Thursday, October 31, 2019

Wallet Card found another privilege sign

Anyone who has been following the Wallet Card over the last several years knows that privilege signs - retail store signs provided to the store at no cost by an advertiser, usually a soda company. They were widespread from the 1950s to the 1970s, and are all but extinct now. Finding one is like stepping back in time. Though there were many Coca-Cola and 7-Up signs, New York-based Pepsi was the most common in this region. I found another one recently, still up after 40+ years. Freeport Beverage is located on Guy Lombardo Avenue in Freeport, NY.

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

1981 Topps Dave Collins

The front: Fantastic shot here, with the unusual action photo of the player batting with his back to the camera. Check out the large letters used for Collins’s name. This must be July 27, 1980, with Alex Trevino as the catcher and Ray Knight on deck behind Collins. Collins went 1-for-4 with an RBI in Cincinnati’s 10-4 win.

The back: As of 2006, Collins’s 9.6 second 100-yard dash was still the state record. Now the metric system is used instead; the state record holder for the 100-meter dash is Gawain Williams, who ran it in 10.3 seconds in 2016.

The player: Dave Collins was a switch-hitting outfielder whose one big skill was his speed. His best season was 1980, when he hit .303 with 3 HR, 35 RBI and 79 SB for the Reds. Two years later the Yankees signed him as a free agent, as George Steinbrenner, on one of his whims, decided the Yankees needed to be rebuilt for speed. He was a disappointment in his one season in the Bronx, hitting .253 with 3 HR, 25 RBI and 13 SB. After that season the Yankees sent Collins and a minor leaguer named Fred McGriff to the Blue Jays for Dale Murray and Tom Dodd, another Steinbrenner misstep. As Collins aged, his one strength became less of an asset and he bounced around the major leagues throughout the rest of the 1990s. Overall, eight teams over 16 seasons, Collins hit .272 with 32 HR, 373 RBI and 395 SB.

The man: Collins has had a long coaching career at both the professional and youth level. He is currently an assistant coach at Miami University Hamilton in Ohio.

My collection: I have 37 of his cards, from 1976 to 1989. I would be interested in trading for 1983 Fleer Star Stickers #42.

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Vintage backgrounds: Shea Stadium first appearance?

Shea Stadium opened in 1964, so the Mets photos in that set were all in the Polo Grounds. Except for this last series rookie stars card, both of which appear to be in Shea Stadium. There is another rookies card that might have one photo at Shea, but this would appear to be the ballpark's cardboard debut.

Monday, October 28, 2019

Wallet Card and Mailbox History - Part II

Is there a pillar next to your local mailbox? Like this?
If so, it means that before there was a full-sized mailbox, there was a much smaller one attached to the pillar. There are several of these in the town I live in (Oceanside, NY). I moved in in 2015 and there were already full-size mailboxes, but the last Google Street View, from 2012, showed that there were still the smaller ones at that time.
Even cooler, just like mailboxes, the pillars are dated. It's a bit hard to read but that says 1937 - over 80 years ago!

Sunday, October 27, 2019

1981 Topps Doug Rau

The front: Simple, classic spring training shot.

The back: Two of the three-hitters were complete games. However, the other one was a two-inning relief appearance.

The player: Rau was a key part of the Dodger teams that won three pennants in the 1970s. From 1972 to 1979 he went 81-60 with a 3.35 ERA. A rotator cuff injury in 1979 effectively ended his career. He only pitched in three more games after that, in a failed comeback with the Angels in 1981.

The man: He seems to have kept a low profile since his playing career. Anyone know what Doug Rau is doing now?

My collection: I have 12 of his cards, from 1973 to 1981. I would be interested in trading for 1979 Kellogg’s #56.