from Bob Griese in Miami's victories in Super Bowls VII and VIII. Most notably, he maintains bragging rights as a member of the 17-0 '72 Dolphins, still the only NFL team with a perfect undefeated season. Before that, in college, he was an All-American at Michigan. Now, "Mad Dog" Mandich works as a Fins color commentator, and hosts a Miami sports radio talk show.

That's fine 'n' all, but what really intrigues me is that he's the most famous person with the same surname as me. When I got this card as an eight-year-old, I was thrilled to learn that anyone beyond my extended family, especially a pro football player, had the same last name as I did... I've always wondered, has anyone ever teased him by saying, "A sandwich is a sandwich, but a Manwich is a meal"? Has anyone ever derisively called him Man-Dick? Is he from Croatia?

When I was in the third grade, I falsely claimed that he was my uncle, so a friend of mine demanded an autograph. That night I scrawled a forgery on a scrap of paper, and presented it to him the next day. He was impressed.

I think this first installment of BCOTW went well, don't you? Check back next Friday for the next thrilling episode of Bubblegum Card of the Week!


At 6:36 AM, May 04, 2011 , Anonymous Valerie said...

Well Steve, we have this one as well. We will miss and always love Jim. He was very good in always greeting my father kindly at Shula's over the years. Tonight his memorial will be attended by many and our prayers are with him and his family and friends.


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