Friday, September 30, 2022

Hollywood bit players on baseball cards: Part 28

Who played Sheriff Bender, here pulling a gun on a bad guy, in a 1960 episode of Wagon Train?

It's former Cardinals and Dodgers star Wally Moon! The 1954 NL Rookie of the Year, the outfielder played five seasons for the Cardinals and seven seasons for the Dodgers. While in Los Angeles he won three World Series rings and managed to land a guest spot on his children's favorite TV show. It would be his only acting credit, though game footage with Moon can be seen in the 1962 Lee Remick film Experiment in Terror.

I have three of Moon's cards.

Thursday, September 29, 2022

Art on the back: 1973 Topps football

The cartoons in the '73 football set were not player-specific or even team specific,  just random NFL facts. Still, there are some fun ones, like this one. Imagine how far away 1978 sounded to a 10-year-old in 1973.

I don't have a lot of '73's, but was able to find some entertaining cartoons. Like these . . .
. . . and these.


Wednesday, September 28, 2022

Time Traveling Again

Time to show off my cards from the monthly time travel trade with Diamond Jesters. He's almost up to his 200th time travel trade and will be having a giveaway for that trade, so now's a great time to start participating if you haven't yet.

Here's what I got this time around.

One vintage baseball card this time. Tigers outfielder Don Demeter wearing a cap with the Tigers' classic old English P.

Here's the oldest and best football card. I love seeing Yankee Stadium on football cards.
Three more 70's gridiron stars. The oddly cropped photo of Jack Rudnay is my favorite.
Finally, ten modern baseball cards. Lots of starpower here. Munson is a reprint but still a nice add to my Cards Your Mom Threw Out set.

Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Cards and vintage stuff: August 9th, 1938

Heavy fighting on two continents dominated the news on August 9th, 1938. In Spain, Republicans surprised Nationalist forces in the Battle of the Segre, while the Japanese continued to attempt their excursion into Soviet territory in the Battle of Lake Khasan.

It was Primary Day in much of the United States. Most notably, President Roosevelt unsuccessfully campaigned for liberal Democratic candidates in Florida, Georgia and South Carolina. In Arkansas, Hattie Caraway, the first woman to be elected a U.S. Senator, narrowly won her state's primary, assuring her re-election. 

Meanwhile, in Pulaski County, Bernie Hoff was running for Sheriff and Collector for Pulaski County.


The primary date is on the back of the matchcover. Hoff appears to have served as Collector from 1929 to 1938, so it appears he lost this election. 

The team closest to Arkansas, the St. Louis Browns, were home and split a doubleheader with Cleveland. Harlond Clift (Harland on his 1942 Play Ball card and 1983 TCMA reprint) was a factor in both games. In the opener, he scored the first run and then, with the Browns behind Bob Feller 3-1 in the eighth, followed Glenn McQuillen's leadoff single with a single of his own, knocking Feller out of the game, and reliever Denny Galehouse blew the lead, as after a sac bunt Red Kress hit a 2-run single to tie the game, and after a couple more runners got on, pitcher Lefty Mills drove in the eventual winning run with a groundout. In the second game, Cleveland hurler Earl Whitehill did what Feller could not, shutting down the Browns for a whole game, en route to an 8-1 triumph. Clift did reach base three times, with a double and two walks.

Monday, September 26, 2022

Odds and ends

I've been getting lucky on a few ultra-cheap eBay auctions. I usually take a look at what is going for really cheap. Here's a bit of what I've gotten lately. None of these were worth their own post by themselves.

Eleven shiny blue foil cards from 2017 Topps Opening Day. Some reasonably big stars and of course very shiny cards. $1.11 - a dime a card. Funny thing is I only have two cards from the base set that year.

Eleven cards from 2004 Fleer Tradition. Not as interesting a set but $0.49 with no bids I figured "why not". No one else wanted them, and I needed ten of the eleven (Catalanotto's the dupe) so I'm happy with them.
1961 Topps Willie Kirkland. I bid a quarter as I always do, and I came up outbid at $0.27, which I knew meant it wasn't any higher. I bid $0.32 figuring it would eventually get topped but it didn't.
Finally, two autographed Phillies cards for $0.50. I've interviewed Glanville for my blog and that's a great card of his, so it's fun to have an autographed copy.

Sunday, September 25, 2022

Johnny's Trading Spot contest - the prizes are changing

Won another contest at Johnny's Trading Spot. Those of you haven't entered because the cards haven't fit into your collection might want to rethink - looks like Johnny is shifting from modern sets with vintage players, to stars from 1990s and 2000s sets. Those of you who build those sets know it's easy to accumulate the commons rather quickly, but the big stars are a lot harder to get a hold of.

Rivera is of course my favorite here, but that photo of Frank Thomas looking like he's dancing is pretty great. I also like the one where Ripken is shaking a disembodied hand. These will certainly help my setbuilding for these Stadium Club and Upper Deck sets.

Saturday, September 24, 2022

Vintage backgrounds: 1977 Topps Bob Forsch

Bob Forsch's 1977 Topps card is one of the better "parking lot" cards. It's close enough to the cars that someone who can tell a make and model of any older car could probably identify some of these.

There are plenty of interesting backgrounds in the '77 set but nothing else that really stood out for inclusion in a blog post. So what's next for this series? Lately, I've been more interested in the players' equipment, specifically what is written on them. So I plan to do yet another pass through my vintage cards and look for anything written on equipment that looks interesting. Maybe a name or nickname on a glove, something written on the bill of a cap, or a player's number on a bat knob that marks it as belonging to a player other than the person holding the bat. This may or may not end up being too ambitious for me, especially as I am also thinking of looking at this on my modern cards too. I'm thinking three or four of these at a time for a somewhat interesting blog post. What do you think?


Friday, September 23, 2022

Shiny Rockies

I was the only bidder on 13 mostly shiny cards for $0.95. I guess not many people care about the Rockies these days. They were a fun team when they first came into the league, but aren't very interesting these days, I guess. I see they're 40 games out in the standings right now. Still, I'll take cheap shiny cards from any team.

These were the non shiny cards. Still have a lenticular, a blue parallel, and Ian Desmond throwing his helmet.

Here are the shiny, foily cards. Hard to tell from the picture but even the A&G has some foil. I've grown to like X-Fractors more over the years.

Thursday, September 22, 2022

1959 Topps High Number Lot

I was able to pick up a cheap lot of '59s in low-grade condition. I hadn't checked the card numbers, and was pleasantly surprised that it was mostly high-numbers. High numbers for the '59 set aren't as rare as for some other years, but they're still significantly rarer than other series for that set.

There were only three cards in the lot of 25 that were not high-numbers and two were Hall of Famers. Not a Hall-of-Fame job trimming these, but that doesn't bother me too much.

Here are some of the high-numbered cards I needed. Mike Garcia is the biggest name and probably best photo of these.
The rest of the high numbers were five all-star cards! My favorite of these is the Moose Skowron, of course.
I ended up with six cards to trade. There was a bit of duplication so there were two Blaylocks and Morgans. I already had a Bamberger, as well as Geiger and Arias. I think my other copies of Geiger and Bamberger are in pretty good shape, otherwise everything else to trade is pretty rough.
Lots of fun cartoons on the back, but I'll spare you those and just show you my favorite, which has instantly become one of my favorite vintage card backs.

Wednesday, September 21, 2022

Trade with Walkingshadow

I did another trade with Ben, not a blogger but Walkingshadow on TCDB. He needed a few of my '96 Donrusses, I needed a few of his '98 Scores. Here's what I got.

Nice collection of photos, from Score's swan song. I'm down to 17 needs for the set, mostly stars.

Tuesday, September 20, 2022

Latest contest winnings from Johnny

I've been participating in the daily contests at Johnny's Trading Spot. There's not a whole lot of participants so I've been winning cards once a week or so. If you haven't been participating you really should.

Here's what I got this time. Shiny Stanton is obviously my favorite, but there are a couple of other nice Yankee cards in there too. That Stargell photo is fantastic. And how often do you get two Al Simmons cards in one envelope? Johnny must have been picking from the "S" pile. Fun stuff.

Monday, September 19, 2022

Wallet Card with some old phone exchanges

One type of sign I always love to find are those where the telephone still has an alpha-numeric phone exchange, dating the sign to the late 1960s at the latest. I found a few on my recent trip.

I found two similar signs that I was particularly excited about on West 181st Street in Washington Heights (upper Manhattan). Both of these signs were put up by electricians modestly declaring that the building was "adequately wired".

"Adequately wired by Electra Construction Incorporated. 1980 Valentine Ave., New York 57, N.Y. WEllington3-980?" This sign is doubly awesome - not just an old phone number, but a pre-zip-code-era address too! Valentine Ave is actually in the Bronx, but it was not unusual for Bronx addresses to be called New York, NY back then.

"This building was adequately wired by H.M. Moses Electrical Corp. Licensed electrical contractors, 227 East 169th St., N.Y.C. WYandotte 2-0???"

I found a few other fun signs like this: Raffetto Pasta has been a Greenwich Village staple since 1906. I'm not sure how long the sign with the SP. 7-1261 number has been hanging in the window, or whether it was originally somewhere else on/in the building.

Henri J. Billharz operated this plumbing business in Woodside Queens, originally opened by his grandfather Henri X. Billharz 95 years ago. The business is still operational and the phone number 718-784-2468 is still operational.
This sign near the famous Delmonico's Restaurant in the Financial District. Looks like OX. 7-7400.
The old John De Lorenzo Sheet Metal business in SoHo is now an art gallery or something. Half the sign has been replaced by "art" but fortunately the old WA. 5-2985 phone number remains. If you are curious about the other half of the sign, you can see it here.
Most of these signs I had read about earlier and was targeting them in my walks. This one I stumbled upon accidentally. It's in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, near McCarren Park. Rappaport Sons Bottle Co. has operated since 1939. They still have a sign on their warehouse with the phone number EV7-0190; like Billharz plumbing, it still works today (718-387-0190). At some point a street artist painted a picture of Colonel Sanders's head on top of a chicken, and at some later point another one covered most of it with their own tag. Fortunately neither defaced the 50+-year-old sign on top.

Sunday, September 18, 2022

1981 Topps Lonnie Smith


The front: Simple head shot, but a nice view of Veterans Stadium in the background.

The back: Smith's 33 stolen bases in 1980 were eight more than teammate Garry Maddox. He also stole a base in the NLCS.

The player: Lonnie Smith was probably best known for repeatedly falling down in the field and on the bases, but he was actually a very good player for a number of years. He played in the postseason for four different teams (Phillies, Cardinals, Royals and Braves), winning three World Series. In 63 postseason games he hit .278 with 4 HR, 17 RBI and 8 SB. These are right in line with his regular season numbers (1,613 games, .288 with 98 HR, 533 RBI and 370 SB). His best season was 1982, when he led the NL with 120 runs scored, hitting .307 with 8 HR, 69 RBI and 68 SB.

The man: Smith had a lot of trouble with drug use during his career, and was one of the key players involved in the 1985 Pittsburgh drug trials. After his career Smith has led a clean, low-key life in retirement, reportedly as a stay-at-home-dad for his three children. He was one of four living members of the 1982 Cardinals who did not travel to St. Louis for last month's 40th anniversary reunion.

My collection: I have 72 of his cards, from 1979 to 1995. I would be interested in trading for 1982 Fleer Stamps #60.

Saturday, September 17, 2022

1986 Sportflics Decade Greats: Whitey Ford


The player: Whitey Ford was the greatest starting pitcher in Yankees history. He came up with the Yankees in 1950 and made an immediate impact, going 9-1 with a 2.81 ERA, and won the clinching Game 4 of the World Series. He lost all of the 1951 and 1952 seasons to military service, but came back in 1953 and picked up right where he left off, going 18-6 with an ERA of 3.00. Until his retirement in 1967, hastened by a circulatory issue in his arm, he was one of the most effective pitchers in baseball. In fact, his 2.75 ERA is the lowest for any pitcher of the live-ball era. His win totals (236) and strikeout totals (1,956) would have been much higher if he hadn't missed two seasons in the prime of his career, and because Casey Stengel went with a five-man rotation, unusual for the era, and often would delay Ford's starts to match him up against tough opponents. He didn't win 20 in a season until Ralph Houk brought back a four-man rotation in 1961. He was just as good, if not better, in World Series play. He pitched in 11 Series and was 10-8 with a 2.71 ERA, and his 33.2 scoreless innings streak in the World Series is still a major league record.

The man: Ford grew up in Astoria, Queens, a short subway ride to Yankee Stadium, and was a big Yankee fan as a child. Off the field, during his playing career, he was known to enjoy the nightlife and frequently partied with friends Mickey Mantle and Billy Martin, but was universally respected as a kindhearted person, who would go out of his way to help everyone from teammates to sick children. In fact, the one major bar-fight of his career, the infamous Copacabana incident, occurred when Ford and his teammates confronted members of a bowling team who were shouting racist remarks. After his career, Ford served as Yankee pitching coach for a couple of brief stints, and for decades was a spring training instructor for the team. He died in 2020, watching a Yankee playoff game on TV at his home in Lake Success, Long Island.

My collection: I have Ford's last three Topps cards, 1965, 1966 and 1967.

Friday, September 16, 2022

A Year of Topps Designs: 1986

Perhaps sensing greater competition in the trading card market, Topps put a lot of work into their sports designs in 1986.

The baseball set uses a black top border, a design Topps rarely used in any sports sets. It's thought of as one of the very few black bordered baseball sets, along with 1971 and 2007. Funny thing is, about 3/4 of the border is white, but the top is where the eye goes.

Meanwhile, Topps put out maybe it's best ever football design in 1986, with the football field background. In 1986 I started collecting, buying packs of baseball stickers and football cards, so this was the first sports set I ever collected, and I am very fond of it to this day.

The hockey set has a rather intricate border, giving off a 3-D effect. It's a bit busy but it looks interesting.

On the non-sports side, Topps was mostly focused on churning out more series of the surprise 1985 hit Garbage Pail Kids. (I collected those too. Unfortunately my method of collecting was to peel off the stickers and stick them to my bedroom wall, so they're all long gone.) Topps decided to lean into the rudeness a little more with the Snotty Signs set. These were filled with nasty insults - three stickers to a card, including one personalized to a common boys or girls name of the era. Unlike Garbage Pail Kids there is no real attempt at humor, these are straight-up mean insults.

Speaking of harsh insults,  here's Howard the Duck!

Probably the only Topps set that had a cigar as a major design element. There were some years where Topps's non-sport sets were filled with blockbuster after blockbuster. This wasn't one of them. Their other offerings that year were sticker sets. One was Little Shop of Horrors. The backs of the stickers all featured cards of the characters singing.

Their other sticker set capitalized on the brief-but-intense Max Headroom fad. The stickers have card backs with several different designs. I liked this one.

Thursday, September 15, 2022

Wood vs. Wood #116

Last time 1987 triumphed, 6-2. Who will come out on top this time?

Not much to say photo-wise, but these were both very good players.

Herb Score, from Rosedale, Queens, electrified the American League during his Rookie-of-the-Year season of 1956, going 16-10 with a 2.85 ERA and leading the AL with 245 strikeouts. He was even better in 1956, (20-9, 2.53 ERA, 263 strikeouts). However, five games into the 1957 season he was hit in the eye by a line drive, prematurely ending his season. Though he is best known for that freak injury, he actually made a full recovery and quickly regained his 20/20 season, and he started the 1958 season strong. Like many young pitching stars of the era, it was actually poorly-treated arm injuries, starting with one early in the '58 season, that hastened the end of his career. He retired after the 1962 season, with a 55-46 record, 837 strikeouts and a 3.36 ERA. He had a long career as an Indians announcer, and died in 2008.

While Score's career was brilliant but brief, Russell's career was long but unspectacular. In his 18-year career as Dodger shortstop he hit .263 with 293 doubles, 46 HR and 627 RBI. In the field he was average at best, twice leading the league in errors early in his career, but settling down somewhat in his later years. He was very good in the postseason, hitting .294 with 5 doubles, 3 triples and 19 RBI in 49 games, including .400+ batting averages in the NLCS and WS in 1978. He later coached and managed the Dodgers and is now an umpire observer for Major League Baseball.

Wednesday, September 14, 2022

Hollywood bit players on baseball cards: Part 27

Today's bit player has just one screen credit. In the 1977 sci-fi horror film The Incredible Melting Man, he played a security card who meets a grisly end near the end of the film.

It's former Tigers star Mickey Lolich! A key member of the 1968 World Champs, Lolich won over 200 games in his 13 seasons in Detroit. After 1975 he was traded to the Mets for Rusty Staub. After one season in New York Lolich retired to open a doughnut shop and dabble in acting. He returned to the major leagues in 1978 and was an effective member of the Padres' bullpen. He struggled in 1979, however, and retired after that season. He returned to the doughnut business, running a shop in Michigan until he retired in the late 1990s.

Here are the oldest and most recent cards of Lolich in my collection.

Tuesday, September 13, 2022

Art on the back: 1972 Topps football

1972 Topps has some pretty good cartoons, unfortunately the design of the back doesn't give them much room to shine.

I don't have many cards from this set but still found some good cartoons.
Here's a few more.
The action photo cards have a big cartoon on the back. "Test Your Football I.Q.". I don't know who the artist is, but it's clearly the same person who did the 1970 baseball set and several other football sets.

Monday, September 12, 2022

Cards from Bill and Bob (via Night Owl)

I got two PWEs this weekend from Night Owl. Lots of fun cards in both envelopes.

Some of the cards were modern set needs. My favorite of these is the Jeff Kent parking lot card.

The rest were vintage. Here are four from the 1970 set. That Aparicio is a nice looking card. I was intrigued by the markings on the Dick McAuliffe card, but I couldn't make out any words or numbers, if that was what they were, even holding it up to a mirror.
The best card starwise was this 1975 Hostess Pete Rose. I love the photo too. The more I see Hostess cards the more I enjoy the photos. I think Hostess is becoming my favorite vintage card to acquire outside of the base Topps sets.
Here are seven from the Bill Wetmore collection. I've gotten several cards like this from Night Owl over the years. In the early 60's some kid named Bill Wetmore marked all of his cards with a W, and then in case that wasn't enough, got himself a "Bill Wetmore" stamp and went to town.
I don't know if Bill Wetmore and Bob Bolton were friends, but Bob was also careful to label his card in pen . . .
. . . and then later on got himself a stamp, one-upping Bill by having his name underlined!
As I was putting these away, I noticed I had another Bob Bolton card I'd forgotten about. It was stamped on the back (with underline) but not written on otherwise. Fun stuff, cards with lots of character.