Sunday, October 31, 2021

Broke the rule again

 Broke my $0.25/card rule for vintage - 10 1964's for $11. Why?

It wasn't for these. I had them already. Nice condition generally, though, so they'll be good trade bait.

It wasn't for these either, though Bobby Richardson in particular is a nice pickup.

This was the card that justified the price, for me. The autograph is fake, of course, but it's well done, not like a kid did it. And the star sticker is a nice touch. It's a one-of-a-kind version of an iconic card (Any original Mays base card is an iconic card in my opinion). I'm glad to have it in my collection.

Saturday, October 30, 2021

Trade with Rick

 Rick is not a blogger but does have a trading website. I'd traded with him once before a few years ago. This time I sent him a variety of cards including some hockey, some pink cards for his granddaughter, and a whole lot of early 2010's Topps.

In return he sent me a fun, varied package. 

A lot of the cards were some set needs from various years, mostly 90's, some 80's Sportflics. I'd never seen a Tri-Stars card in the '88 set.

He also sent about 100 cards from '79 OPC. Some notable cards included some key players from the Bronx Zoo era.

There were a few cards I had already, some trade bait for those of you who enjoy OPC cards of this era:

Speaking of trade bait, he also sent most of the commons from the 1995 Topps D3 set, the company's attempt at a Sportflics ripoff. I had almost all of them already, so if anyone has needs from this set, let me know:

Of course, this big trade had a vintage component! Phil Niekro is my first 1970 Topps Super. The Supers are really nice cards, particularly in person. He towers over the other 70's cards from this trade.
I did want to highlight these two great cards taken in front of the same fence. The Fairly is one of the best palm-tree cards I've seen.
Finally, some older vintage. As noted before, Rick has accumulated a lot of pink cards for his granddaughter, hence the two pink cards here, which he had presumably upgraded from.

Friday, October 29, 2021

Bubble mailer

I got a very nice surprise PWE from The Best Bubble.

Here are a variety of cards featuring interesting personalities and old ballparks. My favorite is the Nancy Faust card which I'd seen on other blogs.

Four autographed cards! Chris Calloway was a solid, dependable receiver for the Giants for many years. Nice to get for my first signed football card (other than a few autographed at the manufacturer). Chance Adams was one of many recent big prospect busts for the Yankees; he did lousy for KC too, and had Tommy John surgery in 2021. Still fun to get an autographed card of his. Rick Cerone had a very nice Yankee career, though; and Manny Trillo was an excellent player for a long time too.

Thursday, October 28, 2021

Time Traveling, mini style.

 I picked up just one vintage "card" but lots of fun stuff in my latest Diamond Jesters Time Travel trade.

Llah Eimmij is a Jimmie Hall Topps Rub-Off Tattoo from 1965. He's flanked by two regular-size Score cards from 1992. Also seen here are a couple of recent Topps minis in the 1987 style and an A&G card of a clam.

Lots of football this time. A standard size Bill Cowher looms over a collection of mini football players.


Wednesday, October 27, 2021

Generous Johnny

Recently I commented on a post from Johnny's Trading Spot where he posted a 1995 Sonic/Pepsi card of Maury Wills, with what I thought was the nicest Polo Grounds shot I'd seen on a card. Next thing I knew Johnny was sending it to me!

I love the clear shot of the apartments behind the stadium, the signs, the other people on the field. The Giants were already in SF when Wills's career started, so this must be a game against the Mets in '62 or '63.

Sending that card would have been generous enough, but Johnny mentioned that he had packed in something "extra". What an "extra"!

It's only my second '52 Topps card, featuring Fightin' Phillies second baseman Connie Ryan. Another great image with a lot going on in the background.

Thanks Johnny!

Tuesday, October 26, 2021

Wood vs. Wood #49

 Last time the 1987 card got four out of the five votes. I think the '62 has a better chance this time.

Hal Jones's card has some nice details, like the '60s's era batting glove, the finger in the air, the '62 Rookie star. I also like cards with trees in the background. Terry Harper's card is an "action" card but it's pretty standard, taking a practice swing before the pitch. I like that there's some dirt on his uniform. Really, it's two nice cards, can't go wrong either way.

Hal Jones was a Negro League All Star at the age of 20 in 1956 (the Negro Leagues are not considered major leagues after 1948), then joined the KC A's organization. Despite 178 home runs in nine minor league seasons, he barely got a chance in the major leagues, just 17 games in 1961 and 1962. As with many young Black players of his era, he wasn't given the same kind of chances as white players, and he retired at the age of 28, frustrated at not getting called to the big leagues despite his big power numbers. Jones is now 85 years old and lives in Los Angeles.

Outfielder Terry Harper played in eight big league seasons, seven with the Braves. Other than a pretty good 1985 (.264, 17 HR, 72 RBI) his numbers were quite mediocre. After his playing career, he was a coach in the Braves organization and is now a youth coach in the Atlanta area. In March, his hometown of Douglaston, GA, named a baseball field in his honor. He is 66 years old.

Monday, October 25, 2021

A Year of Topps Designs: 1970

 Topps entered the 1970s with some pretty conservative designs. Muted colors were given to both baseball and football. The baseball design was as simplistic as you could get; football at least had a football and a banner for a little interest.

Hockey was pretty similar to football,highly simple card except for a stick and a puck. The stick is big enough to make the design stand out a little more.

The basketball design, in the "tall boy" style, was much more interesting than the other sports.

The major news event of 1969, the moon landing, was commemorated by Topps in a trading card set. It features full bleed photography, matched with a serious, textbook-like caption and a silly "Man on the Moon" logo.

Way out wheels featured 36 creations by custom hot rod creator George Barris, using an old-timey western-style design.
Other Topps sets issued in 1970 were a "flags of the world" set which just had a flag on a black background, and a Bazooka Joe set with comic strip reprints.

Hollywood bit players on baseball cards: Part 8

Today's actor appeared in the 1970 Jerry Lewis film Which Way to the Front, a World War Two satire generally considered one of Lewis's worst films. He plays a character named Lincoln, driving the jeep in the photo below.

He had a brief career in movies, but a long one in baseball. A fantastic fielder and excellent hitter, Davis had 2,561 hits, including 182 HR, in his eighteen year career, mostly with the Dodgers. He had several baseball-related TV guest appearances, including episodes of The Flying Nun and Mr. Ed.

Saturday, October 23, 2021

Art on the back: 1960 Topps

Cartoons got a smaller space on the back of 1960 Topps, and the artwork was a bit less interesting than previous years, with kind of a generic theme. Here is a typical example, notable only for the misspelling of the name of one of the Alou brothers.

There were a few themes that were repeated often; a player doing well would show a frustrated opposing batter or pitcher; a player getting traded had the former team's mascot looking sad; a player with a hobby was shown doing that hobby in their baseball uniform, etc. Players with college experience continued to be a novelty; here are a couple of the stronger examples of this theme:

Some of the more interesting cartoons had a war related theme. The Gene Freese one is particularly odd, even more so considering that the trade appears to have been December 8 according to newspaper accounts, and is December 9 in Baseball Reference. Still, I think I will consider December 7 to be Gene Freese Day rather than Pearl Harbor Day from now on.

Finally, a few more cartoons with a science-fiction theme.

Friday, October 22, 2021

Cards and vintage stuff: July 14, 1954

The big news on July 14, 1954 was a heat wave that was sweeping the U.S., most notably in St. Louis, where the high of 115 degrees is still the record. Elsewhere, diplomatic discussions regarding the future of Indochina were being held in Geneva.

In baseball, there was only one game played on the day after the All Star Game, a reschedule from a rainout. in Milwaukee, the Brooklyn Dodgers squeezed out a 2-1 win in 12 innings. The winning run came on a sacrifice fly by Duke Snider, scoring Jim Gilliam.

Meanwhile, in Millersport, NY, at Cook's Paradise Grove, The Peter J. Schmitt Company, one of the nation's largest grocery wholesalers, held a retailer's picnic. The Buffalo-based company was founded in 1927 and grew to be one of the top 20 in the United States before being sold in 1988.


Thursday, October 21, 2021

Vintage backgrounds: 1970 Topps Frank Quilici

This is definitely one of the strangest photos on a vintage baseball card. There's the Twins' "Mr. Everything", Frank Quilici, posing in front of a batting cage in spring training. Behind him on the right side of the card is fellow infielder Cesar Tovar. And behind him on the left side of the card is . . . a guy in a towel, shower shoes and nothing else! How did this make it on a card? I'm kind of surprised that more people haven't noticed it; a Google search produces a post on the When Topps Had Balls blog but nothing else. Maybe everyone who sees it pretends they didn't see anything?



Wednesday, October 20, 2021

High-end low-end lot

I bought another "low grade" lot for just over a quarter a card. Unlike my last few lots, the cards here ended up being in quite good shape. This seems to be the case of a guy who mostly sells modern cards not really understanding how bad older cards can get. And while there were very few Hall-of-Famers in this lot, most of these were pretty well known stars.

The oldest cards in the lot were from '59 Topps, and '60 Leaf and Topps. Only my second and third from '60 Leaf. Yankee fans remember Frank Torre fondly from the '96 season.

'61 and '62. Six players who are not in the Hall but all of whom are an important part of the history of baseball in this era.
Mid-60s, highlighted by young Mel Stottlemyre.
Jumping to the most recent cards in the lot. The '69s and '72s are all semi-high-numbered cards, and except for maybe Money, are all pretty big names. The '73 Garvey is one I've seen on a bunch of blogs, glad to finally own one.

Trade bait! And they are all in pretty good shape, some in very good condition. Some big names in that bottom row.

Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Wallet card with four vintage soda signs

Hillside Beer & Soda, just inside the Queens border in Floral Park, NY, has the most vintage soda signs I've seen on one establishment. They are in varying degrees of weathering, but you can see Pepsi, RC Cola, Diet-Rite and 7-Up. (The painted sign underneath, now partially obscured, says ICE CUBES.)

That Pepsi sign is pretty faded (those signs face west), but this one facing north is doing much better. I do love those yellow-bordered Pepsi signs!

1981 Topps Bob Bailor


The front: Happy guy at spring training.

The back: Bailor and Galasso had the two best MLB careers for players born in Connellsville, PA. Another teammate of theirs, Roger Miller, pitched briefly in the majors for the Brewers.

The player: An original Blue Jay, Bob Bailor was a decent utilityman between 1975 and 1985, also spending time with the Orioles, Mets and Dodgers. In 954 games he hit .264 with 9 HR, 222 RBI and 90 SB.

The man: He was a coach with the Blue Jays for many years, and was the only member of the original Blue Jays to win a World Series ring with the team in 1992 and 1993. As the first base coach, he was the first man to shake Joe Carter’s hand after his Series-winning home run. He is now retired and spends his time hunting and fishing.

My collection: I have 24 of his cards, from 1976 to 1986. I would be interested in trading for 1977 O-Pee-Chee #48.

Monday, October 18, 2021

1986 Sportflics Decade Greats Johnny Mize/Joe Gordon/George Kell


Johnny Mize: Four time NL HR champion, twice with the Cardinals and twice with the Giants. He lost the prime of his career to WWII, but came back to be a key member of the Yankees' bench; he played for the Yankees in five seasons, 1949-1953, and won the World Series each year. His ninth-inning, bases loaded single won Game 3 of the 1949 World Series. After his career he coached and worked in real estate. I don't have any of his cards from his playing days; his last card as an active player was 1953 Topps #77.

Joe Gordon: The best defensive second baseman of his era, Gordon also had excellent power for a middle infielder of his era; his 246 HR are second all-time for a second baseman, hitting over 20 in seven of his 11 seasons. He took over for Tony Lazzeri in 1938 and helped the Yankees to five pennants in six years, winning the AL MVP in 1942. After an injury-plagued 1946, the Yankees traded Gordon to Cleveland for Allie Reynolds, a blockbuster deal that helped both clubs, as Gordon recovered to have a career year in 1948 to help the Indians win the pennant. After his career he managed and worked in real estate. I don't have any of his cards from his playing days; his last card as an active player was1950 Bowman #129.

George Kell: One of the finest third baseman in the American League, Kell played fifteen seasons for five teams, primarily the Tigers. He won the batting title in 1949 and hit .306 for his career. After his playing career, he was a long-time announcer for the Tigers. I don't have any of his cards from his playing days; his last card as an active player was1958 Topps #40.

Saturday, October 16, 2021

Wonders from the minor and major leagues

I got two jam-packed PWEs in a recent trade with Wax Pack Wonders. Most of these cards fit the theme of my recent minor league card acquisitions.

The bulk of the trade was about 20 cards from the 1990 Best set. Yes, that is a high school behind Jeff Plympton; Beehive Field was located next to New Britain High School. It's a beautiful set, where the photography is emphasized by the card design where none of the cards have borders.

Would you believe, most of the cards don't have borders?

Spelling player's names was not a strength of the Best staff though. Future major leaguers Hurst, Voigt and Zupcic get error cards here. ZVPCIC is my favorite.

But the biggest mangling of a name in this lot was a 1981 TCMA of future big leaguer Jim Pankovits.

Here's the rest of the minor league cards. My favorite is the '77 TCMA Bob Weismiller, another "backyard" shot.

There were a few vintage cards in Jeff's PWEs too, with a '59 Reds team card, a '61 Fleer Joe Medwick, and a '75 OPC with a cartoon featuring Le Coq Rouge.
As usual, Jeff used some vintage stamps; these being from the 1980 Winter Olympics.

Friday, October 15, 2021

Big generous package from Cards on Cards

I got a huge box of cards from the Cards on Cards spring cleaning 2021 (which is still going on, check out the link on his blog. I asked for Yankees, Cardinals and some miscellaneous, and he sent back over 600 really nice cards. He has nicer cards to give away then many people do to trade. (Fortunately I do have some vintage Cardinals for him.)

This may be my favorite card in the box. I should really put together a want list for 1998 Metal, it's such a great looking set and I don't have much from it. Love the lower Manhattan, pre-9/11 skyline here. I kind of miss commuting to the city. Once the pandemic hit I switched to working from home. Today is actually my last day at the company I've been with for the past 20 years; later this month I'm starting a new job, fully remote, for a company that doesn't even have any office space in New York.

Here's a kind of silly card from Topps Archives. A "parade" of one. The original had Bo Belinsky, certainly a colorful character worthy of a modern card. And I'm sure it would have been nice for Dan Pfister, Joe Bonikowski and Dave Stenhouse to be included too. Real '62 Rookie Parades are tough to acquire; I don't have any of my own yet.

Here's another modern headscratcher. What's with the yellow and black Yankee logo? They didn't have logos like that in the real '58 set. Maybe Topps confused the Yankees with the Steelers.
I'm not a big fan of bat flips but I don't hate them either. So far I haven't watched one pitch of the postseason. I wanted to avoid the hype of the Boston game, and had a feeling the Yankees wouldn't show up to play, and unfortunately, except for this guy I was right. I've been meaning to turn on some of the other games, but for a variety of reasons its been easier to follow games online than turning on the TV.
Super shiny Yankees!
There were lots of Cardinals, (my NL team, at least they gave the Dodgers a little fight), and plenty of other teams too. More fun shiny/colorful cards.
Jay Austin was a second round draft pick for the Astros in 2008 and never got above A ball but is still active after all these years in a variety of unaffiliated leagues; currently playing with Monclava of the Mexican League.
A couple of vintage oddballs, including my first '73 O-Pee-Chee. They look the same as Topps on the front, so here is the back, with the much more formal script for the cartoon.
There were a few extra-special cards in toploaders. The Walter Johnson card is called "Pennant Aggression". I guess it's some kind of pun but I don't get it. Jersey card for Michael Aubrey, who had a brief major league career. The Cap Anson card appears to be made of wood or some woodlike material. This card is from 2013. I'm kind of surprised Topps put out a card of him as recently as 2020; I would think that given the heightened awareness of the history of the Negro Leagues, that would be the last modern card for a while for the father of MLB segregation.
Tino Martinez shiny card! That Thurman Munson card is one of those Topps variations. The Crusade card is a really nice design. The autographed card is a 2013 Team USA 18U card of Michael Rivera. Rivera was drafted by Cleveland in 2017 and made it to AAA this season.