Friday, November 16, 2018

Darryl Strawberry Cards from Tom

Everyone's favorite Cubs collector, P-Town Tom, shocked me with a surprise mail day of baseball cards recently. At my age, the shock is likely ticking years off my life. Which makes me think that my wife is asking people to send me surprise cards so that I die. Anyway, these four Darryl Strawberry cards are wonderful and I'm grateful times infinity for them.

1988 Fantastic Sam's Discs, Card #17
1988 Kahn's, Card #27
1988 New York Mets Junior Mets Club, Card #NNO
1990 Sportflics, Card #146

Above, a dodgy cell phone photo. Below, some real scans of two of the cards! The Junior Mets card is wonderful. I had always wanted it but somehow never seemed to find it! Thanks!

This Sportflics card is a little bowed; so I've put it in a hard case in hopes of curtailing it from further curvature.

Am I the only one who actually likes scanning/photographing Sportflics cards? I love seeing just how it'll come out and then always feel kind of tripped-out when I do look at it.

Thanks, Tom! You are the man.

And thanks as usual for stopping by!

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

"Ugly Sweater" Ugly Baseball Card Contest

I've done one contest before and also done box breaks and I feel like I'm in the mood for generosity again... so, I decided to do another contest. Since Christmas is upon us, and one of the more enduring traditions is Ugly Sweaters, I decided to hold an Ugly Sweater Card Contest.

The rules are simple: Show off your favorite ugliest baseball card. It can be the person depicted on the card, it can be the design or any other aesthetic thing about the card itself, or even the condition if it's fugly enough! Just as long as you find it ugly. One entry per blog/blogger but you can stuff it with however much ugliness you want. 

Once you post your blog please leave a URL in the comments of this post. If you do not blog and want to submit something via Twitter, please add a comment to this post with a direct link to your Tweet. All entries must be in by December 15th.  I'll compile all entries and run them through a randomizer and announce the winner then!

I feel like I should get the ball rolling, though obviously I'm exempt from the competition, so the player who for me epitomizes ugly baseball cards is none other than Willie McGee.  (Also feel free to also select him if this is who your mind naturally went to).

Here is Willie in his 1986 Topps card. Even a great design did not help.

I'm probably on an island here, but I find most Diamond Kings terrible. Willie just didn't have a good 1986 Baseball card year for his DK did him no favors.

And I'm not even sure how he ended up in the position shown on his 1990 Fleer card.  McGee's profile page on the TradingCard Database is interesting to browse.

You probably don't care about any of this, do you? You want to know the contest prize?

Alright, here is the prize. The prize is partially dependent on the number of entries. For every entry I will spend $1 on a baseball card (or baseball cards) of the winner's choosing from any online card retailer. There will be a minimum of $35 spent. So, the more people that enter, the better the prize for the winner! Since I'm not made of money there may have to be a cut off if a ton of people enter.

Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, November 9, 2018

1955 Topps Monte Irvin

Monte Irvin played just eight years in the Major Leagues. Most of those with the New York Giants and his final year with the Cubs. He was an All-Star in 1952, ranked in the MVP vote three times (1951-1953), and won a World Series with the Giants in 1954.

According to Baseball Reference, Irvin played 18 total years in baseball, 9 of which were in the Negro Leagues.

This card is a stunning beauty. It fits a couple of my categories: A Hall of Fame Player and a no-longer-in-existence team (I just checked...there isn't at the present time a New York Giants baseball team).

Monte Irvin was elected in the Hall of Fame in 1973 by the Negro Leagues.

Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

A Slew of Cards

Nick V (Twitter) sent me some cards recently. A slew of them that nicely fit into three categories: Washington  Nationals, John Kruk, and Darryl Strawberry.

The Nationals include: 2013 Topps Chasing History Jordan Zimmerman, 2018 Big League Eric "Scheduled ND or Loss" Fedde, Max Scherzer and Daniel Murphy, and 2017 Stadium Club Stephen "The Orchard" Strasburg.

The backs of the Big League cards are brilliant. The "Did You Know" in particular: "Max holds the unofficial U. of Missouri record for eating three Chipotle burritos in one sitting" and "Daniel's school yearbook at age 11 reveals that he wanted to be an 'insurance person'."

The John Kruk's, which are in such glorious condition that I need to look at my primary cards for these to see if I can replace them, are: 1987 Topps, 1989 Topps, and 1990 Score.

The Darryl Strawberry's are in a similar fashion to the Kruk's. Beautiful, sharp corners, good squaring of the borders. Very nice. 1986 Topps, 1987 Topps Mets Leaders, 1987 Topps All-Star, 1989 Topps, 1990 Topps, 1990 Fleer, 1990 Upper Deck, 1991 Topps, and 1992 Upper Deck.

Then, of course, as is only natural, there are the 1995s...Yeah... you know where this is going...Strawberry as a Giants. Collector's Choice, Donruss, Pacific, Select, and, the pièce de résistance, 1995 Fleer.

You know, Nick... Well, here's the deal. Up to a point I was totally stoked to get the cards, but I have to be honest---because I know that's what you want me to be---95% of me died when I saw that 1995 Fleer card. But, I'm a BIG man. I'm a (mostly) Good person; so I'll look passed this this one time. Ok. I think we understand each other now. I really do.

Here is a scan of the 1995 Pacific card which is a much easier card to look at than some others from that year...

He just looks weird not in a Mets uniform. And, as much as I hate to say it, even he looks more normal in a Yankees uniform than as a Giants. I love the design of the front of this card; the baseball with the team name on it and the year curving around it... just pleases me aesthetically.

Thanks for the cards. Even that one.

Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, November 2, 2018

1954 Topps Bobby Adams

I added this 1954 Topps Bobby Adams cart to my vintage collection for a specific reason. That reason is because of the team name printed on the card: Cincinnati Redlegs. One of the things I am interested in, particularly in cases like the 1950s where sometimes collecting the Hall of Fame players is a little more pricey, is getting a card for a team, or in this case a team name, that no longer exists.

The Cincinnati Reds changed their name in April 1953 to try to disassociate themselves from the political scare of the time concerning the Russians (the "Reds" and the "Red Scare"). The climate at the time, headed by Senator Joseph McCarthy of Wisconsin, was one of suspicion, fear, intimidation, and looks like history is repeating itself! Anyway, this name change lasted through the 1958 season and since 1959, they have been known exclusively, officially, as the Cincinnati Reds. 

I caught some flak for this attitude about teams that no longer exist on Twitter, which I'm fine with receiving. I understand the franchise continues as the Cincinnati Reds and am fine with that. But there isn't, and hasn't been, a team called the Redlegs since 1958. I feel the same way about the Boston Braves, the New York Giants, the Brooklyn Dodgers, the Philadelphia and Kansas City Athletics, the Montreal Expos, etc. Actually in some ways I feel like this is akin to a player changing teams. Let's take for example Darryl Strawberry... after the 1990 season he was still in baseball, but he was no longer a New York Mets.

How do you all feel about this? Agree? Disagree? Kind of agree? Should I just stick with Darryl Strawberry and John Kruk? Or should I just go the hell away?

Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Darryl Strawberry: Longball Legends

This is another 2018 Topps insert series card for Darryl Strawberry. This time around it's Longball Legends. Chicks dig it, and so do I! But I'm not a chick. Anyway, what I like about this card is that it it isn't perverted by Exit Velocity, Launch Angle, or any of the other stats that don't mean much. The ball went REALLY far. That's all that matters.

Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, October 19, 2018

Early Wynn: 1959 Topps

This is one of the more recent cards in my All Years/HOF project: it's the 1959 Topps Early Wynn card. The back of the card features a great typo, too, which was never fixed, misspelling Cleveland as Cleevland. 

I love this card, and I now have in my collection a run of Topps cards from 1956 to 1959, in the 1950s. And going into the 1960s, the run goes through 1962! So I'm filling them in which is exciting.

One kind of funny thing about this card is that very often when I say 'Chicago' I actually pronounce it intentionally incorrectly as 'Cicago', which is what Wynn's jersey looks like!  

Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Darryl Strawberry: Indiana Blue Sox issue

This is one of those anonymous, minimal effort Broder-like cards that seemed to be everywhere in the late 1980s. Got these off Sportlots and I'm happy to have them, but I really kind of feel like I'll never fully understand how many of these cards actually exist(ed). Trading Card Database is helpful, but am I alone in feeling confounded with and lost about these cards?

Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, October 12, 2018

Bob Lemon: 1954 Bowman

This is a new addition to my new collecting area of Hall of Fame players. This is the 1954 Bob Lemon card which I got from Eric via a twitter sale. Lemon had a fifteen year career all with the Cleveland Indians and was voted into the Hall of Fame in 1976 by the BBWAA.

Compared to the card showing on TCDB, it's a little dirty looking; but it's simply glorious. And it's rounded corners are exactly right for a card that is 20 years older than I am. In fact, by the time I'm 68 I hope I too have rounded corners and am a little dirty!

I particularly love the baseball bat and name on the card back, and the baseball stitching on the card number. Also note the now sadly retired Chief Wahoo logo on Lemon's sleeve. A pure delight of a card!

Thanks Eric!

Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Darryl Strawberry: 4 Card Lot

Got these four cards from a Sportlots dealer a while back.

I just can't say no to discs. I said discs. This is logo-less Darryl Strawberry 1987 Key Food Disc, celebrating the 50th anniversary of Key Food, a brand of which I have never heard before.

What's better than a disc? A sticker. This is the 1987 O-Pee-Chee sticker. Nice!

And then this is the other O-Pee-Chee sticker for 1987. Very nice, indeed.

Continuing our 1980s Strawberry cards, this is Score's Young Superstar II card. Never saw this before I don't think back in my collecting heyday; but, man do I really love both the front and back. Classic Mets uniform on the front, and a really awesome smiling portrait photo on the back.

Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, October 5, 2018

A New, Additional Collecting Focus

I'm not bored with Darryl Strawberry and John Kruk by any means. But I recently had a good experience buying some vintage cards, which I'll show off in a bit, and decided to add a new collecting area.

Are you wondering what it is? Have you even read this far? Shut up and tell you? It's not exciting or original, but I've decided to try to get one card from every year of Topps. One day I might expand to other makes like Fleer and Donruss, but I'm choosing Topps just for the sheer convenience and length of their production (i.e. monopoly).

The criteria doesn't concern itself so much with the condition of the card though I'd like it to be in as good of condition as possible; but I would prefer if the player was in the Hall of Fame. I think, in theory, even for the older years, it should still be possible to obtain cards that are reasonably priced?  I'm not looking for 1952 Mickey Mantle's and certainly could think of better things to spend that kind of money on. Anyway, if I find I cannot get a card of a HOF player, I will go for a player card for a team that no longer exists (Brooklyn Dodgers, New York Giants, Philadelphia A's, etc).

I already have, from when I was a kid and teenager, some cards from the vintage years so I'm happy about that. But the new cards I got from Keith at @CardsFromAttic via a Twitter sale.

The cards are:

1957 Nellie Fox;
1958 Whitey Herzog;
1968 Hoyt Wilhelm;
1970 Topps All-Star Brooks Robinson;
1973 Don Sutton;
1974 Brooks Robinson; and
1974 Harmon Killebrew.

The Fox is a bit roughed up but I love the card. I got the 1970 Brooks Robinson because this particular (Sporting News) All-Star design card is my absolute favorite of all time. And from time to time, especially for the older cards, I may branch out to non-Topps if find a HOF card that strikes my fancy.

I've started a new page for this collection but have not published it yet as I'm still trying to get it in shape. I will do a blog post when it's published and update it as new cards are acquired.

Thanks for stopping by!