Smokey Bear’s Fire Prevention All-Stars
By James Lewis on July 12, 2011
Tonight’s MLB All-Star game in fire-prone Arizona reminds us that Smokey Bear had his own All-Star team back in the 1980s (back when the Pittsburgh Pirates used to have winning seasons). During spring training, Smokey—a Hall of Fame-caliber manager if ever there was one—would pose with players from teams for his own trading cards. Some card sets feature Smokey with an entire team. The back contained info about the player, the sponsors’ logos, and a cartoon with a fire prevention message (see last card below). These cards are from 1987, and feature Ozzie Smith (15-time all-star), Steve Garvey (10 times), Johnny Ray (1 time), Mike Scott (3 times), and Steve Sax (5 times). Smokey has his own card, of course, because when it comes to fire prevention, he’s a perennial all-star.
Ozzie Smith and Smokey Bear. Known as “The Wizard” for his outstanding defense, Smith is in the baseball Hall of Fame.
Steve Garvey and Smokey Bear. Garvey spent his career in fire-prone Southern California with the L.A. Dodgers and the San Diego Padres. He was known for having a hot bat in his many playoff appearances.
Smokey Bear and Johnny Ray. Perhaps if Johnny had used a bat instead of a shovel, he would have made the All-Star team more than once.
Mike Scott and Smokey Bear. Though not in the Hall of Fame, Scott had his number retired by the Astros.
Smokey Bear’s headed to the mound to calm down his pitcher. Smokey doesn’t like his players to play with fire even on the baseball diamond.
Steve Sax and Smokey Bear. Steve Sax and Steve Garvey were teammates in L.A. when they won the 1981 World Series.
This is the back of the Montreal Expos fire safety card. Note the cartoon caption is in French.