Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Wallet Card at A.S. Beck on 34th Street

A.S. Beck was a chain of shoe stores that proliferated in Manhattan from the 1930s to the 1970s. Their last location, on 34th Street across from Macy's, closed in 1982. However none of the subsequent stores, including the current "Cliquer's", have removed the great old art deco sign.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Player Profile: Kevin Bradshaw

I have one card of Kevin Bradshaw, from 1990 ProCards.

Playing career: Infielder Kevin Bradshaw played in the Tigers organization from 1986 to 1989. In 282 games he hit .241 with 0 HR, 65 RBI and 16 SB.

Where he is now: Minor league infield coordinator for the Orioles.

My memories: Only know him from his card.

Google Autocomplete results: He is first when you type Kevin Brads, ahead of Kevin Bradshaw Linkedin, referring to 114 people on the social media site. There are no mentions of the baseball player on the first page of google results; most are about a former college basketball star.

Coming up next: The next profile will be Terry Bradshaw.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Wallet Card - A Toynbee Tile

Toynbee Tiles are an interesting urban mystery. No one knows who has imprinted these messages on the streets of various US cities, with their brief, cryptic messages - "Toynbee Idea - Movie 2001 - Resurrect Dead - Planet Jupiter". Wikipedia gives a pretty good overview of the theories behind these mysterious tiles which have been found on roads in the northeastern US since the late 1980s.

Though most of the tiles are in Philadelphia and nearby cities, they have been found as far as Boston to the north, Washington to the south and Kansas City to the west. Check out this map to see if there are any in your city, and where exactly they are.

Here's Donnie Wallet Card checking out the Toynbee tile at 35th Street and Broadway.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Player Profile: Scott Bradley

I have 39 cards of Scott Bradley. This one is from 1986 Donruss.

Playing career: Catcher Scott Bradley played for the Yankees, White Sox, Mariners and Reds from 1984 to 1992. In 604 games, the backup backstop hit .257 with 18 HR and 184 RBI. He caught Randy Johnson’s first no-hitter in 1990.

Where he is now: He has been the head baseball coach at Princeton University for the past seventeen seasons.

Interesting facts: His brother Bob Bradley was the head coach for the US men’s soccer team in the 2010 World Cup.

My memories: I remember him being part of one of the many Yankee-White Sox trades of the mid-1980s.

Google Autocomplete results: He is fifth when you type Scott Bra, between Scott Braunstein, a money manager at hedge fund Point72, and Scott Bradlee Youtube, referring to pop music videos. The first entry when you google Scott Bradley is not the ballplayer but the composer for the classic MGM cartoons.

Coming up next: The next profile will be Kevin Bradshaw.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Philip Cerreto on baseball cards

Outfielder Philip Cerreto played in the Cardinals organization in 2010 and 2011. In 66 games he hit .304 with 7 HR and 51 RBI. Now a student at the Virginia Commonwealth University School of Pharmacy, he kindly answered my questions about baseball cards.

"I guess the one thing that's kinda funny is my mom owns a business and everyone kept giving her my baseball card that came in to see her. Now we have thousands of my Topps card (which is my favorite) in every different edition and all types of chrome. I used to be a big baseball card collector when I was younger but stopped because of school work, work in general, and just a lack of money."


Friday, January 23, 2015

Kelly Ahrens on his new baseball card venture

Catcher Kelly Ahrens played in the Giants organization in 1989 and 1990. In 98 games he hit .220 with 10 HR and 35 RBI. He now is the National Director of Rawlings Stars and Stripes Sports in Columbia, SC, which is an association of several top youth baseball teams across the country. When I asked him about baseball cards he shared that he is starting an interesting new baseball card venture (and can use some help):

"We are creating our own line of "Amateur" cards.  We will have a spring season, fall season and a "Special Edition" each year.  This will give our players 3 cards in a year to collect. I anticipate many of these guys will play professional baseball one day and the value of these could be worth while.  Creating this "Amateur" market is going to be big and I need an expert to assist/manage.

Basically the "Pin Trading" that goes on across the country will be replaced by "Card" trading, they can autograph and exchange.  I will have my own private label but assist in growing the market for other brands/teams as well."

I wonder if any of you readers have an interest in helping him out? Maybe someone with trading card or general business experience and wants to get into a baseball card-related venture?

Here is Ahrens's card from the 1990 CMC set:

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Luis Sojo does not have a favorite card

Infielder Luis Sojo played thirteen years in the major leagues, seven of them with the Yankees. In three World Series with the Yankees he hit .400, and he is best known for his ninth-inning, go-ahead hit off of Al Leiter to win the final game of the 2000 World Series. Most recently a minor league coach for the Yankees, he kindly (if briefly) answered my questions about baseball cards.

"I have lots of cards but I have no favorite!!"

Thanks! He may not have a favorite but I do:

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Wallet Card at the Horn & Hardart

Horn & Hardart Automats were once ubiquitous in the city.  From the 1920s to the 1960s these places were very popular. These automats had little glass containers on the walls with foods. You would put your coin in a slot and that would open up the glass container and get your food. Eventually the rise of fast food killed the automats. (In fact, the McDonalds you see in my last Wallet Card photo is actually the former location of an automat). I remember eating at one when I was a kid, it was kind of fun.

The last Horn & Hardart automat, on 42nd and 3rd, closed in 1991. The location at 7th and 38th most have closed many years earlier, but their sign is still clearly visible above a parking garage.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Player Profile: Ryan Bradley

I have three cards of Ryan Bradley. This one is from 1998 Fleer Tradition Update.

Playing career: Ryan Bradley was the Yankees’ #1 draft pick in 1997 and went on the fast track to the majors. In the minor leagues in 1997 and 1998 he went 12-6 with a 2.44 ERA, walking 56 and striking out 191. In a call-up to the Yankees late in 1998 Bradley went 2-1 with a 5.54 ERA, walking 9 and striking out 13. His confidence must have been shaken because he completely lost his control and was never the same pitcher again. In the minor leagues from 1999 to 2002, he went 18-23 with a 6.01 ERA.

My memories: I remembered him as a highly talented prospect and wondered why I never heard about him after his brief big league appearance.

Where he is now: A Risk Manager at Wells Fargo Insurance Services.

Google Autocomplete results: He is eighth when you type Ryan Bra, between Ryan Branski, an Associate Director at NYU Voice Center, and Ryan Brandau, Artistic Director at Princeton Pro Musica. The first entry when you google Ryan Bradley is not the ballplayer but a figure skater.

Coming up next: The next profile will be Scott Bradley.

Wallet Card: Style Undies

One of the coolest thing about old buildings are the vintage ads painted on the sides - they are almost always many decades out of date, making them a nice little time capsule.
This one on West 36th street, near 6th Avenue, always makes me laugh because of the name all the way at the top - Style Undies (you can see it if you "view image" and then zoom in). Thanks to the great site 14 to 42 I learned that Style Undies was the name of a children's underwear manufacturer that was in that building from 1938 to 1957, when they relocated two blocks south. They went out of business in 1973.

The site also gives details on the six other companies who have ads on the side of the building. All have been out of business for decades and none have been in this particular building since 1967.