Thursday, October 11, 2018

Phone's Gonna Knock You Out

The year was 1991. The airwaves carried LL Cool J’s Mama Said Knock You Out. And on a related note, this Bill Costello (better known as Billy) card was printed.

It might be the only boxing card you ever find on this blog. It's the Holy Grail of boxers with phones.

And even if it's the only one, that’s ok because it’s a fantastic candid snapshot. Billy’s holding the phone with boxing gloves. There’s a turnstile and some random dude in the background. And the “I’m not gonna tell you twice” expression has the right feel for a boxing card.

The last few months knocked me out of blogging, so this is the right card for right now. During my hiatus, Commishbob got in touch and generously sent a blog-warming gift pack of cards. It included the Costello that’s in nicer shape than the one I had. Thank you!

Billy boxed for 20 years. You can read his accomplishments on the card back.

A New York Times article about his 2011 death mentioned he played high school baseball. He aimed to go pro but was sidetracked by way of a convenience store robbery. But he turned himself in thanks to his dad. Then a series of events led to boxing which sidestepped a life of crime.

After retiring, he worked as a home contractor and pro boxing ref. He was only 55 when he died of lung cancer and is memorialized here (rest in peace).

·         Card facts: likely only two other cards of Billy were made
·         Current Availability: fairly common (good selection on comc and eBay)

1 comment:

  1. I opened a bunch of this product back in the day. Don't remember this card... but then again... it was a long time ago. Sad to hear about his passing. But that story about him turning himself in and eventually turning his life around is really, really cool.