Friday, November 30, 2018

1963 Topps Richie Ashburn

Alright! We have a Hall of Famer! This is Richie Ashburn who is a member of the Hall of Fame as a Philadelphia Phillies. He was elected to the Hall by the Veterans committee in 1995. I guess that makes it count, right? Ideally I'd like only people voted in by the BBWAA, but this isn't an ideal world. Also, it might be nicer to have a card of him as a Phillies player, but, again... I'll take what I can get whilst keeping within whatever budgetary constraints present themselves.

Richie Ashburn became a Mets in their first woeful season, 1962, but had a decent season for them. He played 135 games and batted .306 and was an All-Star. It was also his last year in the Majors. Kind of a shit way to go out, in some respects.

So, this 1963 Topps card also represents his last card as a professional ball player. I often wonder why last cards aren't more popular or valuable, especially for Hall of Fame players. But getting a Hall of Fame players last card is something I'm particularly interested in. What about you?

Remember to enter the "Ugly Sweater" Ugly Baseball Card Contest! It closes in 15 days!

Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Darryl Strawberry: 1988 Topps Coin

Worst scans of all time? Possibly. What you may not be able to tell is that these are the 1988 Topps Darryl Strawberry coin. Not good in vending machines or payphones, but they are great in my collection!.

The text on the back of the coin reads: "In 1987 he led Mets with 108 Runs, 29 HR, 104 RBI & 38 SB. Was selected as NL Rookie of Year for 1983."

The Topps coins were fun to collect, right? Do you have a favorite year of issue?

Remember to enter the "Ugly Sweater" Ugly Baseball Card Contest!

Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, November 23, 2018

"Ugly Sweater" Ugly Baseball Card Contest reminder

I hate to follow-up the gorgeous 1952 Topps Bob Elliott post with this one, but I must do it...

Just a friendly Black Friday reminder about the ongoing "Ugly Sweater" Ugly Baseball Card reminder.

There have been some excellent submissions so far including:

Nick V's CB4-esque 1988 Kevin Mitchell

Bo R's heinous Brooks Robinson

Marc's beheaded Kurt Suzuki

Matt's cartoon/airbrushed Carlos Gonzalez

Plenty of time still to contribute! Just comment with a link on the original post linked above. It isn't stated in the contest rules but perhaps should have some clarification. The card would be better if it was a part of your collection, but it doesn't have to be. Some of us have principles (ok, like maybe 2.35 of us) and so it might be that your favorite ugly card can't be a part of your collection.

Thanks for contributing the contest, which closes on December 15, 2018.

Thanks for stopping by.

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

1952 Topps Bob Elliott

I have to be honest with you--because, like, it's what you expect from me mostly, right? When I decided I wanted to collect some vintage cards and to try to have one card from each set, this 1952 Topps set was the main reason behind it. Ideally I'd have a Hall of Fame player represented, but as you know there are caveats to collecting and collecting strategies. In this instance, this particular card fills several of my requirements. First, it's a 1952 Topps card which speaks for itself. Second, it's of a team that no longer exists... There is NOT a team currently called the Boston Braves and don't try to tell me otherwise. Bob Elliott isn't a Hall of Fame player, but when I was trying to get a card from this set his name stuck out at me for very different reason... But first let us admire this beauteous card.

Ok. I knew of Bob Elliott not from his own merits. No, it has to do with my other life, one which I rarely mention on this blog or on my Twitter. But here is why I chose Bob Elliott It turns out the poet Sylvia Plath babysat for Bob Elliott in Wellesley, Mass., where she spent her adolescence. And she mentioned babysitting for him in a letter. She wrote, in a 11 August 1950 letter, "Then I grew up, and just like it says in Seventeen, You Too Can Be A Party Girl. So there were boys all of a sudden, and I’ve forgotten what it was like not to have some guy in the kitchen eating mother’s cookies and discussing the World Series with my brother. (I’ve gone babysitting of Bob Elliot, but I wouldn’t know a batting average if I saw one.)" For those who do not know, I co-edited her letters published in 2017 and 2018.

Elliott was traded from the Pittsburgh Pirates to the Braves in September 1946 and thus played for the other Boston team from 1947 through the 1951 season. In his first year with the Braves he was an All-Star and was awarded the MVP! Go Bob! This card was the last for him to be featured in Boston uniform. On 8 April 1952, was traded to the New York Giants. Another team that doesn't exist anymore. He played only two more seasons but managed to play for three teams in that time (the Giants, the no longer extant St. Louis Browns, and the Chicago White Sox). He didn't play again after 1953.

Do you have a 1952 Topps card in your collection? If so, who?

Thanks for stopping by!

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!