Dad passed away five years ago this morning, which is absolutely stunning to me. Considering that I think of him each and every day and that in some ways I'm still talking with him daily, five years has quickly flown by.
I know he'd be frustrated by the season that just ended for the Phillies, although he'd be cautiously optimistic about their chances in 2017. "Need a bat in the middle of that line-up," would most likely be his advice and he'd also want Larry Bowa to coach for the next decade or so. He'd be so proud of his grandkids, and he'd be amazed at how quickly they're growing and how special each of them are in their own little ways. He'd attend or want the details of each of Doug's soccer games, Ben's tennis lessons and Molly and Julie's dance recitals.
I love tracking down cards of his favorite players - Dick Sisler and Del Ennis. Each time I add one of their cards to my collection, I have to wonder if it's a card he would have had in his collection when he was younger. I can still hear him saying, "I had them all Jimmy!" But as was the fate for so many collections from that era, his entire glorious inventory was deposited at the curb when he departed for college in the early 1960s. (Still working on that time machine to go back and somehow stop this tragic event.)
I don't know if my Dad ever had a 1954 Wilson Franks Del Ennis card, but I was happy to recently add this card to my collection. Using design elements from the 1954 Topps set, I'm fairly certain this is the first baseball card in my collection featuring a floating package of hot dogs. Ennis is the only Phillies player in the set of 20 cards, which features several Hall of Famers. The All-Star outfielder was omitted from the 1954 Topps set, so this card looks especially nice in 8-pocket pages along with my 1954 Topps Phillies cards.
In general, the Wilson Franks cards are very hard to find, and even more difficult to find without the almost unavoidable grease stains that would have resulted from the unprotected cards being packaged directly on top of the Wilson Weiners. The front of my card is clean, but the back suffers from some long-gone hot dog residue. Here are a few good articles with some more details around this semi-rare food issue:
Hot Dogs and High Dollars: 1954 Wilson Franks, from Sports Collectors Digest
1954 Wilson Franks Baseball Cards, from The Cardboard Connection