Before there was Mike Mussina, there was the original Moose, Bill Skowron. Moose Skowron was a favorite of my dad’s so, even though I wasn’t old enough to remember him, I knew how good the big hitting first baseman was. He is an underappreciated Yankee because of who he played with, guys like Mickey, Yogi, Whitey, and Roger. He played with guys who are instantly recognizable by first name alone, so you can’t blame him for flying under the radar. He was an integral part of the Yankees in the fifties and early sixties though. In nine seasons with the Yankees, he hit .294/.346/.496 with 165 home runs and he played solid defense at first. He would have been a star for most teams during those nine seasons, but he was a Yankee and largely overlooked.
I picked up a 2002 Fleer Greats Autograph of the Moose at a card show last year, and it is a fantastic card. The photo is a posed one, showing Bill in a fielding stance. The card itself has a gold sheen on everything except Moose himself, giving the background a sepia-like tone. The design gives a nice effect, like it is a black and white picture combined with a sepia picture. It’s visually pleasing and gives the card the right feel, given the time period that Moose played in. The signature is one of the most legible signatures I’ve ever seen. It’s like he actually took his time when he signed the card. It’s also signed with a thicker black marker which is something you don’t see too often. And, of course, it’s an on-card signature. Just the way it should be.