Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Cards from The Angels, in Order

The Angels, in Order recently put up some trade bait and I claimed a few. 

Stanton and Boggs are two Yankees known for their hitting, on inserts dedicated to fielding. Boggs worked hard to improve his fielding reputation, while Stanton is now a fulltime DH. The '89 Topps League Leaders set is the rare junkwax-era set I still need most of the cards from. I was intrigued by the Bowman Heritage reprint, unable to tell who the player was. It's Ferris Fain.

A couple of Leaf Black Gold cards. I had actually claimed a different autographed card but I'm happy with this one. I thought the dark gray wood on the '87 design was interesting, and the Guardians logo still feels very new to me. Finally, I couldn't pass up what looked like a football Broder. (Turns out it was produced by Ralston-Purina, licensed by the NFLPA but not the NFL, as far as I can tell.)

Tuesday, November 29, 2022

Cards and stamps from Johnny

Johnny's Trading Spot has more people doing the daily contests, these days, so I'm not winning once a week anymore, but I'm glad more cards are being spread out around more winners. Here is my latest prize package.

Here is some of what was in the envelope. Six Yankees and a Twin. I needed the Twin (Liriano) as well as the Jeter and the Richardson. All really nice cards though, especially that Matt Nokes hologram. He was one of the few fun players on some bad Yankees teams.

A couple of stamps with iconic ballplayers in iconic poses.
This card I was most excited about. In the early 90s, The Wiz (NYC-area electronics chain) put out a huge set of cards of every Yankee who had played for the team from the 1950s through the 1980s, I think they were stadium giveaways. These are very large sets, and yet somehow I had never owned one until now. Mickey Rivers was my dad's favorite player on the late 70's Yankees teams, he used to joke that he was going to name me after him. So for my first Wiz card, this is definitely a special one.

Monday, November 28, 2022

Trade with Baseball Card Breakdown

I had come into some Black Gold cards recently and traded some of them to Baseball Card Breakdown. Gavin apparently decided these Black Gold cards could not be outdone, and decided to stop collecting them after what I sent him. In return, he kindly sent me some cards leftover from his giveaways this summer.

I picked three shiny refractors. I've interviewed Claggett and Cameron for this blog, and Ibanez was a fan favorite in his brief but impressive time with the Yankees.

The rest of the cards all came from Canada, O-Pee-Chee cards of various members of the first Padres pennant-winning team.

Sunday, November 27, 2022

Vintage equipment: SSPC/TCMA

I only found a couple more for this series from the 1976 SSPC set, both Pittsburgh Pirates.

Rookie pitcher John Candelaria was #45 for the Pirates. I guess he wanted to goof around and strike a batting pose, but didn't have equipment of his own handy. The bat belongs to #22 Richie Zisk, while the helmet appears to have #24 on it. #24 Paul Popovich was released in July, and when Omar Moreno was called up in September he took that number. It may well be that Candelaria took Moreno's hat which used to belong to Popovich.

Here's a simpler one. Duffy Dyer wore #5, but his holding bat #28, which belonged to teammate Bill Robinson.
Marked-up equipment is mostly non-existent on 1970s minor league cards. I did find one instance, on the 1975 Dubuque Packers card of future major leaguer Terry Puhl, who wrote his name on his batting glove.
Next it will be on to my vintage Topps cards!

Saturday, November 26, 2022

Wallet Card with some great old subway-related signage

Lots of subway-related old signage in this post. The nature of some of these signs means I couldn't always get close to them, but they are worth opening in a new window and zooming in.

Starting out with a two-fer at the 14th Street/6th Avenue station. You have a reference to the Independent Subway . . .

and the H&M Tunnels (now known as the PATH Train). Both of these names were obsolete by the end of the 1960s.
Some old IRT (Interborough Rapid Transit) signage can be found at a few points in the Chambers Street Station. The IRT, IND and BMT merged in 1940 to create the MTA, but were still officially known by these initials until 1967.
This one got turned into "ART" by an "artist".
This one was in Brooklyn, near Cadman Plaza. The Hotel St. George was the largest hotel in Brooklyn when it was built in 1885. It was a luxury hotel with celebrity clientele before World War II. During and after the war, it served primarily as military housing, and like many NYC hotels in the 1970s and 1980s, primarily had a very poor clientele who were between homes. The hotel was burned down in 1995, an accidental fire caused by a resident attempting to steal copper wires from a vacant part of the building. The spot today is home to student housing for a variety of universities.
Some more IRT signage, this one near Wall Street.
I happened to catch this one by luck - the modern MTA-New York City Subway sign fading away to reveal an New York City Transit - M sign underneath. The M logo was in use from 1968 to 1994.
That logo replaced a stylized TA logo that was only used for a short time, from 1962 to 1968. This is believed to be the only spot where you can spot this short-lived logo still in use, way behind a fence in a train yard near Coney Island. You'll have to zoom in to see it, this was as close as I could get.

Finally, here is what I think is the coolest sign I found. It's in a subway station in Brooklyn, on the G line as you can see, and features a c. 1950s "Subway Sun" sign imploring commuters not to litter on the tracks. These were placed on the columns in the middle of the tracks. The right side of the sign has been ripped away, but the left still reminds riders that litter on the tracks is a hazard. Here's a link to a 2011 Ephemeral New York post with a closer look at a similar sign, that like most others of it's kind has been removed by the MTA. This one is probably the last of it's kind still standing.


Friday, November 25, 2022

1981 Topps Tom Burgmeier


The front: Tom Burgmeier is seen here firing off a pitch at Memorial Stadium in Baltimore. He pitched in two day games in Baltimore in 1980, as the Red Sox beat the Orioles on Saturday, July 5 and Sunday, July 6. On Saturday he preserved a 1-0 win, coming in with a runner on third and one out in the eighth inning and getting the last five outs for the save. On Sunday he came into another jam, with the bases loaded and two outs, with a 6-3 lead. He walked Rick Dempsey to force in a run, but got Eddie Murray to ground out to end the threat. After a 1-2-3 eighth, he walked two batters in the ninth and was relieved by Bob Stanley who got the final out for the save.

The back: Of the players whose career was long enough to prevent a cartoon or blurb on the back, Burgmeier was surely one of the least famous.

The player: Tom Burgmeier was a solid short- and middle-reliever who pitched for five teams from 1968 to 1984, mostly Kansas City, Minnesota and Boston. He never pitched in the postseason, and rarely put up big save totals, so he is largely forgotten today. He was coming off his best season when this card was released, saving 24 games and making his only All-Star team. Overall in 745 games he went 79-55 with 102 saves and a 3.23 ERA.

The man: Burgmeier was a long-time minor league pitching coach after his playing career. He is now retired and living in Kansas.

My collection: I have 32 of his cards, from 1969 to 1985. I would be interested in 1982 Brigham's/Coca-Cola #2.

Thursday, November 24, 2022

1986 Sportflics Decade Greats Carl Yastrzemski


The player: Carl Yastrzemski grew up on a potato farm in Bridgehampton, Long Island, and after briefly attending Notre Dame on a basketball scholarship, signed with the Red Sox organization in 1959. Two years later he was in the major leagues, and immediately became a force in the Red Sox lineup. Yaz was one of the best hitters in the major leagues in the 1960s, with three batting titles between 1963 and 1968. Despite never reaching 200 hits in a season, he twice led the AL in hits during this offensively-challenged era. By far his best season was 1967, when he won the Triple Crown and MVP with a .326 batting average, 44 HR and 121 RBI, as the Red Sox, perennial bottom-dwellers in the American League, won a surprising pennant. Injuries in the early 1970s robbed him of his previous effectiveness, and though he hung on until 1983, he was not really an elite player after 1970.

The man: For a big star in a big baseball town, Yastrzemski has lived a pretty low-profile life. He was not close to his Red Sox teammates, and other than regular appearances at Fenway Park he has mostly stayed out of the spotlight. His grandson Mike Yastrzemski has been the Giants' regular right fielder since 2019.

My collection: I have all of Yaz's base Topps cards from 1967 to 1983.

Wednesday, November 23, 2022

Corey Hart on baseball cards

Outfielder Corey Hart played eleven seasons in the major leagues, mostly for the Brewers. A two-time All-Star, his best season was 2010, when he hit .283 with 31 HR and 102 RBI. Overall, in 1,048 games, he hit .271 with 162 HR and 538 RBI. Now a youth baseball coach in Arizona, he kindly answered my questions about baseball cards.

"I was so proud of my first card, rookie ball card from Ogden. Looked like I was 12 and weighed 100 pounds but I had it ready to show to anyone who asked !!!

My favorite card is of me. It’s an autographed ring card  When I made the 2010 All Star team, we got All Star rings. We all signed cards to go along with them. They were sold at an auction, I was able to get mine back recently. It’s nice to have to go with the ring.

I collect my cards, I have probably 100 different ones, most I got from my father in law who was a big collector.  I’ve got a couple cool ones I show case at the house, Babe Ruth , Hank Aaron , and a Mickey Mantle."

 Thanks! Here is a card of him from my collection.

Tuesday, November 22, 2022

Killer Puzzle

This was a fun little $1 eBay lot. Nine cards, six of which were the Harmon Killebrew puzzle from 2021 Topps Heritage.

That was fun to put together, though it got broken up and the cards (all "In Action" cards) went into my set.

The other cards in the lot were various modern Killebrews. I already had the Archives ('82 design) so that is available for trade.

Monday, November 21, 2022

A Year of Topps Designs: 1963

1963 was a pretty good year for design at Topps.

In baseball, Topps went for a picture-in-picture approach, the fifth time in ten years there was some kind of multi-picture design, and the last time it would be used until 1983. The set was also notable for big blocks of color that varied by team, a trait shared with the otherwise-simple football set.

Topps hockey sets of this era usually featured an interesting design, but this was a rare year where they went conservatives. Unlike baseball and football, colors did not change from team to team.

There was only one popular-culture set in 1963, featuring the Beverly Hillbillies. Looks a bit like the hockey set but with a white border.

Astronauts was one of several similarly-designed space sets the company put out in the 1960s.

There was a Flags set that looked a lot like we know from A&G mini sets today. Canada didn't come up with the maple leaf/optical illusion flag that we know today until 1965.
One more mini set, like the Flags it was called a "midgee". Monster Laffs had a simple design, but the jokes were OK.

Sunday, November 20, 2022

Baseball card story from Ritchie Moody

The second round pick of the Texas Rangers in 1992, Ritchie Moody pitched six seasons in the team's minor league system. In 101 games (12 starts), he went 6-16 with 30 saves and a 3.91 ERA. Now the owner of a real estate investment company in Dayton, OH, he kindly answered my questions about baseball cards.

"I think hearing Billy Ripken telling us about the f face card. I did the next year a card with a catchers mitt on. All in good humor of course. I think it was my AAA card."

 Thanks! I don't have that card, but here is one from my collection.

Saturday, November 19, 2022

TCDB trade - Lyrical Kees

I pulled off a small but nice trade with TCDB member Lyrical Kees, who PCs Korean players, Japanese Red Sox, and a few others. In return for a few PC needs, LK sent me six of my few remaining needs for the 2006 Topps Update set. 

It's a pretty nice summary of a typical Topps Update set from when that line was pretty good. There's familiar players in unfamiliar uniforms (my favorite), a card of the Weaver brothers, a couple of All Stars, and a Home Run Derby card that embarrasses Troy Glaus, who managed only one home run in the contest.

Friday, November 18, 2022

Wood vs. Wood #122

Last time 1987 triumphed, 7-2. Who will come out on top this time?

Norm Bass with the KC A's hat, in front of the dugout at the old Yankee Stadium. It's always odd to me to see the A's not in green-and-gold. Bass has lived a life full of drama that might seem like it came straight out of a movie. In fact, a movie about Bass starring Terrence Howard was being planned before COVID hit. At the age of ten Bass nearly died from meningitis, even receiving the last rites at one point. He recovered, despite being blind and deaf for three months, eventually becoming a two-sport star at the University of the Pacific. Bass played baseball in the major leagues from 1961-1963, going 13-17 with a 5.32 ERA in 65 games. He played pro football in 1964, appearing in two games as a safety for the Denver Broncos. Unfortunately, his career in both sports was cut short by arthritis in 1965. Once again, Bass overcame a physical setback, taking up table tennis in the 1970s, eventually becoming a nationally ranked player and winning a Bronze Medal at the 2000 Paralympic Games. Bass is now retired and living in Inglewood, CA.

Jim Clancy is seen here firing off a pitch at Memorial Stadium in Baltimore. Clancy pitched twice in Baltimore in 1986, dominating the Orioles with a shutout each time. This is a day game so it must be April 27, an 8-0 Blue Jays romp. Clancy scattered nine hits and one walk and struck out four. An original Toronto Blue Jay, Clancy came up during the team's inaugural season in 1977 and stuck around for 12 years. His 127 wins and 1,237 strikeouts with the Blue Jays are both third all-time. He ended his career with Houston and Atlanta, going 140-167 with a 4.23 ERA. Clancy is now retired and living in Dunedin, FL.

Thursday, November 17, 2022

Hollywood bit players on baseball cards: Part 30

Who is this German soldier being apprehended by Vic Morrow on a 1963 episode of Combat?

Did you recognize Braves Hall of Famer, and real WW2 combat veteran, Warren Spahn? On June 28, 1963, with the Braves in Los Angeles, Spahn visited the set of his favorite TV show, and was able to land a brief walk-on role as an extra, playing a German soldier. That evening, The 42-year-old left-hander pitched a three-hit, 1-0 shutout over the eventual World Champion Dodgers.

This is the only vintage card I have of Spahn, an Exhibits card I won in one of the many generous giveaways over the years from Johnny's Trading Spot (this particular giveaway had tickets, and I'm reusing the old photo).

Wednesday, November 16, 2022

Art on the Back: 1976 Topps Football

After skipping cartoons entirely in the 1975 set, Topps brought cartoons back to some of their football card in 1976. Cards either had a trivia question to guess a mystery player, or a rather generic cartoon relating to a bit of football history.

Sometimes the exact same cartoon was used on multiple cards. I saw examples of this a couple of times in the 100 or so cards I have from this set.
Here are a few of my favorites . . .
. . . and a few more.

Tuesday, November 15, 2022

Cards and Vintage Stuff: May 15, 1939

Tension roiled throughout world headlines on May 15, 1939. England, France and the Soviet Union argued over a mutual aid treaty with Turkey. (The treaty would be signed the following month, but broken by Turkey two years later, as that country allied with Germany for much of the war.) Meanwhile, Italy opened a military airfield near the French border. In the US, President Roosevelt and the Senate jockeyed over taxes, while the years-long Harlan County mine strikes neared their end, as Kentucky Governor (and future MLB commissioner) Happy Chandler sent 900 members of the National Guard to intervene between strikers and mine operators.

May 15, 1939 was also the last date to send in your matchbooks for a tube of Bost Toothpaste and a Tefra refillable toothbrush. In the 1930s, Bost claimed to be the best-selling toothpaste in the country, while Tefra had patented a toothbrush with replaceable bristles. Both companies were owned by Barbasol, which stopped manufacturing these products in the 1940s.

Based in Indianapolis, most Bost employees were probably Cubs fans. The Cubs were in Pittsburgh that day, taking care of the Pirates 6-2. With the game tied 2-2 in the third, Billy Herman led off with a double, coming around to score on a base hit by Rip Sewell, and the Cubs never looked back.


Monday, November 14, 2022

Vintage bats & gloves: 1976 SSPC Part II

 Some more equipment gems from the 1976 SSPC set.

I've noticed this on many Cubs cards from the 1970s - players having their number written in the C on their batting helmet. This seems to have just been a Cubs thing, just for a few years in the 1970s. I'm not sure why.

Leon Roberts was #44, but there certainly doesn't appear to be a second 4 on this bat. If this bat did say #4, then it belonged to teammate Aurelio Rodriguez.
Here's an interesting one. Billy Williams is listed as Oakland's #7 on the back. The bat says #28. Baseball-Reference indicates he started at 7 and moved to 28. I couldn't find an explanation for the number change. Williams wore #26 for most of his Cubs career, but presumably changed his number as longtime A's outfielder Joe Rudi was Oakland's #26.
Rick Miller, #16, has bat #39. That would belong to Tim Blackwell.
Last one for now, Tommy Davis, who has his initials and uniform number written on his batting gloves. T.D. 12

Sunday, November 13, 2022

Cheap Broders

Got a few more cheap eBay wins. Splurged a bit on these two Rickey Henderson Broder cards, 15 cents each, but I like them, I like Broders and I like Yankee cards of Rickey.

By contrast, I got six Roberto Alomar Broders for a quarter. Some dupes as you can see, but perhaps they will make useful trade fodder, though I don't know how many people PC him anymore.
These aren't Broders, but they came in today with the Alomars so I took a photo of them too. I've been picking up '91 Line Drive AAA singles from someone who seems to be selling a few at a time. I don't have many cards from this set and I like them. These were a nickel each.