Sunday, April 30, 2023

TCDB trade: plevin

I got a fun variety of cards in a trade with TCDBer plevin. He's an Oriole fan which is why a lot of these cards are of Orioles.

There were a few hits to my 2023 Topps set, as well as lots of fun oddballs.
Here are a few of my favorites. The judge card of David Justice is great. Aaron Judge may be the best jurist to play for the Yankees, but he hasn't yet hit a home run as big as the one Justice hit in Game 6 of the 2000 ALCS. I like those two Rangers cards - apparently Bowman brought back the Heritage concept with the 1953 design. A couple of Ben McDonald Broders are fun - the blue background pops more than you'd expect in person. My favorite just might be the Gregg Olson stadium giveaway card from 1989. It may be hard to read in the photo: "Compliments of French-Bray, Incorporated, Wilcox Walter Furlong Paper Co." That has to be one of the most obscure businesses to sponsor a baseball card. It was a local Baltimore-area printer that went out of business a few years later.

Saturday, April 29, 2023

Time traveling time

As usual, the monthly Time Travel Trade with Diamond Jesters has resulted in a fun variety of cards coming my way . . . 

Starting off with some football cards. Great photo of Tim Brown catching a touchdown pass, and I love getting an LT card, even though the subset seems like it should be for a baseball card.

A variety of newer baseball cards. Bill Pulsipher was one of many overhyped Mets pitchers, but everyone else here is or was a big star for at least a few years.
Some older fun stuff. Three 1981 Topps stickers for the stickerbook. An O-Pee-Chee sticker back - before this, I only had one each from 1988 and 1989, oddly both are Ryne Sandberg. And just one vintage card, the elderly-looking Ray Moore, who was in fact just 37 years old.

Friday, April 28, 2023

1976 SSPC Mike Thompson


The card, in brief: Not the most exciting photo, but nice view of the stands behind Thompson. Looks like several orange-jacketed Shea Stadium ushers are visible.

Playing career, in brief: Thompson pitched for the Senators, Cardinals and Braves from 1971 to 1975, going 1-15 with a 4.86 ERA. His rookie card, 1973 Topps, shows him with the Rangers (the Senators moved to Texas for the '72 season), but he didn't play in the majors in 1972 and was traded to the Cardinals in 1973 without ever appearing in a game as a Ranger.

Post-career, in brief: By the time this card was issued Thompson's big league career was over, though he did pitch in the Reds organization in 1976. Since then, he seems to have kept a very low profile. Anyone know what he is doing now?

My collection: I have three of his cards, from 1973 to 1976. I would be interested in trading for 1976 Indianapolis Indians #18.

Thursday, April 27, 2023

Cake or gum? 1975 Pete Rose


It's a tale of two angles with these photos. The Hostess photo is taken at Shea Stadium, with the left field grandstand behind him. The infield is straight behind Rose as the switch-hitter poses righty, in his famous crouch. Topps's photo, at spring training, has Rose batting lefty. Though Rose appears to be standing straighter in this photo, he's actually crouching quite a bit - as you can see by the angle of the infield, Topps tilted the photo about 45 degrees. Perhaps the editor felt Rose should like he was standing up straighter, or perhaps they just had trouble fitting the crouching photo into the design. 

One of the biggest talents and biggest personalities in baseball history, Pete Rose is the all-time hit leader (4,256 hits). He also played more games and had more at-bats than anyone else. In 1989 he was banned from baseball for life after it was revealed he had bet on games. Despite the ban, the 82-year-old Rose still makes $1M+ a year for paid appearances and autograph signings.

Wednesday, April 26, 2023

Wood vs. Wood #153

 Last time 1962 cruised to a 6-1 triumph. Who will win this time?

Infielder Pumpsie Green is shown here at Yankee Stadium, talking while posing resulting in a bit of an awkward photo. He was the first Black player on the Red Sox, the last MLB team to integrate, making his debut in 1959. He played four seasons for the Red Sox and one for the Mets, hitting .246 with 13 HR and 74 RBI in 344 games. After his career he worked for over 20 years at Berkeley High School in California, as a baseball coach, truant officer and summer school math teacher. He died in 2019.

Duane Ward is shown in spring training, 1986, when he was still a member of the Braves. We all make fun of the bad airbrushing on Topps cards, but we rarely celebrate the well-executed airbrush jobs like this one. Ward pitched ten games for the Braves before being traded to Toronto for Doyle Alexander, and he pitched the rest of his 462 major league games for the Blue Jays. He was the top set-up man and sometimes closer for the great Blue Jays teams of the early 1990s. For his career he went 32-37 with 121 saves and a 3.28 ERA. He was particularly dominant in the World Series, going 3-0 with 2 saves and a 1.13 ERA. He had a career year in 1993 with 45 saves, but injuries limited him to just four more appearances, and he retired in 1995. He is now a radio announcer for the Blue Jays.

Tuesday, April 25, 2023

Monday, April 24, 2023

Vintage Equipment: 1968 Topps

Lots of marked-up equipment in this set. Some players had last names short enough to fit nicely on their glove.

If they had longer names, they could just go with their initials.
Numbers on bat knobs were common, but Willie Horton was taking no chances, putting his name on the knob too.
Speaking of bats, for some reason either Ken McMullen or Topps blacked out the signature on his bat.
Carl Yastrzemski only wore #8 for the Red Sox. I can't tell the number on the bat knob, but it's clearly not 8.
Ed Charles is wearing jersey #5, but has bat #24. He wore both numbers during the 1967 season.
Teammate Don Cardwell's glove is #43, but he wore #27 for the Mets. This looks like spring training, and the previous season Cardwell wore #43 in Pittsburgh, and I guess hadn't updated his glove.
Dick Allen was #15 thoughout his career, but is holding bat #12. The bat would have belonged to outfielder Johnny Briggs.
Ed Brinkman was in his fifth season wearing #11 for the Senators. #56 would have belonged to a minor leaguer in spring training. Fortunately, there is a '67 Senators spring training program on eBay. #56 was used by outfield prospect Dick Billings, who would make his MLB debut in '68, would be converted to catching, and played parts of eight seasons in the major leagues. His bat made it on a card before he did.


Sunday, April 23, 2023

Latest acquisitions

 Some cards that made their way to me the last few days . . . 

TCDBer corozco sent me a few needs from recent Topps setbuilds . . .

. . . as did Gapporin.
Easymoney2x is one of the site's top Rickey collectors, so no surprise to see some Rickey cards here. Barry Bonds with the sledgehammer is pretty great too.
I spent ~$5 on a large eBay lot of vintage and modern cards. I probably should have paid closer attention to the vintage cards, I was hoping I would need more than just the three I ended up with ('62 Schmidt, '71 Wood, '75 Popovich mini). Still some stars in the dupes that will make decent trade fodder, such as the very rough '77 Ryan you can see here. Others include '74 Billy Williams, '79 Gary Carter, and '80 Brett, Palmer, Morgan and Yaz.

 Still, the modern cards included a lot of fun, shiny cards I didn't have, so I ended up doing OK. There was even a relic card (Todd Helton) and an an autograph card (Anthony Banda). The Chris Pritchett Fleer Mystique card may be the most interesting of all.

Apparently, rookie SPs in the 1999 Fleer Mystique set had a peel-off layer on the front and back - this was the "mystique" of not knowing who was on the card. The Pritchett had the front layer gone but the back layer remains. I've looked up the back of the card, it's nothing special, so I'm definitely keeping the shiny foil on. Reminds me of the wrapping paper we often use for kids' presents.

Saturday, April 22, 2023

1981 Topps Frank White


The front: The background is pretty blurry, but it's not hard to figure out White is behind the batting cage at Yankee Stadium.

The back: The only other graduates of the Royals Academy to make the major leagues were Ron and UL Washington.

The player: One of the many excellent AL second baseman of the late 1970s and early 1980s, White was a key member of the great Royals teams of the era. An eight-time Gold Glove, White played in 2,324 games, all with KC. He hit .255 with 407 2B, 160 HR, 886 RBI and 178 SB. 

The man: White was elected the County Executive for Jackson County, Missouri in 2016, a position he still holds.

My collection: I have 69 of his cards, from 1974 to 1991. I would be interested in trading for 1978 SSPC #232.

Friday, April 21, 2023

Chad Kreuter shares his thoughts on baseball cards

Catcher Chad Kreuter played sixteen seasons in the major leagues for seven teams, mostly the Rangers, Tigers and Dodgers. In 944 games, he hit .237 with 54 HR and 274 RBI. Now working in sales at Scott's Golf Cards in Port St. Lucie, FL, he kindly responded to my questions about baseball cards with this statement. He even gave it a title!

"The Joy and Honor of Being Featured on Baseball Cards: A Former MLB Player's Perspective"

As a former MLB player, I've experienced many unforgettable moments in my baseball career. However, one memory that stands out is the thrill of seeing myself on a baseball card for the very first time. While there may not be any wild stories about baseball cards in my life, it has always been an honor to be featured on them.

Getting your first rookie card is undeniably cool. The feeling of accomplishment that comes from seeing your face and stats printed on a card is hard to describe. For me, it was a milestone that validated my hard work and dedication to the sport.

Interestingly enough, I was never an avid collector of baseball cards. My love for them began as a kid when I'd buy packs of cards that came with bubble gum. I'd eagerly open the packs to discover which players were inside, studying their stats, positions, and team affiliations. These cards allowed me to follow my favorite players both as a fan and as a student of the game.

One of my fondest childhood memories was attaching baseball cards to the frame of my bicycle, front and back, with the spokes just barely touching the cards. As soon as I started pedaling, the sound transformed my bicycle into an instant motorcycle. It was a simple joy that fueled my passion for baseball and everything surrounding it.

Over the years, my family members have framed and displayed all of my baseball cards together. I've always made an effort to sign cards for fans, and I continue to do so whenever someone approaches me with one. It's a small token of appreciation for the support and enthusiasm of the fans who have followed my career.

In the end, baseball cards represent more than just collectible items – they're symbols of the love and dedication we have for the game. Being featured on a baseball card is a privilege and an honor, and I'm grateful to be part of this cherished tradition in the world of baseball."


Thursday, April 20, 2023

1976 SSPC Phil Niekro


The card, in brief: It's always weird to me to see Phil Niekro when he was young, and he's not even that young in this photo. He was 36 years old, finishing his 12th season. And yet, he was only halfway through his career.

Playing career, in brief: Hall-of-Famer Phil Niekro was arguably the best knuckleball pitcher of all time. He won 318 games in his 24-year career. The ace of the Braves' staff from the late 1960s to the early 1980s, he won the 1967 NL ERA title and had three 20-win seasons, leading the league in wins twice. He stuck out 3,342 batters, including an NL-high 262 in 1967. 

Post-playing career, in brief: After his career he famously managed the all-female Colorado Silver Bullets. He also occasionally advised young knuckleball pitchers, and worked for a sporting goods company. He died of cancer in 2020.

My collection: I have 58 of his cards, from 1967 to 1988. I would be interested in trading for 1964 Topps #541, 1965 Topps #461, and 1966 Topps #28.

Wednesday, April 19, 2023

Trade with The Angels, in Order

The Angels, in Order hit my TCDB wantlists in a recent trade with a fun assortment of cards.

I love early 80s Fleer photography, and collecting the stamp sets is a way to get more of these fun pictures. George Brett's backhand grab is the best one here.

By the 1990s and 2000s the best card photos were from Upper Deck. The shots of Cameron and Caminiti are particularly great here.

Tuesday, April 18, 2023

Knocking out recent set needs with TCDB

I recently put my wantlists for recent Topps sets into TCDB, and got flooded with offers. Without really trying too, I'm knocking out my 2018-2022 sets. I imagine once I do 2023 they'll get knocked out quickly as well. 

I just opened this package from JustinBobo77. Will have to double-check but this might be all my 2022 Series I needs. Some really big names in there. One big name from 2020 as well.

Another large package, this one 2021 focused, came from GWSeier_Tigers.
BLWinborn40 knocked off a few cards from five different sets.
I managed to add a few older, more interesting oddballs in a trade with Abebauman.
A couple of other trades hit more varied modern needs. Thanks to Chris the Collector for clueing me in on the great cards Jeff Russell had in the Rangers Mothers Cookies sets, resulting in me adding them to my TCDB wantlists. Most of these other cards were set completion needs, but that Smoltz card with the accordion is another fun photo. These came from d7lane.
Last trade of this post was with SofaKing. I have 1986 Sportflics on my wantlist because this set from my childhood is still sofa king fun.

Monday, April 17, 2023

Damnyankees from Johnny

I won one of the contests at Johnny's Trading Spot during Damnyankees week. I was very happy to bring these Yankees to a welcoming home.

Here are a couple of different parallels of the same card, a couple more foil cards, and a 2008 A&G Hideki Matsui. I actually have most of the '08 set but needed Hideki!

Some higher-end Yankees cards. Gerrit Cole has been the only guy keeping the Yankees above .500 this year. I like the spring training shot. You rarely see them on cards of established major leaguers these days.

Sunday, April 16, 2023

Cake or gum? 1975 Willie McCovey

Looks like two photos from the same shoot here. Hostess gives us a closeup, while Topps gives us a farther away shot with a more interesting background. A Hall of Famer and all-time great, McCovey was arguably the best hitter in baseball in the late 1960s, leading the NL in HR and RBI in both 1968 and 1969. A six-time All Star, he was the NL Rookie of the Year in 1959 and MVP in 1969. In 2,588 games he hit .270 with 521 HR and 1,555 RBI.

Saturday, April 15, 2023

Wood vs. Wood #149

Bob Duliba poses at Connie Mack Stadium, with the famous right field wall behind him. A former Marine, Duliba was one of the early pure relievers, pitching in 176 major league games without a start. His best seasons were with the '62 Cardinals (2-0, 2 saves, 2.06 ERA) and '64 Angels (6-4, 9 saves, 3.59 ERA). After his career he was a high school history teacher and college baseball coach. He is retired and lives in Pennsylvania.

Like Duliba, Ray Searage never started a major league game, with 254 appearances, all in relief. His best seasons were with the '84 Brewers (2-1, 6 saves, 0.70 ERA) and 1986, split between the Brewers and White Sox (1-0, 0.62 ERA). Searage was born in Freeport, Long Island, right near where I live, though he grew up further east in Deer Park. After his playing career ended he moved back to Long Island, worked as a construction worker in Freeport for a year, then took up minor league coaching. He ended up having a long career as a pitching coach for the Pirates. He is now retired and living in Florida.

Friday, April 14, 2023