Friday, December 6, 2019

Patrick Bryant on baseball cards

Patrick Bryant pitched in the Twins organization from 2004 to 2006. In 39 games he went 3-6 with a 5.81 ERA. Now an Investment Advisory Supervisor at Navy Federal Credit Union, he kindly answered my questions about baseball cards.

- Do you have any stories about cards of yourself or of other players?
I was at a Wal-Mart in Tennessee and I bought a pack of baseball cards, I pulled a card of myself. That was pretty cool! This happened about a year after I finished my career in baseball. Another memory I had was signing my name 7500 times in one day, for my signatures to go on baseball cards.
 Do you have a favorite card of yourself or of another player?
My favorite card I have is of Nolan Ryan. I don't have a favorite card of myself due to my ERA being on the back, but my mother and grandmother love them all!
- Do you collect baseball cards?
Currently I do not collect cards but I have in the past. I still have a nice collection at home, and show them off every now and then. Having a baseball card is one of the best experiences an athlete can have. I'm very thankful for having the opportunity to be on a baseball card, I just tell my family and friends to not look at the back of my cards!


Thursday, December 5, 2019

Matt Fox on baseball cards

Matt Fox pitched nine seasons of professional baseball, including stints in the major leagues with the Twins and Red Sox in 2010. In 201 minor league games he went 53-40 with a 3.90 ERA. Now Territory Manager for OMG Roofing Products in Orlando, he kindly answered my questions about baseball cards.

- Do you have any stories about cards of yourself or of other players?  
When I first got drafted in 2004, my father used to go on eBay every day and buy all of my cards. He must have won every bid.  Proud father I suppose haha.  When he moved 2 years ago, he gave me a box full of them and they are in my attic.  As far as other players, Pat Neshek was someone who took card signing and collecting very seriously.  It was fun to see how much he enjoyed it and hear about his collection.

- Do you have a favorite card of yourself or of another player?  I have a collection of Scott Atchison cards, I played with Atch with the Red Sox and in Pawtucket.  Was one of, if not the best teammate I ever had and he was my favorite player to collect because of it.

- Do you collect baseball cards?  Not any more though I do have a large collection from when I was younger in the attic.


Wednesday, December 4, 2019

1981 Topps Wayne Nordhagen

The front: Looks like he might be signing an autograph. The photo is at Comiskey Park.

The back: Nordhagen pitched in two games for the White Sox in 1979, for an inning each, giving up two runs. They were his only major league pitching appearances.

The player: 1980 was Nordhagen’s best season, and the only one where he played in more than 100 games. In exactly 500 games as a part-time OF-DH, he hit .282 with 39 HR and 205 RBI.

The man: Since his playing days ended Nordhagen has owned an exterminating company and coached youth softball.

My collection: I have 12 of his cards, from 1978 to 1983. I would be interested in trading for 1981 Coca-Cola White Sox #11.

Tuesday, December 3, 2019

Big additions to '73

I made another eBay purchase. 300 1973 cards for $50. Just over 16 cents a card. Considering what was in there I think I did all right. It was advertised as low-to-mid grade but most cards were in pretty decent shape.

My criteria these days for a big lot is to have big stars and high numbers. There wasn't much description of the lot, and not many photos. These three (plus one other) in the photos led me to pull the trigger. The Gossage rookie is a big-time card, and you just don't see vintage Ryan base cards in these kinds of lots very often. The Dwight Evans rookie card is not at the level of those two, but I knew it was a high-number so it made me hopeful there would be more.
 Here are some other Hall-of-Famers in the lot that I needed. Another Ryan on the League Leaders card. Blomberg is not a Hall-of-Famer but that card is iconic to those of us who collected the 1988 set. At this point I now need less than 100 cards from this set. Still need the Schmidt rookie of course. The other big ones left at this point are Mays, Reggie, Bench and some of the All-Time-Great subset cards.
 So much great photography! (Plus Wes Helms's awesome sideburns). The Beckert is my favorite.
 66 of the cards were new to me (plus three manager variations). Half of them were high numbers.
 Not quite a wallet-card but close! Maybe we need to start duffle-bag cards.
 Now, on to the 230+ cards for trade. I mentioned one other card helped sway me to the purchase. I already had a Hank Aaron card but it was trimmed on the sides. I'd rather trade the trimmed one (I put it on the back of another card so you can see where it is trimmed on the right or left) but I suppose if someone overwhelmed me for the better one I could be talked into it. But maybe someone wants a kind-of-unique oddball Aaron?
 Some more big names to trade, including a second-year Fisk.
 Lots more great photography. Including the Luis Alvarado parking lot card! (A high number)
 Almost 40 high numbers to trade.
 A sharp eyed reader might notice the checklist in there. I remember reading about it on Night Owl's blog recently - apparently unmarked copies of #588 go for big bucks - a quick look online shows the cheapest at $17 on COMC, $20 on eBay and none on Sportlots. I already have a marked-up copy which is fine with me. If Night Owl still needs it I should give him first crack, as I wouldn't have known it was so valuable otherwise. But if he doesn't need it and someone else wants to try to overwhelm me with an offer . . .

Monday, December 2, 2019

Wallet Card at a long-vanished Rockville Centre ice cream parlor

I spotted this sign in an alley on Merrick Road in Rockville Centre. The Coca-Cola sign is what originally caught my eye - it is pretty faint, a little easier to see in person but it goes most of the way up the first floor. "Stationery - Ice Cream Parlor" is still pretty easy to read, though I couldn't make out the business name on top. Walker's?

Sunday, December 1, 2019

1981 Topps Dennis Leonard

The front: Two cards in a row with a happy guy in an anonymous green dugout.

The back: I could only find information on one no-hitter, for Class-A Waterloo in 1972.

The player: An alumnus of Oceanside High School (NY) and Iona College, Leonard was one of the best pitchers in Royals history. From 1975 to 1981 he was one of the best pitchers in the American League, winning 20 games three times. A knee injury wiped out most of two seasons for Leonard, though he did come back for one more season in 1986. Overall in 312 games, he went 144-106 with a 3.70 ERA.

The man: Leonard has been an instructor for the Royals for many years.

My collection: I have 22 of his cards, from 1975 to 1987. I would be interested in trading for 1983 Fleer Star Stickers #95.