Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Oddball Billy Pierce

It's just a coincidence that today I'm posting a Billy Pierce item that features him as a SF Giant. This card comes from the 1981 TCMA set that celebrates the '62 Giants club. That team won the National League title by taking the Dodgers two games to one in a playoff series made necessary when the two clubs tied for first place during the regular season. 

Billy Pierce drew the start in Game One at Candlestick Park on Monday, October 1. He rose to the occasion and held the Dodgers to three hits for an 8-0 win. He returned to the mound in the deciding Game Three and pitched a perfect bottom of the ninth to get the save in the Giants come-from-behind 6-4 win

Pierce also pitched well in the World Series against the Yankees. Though the Yanks took the title in seven games Pierce made two good starts going 1-1 while allowing only 8 hits in 15 innings.

The TCMA set contains 25 cards or so but I was only interested in the Pierce. I had looked for it for quite awhile but I finally gave in and picked up the set. I may have to pass it on to a deserving Giants' fan.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

1958 Topps All Star Subset

One of my collecting goals is to complete the 1958 Topps All Star subset. I'm not too far from it now. I just love this group of cards, much more than the base '58 set. I picked up the Mickey Mantle card a few years back so the last of the higher dollar cards of this group that I lack is the Willie Mays. But it's not outrageous so I'll nab one at my price one of these days.

Meanwhile here are my latest four additions. They came via a fair sized COMC purchase recently. Maybe the reason I like these so much is the stat laden back of each. It gives the players 1957 numbers versus each opposing team. That sort of thing used to keep my occupied for hours as a kid. Look at Eddie Mathews' stats against the Cubs. He crushed them for a .408 average on 31 hits. He killed the Dodgers, Pirates and Giants as well.

The 'big head' portraits like Mathews and Johnny Temple are OK, but the Spahn is the star of this group. Heck any card of Spahn is the star of a group. He's all nose and hat brim and angles.

Spahn only pitched two thirds of an inning versus the Dodgers in 1957. Made me curious enough to check his Gamelog for that year. It doesn't look like he skipped any starts for avoid Brooklyn (Spahn wouldn't do that). Turns out he pitched that brief turn in relief and picked up a save versus the Bums. It was his third and final save of the '57 season. 

The All Star Managers card is surely a picture taken at the '57 World Series.

The back of the managers card is a checklist of the final thirty something base cards and the All Stars.

When I first discovered eBay in the late 90s the first things I went afetr were small lots of 1958 Topps commons. I had aspirations of putting the set together back then. I quickly decided that I had better things to do but out of that came this desire to finish off the All Stars. A year from now I'll be done.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Monday Morning Quarterback #34 Alex Van Pelt

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: Alex Van Pelt played ten seasons as the Bills back-up QB. He did have a couple of short stints as the starter, in 1997 for three games and in 2001 for eight. He had originally been drafted out of the University of Pittsburgh by the Steelers, failed to make the club and spent a year with the Chiefs before hooking on for his Bills tenure.

After his playing days Van Pelt got into coaching and has spent most of the last decade on NFL staffs. He currently is QB coach with the Packers. I'm guessing that job consists maily of staying out of Aaron Rodgers' way.

Fantasy Impact: I had Van Pelt in 2001, probably as insurance during a year I rode Kurt Warner to a playoff berth. He didn't get a start.

The Card: There are some Upper Deck football products I really like. This is not one of them. It's pointless to use the same lame photo on the front of a too busy card, isn't it? And the back covers the basics but the sparse write-up makes the company (or the writers I suppose) look very lazy. Is that all they could come up with? Even Alex Van Pelt had to have something more interesting to include.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

1961 Topps Orioles panel!

When I found this on eBay I grabbed it right away. I'm a huge fan of the 1961 stamp inserts. I like them so much more than the color stamps Topps went to the next year or anything in the 'stamp' category that Topps came up with later.

I think I've linked this thread from Net54Baseball previously but it's a nice resource and look at the history of Topps' use of stamps as inserts and incentives. Of course the author describes these '61s as 'somewhat drab' and that's true but I love the detail of the frame, the use of the picture background and just the overall 'feel' of them.

The Gentile/Estrada panel instantly became my 'top of the line' example of these. Two Orioles on a sigle panel is something I've never owned until now. I'm still in the market for a nice '61 Album but they don't become available very often. One of these days I'll come across one.

Friday, October 17, 2014

1969 Dave McNally Citgo Coin

Here's something new that Mark Hoyle sent along recently. When he asked me if I had one I thought maybe I did. But when I did a little digging I realized that I was way off on what these were and I most certainly didn't have one.

And seeing how much I love 'off the wall' vintage Orioles items I was pretty happy to receive it. These obviously were service station premiums in 1969. Dave McNally is the only Orioles representative. Much more about these quarter-sized coins can be found on this site.

The checklist of 20 coins can be found here (along with a shot of each of them. I'm not likely to chase down the rest of the set but I love having the McNally and as always I appreciate Mark's generosity.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

I'll Live To Cheer Another Day

Well, with the Orioles out of the playoffs I have some scans that I was planning to post for upcoming games just sitting up on Picasa. But why not post them anyway?

This is a Cal Ripken boxed set that was put out by Upper Deck in 1996. There are 22 cards and they are larger than standard cards, they measure 3.5 x 5. My scans don't do these cards justice at all. They are really great pictures. I believe UD included a card to represent each year of Cal's career and a 'header' card. I chose to scan a representative group because some are pretty similar. There are several batting stance cards, for example, with just different unis being worn.

The cards are slick, glossy and have gold accents. The scan just ruins the black bar across the bottom of each card. That's a shame because these are quality.

I scanned the box including the bottom and the top is what you see above.

A few were horizontal. This is one of the lesser pics in the bunch.

Throwback uni! I wish the O's would wear these '54 duds on Fridays instead of the nasty black ones.

I like this one. Cal's looking cool with the shades, the Orioles usher rocking that cool uniform, the Warehouse in the background.

Classic Cal, as I remember his playing days.

This is the back of a random card in the set. 

The bottom of the box:

I saved my favorite card for last. It's different from the rest and features Cal and Eddie Murray with matching 'bad ass' expressions.

Post Johnny Unitas Card

Being down with the flu is no fun and the Orioles haven't helped any but rather than disappear I'm going to toss up this sweet Johnny U card from the 1962 Post Cereal set.

I'm not sure why but I never really thought of the Post football cards. Probably because I never saw them growing up, or at least I don't remember seeing them.

I'll be back as soon as I'm feeling better.