Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Wallet Card at The Little Wolf Cabinet Shop

The Little Wolf Cabinet Shop has been operating on East 82nd Street and 1st Avenue since 1922. This sign with the cartoon Native American girl and the RE4-1116 phone number must go back to at least the 1960s, quite possibly earlier.

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

1981 Topps Enos Cabell

The front: Another Shea Stadium photo. Cabell played in one day game at Shea in 1980, a 3-2 Astros win on August 3. Cabell was 1-5, batting second and playing 3B.
The back: His 195 hits in 1978 set the team record at the time.
The player: Cabell was one of the first players whose value was shown by advanced analytics to be less than what was perceived by the general baseball community. Cabell, known as a nice guy with a winning attitude. In the 1983 Baseball Abstract, Bill James wrote “Sparky [Tigers manager Sparky Anderson] is so focused on all that attitude stuff that he looks at an Enos Cabell and he doesn’t even see that the man can’t play baseball. This we ballplayer, Sparky, can’t play first, can’t play third, can’t hit, can’t run and can’t throw. So who cares what his attitude is?” To Cabell’s credit, he handled the rip in a good-natured way. Overall, Cabell hit .277 with 60 HR and 596 RBI in 1,688 major league games.
The man: A cousin of former major leaguers Dick Davis and Ken Landreaux, Cabell is Special Assistant to the GM for the Houston Astros. Cabell encountered legal trouble during his career (suspended after admitting cocaine use in the Pittsburgh drug trials) and after his career (sued by Titans quarterback Vince Young for using Young’s nickname to sell products without his permission.
My collection: I have 28 of his cards, from 1975 to 1987. I would be interested in trading for 1973 Topps #605, 1976 Topps #404, and 1977 Topps #567.

Monday, October 29, 2018

Wallet Card at Schrafft's

Because it was painted over, this sign can be hard to see (in fact I was looking for it and walked right past it initially). Schrafft's was a venerable chain of sit-down restaurants that mostly catered to "ladies who lunch". The first Schrafft's opened in the early 1900s, and at it's peak there were over 50 around the NYC area. The company was acquired by a conglomerate in the late 1960s, and by the early 1980s the chain was gone. This sign is believe to be the last remnant of Schrafft's.

1981 Topps Larry McWilliams

The front: The color of the sky almost matches the color of his uniform.

The back: The winning streak was an Atlanta rookie record, later tied by Horacio Ramirez in 2003. The highlight of McWilliams’s streak was stopping Pete Rose’s hit streak at 44 games.
The player: McWilliams struggled after his impressive rookie season, and was traded to the Pirates in 1982. There he regained his form and pitched very well in 1983 and 1984. However, injuries hampered his effectiveness after that, as he bounced from team to team in the late 1980s.

The man: According to a comment on the 1980 Topps Blog, he still frequents his hometown of Paris, TX and is well respected in the community.

My collection: I have 30 Larry McWilliams cards, from 1979 to 1990. I would be interested in trading for 1988 Score Rookie & Traded #23.

Sunday, October 28, 2018

Wallet Card - "Say Pepsi, Please"

"Say Pepsi, Please" was the soda's slogan in the late 1950s. Needless to say, finding a "Say Pepsi Please" in the wild is much rarer than even finding a regular Pepsi privilege sign. Look closely and you will see a remnant, well over 50 years old, still visible on this Brooklyn bodega.

Friday, October 26, 2018

1981 Topps Jose Morales

The front: You didn’t see the Twins home uniform on Topps cards that often in this era. Not sure if this is spring training or Metropolitan Stadium.
The back: The back talks about Morales as a DH, but he is listed as a C-1B on this card. In 1980 Morales played in 85 games as a DH, and two games each as a catcher and a first baseman. So it’s actually a bit of a coup that Topps was able to get a picture of him in catching gear!
The player: Morales was a first baseman and occasional catcher in his years with Montreal. Upon moving to the American League he became a full-time DH, though. In 1981 he was a DH with the Orioles. In 1982 he returned to the National League with the Dodgers playing in 104 games in three years, but only playing in the field four times – he was almost exclusively a pinch hitter. One of the best pinch hitters of his time, he held the single-season pinch hit total for over twenty years.
The man: Morales was a major league hitting coach for many years and still works privately with some big leaguers.
My collection: I have 14 of his cards, from 1978 to 1984. I would be interested in trading for 1976 Topps #418 and 1977 Topps #102.

Thursday, October 25, 2018

Wallet Card is movin' on up

Here is Wallet Card at 185 E. 85th Street, best known as the apartment building from the opening of the Jeffersons.
The building you see George and Weezy entering was in California, however.

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

1981 Topps Jerry White

The front: A candid shot from the batting cage at what I believe is Veterans Stadium in Philadelphia.
The back: In 1980 White hit his first pinch home run, off of Al Hrabosky.
The player: Yet another backup outfielder, White stayed with the Expos through 1983, spent two years in Japan, and ended his career with the Cardinals in 1986. Only twice did he appear in over 100 games or have 200 at-bats.
The man: White was the Twins’ first base coach from 1998 to 2012. He now does some youth coaching.
My collection: I have 11 of his cards, from 1979 to 1983. I would be interested in trading for 1976 Topps #594 and 1977 Topps #557.

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Wallet Card at York Deli

Here is a fine example of an old Pepsi privilege sign on the Upper East Side. This one probably dates back to the 1970s. I noted in an earlier post that I am always drawn to these signs even though I don't drink soda. Based on some of the comments people thought that was a health thing - actually I just can't stand carbonation. I've more than made up for the sugar with fruit drinks, ice teas etc. . . .

Anyway, just a really nice example of an old style of sign. Seeing these always seems like peering just a bit into the past.

Monday, October 22, 2018

1981 Topps Rangers Future Stars

Skipping “front” and “back” for this card and just focusing on the players.
Bob Babcock
The player: Babcock was 31 years old when this card came out, so “future star” was a bit of a stretch. Signed by the Pirates in 1967, it took him twelve years to make it to the major leagues. He pitched well when he made it, going 2-3 with a 3.92 ERA for the Rangers between 1979 and 1981.
The man: He went into law enforcement after his baseball career.
My collection: I have three of his cards, from 1981 to 1982. I would be interested in trading for 1983 TCMA Salt Lake City Gulls #3.
John Butcher
The player: John Butcher pitched for the Rangers, Twins and Indians from 1980 to 1986. In 164 games he went 36-49 with a 4.42 ERA.
The man: Butcher has worked in technology sales for various large tech companies; he may be retired now.
My collection: I have 17 of his cards, from 1981 to 1987. I would be interested in trading for 1983 Topps #20.
Jerry Don Gleaton
The player: He pitched for six teams in parts of twelve big league seasons between 1979 and 1992. His best season was 1990, when he saved 13 games and had a 2.94 ERA for the Tigers.
The man: Gleaton returned home to Brownwood, TX, after his playing career ended. He was a pitching coach for many years at the local college, and still remains active in many church and youth activities.
My collection: I have 24 of his cards, from 1980 to 1992. I would be interested in trading for 1988 ProCards #1497 (minor league card where he poses as a hitter).

Sunday, October 21, 2018

Street trade - one of these things is not like the others

Four position players, and one pitcher.

Vintage trade with Scott Crawford

Had a nice vintage trade with Scott Crawford. Here are a few highlights from the 200+ 1970s cards he sent me.

I love these World Series cards.
 Looks like Greg Luzinski just came back from the bat store.
 I have to update the Vintage Project but I think I'm just under 600 cards from the '74 set now. This must be one of the earliest night cards.
 Four more '75s will take me to 621/660 on this set.
 At first I thought someone had written on this card. But no, Topps got rid of the Marlboro sign by scribbling on it with a black marker.
 Looks like some sign-scribbling went on with this card too. Anyone have any idea what the sign might have been for?

Friday, October 19, 2018

Street trade - Padre Parallels

Traded a couple of Jeters for these two Padres. When I'm picking from Al's boxes I gravitate to parallels, as it is unlikely I would pull a dupe that way.

Thursday, October 18, 2018

1981 Topps Tug McGraw

The front: Pregame photo at Shea Stadium, site of previous glories for McGraw.
The back: Sixteen years in the major leagues doesn’t leave room for an extra blurb.
The player: One of the most successful relief pitchers of the 1970s, McGraw was the closer on the Mets’ improbable run to the World Series in 1973, rallying the team behind his motto “You gotta believe”. Traded to the Phillies after the 1974 season, he anchored their perennial division-winners in the late 1970s, culminating with a World Championship in 1980. He retired after the 1984 seasons.
The man: McGraw worked in various media and coaching roles before passing away in 2004. He is best known outside of baseball circles as the father of country music star Tim McGraw.
My collection: I have 23 of his cards, from 1965 to 1985. I would be interested in trading for 1966 Topps #124, 1967 Topps #348, 1968 Topps #236, 1969 Topps #601, 1971 Topps #618, 1972 Topps #163, 1974 Topps #265, 1976 Topps #565, and 1977 Topps #164.

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Rich Hand on baseball cards

Rich Hand pitched for the Indians, Rangers and Angels from 1970 to 1973. In 104 games he went 24-39 with a 4.01 ERA. Now the Founder and Managing Director of Fortune Asset Management in Dallas, he kindly answered my questions about baseball cards.

"I really admire what you guys do. Was never a collector but I have signed anyone’s card that took the time to send me a note. There was a time some years past where collectors asked us to sign multiple cards so they could go and trade or sell them.I never charged for autographs but I felt like that was too much.
I love the guy who loves the game! The guy who was trained to love the game from Dad or Gramps, he will enjoy card collecting and pass it on to his children and so on and so on.
Those are the guys I send notes to so their kids can have the enjoyment of knowing their Dad knows a Major Leaguer!"