Friday, April 29, 2016

What's in the box, Part 5

The following cards are for baseball players whose last name begins with G, but are not Dwight Gooden or Mike Greenwell. Those will be posts following this one.

First up is the Minnesota Twins' Gary Gaetti. I have two copies of his 1983 Topps card. A classic Topps design to say the least by a guy who played the game well.

Also with Gaeti above is Fleer's 1986 Major League Prospects card #647 features a nobody and a somebody: Fred Toliver of the Philadelphia Phillies and Andres Galarraga of the Montreal Expos. Saying Toliver is a nobody is a bit unfair because he played ten years in the big leagues which is far more than I have ever accomplished.

I have five Tom Gordon cards. Three from 1989 (Fleer, Topps Traded, and Upper Deck) and two from 1990 (Fleer and Score). All wearing Kansas City Royals uniforms, 1 showing his in inaction, and four in mid-pitch action. One (Fleer, 1990) even has a sticker for a yard sale that I tried to sell the card at back in the day.

A triple decker of Hall of Famer Ken Griffey Jr.! This is the Seattle Mariners slugger's rookie Fleer card  from 1989. It's a shame that within a few years of this I stopped collecting baseball cards and also stopped paying attention to baseball for the rest of the 1990s and missed much of his time in baseball. But, that was one sweet swing.

I really need to invest in a scanner. In other card news, 33 of the 38 cards I needed for my 2016 Topps Series One set arrived the other day, courtesy of Just Commons. That leaves just five cards I need. These five are on the way in care of Check Out My Cards and I hope to have them soon. I'm excited to have the set complete, and am thankful to Tony L from Off Hiatus Baseball Cards for the recommendations.

Thanks for stopping by.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

What's in the box, Part 4: Sid Fernandez

I have just one ballplayer in the F's in my alphabetical run of cards. Sid Fernandez's 1984 Donruss Rated Rookie (Rookie Card), wearing the Los Angeles Dodgers uniform, card number 44. Which I think was his waist size.

Of course, by the time this card was on the market, El Sid was already a member of the New York Mets... Speaking of which, I recently read The Bad Guys Won: A Season of Brawling, Boozing, Bimbo Chasing, and Championship Baseball with Straw, Doc, Mookie, Nails, the Kid, and the Rest of the ... Put on a New York Uniform--and Maybe the Best by Jeff Pearlman. I really enjoyed it. The anecdotes about this team were astonishing. I turned 12 that summer and of course had no idea any of this was going on. The shenanigans and tomfoolery (shenanifoolery, if you are into portmanteau's). I picked up within a few years all the stuff about drug problems. And I do remember contemporary reports about Keith Hernandez and cocaine. What I loved about 1986 was just simply the Mets themselves. Loved Darryl Strawberry, and loved the winning and stats and imitating Strawberry's batting stance (though I was a righty). The stories about Sid Fernandez's intelligence, or lack thereof, had me in hysterics. Sorry, Sid. I don't mean to laugh at you and am sure of the following: you have more baseball smarts than I will ever have and you could probably bean me in the head from any distance -- please don't.

To make up for this small post, the next few will be G's including Gary Gaeti, Dwight Gooden, and Mike Greenwell, among others. Look for those later this week or so.

Thanks for stopping by.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

What's in the Box, Part 3: Andre "The Hawk" Dawson

Updated 17 January 2017

Judging from the contents of the box, in the mid-to-late 1980s, I apparently loved Andre "The Hawk" Dawson. The defining Hawk moment for me was his getting beaned in the face in 1987. In looking up the incident, funnily enough, I see it happened on my thirteenth birthday. I always wished growing up that we got WGN so I could watch these games as I was also a big Ryne Sandberg fan, as I have mentioned. But we didn't. I might have been able to watch the game live. 1987 was the year of The Princess Bride, Spaceballs, Robocop, *batteries not included and The Lost Boys, among so many other films. I am quasi-embarrassed to say it, but I think for our birthday party that year we saw Adventures in Baby Sitting. It was Elisabeth Shue, I was 13. Shut up... It's not like I would have collected Elisabeth Shue trading cards. I don't think so, at least. Anyway, we might have seen Innerspace. Can you fathom that the brilliant Withnail & I and amazeballs Spaceballs came out within a week of one another? Back to Andre... I remember a few weeks later when it was the cover of Sports Illustrated. I coveted this issue of SI because I thought the cover was amazing.

The box that I brought home last Christmas has a healthy chunk of Andre Dawson cards. I don't have a ruler handy, but it's probably 4-6 inches high and consists of Donruss, Fleer, Topps and others from when Dawson played with the Montreal Expos (1976-1986) and Chicago Cubs (1987-1992). I'll list them all below and include some photographs... The number in parentheses after the card number indicates the number of copies of the card I have.

1986 Donruss (Diamond Kings), Card #25 (2)
1986 Donruss, Card #87 (2)
1988 Donruss (Diamond Kings), Card #9 (9)
1988 Donruss All-Stars, Card #36 (3)
1988 Donruss, Card #269 (25) (this is obscene!)
1988 Donruss Bonus MVP's, Card #BC-10 (4)
1989 Donruss All-Stars, Card #36 (6)
1989 Donruss, Card #167 (1)
1989 Donruss Bonus MVP's, Card #BC-8 (4)

1988 Fleer, Card #415 (1)
1988 Fleer Star Stickers, Card #79 (3)
1988 Fleer Superstars, Card #13 (2)
1989 Fleer, Card #422 (1)
1989 Fleer Baseball All Stars, Card #11 (3)
1989 Fleer Heroes of Baseball, Card #12 (3)
1989 Fleer League Leaders, Card #12 (3)
1989 Fleer Super Stars, Card #12 (3)

1980 Topps, Card #235 (1)
1985 Topps, Card #420 (1)
1987 Topps Traded, Card #27T (1)
1988 Topps, Card #500 (6)
1988 Topps All Star, Card #401 (5)
1988 Topps Glossy All-Star, Card #18 (1)
1988 Topps Mini Leaders, Card #43 (2)
1988 Topps Sticker Backs, Card #13 Andre Dawson (2)
1988 Topps Stickers, Card #148 Andre Dawson (Lou Whitaker) (1)
1988 Topps Rite Aid Team MVP's, Card #2 (1)
1989 Topps Record Breaker, Card #4 (11)
1989 Topps, Card #10 (5)
1989 Topps All-Star, Card #391 (8)
1989 Topps Glossy All-Star, Card #18 (5)
1989 Topps Mini Leaders, Card #3 (4)
1989 Topps Ames 20/20 Club, Card #13 (1)
1989 Topps UK Minis, Card #21 (1)
1989 Topps Stickers Backs, Card #48 (Jose Lind and Lee Smith) (1)
1989 Topps Stickers, Card #54 (Dave Henderson) (1)

Other card makers:
1987 Classic Update Yellow, Card #124 (1)
1987 Leaf, Card #212
1988 Leaf, Card # 126 (4)
1988 Woolworth Baseball Highlights, Card #8 (1)
1988 Score, Card #4 (2)
1988 Sportflics, Card #3 (1)
1989 Classic Travel, Card #37 (1)
1989 Pacific Cards & Comics Series II (unlicensed), Card #5 (5)
1989 Singles Superstars, Card #11 (5)
1989 Woolworth Baseball Highlights, Card #11 (3)

Here are some photographs of all the cards... I really need to get a scanner...

Donruss and Fleer cards
Other makers
Topps cards & stickers & two 7-11 coins

In working on this list, I decided to join the Trading Card Database as I can provide a couple of images, which I hope to load over the weekend or next week. Sometimes the hero has to come to the rescue, am I right?  Here are the cards I am uploading.

Thanks for stopping by.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

What's in the box, Part 2

It was easier for this blog post to just photograph the cards in the box. The cards are in alphabetical order in the box. These cards are A-D, but D only up to Davis. The next card are all Andre Dawson but he will get his own post. What I find most frustrating is that I know...I KNOW... that I had more cards than this. I mean, thousands upon thousands. But where the bloody hell are they? I know we as a family got ride of a ton of dupes and commons a year or so ago. But I cannot stomach not knowing what happened to them all. In this set of cards from A-D there are a grand total of... wait for it... 15 cards. 15!

The A-cards:  There are two Jim Abbott cards. He was a remarkable pitcher, overcoming being one-handed and pitching decently at the major league level for ten years. These two cards are Abbott's Olypmpic 1988 Topps Traded #1 card.  Is it me, or is this perhaps iconic in a different way to Mark McGwire's undoubtedly more famous 1985 issue, which was issued in the 1985 base set.  The second Abbott card is the 1988 Broder Series 2 card.

The other card here is Sandy Alomar Jr. This card is his 1988 CMC Triple A All-Stars card when Alomar Jr. played for the Las Vegas Stars team.

The B's! Just two here. Jorge (aka George) Bell and Johnny Bench.

This is Jorge (George) Bell's 1982 Topps rookie card. I love the 1982 design & the inclusion of the autograph was a nice touch. It is classic. I think I like the 1981 better; there is something about that ball cap on them that is quintessential.  TRADED

The Johnny Bench card is Topps, 1974. The only reason I can think I have this is that it is from the year of my birth, and so collecting cards from that year made sense? It does not get much more baseball, if you know what I meant, than Johnny Bench.

The C's: A nice variety here, I think.

Jose Canseco: the epitome of classic childhood memories: the 1987 wood grain Topps rookie card. You might not discern it, but there are two cards here.

Ozzie Canseco, the little brother than could not. His 1989 Upper Deck rookie card.  I remember when Upper Deck came out. The first pack I opened had Ken Griffey Jr. in it and I kind of felt like, "Ok, I can stop now." I sensed something quite different about Upper Deck and then within two years (because of girls, probably) I was out of baseball cards.

Gary "The Kid" Carter:  This is his 1976 Topps All-Star rookie card. Such a difference in designed between 1975 and 1976. They must have stopped smoking whatever they were smokin'.... Anyway, rest in peace.

Jack Clark. I hated Jack Clark when he played for the Cardinals so I cannot fathom what made me (or my brother, whose card this might very well have been) want this card. Anyway, 1978 Topps. Another classic design.

Roger Clemens. 1985 Topps rookie card. Though I grew up a Pirates and Mets fan, I loved Roger Clemens. Man could he throw. If I remember correctly there is probably nothing in the world I would have traded for this card.

The D's: This is only some of my D's. I have a ton of Andre Dawson cards, a zillion of the dupes but that will be its own post later this week or so. For now, we have

After being so incredibly Topps-centric, we come to Kal Daniels (and Paul O'Neill).  This is their 1986 Fleer shared rookie card. Kal Daniels was another one of those players who were predicted to be awesome. I am not sure what kind of career he had but chances are it was not as productive as the other Reds rookie at the time: Barry Larkin.

Ron Darling. This is his 1984 Donruss "Rated Rookie" card. I do not know... what there ever a more handsome pitcher?  Um... ah.... Anyway, this is the error card with no number (#30) on the back. Sweet.

Eric Davis. Another card I never would have parted with. Davis' 1985 Topps rookie card. He and Darryl Strawberry... Seemed like they were destined for baseball immortality but both failed for various serious reasons not to. This begs the question regarding expectations for players. So so so very few live up to them, which I do not necessarily blame the player for.

Glenn Davis, signed. A signed 1988 Donruss card of Glenn Davis, former slugger for the Houston Astros.

A nice group of cards. All of them I think seem in quite good condition. Maybe some mint, maybe some just below. If anyone out there reads this blog and is interested in any of them, or more, please do let me know.

Thanks for stopping by.

Friday, April 15, 2016

What's in the box, Part 1

Opening this box of baseball cards and going through it was fun. Like finding a lost treasure. I cannot and do not delude myself into thinking any of it is truly valuable. But it is a piece of childhood, something that gave me hours of joy collecting, reading, playing with, rehousing, reordering, etc.

The first cards in the box are from cards 151-200 of the Classic Baseball Travel Update 2 set. The purple ones. The cards are a little bowed, as they are wont to do. It's funny, they were stored in ye old sandwich bag which brought back peanut butter and jelly sandwich memories much more vividly than anything else.

I have no idea at all what happened to the other 1989 sets, if we ever owned them. We: I have a twin brother. Collecting baseball cards was made twice as much fun because of him. He liked the New York Yankees and Don Mattingly most. I was at the time (from roughly 1983-1990 or so) a New York Mets fan, particularly of Darryl Strawberry as I said before in a previous post that I do no think anyone else has read, yet... So anyway, having a twin brother was a built in collecting buddy and occasional trading partner, among other things. We had a small group of friends with whom we traded and also with whom we played Running Bases in our back yard. Hours upon hours upon hours of fun there in the spring, summer, and fall. Among my fondest I'm getting all weepy!

To the cards, though.  Here are some scans of the set. I placed the cards on the glass in order left to right but of course did not account for the fact that they would then be reversed on the scan. Doah! So, they go right to left:

Here is a table of the players:

Card NumberPlayer NameTeam
151Jim AbbottCalifornia Angels
152Ellis BurksBoston Red Sox
153Mike SchmidtPhiladelphia Phillies
154Gregg JefferiesNew York Mets
155Mark GraceChicago Cubs
156Jerome WaltonChicago Cubs
157Bo JacksonKansas City Royals
158Jack ClarkSan Francisco Giants
159Tom GlavineAtlanta Braves
160Eddie MurrayLos Angeles Dodgers
161John DopsonBoston Red Sox
162Ruben SierraTexas Rangers
163Rafael PalmeiroTexas Rangers
164Nolan RyanTexas Rangers
165Barry LarkinCincinnati Reds TRADED
166Tom HerrPhiladelphia Phillies
167Roberto KellyNew York Yankees
168Glenn DavisHouston Astros
169Glenn BraggsMilwaukee Brewers  TRADED
170Juan BellBaltimore Orioles
171Tom BurnsOakland Athletics
172Derek LilliquistAtlanta Braves
173Orel HershiserLos Angeles Dodgers
174John SmoltzAtlanta Braves
175Ozzie Guillen/Ellis BurksChicago White Sox/Boston Red Sox
176Kirby PuckettMinnesota Twins
177Robin VenturaChicago White Sox
178Allan AndersonMinnesota Twins
179Steve SaxNew York Yankees
180Will ClarkSan Francisco Giants
181Mike DevereauxBaltimore Orioles
182Tom GordonKansas City Royals
183Rob MurphyBoston Red Sox
184Pete O'BrienCleveland Indians  Traded
185Cris CarpenterSt. Louis Cardinals
186Tom BrunanskySt. Louis Cardinals
187Bob BooneKansas City Royals
188Lou WhitakerDetroit Tigers
189Dwight GoodenNew York Mets
190Mark McGwireOakland Athletics
191John SmileyPittsburgh Pirates
192Tommy GreggAtlanta Braves
193Ken Griffey, Jr.Seattle Mariners
194Bruce HurstSan Diego Padres
195Greg SwindellCleveland Indians Traded
196Nelson LirianoToronto Blue Jays
197Randy MyersNew York Mets
198Kevin MitchellSan Francisco Giants
199Dante BichetteCalifornia Angels
200Deion SandersNew York Yankees

These names are here in case Google caches it and someone looks for them. I suppose if anyone wants the whole set they can have it. Or, individual cards, too.

Thanks for stopping by.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Some baseball cards

My reintroduction to baseball cards came probably within six months of a bunch of our older cards being given to the Salvation Army. Had I realized this nostalgia-ridden quasi-mid-life crisis (hey, it's cheaper than a car and I wouldn't fathom cheating on my wife) would hit I never would have assented to their being disposed! But, it is too late. Not all of the cards went away. Tucked away in my childhood bedroom closet were a couple three-ring binders filled with cards. Mostly dupes upon dupes upon dupes of cards that probably have no real value but at the time were players I liked. I'll collect those next time I'm home. Also in there was a box of a couple of hundred cards. Players include Andre Dawson, Dwight Gooden, Cal Ripken Jr., Ryne Sandberg, Darryl Strawberry, and many others including some trading cards of basketball, football, and hockey players. Seeing those kind of sparked something.

Here is a photograph of the box, which I will do a separate blog post about in the hopefully near future:

Now, here some scans I made at work of some of the cards in there. I used the cards to make the header, along with a few pictures from baseball games I attended last year in Washington, D.C., Cleveland, and Pittsburgh. I'd like to create a complete list of them just in case there are any that I have that others might want.

The below are a 1972 Topps Willie Stargell; 1978 Topps Willie McCovey; 1984 Topps Ryne Sandberg; 1986 Fleer Cal Ripken Jr. "Ripken In-Action"; 1987 Topps John Kruk; 1987 Topps Darryl Strawberry; and a wrapper from a 1987 wax pack.

PS: What the hell? How can Stargell, Sandberg, McCovey, Topps, Fleer, and so much more not be already in my computer's dictionary? Should come standard. Come on!

Monday, April 11, 2016

Welcome to Baseball Every Night

Taking its title off of ESPN's Baseball Tonight, Baseball Every Night will be a place were I sound off on things baseball: from the games I watch and attend, to baseball cards, and maybe book reviews.

Like many other American boys, in my childhood I breathed baseball just about 24/7: collecting baseball cards, buying Slurpee's for the coins, played baseball (not very well), etc. In college my focus left baseball, so from about 1992-2000 I have really no idea what was going on in the sport. Then I moved to Boston which rekindled my love for the game.

On a visit to my childhood home I rummaged through some old boxes and found a box set of 1986 Fleer Updated Trading cards, a slew of 7-11 coins, other coins, and a complete Superman II set. This kind of set in motion a "stroll down amnesia lane", to quote Robin Williams' character Mr. Keating from the wonderful movie Dead Poets Society.

In the summer of 2015, I bought about five or six boxes of 1987 Topps baseball cards. I think it was five unopened boxes of wax packs and one box of rack packs, the kind with three sections of cards with a glossy all-star insert on top. The attempt was to remember what it was like as a kid to open the packs. I did not chew the gum though I was tempted. I was able to make two complete sets from those boxes with about 2000 dupes. I'm sure the world doesn't have much desire for duplicate 1987 Topps baseball cards, but I plan to put a list of them on this blog and if anyone wants them, they can buy, trade, etc. and I'll happily package them up for you.

To be honest, I loved opening the cards and seeing the cardboard likenesses of my youth. Some of the memories came back to me. Many have not. I remember trading cards, but I can't really remember how I did this. I am sure I made sacrifices to obtain better conditioned cards than the ones I had. I also remember playing fantasy baseball such as it was in the mid-80's. But again, I don't remember how we did it? I vaguely remember writing everything down on paper, checking stats in the Washington Post daily, lamenting the late west coast games...

My favorite players growing up were Darryl Strawberry, Johnny Ray, and as a joke Bo Diaz. The joke was because a friend called him Bo "Days" rather than Dee-azz. Maybe he was dyslexic and I'm a jerk for poking fun at him?? I also loved Ryne Sandberg, John Kruk, and Barry Larkin. Kruk was a beautiful specimen, especially once he grew the mullet and seemed permanently dirty and stained from dirt and tobacco...

Seeing these cards come out of the packs that I was opening was nice. When I started looking around the internet for baseball cards and blogs and the like I found Tony L's Off Hiatus. This led me to a number of other blogs and Twitter accounts and the like and so on to this blog, now. Which is quite a departure from my other interest.

I feel very far behind in the baseball card world as so much has changed since I stopped collecting in roughly 1991 or 1992. I am collecting the 2016 Topps Series One set and am impressed, naturally, with the advances in photography, quality, etc. But there is a lot I think I loathe about it too. Other than that, I don't think at the moment I have a collecting focus. I did get some complete sets for Christmas (Topps 1983, 1984, 1985, and 1986) last year. I enjoyed very much going through them and reading the backs of cards, seeing the trivia and long forgotten names.

So I'm not sure what this blog will be all about or how regularly it will be updated. I don't presently have a scanner so cell phone camera photographs of anything will be the norm for now.  But, if you find this page and check back: thank you. Hope you enjoy reading it.