Thursday, December 31, 2009

New Year's Eve - Ball Drop Time

It's New Year's Eve - time for the ball to drop in Times Square. I guess it's going to be hit to Luis Castillo.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Future dental star

How many of you have this Gary Sheffield card and never noticed his teeth? He has the letters GS inlaid in gold on his two front teeth.

Why GS? Does it stand for "great smile"? Is his favorite TV show Get Smart? Or is he referring to grand slams, of which he has hit thirteen in his career. I can't think of anything else GS might stand for. . .

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

This end up

You would think, by his fourth season in the major leagues, Ernie Whitt would have figured out which end of the bat is up.

I know, I know, this is probably seconds after a bunt, but even still, what a lousy picture for your baseball card.

Monday, December 28, 2009

This card needs support

Here's another card with an interesting element I overlooked for a long time. Look closely at the background.

This is the only card I have seen to feature crutches!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

What are those?

Ever have a baseball card for a long time and never pay that close attention to it, and then look at it closely for the first time and see something weird? That happened to me here.

What are those giant bracelets that Bob Pate is wearing? They are much to big for his wrists, and look like they would fall off if he put his hands down at his sides.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Red vs. Green

Earlier this month Mark's Ephemera had a fun contest where you had to guess what a bunch of cards had in common. One unexpected aspect of playing in the contest was that I noticed a little variation within 1989 Fleer.

In that set, each team had a border of the same color. For example, every Yankee had a red border:

However, for some reason, only the Oakland A's had two borders. Most cards had the A's signature green, but a few had red for some reason:

Bet you never noticed that before!

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Moose-mas

Mike Mussina and his wreath wish you a happy holiday season!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

My "inexplicable" card collecting choices

The "Dinged Corners" blog asks what our most "inexplicable" card collecting choices. In my case, I suppose, the inexplicable choice is what I do not collect.

I'll collect just about anything. I don't care about the condition . . .

. . . or how unpopular the set is among most collectors.

Even though I'm a Yankee fan, I'm happy to add Red Sox and even Mets to my collection.

The one boundary to my collection - no cards before 1978. Hey, everyone's got to have a limit.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009


How can a guy who played in the majors from 1974 to 1984 be a "Pre-Rookie" in 1991?

I guess he is a "Pre-Rookie" Manager, though you don't usually hear a first-year skipper being called a rookie. And besides, Stearns clearly still wants to play - that's his glove on the railing, with the JS initials.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

The autograph goes on the front!

The readers have chimed in and overwhelmingly agree that an autograph goes on the front. Rod even goes so far as to write in the autograph space asking the player to sign the front. Several readers pointed out other sets which have autograph spaces on the back. Rod pointed out Mothers Cookies, which being West Coast based I have heard of but never seen, and GCRL pointed out a set called Permagraphics which I've never heard of.

Some more mainstream sets include Classic, pointed out by Night Owl. Here's an example from the awesome tiger-striped 1990 set:

Pricelesspursuit remembers Starting Lineup cards having spaces for autographs on the back. I don't have many, but the ones that do have a facsimile autograph on the back.

Those sets had a cool design, but I think the abbreviation O for outfield looks a bit weird.

There's no doubt about it, an autograph looks best on the front!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Where should the autograph go?

In the baseball card autograph world there is apparently a big difference between an autograph on the card and an autograph on a sticker on a card. But if the auto is on a card, does it matter where it is? I've only ever seen them on the front. Are they just as good on the back?

In the 1990 Best minor league set, and probably others, there is a place specifically set aside for autographs. Not on the front:

But on the back! Is that considered as good as on the front? If you wanted this card signed, which side would you want autographed?

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Wrigley Wrecks - 1981 Donruss Edition

Last week I posted a bunch of mid-eighties Topps cards showing players at Wrigley Field looking like they just had a rough night out, after Chris Welsh's comment that the Topps photographer there often caught players hung over. I figured it would be fun to check out the 1981 Donruss set, as about 90% of that set was photographed in Chicago. Sure enough, there were a lot of players who looked like they had a rough night. Or maybe were just photographed facing the sun.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Blue Jays on Cards

I got a nice stack of Blue Jays minor league cards from Kerry of Cards on Cards. The nice thing about being an omnivorous collector is that everything fits great into your collection.
I love minor league cards for all the little weird touches.

Celebrate Knoxville!

A boyhood photo of Crabbie Crabtree!

This is the best of the lot - check out all the dents in the metal outfield wall!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Scott Sanders on baseball cards

Scott Sanders pitched seven years in the major leagues for the Padres, Mariners, Tigers and Cubs. He now runs the Sanders Baseball & Softball Academy in Louisiana. He kindly answered my request for his thoughts on baseball cards.

"One of my favorite cards is: Tony Gwynn forgot his jersey at the hotel for a spring training game, and had to hit in my jersey-- his 1st at bat. It ended up on one of his baseball cards.
My favorite card is my Topps rookie card. It is me & Brian Johnson. I waited all of my life to have a MLB Rookie Card. It is my favorite--even though I share it with Brian.
I collected cards as a youngster. My mom collects cards for my kids now."


Thursday, December 17, 2009

One more card story from Benny Ayala

Benny Ayala had one more card story to share:

"I have about 7 or 8 different cards . I know that in one of them that the picture was taken in Chicago that I like a lot ; Brooks Robinson told me that I was looking good. That was a perfect day to take the picture. He said 'looking good Benny today in case you have a bad game today.'

After that I always shave before the game, good hair cut, shine shoes, complete clean uniform, brand new hat. In case I have a bad game always looking good."

I can't figure out which card was taken in Chicago - none of those on the Beckett site look like they were taken there. Perhaps it is an oddball card like an Orioles postcard that he is referring to?

Even his card in the 1981 Donruss set, where most AL players were photographed at Comiskey, doesn't appear to have been taken there, due to the red seats in the background. He does look good, though.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Benny Ayala on baseball cards

Benny Ayala started his major league career with a bang, hitting a home run in his first major league at bat. He totaled 38 home runs in his ten year career, and hit .429 in two World Series with the Orioles. Fans interested in his autograph or those of other Puerto Rican former major leaguers should check out this post at Paul's Random Stuff. I wrote to him and he kindly responded with his thoughts on baseball cards.

"I have favorite cards - the 83 Orioles, the 79 Orioles and the 74 NYM; and all of the ex major league players from P.R.

I don't collect baseball cards but I have the opportunity many times to get them signed by my teammates."


Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Wrigley Wrecks

The other day I posted about how Chris Welsh said that the Topps photographers would come out to Wrigley Field early in the day and catch the players still hung over. That makes sense considering that, as they played only day games there back then, the players had the whole night to get wasted.

Now you know why Jim Frey needed dark glasses even when it was cloudy.

Rick Sutcliffe was out partying with Bill Murray again. I think Murray stole his hat.

Maybe Murray stole Steve Trout's hat too. And ripped the sleeves off his jacket.

I don't think Bob Sykes has even noticed yet that his hat is gone, too.

Dick Tidrow isn't hung over, but had way too many baked beans the night before.

And here are some more assorted "the sun is too bright/ow my head hurts" faces:

Monday, December 14, 2009

Chris Welsh's baseball card collection up for sale

Yesterday I wrote about Chris Welsh's baseball card collection, how he bought two card-catalog cases full of baseball cards and wants to get rid of them. He is interested in selling them (cases and cards together) - $400 for one or $700 for both. Each drawer contains a complete set or close to it. If anyone is interested in buying them, let me know and I'll have him contact you.