Thursday, February 29, 2024

1974 Topps Deckle Dating - Thurman Munson


A great photo of a great Yankee, that is unfortunately cropped rather poorly. When I first saw the image of the card I thought it was an incomplete scan, but this is what the card actually looks like. Come to where the flavor is! (Marlboro ad under the scoreboard.)

It was a successful Saturday afternoon for Munson and the Yankees on June 2, 1973. Munson caught a shutout behind the plate as Fritz Peterson (7 IP) and Sparky Lyle (2 IP) outdueled California's Nolan Ryan, 2-0. In three plate appearances Munson walked twice and struck out once. He scored the Yankees' second run in the fifth inning on a sac fly by Horace Clarke. (Ron Blomberg had an RBI single in the fourth for the other Yankee run.)

In other news, a supertanker and a container ship collided in New York Harbor, killing 15 crew members between the two ships. Other news of the day included an election in Australia, the Greek government was in turmoil with their king having just been deposed, and John Dean prepared his testimony in the Watergate hearings.

Wednesday, February 28, 2024

1986 Spokane Indians at the Mall - William Taylor


It is quite easy to tell where Taylor is. Orange Julius stores used to be found in just about every mall in the country. A year after this card was produced, they were bought by Dairy Queen, and over the years most Orange Julius locations became Dairy Queens. Some Orange Julius stores still exist, including one in another mall in Spokane.

Usually known as Will Taylor, the speedy outfielder played seven seasons in the minor leagues, mostly in the Padres organization. His best season was 1991 at AAA Las Vegas, when he hit .259 with 4 HR and 33 RBI, leading the PCL with 62 stolen bases. Overall in seven seasons he hit .252 with 11 HR, 183 RBI and 321 SB.

Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Crocodile take a bite out of my 1956 needs

Crocodile Sports Cards had an interest in some of those extra 1955 Topps cards I picked up recently. I sent some his way and he sent back some great 1956 Topps cards.

Part I. Some great action photos like Roy Sievers robbing someone of a home run. Some great ballpark shots too like on Billy Loes and Jack Meyer's cards. Meyer seems to be one of those players who got a lot of great-looking cards during his career, tough to do in the headshot era.

Part II. I love the Yankee Stadium background on Art Houtteman's card even if the artist seems to have taken some liberties in stretching it out on the left.
Part III. Lots of great infield action here, including two Red Sox making plays at third base. I was wondering if there was a Phil Rizzuto sighting on Jim Dyck's card. He played in one game at Yankee Stadium in 1955, reaching base twice in an 8-0 Yankees victory. It's either Rizzuto or second baseman Gil McDougald, can't tell which.
Crocodile generously threw in some extra cards, filling some needs for my 1989 Sportflics set! Some big stars here.

Monday, February 26, 2024

A big low-condition vintage trade - on TCDB!

It's not easy finding people on TCDB who love off-condition vintage like I do. I've had a lot of potential transactions nipped in the bud when people reach out to me for a vintage card only to find out it isn't close to mint. But occasionally I find a kindred soul there. Such was the case with Kurt Albert, and we swung a quite large vintage trade, with most of the cards that changed hands of the poor/fair/good variety.

Starting off with a quartet of 1954 Bowman.

Then on to a 10-spot of 1955, the year Marty McFly traveled to in Back to the Future (as a reader didn't get my 1955 time travel reference in a recent post). I don't think I've ever gotten so many '55 Bowman at one time. So many TVs!
Now on to Topps, covering the mid-1950s. Yogi Berra sighting!
Some later 50s cards, highlighted by a rookie card of Yankees hurler Tom Sturdivant.
Early 60s with some great cards, including Richie Ashburn and Tony Kubek.
Finally, some semi-high and high-number needs from later sets. Turns out I had Grieve already, that was my mistake. Very happy to add all of these to my sets!

Sunday, February 25, 2024

A few more 1969 OPC

The rest of those 1969 OPCs came in pretty quickly after the others. I really like the color on the backs of these.

These are the ones I've added to my collection . . . 

And as I expected, a few more duplicates. Anyone want any of these, let me know!


Saturday, February 24, 2024

OBC/TCDB roundup

Leading off with OBC, starting with 10 1959s from Cliff Franklin. You may remember that he included a signed custom card of his daughter Lauren, with the Pittsburgh Passion of the Women's Football Alliance. Since this is the second of these cards he's sent me, I'd be happy to pass this card along to someone else who might like one.

Tom Housley sent six great cards from the 1960 set:

Doug Smith sent a great mixture of 1962s and 1963s, with a terrific 1953 Hoyt Wilhelm mixed in!

Peter Mead sent some great Hostess cards. Most of these will be subjects of future Cake vs. Gum posts.
Mike Rich sends me card from the 1964 Topps Giants set every once in a while. Here are three more.
Scott Jensen is an OBCer who is on TCDB. He reached out to me to do a little trade for some of the 1970 OPCs I'd gotten recently. I sent them in exchange for 11 1962 Post cards, all commons. He surprised me by throwing in two additional Hall of Famers - Dick Williams and Willie Mays!
Kyle Dworchak (you may remember his blog Nolan's Dugout), sent 50 cards from 1984 Topps Traded.
On to TCDB, wheelerly and I worked out a nice football card trade. 1986 Topps football was the first sports card set I ever collected, so it was my introduction to Topps sport cards. So to me this set is quintessentially Topps, and it was weird for me to see Night Owl write recently that he felt this set didn't seem like Topps at all to him.
Finally, a baseball trade with Ronsolo1. A nice mixture of vintage and modern. I'd been wanting that Chili Davis card for a long time.


Friday, February 23, 2024

Latest vintage star pickups

 I'd been getting into a pretty good groove with the Greg Morris weekly poor-condition auctions, like this one:


Then out of nowhere had a big day with both cards, and to some extent price, the following week. Big ones here, both around $10, were the '59 Mays catch card (maybe an overpay) and the '59 Clemente (definitely a good price though I don't like damage to the face in the photo). Several other big name cards here for well under that. And then last week (not arrived yet) I had my smallest day with him yet. Really unpredictable but fun.

 Other cheap pickups the last couple of weeks include this '61 Ford:

Here's his batterymate, and the whole team, on a nice two-card lot:


 Always happy to add another vintage Aaron.

Al Kaline always has nice looking cards.
Same is true for Ernie Banks.
I picked this lot up for a bit under 20. I just needed Mays and the high-number McCormick. The other five are trade bait. Funny thing is most of these are actually in quite nice condition too. A '60 Mays with four sharp corners for this price is a big win.


 Of course, anyone can get a Mays with four sharp corners. Only the really advanced collector can get one with six sharp corners! This one also was about $20, quite reasonable for a '59 Mays.

Thursday, February 22, 2024

1981 Topps Otto Velez


The front: "Otto the Swatto" takes a mighty cut at Yankee Stadium. In his only day game in the Bronx in 1980, the man who was one letter away from a double-palindrome name went 0-4, striking out twice, as the Jays lost a slugfest, 11-7.

The back: In 53 games at Johnson City in 1970, Velez hit .369 with 7 HR and 44 RBI.

The player: Otto Velez came up with the Yankees in 1972, and despite considerable minor league success, was unable to crack the team's deep outfield. He was an expansion draft pick by the Blue Jays and was an immediate success - in his first 21 games he hit .442 with 5 HR and 18 RBI. However, he was not able to duplicate that success and cooled off the rest of the season. A broken finger and a personality clash with manager Roy Hartsfield limited his playing time, and a similar succession of small injuries and manager disputes kept him from playing a full major league season. Overall in 637 games from 1973 to 1983, Velez hit .251 with 78 HR and 272 RBI.

The man: Velez returned to his native Puerto Rico since the end of his playing career. He was a coach there for many years, most notably during the 1992 Olympics. He appears to now be retired.

My collection: I have 15 of his cards, from 1974 to 1982. I would be interested in trading for 1974 Topps Stamps #NNO.

Wednesday, February 21, 2024

1976 SSPC Pat Darcy

The card: We get a much closer-up view on this card, compared to most others in the set.

Playing career: Pat Darcy was coming off a rookie season in 1975 where he went 11-5. That gaudy record was largely due to the team around him, the legendary Big Red Machine. His 3.58 ERA was fairly high for the era, and 130.2 innings he walked 59 batters and struck out just 46. In 1976 his luck fell through, and he went 2-3 with a 6.23 ERA in 11 games. He hung around the minors for a couple more seasons but never made it back to the big leagues.

Post-playing career: Darcy has gone on to great success in commercial real estate in his hometown of Tucson, AZ. In 1993 he was pivotal in bringing the expansion Rockies to the city for their spring training headquarters. He is currently the Retail Division Head of Tucson Realty & Trust, and twice ran for mayor of the city.

My collection: I have three of his cards, this one and 1975 and 1976 Topps. I would be interested in trading for 1975 Reds Photocards #NNO.

Tuesday, February 20, 2024

Equipment: 1986 Topps

Byron Lee Tunnell's glove has his initials, BLT, written on his glove. The bacon lettuce tomato sandwich goes back to the early 20th century, but it's nickname became popular in the 1970s. It looks like it says Ph.1 underneath BLT. I don't know what that means.

It's always so hard to read the names on the barrels of the bats. I think the name on Ramirez's bat says BEVACQUA. It looks easier to see in person. But I could be wrong.
This photo would have been unremarkable in 1985 Topps. Dwyer changed to number 9 during the 1984 season, as Jim Traber took #28. That means this photo was at least a year out of date.
On to the Traded set. I presume 67 was Allanson's spring training number. He made the team in spring training and was given the number 6.
John Kruk was another player who made his debut on Opening Day, 1986. He wore #44, not #7. During the season #7 was worn by Marvell Wynne. He was acquired in a trade right before opening day, so maybe Kruk wore #7 before the trade.


Monday, February 19, 2024

Another vintage OPC lot

I'm suddenly getting lucky on cheap vintage OPC lots. This one as '69s and '71s with some duplication.

Suddenly I've gone from having no 1969 OPCs to having over 10% of the set (which is only a little over 200 cards). I have a love/hate relationship with the backs, they are a great-looking color but hard to read. The seller forgot to include some of the '69s, then shipped the remainder to the wrong person. They'll get to me eventually.

Here are some 1971s that were new to me. Some cards of interest include Duke Sims, Recently Traded to Dodgers, and Ron Hunt and Claude Raymond, both of which have different photos from their Topps card. (More at GCRL's old O-Pee-Chee blog - Hunt, Raymond)
Here are the extras available to trade. I imagine they will go quick!

Sunday, February 18, 2024

Cake or Gum? 1976 Dave Cash

Last time it was an easy victory for Hostess, 10-2. Who will win this time?

Dave Cash is in a similar pose in both cards, but almost everything else is different. Hostess has him wearing a jacket in chilly Candlestick Park, while Topps goes for the closeup in the batting cge in spring training. I think I even see trees in the background. 

Cash was in the middle of three straight All-Star appearances (1974-1976) as the sparkplug at the top of the Phillies lineup. A speedy second baseman who hit for a high average, Cash started his career in 1969 with the Pirates, but turned into a star immediately upon being traded to the Phillies after the 1973 season. Highlights included leading the NL in hits in 1975 (213) and triples in 1976 (12). He signed with the Expos as a free agent after the 1976 season, but struggled to duplicate the success of his three All-Star seasons in Philadelphia. After a single season with the Padres in 1980 he retired. In 1,422 games he hit .283 with 21 HR, 426 RBI and 120 SB. After his playing career Cash coached in the minor leagues for many years. He is now retired.

Saturday, February 17, 2024

Wood vs. Wood #190

Last time, with one of the largest voter turnouts in some time, 1962 defeated 1987, 8-5. Who will win this time?

Wally Moon is hatless even though he had been on the Dodgers for years and would continue to be in 1962, so they certainly could have used a cap in the photo. I'm not sure of the location. Moon came up with the Cardinals in 1954 and was excellent for four seasons, with high batting averages and some power and speed. After one down year in 1958 the Cardinals traded Moon to the Dodgers for Gino Cimoli. He bounced back in a big way in 1959, hitting .302 with 19 HR and 74 RBI, leading the NL with 11 triples, winning the first of his two World Series rings with the Dodgers. He was coming off another big season here, having hit .328 with 17 HR and 88 RBI, leading the NL with a .434 on-base percentage. It would be Moon's last standout season. He hurt his knee in 1962, and lost further playing time as the Dodgers moved toward playing young prospects. He retired after the 1965 season. In 1,457 games he hit .289 with 142 HR and 661 RBI. After his playing career he had a long career coaching and managing college and minor league ball. He died in 2018.

Jim Sundberg follows through on a swing in a spring training game in West Palm Beach against the Expos. A six-time gold glove catcher and three-time All-Star, Jim Sundberg played sixteen seasons in the major leagues, mostly for the Rangers and Royals. In 1,962 games, he hit .248 with 95 HR and 624 RBI. He was a key member of the Royals team that won the World Series in 1985. He is now a public speaker and blogger, as seen on his site He kindly answered my questions about baseball cards in 2019.

Friday, February 16, 2024

Another modern shiny lot

Two in two weeks! These lots are fun but I think I've had my fill for now. This was from a different seller, was just baseball, a little older, less Panini and more Topps. Still all stars, rookies, inserts and parallels, and mostly not from either the last five years or the junk was era. A little less of the higher-end stuff than the other lot. Well under a dime each so it's a cheap fun diversion once in a while.

Here are most of the cards.

There were a lot of A-Rod cards. I know it's cool to hate him but I never did, especially once he got over his playoff struggles. (I didn't realize one of those was I-Rod until after I took the photo.)
There were a lot of Ichiros too. I didn't put them all in the photo. I had the three Reggies, they are available. I don't collect "Rediscover Topps" so that is available too. Overall I needed most of the cards in the lot but I did get some good trade bait too.
Lots of minis.
A whole lot of colorful parallels, mostly from 2011.
The shiny cards are what I like best in a collection like this, and the lot did not disappoint. My favorite is the '74 Catfish Hunter.