Second baseman Paul Faries was one of the few players in this set to make their way from the mall to the majors. He played in 96 games for the Padres and Giants from 1990 to 1993, hitting .201 with 0 HR and 14 RBI.
The Crescent was a department store with seven locations, including three in Spokane where the company started in 1889. The University City location opened in 1969, the same year the store hired Dolores Del Monte, Playboy's Miss March 1954, to demonstrate scarves and scarf clips, breaking all company sales records for scarf accessories. The Crescent was renamed Frederick & Nelson in 1988 and closed in 1992.
Did a big street trade with Al, with about 40 cards going each way. Probably my last one with him for a while unless he sells his last card of somebody. I was picking through his big box of star players that is organized by individual. I'd picked through this a few times so was pretty much down to guys I had passed over before because I didn't care for them - either players I disliked or ones that I respected but were big Yankee killers.
I never liked Cal Ripken, a far inferior player breaking Lou Gehrig's record. Still, I'd never had an Etch-A-Sketch card and I do love anything unusual. I took a few Ripkens because Al was trying to get rid of him, I guess he's a player that just doesn't sell.
I disliked the Braves even before they ended up playing the Yankees in a couple of World Series. I guess it is because of TBS they used to have all of their games on TV, and familiarity breeds contempt. In fact some of the rare times I rooted for the Mets was when they played the Braves in the World Series. Nothing really against Glavine, just a guy associated strongly with those teams.
I actually like Ken Griffey quite a bit but 20+ years later I still can't look at replays of the end of the 1995 ALDS. Al was trying to convince me that this was a "very rare" card because of the gold foil.
Chipper Jones is another Brave I always disliked. I am a sucker for shiny cards though. Had to photograph at an odd angle to get it to shine which is why this card looks weird - it's not actually twisted.
Haha, a lot of Braves here. I lost all respect for Maddux when he took a smaller offer from the Braves than the one the Yankees gave him because he was afraid to pitch in New York.
I don't actually dislike Randy Johnson at all, but between the 1995 ALDS, the 2001 World Series, and his own mediocre Yankees stint I've got quite a few negative baseball memories of him.
I don't dislike Manny Ramirez either, but he is probably the single most prolific Yankee killer in my thirty years of watching baseball.
There were also plenty of guys I had passed over not because I had any negative impression of them but just because they weren't terribly interesting - Gwynn, Sandberg, Bonds etc - a lot of NL guys I guess.
And I did find a couple of Yankees cards I had missed previously. Fun to find mid-80s Yankee cards I still needed.
Nice 1987 Topps Rickey Henderson All-Star.
I had just thought this was a Fernando Valenzuela card - turns out it was one of those three-player cards. From this angle you can see Dave Righetti, Rick Sutcliffe and Fernando's legs all at once.
Scribners bookstore was located in a Beaux-Arts building on Fifth Avenue across from Rockefeller Center, the only landmarked building designed to house a bookstore. The famous bookstore had numerous famous regular customers, including Joan Baez, Bob Dylan and Caroline Kennedy. Scribners closed in 1988 (the name still exists as a publishing company owned by CBS) and the location is now a Sephora. However the Charles Scribners' Sons sign can still be seen above the Sephora.
Francisco DeLaCruz pitched in the Padres organization in 1986 and 1987. In 19 appearances he went 1-1 with a 6.55 ERA.
I had written about Dodson's Jewelers previously, at the time I thought the photos were taken in NorthTown Mall. Here is a link to a Dodson's ad from 1985, which doesn't even list NorthTown as a location (but it does have University City!)
This sign for Adams Real Estate goes back to the early 1960s. Note the phone number in the last line of the sign - ORegon9-5500. Always cool to find exchanges names on an existing sign. What is really great in this case though is that the phone number is still valid - you can still call the company today at 212-679-5500.
When I first started this series about cards taken (I thought) in Spokane's NorthTown Mall, I noted that the Spokane uniforms looked more like Royals uniforms than those of the parent club the Padres. Reader Adam made a comment on that post explaining the cool reason why they looked like KC uniforms. Then he dropped a bigger bombshell:
" Actually, Spokane was the San Diego Padres short-season A affiliate at
this time. Spokane lost AAA baseball after the 1982 season, when they
were affiliated with the California Angels. The franchise returned in
1983 with the Padres organization, and then was bought by George Brett
and his brothers in 1985, who changed the team's uniform style and
colors from the Padres' brown and yellow to a style and colors similar
to that of the Kansas City Royals, with whom Brett played. Also,
since the set was sponsored by University City (check the back of the
card), another prominent mall in town at the time, I'm inclined to think
that the photos were taken there rather than at Northtown. I couldn't
imagine that U-City would have its name on the back of the cards but
then have the photos be taken at a competing mall."
Not the NorthTown Mall? The recent MILB.com article that brought the cards their recent notoriety said they were taken in the NorthTown Mall, based on their interview of someone who was working for the team at the time. But what if his memory was faulty? It was 30 years ago. Adam is right, all the cards had a logo for University City on the back - I did not realize it was a mall, just that it was "easy for you".
However, every store I had been looking up seemed to be in NorthTown Mall. Turns out they were all in U-City too. Perhaps that is why both malls have had their struggles - in fact U-City was demolished in 2015, fifty years after it opened. Maybe Spokane didn't need two different malls with apparently identical stores.
Check out this 1982 University City mall directory, from flickr user ky24941:
Harvey's, JC Penney, Candy 'n Carmelcorn, Rosauer's, Hickory Farms, Regis Hair Stylists, Dodson's, Mandell's, DJ's Sound City. All had U-City locations. I think it is safe to say that Adam is right and these photos were taken at University City and not Northtown.
In fact, it turns out there is even a 1986 set taken in the mall, and it is just called "Spokane University City". However it appears to be very rare. STB Sports, the site where I got the other three sets for under $10 each, lists it at $130.
I am going to leave a comment on the MILB.com site - I doubt they'll address it, but at least maybe someone will see it. Thanks Adam!
Third baseman Ken Reitz played eleven seasons in the major leagues, mostly for the Cardinals. A Gold Glove winner in 1975 and an All-Star in 1980, he hit .260 with 68 HR and 548 RBI for his career. Now a player community services representative for the Cardinals, he kindly answered my questions about baseball cards.
"The cards we had were taken mostly in NY. We never knew what the guy
was taking pictures for. We just did it. We got 125 dollars for our
contract with Topps. But didn't really care, was doing what I loved.
Favorite card? One blowing a Bubble."
Thanks! I don't have that card, but here is one from my collection.
I gave Al my last four Yankees cards of Nettles. He told me the reason they are so hot - "Everyone named Craig wants his cards because they have the same name". Turns out even Al thought that Nettles's first name was Craig and not Graig.
Here is what I got in return for four Nettles cards:
Two Andre Dawsons, a Tim Raines and a David Justice. Turns out I already had the Justice (hard to tell from the photo, it is a 1994 Sportflix) so that is up for trade if anyone wants it.