Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Wallet Card at First National City Bank

First National City Bank changed its name to Citibank in 1975. This branch in Freeport, NY, has the old First National City Bank seal on the exterior - a seal that is now 40 years out of date.
 This branch across the street from Penn Station in Manhattan has an even older seal. You have to click on the image and zoom in to see it, but this seal just says National City Bank, meaning it predates the 1955 merger of National City and First National to create First National City.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Player Profile: Cedric Allen

I have one card of Cedric Allen, from 1996 Fleer Excel.

Playing career: Cedric Allen pitched in the Reds organization from 1994 to 1996. In 64 games he went 27-13 with a 3.03 ERA. These are obviously very solid numbers; don’t know if injuries or something else ended his career prematurely.

Where he is now: A coach at Urban Elite Sports in Missouri City, TX.

My memories: Only know him from his card.

Google Autocomplete results: He is third when you type Cedric Al, between Cedric Alexander vs. Candice LeRae and Cedric Alexander Cagematch, both of which refer to a wrestler. Another prominent Cedric Allen is a pastor in Atlanta.

Coming up next: The next profile will be Dusty Allen.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Wallet Card at Roy Rogers in Oceanside, NY

It has been many years since you could find a Roy Rogers anywhere on Long Island. Today they are mostly in Maryland and Virginia with a few elsewhere. This Roy Rogers was converted into a medical building many years ago. Recently the exterior of the medical building was torn down for construction, revealing the old restaurant that still makes up the skeleton of the building's first floor, with the labelscar from the old Roy Rogers sign clearly visible. I'm not sure when the last time this was an actual Roy Rogers; this New York Times article mentions a Roy Rogers in Oceanside becoming a Pizza City in 1987, and the address was later a Pizza Hut, so this might be the right place, making the Roy Rogers sign almost 30 years out of date.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Player Profile: Winston Abreu

I have one card of Winston Abreu, from 1996 Fleer Excel.

Playing career: Winston Abreu signed with the Braves as a 17-year old in 1994, making his professional debut that year. He spent twelve years in the minor leagues before finally making the major leagues in 2006 with Baltimore. He also pitched for Washington in 2007 and Tampa Bay and Cleveland in 2009. Overall in 38 major league games he went 0-1 with a 7.31 ERA.

Where he is now: In his 20th season in professional baseball in 2015, he had an excellent year as the closer for the independent league Joplin Blasters. In 47 games he went 5-1 with 23 saves and a 0.77 ERA, striking out 80 batters in just 47 innings.

My memories: Only know him from his card.

Google Autocomplete results: He is fourth when you type Winston Ab, between Winston Abraham, a former Australian Rules footballer, and Winston Abby’s, a pizza place in Oregon. There do not appear to be any other Winston Abreus.

Coming up next: The next profile will be Cedric Allen.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Rick Lundblade on baseball cards

C-1B Rick Lundblade played six seasons in the Phillies, Mets and Orioles organizations. In 455 games he hit .266 with 54 HR and 246 RBI. Now a personal injury and sports/entertainment attorney with a law firm - Rick Lundblade Law - with offices in Oregon and California, he kindly answered my questions about baseball cards.

"Probably my favorite card would be the Maine Phillies cards from 1988. If I recall correctly, there are two such cards, although I would not be able to remember the companies that produce those cards. They are probably my favorites because they were representative of my first season in AAA ball.

I do not collect baseball cards currently. I was an avid collector of baseball cards when I was a young kid back in the 1970's, when Topps was the only company making baseball cards. Somewhere, a collection of cards remains. If I recall correctly, the value of baseball cards underwent a financial change back in the 1990s. I would have no idea as to the value of cards today. All I can tell you at this point as I can recall that I still somewhere have Johnny Bench and Nolan Ryan rookie cards that apparently had some significant value 20 to 25 years ago. I always thought it was pretty remarkable that a small piece of cardboard could hold that type of value!"

Thanks! I don't have either of those cards (the black border is CMC, the gold border is ProCards) but I do have his Tidewater card from ProCards.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Wallet Card at Oceanside National Bank

Though the building says Oceanside National Bank, there has not been a bank with that name for years, if not decades. (The last reference I could find to it online dated from the 1970s). However, it is still a financial institution, home now to Wolkenberg Mortgage.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Player Profile: Josh Bell

I have three cards of Josh Bell. This one is from 2010 Bowman Draft Picks & Prospects.

Playing career: Third baseman Josh Bell played for the Orioles and Diamondbacks from 2010 to 2012. In 100 games he hit .195 with 4 HR and 22 RBI.

My memories: Only know him from his card.

Where he is now: Anyone know where Josh Bell is now?

Google Autocomplete results: He is fifth when you type Josh Be, between Josh Berry NASCAR, a race car driver, and Josh Bernstein, host of the TV show “Digging for the Truth”. The first entry when you google Josh Bell is not the ballplayer but a classical musician.

Coming up next: The next profile will be Edwin Bellorin.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Wallet Card at the most infamous subway grate in Yankees history

It was at this Lexington Avenue subway grate in 1954 that Marilyn Monroe filmed her famous skirt-blowing scene for the movie Seven Year Itch. The filming drew a huge crowd who watched Monroe act out the scene with several takes (none of which were used in the film - they ended up refilming in a Hollywood studio). Monroe's husband, former Yankees legend Joe DiMaggio, was at the filming, and, infuriated by his wife's exhibitionism, filed for divorce shortly after.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Player Profile: Chris Begg

I have one card of Chris Begg, from 2007 Bowman Chrome Prospects.

Playing career: Chris Begg pitched in the Giants organization from 2003 to 2008. In 117 games he went 53-31 with a 3.53 ERA. He appeared in two World Baseball Classics for Team Canada.

Where he is now: Teacher and baseball coach at Everest Academy in Thornhill, ON.

My memories: Only know him from his card.

Google Autocomplete results: He is first when you type Chris Beg, ahead of Chris Begley, an archaeologist. The first entry when you google Chris Begg is not the ballplayer but the CEO of East Coast Asset Management.

Coming up next: The next profile will be Josh Bell.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Wallet Card at Louis Mattia Lamps

Louis Mattia owned a famous lamp sales and service store on 2nd Avenue and 52nd Street from 1960 to 1995. He was renowned for making custom lamps out of objects like musical instruments, fire extinguishers and even a human skull. The location is currently between renters and the old sign is visible again. Check out the old PLaza phone exchange on the sign.