Tuesday, September 2, 2014

1970 Topps Booklets from COMC

When I found the Topps 1970 Mike Cuellar Comic/Booklet in my binders of 'old, forgotten things' not long ago I checked into the set and found that like many of the Topps 'inserts' of the day, they could be had cheaply. So with just 23 to track down, not many of the big name stars, I used my COMC credit to grab a bunch of them.

They were all in nice shape with varying amounts of browning. Some were close to perfect. And they came out to less than a dollar apiece even figuring in the $3 shipping cost.

I scanned a few of the pages from my favorites:

The Bob Moose booklet mentions no-hitters and references the one I saw in September of 1969 against the Mets. But I didn't scan that page because of how the booklet is glued. I didn't want to force it open on my scanner.

Maybe it's my 'Oriole-centric' imagination but I think that Wally Bunker alternately resembles Steve Barber, Brooks Robinson and Jim Palmer in different panels of his booklet.

You just knew that the Walt Williams booklet would reference his 'No Neck' nickname. 

I like how the crowd in the Bobby Murcer booklet is checking out his his cheerleader-soon-to-be-wife rather than Murcer playing ball in the background. (that's an odd infield layout btw).

Here is the checklist. I am lacking the ones in bold/italics. My plan is to finish the set at minimal cost.

  • 1 Mike Cuellar
  • 2 Rico Petrocelli
  • 3 Jay Johnstone
  • 4 Walt Williams
  • 5 Vada Pinson
  • 6 Bill Freehan
  • 7 Wally Bunker
  • 8 Tony Oliva
  • 9 Bobby Murcer
  • 10 Reggie Jackson
  • 11 Tommy Harper
  • 12 Mike Epstein
  • 13 Orlando Cepeda
  • 14 Ernie Banks
  • 15 Pete Rose
  • 16 Denis Menke
  • 17 Bill Singer
  • 18 Rusty Staub
  • 19 Cleon Jones
  • 20 Deron Johnson
  • 21 Bob Moose
  • 22 Bob Gibson
  • 23 Al Ferrara
  • 24 Willie Mays

Monday, September 1, 2014

Monday Morning Quarterback #27 Craig Krenzel

In this ongoing series of posts I am going to feature cards from my fantasy football player collection, specifically the 117 quarterbacks I've had on my team's roster since 1980. I have one selected card for each player in my All-Time Flyers binder. Through the years I've tried to use as many different card varieties as possible while holding on to my preference which is: a card issued in a year I owned the player showing him in the proper team uni in a vertical format. Card availability and my whims have had a big impact on that standard as we will see. 
NFL Info: Craig Krensel came out of Ohio State in the 2004 draft after a college career that saw him go 24-3 as a starter and lead the Buckeyes to the 2002 National Championship. And, from Wikipedia:

Krenzel graduated from The Ohio State University with a degree in molecular genetics and a GPA of 3.75. He did research as part of a selective oncology laboratory at the Ohio State University Medical Center. Krenzel was named a First-Team Academic All-American and Academic All-American of the Year, and received three Academic All-Big Ten awards, the Today's Top VIII Award, a National Football Foundation Hall of Fame post-graduate scholarship, Sporting News' Socrates Award, and the Draddy Trophy.
Krenzel was part of a revolving door at the QB spot for the '04 Bears. He made five starts and was 3-2 in them with three TDs. He was 3rd string for the Bengals in '05, didn't see any action, and the left the pro game to broadcast  OSU games and co-found an insurance business.

Fantasy Impact: None. I had eight different QBs on my 2004 team. I think that may be my own team record. Krenzel passed through for one week after a waiver claim during his tenure as the Bears' starter and then I cut him.

The Card: This is the only Bazooka card in my fantasy team collection. I'm pretty sure I added it the year I had Krenzel on my team and it likely was the first one of him I found online because the others I saw when I google'd the images of his cards today were better looking cards for sure. But I'll keep this one in the binder because, well, it's Craig Krenzel, and I owned him for a week.

The card itself is fairly ugly and it looks like exactly what it is, a card from a set geared towards kids. The write-up reflects that and overall it looks like a card done on MSPaint that took 20 minutes. In other words it's a card that would fit right in with my own crappy 'home-brewed' cards.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Stuff My Kids Collected

These cards made up most of a page in a binder my boys had when they were young. I was pulling these binders apart and tossing most of the junk that was in them away when I decided to scan a few. Just for grins.


A Dodger I've never heard of. No, now that I sound it out I've heard of him. He played for some other team as well though, correct?

 Horace Grant? WTH?

Rainbow uni on a rainbow-ish card. When Sutton beat Jim Palmer on the last day of the 1982 season and ruined Earl Weaver's good-bye party I hated his guts. Now I think it was just his silly hair.

Caminiti had a world of talent.

I never knew one of my sons was a Horace Grant fan. Two cards on the same 9 pocket qualifies you as a fan.

One of my sons says he always read this guy's name as 'Brain' Hunter. My son was never diagnosed as dyslexic and he is a successful urban planner working for Houston so I don't know what to say. They had bunches of these Mother's Cookie cards.

Have I ever mentioned Cammy's incredible tattoos? I think I have.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

More Vintage Football

Random Baltimore Colts I picked up for a quarter each at the LCS. 

I'm a big fan of the Philly Gum sets. That '65 Bob Vogel just says '60s football' to me.

Every Baltimore Colt fan has a special place in his heart for Tom Matte. Here Wikipedia fills in the story:

Late in the 1965 season, Matte memorably filled in as an emergency quarterback when Colts QBs Johnny Unitas and Gary Cuozzo went down with season-ending injuries in consecutive home losses to the Chicago Bears and Green Bay Packers, respectively. For the Colts' regular-season finale (a 20-17 win) against the Los Angeles Rams and the following weekend's one-game playoff at Green Bay (a 13-10 overtime loss), Colts head coach Don Shula put a list of plays on a wristband that Matte wore. The wristband is now on display at the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Willie Richardson, he made All Pro one year with the Baltimore Colts.

Bert Rechichar. From the 'net:

Alex Hawkins, himself one of the most colorful players in NFL history, tells this story about his Baltimore Colts teammate Bert Rechichar.
When Hawkins reported to the Colts in 1959, Rechichar introduced himself. "I'm 44. What's your name?" Bert had a cigar stuck in his mouth and kept his blind eye closed. "He was meaner than hell at high noon," said Hawkins of the former Tennessee Vol.
In 1953, his rookie year and the Colts' debut in the NFL (after the hapless Dallas Texans were transferred), Rechichar practiced kicking long FGs even though he wasn't the club's regular FG kicker. In the season opener against the Bears, the Colts found themselves at the Chicago 49 with four seconds left in the first half. Bert had started toward the locker room when an assistant coach wondered if Bert could kick a FG from there. So Rechichar went on the field without bothering to attach his chin strap and lined a 56-yarder through the uprights. Until Tom Dempsey's 63-yarder in 1970, it was the NFL record. That same game, the DB/LB ran back an interception 39 yards for a TD in the Colts 13-9 upset of George Halas' squad before 23,715 at Memorial Stadium in Baltimore. In his ten-year career, Bert made 31 of 89 FG attempts.
Bert carried all his money with him, leading the other players to call him the "First National Bank of Rechichar." No one knew where he lived. When Coach Weeb Ewbank finally released him, Bert asked Hawkins to give him a lift to pick up his belongings. Alex jumped at the chance to finally learn where Bert lived. Instead, Rechichar directed him to half a dozen back alleys and side streets where he picked up a pair of pants in this building, a jacket in that one, a couple of shirts here, a pair of shoes there. After an hour of this, Bert said, "O.K., that's it." Hawkins concludes: "Would you say that Bert Rechichar was a totally sane man?"

Steve Mike-Mayer. I got nothing.

Don McCauley. The Colts got him with a comp pick to make up for the Dolphins tampering with Don Shula. That was a bad trade.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Vintage Football from the LCS

After I went to the card show a month ago I was inspired to visit the show promoter's shop before he closed it. Turns out his lease is up in February so it'll be open until then but he is serious about reducing his inventory now and he had most of his vintage stuff marked at half off. So all the cards in this short series of posts were had for a quarter or fifty cents at the most.

Here are a couple of guys I have a personal relationship with, a very very tenuous relationship but whatcha gonna do?

Ben Hawkins was a star player for my hometown high school in the early 60's. My buddies and I used to sneak into Nutley's Park Oval field to watch him play on Saturdays. We could never beat Montclair. And the year we did the refs screwed us out of it.

Ralph Baker is the first pro athlete I ever met in person. He was a friend of my ex-uncle from Baltimore.

A different uncle on mine owned a pharmacy (and the family still does) in New Jersey. It was one of those places that everyone in town used and my uncle knew everyone. Somehow he got Bob Tucker to make an appearance at his store. I went with my Dad. It was cool to feel like a 'privileged character' with behind the counter access.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Sometimes You Just Get Busy

Fantasy drafts, College and Pro football and some culture are all conspiring to make the next five days or so very busy for me. Since I don't like letting the blog slide I'll be putting up what amount to 'placeholder' entries over the next few days. Just cards and things without out much elaboration. I doubt any of the three people who read this will really care. ;-)

In my oddball binder I've found this 1966 Brooks Robinson 'Rub On' from Topps. We used to decorate our school binders with these things. There is one on eBay that was graded and given a '10' and has an asking price of well over $200. There is one graded as a '9' with an asking price of $23. Funny what a single point can do.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Billy Pierce 1952 Hawthorne Mellody pin

This item has been on my radar for a long time. I might as well call it a 'white whale' because while it really wasn't very expensive it sure didn't surface very often.

I didn't know the story of the Hawthorn-Mellody Dairy until I searched for the info and found that the company had folded in 1992 and the background of it's ending are pretty sad. The Chicago Trib laid it all out in this 1994 article.

Here is the info and a couple of interesting pictures I found on a six year old auction listing via Google:
1952 Hawthorne Mellody "Club of Champs" White Sox Players Pin Set With Beanie. In 1952 the Hawthorn-Mellody dairy company started a program for kids called the "Club of Champs." The club was known for charitably bringing inner city kids of the Midwest on field trips to the company's sports museum, their children's zoo and their dairy operations. A number of club premiums were issued, but none have proven to be as collectable as their PF7 set of 1-3/8" wide litho pins. This set included in its number ten different sepia photo pins of the top players of the Chicago White Sox, and all ten of the desirable player pins are included here, ranging in grade from VG/EX to NM, averaging EX/MT. All are still mounted to a rare example of the club's original brown beanie cap, complete with a painted imprint on the facing that reads, "Hawthorn-Mellody - Club of Champs" (EX). An 8-1/4" x 10-1/4". This is such a scarce issue you will be hard pressed to find it mentioned in any guide, indicating that these may have only been available at the museum itself, given out as souvenirs of the tour.