Friday, June 30, 2023

Small transaction roundup

Catching up on some recent acquisitions . . . 

These four 2018 set needs came from a much larger box of nonsports cards for my kids that was kindly sent by friend of the blogs mzentko. Thanks also to GoldenEagles555 and Shaw Racing who gave cards or traded them with my kids.


I never really appreciated the Kay-Bee sets of the mid-to-late 1980s, but there were some fun photos in there. These and the '70 high number came in a trade with PaulGebauer.

Three great cards - Mariano Rivera under a bridge, Sportflics Jack Clark, and a great Polo Grounds shot on a '64 Phil Ortega. These came from nannema.
This was an eBay purchase. I like seeing old football designs (and hockey, basketball, etc) on baseball cards. I didn't have any myself as they are usually expensive online exclusives, but I got this lot of five Riley Greene cards for seven cents total. The seller put way too much packing tape on the toploader, but fortunately I only damaged one of the cards trying to get it off, so I can keep the damaged one and hopefully trade the others. Greene is an outfielder for the Tigers.
This is a cool set I'd never had a card from before. Randy Johnson loves photography and Score put out a whole insert sets of cards with his photos. These came from a trade with Jaysredlegs.
Four great looking cards from FSCGrad777. I've put all of the 1998 Metal cards from the NY teams on my wantlists, as well as the whole baseball set. Because TCDB uses scans instead of photos, it was hard to tell what was going on in some of the pictures. (This set doesn't scan well.) So I didn't realize that Tino Martinez was batting in front of St. Patrick's Cathedral (with a view down E. 51st street, taken from Rockefeller Center). Meanwhile, Curtis Martin gallops past the MetLife building, looking to evade a tackle from the Chrysler Building.
Finally, another TCDB trade landed me with a lot of modern cards and a few vintage ones, including a 1973 George Stone, leaving me with just two more cards needed for the set (and the other "easy" one is on the way). Normally I'd show off a trade this large in another post, but I don't like the way this person handled the trade. The guy is working on a '67 set and said he was fine with any condition other than "catastrophic". I told him some of the cards I would be sending would have writing on the front and he said that was fine. And anybody who collects 1960s cards knows what kind of writing kids used to do on cards. Then he received the cards and wrote this: "Well, you did say: "The '67s are a mixed lot, the worst of which are due to writing on the front." Which is true, but no mention about writing across foreheads, team names crossed out, etc. A little bummed out here, frankly..." What did he expect? Some writing was OK but other kinds weren't? I'm not posting this person's profile name because based on this experience I wouldn't recommend him as a trade partner. And check out the condition of the cards he sent me, like that heavily creased Jumbo Sunflower Seeds card. There were plenty of other modern cards with rough borders, etc. Of course, he didn't say anything about the cards he was sending my way.

Thursday, June 29, 2023

Another perfect trade with The Angels, In Order

Congratulations to Domingo German! Fourth Yankee and 24th major leaguer to pitch a perfect game! Glad I stayed up late to watch the end of this one.

Meanwhile, another perfect trade with The Angels, In Order. #4 this month, I believe.

Some great Yankees here. Speaking of perfect games, there's David Wells. He wasn't perfect in this photo, looks like Joe Torre is coming to take him out.

Lots of fun photos from UD Fun Pak. And there's another Yankee perfect game pitcher in there!
Lots of Mattinglys and Hendersons that I needed! Those Kay-Bee sets are really nice.
Finally, a few Fleer Star Stickers from 1987.

Wednesday, June 28, 2023

Repeat winner

I won a couple of Johnny's Trading Spot daily contests last week and got my two great Yankee-filled PWEs.

Some 2023 Topps Heritage. Gleyber is my favorite here. I'd never heard of Rafael Ortega - turns out he was cut by the Yankees in spring training, never played a regular season game for the team, so that's a zero-year card. The other Gerrit Cole card was designed by some DJ who is apparently best known for throwing cakes, and the design is supposed to look like a cake.

Both PWEs had '23 Bowmans of Cole and Stanton. I imagine the extras will go quick on TCDB, as bloggers are unlikely to be interested in them.
These are not duplicates, however. These are four different 2018 Topps Tek designs for Giancarlo Stanton.
Also four for Andy Pettitte. I believe there were only four base designs that year, unlike some other years where there were dozens. They certainly look great in the light.


Tuesday, June 27, 2023

Vintage Equipment: 1972 Topps

Giants pitcher Ron Bryant was known as "Bear" for his burly build, not as a reference to the college football coach.

Scipio Spinks wore #37 for the Astros. His hat looks like it says 39, but it also looks like the numbers were crossed out or altered at some point. #39 was George Culver.
Ralph Garr, #48, appears to have stolen the bat of teammate Sonny Jackson, #16.
Another shy #37. Elliott Maddox's hat clearly says 38, not 37. There were no 38's on the '71 Senators.
Bobby Heise, #2, has the bat of Andy Kosco, #10.
Oscar Brown, #45, took the bat of #18. Both Tommie Aaron and Zoilo Versalles wore that number for the Braves in '71.
Obviously, Bob Robertson is #7, but he is holding the bat of #12, Carl Taylor.
The most brazen thief in the set is Robertson's teammate, Charlie Sands. The rookie catcher with the .200 batting average, #4 on his uniform, has somehow gotten hold of bat #21, belonging to the legendary Roberto Clemente.


Monday, June 26, 2023

1981 Topps Rick Cerone


The front: Lots of sun at Yankee Stadium as Cerone poses for a pregame photo.

The back: Cerone's Seton Hall records have since been broken by the likes of Craig Biggio, Mo Vaughn, and Marteese Robinson, who had one of the best college careers ever but never made it past AA in pro ball.

The player: Rick Cerone was an unheralded young catcher for the Blue Jays, whom the Yankees acquired after the 1979 season after the sudden death of legendary catcher Thurman Munson. Cerone had an excellent season in 1980, hitting .277 with 14 HR and 85 RBI to help the Yankees return to the postseason. However, he struggled to maintain that success in 1981, and feuded with owner George Steinbrenner. Cerone stayed with the Yankees through 1984, though his playing time dwindled each year. He bounced around several other teams throughout the late 1980s and early 1990s, including two more stints with the Yankees. Overall, in 1,329 games he hit .245 with 59 HR and 436 RBI.

The man: After his playing career, Cerone was a Yankees announcer for several years, and owned the minor league Newark Bears. He is currently involved in a variety of investments ranging from real estate to online gambling.

My collection: I have 76 of his cards, from 1976 to 1992. I would be interested in trading for 1990 Score Yankees #28.

Sunday, June 25, 2023

1976 SSPC Rod Gilbreath


The card, in brief: Not a whole lot remarkable about the card, but it's always nice seeing all those fans in the background. The 23-year-old Gilbreath does look very young here.

Playing career, in brief: Infielder Rod Gilbreath played in parts of seven seasons for the Braves. In 500 games, he hit .248 with 14 HR and 125 RBI. He led the NL in sacrifice hits in 1976 with 20.

Post career, in brief: After two seasons in the Pirates organization, he returned to the Braves organization in 1981, spending time as an executive, minor league manager, and has been a long-time scout for the club.

My collection: I have nine of his cards, from 1974 to 1979. I would be interested in trading for 1987 ProCards #2603.

Saturday, June 24, 2023

Dodger lot part II: 1990 Target cards

It seems that in the late 80s and early 90s, several teams put out sets with a card of every player to play for the team. The Wiz put them out for the Yankees and Mets; the Orioles had one sponsored by a gas station. And Target put one out for the Dodgers in 1990 to celebrate the team's 100th anniversary. I never had any of these before, so it was cool to get a whole lot of them here. There were nine sheets with 15 players each - 135 cards total.

Lots of interesting photos and of course lots of obscure players. Worth clicking on the photos to zoom in to see them better.

Check out Jesse Petty, the Silver Fox, with a uniform commemorating the 50th anniversary of the National League.

Nice juxtaposition of old-style and new-style ballparks with Gallivan and Werhas next to each other.
It seems like every card of Claude Osteen has him in the same pose, at the end of his follow-through.
LA Coliseum sighting on Chuck Churn's card.
Love how you can go from 19th century players in suit and tie right up to today's styles (1980s).
For some of the players, I guess they couldn't get a Dodgers photo. In this sheet I see Angels, Braves, whatever Fritz Ostermueller is wearing with a baseball on it . . .
Augie Galan laying on the ground with a pencil and notebook is my favorite card in the set.
Joe Simpson played in four seasons for the Dodgers in the 1970s and they couldn't find a Dodger photo for him?
Cannonball Crane, what a great name.

In case you were wondering, yes I did perforate these after taking the photos.

Now it is a lot of fun getting obscure players, everyone from Bobby Reis to Bernie Neis. But there was a lot of star power here as well. This was only 135 cards out of 887, just 15% of the men who played for the Dodgers in their first 100 years. While there was no Koufax or Campanella, there were a lot of big stars here - Robinson, Reese, Snider, Drysdale, Sutton.

Just for fun I made a lineup of the best Dodgers in this lot, and the best Dodgers not in this lot (pre-1990, obviously). Considering I only had 15% of Dodgers to work with, I think my team stacks up pretty well.

I started off with the definitive all-time Dodgers team, from The Collector. With just 15 percent of the pre-1990 Dodgers, I had his manager (Alston), five members of the starting lineup (Robinson, Herman, Snider, Guerrero, Reese) and three starting pitchers (Drysdale, Sutton, Rucker). No bench players or relievers, an indication of how top-heavy my group was. I used the Dodgers all-time WAR leaders to fill out the rest.


1B: Jake Daubert

2B: Jackie Robinson

3B: Pedro Guerrero

SS: Pee Wee Reese

OF: Duke Snider, Willie Davis, Augie Galan

C: Mike Scioscia

P: Don Drysdale


1B: Gil Hodges

2B: Davey Lopes

3B: Ron Cey

SS: Bill Russell

OF:Zack Wheat, Carl Furillo, Dixie Walker

C: Roy Campanella

P: Sandy Koufax

If my guys can avoid getting no-hit by Koufax, I think they'd put up a real fight. Pretty good considering they are representing only 15% of the franchise, with the other guys representing 85%.

Friday, June 23, 2023

Vintage Dodgers Lot Part I

I picked up a nice little variety lot of Dodgers off of eBay. It was $15 shipped for an interesting variety of stuff. Not everything was in good condition so that may have kept other bidders away.

The most straightfoward part of the lot was vintage Topps cards. I only needed the '63 Moeller, everything else here is available for trade. (Night Owl - I see the '71 OPC Willie Crawford on your wantlist, I'll save it for our next trade.)

The lot had two other very interesting parts. One was nine sheets from the 1990 Target Dodgers set. That's worth it's own post. The other was 20+ team-issued picture cards. All but one were Dodgers. The eBay seller described it as "adding in a Dodgers enemy just for fun".

The team issued photo sets can be very frustrating to pin down a date for. I couldn't find much on them online. They used the same photo for multiple years so it's virtually impossible to say for sure what year an individual card is from, but I figured getting a bunch at once, they probably came from the same year? Or at least close to it. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the most information on the sets overall that I could find online came from blog posts by Dodger card experts Night Owl and cards as i see them. However, even they didn't have a lot to go on.

I used TCDB to hone down years as best as I could. They call the sets "Danny Goodman" sets after the Dodgers' head of publicity, but that doesn't seem to be a highly used name for the sets elsewhere. Still, assuming the user submissions were accurate, I was able to hone down that most if not all came from 1970. Of the 21 Dodgers, TCDB had 15 of them in their 1970 set. Of the rest, all but one played for the Dodgers in 1970, with the exception being Don Drysdale, who retired after the 1969 season and started announcing for the Dodgers in '70. But who knows, maybe he was included in 1970 photos as well. I decided to consider them all 1970.

Fred Norman is an interesting one - this is not on TCDB at all. However, he came up with the Dodgers in 1970, beginning a rather remarkable MLB comeback, but was released towards the end of the season and signed with the Cardinals. So this one would have to be 1970.
This is the confounding Drysdale card. Could it be 1970? Perhaps. Either way it's a great dark shot, maybe at night. In this and several other cases, veteran Dodgers had the same photo used every year since about 1963.
From a veteran to a rookie, Bill Buckner looks so strange without his mustache. He's in his prime "let the ball go through your legs" pose. One thing I noticed going through each player in TCDB, is that the facsimile signatures change for a lot of players from 1971 to 1972, even though the photo stays the same. Buckner was an example of that.
Nice Dodger Stadium shot.
Awesome Steve Garvey photo, a year before his Topps rookie card. He played three games for the Dodgers in '69. The batting gloves steal the photo, they look like black leather motorcycle gloves.
Nice Maury Wills shot. This photo was from Wills's first stint with the Dodgers, he had returned to the team in '69 after three years with Pittsburgh and Montreal.
Interesting Dodger Stadium shot on Claude Osteen's card. Looks unfinished from this angle.
Willie Crawford looking his coolest.
Young, pre-perm Don Sutton.
This might be my favorite, with the car behind Billy Grabarkewitz.
So who was the Dodger "enemy"? Roger Maris! This was the card that convinced me to buy the lot. I thought it was from Jay Publishing but apparently another company called Sports Service also put out sets like these. This could be from either 1961 or 1963. I'll guess '61, why not? And calling him a Dodger enemy is a bit of a stretch. 1963 was his only World Series against the Dodgers, and he went 0-for-5 before running into a wall trying to make a catch, injuring himself and keeping him out of the rest of the series.

Thursday, June 22, 2023

Cake or Gum? 1975 Gene Tenace

 Last time cake won 6-3. Who will win this time?

For Gene Tenace's 1975 card, Hostess used a photo that was no later than 1973, as it was taken at the old Yankee Stadium, which was halfway through renovation when this card was produced. Topps went with a simple headshot on their card. He was coming off a season where he played 106 games at 1B, 79 at C and 3 at 2B. Topps calls him a C-1B, which seems more accurate than "Infield". (There must have been quite a few games where he played C and 1B.)

Tenace was a key member of the Oakland A's that won three straight World Series from 1972 to 1974. A low-average slugger with high walk and strikeout totals, he was more similar to today's players than those of his own era. In 1,555 games he hit .241 with 201 HR and 674 RBI, twice leading the AL in walks. In the 1972 World Series he hit .348 with 4 HR and 9 RBI, and was the subject of death threats from Cincinnati fans. However, in his eight other postseason series he was a non-factor, hitting .110 with 0 HR and 5 RBI in 35 games. After his playing career he had a long career as a coach, mostly for the Blue Jays, and is now retired.