HBT baseball Card Mystery: Roy Lee Jackson

April 18, 2012

This card from the 1984 Fleer set shows the Blue jays pitcher singing the Canadian National Anthem prior to a game against the Texas Rangers.

The questions include:

On what night of the season did Jackson sing? Who is the Rangers’ catcher, seen in the background? The Rangers’ catchers that season included Jim Sundberg (we know it’s not him) and two obscure players, Bobby Johnson and Donnie Scott. And dare we ask, even though we’ve never inquired about umpires before, who is the home plate arbiter standing next to the Rangers’ catcher?

So here are my thoughts:

Given that the catcher appears to be an African-American, that would mean it’s Bobby Johnson. He played for the Rangers from 1981-83. He appeared in one game against Toronto in 1981, but as a defensive replacement, so he would not be behind the plate for the National Anthem.

Johnson started three games at home against the Jays: May 15, 1982, a night game (one of the clues); July 21, 1983, start time undetermined as per Baseball Reference; and July 24, 1983, the first game of a doubleheader and so was not a night game.

The home plate umpires for those games were Dave Phillips, Jim McKean, and Merill Durwood, respectively.

Going strictly by the accumulated info, Im saying it was the May 15 game.

I spent waaaay too much time on this.


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