Thursday, November 28, 2013

Thankful for Cards!!!

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. I love most everything about it. I mean how can one not love turkey, family, football and maybe a trip to the movies. And I'm thankful for a lot of stuff not the least of which are the friendships I've made since I got into this silly world of blogging.

One such friend, Fuji who's The Chronicles of Fuji is among the best blogs on the net, sent me a totally unexpected manila envelope which arrived yesterday. As I told him last night when you go to the mailbox expecting a shipment of thyroid meds and you get instead a shipment including vintage Orioles and Baltimore Colts cards, well that's a hell of a day.

And it was an fantastic and wide ranging group of cards that emerged rom the package. These were the first things I saw.

These are Topps Archives representing some of the '54 Topps Orioles cards and each of them is autographed! Pretty astounding I'd say. Hard to pick a favorite but I'd say mine is the Bullet Bob Turley card above. The autograph really jumps off the card at you and that posed B & W action shot is classic 50's baseball photography.

Of course all of them have the wonderful Bird On A Ball logo. that has a lot of nostalgic value to me.




Next up, BALTIMORE Colts. That blue colored font is not a tribute to Fuji who loves to highlight his blogs with a rainbow of hues, but it's how I always try to reference the team I grew up worshiping from the one that was stolen in the night plays in Indy.


David Lee punted for the Colts for more than a decade.

It's The Rabbit, Billy Ray Smith on his '68 Topps card. He played for the Colts through the decade of the 70s and was a defensive captain. His son Billy Ray Jr. is a College Football Hall of Famer who played at Arkansas like his father.

Don McCauley is a College Football Hall of Famer who played for North Carolina and went on to become a Colt for the decade of the 70's. He was a starter for just a couple of seasons but stuck around because of his work ethic and willingness to do anything that was aksed of him.

It's David Lee again! Do punters get cards these days? 


The Rustin Rifle, Bert Jones. Here is how old I am... Bert is 62 years old but I actually had him on my first fantasy football team. That was in 1980. 

here is a smaple of the backs of the football cards Fuji sent. I chose these three because they have great cartoons.




Now for some vintage Orioles. All of these cards are in nice shape, btw. These two '61s will replace those I have in my Orioles team set from that season. Kevin at Orioles Card O' The Day just had a post that featured a card with the pitcher Mark Williamson displaying this pose. That was the first thing I thought of when I pulled this Gene Stephens out of the envelope. I hate to sound like an old 'Get off my lawn' grump but those Orioles caps sure look good, don't they? They are among the better ones worn in Baltimore.


Old Blue Eyes, Steve Barber. I saw him beat the Yanks in Yankee Stadium on the first day I ever saw the Orioles play in person.  He won the second game of a doubleheader. Whitey Ford, who by law I believe HAD to pitch every Sunday I went to the Stadium, beat my Orioles in the first game that day.
Roger Maris homered in that game.


Mike Cuellar, what a guy! Posing at the batting cage.  Great card.

Don Baylor, a Texas kid, played as hard as anyone in the game. I even rooted for him after he left the O's. Roric Harrison and the late Johnny Oates.

The eEarl of Baltimore and....

Pat Kelly who's card isn't as off center as my lousy scan makes it appear. I can't see a Pat Kelly reference without remembering the great story Kelly tells of the time he, a 'born again' carouser turned clubhouse evangelist, tried to 'save' Earl.


Kelly told him  "Earl, it's great to walk with the Lord, it's great to walk with Jesus." To which Weaver responded "Pat, I'd rather have you walk with the bases loaded."

A 1970 Bobby Floyd. He didn't hit enough to justify that batting glove. And I just noticed that his bat looks brand new and un-scarred. I bet it still looked just like that at the end of the season.

Ken Singleton. He was 'class' personified. A damn good hitter, too.

Here are a pair of shiny Albert Belle cards. This Topps subset sort of card has Hank Aaron featured more prominently than Belle.


This is one of those cards with a protective film. I wasn't collecting when this tecnique was first used by Topps and I never have figured out if it's better to take the film off or not. I'm going to pull this one because the card should shine more without it, Plus, it's pretty annoying.

Two card from this year. A mini Adam Jones flashing his Gold Glove skills and...

Chris Davis. he's a fun guy to watch when he's in a groove. This reddish border davis scans better than the regular white border new Topps I have. Topps likes these garish borders don't they? 

That's not nearly all of what my Thanksgiving gift from San Jose contained. But that's all I have time to do tonite.

I hope everyone gets to spend some family time today and do the kinds of things you enjoy on Thanksgiving.