Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Mark Outlaw on baseball cards

Mark Outlaw pitched in the Phillies organization from 1999 to 2003. His best season was 2000, when he went 5-2 with 11 saves and a 0.94 ERA for Piedmont. Overall in 173 games he went 16-11 with 24 saves and a 3.41 ERA. Now a Client Manager at Baylor Scott & White Health Plan in Texas, he kindly answered my questions about baseball cards.

Do you collect baseball cards? 

Yes, I collected baseball cards growing up starting at an early age.  My parents and grandmother would buy me cards when they went to the grocery store.  I liked the gum that was inside.  This was during the 1980’s and the beginning of the big baseball card boom.  
I had an old price guide that came with a baseball card collecting kit.  In that price guide, it listed a 1984 Donruss Don Mattingly rookie card at $3.  One day, I went to a local baseball card shop, Bankston’s, and they had the card in a case selling for $100.  At nine years old, I had to do a double take.  Surely, that wasn’t the same card?  After examining and questioning the workers there, I determined it was the same card.  I was rich!!!  That got me hooked even more.  I always loved baseball, and this just added more excitement to it.
When I was a little older, my grandmother gave me a box of cards that I had left all over her house throughout the years.  In that box contained Joe Montana and Jerry Rice rookie cards.  That was an awesome find!
Do you have a favorite card of yourself or of another player?
Two cards come to mind. One is the 1991 Upper Deck Michael Jordan.  I was a big fan of his and seeing him in a baseball uniform made it twice as exciting.  The other card is the 1985 Topps Mark McGwire USA.  McGwire came onto the MLB scene very hot and was an exciting player to watch.  This was also a year or so after the 1984 Olympics and everyone was patriotic.  It was cool seeing him in a USA uniform. 
Do you have any stories about cards of yourself or of other players? 
Being a huge baseball card collector growing up, I was so excited to sign my first contract with Topps.  A Topps representative met me one day at our baseball stadium in Reading, Pennsylvania (Phillies AA) and I signed 2000 cards for them.  I think it all sunk in when I saw my card listed in the Beckett price guide.  I grew up looking up card prices in that magazine and it was very humbling to see my name in there.  I was very proud and honored.
My girlfriend at the time and wife now were walking through the mall one day when we saw a box of 2002 in a toy store.  I told her that I had a card in that set.  She said she was going to buy a pack.  I told her that I wouldn’t be in that pack, because there were hundreds of cards in that set.  Sure enough she opened the pack and my card was in there.  I thought that was pretty cool and a great silent brag. 


Monday, October 24, 2016

Wallet Card at NYC's last cab call sign

In the early twentieth century cab call signs could be seen at every major hotel and entertainment venue, providing an easy way for people to know when their cab had arrived. People would take a number and wait for their number to flash on the sign, meaning that their cab had arrived. Today they are all but extinct, with the last cab call left in the city perched above the marquee of the St. Regis Hotel, with the numbers always displayed as 000.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

1988 Spokane Indians at the Mall - Luis Lopez

Luis Lopez played eleven seasons in the major leagues as a backup infielder for the Padres, Mets, Brewers, Orioles and Reds. In 721 games he hit .241 with 22 HR and 151 RBI.

I think this photo, like the last one (Pedro Aquino Martinez), was from JC Penney.

Bowmans and Razors

Another trade with MiJohn - he broke some boxes of 2008 and 2009 Bowman and Razor cards and sent me a bunch in exchange for some early 1990s Ultra. Some highlights:

I'll start off with an Indian. I think every baseball card blogger who is not a Cub fan should be rooting for the Indians, given all of Tribecards's immense generosity through the years.
 Interesting background on this card.
 A Brett Gardner rookie card!
 This is one of the better no-logo photos you will see.

Friday, October 21, 2016

Sets completed and sets almost there

I recently had the honor of being the first trade partner in over a year for Heartbreaking Cards of Staggering Genius. Matt focused his part of the trade on completing or near-completing a whole bunch of sets for me. The cards I have left over in these sets are primarily commons or minor stars that I bet a bunch of you trade partners out there could help me out with.

1988 Donruss rookies - COMPLETE! The checklist was the last one I needed.
1992 Donruss Triple Play - down to two common cards - #94 Lenny Dyktstra and #222 Billy Hatcher.
 1994 Leaf Limited - COMPLETE!
 1993 Select - Just one card left but it's a biggie - the Derek Jeter rookie.
 1996 Topps - this should have been completed, but I had made an error in my want list and I still need one more - #189 John Smoltz.
2002 Topps is maddening because I bought a "complete set" that turned out to be missing two key cards. The Mauer rookie was one. I still need #365 which was the Barry Bonds 73rd Home Run card. They made 73 different versions of that card, I would just want one version to complete the set.
 2006 Topps - COMPLETE! Jeter was the only card I needed.
 2011 Topps - COMPLETE!
1993 Ultra - down to just one card - #639 Roberto Alomar.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Carlos Alonso on baseball cards

Infielder Carlos Alonso played seven seasons in the Phillies organization. In 487 games he hit .270 with 24 HR and 183 RBI. Now a minor league coach in the Phillies organization, he kindly answered my questions about baseball cards.

"Always collected cards since I was a little boy. I haven't bought baseball cards since I was 15 years old. I have a collection passed down to me from my grandpa. My favorite player has always been Barry Bonds and my favorite card of myself is my first year, I was swinging at a high pitch so the swing looked really funny. Collecting cards is an amazing hobby that I hope to pass down to my kids someday."

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Stephen Chapman on baseball cards

Outfielder Stephen Chapman played in the Brewers and Cubs organizations from 2004 to 2009. His best season was 2007, when he hit .262 with 24 HR and 89 RBI for West Virginia. Overall in 490 games he hit .245 with 60 HR and 232 RBI. Now a Firefighter Paramedic for the city of Pinellas Park, FL, he kindly answered my questions about baseball cards.

"I do know that they took about 20 pictures of different poses and normally picked the worst pose of them all to us for the card haha. I used to collect cards growing up but I really don't much anymore."

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Heavy metal street trade

It seems like most baseball card bloggers are into 80s/90s alternative music judging from blogs like Night Owl, Dime Boxes and Off Hiatus. I'm not a huge music person but I guess I could be considered a metal head, as my tastes run more to Dio, Ozzy, Iron Maiden etc. Someone who is really into metal is Al, my main baseball card street vendor. He has a band called Down by my Sins. Listening to some of their songs, they're amateur but actually pretty good. Al is on the left in this video:

Al keeps bugging me to go to his show on Friday - I'm not going to go but if anyone is going to be in New York and wants to check out something different it would probably be a good time.
Yesterday I traded him a few cards each of several Yankee stars  - Mattingly, Matsui, Pettitte, Jeter - all vertical with stats on the back as those seem to be the style of card that sells the best. Here are some of the cards I picked in return:

Ragira would make a pretty good name for a metal band. He played three years in the Giants system. I had never heard of him - just picked the card because I love the awesome shiny super-refractor design.
 This refractor looks really good in person - Bob Gibson's name and photo really look great in the refractor effect.
 I also picked some older cards, like this Big Unit.
 And this Woolworths Mike Schmidt oddball.

Monday, October 17, 2016

1988 Spokane Indians at the Mall - Pedro Aquino (Martinez)

Pedro Aquino Martinez was in the 1987 set too. He faced the hall of famer Pedro Jaime Martinez in his last game as a Met, as detailed on his entry on The Amazing Shea Stadium Autograph project. I think this photo was taken in JC Penney, but no way to be sure.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

1988 Spokane Indians at the mall - Steve Lubratich

Lubratich was in the last set too. Other blogs that have shown Lubratich cards are 1986 Procards, Capewood's Collections, The Angels, In Order and View from the Skybox.

Lubratich and Whitney Houston are at DJ's Sound City, which was also in the last set. Another DJ's factoid is that they first record chain to sell laserdiscs.