Thursday, February 25, 2016

Another Round of Vintage

Here's another handful of the vintage cards that I snatched up at my monthly card show.  

Cookie Rojas split his big league time almost evenly between the Phils and Royals (He put in some time with the Reds and Cards as well but those stints didn't account for much). And when I say split I mean split. For example...Rojas played 880 games with the Phils, 880 games with the Royals. He had 3354 plate appearances with Philadelphia, 3369 with Kansas City. He hit .268 with the Royals, .262 with the Phils. And so on. I find that interesting, even if you don't.

Wally Bunker won 19 games for the Orioles in 1964 at the age of 19. He had some success after that including a shutout win in Game Three of the 1966 World Series but he never again reached the level of his rookie season. I found this quote from Bunker in his SABR bio:
“One day you’re skipping school to watch the Giants play in the ’62 Series against the Yankees. … (Two years later), you’re pitching against Mickey Mantle.”
My Rawlings Wally Bunker glove was the first major purchase I made with my Newark Evening News route earnings in 1965. 51 years later I still own it. I pull it out about once a year for a game of catch with one of my boys, just because it's fun. I didn't use it much when it was new as I wasn't out in the field much but I played intramural and city league softball for decades and it got a ton of use.

Bunker was picked by the Royals in the expansion draft and here he is on his 1970 Topps cards. He still looks like a kid on it.

Here is Bunker chatting with the Orioles broadcast team a couple of years ago.

He's an interesting guy. He and his wife recently collaborated on an illustrated childrens book. They owned a company that manufactured and sold artistic refrigerator magnets and he had a home remodeling company.

This Stan Bahnsen card is a nice companion to the Vada Pinson of the same set. I've told my story of my greatest day at a ballpark at least once on this blog. A fight between those two guys was just one of the highlights of that really fun doubleheader. You can read more about it, including Tony Horton's dugout crawl, the fireworks that blasted Ray Fosse and Bobby Murcer's four dingers by clicking back to this post.

In the 60's and 70's the Astrodome had a restaurant they called the Domeskeller (sp?). It ran along the outfield wall under the bleachers. They had picnic style tables tables and wire windows you could watch the action through. Before games fans (mostly kids) would congregate there during batting practice as pitchers did their running on the warning track. They would sometimes sign through the opening in the wire. 

Anyway, one Sunday afternoon in 1968 my younger brothers asked Ray Washburn of the Cardinals to sign their program. He clearly and loudly told them (and me) to 'go to hell'. We told my folks when we got back to our seats. My mom was pretty upset as I recall but I think my father was more amused than angry. Either way Washburn's career slid off the rails after that season. Karma.

I found this pic of the Domeskeller online.

It was just as charmless as this shot makes it seem. one and only experience as a card show table holder was here many years later. But that's a story for a different post.

I can't end this on a negative note so here is the Wes Covington/Johnny Callison special from the 1966 Topps set. I'm pretty sure I already had this one someplace but I collect both guys so now I have a copy for both players sections of my 'Other Dudes I Like' binder.


  1. Cookie was on the active roster for the Cubs too, but never saw game action for them. During the first year of his coaching stint in Chicago, he was activated in September per an agreement he had with the club. Unfortunately for him, he never made them agree to actually playing him!

  2. I like that Bunker quote, gotta love SABR