Thursday, September 23, 2021

1973 TCMA Cedar Rapids Astros

Here is the oldest and final set in this series. According to this recent post from Night Owl, this was the second minor league set TCMA created, after doing the Cedar Rapids Cardinals the previous year.

The set is a little smaller and thinner than standard size. There are facsimile autographs on the cards. Topps used the signatures from player contracts when they put autographs on cards. I think what TCMA did was have players sign the actual photo and then reprint that. Steve Englishbey signed his name over his mouth and appears to have dotted the "i" with a heart. Despite having the signed photo available TCMA still managed to misspell his name.
Some players did not have an autograph. This is not the Mike Stanton who became Giancarlo, or the one who pitched in six World Series for the Braves and Yankees. He did pitch seven seasons in the majors for four teams.

Looks like Pancho Lopez awkwardly signed his photo along the edge. This card is the reason I think TCMA used signatures on the actual photos.

Despite Eleno Cuen clearly signing his name, TCMA still added an extra "h" to the beginning of his name.
Don Buckheister wearing a more formal outfit than on his 1974 card.

TCMA managed to correctly identify Rafael Tatis here; they called him Fernando (or Fernado) the next two seasons.





Wednesday, September 22, 2021

1974 TCMA Cedar Rapids Astros

 Another black-and-white mid-70's Astros low minor league team set.

Future major leaguer Luis Pujols gets his name butchered here.
Joe Sambito from Bethpage, L.I. Pitched several years in the majors.
Manager Leo Posada got the most action-packed picture in the set.
Don Buckheister sporting some great facial hair and a rarity in baseball card fashion - a sweater.
Another card of Rafael Tatis masquerading as his (relative?) Fernando, father and grandfather to major leaguers.


Tuesday, September 21, 2021

1975 TCMA Dubuque Packers

 Astros minor league team.

This is not Fernando Tatis, the Padres slugger. It's not his dad, the former Cardinals star. His grandfather, also named Fernando Tatis was in the Astros minor leagues at the time. However, this is not him either. The Tatis on the Packers was named Rafael. Looks like they put Fernando's name on Rafael's card.
Clancy the dog gets a card.
Coach/Catcher John McLaren, who went on to manage the Mariners for a while.


Monday, September 20, 2021

1958 Topps borderless minis

 If you're going to try to collect every vintage set like I am, you have to cut corners on condition. Literally, sometimes. I was able to pick up a good-sized lot of 1958's for cheap because some kid in 1958 decided they'd look better without borders. 

I think they look rather nice without the borders. Almost all the cards are Orioles, Phillies, Reds or White Sox.

Trimming the borders didn't take any content away from the backs, which was an important consideration for me. The only downside is that it's a little annoying thumbing through my cards and having them be different sizes. But overall I am quite happy with them.

There were eight cards I had already. I can't really put them in my trade boxes, can I? I know most of you don't like trimmed cards, but if someone wants some as a novelty, or is as liberal as I am about card condition, I'll give some away (US only, and only if we've traded before).



Sunday, September 19, 2021

Six minor league sets

Here are the six minor league sets I referred to yesterday. Not as old as the ones I've been posting recently, but still a lot of fun.

1992 Bend Rockies. This team would have been quite a novelty as the major league Rockies didn't start until the following season. Lots of guys who got major league cards because they were early Rockies. Craig Counsell stood out to me because I don't think of him as a Rockie. Also highlighted the Angel Echavarria card (interesting composition, especially with the border) and the Joe Niekro coach card.

1989 Louisville Redbirds. There are two versions of blue-bordered 1989 ProCards, those with 1989 stats and those without. I had this set with the '89 stats; this version does not.
I didn't have these red-bordered Hagerstown Suns, though. Highlighting Don Buford's son (and Damon Buford's brother), Leo Gomez who had some big-league success, and a pticher with a bat.
1988 Glens Falls Tigers. I really like the '88 ProCards design. And, though I know it's an unpopular opinion, I really like metallic gray borders as well. Some fun cards including a pitcher batting, a shortstop playing first, and a first baseman who looks like he's going to take a throw from the dugout.
1990 Prince William Cannons. Some big names here are J.T. Snow and Brad Ausmus. All the cards are in front of empty stands except for Jerry Nielsen. I guess he was late to the photo shoot that day. The team photo is a nice touch.
My favorite of the sets was the 1985 Columbus Clippers. The GM was George Sisler Jr. The coach card is a nice touch. And some rare Yankee cards for Jim Deshaies, Rex Hudler, Butch Hobson and Sandinista Al Williams.


Virtual flea market

A couple of months ago, I went to the flea market and made several smaller purchases of cards, enough that before I realized it I'd spent a bit more than I expected. I did the same thing on eBay recently. There was a seller who had hundreds of auctions at once, and pretty good combined shipping, so I made a whole lot of bids and ended up getting some good individual deals, but it added up to a fair amount by the time I was all done. Still, it was fun and I don't regret it.

In football I beefed up my Giants collection with a few lots, including one that was LT only.

The rest featured a bunch of stars from the Simms/Hostetler era, the Collins/Barber era, and the Eli Manning era. Fun stuff. Also kicker Joe Danelo with his hands down his pants in one of the funnier cards I've seen in a while.
Some highlights from a lot of 50 stars that I got for just $6. Some cool vintage, and some big stars, including Payton, Karras, and even OJ!

Most of my focus was on baseball. Like the Giants, I picked up some cheap Yankee lots. They were less junkwax-heavy than I thought. I was particularly attracted to the cards from the Renata Galasso '61 Yankees tribute in the design of the '61 Topps set, and the '89 Score Yankees set, neither of which I had owned a card from before. To my surprise, the Catfish Hunter '76 SSPC was not a standard card from the set, but a promo card with instructions on how to order the set.

Like Lawrence Taylor, I was able to snag a lot of Jorge Posada cards. Today's Yankees could use players with the kind of intensity Jorge brought to the game.
Some minor league sets that will be fun to open.
Eighteen random autographs. I'm not an autograph collector but I do get the appeal of an on-card auto, particularly of a card that was not issued as an autograph card.

I was able to snag some vintage, of the "parallel" kind. All of these came to about 15 cents a card. Here's a lot of '75 Topps minis.

And some more vintage O-Pee-Chee's! One lot was a mixed group from throughout the '70s. There were a lot of 1970, which thankfully were mostly different from the 1970 lot I bought a couple days earlier. There were also 10 1976's, one 1977 . ..

. . . a bunch more 1978, and six from 1974. There were the first '74, '76, and '77 OPC in my collection.
Here are the backs of the '74s. I'd never seen '74 OPC backs before! I love the dark green backs of 1974 Topps, but these are pretty nice too. Unlike most bloggers I like yellow baseball cards.
Speaking of alternative yellow backs, here's one more lot I won, 1971 O-Pee-Chee.





Friday, September 17, 2021

Vive la difference

Sometimes it's cheaper to get vintage O-Pee-Chee than vintage Topps. In particular there seems to be a lot of 1970 O-Pee-Chee floating around recently. I was able to pick up a 100-card lot quite cheaply.

The fronts are the same as Topps fronts, so I focused on some highlights from the cartoons on the backs.

On Roy White's cartoon the sign is in French.

But on Freddie Patek's, it stays in English.

The word bubble on Ron Reed's card is in both languages.

The "Topps" pun doesn't quite translate in French.
Finally, a combat de cocs cartoon which would be considered quite inappropriate today.





1975 TCMA Waterbury Dodgers

 1975 Waterbury Dodgers set.

Don LeJohn played for the '65 Dodgers, winning a WS ring, but never managed in the majors.
Infielder Jim Riggleman never played in the majors, but managed in the bigs for 12 years.
Most of the cards were pretty ordinary, but Marvin Webb's big smile sticks out.

Pitcher James "Jim" Van Der Beek had his name misspelled here. His son of the same name became a famous actor.




Wednesday, September 15, 2021

Widescreen wonders

The 1960 Topps set doesn't get a whole lot of love. One reason is the use of alternating colors on the players' names, which makes them a little harder to read. Another is the horizontal orientation, when most people prefer vertical cards. I've gotten to like the set a little more lately. The horizontal format does work well when there is a good photograph, giving it a "widescreen" quality. Unfortunately, like 1961 and 1962, the vast majority of photography is uninspired, wasting the opportunity.

I picked up a small lot recently for pretty cheap; 33 cards, 24 of which I needed. I liked that there were a few Yankees in the lot, most notably the famous Ryne Duren card.

Needs part two. It's nice when a lot that is advertised as "low grade" is mostly in pretty good shape.

Some trade bait as well! That Larry Osborne card is a good example of how well this set could have worked with good photos.