Sunday, April 26, 2015

Player Profile: Tom Brennan

I have seven cards of Tom Brennan. This one is from 1984 Fleer.

Playing career: Tom Brennan pitched for the Indians, White Sox and Dodgers from 1981 to 1985. In 64 games he went 9-10 with a 4.40 ERA.

Where he is now: A youth baseball instructor in the Chicago area for many years, he played the home plate umpire in the 1993 movie “Rookie of the Year”, according to the Southtown Star.

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

Google Autocomplete results: He is first when you type Tom Bre, ahead of Tom Brevoort, a comic book editor. There are no mentions of the baseball player on the first page of Google results; the first entry is for a college basketball announcer.

Coming up next: The next profile will be Bryce Brentz.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Trade with Mets Cardboard

Justin from Mets Cardboard helped whittle down my wantlists for various Topps and Upper Deck sets with a great trade package. Here are some highlights:

1995 Upper Deck with Bo Jackson - "Missed it by that much!"
 Even the back is great - Bo taking ground balls at second base!
 Later year Upper Deck cards had lots of great shots too.
 Here's a nice little twist on the traditional cameo shot.
 Topps never has quite as good photographs as UD did. This one is pretty good though.

Friday, April 24, 2015

Trade with Infield Fly Rule

Adam from Infield Fly Rule and I recently had a massive trade and yesterday I got a box packed full of awesome stuff, a great random mix but mostly Topps cards from the last five years. Haven't gotten a chance to upload my wantlist but he really whittled down those 2010-2013 years. I haven't had a chance to really look through all of it yet but here are a few highlights that jumped out at me.

Lots of awesome shiny cards, which I love. This Adam Dunn card was one of the shiniest.
 I had seen these cards which brought back the old Topps Rookies design from my youth, but this is my first time actually having one. I enjoy it more than a lot of the other retro designs, just wish it was super-glossy like the old ones, to give it a more realistic feel of being back in 1989.
 This was a funny card. I'm definitely not a Red Sox fan but Manny was one of the most fun players to come along in the last couple of decades, except when he was hitting home runs against the Yankees!
 The backs of the Bowman cards are always interesting. Sometimes they reveal more than they intend - doesn't sound like the Ethier brothers are terribly close.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Wallet Card at a Long Island privilege sign

One thing the wallet card and I have really been interested in finding is old privilege signs - advertising signs with Coke or Pepsi logos that were common in the 1950's and 1960's but are rarely seen today. I have shown a few in the city but this is the first I have spotted on Long Island - this is the Chateau Coffee Shop in Woodmere, across the street from the LIRR station. It appears to have opened in the mid-1970s and the sign almost certainly dates from then.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Player Profile: Bill Brennan

I have seven cards of Bill Brennan. This one is from 1989 Donruss.

Playing career: Bill Brennan pitched in four games for the 1988 Dodgers and eight games for the 1993 Cubs. Overall he was 2-2 with a 5.18 ERA.

Where he is now: A youth baseball instructor in Georgia.

My memories: I remember his card standing out to me as he basically shared a name with the Chief Justice of the US Supreme Court.

Google Autocomplete results: He is third when you type Bill Bre, between Bill Bredin, a youth hockey coach in New Jersey, and Bill Bresnan, a New Jersey man who has written a love letter to his wife every day for almost 40 years. Another prominent Bill Brennan was a boxer who twice fought Jack Dempsey.

Coming up next: The next profile will be Tom Brennan.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

The Arm's Dealer's Bounty

Recently I supplied Wes of Jaybarkerfan's Junk with some ammunition to bomb Bob Walk the Plank and P-Town Tom. In return he supplied me with a ton of minor league cards and 2015 Topps and Heritage cards.

What color is Charlie Blackmon's beard? Looks like a light brown, maybe somewhat reddish.
 According to the back, however, it is "ebony". I think we can safely call this an error card.
 I know people are gushing about the new Topps set because of the borders, but it has the same lackluster photography as the last few years, and to me that's a lot more important than the border. Who has a picture of the pitcher in mid-delivery and can't fit the ball into the frame?
 He sent a lot of inserts too, like this one about Roger Maris spoiling Patriots Day for the Red Sox, which was cool since this box came in the mail on Patriots Day.
 There was also a bunch of Heritage in the box, where for Topps it is still 1966 and all the players in the cartoons are white.
 I got this nice patch card of Nick Castellanos, than later in the evening saw him in the Tigers-Yankees game on TV.
 Most of the box was filled with minor league cards from the late-90's and early 00's, such as Just 2K. Though minor league cards by then were more serious than the highly-goofy 80's cards, there were still some great wacky shots.
 There was even a black-bordered parallel card.
 This was hand-written in, #1/50. I don't think I've ever gotten the first card in a numbered series before - very cool.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Wallet Card at Childs Restaurant

Childs' Restaurants were some of the earliest restaurant chains, alongside other NYC chains like Horn & Hardart and Bickford's. Started in 1889, the last restaurants in the chain closed in the 1960s. Childs' used a nautical them in their design, often intertwined seahorses such as those that remain at this location on 6th Avenue and 28th Street, now a McDonald's.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Player Profile: Michael Brenly

I have two cards of Michael Brenly. This one is from 2011 Bowman Chrome Prospects.

Playing career: Catcher Mike Brenly was the 36th-round draft pick in 2008 of the Chicago Cubs, for whom his father Bob was an announcer. Brenly languished in A-ball from 2008-2011. After a 2011 season in which he hit .206 with 1 HR and 24 RBI in 96 games, he was promoted to AA, where he hit .227 with 6 HR and 28 RBI. When his father moved to the Diamondbacks in 2013, so did the son, who played in only eight games at AAA Reno.

Where he is now: He was finally affiliated with another organization from his father in 2014, playing for Boston’s AA team in Portland, hitting .168 with 2 HR and 18 RBI. He re-signed with Boston for 2015 and is 4 for 10 in his first three games at Portland.

My memories: Only know him from his card.

Google Autocomplete results: He is the only person to come up when you google Michael Brenl. There do not appear to be any other prominent Michael Brenlys.

Coming up next: The next profile will be Bill Brennan.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Wallet Card at The Corner

The interesting Corner sign here is not for the Corner Cafe, a typical Manhattan Deli. No, it is the little sign above it that reads "The Corner, 24th Street".

This sign dates back to 1887 with the construction of the Koster & Bial saloon, which was commonly known as "The Corner". You can see the same sign in this 1892 print:

By 1893 the saloon was closed due to police raids after it became widely known as a place for illicit affairs. The site has changed businesses many times in the 120+ years since but that Corner sign remains.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Player Profile: Bob Brenly

I have 28 cards of Bob Brenly. This one is from 1988 Score.

Playing career: Bob Brenly caught for the Giants from 1981 to 1989. In 871 games he hit .247 with 91 HR and 333 RBI. His career year came in 1984, when he hit .291 with 20 HR and 80 RBI, earning his only all-star appearance and MVP vote.

Where he is now: After his retirement he was a Giants coach and later the manager of the Diamondbacks, winning the team’s only World Championship in 2001. After being fired in 2004 he became a Cubs broadcaster, and moved to the Diamondbacks’ booth in 2013.

Interesting facts: His son Michael Brenly was drafted by Dad’s team, the Cubs, in the 36th round in 2008. When Dad moved to Arizona in 2013, so did Michael. In 2014 he moved to the Red Sox organization, his first time playing for an organization his father did not work for.

My memories: $*#%! 2001 Diamondbacks.

Google Autocomplete results: He is second when you type Bob Bre, between Bob Brennan, a businessman convicted of money laundering, and Bob Breunig, a former Cowboys linebacker. There do not appear to be any other prominent Bob Brenlys.

Coming up next: The next profile will be Michael Brenly.