Saturday, April 10, 2021

Cards and vintage things: August 4, 1972

 The Navy Medical Service Corps, the medical support staff Corps of the U.S. Navy, was established on August 4, 1947. This matchbook commemorates the Corps' 25th Anniversary.

News highlights included the US Senate approving the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty with the Soviet Union and Arthur Bremer sentenced to 63 years in prison for shooting Alabama governor George Wallace.

With no team in Washington, DC in 1972 I figured the most relevant team here would be the Baltimore Orioles. The O's lived up to their nickname that day, shut out 2-0 in Boston, behind a two-hit complete game effort by Marty Pattin. Boog Powell was the hitting "hero" for Baltimore with a single and a walk.

Friday, April 9, 2021

Vintage backgrounds: 1962 Topps Mike Hershberger

 I found the background rather interesting on this card. I wondered what the tall building was in the background at the extreme right of the card. The setting is Payne Park in Sarasota, the White Sox spring training site from 1960 to 1988. Payne Park is best known to baseball card collectors as the site of the famous Luis Alvarado parking lot card. The tower just beyond Hershberger is the Sarasota Terrace Inn, which was built in 1925 by John Ringling, one of the famous Ringling Brothers. In 1962 White Sox owner Arthur Allyn bought the hotel to house the team's players. Sarasota County purchased the hotel in 1972 and it is now a county administration building.

Thursday, April 8, 2021

1981 Topps Bob Clark

The front: In 1980 the Angels were still playing their spring ball in Palm Springs, with mountains on all sides of the ballpark.

The back: 24-2! The Angels scored 8 runs in the first, then 3, 2, 3, 1 and 5 in the next five innings, and two more in the eighth. Despite the 26 runs the game was over in 2:41. The beginning of the game was particularly wild - Rod Carew walked, Carney Lansford and Dan Ford reached on errors, and then Don Baylor hit a grand slam home run. Clark actually then made the first out of the game before the Angels scored another four runs in the inning.

The player: Usually known as Bobby, Clark was mostly a backup outfielder for the Angels and Brewers from 1979 to 1985. In 396 games he hit .239 with 19 HR and 100 RBI.

The man: Clark is now a youth baseball coach in California.

My collection: I have 16 of his cards, from 1980 to 1986. I would be interested in trading for 1984 Fleer Update #25.

Wednesday, April 7, 2021

1966's and more

 I recently did another trade with reader Ken. He sent me few PWEs filled mostly with some '66 setbuild needs.

Lots of variety here, including a couple of managers and a League Leader card. The photo of Oliva on that card looks like it was taken at the same time as his 1964 rookie card, just with no tongue sticking out.

Final Topps card of legendary slugger Harvey Kuenn. Kuenn is pronounced "KEEN".
Final Topps card of Yankees manager Johnny Keane. Keane is pronounced "KEEN". Also notable here are Tim McCarver, Jim Bouton, and the 9th place Boston Red Sox.
A couple of Hall of Fame managers highlight this group. Check out the snipped-away corners on Willie Horton's card, much like the Rizzuto I recently posted about. I'm guessing this was done to fit it in an album?
Finally, some bird-team cards from elsewhere in the '60s.
Thanks, Ken!

Tuesday, April 6, 2021

1986 Sportflics Decade Greats: Waner/Medwick/Averill


Paul Waner: Though not much of a power hitter, Paul Waner was one of the most reliable hitters in the National League, with a career .333 average over 20 seasons, mostly for the Pirates, winning three NL batting titles and topping 200 hits eight times. A hard drinker even by baseball standards, Waner would take a shot of whiskey before every at bat, claiming it helped him see the ball better. Casey Stengel famously said of Waner,  “He had to be a very graceful player because he could slide without breaking the bottle on his hip.” After his career he was a professional and youth coach.

Joe Medwick: Joe Medwick was hated by pitchers because of his skill with the bat. Arguably the best hitter in the National League in the late 1930s, he led the NL in doubles and RBI each season from 1936-1938. His 64 doubles in 1936 are still the National League record. He was hated by everyone due to his combative, selfish nature. While with the Cardinals, Medwick was pulled from the seventh game of the 1934 World Series by Commissioner Kenesaw Mountain Landis after Medwick kicked at Tigers third baseman Marv Owen after spiking him sliding into third base, and the Tiger fans were getting out of control. In 1941, now with the Dodgers, he was knocked unconscious by a beanball thrown by former teammate Bob Bowman after getting in a fight with the Cardinals pitcher in the elevator of the New Yorker Hotel the day before. After his career he mellowed out somewhat and coached for the Cardinals for a while.

Earl Averill: Less colorful than Waner or Medwick, Earl Averill was a steady presence for the Indians throughout the '30s. In his career that spanned from 1929 to 1941, Averill hit .318 with 401 doubles, 128 triples and 238 home runs. Chronic back problems shortened his career. Known as the "Earl of Snohomish", he operated the Earl Averill Motel in that Washington town from 1949 to 1970.

Monday, April 5, 2021

Cardboard Cousins: '65 Topps/'03 UD Vintage

 Another year, another Topps rip-off from UD Vintage. It's very hard to find any difference between the two variations, just a bit with the font size. #162 features a pair of Red Sox in somewhat similar poses. Other than being Red Sox there is not a lot of similarity between the two. However, shortly after each card was printed, the Red Sox traded both of them for relief help (Nixon to the Twins for Dick Stigman; Hillenbrand to the Diamondbacks for Byung-Hyun Kim.

Sunday, April 4, 2021

Holy Cow!!

 For those of you who are unfamiliar, check out the Tim Wallach Cards blog. Corey is attempting to collect every copy of every Tim Wallach card ever made. If you haven't done so already, check your dupes boxes and you might find some stuff for him. Even if you knew that, you might not know he also builds vintage Topps sets, so you might want to check out his needs there.

Recently he posted a '54 Bowman Rizzuto he picked up, even though it was his second copy. I expressed my admiration for it and asked about a trade, and next thing I knew it was in my possession!

As a kid growing up watching the Yankees on WPIX during some mostly bad years for the team, Phil Rizzuto's fun banter was often the only reason to watch a game. Sometimes I would just turn on the game to see if Scooter was announcing, and turn it off if he wasn't. (Similarly, sometimes the only time I would watch when the other team was up was when Pascual Perez was pitching, just for the entertainment value.) I've never owned a real vintage Rizzuto card, so I am very excited to have this one! More than any other vintage Yankee, even Mantle, Rizzuto holds a special place in my heart.

Look at this beauty of a card! Sure, the corners aren't there, but there is nothing of importance missing.

The back is worth a look too. The 36-year-old Rizzuto is called "a speed boy" in addition to "a dangerous man with a bat". It's also funny that even in 1954 the record for the longest nine-inning game was a Yankees-Red Sox affair.
Thanks Corey! Some Wallachs and vintage cards are on their way to you.

Cards and vintage things: June 17, 1966

 June 17, 1966 was a fairly slow news day. There were violent anti-government protests in Saigon as war raged throughout Vietnam. In the U.S. the T.V.A. gave G.E. a contract to build the world's largest nuclear energy station, while NYC Health Department workers threatened to strike.

Meanwhile, in Lehighton, Pennsylvania, there was a parade and banquet for the Four County Fireman's Association, an annual tradition that went into the 1990s. Meanwhile the local Phillies were in St. Louis that day, and pulled out a 6-5 victory when Tony Taylor singled home Dick Allen to break a 5-5 tie in the ninth.

Friday, April 2, 2021

Vintage backgrounds: 1968 Topps Ken Johnson

 First of all, RIP to former Cardinals third baseman Ken Reitz, who shared his thoughts on baseball cards with this blog in 2016.

Here's another fun background from 1968 Topps. Who's the guy behind Ken Johnson, and what's he pointing to? I guess something in the right field stands at Shea Stadium? Or just making an emphatic point to someone just off camera. 

Thursday, April 1, 2021

Opening Day Predictions Come to Life

 Every year I do predictions on opening day. They've gotten less and less accurate as I find it harder to keep up with the whole league each year the way I did when I was younger. I was going to skip it entirely this year. However, one of my baseball cards came to life (they do that sometimes, hence the title of this blog) and insisted on predicting the division winners. So I let the card, a 1984 Topps All-Stars Al Oliver, make it's selections for the 2021 division winners.

AL EAST: "Yankees. I played against the manager's dad for years, I'm sure he taught his kid well."
AL CENTRAL: "Indians. I played with their manager - taught him everything he knew when he was young. He'll take what I taught him and break another curse."
AL WEST: "Astros. Dusty Baker is another one I played against for years and he'll get the most out of his team.

NL EAST: "Expos of course!"
Me: "There are no more Expos, they're the 'Washington Nationals' now."
Him: "Don't believe the deception and lies. It's all a trick. They're still in Montreal and still called the Expos. The 'Washington Nationals' thing is all fake news."
NL CENTRAL: "Cardinals. They were always a tough opponent."
NL WEST: "Dodgers. Never bet against the World Champions."

There you have it folks. Anyone else have one of their cards present their opinions on the upcoming season? Or anything else? I've learned to never talk politics with my 1988 Donruss cards, for example.