Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Brian Harrison on baseball cards

Brian Harrison pitched in the Padres organization from 1987 to 1990. After a breakout year in 1990, when he went 5-2 with 18 saves and a 1.19 ERA at Class-A Riverside, he was a Rule V pick by the White Sox and pitched for the major league team in 1991 spring training. Unfortunately injuries kept him out of baseball from 1991-1993, but he did stage a comeback in 1994 and 1995 with San Bernardino and Memphis. Overall he pitched in 221 minor league games, going 26-24 with 37 saves and a 3.83 ERA. Now a youth baseball coach in San Diego, he kindly answered my questions about cards.

"My personal favorites are my 1986 rookie card because it was literally taken just moments after my 1st pro start.
Next, the 1990 Riverside RedWave throwing 94 mph. Great shot at my peak.
And the next is 1994 San Bernardino Spirit, another action card and is the one I'm most proud of because I endured 2 elbow surgeries and countless hours of grueling training and physical therapy. I never threw 94 again more like 86 89 but I learned how to pitch.
I feel like Moonlight Graham. I got close to my dream and wish, one pitch and gone. But I sleep well because I made the big league club with the 91 Chi Sox. And that's all I have to say about that⚾️"

Thanks! I don't have any of those cards but here is one from my collection.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

1993 Studio Carlos Garcia

Hobbies are music, going to movies, watching videos and playing video games: Lots of outdoorsmen in this set. Not Garcia, though.
Favorite player as a kid was Dave Concepcion: Garcia wore #13 as a tribute to his fellow Venezuelan shortstop.
Might have been a farmer if he hadn’t been an athlete: Not an unusual profession in Venezuela.
Pet peeve is errors: Garcia was a good fielder, making 47 errors in 2,547 total chances over eight major league seasons, for a .982 fielding percentage.
Where he is now: He was third base coach for the Venezuela team in the 2017 World Baseball Classic.

Monday, November 20, 2017

Wallet Card with some vestiges of classic New York retailers

Here are some barely-visible vestiges of a couple of classic New York retailers.
B. Altman was once considered one of the grandest New York department stores before closing in 1990 after over 120 years in operation. It's flagship store on 34th Street and 5th Avenue has been the CUNY Graduate Center since 1996, but faded letters where a sign once stood can still be seen on the façade.

Lerner Shops headquartered this building on Seventh Avenue for just two years in the 1920s before moving on, however shields with the company's name can still be seen at the top of the building. Founded in 1918, Lerner changed its name to New York & Company in 1995, as it is still known today.

1993 Studio Will Clark

Hobbies are hunting and fishing: Clark is still very active in both pursuits. Here are some recent fishing exploits, courtesy of

Favorite sports announcer is Chris Berman: No Berman nickname for Clark.

Favorite players as a kid were George Brett and Mike Schmidt: I guess he wanted to be a third baseman.

Most prized possession is his gun collection: In the 1990s Clark participated in a firearms injury prevention campaign for the National Fire Protection Association.

Might have been a petroleum engineer if he hadn’t been an athlete: Clark majored in the subject at Mississippi State.

Where he is now: A community ambassador for the Giants.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Rob Smith on baseball cards

Second baseman Rob Smith played in the Indians organization from 1990 to 1992. In 168 games he hit .200 with 0 HR, 27 RBI and 18 SB. Now the owner of the Smith Baseball Academy in Topeka, KS, he kindly answered my questions about baseball cards.

"There are baseball cards of myself from the 90’s. But no interesting stories about the cards. Tons of baseball stories, but none related to the cards. Maybe an interesting fact is that there are approx 9-10 different cards out there of my self, and I own zero. Hah."

Friday, November 17, 2017

Wes Chamberlain on baseball cards

Outfielder Wes Chamberlain played six seasons in the major leagues for the Phillies and Red Sox. In 385 games he hit .255 with 43 HR and 167 RBI. Now a youth baseball coach and motivational speaker, he kindly answered my questions about baseball cards.

"I don't have any stories or a favorite card. I do collect baseball cards."

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Willie Bloomquist on baseball cards

IF-OF Willie Bloomquist played fourteen seasons in the major leagues, mostly with Seattle and Arizona. In 1,055 games he hit .269 with 18 HR, 225, RBI and 133 SB. He kindly answered my questions about baseball cards.

"My favorite card was the Bowman card my RC year. I was told that it once reached over $40. I about fell off my chair. I think it's now less than a quarter. My favorite card of another player was hands down the Billy Ripken "f*** face" card. (Pardon the language). That's just downright priceless. I still have my collection of cards that I had when I was a kid. There used to be some decent value in a few of them but I haven't checked in years."

Thanks! I don't have that rookie card but here is a card of him from my collection.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Dave Coggin on baseball cards

Dave Coggin pitched for the Phillies from 2000 to 2002. In 60 games he went 10-12 with a 4.52 ERA. Now the owner of PFA Elite Baseball Training in Upland, CA, he kindly replied to my questions about baseball cards.

"One of my favorite card set memories is having my teammate to do this little famous pose🏈🏆🤔 #STUD
I’ll have to drag up my card from that set it’s an accurate insight to my future 😜🥊"
Thanks! I couldn't find a picture of Coggin's card from that set (1996 Best Piedmont Boll Weevils). Here is a card of him from my collection.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Fantastic package from Dime Boxes

Had a great trade with Nick from Dime Boxes. Hundreds of cards went both ways. He was just going to pull stuff from my want lists, but I like random stuff better and nobody puts together a random trade package like him. In fact I even showed him to a link from another blog from one of his trades and asked to get a package like that, and he went above and beyond. Everything from minor league oddballs to a card from 1959, mixed up in no particular order like these highlights:

I love unlicensed cards. Never seen this design before.
 My first ever card from the 1990 Donruss Learning set.
 There were lots of TCMA/SSPC etc cards of players from the past. This was the oldest, a Dee Miles card from 1975. Miles played for the Washington Senators and Philadelphia A's in the 1930s and 1940s.
 This is an amazing card. Pete Rose checking out the sports section - probably the racing form - in 1969 in a suit sitting on a slide in a playground. Check out the Western Airlines ad on the back of the newspaper.
 Here is an early example of bad airbrushing (or hand-coloring?). Wagner looks like a corpse that has been made up for viewing.
 Great card of Yankees legend Frankie Crosetti in his one year with the Pilots as a coach.
 I don't know if Nick put this card in before or after Halladay's death. The back of the card talks about how influential Halladay's father was for him. Halladay's two small children will grow up without their father because he had to be an idiot and do dangerous stunts with his plane.
 Nice autograph card. Brant Ust was born in Belgium and played nine seasons of pro ball in the US.
 Very fancy graphics for a local minor league card.
 Here's another autograph card. What's funny is that I have this card already, except the one I had already is numbered to 45,000, not 7,750. You can see that card in this 2009 blog post - it had come to me from Great Sports Name Hall of Fame who had gotten it from Padrographs. Looking it up online, it appears that the 45,000 card is not normally autographed - must have been an in-person or TTM signing, as opposed to the 7,750 which were autographed for the set. I'll consider them different cards and keep them both as opposed to putting one up for trade.
 Two 1975 SSPC cards featuring Oakland at the Yankees in Shea Stadium with the big Shea scoreboard in the background.
 Speaking of vintage Nick included some really great stuff. This 1973 Bill Parsons has a great photo, better than most modern cards. Tug McGraw's glove appears to say "HAMMER" on it - anyone know why?
 Two Milwaukee Braves from the early 1960s! I don't care if it's the little brother, any vintage Aaron card is awesome.
 Finally, the oldest card in the set, a 1959 Paul Giel. Giel looks a lot older than his 25 years at the time. He had recently come back from a year in the military. Very different being a 25-year-old professional athlete back then. A college baseball and football star, Giel turned down a contract from the CFL, pitched 102 games in the major leagues, and was a broadcaster for the Minnesota Vikings for several years.

Monday, November 13, 2017

1993 Studio Jose Canseco

Hobbies are bowling and collecting oriental art: In his 2012bankruptcy filing one of the “necessary household goods” he asked to keep was his bowling ball.
Favorite sports announcer is Howard Cosell: Cosell and Canseco were similar outspoken, polarizing personalities.
Favorite player as a kid was Reggie Jackson: Canseco was Reggie’s teammate during his final season in Oakland.
Might have been a nuclear physicist is he hadn’t been an athlete: Jokes like these make this set great.
Pet peeve is people who pre-judge: Something Canseco has certainly faced.
Where he is now:  Doing some announcing for NBC Sports California.