Saturday, May 23, 2015

Player Profile: Ken Brett

I have seven cards of Ken Brett. This one is from 1982 Fleer.

Playing career: The older brother of Royals’ star George Brett, Ken Brett was a decent pitcher best known for pitching for ten teams in his fourteen-year MLB career, a record at the time. His best season was 1974, when he was an All-Star for the Pirates, going 13-9 with a 3.30 ERA. Overall he was 83-85 with a 3.93 ERA.

Post-baseball career: He was involved in a number of sports business ventures, both on his own and with his brothers. He died of cancer in 2003.

My memories: Before my time. Only know him from his card.

Google Autocomplete results: He is third when you type Ken Br, between Ken Brody, Co-Founder of Taconic Capital, and Ken Brown, an artist. Another prominent Ken Brett is State Manager at Gordon Brothers Industries.

Coming up next: The next profile will be Ryan Brett.

Friday, May 22, 2015

A good box

Picked up another $3 box yesterday. Some good stuff in this one. Some highlights:

An early Melvin Upton Jr. gold signature card. People who only knew him as BJ were probably confused by this signature.
 Pretty cool to get Topps Finest in one of these boxes.
 This was really interesting - some kind of late '80s "Broder" card. The back just says "Sample". Does anyone know anything about this card? I can find nothing online.
This black-bordered parallel of Kevin Correia's 2009 Topps Traded card says "58 years of collecting" and is numbered 11/58 on the back.
Finally, there were a handful of junk wax cards. I am going to try the #RandomActsOfCardness project that Junior Junkie is doing. I see he has gotten a couple of responses from people in New Orleans from people who have found cards with his label on them. I am going to label these with the hashtag and put them in random spots around NYC next week and see if anyone posts them. (Unless someone needs any of these cards for their own collection!)

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Player Profile: George Brett

I have 126 cards of George Brett. This one is from 1988 Score.

Playing career: Arguably the greatest third baseman of all time and definitively the greatest Kansas City Royal of all time, Hall-of-Famer George Brett is one of four players all-time to hit .300 with 3000 hits and 300 home runs, the only player to win a batting title in three decades, and a 13-time all-star. Probably his most well-known accomplishment was his run at a .400 batting average in 1980. He finished at .390, led the league in both on-base and slugging percentages, and was the only player to have an OPS+ higher than 200 (203) between 1970 and 1991.

Where he is now: He is the VP, Baseball Operations for the Royals, and was prominent on TV during Kansas City’s surprise playoff run last year. Also with his brother Bobby (and formerly, his late brother Ken) he owns a sporting company called Brett Performance Sports, formerly known as Brett Bros. Brett Bros. was sued in 2012 for false advertising over the health benefits of their bracelets and necklaces. The suit was settled out of court.

My memories: When I think of Brett my first thought is the pine-tar game. Only against the Yankees can a player clearly break the rules and then get away with it. Still a very entertaining saga even if it was a bit before my time. By the time I was following baseball he was more of an elder statesmen, but he seems to have represented the Royals and baseball in general very well. I wonder if he is the best baseball player of all time to go by the name of George? George Ruth went by his nickname, and George Seaver and George Griffey use their middle names.

Google Autocomplete results: He is first when you type George Br, ahead of George Brown College, a university in Toronto. There do not appear to be any other prominent George Bretts.

Coming up next: The next profile will be Ken Brett.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015


Got a cool PWE from Brian at Play at the Plate. Here are some highlights:

There were several 2015 Bowmans, my first from the set. I may be in the minority but I like the new design.
 Great horizontal autograph shot.
 I love this shot of Tino Martinez hitting one out at Shea Stadium. Great angle, really great photo.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

PWE from 2 by 3 Heroes

Got a PWE from Jeff of 2 by 3 Heroes yesterday. He packs a lot of cards into a little envelope. Some highlights:

This was the big hit of the envelope - a Mark Teixeira jersey card. He is one of my favorite Yankees so I was quite happy to get this.
 Alfonso Soriano is one of my favorite all-time Yankees. I have the base version of this card but the Opening Day version was new to me.
 This shiny card of Xavier Nady was the most eye-catching card in the envelope.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Player Profile: Jason Brester

I have one card of Jason Brester, from 1996 Topps.

Playing career: Jason Brester pitched in the Giants, Rockies and Phillies organizations from 1995 to 2000. In 137 games he went 44-43 with a 4.09 ERA.

Where he is now: A dentist in Seattle.

My memories: Only know him from his card.

Google Autocomplete results: He is first when you type Jason Brest, ahead of Jason Brest, former head greenkeeper at the Port Macquarie Bowling Club in New South Wales. There do not appear to be any other prominent Jason Bresters.

Coming up next: The next profile will be George Brett.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Back to $3

Al redeemed himself with a much better box this time and I was happy to pay $3 for it. Some highlights:

The rare "Yankee card I did not have." He must have missed this while pulling out the NY teams. Cody Ehlers made it as far as AA in his five year career.
 Score had some of the best parallel sets of the 1990s. Instead of a little bit of gold foil, they covered the whole thing!
 I think 2014 Topps is the most recent I've seen in these boxes.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

A $2 Box

This box was pretty bad, filled almost entirely with junk wax. I told Al I wasn't interested in this one but he offered to take $2 for it, and there was a small handful of Upper Deck Vintage in there, so I decided to take it for $2. There ended up being only about 20 cards that were not junk wax, so I think $2 was a fair price.

Everyone remembers Jim Abbott, the first major league pitcher with one hand. No one remembers that Chad Bentz was the second. I had never even heard of the guy until well after his career ended.
 This is a pretty cool looking insert, from 1995 Fleer.
 This was a real oddball find, "Yahoo Presents Rawlings". There were Fact Cards #1 and #2 about the making of baseball gloves.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Jonathan Fulton on baseball cards

Outfielder Jonathan Fulton played five seasons in the Marlins organization. His best season was 2006, when he hit .262 with 12 HR and 43 RBI at Greensboro. He kindly answered my questions about baseball cards.

"The first card that I can remember was the Bowman. The picture they took was after my first week or so in rookie ball. I had never played in Florida and never wore sunscreen or sunglasses. If you look closely I was squinting really bad and I was trying to cover up all of the black blood blisters on my lower lip. That was a rough year but I got better at taking pictures as my career progressed."


Thursday, May 14, 2015

$3 Box - Tradition

The bulk of the useful cards from the $3 box I picked up on Tuesday came from 2003 Fleer Tradition.

Some pretty cool pictures in this set, like Willie Harris bunting in a desert parking lot.
 Another cool thing in this set is a lot of people in unfamiliar uniforms. I don't think of Ray Lankford as a Padre.
 I think of him as a Cardinal - this 1997 Topps Chrome card was probably the best one in this box.