Recent Royals: 2005 Topps Retired Jim Frey

I have very few card collections given my limited resources and space, but I did decide some time ago to begin collecting on-card Royals autographs. It’s been a blast so far trying to track these things down and this is the latest addition to my collection. To view the cards currently in the collection, take a look at the Gallery or the other posts in this series. I’m working on getting a legit want list together on my trade page but, in the meantime, if you have any on-card Royals autos that it looks like I don’t have, don’t hesitate to drop me a line!

Retired managers, too?

What is it about the Tekulve-style shades that just plain make a dude look like a dad? Maybe my limited experience with dads has something to do with this association, but I can’t imagine someone younger than 35 pulling these things off.

Needless to say, Jim Frey is older than 35 in this photo.  Needful to say, however, is to wonder aloud why he’s pictured here as a Royal. He managed the Royals for 2 years (1980-81), which is fewer years than he spent with either the Orioles (9 years as various coaches) or the Cubs (7 years in manager and GM roles). Of course, he led the Royals to their first World Series while the Cubs’s magical (and Manager of the Year Award-winning) 1984 ended in tragedy. And, of course, Frey’s decision to send Rafael Palmeiro and Jamie Moyer to the Rangers for, essentially, just Mitch Williams, didn’t exactly leave a good taste in Cubs’ fans mouths.

Topps Retired is a weird set. I think it ran from 2003-2005, as I’ve seen Beardy crack a pack or two and post some trades on ye olde Mojobeard but it slipped under my non-collecting radar. Are there other Royals autos in it? I have no idea. This is the only one I’ve seen. I presume there’s a short printed George Brett that people are paying an arm and a leg for, but someone let me know if there’s a Kevin Seitzer or Frank White so I can actually afford it.

At any rate, I find it interesting that Frey is the rare breed of coach who never spent any time in the majors. I always wonder how that career path develops. Who makes that call? Working in a business where you basically have to be fostered through every step of the way, I know how many doors are closed if you’re not constantly proving yourself. So I guess there’s just something about Jim here that made some execs turn their heads.

Speaking of talent, he’s not to be confused with another James Frey who, apart from being a pretty lame author, is also a really lame factory creativist. I just made that phrase up, but if you have any interest in creative work and being appropriately compensated for ideas, take a gander at this article to have your opinion of James Frey skewed towards the negative.

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