Monday, August 31, 2020

Vintage backgrounds: A New York Yankee in Candlestick Park

 Here's another Candlestick Park card from the '76 (Traded) set. Has there ever been another card of a Yankee in their pinstripes at The 'Stick? Ah, the magic of airbrushing.

Sunday, August 30, 2020

1981 Topps Rickey Henderson


The front: Once a staple of Topps cards, hatless ballplayers were pretty unusual by this time. No cap means Rickey has to squint in the Yankee Stadium sun.

The back: Henderson had more football scholarship offers than baseball, but his mom advised him against playing the more dangerous sport. When Bo Jackson and Deion Sanders became famous for being two-sport players, Henderson had discussions with Al Davis about joining the Raiders, but the A's wouldn't allow it. Considering what happened to Jackson, that was probably for the best. Rickey's seven steals the day after Star Wars came out in theaters is still the California League record.

The player: Henderson was one of the greatest offensive forces of all time. Best known for stealing bases (130 in a season and 1,406 all time will be very hard records to break), he was an excellent hitter besides, hitting .279 with an OBP of .401, as he hit out of a very pronounced crouch which led to lots of walks. Being on base 40% of the time with lots of steals meant he was in scoring position a lot, which explains why he also holds the MLB record with 2,295 runs scored. He hit 297 HR and drove in 1,115 runs, mostly from the leadoff spot - even without the speed he was a dangerous hitter. While sabermetricians debate the value of the stolen base today, they sometimes overlook the effect of a dangerous runner on the pitcher. A big part of why Joe Carter was able to hit that World Series winning walk off home run was because Mitch Williams was distracted by Rickey being on first base. 

The man: As a Yankee fan growing up in the 1980s Rickey was a favorite for his antics on the field, but his capacity for controversy, and conflicts with George Steinbrenner and Lou Piniella about taking too long to return from injury, made him more under-appreciated than he should have been. The Yankees' trade of Henderson to Oakland in 1989 for three minor contributors remains one of the worst in franchise history. With more time having passed since his playing days, Rickey is seen more today as a colorful character, like Yogi Berra, rather than the clubhouse cancer he was often portrayed during his playing career. Today Henderson works as a roving instructor for the A's.

My collection: I have 246 of his cards, from 1980 to 2003. I would be interested in trading for 1987 Fleer Hottest Stars #20.

Saturday, August 29, 2020

Cardboard cousins: '68 Topps/'17 Heritage

 Continuing the series. I know I'm in the minority but I quite like this set's design.

#120 Yankees star pitchers.

#155 World Series Game 5. 
#214 Yankees rookies. That modern card is a great one, would be better if Judge could stay on the damn field . . . 
#320 Washington sluggers. 
#360 Tigers outfielders. Horton was a big star at the time. Collins didn't have much of a career.
#380 All Star pitchers. Topps went to the trouble of matching the All Star cards up, but still mixed up the leagues.
#390 Pirates second basemen.

Friday, August 28, 2020

Cards and vintage things: Not a matchbook. Really!

 I've been posting a lot of matchbook content lately. To answer a question from last time, I have a few of my favorites on display, some more favorites in an album I am still working on, and the remainder in a couple of big 24-pocket expanding folders sorted by state. 

This came out of my latest matchbook lot but it's not a matchbook. It's two Butter-Nut Coffee sewing kits shaped like matchbooks, designed to fit in a lady's purse. This was a brand that was big in the 1960s. In 1966, they did a promotion to win a Mickey Mantle glove. Naturally, anything with Mantle's name on it goes for big bucks today - a mint coffee can with the promotion can go for $60.

I don't have a '66 Mantle, of course, so I paired the kits with a card commemorating a home run Mantle hit on July 3, 1966 off of Washington's Pete Richert. Mantle hit a solo HR in the first inning. The Yankees eventually went out to a 5-0 lead, blew the lead, and won it 6-5, with Bobby Richardson hitting a home run in the top of the 11th.

Thursday, August 27, 2020

More pick-pocket goodies

 Julie of A Cracked Bat has been giving away cards since before it was popular, with her Pick Pocket program. She always has a fun lot of cards to choose from. Here's what I picked this time:

Starting off with this great Japanese card of a young Masahiro Tanaka. Why does he have a heart on his hip? Too bad the Yankees wasted his five shutout innings yesterday. The Yankees haven't won in ten days, and the season might be starting to slip away, but happily Tanaka has shown no ill effects from his scary spring training injury.

Here's some reminders of happier days for the Yankees, with World Series champions from three different eras, plus good old (remodeled) Yankee Stadium.
It wouldn't be pick pockets without funny photos and shiny cards . . .
Or old TCMA, especially vintage minor leagues! Julie knows I love these. Glenn Gregson is now 70 years old but still active in pro ball, currently coaching for the Red Sox.

Wednesday, August 26, 2020

Vintage backgrounds: Bayview Hill

Here's an interesting angle of Candlestick Park you don't usually see on a card. Bayview Hill loomed just beyond the park and was considered responsible for the extreme wind that the stadium often experienced.

Tuesday, August 25, 2020

Steve Stone's favorite cards

Steve Stone pitched 11 years in the major leagues, winning 107 games. His best season was 1980, when he won the Cy Young Award with a 25-7, 3.23 ERA performance for the Orioles. Since his playing career he has had a long career as an announcer in Chicago, first for the Cubs and now for the White Sox. He kindly answered my questions about baseball cards by replying with some of his favorites.

"I like the split card with me and Steve Carlton. I like the Pitcher of the Year card and the All-Star card."


Monday, August 24, 2020

Cardboard Memories Turn to Gold

 I always find it interesting when people post old articles about baseball cards. I know Night Owl and Topps Archives, for example, do so from time to time. This week, I came across a Craigslist post with someone selling just such an article. Someone is selling a page from the Fort Lauderdale News and Sun-Sentinel from June 29, 1980 which the seller claims is the oldest article ever about baseball cards as a potential investment.

The seller, Andrew, is offering this single page of newspaper, which he calls "the holy grail of something which hasn't even been thought of yet". If you want to own this copy yourself, he is selling it for the completely and totally reasonable price of $750.

If you don't have that much cash to spend on one page of a 1980s newspaper, though, the photos in the post make it quite easy for those who are interested to read the whole article for themselves. Nothing really groundbreaking here, but fun to see the state of the hobby in 1980. Click on the photos for a larger, more readable version.

Two-sport freebie star

 I picked up some more cards from generous blogger Cards on Cards. I picked a few baseball and football.

I love the buildings visible in the background on the Crosley Field card. The two discs look like old vintage but they're really 2013 Panini inserts. And I certainly couldn't resist an Amani Toomer card and that awesome hologram card.

Sunday, August 23, 2020

I see some fantastic vintage cards

 I traded some modern Dodgers and inserts to Cards as I See Them and in return got some fantastic vintage cards.

These five '53s more than double the number of cards I had from this set.

Some more fabulous '50s. Pitcher Ruben Gomez is shown baserunning on the front and back - how often do you see that?

Finally, some fine additions to my '69 set. 

Friday, August 21, 2020

Retail Cavalcade from Dime Boxes

I recently got a great trade package Nick from Dime Boxes. It hit a variety of collecting interests, but most squarely in the area of oddballs, especially retail oddballs. As I've become more and more interested in older retail in general, it is fun to get more "branded" cards.

Nick had posted this card recently, and I had commented on the irony of a Hills card with a Foodtown sign prominent in the background, as both were local Long Island-area supermarkets in the 1970s and 1980s. Of course, this is a different Foodtown and a different Hills (this one a department store), but I still thought it was funny. I was quite pleasantly surprised to find this card in my package!

Hills was just one of the many brands in Nick's package. There were three Pepsi cards, my favorite logo. The Scott Harvey card is actually a Canadian semi-pro card from 1984. Cool card - semi-pro wouldn't really fit into my pro baseball collection but it's a fun addition to my Pepsi collection. Other retail/product brands here: Dairy Queen, Drake's, Burger King, M&Ms, Kellogg's, North Star Ice Cream (actually a coupon on the back - expired 2017), 7-Up, Holiday Inn and Tombstone Pizza. I'd never seen a Holiday Inn card anymore. Not the biggest Ripken fan but that's a great card.
There were lots of other cool cards though. Some more highlights: A Sports Illustrated fold-out checklist card (they call it "contents" - cute). An oversized O-Pee-Chee poster, my first of those. Yankees Clint Frazier and CC Sabathia cards from their times as Indians minor leaguers. (The CC card mentions on the back that he is "starting to fill out" LOL). Also my first Japanese Kanebo card and my first Topps Hot Button, a see-through card set I've never seen before.


Thursday, August 20, 2020

1981 Topps Ron Cey


The front: Looks like Cey is batting at Shea Stadium. Looks like he is wearing the 1980 All Star Game patch. In two day games at Shea in 1980, both in late August, Cey was 2 for 8 with a double. So unless I am wrong about the patch it looks like Topps was still getting photos from pretty late in the season.

The back: Cey's 228 HR as an LA Dodger has since been surpassed by Eric Karros (270).
The player: One of the premier NL third basemen of the late 1970s, Ron Cey was an All Star for six straight seasons, 1974-1979. After the 1982 season the Dodgers traded him to the Cubs for Vance Lovelace, and two seasons later Cey helped them win a pennant. Overall, in 2,073 games for the Dodgers, Cubs and A's, Cey hit .261 with 316 HR and 1,139 RBI. Cey kept up his slugging ways in the postseason, with 7 HR in 45 playoff and World Series games.

The man: If baseball card bloggers are anything to go by, Cey was hugely popular among Dodger fans in the 1970s. The blogger who now does Cards as I See Them used to have the blog titled Garvey Cey Russell Lopes. He is also the all-time favorite player of blogging legend Night Owl, who has posted some interesting Cey memorabilia over the years. Today Cey is Vice President, Business Development & Relationship Manager for Professional Baseball at BFF Financial in Glendale, CA. 

My collection: I have 36 of his cards, from 1974 to 1987. I would be interested in trading for 1972 Topps #761 and 1973 Topps #615.

Wednesday, August 19, 2020

Freebies from The Angels, In Order

 The Angels, In Order had a giveaway recently. I was able to claim some fun cards for my collection.

Two minis of Yankees from my childhood; a current card of a current Yankee; plus a shiny card and an oddball. Can't go wrong with these!

Tuesday, August 18, 2020

Cardboard Cousins: '67 Topps/'16 Heritage

 I have a lot more of 1967 Topps, my favorite vintage set, than I do of '16 Heritage. It doesn't look like Topps did a whole lot of matching up other than some of the special cards and a few key players.

#25 Yankee catchers
#100 Frank Robinson and Adam Jones in the second straight set. At least the photos are more similar this time.
#128 - a bit of a stretch but Missouri third basemen with the same pose. Moustakas bats lefty though.
#152 World Series Game 2. Luckily both game 2's featured pitching gems allowing for similar cards.
#241 AL RBI leaders. The old-timers definitely win this round.

Monday, August 17, 2020

Cards and vintage things: More '30s baseball matchbooks

 I picked up another cheap lot of matchbooks recently. Mostly Chicago-area from the 1930s and 1940s. Here's a sampling. The oversized holiday one is Carson Pirie Scott.

But that's not what you're here for. The reason I bought this lot was that I noticed a '30s Diamond Match "card" mixed in.

My other Diamond Matches are all empty matchcovers that had been glued into albums and then cut out. This one is in rougher condition, but is still in it's original shape, with the 85-year old matches. So who is the Cincinnati pitcher?

Paul Derringer, who according to the writeup, in his most recent season, 1934, boasted 122 strikeouts against 59 "walks". Derringer would go on to win 223 games, mostly for the Reds, and was an inaugural member of the team's Hall of Fame in 1958.

I got another nice baseball-related surprise when I opened this matchbook - "the thinking fellow calls a yellow".

Inside? A 1939 Cubs home schedule. Very cool!

Sunday, August 16, 2020

Vintage Backgrounds: Mystery flag at Scottsdale Stadium

 Any ideas about what the flag is behind Andre "Andy" Thornton, presumably at Scottdale Stadium? It's not an Arizona or Illinois state flag. Maybe some kind of Cubs flag?

Saturday, August 15, 2020

Wallet Card at a Getty Station

 Haven't had a chance to do a wallet card post in a while. There is a good chance that I will be full-time working from home even after the pandemic ends, so my 20 years of daily commuting into the city would be over. There's less wallet-card fodder here in the suburbs, but hopefully I'll be able to stumble upon something every one in a while.

Getty used to be one of the leading gas station chains in the northeast. In fact the company used to be so big that they owned several other unrelated assets, including ESPN, which they sold to ABC in 1984. Getty went bankrupt in 2011. There is still a Getty Oil website, but it hasn't been updated since 2015 and most of the links don't work.

This station on Atlantic Avenue in Baldwin, NY stopped being a Getty about 15 years ago, and was completely abandoned about 10 years ago. Getty signage used to be pretty common, but now it is very difficult to find a station of any kind with a visible sign.

Friday, August 14, 2020

Spahn from John

 Exhibit A of why you should join the Big Fun Games at Johnny's Trading Spot (go sign up!). In this month's round I won this Exhibits card of all-time great Warren Spahn. It's tough to date Exhibits precisely (the sets were printed from 1947-1966 without year markings), but based on this Sports Collectors Digest article reprinted on, the size and printing of "MADE IN U.S.A" would seem to indicate that this was from the 1948 set. That would make this my first card from the 1940s and my oldest card that is not a matchbook. It's also my first ever playing-days cards of Warren Spahn, whose 363 wins are sixth all-time. Truly a fantastic addition to my vintage collection. Thanks Johnny!

(My picture didn't come out great - there is much more of a red tone on the actual card, not truly black-and-white.)

Thursday, August 13, 2020

1981 Topps Mets Future Stars

Juan Berenguer
The player: Berenguer was a talented but erratic pitcher for several teams before landing with the Tigers in 1983. Famed pitching coach taught Berenguer the split-fingered fastball and he used it with considerable success as a starter for the Tigers and a reliever for the Giants, Twins and Braves. Overall, in 490 games (95 starts) over a 15-year career, he went 67-62 with 32 saves and a 3.90 ERA.

The man: Berenguer was known as "Pancho Villa" during his playing days due to his resemblance to the Mexican revolutionary. He still uses that nickname in his current job selling cars at Lincoln of Bloomington, near Minneapolis.

My collection: I have 56 of his cards, from 1979 to 1992. I would be interested in trading for 1985 Wendy's/Coca-Cola Tigers #3.

Hubie Brooks
The player: For the first 20 years of the Mets' existence, third base was a black hole. No one the Mets put there could sustain success. Hubie Brooks became the team's regular third baseman in 1981 and held on to the role for four years, a franchise record at the time. The solid but unspectacular Brooks was traded to Montreal for Gary Carter, where he switched first to shortstop and then to right field, hitting for some average and power. He ended his 15-year career with the Dodgers, Mets (again), Angels and Royals. Overall in 1,645 games he hit .269 with 149 HR and 824 RBI.

The man: Brooks has been involved in some Mets alumni programs recently but has otherwise kept a low profile since his playing days.

My collection: I have 98 of his cards, from 1981 to 1994. I would be interested in trading for 1986 Sportflics #187.

Mookie Wilson
The player: Speedy center fielder Mookie Wilson was a Mets fan favorite in the 1980s. The team's center fielder from 1980 to 1989 (often platooning with Lenny Dykstra and others), Wilson hit over .270 with at least 15 stolen bases in every season from 1981 to 1988. In the middle of the 1989 season he was traded to Toronto, for whom he played in 1991. He is best known as the man who hit a little ground ball to Bill Buckner . . . 

The man: Wilson and Brooks were great friends on the Mets. "We did everything together when we were teammates," he said recently when the two reconnected at a Mets alumni event. Wilson was a Mets coach for many years but now appears to be retired.

My collection: I have 65 of his cards, from 1981 to 1992. I would be interested in trading for 1990 Sportflics #128.

Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Big '67 lot

 With cards of all kinds going for more these days on eBay, I'm amazed I was able to snag a pretty good lot of '67s for a good price. 145 cards (a small number of duplicates) for about $25 shipped. My 1967 set is kind of weird because I have a lot of the high numbers but still need a lot of the lower numbers. I needed over 50 of these cards (still have to update the wantlist).

Here are some highlights of the new cards. Some big names including some high-profile Yankees.

A few more. The Killebrew is the biggest new name to add. Nice to snag it so cheaply. A lot of these cards look better on the front then they do on the back, quite a few have small amounts of paper loss on the back, including the Killebrew, but that's OK with me.

So yes, I have almost 100 new 1967s to trade! I still have to update my tradelist but if you are working on a '67 set let me know.  Again highlighting some of the bigger names.

Some more. Not clear from the picture but Uecker is missing a corner. Alston is a bit mildewy. Most of the others are all right though.

No true high-numbers but these three are all in the 500s. A couple of big names here! I'd definitely like to get something pretty good for the Marichal.