Today’s installment of Five Questions features Jim Gosger, a lefty from Port Huron, Michigan, who spent the majority of his ten seasons in the majors as a reserve outfielder. Over the course of a select few seasons, Gosger was involved in several interesting baseball scenarios. When his Kansas City squad packed their bags in 1968, he played in the franchise’s first season in Oakland. Then, he was selected in the 1969 expansion draft by the Seattle Pilots, and he played 39 games in their only MLB season (the team would eventually move and become the Brewers). Finally, before the end of the 1969 season, he was traded and played 10 games for the eventual World Series champion “Miracle Mets” (although he did not log any time in the World Series). Over this past week, Jim was nice enough to answer a short series of questions for me through the mail.
1. First, do you remember anything about taking pictures for baseball cards? What did the process normally entail?
Topps would set up a photo session and take multiple pictures, usually during Spring Training.
2. Do you remember signing your Topps contract? I’ve seen pictures of checks awarded to players for $5 each. I’ve also heard that players received gifts. Do you think this was fair and did you do anything special with the money you received?
Usually, we received both – money and a choice of gifts from their catalog.
3. Have you ever collected baseball cards yourself?
When I was very young, I had many cards that came in Red Man Chewing Tobacco pouches.
4. What is your fondest baseball memory?
Having the opportunity to play in the Major Leagues with the best players in the game.
5. Finally, what do you like to do in your spare time now? What does life after baseball look like for you?
I referee high school sports (football and baseball) and play golf.
That’s all for today guys. Thanks again to Mr. Gosger for taking the time to answer a few questions for me.