Friday, January 25, 2019

Monday's Card Show Hall

I have visited the Mansfield card show a few times in the past and before I departed Massachusetts I wanted to hit it one last time. They had a card show on Monday which was great time as I left home this morning. I walked away from it with four individual cards and three sets. So this post is about them!

First up are the three sets. I got Topps Traded sets for 1990, 1991, and 1992. I've been trying to get each of the sets for the 1980s and up to 1992. This was when I first collected cards, and though I stopped in 1990 or 1991, I included 1992 as I built the set recently, with lots of help from the generous readers of this blog & my tweets.

I still need 1990 and 1991 Topps base sets but I haven't decided if I'll try to build it (more fun) or just but it (fewer dupes). When you go into the show, you get two free packs so I selected the 1988 Fleer Star Stickers and the 1989 Topps. The best Star Stickers card was Wally Joyner; and the 1989 Topps cards would have made me exceedingly happy as a 14-15 year old as I pulled Mark Grace and Chris Sabo rookie cup cards. Got a checklist, too. The checklist was in there, I feel, just to taunt me.

Here are all my Topps Traded sets, but that sneaky 1986 Fleer Update set photobomed it. I've had that one for nearly 33 years!

And here are all the sets together before I boxed them up!

Now let's see the four single cards I got. These are for teams that no longer exist. I got all four cards for $10 ($5, $3, $1, $1). $10 for all that happiness? Not a bad price.

The first one is 1950 Bowman for the Philadelphia Athletics. I wasn't picky about the player and whether they were a star player or anything, I just wanted a nice representation. This card is beautiful of Mike Guerra, a 9-year veteran who played for Washington, Philadelphia, and Boston before retiring in 1951.

The Athletics left Philadelphia and moved to Kansas City which is what this 1962 card of Norm Siebern represents. Siebern has a respectable 12 year career playing for six different teams. He won two World Series with the Yankees, was a 4 time All-Star and won  a Gold Glove, too.

Houston Colt .45's! This is from 1964, their last year under the team name of Colt .45's. And when you think of the Colt 45s, do you not think of Don Nottebart? This 9-year vet played for five teams. One of the reasons I selected this card was because the cartoon caption mentions Duke Snider.

Last up is the one-year wonder: 1969's Seattle Pilots. Nike Marshall became a very good pitcher in the mid-to-late 1970s with the Dodgers, winning a Cy Young award in 1974 which was his first year with the Dodgers. He had been creeping up the charts, finishing 4th and then 2nd in 1972 and 1973 when he pitched for the Expos. In 1974 he only pitched in 106 games, finished 83 of them and earning a 15-12 record, recording 21 saves in his 208.1 innings pitched. Unfathomable today. 

That's that! I'll look for new shows and LCS's from my new home base once I get settled.

Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Baseball Player-by-Team Thinking Exercise

NightOwl and Fuji and PennySleeves and Raz Card Blog and Mike M and Cardboard Clubhouse and All Trade Bait have all done this "name the first person you think of when you think of a Baseball team" thing, turning it into sort of a blog bat-around, and I figured peer pressure is sometimes a good thing when it exercises your mind. So here is my list with a smattering of baseball cards either from my collection or even callously stolen from online sources.

Atlanta Braves: Rico Carty. Because I had his 1966 Topps card as a kid an really loved it. I thought it was "so old". Second place is Dale Murphy.
Washington Nationals: Bryce Harper.
Philadelphia Phillies: Mike Schmidt. Second place is John Kruk, as you might imagine.
New York Mets: Darryl Strawberry. Too many people are thinking of the wrong Mets player.
Miami Marlins: Dontrelle Willis.

Milwaukee Brewers: Robin Yount.
Chicago Cubs: Ryne Sandberg.
St. Louis Cardinals: Ozzie Smith.
Pittsburgh Pirates: Johnny Ray. Sorry Matt.
Cincinnati Reds: Bo Diaz.

Los Angeles Dodgers: Sandy Koufax.
Colorado Rockies: Todd Helton.
Arizona Diamondbacks: Luis Gonzalez.
San Francisco Giants: Willie Mays.
San Diego Padres: Tony Gywnn.

Boston Red Sox: Carl Yastrzemski.
New York Yankees: Yogi Berra.
Tampa Bay Rays: <crickets>; but in all seriousness, Evan Longoria.
Toronto Blue Jays: Jorge Bell (before he was George Bell).
Baltimore Orioles: Earl Weaver.

Cleveland Indians: Greg Swindell.
Minnesota Twins: Kirby Puckett.
Detroit Tigers: Al Kaline.
Chicago White Sox: Greg Luzinski.
Kansas City Royals: George Brett.

Houston Astros: Nolan Ryan.
Oakland Athletics: Reggie Jackson.
Seattle Mariners: Phil Bradley/Alvin Davis (a tie, if that's possible).
Los Angeles Angels: Wally Joyner.
Texas Rangers: Pete O'Brien.

They are listed here in the order in which they finished in their respective divisions last year. Heavily 1980s which isn't surprising. Also probably heavily predictable? But I hope there are some fun, different names here too. Wally Joyner was actually my second thought as my first was also of Reggie Jackson and I didn't want to list him twice, especially in the same division. I'm not sure if my Orioles selection is truly permissible or not because Earl Weaver was the manager; but he was the most colorful thing & memorable personality about that team when I was growing up. If I'm forced to pick a player it would be Weaver's catcher Rick Dempsey.

Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Recent Hall of Fame Players

Last summer I got this 2011 Topps Ivan Rodriguez card from Mark M of Twitter and Advanced Stats podcast Baseball Beyond Batting Average fame. And in my review of the Nationals cards that I have, I discovered this was his final season as well as his final Topps base issue so moved it over to my Hall of Fame collection!

And so this made me think about other recent retired ballplayers who have been voted into the Hall of Fame. And so I headed over the Sportslots, that mecca of quite reasonably priced baseball cards, and got the following cards for less than $1 TOTAL! It was actually less than .80 cents for the four cards. Unbelievable.  So these are the final Topps base cards for Chipper Jones and Jim Thome, Mariano Rivera (elected today), and Derek Jeter (elected one year in the future).

Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, January 18, 2019

Programming Alert

If you follow me on Twitter you know I've been trying to shed a bunch of stuff. Fortunately, because the card commuting is both very giving and very receiving, I was able to actually clear out all of my spare cards, dupes, unwanted cards, etc. Unreal! If you also follow me on Twitter you may have noticed I've been drinking a lot at lunch, too. Does shedding cards lead to drinking? I won't rule that out. However, there's a reason for all this. A real reason. And that is the nature of this blog post.

Normally I like to show a vintage pick-up on Friday, however...I interrupt the normal blog post to announce that I will be moving shortly so please halt, for the near future, all card-sending---if anyone is so kind to be doing that or planning that. Or if you're itching to send me something, please connect with me via DM on Twitter or email if you want to know where to send stuff.

But, here are two cards anyway that's fitting...

My wife and I are re-locating to the mid-Atlantic (NJ/PA area) to be closer to family and I think the Phillies may become my adopted team to follow more closely since we're technically closer to them than those dam'd philthy Yankees. And supporting the Yankees is an insupportable concept.

I like Citizens Bank Park a lot; the food and beer is good, the tickets pretty reasonable, and they have McCutchen now. And we'll be about an hour from it... so not bad. As part of this I even bought a cap. Sadly I didn't like the way it fit so I returned it. I'm not a fan of New Era caps. I'm more of '47 Brand guy. So I ordered a '47 brand cap last night and it should be one of the first things I receive in my new digs. It will join my other caps: Indians, Pirates, Nationals, and Giants.

Average crowd at a home, daytime, weekend Phillies game
I'll miss the Boston area, including Fenway Park, and will really miss the 98.5 SportsHub radio, but fortunately I have the app so can keep listening to it for a while until I learn the good sports radio stations in my new area. I'd love recommendations for stations and particular programs and personalities. All I really know of is the WFAN 101.9 and WIP 94.1. And LCS's!

Thanks for stopping by.

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

The two words you love to hear

My baseball card collecting life has been more vintage than Darryl Strawberry and John Kruk related, of late. Here's another one of ye olde cards...

At any baseball game, there are only two words--EVER--that are spoken over the PA system that matter and they are "Play Ball".

At one point, Play Ball was also two words in a baseball card set. From 1939 to 1941, Gum Inc. released Play Ball baseball cards. The 1939 set features more than 161 cards of black and white photography of players from 15 teams, including many that no longer exist like the Boston Bees, St. Louis Browns, and Washington Senators.

After the Red Sox one the 2018 World Series, T-Mobile, who is my cell phone provider, had a giveaway of free hats. My wife and I snagged one each. With the hats in hand I had two friends instantly in mind and fortunately, they both wanted one. So, I sent them out to Shane K. and Mark H.

Like you, perhaps, I neither want nor expect anything back for anything I do sent out. This is a kindness-based hobby.

Shane and I tweeted about several oddball Darryl Strawberry cards but unfortunately for him I had copies of them all already. But he later did find a couple things in my wheelhouse eventually!

Mark sent me something that is honestly above and beyond anything I could have ever dreamed of return. I'd've been happy with a fun size Snickers or a two-year-old fossilized packet of Twizzlers! But no.... Mark had to go and send me a 1939 Play Ball Jimmie DeShong of the Washington Senators.

I mean... this is f*(#ing gorgeous.  DeShong played for three Major League teams: Philadelphia Athletics, New York Yankees, and the Washington Senators. He finished his seven year pitching career at 47-44 with an ERA of 5.08, which is pretty high.

This DeShong card is now currently the oldest card in my collection. I have some other "new" vintage cards  that I've gotten recently but this one jumps the queue as it's so special. I meant to post this on November 30, which was DeShong's 108th birthday but I failed to finish it off in anything resembling a timely fashion.

Mark: Thank you so much.

Thanks for stopping by.

Friday, January 11, 2019

An Amazing eBay buy

Back in November HeavyJ tweeted out a link to an auction he was doing of four African-American baseball players from the 1950s and offered to throw in some bonus cards if retweeting it led to a sale. Well, there was one card in there that I already had, but one card in there I really wanted. And then the other two cards would be "nice to have also" cards.

The Irvin card I already had. The Larry Doby was the card I wanted. And the James "Jim" Gilliam and Joseph "Joe" Black cards were the bonus nice to haves as they are my first Brooklyn Dodgers.

This is Doby's first care with the Chicago White Sox, to whom he was traded by the Cleveland Indians in October 1955 for Jim Busby.Based on their 1956 seasons, the White Sox won that trade. Doby, as you all know, was the first African-American to play in the American League was is in the Hall of Fame (Veterans vote, 1998).

The Irvin was in a stack for Nick V. The front of the card is rather nice, all of it's present, and no real sign of being miscut. However, the back of the card shows a serious miscut as Irvin's 1954 stats are missing at the bottom. At the top, though, are a set of stats for Jim Hegan of the Cleveland Indians. I've never seen anything like this before: where the front is fine but the back is off. Maybe I haven't been paying attention?

The bonus cards were some 1970s Pirates. And that Rrrrrrrrrr might fine.

Thanks HeavyJ!

Thanks for stopping by.

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

1965 Topps Louis Aparicio

Luis Aparicio was the first Venezuelan to be elected into the Baseball Hall of Fame when the BBWAA voted him in in 1984. His final year as a ball player was in 1973 so he had been on the ballot for a few years before being enshrined.

This is Aparicio's 1965 Topps card and though he's in the Hall for the White Sox, he played five good years with the Orioles before going back to the White Sox and then ultimately to the Boston Red Sox. He wasn't a power guy, wasn't an average guy, but he did win the Rookie of the Year, was a 13 time All-Star, won some Gold Gloves, and a World Series with the Orioles in 1966. He stole 506 stolen bases.

I quite like this card.

Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, January 4, 2019

Christmas Piece of Reese

For Christmas I asked for a single baseball card. Just one. And a specific one at that. And to my happiness, it was given to me by my brother as part of our family's Secret Santa. Sometimes you ask for things and you don't get them. But this one was one that I kind of knew was coming because my brother accidentally mentioned, out of the blue, Pee Wee Reese a couple of days before we exchanged gifts. It was pretty funny. But I grew increasingly and exceedingly excited for the card as time passed. In my family, I traditionally pass out the gifts and I always save one for me for last. It's my hope that all attention will be on me, but that actually rarely happens, which is fine.

So, since I have your attention, behold my first ever iconic 1955 Bowman card!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I made these images large for the blog because they are so glorious. This card is slightly miscut, which is what I wanted, as it shows some of the darker wood-grain that graced some 1955 Bowman's. So, of course I now feel like I need a dark wood-grain example.

I love the text on the back and how Reese is writing about Stan Musial. I've never really seen too many 1955 Bowman's, so this was new to me. A surprise, even.

Thanks to my excellent twin brother David for this baseball card. A welcome edition to my Hall of Fame collection (Veterans, 1984) , as well as to my "teams that no longer exist" collection, since there isn't a Brooklyn Dodgers any more. My father hated the Brooklyn Dodgers, which is where I think I get my dislike for that franchise.

Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

HSCA Santa Claused me

I partook in Jon's Secret Santa this year who had taken over for Matt of Bob Walk the Plank's previous helm.  My gift was sent to Rekindling The Cardboard Flame, and I went' effing all out on that one! Well, Brian of Highly Subjective and Completely Arbitrary had me and he floored me with his kindness, generosity, and attention to my wants/needs.

First up were the two Christmas-themed cards.

Let's move on, now, to some John Kruk. First up is his 1984 Cramer Las Vegas Stars rookie card. This is one I was literally going to go after in 2019. It's absolutely amazing and is my first minor league card of a PC (either Strawberry or Kruk) that I have and now I really feel like I need more.

Can't go wrong with a Sports Illustrated for Kids card.  Love the photograph of the bat on the ball logo.

I love these Members Only Stadium Club cards. Wondering what's in his back pocket? Dip?

And now for some Strawberry's! This is the  1990 Donruss Grand Slammer Green border. #Awesome.

And then a black-ink of the 1991 Starting Lineup card. I love this post swing "watching the bomb" photograph. Photos like this bring me back to those games I got to watch in person of Strawberry playing or from seeing him on TV. The head-shot looks like a much younger Strawberry.

This promo card card drove me nuts for a few days and I tried to find more. There seem to have been about five promo cards make for the 1992 Silver Star Baseball Holograms: Strawberry, Will Clark, Frank Thomas, Ken Griffey Jr., and Roger Clemens.

Another card that sent me into a spiral of lost productivity at work. A 2008 St. Paul Saints card. There seem to have been 32 that were released. Most of them of players, but this one and one of Bill Murray show non-team guys.  Wonderful!

Well, the above would have been more than sufficient to WOW me in this Secret Santa exchange but Brian went above and beyond by including some delicious Hall of Famers in the package. So, we have here a 1973 Topps Joe Morgan which has rendered me speechless.

And then a 1979 card of the great, late Willie McCovey. I have McCovey's 1978 card, too. So this is a nice additional card for the collection. Some players just simply exude cool, awesome, and class. That's what I think of when I see Willie McCovey who, though he played for more than the Giants is for me one of the all-time faces of the franchise.

Brian! You are incredible. Thank you so very much. Sincerely.

Thanks for stopping by.