Sunday, June 30, 2024

Wallet Card with a D'Amato campaign sticker

Al D'Amato served as US Senator from New York from 1981 to 1999. He was elected in 1980, 1986 and 1992, but lost in 1998. This bumper sticker, stuck above the back doorway of a building in Freeport, NY, dates back to at least 1998, then. 26 years out-of-date at least for this sticker.

Saturday, June 29, 2024

Cake or gum? 1976 Topps Pete Broberg

Last time it was Topps on top with a 7-1 victory. Who will win this time?

Two sides of Broberg's windup and delivery. These two photos side-by-side are messing with my head, making me think he is switch-pitching. However he is right-handed in both photos.

Pete Broberg was the number one overall pick in the 1971 draft by the Washington Senators, who immediately put him in the major league rotation. That year he went 5-9 but with a respectable 3.47 ERA. He never had as good a season again – some said it was because he needed minor league seasoning; others said the problem was in his attitude, not his arm. Nevertheless over eight seasons with four teams he went 41-71 with a 4.56 ERA. After his career he attended law school, then after passing the bar joined his father’s law firm, now known as Coe & Broberg, where he still practices, and is considered one of the leading real estate and zoning attorneys in Palm Beach. Among his former clients is former, and possibly future, President Donald Trump, whom Broberg represented in a dispute over some property owned by Trump in 1991.

Friday, June 28, 2024

Wood vs. Wood #207

Last time it was 1962 with an 8-2 victory. Who will win here?

Pete Burnside gets very low in an exaggerated follow-through pose on a spring training field with patchy grass. Seems to be a lot of sand mixed in there. Burnside came up with the Giants in 1955 as a highly-touted prospect with a blazing fastball. However, he was never able to control it effectively. In parts of eight seasons Burnside pitched in 196 games (64 starts) for the Giants, Tigers, Senators and Orioles, going 19-36 with a 4.81 ERA. He also pitched two years in Japan without much success. After his playing career he was a high school teacher and coach in Illinois. He died in 2022.

Topps did a pretty good job on this card, airbrushing Frazier's Cubs hat and jersey into Twins. Frazier pitched ten years in the majors for the Cardinals, Yankees, Indians, Cubs and Twins. In 415 games, all in relief, he went 35-43 with 29 saves and a 4.20 ERA. In 1981, with the Yankees, he tied a World Series record by losing 3 games. He got a bit of redemption in 1987, when he won a World Series ring with the Twins, pitching two scoreless innings in Game 4 of the World Series, in what turned out to be his last major league game. After his playing career he was an announcer for 30 years, mostly for the Rockies. He died in 2023.

Thursday, June 27, 2024

1974 Topps Deckle Dating: Pete Rose

I don't think there are a lot of cards of Rose with a fielding glove. At this point in his career he was an outfielder.

April 3, 1973, according to the back.

Rose does not have any other cards with photos that appear to be from the same shoot, so I will assume this one is accurate.

This was two days before Opening Day, with the Reds getting ready to fly to Cincinnati for the traditional first game in the majors. Sparky Anderson was refusing to name the opening day starter, with reporters guessing Jack Billingham to be the most likely. Instead it was Don Gullett, who drove in the Reds' only run but lost to Juan Marichal, 4-1. Rose led off for the Reds and singled in the team's first at-bat of 1973, one of two hits for Rose.

In other news, Motorola VP Martin Cooper made the first ever cell phone call, using a device of his invention to call a rival at Bell Labs. Motorola had set up two temporary towers on Fifth Avenue to enable the call, with the expectation of building a network of towers in the city over the next five years. Due to technical and FCC hurdles, it took ten years before Motorola was able to launch the phone, doing so nationally, with a small but expanding network of towers. (When it was launched in 1973, the network in Motorola's home city of Chicago could only handle 23 calls at a time, though that number quickly grew much larger.) Other major news stories of the day came from India, where 35 women were killed when lightning struck an agricultural worker colony, and three demonstrators were killed by police in an uprising in the semi-independent state of Sikkim.

Wednesday, June 26, 2024

1986 Spokane Indians at the mall - Doug Brocail


Doug Brocail poses with some men's casual fashions at one of the 12 clothing stores or 3 department stores at the mall.

Reliever Doug Brocail pitched for the Padres, Astros and Tigers from 1992 to 2000, at which point he suffered an elbow injury that knocked him out of the major leagues for three years. An initial misdiagnosis of the injury led Brocail to unsuccessfully sue the Tigers. He made a comeback with the Rangers in 2004 and stayed in the majors through the 2009 season. Overall in 626 major league games he was 52-48 with nine saves and an ERA of 4.00. After his playing career he was a pitching coach for the Rangers and Orioles. He appears to now be retired.

Tuesday, June 25, 2024

1981 Topps Willie Wilson


The front: The photographer captures a skeptical-looking Wilson before a game at Yankee Stadium.

The back: Wilson's 13 career inside-the-park home runs are the most for any player after 1950.

The player: Considered the fastest man in baseball, Wilson's 668 stolen bases are 12th all-time. His 147 triples rank 56th all time, but are the highest for any players in the past 50 years. Among players who played after World War II, only Stan Musial and Roberto Clemente have more. He was more than just a speedster, however. A lifetime .285 hitter, he won the AL batting crown in 1982, hitting .332. He had his best season in 1980, when he hit .326 and led the AL with 133 runs, 230 hits and 15 triples. Overall in 19 seasons, 15 with the Royals, he hit .285 with 2,207 hits, 281 2B, 147 3B, 41 HR, 585 RBI and 668 SB. In 38 postsesason games, he hit .267, stealing 13 bases.

The man: Wilson was the most prominent of the players convicted in the 1984 cocaine trials, and the only one to bounce back and return to their prior form. However, Wilson continued to struggle with drug addiction until drug rehab in 1999. Since then he was briefly a coach in the Diamondbacks organization, and for a while had a baseball foundation in Kansas City. He appears to now be retired.

My collection: I have 107 of his cards, from 1979 to 1994. I would be interested in trading for 1978 SSPC #241.

Monday, June 24, 2024

1976 SSPC Terry Crowley

The card, in brief: Nice photo of Crowley, who is best known for his time as an Oriole, but won a World Series ring with the Reds in 1975.

The player, in brief: Terry Crowley was best known as a pinch-hitter, and his 108 pinch-hits are tied for 13th all-time. In a 15-year career, 12 with the Orioles, he played in 865 games and hit .250 with 42 HR and 229 RBI. He won two World Series rings ('70 Orioles and '75 Reds) and pinch-hit 12 times in the postseason, going 3-for-11 with 3 RBI.

Post playing career, in brief: After his retirement he was a coach for the Orioles in the late '80s. He joined the Twins in 1991 and won a World Series ring as a hitting coach. He returned to the Orioles as a hitting coach in 1999, and is still working for the team as a special instructor.

My collection: I have 23 of his cards, from 1970 to 1984. I would be interested in trading for 1972 Topps #628.

Sunday, June 23, 2024

Wallet card at Gene's Barber Shop

I noticed this the other day, it appears to be a newly revealed sign. The location was a barber shop called Joseph's Barber Shop, in East Rockaway, Long Island. They've moved down the block, and removed the sign on the side of the building. Looks like in an earlier iteration it was known as Gene's Barber Shop. I couldn't find anything online about it, but it's always fun to see an older sign uncovered like this.

To answer a question from the last wallet card post, I don't also take a photo without the card. I kind of which I had when I first started, but now I feel like I am too far down this road so I just do the photo with the card.

Saturday, June 22, 2024

OBC/TCDB roundup

 Here's some more cards that came in this month, mostly from OCB. I've sent out quite a few too. Getting just a bit nervous that nothing I mailed out last week has made it to their destination yet.

Greg Henthorn sent some great vintage cards . . .

. . . and a few days later sent some more great oddballs.
TCDB's Jaysredlegs founds four set needs for me, all Frank Thomas cards. He must really like bubblegum.
Some 1981 football from Michael Salinsky, the big highlight being the Phil Simms second-year card.
Six 1982 stickers from Mark Zentkovich.
Jim Craig sent a pair from the late 1950s.
Scott Jensen of OBC is sjensen on TCDB. We did a one-for-one on TCDB, and he surprised me by surrounding a '71 high number with nine '75 minis!
Trio of '59s from Jon Jeans.
Fun mixed lot of 1950s, 60s, 70s and 80s from TJ Valacak.


Friday, June 21, 2024

Vintage star cards roundup

Here's what's come in the last few weeks . . .

The weekly Greg Morris auctions have been better lately for oddballs and high numbers than for big stars. I've probably gotten what I can in terms of affordable star cards for these. I probably have to wean myself off of doing these regularly, but I still enjoy them and they're fairly cheap. These came today . . . 

. . . last week . . .
. . . and the week before. This one did have some hefty star power.
I picked up a lot of '62 Post Canadian. I also won a few single star cards (and a '63 Jello Koufax). This was a case of me seeing a cheap opening bid and no other bids and figuring what the heck, someone will outbid me but why not. Nobody did and I wound up paying close to a dollar a card which I kind of regret, but I also don't because these don't seem to be easy to find in the US.
I similarly overreacted to some trimmed pre-WWII cards with no bids on two separate occasions. I should really stick to $1 or $2 with card like these, not $5 shipped. Al Thomas '33 Goudey . . .
. . . '40 Play Ball Myril Hoag. He's a former Yankee, and it is cool to have a contemporary card of a player that mentions on the back that he used to back up Babe Ruth.
Otherwise, I did better on a '54 Berra . .  .
. . . and a '62 Billy. Nice Yankee Stadium shot of a guy in the wrong uniform, whose heart (to the extent he had one) was always with the Yankees.

I rarely find really cheap lots with enough cards I needed, but I needed four out of these ten '59s which were about a quarter apiece. Drott, Bressoud, Martyn and Kasko are the keepers; the rest are available for trade.


This is my favorite recent purchase. 1968 American Oil Mickey Mantle. I had picked up the Mays recently. Both were surprisingly cheap for 1960s oddballs. It's a mixed-sport set and other than Ruth that's all of the baseball in the set.

The back is fun too. Win Corvettes! The iconic logo is in that awkward stage when they took out Standard but weren't Amoco yet.

Thursday, June 20, 2024

Trade with a mysterious Frenchman

I got a great stuffed PWE of cards from a TCDB member known as M_. His username reminds me of how a 19th-century novel, like an Edgar Allan Poe story, would refer to someone as "Mr._" or "M._" to make it sound like a real incident where they can't reveal the people's names.

M_ reached out with some needs for the New York teams in the 1998 Metal football set. The Strahan card is disappointing, clearly not a New York photo. The Leon Johnson card I like much better, with a view from the Empire State Building across the East River to Queens.

I fleshed out the initial offer with more cards for both sides. On my side, part of it was some more Giants cards. Jason Sehorn is an underrated great Giant who doesn't have as many cards as the skill offensive players.
I picked a few baseball cards too. I'm always happy to land mid-1980s Fleer needs.
Finally, a few wonderful, terrific modern cards.

Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Cake or gum? 1976 Larry Hisle

Last time Hostess pitched an 8-0 shutout. Will Topps get on the board this time?

Both photos show Hisle wearing the Twins' powder blue uniforms, but the light and/or printing makes the uniform on the spring training photo on the Hostess card much bluer than the Topps card at Oakland.

Named after Larry Doby, the first black American Leaguer, outfielder Larry Hisle had an up-and-down career before finally putting it all together at age 30, hitting .302 with 28 HR and 119 RBI for the Twins in 1977. He signed with the Brewers after that season and had a great ’78, hitting .290 with 34 HR and 115 RBI. Unfortunately, injuries would limit him to just 79 more games over the next four seasons. Overall Hisle hit .273 with 166 HR and 674 RBI in a 14-year big league career. Hisle, considered one of the nicest men in baseball, is Manager of Youth Outreach for the Brewers and is involved in a number of charitable endeavors. With his son Larry Jr., himself a former minor leaguer, he owns HISLEWOOD, which manufactures the Syndigrip bat grip as well as providing youth hitting lessons.

Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Wood vs. Wood #205

Last time 1987 eked out a 6-5 victory. Who will win this battle of National League third basemen?

The red sleeves on Gene Freese's jersey really pop on his card. Freese played for six teams in his 12-year major league career, mostly for the Pirates, Reds and White Sox. His best season was 1961, when he helped the surprising Reds win the pennant, hitting .277 with 26 HR and 87 RBI. However, he was just 1-for-16 in the World Series. Overall in 1,115 games he hit .254 with 115 HR and 432 RBI. He died eleven years ago today at the age of 79.

We get a very close-up look at Graig Nettles on his card. Nettles has the highest WAR total of any third baseman not in the Hall of Fame, and the highest WAR total of any player with a batting average below .250. The six-time All Star was one of the big stars of the Yankee teams that won four pennants and two World Series between 1976 and 1981. He led the AL with 32 HR in 1976, and in 1977 had his best season, hitting .255 with 37 HR and 107 RBI. The Yankees traded him to the Padres before the 1984 season and helped San Diego win their first-ever pennant that year. In 2,700 major league games he hit .248 with 390 HR and 1,314 RBI. Nettles was also a terrific defender, with the most impressive highlight reel of postseason defensive gems since Brooks Robinson. Nettles was a scout and coach for a while but is now retired.

Monday, June 17, 2024

1974 Topps Deckle Dating: Chris Chambliss

 Here's the front, Chambliss at the site of his future glories.

TCMA had a front scan but not a back scan. I found a photo online of a graded copy of the card.

June 30, 1973. Chambliss went 1-for-3 in Cleveland's 7-3 loss to the Yankees. Mel Stottlemyre defeated Brent Strom, who fell to 1-9. Roy White went 3-for-5 with two doubles and three runs scored.

Assuming the dates are correct, this photo was taken the same day, 3,000 miles away, as Wilbur Wood's deckle card.

It appears the photo was taken the same time as Chambliss's Topps card. And here is where I begin to question the date a bit.

June 30, 1973 was an 80 degree day in New York. Chambliss is wearing a long-sleeve turtleneck like it's early April, and Cleveland was in New York April 9-12, with one 53 degree day and two in the 40s.

Sunday, June 16, 2024

1986 Spokane Indians at the mall: Keith Harrison


I believe this is Rosauer's supermarket. The display makes me think that the photos were taken around either Memorial Day or Independence Day.

Outfielder Keith Harrison played three years of A ball in the Padres organization, 1986 at Spokane and 1987 and 1988 at Charleston. In 190 games he hit .196 with 0 HR, 25 RBI and 29 SB. I could not find any information about his life after baseball.

1981 Topps Tom Hausman

First, RIP Hank Foiles, who played in the majors from 1953 to 1964. He shared a baseball card story with this blog in 2018.

The front: Hausman fires off a pitch at Shea Stadium.

The back: The Mets were famously tight-fisted during the free-agent era, so their first-ever free agent was someone who had just come off a full season in the minor leagues and would start his Mets career at AAA. Not exactly Catfish Hunter.

The player: Hausman had an undistinguished career, mostly in relief. He pitched for the Mets from 1978 to 1982 and ended his career with three games for the Braves. Overall in 160 games (33 starts) he went 15-23 with a 3.80 ERA.

The man: After his playing career he was a youth coach in Nevada, coaching a team that played in the Little League World Series tournament. He died in 2019.

My collection: I have 13 of his cards, from 1976 to 1983. I would be interested in trading for 1977 Cramer Spokane Indians #7.

Friday, June 14, 2024

1976 SSPC Dave Concepcion


The card, in brief: Odd cropping on the photo. Maybe he's tying his shoe, or picking up some trash off the ground, or just wanted to make sure the light was shining off his necklace. (I know, it's just the old reliable fielding pose.)

The player, in brief: Dave Concepcion was an all-around great player for the Big Red Machine. A shortstop for the Reds for his entire 19-year-career, he was a nine-time All-Star and won five gold gloves. A pretty good hitter with speed and doubles power, he hit .267 with 389 2B, 101 HR, 950 RBI and 321 SB. In 34 postseason games he hit .297 with 2 HR and 13 RBI.

Post-playing career, in brief: Concepcion lives in his native Venezuela where he owns a farm and a trucking business.

My collection: I have 54 of his cards, from 1971 to 1989. I would be interested in trading for 1975 Hostess #47.

Thursday, June 13, 2024

Trade with Tdorsay

I got some great, mostly Canadian cards from Tdorsay of TCDB, who is primarily an OPC collector.

Starting off with the most recent cards. I've picked up a lot of McDonald's Donruss Canadian cards from TCDB trades. The Morris actually finishes the small 1992 set for me. Some great photos in the 1993 set including Kelly Gruber eating some dirt.

A little older with a fantastic mascot card.
And finally the vintage. Not showing the front of either card, but a middle and a back. I love the artwork (sadly, uncredited) in the 1970 Topps booklets set. I could see doing a blog series on these if I complete the set, though the last three I need are big ones (Mays, Banks, Gibson).

Wednesday, June 12, 2024

Big lot of oddballs with a mystery

As much as I prioritize vintage these days, I'll never stop enjoying a big cheap box of modern cards. I got lucky with a good one on eBay - less than $8 shipped for maybe 2000 cards. I found several hundred that I needed.

What drew my eye in the listing were the Wheaties cards. There was a near-complete set of 1984 Indians. It was missing Bert Blyleven, Julio Franco and a couple of others, but still had other stars and lots of interesting photos. They're a bit larger than standard cards and are almost paper-thin.
Another nice oddball was this oversized (4 x 6) 1982 TCMA issue of Willie Mays.
There was also an autographed card of Kevin Millwood. Here's where we get to the mystery. I can't figure out what set this card is from.
There were a few others like it, not autographed. (The box came from Texas and had a lot more Rangers than any other team.)
These cards look like 2006 Upper Deck, but do not have the foil logo or player name that the standard set had. I can't find any mention of a parallel set like this - the only parallels were shinier, not less shiny. If they were a printing error than they should just be blank where the foil was, not colored in. It does not appear to be a team issue either. In subsequent years UD did put out "First Edition" sets like this, but I don't see any mention of that in 2006. (There was a First Pitch that year with a totally different design). Does anyone know anything about this set?
As for trades, there were hundreds of cards from this box that are available. It was Rangers-heavy, so I'd love to trade with some Rangers fans. (I believe there are some newer bloggers who are Texas fans?) There was plenty of junk wax but lots of other cards too, largely in the 2005-2007 range. By far the most cards were from the 1990 Topps Traded set, all gray backs if anyone collects those variations.