Friday, August 30, 2019

Wallet Card at Milford Plaza

700 Eighth Avenue was known as the Hotel Lincoln when it opened as the largest hotel n New York in 1928. It changed ownership, and names, several times over the succeeding decades. In 1980 it became Milford Plaza, famous for its "Lullaby of Broadway" commercials. Milford Plaza closed in 2009, and became its current incarnation, Row NYC Hotel, in 2014. However, ten years after its closing, the Milford Plaza sign still looms over West 44th Street.

Thursday, August 29, 2019

1981 Topps Garry Maddox

The front: Maddox waits for the pitch at Shea Stadium. He played in three day games at Shea that year, August 16 and 17. He had seven hits in eleven at-bats, including home runs in both games of the Sunday doubleheader.

The back: 1980 was Maddox’s last year as a regular; he never again reached double-digits in steals.

The player: Maddox was a great all-around player. He was best known for his fielding (the famous quote was “two thirds of the Earth is covered by water, the other third by Garry Maddox"), winning eight gold gloves. He was also an excellent hitter. In 1,749 games for the Giants and Phillies, he hit .285 with 117 HR, 754 RBI and 248 SB.

The man: As a nineteen-year-old minor leaguer in 1968, Maddox was sent to Vietnam, a year he described as “pure hell” in an extensive interview with the Philadelphia Inquirer in 2013. The interview discusses the horrors Maddox saw in Vietnam, but does not mention the most well-known aspect of Maddox’s service there – he suffered chemical burns to his face that made shaving nearly impossible, hence his famous beard.
Maddox has had a very successful career in business after his baseball career. He owns two businesses in the Philadelphia area. A.Pomerantz & Sons is an office furniture dealer, and World Wide Concessions sells business promotional items. From 2003 to 2010, Maddox sat on the board of the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, an impressive role for a former athlete. He is also involved in numerous charitable initiatives.

My collection: I have 28 of his cards, from 1974 to 1986. I would be interested in trading for 1973 Topps #322.

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Wallet Card at New York National Exchange Bank

The Gerken Building, 90 West Broadway, was built for the New York National Exchange Bank in 1898. In 1907 the bank was acquired by Irving National Bank (later Irving Trust, acquired by Bank of New York in 1989). The remains of a sign for thew New York National Exchange Bank, well over 100 years old, can still be seen over the building's entrance.

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

1981 Topps Brian Doyle

The front: Nice photo of Doyle at Yankee Stadium, with an ad for Getty Oil clearly visible behind him. At the time Getty was one of the leading gas station chains in the Northeast; they are pretty much all gone now. I should probably be on the lookout for Getty remnants for a wallet-card post. While looking up Getty for this post I learned that at the time this photo was taken, the company actually owned ESPN.

The back: Doyle was a long-time minor league veteran, what today would be called a AAAA player.

The player: As a rookie for the Yankees in 1978, Doyle hit just .192 in the regular season, but .286 in the ALCS and an incredible .438 in the World Series, as he picked the perfect time to have the one hot streak of his career. That .192 regular season mark was actually his career high; in parts of three more major league seasons he never hit above .173 as first the Yankees and then the A’s waited unsuccessfully for him to recapture his magic from October 1978.

The man: Doyle has had a long career in baseball instruction and the ministry. He is currently National Director of the Global Youth Baseball Federation. In 1994 Doyle was diagnosed with leukemia and given six months to live. Doyle survived, but he is now struggling with Parkinson’s disease, a battle the New York Daily News profiled in 2015.

My collection: I have five of his cards, from 1979 to 1981. I would be interested in trading for 1980 TCMA Columbus Clippers #13.