Friday, July 22, 2016

Player Profile: Chris Brown

I have 29 cards of Chris Brown. This one is from 1985 Fleer Update.

Playing career: Chris Brown was a highly touted rookie in 1985 as the third baseman hit .271 with 16 HR and 61 RBI for the Giants. He followed that up with a solid 1986 (.317, 7 HR, 49 RBI) but never again came close to fulfilling the promise of his rookie year. After brief stints with the Padres and Tigers he was out of the major leagues after the 1989 season.

Post-baseball career: After his playing career Brown worked in various construction jobs in Houston before joining Halliburton and serving three tours driving fuel trucks in Iraq, occasionally operating under fire, including being in a convoy that was attacked and six of his fellow drivers as well as one soldier were killed. After his third tour in Iraq Brown lost his job, and shortly after his wife and daughter moved out of his house. Facing severe financial difficulties, Brown apparently tried to burn down his house for insurance money. Brown was gravely injured in the fire and died of his injuries a few weeks later.

My memories: I remember him as a highly touted rookie and so always thought of him as a kind of a minor star, but with 38 home runs in 449 games he really didn’t have much of a significant career. There are no entries for the first page of Google results; all of which refer to a singer.

Google Autocomplete results: He is seventh when you type Ch, between Christina Grimmie, a singer who was killed recently in Orlando, and Chrome, a Google browser. There are no entries for the first page of Google results; most refer to a singer.

Coming up next: The next profile will be Dana Brown.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Trade with Catching up with Collecting

I got a lot of great Yankee cards in a recent trade with Catching up with Collecting. Here are some highlights:

I had never gotten a "Cardtoons" card before but there were several in this pack. The art is weird but well-executed.
 Great picture of a Yankee legend here.
 And here is an even better classic picture - Lou Gehrig jumping over a teammate's swing.
 I also liked this picture of Sparky Lyle in a minor-league Orioles uniform, with a bicycle in the background - I don't remember seeing a bike on a card before.
 Great shot of Don Mattingly.
 Lots of great photos of Yankee stars in this package.
 This may be the funniest of all - a baseball card featuring a very young Joe DiMaggio, eating spaghetti with his mom in a 1930s publicity shot.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Player Profile: Brant Brown

I have nineteen cards of Brant Brown. This one is from 1998 Score.

Playing career: Outfielder Brant Brown played five seasons in the major leagues, mostly for the Cubs. In 424 games he hit .247 with 45 HR and 146 RBI.

My memories: He is well known for dropping a fly ball in the outfield to lose a game for the Cubs in September of 1998. At the time the Cubs were tied for the NL Wild Card with the Mets, but fortunately for Brown the Cubs managed to hold the Mets off for the last few games of the season.

Where he is now: The man most famous for dropping a ball in the outfield is now the minor league outfield coordinator for the Seattle Mariners.

Google Autocomplete results: He is fourth when you type Brant Br, between Brant Brooks and Brant Brooks Bear Stearns, both of which refer to an investment banker. Another prominent Brant Brown is Associate General Counsel at FINRA.

Coming up next: The next profile will be Chris Brown.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Pull-tab contest winnings

I was fortunate to be a winner in Baseball Card Breakdown's annual Pull-Tab Awareness Contest. Gavin sent a stuffed PWE filled with great cards.

I'll start with the shiniest cards:
 Also very cool was this 1978 Gene Tenace disk.
The back is worth showing too. Big T Family Restaurant and Tastee-Freez:
Finally, no Defgav package would be complete without one of his customs:
I like how he managed to duplicate the shiny foil hologram on the back:

Monday, July 18, 2016

Wallet Card at Meier & Oelhaf

Meier & Oelhaf was a marine plumbing supplies business that operated on Christopher Street from 1909 to 1984. Despite being out of business for over 30 years, their sign still hangs above their former business at the west end of the street.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Player Profile: Brandon Brown

I have one card of Brandon Brown, from 2012 Bowman Prospects.

Playing career: Second baseman Brandon Brown played in the Mets organization from 2010 to 2012. In 178 games he hit .237 with 11 HR and 65 RBI. After the 2012 season he received a 50-game suspension for steroid use, effectively ending his career.

My memories: Only know him from his card.

Where he is now: Anyone know where Brandon Brown is now?

Google Autocomplete results: He is fifth when you type Brandon Br, between Brandon Brooks, a guard for the Philadelphia Eagles, and Brandon Bryant, an ex-Air Force pilot. There are no references to the ballplayer on the first page of Google results; the first is for an author.

Coming up next: The next profile will be Brant Brown.

Saturday, July 16, 2016

An arctic blast on a hot summer day

Well, not really an arctic blast, Toronto's only about ten degrees cooler than New York where it hit 90 today. Still, cards from the Canadian blog Not Another Baseball Card Blog still helped me beat the heat. Some highlights:

Let's start off with O-Pee-Chee, because this was a Canadian trade. There were lots of O-Pee-Chees, but this one was probably the best - it was the oldest, had a "traded to" designation, and that giant O-Pee-Chee logo.
 Nice photo of Luis Polonia drag-bunting. This is not from the base set but the update set that is considerably harder to find.
 Interesting composition on this photo - Slaught is sliding right out of the picture.
 Finally, a sparkly card. I love sparkly cards.

Friday, July 15, 2016

Goldschmidt happens

It's been a very long time since I won a contest, and then last week I won two in one day, which was pretty exciting. It helped that there were very few entrants for either one. Daniel of It's Like Having My Own Card Shop had a contest for people who retweeted his sons' Paul Goldschmidt batting stance impressions for a contest the Diamondbacks were having. Happy to say that they did win a runner-up prize! My prize for winning was this nice selection of cards of Goldschmidt, a four-time all-star who might be the best first baseman in the majors.
Thanks Daniel!

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Player Profile: Bobby Brown

I have sixteen cards of Bobby Brown. This one is from 1981 Fleer.

Playing career: Outfielder Bobby Brown played for the Blue Jays, Yankees, Mariners and Padres from 1979 to 1985. His best season was 1980 when he hit .260 with 14 HR and 47 RBI.  Overall, in 502 games he hit .245 with 26 HR and 130 RBI.

My memories: He is from before my time but I remember him as the second most prominent Bobby Brown who played for the Yankees.

Where he is now: Anyone know where Bobby Brown is now?

Google Autocomplete results: He is third when  you type Bobby, between Bobby Shmurda, a rapper, and Bobby Cannavale, an actor. There are no entries for the first page of Google results; all of which refer to a singer.

Coming up next: The next profile will be Brandon Brown.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Wallet Card at a hanging privilege sign

I have mentioned several times my interest in privilege signs (old signs advertising eating establishments that feature soda logos). Most of the ones still in existence today are on storefronts. However my interest in them was piqued by the many hanging signs visible in old photos and videos. All of the originals in New York might be long gone but I found a new-looking one at a pizza place on Eighth Avenue. The Coca-Cola sign is not as prominent as it would have been on an old sign but it still counts for me.