Monday, March 30, 2015

Wallet Card visits a few old signs

Here the wallet card visits a few very old signs that have survived into present-day Manhattan.

The Clover Deli on 34th Street has been around since the 1940s, and their famous neon sign is almost as old as the store.

Above this typical eatery on the corner of 6th Avenue and 24th Street is a sign labeling the corner as "The Corner". The sign dates back to when this building was constructed in 1879 as a vaudeville theater called "The Corner".
Finally, a sign from the front of Master Cutting Table, a fashion supply store on 27th Street that is virtually unchanged since the 1960s. 

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Player Profile: Craig Brazell

I have four cards of Craig Brazell. This one is from 2003 Topps.

Playing career: First baseman Craig Brazell played for the Mets in 2004 and the Royals in 2007. In 29 games he hit .263 with 1 HR and 3 RBI.

Where he is now: He has played in Japan since 2008. Last year he was limited to just 35 games with the Chiba Lotte Marines due to injury, hitting .276 with 4 HR and 14 RBI.

My memories: Only know him from his card.

Google Autocomplete results: He is first when you type Craig Braz, ahead of Craig Brazeman, CEO of Profiles Investigations. There do not appear to be any other prominent Craig Brazells.

Coming up next: The next profile will be Dewon Brazelton.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Wallet Card at The Daily Planet

In the original Superman movie with Christopher Reeve, the offices of the fictional newspaper Daily Planet were at the real offices of the newspaper Daily News, with their giant globe in the center.

The coolest part about the globe are the notes around the base that give you an idea about the relative size of our world within the larger universe. The News Building is three blocks away from Grand Central, about a half a mile.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Player Profile: Bill Bray

I have three cards of Bill Bray. This one is from 2004 Topps Traded.

Playing career: Bill Bray pitched for the Nationals and Reds from 2006 to 2012. In 258 games he went 13-12 with 3 saves and a 3.74 ERA.

Where he is now: A pitching instructor at Colonial Baseball Instruction and Jamestown High School in Virginia, he also writes a column for The Sporting News.

My memories: Last month he shared his thoughts on cards with this blog.

Google Autocomplete results: He is first when you type Bill Bray, ahead of Bill Brayton, a professor of art at Hampton College. Another prominent Bill Bray was Michael Jackson’s bodyguard.

Coming up next: The next profile will be Craig Brazell.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Wallet Card following Joe DiMaggio

Time to make the wallet cards a little baseball related.  Here it is at a couple of the former residences of Yankee legend Joe DiMaggio.

During his playing career he lived for a while at the New Yorker Hotel on Eighth Avenue. I have to admit that when I would see the famous sign I thought it was the headquarters for New Yorker Magazine.

He also lived at The Whitby apartments on 45th Street. (As you can tell by the snow I took this one a few weeks ago.)

From 1972 until the bank's demise in 1992, DiMaggio did television commercials for The Bowery Savings Bank. Though the bank hasn't existed in more than twenty years it's name can still be found on a building on 42nd Street, across from Grand Central, now home to a restaurant.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Player Profile: Steve Braun

I have sixteen cards of Steve Braun. This one is from 1982 Fleer. The photo appears to have been taken in Philadelphia, so it was probably taken by Bob Bartosz.

Playing career: Outfielder Steve Braun came up with the Twins in 1971 and was a regular for them until being selected by the Mariners in the 1977 expansion draft. Braun spent a year and a half in Seattle before moving on to the second part of his career, as a pinch-hitter extraordinaire for the Royals, Blue Jays and Cardinals. In 1982 he helped the Cardinals win the World Series with an RBI hit and a bases-loaded walk.

Where he is now: An associate at Ignite, an energy marketing firm in New Jersey.

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

Google Autocomplete results: He is seventh when you type Steve Bra, between Steve Brancato, star of the reality show “Prospectors”, and Steven Brahms, a photographer. The first entry when you google Steve Braun is not the ballplayer but an actor.

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

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Awesome cards from Baseball Card Breakdown

Defgav of Baseball Card Breakdown sent me a small flat-rate jammed with awesome cards, all the kind of randomness I love. There were a lot of Padres, probably extras that he gets and doesn't need. That's probably a good idea for me to look for when trading with team collectors, get some of their random dupes. I collect everything and love them all!

There was too much to show here, so I'll just show some of the highlights, the hits and the stuff I had seen but never had before.

Gav recently made some awesome custom card-magnets from the "Springfield Nine" episode of The Simpsons. I must admit I had rarely watched the show after the first couple of seasons, but have started getting back into it recently.
 And a "blog-used button"!
 Very cool when a memorabilia card tells you exactly when the piece of memorabilia was used. Now whenever I go back to read "The future of sticker autos" I'll know I have a piece of the shirt that helped create it.
 It's pretty hard these days to find a type of set I'd never had before, so it's really impressive that Gavin came up with three. Being on the east coast, I'd never had a Mother's Cookies card. It's got a bit of a minor-league feel (in a good way) with the pitcher wearing eye-black, and with a team he's not generally thought of as being with. I think of Smith as a Brave and a Met but he did spend a year and a half as a Padre.
 This was a set put out in 1991 with everyone who ever played with the Orioles. I'd seen these on blogs before but never thought I'd get any. I find this set interesting, and also should probably scout out the sets put out for the Dodgers (that GCRL showcases every week) and the one for the Yankees put out by The Wiz at about the same time. In these sets you can tell they struggle to get photos of the obscure players. Looks like a private eye with a telephoto lens took this shot.
 Finally, my first 2015s! I never buy retail anymore, I just get all my new cards by trade. Works out pretty well. This is my first card of the newest Yankee starting pitcher, Nathan Eovaldi.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Player Profile: Ryan Braun

I have 22 cards of Ryan Braun. This one is from 2008 Upper Deck Masterpieces.

Playing career: Outfielder Ryan Braun came up with the Brewers in 2007 and quickly established himself as a star, winning the AL Rookie of the Year award that year and the MVP four years later. In his first six years in the majors he hit .300 five times (hit .285 in 2008), hit 30 HR five times (25 in 2010) and drove in 100 runs five times (97 in 2007). However, after his 2011 MVP win he failed a steroid test, and though he initially was able to blame the test due to irregularities in the way his sample was handled, after the 2012 season he was linked to Biogenesis and accepted a lengthy MLB suspension, which coupled with some injuries has limited him from superstar to merely pretty good.

Where he is now: In 2014 hand and rib injuries limited him to 135 games, and he hit .266 with 19 HR and 81 RBI.

My memories: He seemed like one of the best stars in the majors, and I was rooting for him to be innocent of the original drug test failure. Sadly it has not worked out well for him lately.

Google Autocomplete results: He is second when you type Ryan B, between Ryan Bingham, a singer, and Ryan Boatright, a point guard for the UConn Huskies.

Coming up next: The next profile will be Steve Braun.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

2013 Topps Series 2 is off hiatus and off my want list

Tony L. of Off Hiatus Baseball Cards put a nice dent in my 2013 Topps want list, knocking out the entirety of series two. I only had about 30 cards in series two, so there were probably about 300 cards in Tony's great package.

Some highlights:

Still can't believe Derek Jeter is not a Yankee anymore.
 Topps sure does use the same style of shot over and over again. Occasionally though there is something just a little bit different, like Juan Nicasio's bulging eyes.
 Francisco Cervelli always seemed to be in the middle of a walk-off win. Here he has just scored off an RBI single from Raul Ibanez at the end of the season, when Ibanez was pretty much carrying the team.
 Can't tell if Steve Lombardozzi Jr. is getting doused by fiery lava or is wearing a bright orange fur scarf.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Great trade package from Sport Card Collectors

Got a ton of minor league cards from Sport Card Collectors (who incidentally is running a World Series contest). A lot of unusual, hard-to-find cards, with lots of the awesome weirdness that you can only find on minor league cards.

Here are some highlights:

Not to many coach cards where the coach is shown coaching.
 This one really caught my eye. Who is Ernie Sierra, and why is there a picture of a 1940s-style Red Sox on a 1989 San Jose Giants card? The back of the card tells nothing. Looking at Baseball-Reference, Sierra played for San Jose when it was a Red Sox farm team from 1947-1951. Presumably he was still working for the team in some capacity.
 Air guitar?
 Here's another odd card, Joe DeDario.
 At least this time the back of the card gives some explanation.
 Incredible shot of the ball just as it hits the bat. Or maybe it was just taped to it...
 Another goofy pitching coach shot from the Giants organization.
 A Rick Vaughn card from before he was traded to the Indians' organization and converted to pitching.
 Finally, he threw in this pack of Elvis trading cards from 1992. I didn't open it and is up for trade if anyone wants it. If anyone from the Trade-A-Thon is interested in this I'll gladly add it to their cards.