Saturday, August 18, 2018

Wallet Card at S. Klein

Founded in 1909, S. Klein became one of the largest department store chains in the New York metropolitan area, with a peak of 19 stores, before declining in the 1960s and going out of business in 1975. Now, the only sign that the chain ever existed in Manhattan is on the floor of a doorway on Clinton Street in the Lower East Side.

Friday, August 17, 2018

1981 Topps Mike Flanagan

The front: Kudos to Topps for using an action shot, though the cropping and shadows indicate the difficulties they had in getting these kinds of shots back then. Almost certainly looks like Yankee Stadium. Flanagan pitched in one day game at the Stadium in 1980. Matched up against Tommy John, Flanagan allowed four runs, two earned, in 5.2 innings, but Baltimore won 6-5 with two runs in the top of the ninth. (John pitched a complete game, allowing six runs in a loss– times were different then!) Five days later the two pitches matched up again in Baltimore, this time with John outdueling Flanagan 4-3.
The back: According to Baseball-Reference, Edward Flanagan pitched from 1947 to 1951, going 63-50 with a 3.38 ERA. Mike’s grandfather, Ed Flanagan Sr., was signed to the Boston Braves organization in 1913.
The player: Flanagan had a career year in 1979, going 23-9 with a 3.08 ERA. He won the American League Cy Young award that year. In no other year in his solid 18-year big league career with Baltimore and Toronto did he get another Cy Young vote.
The man: After his career he went on to be an Orioles executive and broadcaster. He battled depression for most of his life, seeing a psychiatrist for more than 20 years. He committed suicide on August 24, 2011.
My collection: I have 55 of his cards, ranging from 1978 to 1993. I would be interested in trading for 1976 Topps #589 and 1977 Topps #106.

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Going back in time . . . to 1955

Got my third and final '55 from the Sports Card Tour checklist, this time from The Collector himself, featuring a New York Giant from Brooklyn, Bob Lennon.
This inspired me to do a little homage to something Night Owl does every year:

When Marty McFly raced a hoverboard through the streets of Hill Valley, baseball cards looked like this:
When Doc Brown perfected his time machine with plutonium and tested it at the Twin Pines Mall, baseball cards looked like this:
When George McFly punched out Biff Tannen and kissed Lorraine Baines at the Enchantment Under the Sea dance, baseball cards looked like this:
When Seamus McFly met a mysterious stranger named "Clint Eastwood", baseball cards looked like this:
(It's a playing card from 1884. The first modern baseball cards as we know them came out in 1887.)

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

George Culver on baseball cards

George Culver pitched for six major league teams from 1966 to 1974. His best season was 1968, when he won 11 games for the Reds, including a no-hitter. Now a youth baseball coach in Bakersfield, CA, he kindly answered my questions about baseball cards.

"I may be one of the few guys to ever have 2 rookie cards from Topps.. the first was was in 1965 with Tommie Agee and the other was in 1967 with Jose Vidal.  

My own favorite card is the 1969 Reds card which I always sign with the no-hitter date.

Topps used my rookie Cleveland Indians uniform on three different cards, Indians, Reds, and Cardinals. 

I was a huge collector as a kid. In those days they all came with bubblegum inside and we called them bubblegum cards.. I had a huge selection in a shoe box including Mickey Mantle (my hero) and my mom gave them to a crippled kid after I signed and went off to play pro baseball in 1963... wish I had them all back."


Tuesday, August 14, 2018

The gift that kept on giving

Almost two years ago, I picked up a free box of cards from a guy on Craigslist. Inside was a nice selection of common cards from the mid-1990s. Recently, the guy contacted me to tell me he had some more cards for me. Isn't that nice! This time there was a mostly full 800-count box, very similar to last time. Mostly commons, but lots of these cards came from some of the more obscure sets of the 1994-1998 era. All in all, of about 700 cards in the box, I needed about 300 of them, which is a really good ratio for me for that era. (And yes, that means lots to trade!)

Here are some highlights of some of the sets most prevalent in the box:

Lots of 1996 and 1997 Circa. He appears to be rising from a bubble bath.
 I picked up the cards at lunchtime in the public space in a big midtown office building, and sat there for the next hour sorting the cards. The 1996 Finest cards looked great catching all the overhead lights.
 I don't have much 1996 Flair. This is the set that looks like it was sprinkled with gold dust.
 Lots of 1996 and 1997 Fleer, those weird matte setts that are hard to sort through because the cards don't slide off of each other. Also weird to see Roger McDowell as a Texas Ranger.
 Leaf Preferred - lots of these. I like the design of this set.
 Probably more from the 1996 Pacific set than anything else, which is great because I didn't have much to start with.
 Also lots of 1996 and 1997 Pinnacle. It's been this hot in New York every day this summer.
 Some 1996 SPs. There are lots of pitcher batting cards, not many DH pitching cards.
 Lots of 1997 Stadium Club. Great photo here for lots of reasons.
 Here's another player out of position.
 Finally, there were are few promo cards, basketball cards, and these three numbered hockey cards, all of which are up for trade.

Monday, August 13, 2018

1981 Topps Pete LaCock

Finally on to the player cards. These posts will have sections about the player in addition to the front and back of the card.
The front: Hanging out at the batting cage. The red seats make me think this might be Milwaukee? Anyone know who the hatless Royal is behind him?
The back: They don’t mention that LaCock made the last out of that ALCS, with the tying run on second base.
The player: This is LaCock’s “final tribute card”. He played in Japan in 1981 but this was the end of his big league career. A solid but unspectacular “fourth outfielder” type.
The man: His father, Ralph Pierre LaCock, took on the name “Peter Marshall” and had a long TV and movie career, most notably as the host of Hollywood Squares for sixteen years. His aunt Joanne Dru (Joan Letitia LaCock) was a movie actress in the 1950s, including a starring role in the Dizzy Dean biopic The Pride of St. Louis. After his playing career he went on to a long career in coaching. He has competed in numerous charitable events, including over 50 triathlons. He donated bone marrow to a Hodgkins lymphoma patient in 2002; his wife is executive director of the Mid-America Chapter of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society in the Kansas City area. He currently serves as a special consultant to the Zinger Bat Company.
My collection: I have eight of his cards, ranging from 1975 to 1981. I would be interested in trading for his 1976 Topps card, #101.

A few more street cards

Some of the dupes from my last trade package included an Aaron Judge and a few Mattinglys, and i knew these would find a good home at Al's table. Lucky he is still in New York for one more week before he rides his chopper down to Arizona.

Here's what I picked up:

Dawson and Carter are dupes if anyone needs them; the Carter is from the McDonald's Canadian release.
 Some more big names here. Justice is from the Special F/X parallel set.

Saturday, August 11, 2018

Trade with It's Like Having My Own Card Shop

Recently Daniel of It's Like Having My Own Card Shop posted a new needs list, and I was able to knock off a few. In return he sent me a really nice stack of cards. A few highlights:

With other players this pose might be considered "pensive". With Whitey Ford, there's always that mischievous look, like he is plotting something.
 Here's a Press Proof of the Yankees' manager running away from a wild stagecoach.
 It's always great to get a Mattingly card I did not have before, like this Hitters Incorporated card.

Friday, August 10, 2018

Cards from The Collector Giveaway from Baseball Card Breakdown

Recently Chris of The Collector hosted a big giveaway on his blog The Collector. I picked out two cards from 1955 with my choices. One of them was graded; not a big deal to me but it was to Gavin of Baseball Card Breakdown. He offered me two non-graded '55s in exchange. I was happy to do that deal.

I love "Rube" Walker's surprised face in the action photo.
The Narleski isn't as funny, but still a really cool card.

Thursday, August 9, 2018

1981 Topps Leading Firemen

The front: The last of the league leader cards. Two superstars with mustaches, and one more anonymous guy in glasses.
The back: These are not the saves leaders; they are the leaders in relief wins PLUS saves. Relief pitcher usage was quite different back then. Each of these pitchers have at least 5 wins. Had they just gone with saves leaders, you would have had Quisenberry, Rich Gossage and Bruce Sutter on the card.