Saturday, December 29, 2018

One-upped by my father

A short while ago I was talking to my dad about baseball cards and I told him about my new collecting interest of Hall of Fame players and teams that no longer exist as separate little collections and he thought it was interesting. Well, it prompted him to go out and get me 10 baseball cards for Christmas. I had only been thinking in terms of (more or less) random players (i.e. affordable players) depicted the uniform of a long-gone team. But what he did was something different: he got me the last card of a player for a team that moved, and the first card of the same player after the move.

So here are the cards! Let's start in the 1950s. Here we have a 1952 Topps Del Crandall from the Boston Braves followed by the 1953 Topps card of Crandall for the Milwaukee Braves.



Let me just point out I now have two 1952 baseball cards and both are Boston Braves. Crandall's cards are really great and could represent another subset collecting interest for someone of player's who had baseball cards issued in years in which they did not play due to military service, which is the case for him in 1952. Crandall returned to professional baseball in 1953 having missed the two previous years; he also had to relocate from Boston to Milwaukee. Perhaps some might say that's adding insult to injury.

And then BOOM: a 1953 Bill Hunter for the St. Louis Browns (a team I obviously knew of but had completely forgotten about) followed by his 1954 Topps card (as Billy -- they are more casual in Baltimore, I guess) for the Baltimore Orioles. This is my first Browns card and my oldest Orioles card.



Hunter, an All-Star as a rookie with the Browns, had a short six year career and played also for the Yankees, Kansas City Athletics, and the Cleveland Indians. I need a KC Athletics cards and might as well try to find Hunter's 1957 collared issue.

The remaining cards are from the 1971 and 1972 Topps cards depicting Washington Senators and Texas Rangers. Here we have cards for Frank Howard, Manager Ted Williams, and the Team card, which features, perhaps, Topps at its extreme and most lazy.

Here is Frank Howard who, in 1971 sported double-bills and a lost look, and in 1972, the year he turned 36, looking even more lost and like he's in his late 50s or early 70s and could be working at Home Depot, wondering where LED lights are stored for a bearded Hipster customer in jeans so skinny his tattoos look like blood clots.



Not sure what Ted Williams was smiling about as his 1970 Senators were 70-92 and finished 6th in the AL East. And they had a worse record, slightly, in 1971: 63-96. If you do the math, that's 159 games so they had three rain outs that they were (mercifully) not made to make up. But at least they finished 5th, ahead of the Indians.


Topps, it seems, was intent on making all Rangers in 1972 look lost and clueless. These two cards are my first Ted Williams cards. But do they count? Williams was largely an unsuccessful manager, and was not back as skipper of the Rangers in 1973.


And then there is the 1971/1972 team card. Looking at the cards...Hey, wait! That's the exact same picture!



And, wait a sec... are you telling me the at the Senators had the exact same stats in 1970 and 1971?? Because that's what Topps printed.


Perhaps this is well-known in the baseball card industry but it was new to all of us. Topps totally at its laziest when there was ample warning of the team's move from Washington, D. C. to Texas.

Thanks, Dad!

Thanks for stopping by!

17 comments:

  1. Of course those Teddy’s count. Love the Crandals. Have a few of him from Boston in my collection

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    1. Then sweet! These are my first Ted Williams cards (not counting his 2018 Stadium Club card, which is sweet).

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  2. That's a great collecting niche- one of the guys I PC was on three different teams that moved - Elmer Valo. He went with the A's from Philly to KC, the Dodgers from Brooklyn to L.A., and the Senators from D.C. to the Twin Cities.

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    1. Too bad they didn't have frequent flyer miles back then... Valo would've have been set!

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  3. Um...those aren't prior year stats on the 1970 and 1971 team cards. They're franchise single-season records, so it isn't surprising they didn't change much. Especially since the team was awful. They did actually have one new record--most pitching losses (womp-womp).

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    1. Yes, you are right. Thank you for pointing out what I misread.

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  4. Those Senators cards are the best!

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  5. Not sure what you mean about the stats being the same. Since Topps listed franchise all-time leaders during this period, the stats would remain the same unless someone current cracked the list between 1970 and 1971. ... Also, the '72 card features the addition of the '71 season on the bottom.

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    1. Thanks for pointing that out. I misread/mis-wrote what was on the back of the cards & didn't think to look if other team cards were the same in 71 and 72. My apologies!

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  6. Nice cards and in great shape. Great father you have!

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  7. Very cool. Guess I need to sit down and have a little card collecting chat with my dad.

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  8. Hello Daddy!!! Not just vintage but the condition!! just beautiful cardboard!

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