Thursday, August 29, 2013

Two Signed Billy Pierce Cards

This 1957 Topps Billy Pierce is among my favorite vintage cards. The '57 is the last Topps set that I have no childhood memories of. Therefore it is kind of majical in my eyes. Does that make sense? Maybe someday I'll make a decision to chase the whole thing. I've got the Orioles including the Brooks Robinson rookie, the Frank Robinson rookie, most of the Dodgers including the Koufax and Drysdale, a couple of other special cards and maybe 35 commons and semi-stars. But completing it would be a big expense and I doubt seriously I will undertake it any time soon. It would be fun as hell, though.

Anyway, it's a cool picture of Pierce in a warm-up pose at Yankee Stadium and it's signed in his usual neat hand. The only thing that could make this a better card is if I had been able to get him to sign it in person.

This next one is a Pacific Legends something or other that I got off eBay not long ago.

The picture is one that I think they used when casting the Pierce statue at Comiskey Park and was given away one night last season (or this season, I'm not sure). I've got one of those, too.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

'51 Bowman and '56 Topps Billy Pierce

I guess I'll just declare this Billy Pierce Week and post some of my better Pierce cards today and Thursday. My fantasy football draft is Wednesday night and after that I'll be consumed with finding cards of my team.

First up, the '56 Topps. The background shots on this set are one of the most interesting things about them. This card has Pierce breaking out of the batter's box and heading to first, presumably after laying down a bunt. 

The nice portrait of the smiling Pierce and the three cartoons on the reverse are bonuses. This one is my second copy. I picked it up recently to replace one I've had that was pretty beaten up. I don't upgrade many PC cards but I like this one so much, and this copy was so cheap for the condition, that I went ahead with it.

Is there such a thing as a lousy Bowman card? I don't think so. That's Comiskey Field behind our boy on the '51. You can tell by the 'windows'.

The back of the card write-up is pretty cut and dry. Just that facts of Pierce's career are here. But the front of the card overcomes any issues with the back.

Here are a few shots of old Comiskey with the distinctive 'windows visible...

I'm down to a couple of Pierce's cards in my scanned cards folder. They are my autographed ones. Stay tuned and wish me luck in my draft!

Sunday, August 25, 2013

A Pair of Pierces

These are Billy Pierce's two Topps cards from 1960. As much as any other set this one brings me back to my days as a kid collector. I loved the gold colored backs and the 'Season Highlights' fascinated me.

I hadn't noticed until I scanned these that both card back illustrations refer to Pierce's near perfect game effort of June 27, 1958. Ed Fitz Gerald of the Senators was the 'two-out-ninth-inning-single' bad guy in that one.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Oddball Oriole Stuff #4

I was rooting around in a box of Oriole items I hadn't looked at in awhile and found a few things that I've pulled out and put back on display in my 'office'.

I think I picked these up in '83 when I traveled to Charm City for the World Series. That was a fun trip, especially sitting in Section 34 for the second game. Being part of 'The Roar from 34' was definitely memorable.

This button is every bit as lame as it looks. it's a 'button of buttons'.  Of those featured pictures I have all but the Scott McGregor (@ 11:00 o'clock on the button) and Rich Dauer (@ 5:00) on individual buttons.

 Frank Robinson is a 1966 Spring Training shot. That's an Orioles '65 uniform that they wore through Frank's first training camp before debuting the more modern and familiar unis on Opening Day.

 A Series souvenir. That season's Game One was the first Series game I'd ever attended in person although I'd been to several ALCs and NLCS games in Baltimore and Houston prior to that.

That Game One was memorable for a couple of reasons. The Phils won 2-1 with all the runs coming on solo homes. Jim Dwyer hit one for the O's before Joe Morgan and Gary Maddox solo'd for the Phils off Scott McGregor. John Denver sang the anthem and then sang Thank God I'm a Country Boy from the dugout roof in the seventh. There was a loooooong delay in the top of the seventh because windbag Howard Cosell was interviewing Ronald Reagan and the network didn't want to let the game proceed until that was over. I just remember that everyone was booing. Some were booing the delay, some were booing Cosell, I was booing Ronald Reagan. 

The Orioles won Game Two with Mike Boddiker on the mound. I was wearing my game-used Tim Stoddard jersey and late in the game the goofy and generally drunk fans around me were telling me to go warm up, just in case. Jerseys like that were not nearly as common back then and it drew attention. Sitting in Section 34 was a lot of fun even though, according to my uncle who was a regular, a lot of those sitting there were not part of the usual crew. A homer by fan favorite John 'Brother Lo' Lowenstein sent us into a delirious frenzy. 

I had a chance to go to Philadelphia for the middle games of the Series but chose to head back to Houston instead. If I had known that would be the last Orioles World Series appearance for 3 decades I would have gone. Game Two was the last post-season game ever played in Memorial Stadium. I miss the old girl. 

R.I.P. Wild Bill Hagy

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Heeeeeres Johnny!!

For lack of anything else compelling in the hobby these days I've spent the last few weeks trying to find cheap additions to my non-Oriole PCs, namely Sandy Koufax, Roger Maris, Johnny Callison and Billy Pierce. As you probably have figured I had no luck finding cheap Maris or Koufax cards.
But Callison and Pierce are a different story. Here are a couple none too exciting (but important to me) Johnny Callison cards.

I already had the '68 Topps but a cheap upgrade is always a good thing.  Callison was in his next to last season with the Phils in 1968. Following the '69 season he was dealt to the Cubs in a trade that sent Oscar Gamble to the Phils.

The '73 Callison is his last issued Topps card. It's sure not my favorite. But it does use the cartoon to relay the info nugget that both Callison and Boog Powell have the same first and middle names. I'm assuming that Boog is represented bu the large partially seen fellow on the left.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Fuji Contest Haul ....'Break It Down'

I really have had a busy summer. Several road trips, some 'big' family trips, lots of home 'projects'. But the good thing about it that every time I've returned home I've had something cool waiting for me.

The latest was my contest winning goodies from Fuji. First up is a Big Hurt-Junior-Hammer package that included regular cards and MTV Rock n Jock cards of those three larger than life personalities. 

How do you like me know?

Funny, Thomas doesn't look as big as he did at other times in that Leaf card.

OMG, Stanley Kirk Burrell aka M.C. Hammer. He's swinging with the Mel Ott 'kick' on the MTV card. Unless you lived it you can't understand the hype/excitement/publicity that surrounded Hammer back in the late 80s/early 90s. The parachute pants were not a good look on anyone else besides him, though.

And here is Junior. Same stance as in the Kingdome, yes?

All in all a neat 'gimmick' to throw out there as a contest prize. Not many guys besides Fuji would have the idea. I wonder if he ever wore parachute pants?

But that wasn't all that was included in the package. There were items Fuji advertised and many others he threw in for kicks. I'll put some Oriole cards up in this post and save some of the other fun stuff for another time.

@AJ10's 2013 Topps in a maroon version. I can't figure out all the border colors that Topps tosses out there. But I am hip enough to know Jones' Twitter name. 


These next two guys are members of the Orioles' bullpen. And the way things are going either one could be the O's closer by the time this gets posted.

Ripken '86 All Star card. I like this subset. No mistaking that it's an All Star card.

I've never seen this card until now. Two Franks, no beans.

Two more cal Ripkens. A Fleer All Star...

And a Topps 50 year Ripken '82 Update rookie reprint. One of these days I'll tell the story of how I almost paid for a whole year of college with my Ripken rookie stash.

Jerry Hairston Fleer Ultra card. Cool picture, nice card. But......

I remember almost zip about Jerry Hairston. Here's why:

Saturday, August 17, 2013

RAC package From Kirk, Part II

Here is a second part of the Random Acts of Cardness package I received from CaptKirk42. These are Oriole cards and maybe one or two others thrown in. 

A Donruss Threads Brooks Robinson. When you see the short brim, you know it's him!

Is it possible to be as cool as Eddie Murray? I doubt it although I've never tried.

A couple of Panini Prizm Orioles. First Frank.....

Then Brooks...

Now two Upper Deck Classics... Brooks..

And the great Earl Weaver.

Long time minor league pitcher and coach Ken Rowe.

Rowe is an interesting guy. After signing with the Tigers in 1953 it took him 10 years to make a major league appearance. With the 1963 Dodgers he got into 14 games and went 1-1 with a 2.93 ERA. His best game was on August 23 when he came in with two outs in the top of the first against the Braves in L.A. Down 2-0 Rowe kept the Braves powerful lineup in check for more than six innings before being lifted for a pinch-hitter. He allowed one unearned run on 5 hits. Rowe didn't pitch in the '63 Series (I don't know if he was active) but I hope he got a share from his World champion teammates.

He next appeared in the bigs in an Oriole uniform in 1964 and 1965 when he pitched in a total of 12 games. Then it was back to the minors and soon he became a coach and manager in the minors and he served as the Orioles pitching coach for awhile. He was active in the game through 2010 and passed away last year.

On his '65 card he's got the windbreaker-under-the-jersey thing going on. You saw a lot of that back then. For his career Rowe pitched in only 26 games in the majors but in the minors he was a part of 563 games over 15 seasons as a pitcher and countless games as a coach/manager. That's a lot of bus trips.

This is a 'playing card' from a set I've never seen. But it's an oddball and what can be better than an Orioles oddball item?

Here's the back of that Ripken card. Made by Pacific apparently. Here is a gallery of the full set. card #2 is Erubiel Durazo. I am 101% sure that I've never heard of him. 

1960 Topps Earl Wilson. Two things about him. I saw him beat the Yankees twice in Yankee Stadium. I only remember this because my Dad decided he didn't like the guy just for that reason. 

Is it just me or do the letters that spell out his name on this card look misaligned?

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Oddball Oriole Stuff #3

Recently Kevin of the Orioles Card 'O' the Day blog was showing off an old school Oriole ruler and asked for readers to chime in with their weirdest Orioles item. I mentioned my Orioles cardboard popcorn 'megaphone' that I got on my first trip to Memorial Stadium. It's pretty cool, but it is also "MIA' at the moment so I can't post it.

But while digging for it I came up with a bunch of crappy stupid oddball Orioles items. Most I had forgotten I had. I found a small stash of these Oriole b
Bar wrappers. I don't recall where the candy bars came from. I don't think I sent off for them. I likely brought them back from a trip to Charm City in the 80s.

One of them had a "7-11" store price tag still attached. As you can tell by the label and ingredients list they were similar to a Nestle Crunch bar. I remember that they had the taste of really cheap chocolate with stale Rice Krispies. Hard to explain but if you've ever had some of those no-name chocolate foil wrapped Easter eggs you know what I'm talking about.

The Seth Brauer Company of New York manufactured these as well as a couple more that I've been able to find. A Milwaukee Brewer Bar and a Cleveland Indians Bar.

Of course the original baseball candy bar of the era was the Reggie Bar which debuted in 1978.