Tuesday, April 30, 2024

Vintage star cards roundup

A couple of weeks of interesting Greg Morris auction pickups. 

Two weeks ago I did particularly well in 1960 and 1962 Topps, but picked up a variety of pretty good cards from the 1950s through 1970s . . .

. . . plus one from 1909! A poor conditioned card of a guy who had a very brief career in the majors fell to me for $5. Not bad for what is now the oldest card in my collection. Hosea Siner played in ten games for the Boston Doves (later the Braves) in 1909. He died in 1948, yet has a surprisingly active Facebook page run by his grandson. It has posts like "Thanks for all of you who are posting on my site.  My bones are happily feeling joy.  I can't wait until I go to Heaven.  I was buried facing the East, so I'll be able to see the second coming."
Here's the back. Colgan's Chips were actually gum - I assume "chips" referred to the round shape which was unusual for gum. These would come in tins, and many collectors today collect the cards in the tins. I don't know what violet-flavored gum would have tasted like.
The card is very flimsy, basically shiny paper. It is also very small - here it is next to a standard-sized card for comparison.
Last week's winnings also carried a fun variety of American cards . . .
. . . and two Venezuelan! My first cards from each of these two sets. The '62 has a slightly darker back and no copyright date. The '68 is a little thinner and darker, and if you look closely at the bottom you will see "Hecho en Venezuela" in white. Venezuelan cards were meant to be stuck in a scrapbook, so paper loss on the back is not unusual.
A few other pickups this month include a '55 Rizzuto. Always happy to pick up a vintage Scooter!
'68 Carew that had eluded me for a while. With this and the '72 above I have his complete Topps run now.
Another cheap Aaron!
These five all came the same day from four different sellers. I'm particularly happy about the '68 Game card, as it completes that set for me. Clemente was surprisingly hard to get for that set, harder even than Mantle. Cheap base cards for Clemente and Banks are great too, and that All Star card is not as bad as it looks in the photo, it's just tape residue.

Monday, April 29, 2024

1986 Spokane Indians at the mall - Kevin Koentopp


I don't know who the little slugger is, but Kevin Koentopp outfielder signed out of UNLV. 1986 was his only pro season - he hit .280 with 0 HR and 29 RBI in 70 games. He is now a real estate broker in Las Vegas.

There were six different shoe stores in the mall. Can't tell which one this is.

Sunday, April 28, 2024

1981 Topps Bob Horner


The front: Horner starts his swing in a game at Shea Stadium. He only played in one day game at Shea in 1980, on July 30. He had a single in four at-bats, one of only four Brave hits off of Pat Zachry, who shut out the Braves 3-0.

The back: This could be considered an error card, as the wording on the NCAA blurb is incorrect. He hit 58 home runs for his career and 25 for the single-season mark. Pete Incaviglia shattered both records and is still the all-time leader with 48 HR in a season and 100 for a career.

The player: Horner was the NL Rookie of the Year in 1978, picking up right where he left off in college. He continued to be a fearsome slugger for several more years when he was on the field, however he rarely played a full season due to various injuries. He was a free agent after the 1986 season, but went to Japan as he didn't receive a single offer due to collusion (for which he was later awarded $7M in a court settlement). He returned to the US in 1988 for a single, injury-marred season for the Cardinals before retiring. Overall in 1,020 games he hit .277 with 218 HR and 685 RBI.

The man: Horner has kept a very low profile since his playing career. He is retired and lives in Texas.

My collection: I have 51 of his cards, from 1979 to 1989. I would be interested in trading for 1983 Fleer Star Stickers #84.

Saturday, April 27, 2024

1976 SSPC Fred Norman


The card, in brief: Looks like early evening, the sun having just set (we are looking west past Norman's shoulder). I really like the color of the sky and the lights visible beyond the outfield wall. I feel transported into the picture a little more, it feels more realistic somehow.

The player, in brief: Fred Norman had an interesting arc to his career. He came up with the KC A's in 1962 at the age of 19, and struggled in brief stints with the A's and Cubs between '62 and '67, pitching in 15 games. The Cubs traded him to the Dodgers after the 1967 season. In the Dodgers minor league system, Norman received help from noted pitching coach Roger Craig, and he returned to the major leagues to stay in 1970. He had a few solid but unspectacular seasons for the Dodgers, Cardinals and Padres before being traded to the Reds in 1973. There he rounded into form as a key member of the Big Red Machine's underrated pitching staff. From 1973 to 1979 he won 10+ games each year with ERAs in the low 3's. His best season was 1976, when he went 12-7 with a 3.09 ERA. He ended his career with one season with the Expos in 1980. Overall in 403 games he went 104-103 with a 3.64 ERA.

Post-playing career, in brief: After his career he was a Reds minor league coach for a few years, then opened a garbage removal business in California. He is now retired and living in North Carolina.

My collection: I have 21 of his cards, from 1964 to 1981. I would be interested in trading for 1978 SSPC #109.

Friday, April 26, 2024

Cake or Gum? 1976 Pete Rose

Last time it was gum with the 7-2 victory. Who will win this time?

Two very different photos here. Hostess has Rose posing with a bat at Candlestick Park. Meanwhile, Topps goes in for a very tight close-up, so close we can see Pete's freckles.

Pete Rose, the hit king, needs no introduction for his outstanding career on the field and checkered life off of it. Most recently he has been in the news for publicly suggesting that Shohei Ohtani bet on baseball as he did. Meanwhile some Ohio lawmakers are sponsoring a resolution to demand that Rose be inducted into the Hall of Fame.

Thursday, April 25, 2024

Some '50s cards including a big One

I got a lot of eight 1950s cards for a little over $4 shipped. I actually won with a $0.01 bid. There is One card in particular that makes it a great deal.

Four mid-50s cards. As you can see they are in rough shape. They were actually worse when I got them, there was a lot of paper stuck to them. However, it was tissue or tissue paper and most of it came off very easily with a little scraping, and did not damage the cards. I already had a '56 Craig, unless some reader wants it, I can probably find someone in OBC who can use a card in this condition.

The best part, however, was the four 1952s. Two Chico Carrasquel cards in one lot is never a bad thing. Jerry Coleman was a war hero and later a key member of five World Series winning Yankees teams. Billy Cox was also a WWII veteran who hit .302 in three World Series for the Dodgers. But the big One is Andy Pafko, card #1 in the set. This card has attained mythic status over the years, as the first card numerically often took the most damage in kids' collections. Supposedly it was very hard to find one without rubber band damage. No rubber band damage on this card, lol.  Even in this shape they often sell for about $50+ on eBay, though I do see one recent sale for $25. Glad to add this One to my collection for a whole lot cheaper.


Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Wood vs Wood #195

Last time 1962 held on for a 5-4 victory. Who will win this time?

Joe Cunningham gets the under-the-brim, avoid the logo look. Topps would take this photo of each player in case they got traded in the offseason. In Cunningham's case, the Cardinals' veteran outfielder, who was an All-Star in 1959 when he hit .345, was traded after the 1961 season to the White Sox for Minnie Minoso. Cunningham had a good year in 1962 but got hurt in 1963 and was never the same. Overall in 1,141 games for the Cardinals, White Sox and Senators, he hit .291 with 64 HR and 436 RBI. After his playing career he returned to the Cardinals organization, and for many decades he worked for the team in a variety of roles, including minor league manager, major league coach (winning a World Series ring in 1982), director of ticket sales and community relations director. He died in 2021 at the age of 89.

Mike Pagliarulo awaits a pitch on a cold day at Yankee Stadium. Pags was my first favorite player growing up. He was a hard-nosed, hustling third baseman with power. His best season was 1987 when he hit 32 home runs. I was very sad when he was traded to the Padres in 1989. In 1991 he returned to the American League and helped the Twins win the World Series. In the postseason that year he hit .308 with 2 HR and 5 RBI in 11 games. Overall, in 1,246 games for five teams he hit .241 with 134 HR and 505 RBI. He is now involved in a variety of baseball instruction businesses and charitable endeavors.

Tuesday, April 23, 2024

They're trimmed, but these Goudeys are good enough

RIP David McCarty, who played eleven years in the major leagues. He shared his thoughts on baseball cards with this blog in 2009.


I got quite lucky with an eBay seller with a bunch of 1933 Goudeys. I ended up with 9 for $27, a very good price considering there were three Hall of Famers. They are all missing the red bar that says "Big League Chewing Gum" but are still wonderful pieces of 90 year old cardboard. In person the colors really pop.

Sam Byrd was one of two Yankees I picked up. The back says he was on the "Yankess". It calls him "one of the best golfers in professional baseball" and he did go on to a long PGA career. In baseball he was known as "Babe Ruth's Legs", often pinch-running for the Bambino later in his legendary career. Chalmer Cissell's card notes that he was bought from the Portland Club for $123,000. I imagine Jon knows all about him. George Connally, one of several of these players born in the nineteenth century, was a soldier and marine according to the card back - "Fought in France during the World War".

Clifton Heathcote was a good-field, no-hit outfielder. He died just a few years after this card was published. Fred Lindstrom's card was in the Dover Reprint book of Hall of Famers when I was a kid, so I was really happy to get an original of the card. On the back of Bing Miller's card it is written "He is well-named. Any time he hits a ball it goes places."
Two more Hall of Famers here. About Sam Rice, Goudey wrote that he was not only a .300 hitter but "boy, can't he go and get 'em in the outfield!" Joe Sewell is now my oldest Yankee Hall of Fame card. He was a star for Cleveland for many years but ended his career with three seasons with the Yankees, winning a World Series in 1932. Tommy Thevenow's career was marred by two serious injuries, as related on the back of his card - first a broken leg during a game, then "he was badly smashed up in an automobile accident".
Even trimmed I am really enjoying these cards and was happy to add them to my collection.

Monday, April 22, 2024

Imitation vintage and real vintage

I worked out a nice big trade with Jerry Straniero of OBC. I sent him a few hundred 1970s cards. Here is what I got in return.

Starter sets for three Topps Heritage sets. 2023 . . . 

. . . 2022 . . .
. . . and 2005. These sets tend to have much better photo selection than the regular base sets.
Jerry surprised me by throwing in a whole lot of really nice vintage too! Eight 1965 Topps Embossed, largely Hall of Famers.
Some 1960s needs.
A dozen from 1960.
Late 1950s.
Mid 1950s Topps..
The 1955 Bowmans have certainly been coming in lately.
Finally a couple of 1954 Bowmans. "Larry" on Joe Tipton's card is an OBC inside joke. Larry "Guru" Tipton is one of the founding members of OBC. If I ever get another copy of this card I'll flip this one to someone else in the group.
Jerry and I had just agreed to the 70s for Heritage swap. All the vintage was a surprise, he thought he wasn't sending enough on his side! Fortunately I found some 50s cards for him and I've mailed them out to even up the trade as far as I'm concerned.

Sunday, April 21, 2024

I don't collect these. Sure I don't.

Like many of you, I enjoyed Johnny's Trading Spot's weekly trade bait posts. I've never done TTM or asked a player for an autograph, and I don't intend to start. Nor do I intend to start regularly buying or trading for autographs. However, I can't deny that autographed cards look really nice, and there is something cool about the player having taken the time to personally sign it. 

Fortunately I had some cards for Johnny even after our big vintage trade, and I was able to snag a bunch of these for my small but growing binder of autographed cards.

I did pick one relic card. I couldn't resist taking a Melky Cabrera card. Melky was a fan favorite on the Yankees' last World Championship team, 15 years ago.

Some more Yankees. Sweet Lou Piniella is the biggest highlight. A couple other Yankees who were on the team when I first got into baseball, and a couple of fun players from recent years.
These three players are in different uniforms, but all three were favorites of mine with the Yankees.
I don't TTM players, but I do like to reach out via email or social media to get them to comment on baseball cards for my blog. I don't have much success with it anymore, but I do try to collect a little more from players who did respond, like these five.
Vintage autographs! I couldn't resist adding two 1960s cards, or another 1960s star on a shiny card, even if the autograph was fading. And a 1978 Dave Lemanczyk was cool too. I didn't even realize it was an OPC until I was putting it in the binder. He owns a baseball school the next town over from me.
Some more miscellaneous cards. Mostly 1980s and early 1990s cards, it's fun to have autographs of cards from different sets I collected when I was young. The Mike Dyer is a neat oversized oddball. I guess it's a team issue though I can find very little about it online. I only saw one other and it had a different back.

Saturday, April 20, 2024

Vintage star cards roundup

 Weekly Greg Morris winnings continue to be fun. Some big names at pretty low prices.

This may not have been my best purchase. I paid $15 for a 1966 Aaron. It's a thinner cardstock, which by itself is not completely a red flag, there was a lot of variety in '66 cardstock and I have others this thin. However the back is blurrier than other '66s I have. I should probably have looked closer at the photos in the listing. I'm just going to assume it's real as I don't have definite proof that it's not, put it in the set and not think about it.

There was another eBay seller who had 1968 Atlantic cards for $5 each. Nobody was bidding on them. I started going alphabetically with Aaron and Brock, then stopped. I could have kept going but that would have been a lot of money for an oddball set that doesn't even look that good. Now I have those two stars with both back versions, and that's good enough for me.

I made a couple of other Aaron purchases that are less problematic. The famous 1975 Hostess that I've seen on a few blogs. Brewers hat but Braves logo.

And a '71 OPC.

Always great to add another Mantle!

A few more star cards, all cheaper on eBay then I'd ever see at a card show or elsewhere.

I cobbled together a few vintage baseball cards at good-enough buy-it-nows, packaging with some other stuff I was getting from this seller. Particularly happy about the two '63 Stengels. I like the all-white Mets script that Topps used in '63.

Finally, another dumb purchase. $10 for a lot of really-bad-shape 1954s. I figured it was worth it because it had Gil Hodges. I forgot I already had a '54 Gil Hodges! I did need about half the commons. Unless someone sees something here they really want, I'll find someone at OBC who needs them. The cards are in worse shape than they look, brittle like they went through the laundry.


Friday, April 19, 2024

Vintage trade with Baseball Card Breakdown

Gavin of Baseball Card Breakdown has relaxed his condition requirements on his 1970s setbuilds, so I was able to send some cards his way to help him on those.

In return he sent me a really fun mix of vintage cards. Starting off with 18 cards from 1980 Kellogg's. Some big stars there. I'm not concerned about the curling, these get packed tightly in a box and straighten out eventually.

1983, the last year of Kellogg's cards. I don't see cards from this set very often.
Some 1970s Kelloggs. Lots of big stars.
1963 Fleer cards don't come around all that often. Too bad they didn't last longer, their photos were often better than Topps's.
Finally, an international oddball mix of some of Gavin's extras for one of his most obscure PCs, Mike Reinbach. Three Japanese cards, from the 1975-1976 Calbee set. I only had one card from this set previously, another Reinbach from Gavin. They really had some nice photos in those sets. If they were cheaper I could see going after them, though the language barrier is another factor. The last item is a 1973-74 Venezuelan Winter League sticker. That's my first from that set, helping to boost my very tiny international vintage collection.