Monday, August 3, 2020

Vintage backgrounds: Royals Stadium Scoreboard

The Royals Stadium scoreboard, topped by the team's crown logo, features prominently on Jim Spencer's '76 card. This scoreboard debuted with the stadium's opening in 1973 and was replaced by an HD LED version in 2008.

Sunday, August 2, 2020

1981 Topps Rennie Stennett

The front: Stennett follows through at Shea Stadium. In two day games at Shea in 1980 he was 1-for-8 with a double.

The back: Stennett's pinch-single in the eight inning of Game One was not enough to prevent a Pirates loss, though they came back to win the Series. It was Stennett's only at-bat in World Series play.
The player: Stennett was the regular second baseman for the Pirates for much of the 1970s. A fine hitter with a little speed and a little power, he played in 1,237 games for the Pirates and Giants, hitting .274 with 41 HR, 432 RBI and 75 stolen bases. He is best known for his 7-for-7 performance in a nine-inning game in 1975 against the Cubs, the only player to accomplish that feat in the 20th century. This included hits off of both Reuschel brothers.

The man: Stennett coached for many years in his native Panama and is now retired.

My collection: I have 18 of his cards, from 1972 to 1982. I would be interested in trading for 1978 Hostess #33.

Cardboard cousins: 1964 Topps/2013 Heritage

Picking out my favorite pairs from the sets (in a switch, I have a lot more from the '64 set than the '13 set).

#324 Two Mets managers. Stengel is beloved, Collins generally unloved. Even though Collins was much more successful with the Mets.
 #165 Is Omar Infante's look of disgust because of Lumpe's hair, or his "Tigers Uniform"?
 #100 Two Yankee stars in the primes of their careers.
 #69 Two of the best third basemen in Yankees history.

Friday, July 31, 2020

Cards and vintage things: Coke and Grapefruit

Here's another pickup from Don and Chris Old Stuff. It's a receipt from the Arcadia Coca-Cola Bottling Company on March 18, 1966, to a doctor's office for two cases of Coke for $2.80. Note the alphanumeric phone number.
Why Dave Giusti? Though Arcadia is closer to Sarasota and Ft. Myers, the closest Grapefruit League action that day took place in Bradenton, where Astros lost to the Kansas City A's, despite several shutout innings from Giusti to start the game.

Thursday, July 30, 2020

Vintage backgrounds: Comiskey Park Scoreboard

1976 Topps has a few cards that really showcase some of the great scoreboards of the era. This one shows the famous Comiskey Park "exploding scoreboard", which debuted in 1959. The '76 Brian Downing has one of the best looks at it I've seen on a card.

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

1991 Columbia Mets

A couple of weeks ago Baseball Card Breakdown posted some Columbia Mets team sets that a reader named Alex sent him for his Tim Blackwell collection. On the top of one of the sets was this awesome Brooke Fordyce card.
I commented that I really like the background on this card. Alex saw my comment and reached out to me and asked if I would like a set too. So generous! This card had attracted my interest because of little snack building behind Fordyce and what appeared to be a traffic light behind. You don't see many traffic lights on baseball cards.

Turns out it is a traffic light! Associated with a railroad crossing. They've added some safety features in the last 30 years.

The cards are actually postcards, but I'm considering them baseball cards for my collection. Here's the Blackwell card that started it all:
 Double Trouble featured the two best players on the team, Aaron Ledesma and Fernando Vina.
 First basemen Bernie Millan is shown with his father and coach, former Met Felix Millan.
 Some more examples of the fun photography in this set.
Thanks Alex!

Tuesday, July 28, 2020

1981 Topps Bombo Rivera

The front: Great action shot of Rivera busting it out of the box at Yankee Stadium. Rivera didn't play in any day games at Yankee Stadium in 1980, so this is probably a shot from 1979. In two day games at the Stadium in '79 Rivera was 3 for 7 with a double.

The back: Those 12 assists in '79 represented just under half of Rivera's career total of 25.
The player: After a couple of promising seasons with the Twins in 1978 and 1979, Rivera hurt his knee in April of 1980 and was never the same. After 1980 he played five games for the Royals in 1982 and also played in Japan and Mexico.

The man: Rivera now coaches youth baseball and does charitable work in his native Puerto Rico.

My collection: I have seven of his cards, from 1977 to 1981. I would be interested in trading for 1983 TMCA Omaha Royals #19.

Monday, July 27, 2020

Cardboard cousins: Dave and Don

I matched up my new '59-style Baseball Card Magazine cards from Kerry with the cards I have from '59. I found one match - serendipitously, it was my favorite of the BCM cards, Dave Winfield, with the Don Hoak card I had just picked up a few days earlier!

Both were #25 in their sets. Hoak died at the age of 41 of a heart attack after managing the AAA Columbus Jets of the Pirates organization. One of Hoak's pitchers, Steve Arlin, was with the Padres when Winfield debuted for the team in 1973.

Cards and vintage things: Bicentennial/Land of Lincoln

Just time for a quick post today. I picked up another matchbook lot. Mostly Long Island but easiest to post this shiny matchbook - USA '76 - from King's Palace in Lisle, IL, outside of Chicago. It's pretty late so I just stuck the first '76 Cub and White Sock I could find. I just missed out on the Bicentennial; I'll be 99 years old for the Tricentennial.

Saturday, July 25, 2020

Cards on panels

I got some really nice magazine oddballs in a recent Cards on Cards giveaway. I got two 1989 Baseball Card Magazine panels. Just a few days before he posted these, I saw the Winfield on another blog (sorry, I forget which one), and thought it was an awesome card. And now I have it!
 There was also a panel with Don Mattingly on it, so of course I had to claim that one too!
 There was also this Topps Magazine card of Mattingly, with a fantastic action photo!

Friday, July 24, 2020

Vintage backgrounds: Wrigley Fields Schlitz Sign

I got this card in my recent pickup of '69s. I instantly fell in love with this card because of the great background, a unique angle of Wrigley Field. But what was the sign in the background?
I found this uncredited photo of Wrigley Field in 1970 on the NBCSports site. Here you can see an ad for Schlitz beer, one of the major Cubs sponsors at this time. Though it's a different ad, I think the logo here looks the same as the logo on the can above.

Thursday, July 23, 2020

Who will the ghosts be cheering for?

I was watching one of the Yankees-Mets exhibition games with my nine year old this week. Gary Sanchez hit a home run and the fake crowd noise kicked in. She said: "The ghosts are cheering!"

I wasn't even going to do an Opening Day predictions post, but the contest at The Bucs Stop Here inspired me. Below are my picks, though this year in particular really seems unpredictable. The short-season seems to be a disadvantage to an injury-prone team like the Yankees, but I'll always pick them first. Here are my picks (paired with some 50-year-old cards just for fun):

American League:
AL East Champion: Yankees
AL Central Champion: Indians
AL West Champion: A's
AL Wild Card #1: Rays
AL Wild Card #2: Red Sox

National League:
NL East Champion: Braves
NL Central Champion: Cardinals
NL West Champion: Dodgers
NL Wild Card #1: Brewers
NL Wild Card #2: Phillies

Most of these picks are pretty conservative, particularly the Division winners. I have a hard time counting the Red Sox out. I think the Astros will stumble with all of their controversies, and I can see the Nationals having a post-WS hangover too. And I wouldn't be surprised to see Girardi give the Phillies a big boost.

Wednesday, July 22, 2020

1981 Topps Mark Littell

The front: The Cardinals always seemed to have the most interesting spring training photos. Lots of different odd buildings in the background.

The back: Eric Littell was drafted by the Royals but did not play professionally.
The player: Mark Littell pitched nine seasons in the major leagues for the Royals and Cardinals. In 316 games he went 32-31 with 56 saves and a 3.32 ERA. Despite this successful career, he is forever remembered as the man who allowed Chris Chambliss's home run to win the 1976 ALCS.

The man: He recently wrote the book On The Eighth Day God Made Baseball, is the inventor of the protective cup called the Nutty Buddy, and does youth baseball coaching. In 2017 he shared with this blog an error on one of his cards.

My collection: I have thirteen of his cards, from 1974 to 1982. I would be interested in trading for 1976 O-Pee-Chee #593.

Tuesday, July 21, 2020

Cardboard Cousins: '63 Topps/'12 Heritage

Once again, most of the card numbers seem to match at least the player's position. Here are the ones I have that match more than that. '63 is the last year where I have relatively few cards from the vintage set. I will have to pare these down even further starting with '64/'13 so these don't become huge posts.

#289 Yankees pitchers
 #232 Red Sox first basemen
 #155 Yankees pitchers
 #149 Washington shortstops
 #136 Papelbon is pictured with the Phillies here but had been with the Red Sox in 2011. Delock was traded to the Orioles mid-1963.
 #130 Cardinals third basemen (some World Series heroics for both too)
 #100 White Sox first basemen. Clearly #100 wasn't a star number for Topps yet.
 #46 Braves outfielders
 #23 Kansas City managers
 #8 AL Pitching Leaders. Usually the players on the vintage league leader cards seem like bigger names than the current ones. Here the more recent card is clearly the winner.

Monday, July 20, 2020

Cards and vintage things: BINGO Winnings from Johnny's Trading Spot

I was fortunate to win some BINGO prizes from Johnny's Trading Spot. He sent me a large package with my winnings, some cards from a trade, and a really cool vintage non-baseball item.

These '19 and '20 set fillers are part of a separate trade.
The BINGO winnings start with these four '69 Deckle Edges. I need Bob Gibson for my set; the other three I had already and are up for trade.
 The rest of my winnings were about 500 O-Pee-Cards! Lots of cool stuff here.
1978-1981. I like the Bucky Dent Vedette de la L.A.
I had to show off this great one-of-a-kind card. While O-Pee-Chee was famous for updating the team of players traded in the off-season, that's not what happened here. The Mets didn't trade Mark Bomback to Toronto until April, too late for OPC to update his card. Unlike American kids who would just cross out the old name and scrawl in the new one, some young Canadian carefully cut the hat off of another Blue Jays pitcher's card and taped it precisely over the Mets cap on Bomback's card.
1982 and 1983. I like the way the All-Star and "Au Jeu" cards look in OPC. I also like the '83 OPC logo.
 Lots of '84 and '85! (Anyone working on the '85 set, let me know)
 Closing out the OPC section with a few from 1986-1992. By 1992 OPC had gotten lazy and didn't even bother writing Projet de Sélection on Benji Gi's card.
 Finally, Johnny threw in this old bottle. King's Brewery operated in Brooklyn in the 1930s, going out of business in 1938. It says "3 3" on the bottom of the bottle so maybe it is from 1933? I photographed it with one of the OPC cards, John Candelaria who was born in Brooklyn 20 years later.
 This is my first bottle in my "vintage things" collection. As I live in a very densely-populated area I don't have opportunities to go exploring in woods for old bottles, though I know some people do further out east. Here's a close up of the brewery name. Thanks Johnny for this great addition to my collection!

Sunday, July 19, 2020

Fifties foursome

I had almost $2 in ebay extra bucks this quarter, and pretty quickly I found a reasonably-priced set of 50s cards that I needed. With the extra bucks I was able to get four cards for 60 cents shipped. Not bad for '58s and '59s, especially as these are some reasonably big names here - Harvey Kuenn of course, but Granny Hamner and Don Hoak had pretty good careers too. And Bobby Morgan, at 94 years old, is one of the oldest living MLB players.

Saturday, July 18, 2020

Some '69s

I picked up a small lot of '69s recently on eBay. If there was one card that I really wanted since I started collecting vintage, it's the Aurelio Rodriguez card with the batboy's photo. It's a high-number, though, so it's a difficult one to get. I saw it in a reasonably priced lot of 50 and decided to get it. I spent a little more than I usually do for these but not too bad. However I ended up only needing 11 out of the 50 so hopefully I'll be able to trade some of the others. Fortunately there is some pretty good trade bait here.
 In addition to the A-Rod, other highlights were Al Kaline and another high-number.
 Some other cards I was able to add to my collection.
 Now on to the trade bait. The condition varies but most are in pretty good shape. Some pretty good names here, particularly the Mantle checklist. Santo is a semi-high number.
 The rest of the dupes. If you are working on a '69 set, check out my tradelist for the full list of cards I have available from that set.