Thursday, August 22, 2019

1981 Topps John Wathan

The front: You don’t see this very often, even in cards from this era – Wathan is not wearing a helmet in the batting cage. I think the location is Milwaukee?

The back: According to his SABR bio, Wathan quit football in high school because he didn’t like practicing all week just to play in part of one game.

The player: Wathan was an unusually good athlete for a catcher. His 36 stolen bases in 1982 set a single-season record for catchers. His career stat line - .262 BA, 90 2B, 25 3B, 21 HR, 261 RBI, 105 SB – looks more like that of a speedy backup outfielder. More triples than homers is very unusual for a catcher. And having more steals than doubles is especially surprising given that he spent his whole career with Royals Stadium as his home park.

The man: Wathan managed the Royals from 1987 to 1991 and later had a long career as a coach. He is currently a Special Assistant for the Royals.

My collection: I have 23 of his cards, from 1977 to 1986. I would be interested in trading for 1981 Coca-Cola Royals #9.

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

More cards I bought

While I was still in a drought, before the deluge of free cards, I made a deal to buy some cards off a guy on Craigslist. $10 for about a 1,000 cards, of which 350 were baseball from a variety of years, and most of the rest were late 1970s football. Unlike vintage baseball, I'll be able to resist becoming a full-on football collector, but the chance to get so many for pretty cheap appealed to me. If there wasn't significant baseball too I probably wouldn't have bothered.

Looked like all the stars were pulled from this collection. One star snuck through though. Just right now I thought to check on how much that card goes for. I was thinking maybe it's worth the $10 by itself. Just checked and WOW - I did a lot better than I thought. If you're curious go straight to the end of the post, otherwise scroll through and see what else I got.

75-80% of the football cards were 1979 and 1980 Topps. Several hundred cards that will have to be sorted at some point. I think I had a lot of 1980 already but not much 1979.
 There were plenty from 1974-1978 though. This one is the most appropriate for a baseball card blog. The back mentions that his dad is the manager of the Mets.
 I love the cartoons on the back of the cards. This one is a head-scratcher though. The cartoon and the caption don't match.
 There was also plenty of early-1980s Fleer, with lots of dirty-sounding captions.
 There were a few random cards from hockey and basketball. Hopefully the hockey cards are useful for some of the hockey-for-baseball trades I'm working on.
 Finally, moving on to baseball. There was lots of mid-70s to mid-80s stuff, nothing I needed unfortunately. There was also lots of cards from the 06-09 era, like this run of Upper Decks.
 There were lots of parallels which is great too, including lots of Leaf Black Gold and '97 Topps Chrome.
 Like I said all of the stars were gone from this lot, but I guess the guy didn't know baseball cards well and was just looking for familiar names. This is the rookie card of David Ortiz before he changed his name. While writing this post I checked online to see what they were going for, hoping that maybe it was worth the $10 by itself. The cheapest I can find online is $65. Wow!

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Big 1964 score

It's hard to believe, but before about two weeks ago I had gotten very few cards over a period of several months. I started scanning ebay and found an auction that seemed pretty good. I ended up winning 313 different 1964s for about $90. A little more than I would like to pay but I figured at 28 cents a card I would do OK. Somehow the auction had gotten no other bids.

All I knew was that it was 313 different cards in good condition. There were a few photos, enough to let me know that it wasn't just a commons lot. In the photos were the following cards:

Rico Carty, Bill Skowron, Charlie Neal, Orlando Cepeda, Willie Stargell, Wilbur Wood, Dave DeBusschere, Brooks Robinson, Nellie Fox, Harmon Killebrew, Don Drysdale, Elston Howard, Rusty Staub, Boog Powell, Jim Kaat, Hoyt Wilhelm, Minnie Minoso, Dave McNally, league leader cards with Sandy Koufax and Carl Yastrzemski.

I figured those cards plus 300 commons was pretty good considering I only had about 50 or so cards in the set.

I'm happy to say that I did better than I thought I would. Here are the best individual cards not in the photos. Multi-person cards with Willie McCovey and Casey Stengel, Tony Conigliaro rookie, several other pretty big stars. And you'd better believe you'll see that famous Ray Sadecki card on Vintage Backgrounds at some point.
 There was also a complete World Series subset! Sure, it's a bit painful for a Yankee fan, even one who wasn't born yet in 1963, but the cards are fantastic, especially the first and last ones with Koufax.
 Finally this stack of 40 or so cards. What's so special about it? Just that they are all HIGH NUMBERS. It's about 3/4 of the high numbers in this set. No Aparacio, Mazeroski, or Niekro rookie, but Minoso, Kaat and Podres are no slouches. It was completely unexpected - there was no hint in the write-up that the lot was so heavy on the high-numbers. Had there been, this auction probably would have gone for twice the amount. These high numbers took what was a pretty good buy and turned it into a great one.

Monday, August 19, 2019

Last of the freebies

D L, the guy who has gifted me several boxes of cards over the years, had one last one for me this week. With the influx of cards I've gotten in the past week I haven't even had a chance to really dive into it yet, but I picked out a few highlights to show here.

Pinnacle Certified are really nice cards, especially with these red and blue parallels.
 Topps Gallery - this is a particularly nice card. What does Eck have crammed into his back pocket? Some kind of can plus some other stuff too.
 Finally, some Ultra base cards I did not have of two of my favorite Yankees.

Sunday, August 18, 2019

The Cardinals, In Order

The Angels, In Order has been giving away cards from the 1990 Donruss NL's Best set. I actually didn't have any cards from this set, very strange for this era. I claimed my favorite NL team, the Cardinals.
The cards look much better in blue than red, don't they? This shade of blue, with the red and black dots, reminds me of the "surfer" style t-shirts that were popular around this time. At least, I know I wore them a lot.

Cards from Johnny's Trading Spot contest

Johnny's Trading Spot had a contest where the first ten commenters got cards. I was fortunate to be one of those ten.

Some more hits to my 1972 Topps set. Highlights include Sparky Lyle and two "boyhood photos of the stars".
 Baseball cards? Stamps? They're both. These 1992 card/stamps were legal for postage in St. Vincent and the Grenadines. I put them next to a standard sized trading card for perspective.

Friday, August 16, 2019

Other stuff

I've got a bunch of hockey-for-baseball trades brewing now. It will be a long but fun slog through all NHL cards.

Meanwhile, some other highlights from the non-hockey section of that big haul. I never did get around to showing some of the stuff I found toward the end of the first round of sorting.

Remember this card? I found two more. Anyone want to trade for one (or both)?
Speaking of infamous cards . . . I already have this version, so it's up for trade too.
I found a nice cache of Yadi Molina rookies. These four plus another one later on. I already have it so they're up for trade. They go for $12-15 a card online, probably the most expensive cards to find in this haul.
I found plenty more shiny cards. This one was my favorite.
 There was an 800-count box of 1987 Topps. I noticed that about 1/4 of the box the cards seemed to be a different color. I took them out - O-Pee-Chee!
 OK this is weird. These are all cut-outs from baseball cards boxes. I'm not going to keep them myself. Do they interest anyone? Maybe a unique addition to a PC?
 Finally, a whole lot of 1983 Topps Stickers. A lot more than just these, this is just a bunch of stars that were all together. I wish I had the sticker book. Actually I wish I had all the Topps and Panini sticker books from the 1980s. I had a bunch when I was a kid but I didn't keep them. Would be interested in trading for them if anyone has them available.

Thursday, August 15, 2019

Mystery solved!

p_dawg68 figured out who signed the "CCBC Checkers Fan". I had seen that there was a Charlotte Checkers team but I didn't think about CCBC standing for "Charlotte Checkers Booster Club". Pdawg did and also identified the autograph as belonging to Robbie Tallas.

Tallas, a goalie, played 99 games in the NHL, mostly for the Bruins but also one season for the Blackhawks. Anyone interested in trading for this?

I've started going through the hockey cards pulling for trades - it's been fun but will take longer than I thought, probably several days. Anyone want to claim anything else, it's not too late. Tallas has a few cards and I was hoping I might find one but not yet. There were a lot of cards from 97-98 UD that I went through but no luck yet on this one:

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Last call for Hockey

I went through about ten boxes yesterday that I thought were all hockey, just in case there was some baseball somewhere mixed in. Nope - all hockey.

My plan tonight is to go back through some of the boxes that had the more high-end stuff, both so I have a clear idea of what I have when I try to sell the collection, but also to pull cards for bloggers! I already know to be on the lookout for Penguins, Devils and Whalers, and the outside chance of finding Miroslav Satan or Peter Worrell. Anyone else wants me to put aside a certain team, player or set, let me know by tonight!

Here's a mystery - an autographed fan that was on the bottom of one of the hockey boxes. CCBC might be Community College of Baltimore County, but they don't have a hockey team and they aren't the Checkers. (I'm assuming Checkers means a hockey team?) There were a few minor league hockey teams over the years called "Checkers" but I don't know where the CCBC would fit in for them. Anyone have any ideas?

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Hockey - here's the plan

One of the boxes looked to be all hockey with a tiny amount of baseball thrown in. One section looked to be all hockey and I wasn't even going to look at it that closely, but I noticed one card in the row that was different from the others, a sliver of brown among the white, so I checked just to be diligent.
Wow, how did that get in there? I already have the card, but what a cool thing to find among all the 90's hockey. It made me realize that I would really have to get into all the hockey boxes to find stray baseball cards. I've started going through them and found a couple, though nothing yet like this.

I've come up with my plan for the 50,000 or so hockey cards. In the next day or two I'm going to reach out to SMR and maybe one of two of the people on Craigslist who post that they buy cards, as well as put it up on Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace, and see if I get any offers for the collection.

**I'd be happy to pull cards for trades before I sell - let me know ASAP though. There are no big name stars (i.e. Gretzky, Lemieux, Crosby etc). I think there aren't any Islanders either. If there are sets you are interested in, let me know; about half the collection is in set form (unorganized). The other half is mostly groups of cards by player. If there is a 90-00s minor star you are interested (names I've seen a lot include Rob Niedermeyer, Mike York, Anson Carter; lots of others like these), I can try that too as they seem to have been sorted somewhat alphabetically. They aren't sorted by team so if you are a team collector let me know who on that team might fit that description.**

If anyone just wants a big box of hockey cards and can trade baseball for it, I'm happy to do that. And anyone who can drive out to Long Island and wants to pick up the whole collection; I'd be glad to swing that kind of deal as well.