Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Cardboard cousins: 1961 Topps/2010 Topps Heritage American Heroes

I have a lot of cards from a 2010 set called Topps Heritage American Heroes. It's a non-sport set with various political, social and military heroes, as well as some heroic historical events. I wanted to try to link up a baseball card with a card from that set. Here is the best I could come up with, card #123 in each set.
The Heroes set uses a variety of older card designs, but they managed to get a 1961 event onto a 1961 design. On May 5, 1961, when Alan Shepard became the first US astronaut in space, Billy Gardner went 1-for-4 with an RBI as the Twins downed the visiting Red Sox, 5-1.

Monday, June 29, 2020

Cards and vintage things: yes, more matchbooks.

I picked up another lot of matchbooks, this one my biggest yet, over 1,200. It really fills my desire to collect "history" in an affordable way. I really enjoy the old advertising. I just wish there was a community for these the way there is for baseball cards. The matchbook community is so much more rigid on the "right" and "wrong" way to collect, and what is considered collectible and what isn't. Imagine a combination of rookie-card speculators (at a much lower dollar value) and the most strict people on TCDB. I guess it's the difference between a hobby people come into as a kid vs. one that people come into as an adult. Still, I've had good luck picking up lots on eBay and I am really enjoying this one. I am only showing a tiny section of the matchbooks and will thrown in a few cards to not completely scare away my usual small audience.

One attraction to me was that this lot was heavily Long Island/NYC focused. Here are a lot of supermarket brands, some long-gone, some recently so. I had read a lot about Hills, Korvette and their ill-fated merger. I've seen some Korvette matchbooks but I can't find a single reference to a Hills-Korvette matchbook, so I was excited for this find.
 Here are some really cool WNEW matchbooks from various points in the 1960s. Their names are forgotten today but they were all quite famous at the time. The New York Giants schedule is from 1966, so I paired it with a 1967 team card with a photo from their December 11 game hosting the Steelers. As the matchbook notes, that and other home games were not aired on TV.
 I got into matchbook collecting on the soda side. Because I focus more on 1950s-1960s than earlier (one sign that I am not a "serious" collector according to the experts), I actually had a lot of these already, but the 1964 World's Fair one was new to me. I added in a Coke baseball card from one of my trade boxes.
 Lots of fun transportation-related ones including my first Long Island Rail Road matchbooks, featuring "Dashing Dan" and "Dashing Dottie". I'll be working from home for at least the rest of the year and probably much of 2021, perhaps permanently. While there is a lot I really like about working from home, I miss the city and even miss the LIRR a little bit. The Texaco Fuel Chief matchbook at top right is from Paragon Oil in Hunters Point, Queens. I had been meaning to take a wallet-card photo of that building next time I took the train through there. Oh well . . .
 The seller played both sides of the 1964 election. These are my first Presidential election matchbooks. I paired them with a '64 baseball card from my trade boxes, another Johnson from Texas. I've actually got a fair amount of '64's to trade.
 Some department store matchbooks. I like collecting old-time stores like Gimbel's and S.Klein, and older versions of familiar ones like Macy's and KMart (which notes it was owned by Kresge) at the time. Incidentally, liking "national" businesses as much as local ones is considered a sign that I am not a serious collector.
 I love matchbooks that date themselves to a specific year. I don't know what happened with WABC in 1963. The Joan Baez is from 1967.
 I couldn't get a good picture of the inside of the Baez, but it's a pretty good selection of the popular music of 1967.

Sunday, June 28, 2020

Vintage backgrounds: A parking lot card!

Everyone goes nuts over Luis Alvarado's parking lot card in 1973 Topps. Mike Torrez has got a pretty good one in 1975 Topps.
The Expos played their spring training games at Daytona City Island Park - pretty much the whole island was the ballpark, so it's not clear where the cars are in relation to the field. Might be a different field nearby. I figured because it's '75 Topps and a parking lot card, Night Owl might have had something to say. Ten years ago he posted this card and was pleased with the cars in the photo. He also celebrated that it was Bill Cosby's birthday and said we all know the NL would never adopt the DH. Boy have times changed.

Saturday, June 27, 2020

More great cards from Highly Subjective and Completely Arbitrary

Here is what I got from the last few weeks of Highly Subjective and Completely Arbitrary's giveaways.

My first ever Topps Scratch-Off! Opened up to show the front and back - Cincinnati trounced the Yankees 27-0 in some brat's mind.
 When I realized Rickey was wearing a "130" pendant I had to snag this card.
 Some more great vintage photos and shiny cards. The sparkly Starlin is my favorite.
 But any card you don't have already is a great card, like all of these.
 I snagged some football too. The highlight for me is the Eli Manning card, my first card that is specifically from the Giants' Super Bowl 42 victory.

Friday, June 26, 2020

1981 Topps Tom Brookens

The front: Simple batting cage shot at what I think is Yankee Stadium.

The back: Ike Brookens pitched in the Senators, Royals, Cardinals and Tigers chains from 1967 to 1977. Tim Brookens played in the Rangers and Tigers organizations from 1975 to 1978, topping out at Double A.
The player: Tom Brookens was a utility infielder for the Tigers from 1979 to 1988, and ended his career with a year each for the Yankees and Indians. In 1,336 major league games he hit .246 with 71 HR and 431 RBI.

The man: Brookens was a longtime minor league manager and major league coach in the Tigers organization. He is now retired.

My collection: I have 43 of his cards, from 1980 to 1991. I would be interested in trading for 1989 Score Yankees #21.

Thursday, June 25, 2020

Ryan O'Rourke on baseball cards

Ryan O'Rourke pitched for the Twins and Mets from 2015 to 2019. In 56 games he went 0-1 with a 4.84 ERA, striking out 49 batters in 48.1 innings. Now a Volunteer Assistant Coach at Holy Cross, he kindly answered my questions about baseball cards.

Do you have any stories about cards of yourself or of other players?
In Double A they wanted a card of me and I guess the first photo they took didn’t come out well. So before a game they ask me to throw in the outfield and they’ll snap a “live” pic. So I throw only knuckleballs and in the card it’s me with a knuckleball grip. I can tell my kids someday I was a knuckleball pitcher like Tim Wakefield haha.

A favorite card of yourself or of another player?
My favorite card is of Khalil Greene. I loved him at a Clemson and just the blonde flow and how cool he looked on the field. When I was younger he was the epitome of a baseball player.

Do you collect?
I don’t collect. I have cards from when I was younger but don’t collect anymore. 


Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Cardboard Cousins 1960/2009

I found lots of "cardboard cousins" going through my 1960 Topps and 2009 Topps Heritage cards.

#411 catchers for the Reds
 #287 - father and son
 #186 - pitchers for the Tigers
 #154 - infielders for the Giants
 #146 rookies on the Reds
 #118 - rookies on the Tigers
 #110 pitchers for the Reds
 #108 Kansas City catchers
 #96 Yankees pitchers
 #95 Cubs third basemen
 #57 Win-Savers
 #54 Red Sox pitchers
 #8 KC pitchers
 #2 Pirates outfielders

Shiny Yankees from Fuji

I got a very nice PWE from Fuji. He must have noticed that I like Yankee cards a lot, I like shiny cards a lot, and Alfonso Soriano was one of my favorite Yankees.
 Lots of fun shiny cards here. I think my favorite is the Opening Day Cano - if there is one thing better than a shiny card, it's a sparkly card.

Monday, June 22, 2020

Trade with RBlackmon

Here are some cards I got in a trade with RBlackmon - he does not have a blog but has an online wantlist. I was planning to start reaching out to more non-bloggers when the coronavirus started; this was my first one and ended up delaying a bit on my side. Will eventually start reaching out to more folks like this.

He sent me a very nice selection of cards from my wantlists.

Some hits to 1996 Upper Deck. I'd never seen that shiny expansion teams card before, looks like a throwback to the old UD hologram team stickers.
Lots of 1995 Stadium Club, I'm now down to just three needs there: 1 (Ripken), 289 (McGwire), 347 (Canseco).
 Speaking of Stadium Club, Frank Thomas and those checklist cards complete my 1994 Stadium Club set! Some other nice miscellaneous hits to my wantslists as well.

Bump and Run Football/Baseball Cards

Trevor of Bump and Run Football Card Blog is another blogger who did a Free Card Friday recently. I picked three Giants stars - Rodney Hampton, Mario Manningham and Justin Tuck. Some great regular season and postseason memories from those three. The Bristol Tigers card is actually Steelers quarterback Bubby Brister, who played one season of minor league baseball before going back to college. Finally, Trevor threw in a 2019 set need of mine, the Yankees' own "Johnny Lasagna".

Saturday, June 20, 2020

Ken Carlyle on baseball cards

Ken Carlyle pitched eight seasons in the Tigers and Braves organizations. His best season was 1992 when he went 8-4 with a 1.92 ERA for Fayetteville. Overall in 195 games he went 46-61 with a 4.29 ERA. Now the President of Next Top Recruits, he kindly answered my questions about baseball cards.

"My favorite card is one that I am still in my college baseball uniform at Ole Miss and it has a little league pic of me on the back. 
I once got paid $7k for my baseball card which was awesome!!"


Friday, June 19, 2020

Scott Proctor on baseball cards

Scott Proctor pitched seven years in the major leagues for the Yankees, Dodgers and Braves. His best season was 2006, when he went 6-4 with a 3.52 ERA, leading the American League with 83 games pitched. Overall in 307 games he went 18-16 with a 4.78 ERA. He kindly answered my questions about baseball cards.

"I do not have any stories about cards of myself other than that my younger kids that weren’t very old when I played see them and think its weird that Dad is on a baseball card.  I have collected cards as a kid and still have them to this day.  I also was given a storage container from my aunt when her husband passed away.  Periodically my two younger boys will pull all the cards out and go through them to look at them.  I do not currently collect cards other than I am looking to purchase a Mickey Mantle card to go with a signed baseball that I have in my collection.  I would say that I still love the cards of the guys that I admired as a kid. Those would be Greg Maddux, John Smoltz and Dale Murphy.  It crazy to think that I collected their cards as a kid and then had some of them as teammates during my career. "

Thursday, June 18, 2020

More wonders

When I got my trade package from Wax Pack Wonders, I hadn't even noticed that some of the cards were missing. Turns out Jeff mailed out two PWEs the same day and I got them several days apart.

Some 2018 Topps setbuilds.
 Lots more '84 Fleer Star Stickers! Some big names in here - Winfield, Ripken, Carlton, Henderson, Bench, Rose.
I love early '80s Fleer for the interesting photography. The commotion above Bill Caudill's shoulder caught my eye. What's that guy doing to the other one's neck? Some friendly greeting? Fixing the fit of his buddy's shirt? Or maybe the start of a fight in the stands? (I wonder if any card has a fight in the stands in the background . . .)

Wednesday, June 17, 2020

Buddy Groom on baseball cards

Buddy Groom pitched for fourteen years in the major leagues, mostly for the Tigers, A's and Orioles. In 786 games he went 31-32 with 27 saves and a 4.64 ERA. Now a youth sports coach, he kindly answered my questions about baseball cards.

"I don’t really have any stories about any ones card or any of myself. I think one of my favorites was the Topps throw back uniforms. It was done at the old Cleveland Stadium. Which was older than even that throwback jersey. I don’t collect cards but I did collect bats and both individual and team signed balls. I even have a signed game worn Cal Ripken jersey framed and hanging on my wall."

Tuesday, June 16, 2020

Cards and vintage things: labels

One of the things I picked up in my Don and Chris Old Stuff order a while back was a grab bag of old, unused labels - 50 for $5. The labels look great, they are almost all in mint condition and look like they could have been printed yesterday. That said, I found that having just labels out of context wasn't as interesting as I might have hoped. Anyone want to trade cards or something else interesting for some old labels, let me know.

Here's a sample of what was in there. I picked out some from some smaller towns and matched them up with vintage cards of players from those towns.

Ovideo, FL
 Paterson, NJ
 Exeter, CA
 Three from Salinas, CA. Must be a big vegetable town.
 OK, Joe DiMaggio is not from Holtville, CA but this one I had to include. I'm hanging on to this one. Looks like they did do some baseball-themed advertising as a take off on the distributor's name, but as far as I know there was no actual relationship with the Yankee Clipper.