Tuesday, September 17, 2013

The Good, the Bad, and the Skinny

Is that really Mark McGwire? Was he ever that small? And did he ever play third? I suppose the answer to all those questions is 'Yes!'. I looked it up and he played 24 games at third when he reached the majors in 1986 and 1987.

This is the Toys"R"Us Baseball Rookies boxed set from 1988. One of the innumerable crappy boxed sets that came out back in the junk wax era. 33 cards was pretty much the standard. This set stood out because it had such hideous looking cardbacks and a weak checklist. Didn't stop me from buying them, though.

Here is the 'good'. Crime Dog is fun to listen to on Sirius radio. He does fantasy baseball shows among other stuff. Seems like a genuinely nice guy.

 Here is the 'bad'. OK, that's really fair. Billy Ripken was a pretty good fielder and he hit .291 for the 1990 Orioles which led the team.

Ken Caminiti is another of the 'skinny' guys who didn't stay that way over the course of their career. I once played golf in a foursome behind Cammy. Dude could absolutely crush a golf ball. And he had world class tats.

Bonus card... a young David Cone.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Brooks Robinson Perez-Steele Great Moments

I've ragged on Dick Perez' artwork here before. And I haven't changed my mind. But I'll give credit where it's due and say that he got it (mostly) right on this Brooks Robinson issue. I think the brim of Brooks' helmet should be shorter but whatever. It was part of a larger series that celebrated 'Great Moments' and was issued in the late 1980s.

I believe there were at least eight series in the set consisting of 12 cards each. They are almost 6x8 inches and were designed to resemble the T3 Turkey Red cards. I've seen complete matching numbered sets for for upwards of $500 online.

I don't believe I have any others besides this Brooksie which I got signed up at Arlington Stadium.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Like the backward butcher...

...I've gotten a little behind in my work. In fact I'm waaay behind. I have several packages I'm attempting to put together. If you are thinking "That fool should be sending me something" I ask for your patience. I've been all over hell and back for the second half of the summer and into this fall semester.

I should be able to get the envelopes stuffed fairly soon. Meanwhile lets look at some 1991 and 1993 Stadium Club cards.

Jeff Bagwell looks young and small. He wasn't small for long.

Topps stuck several Rickey Henderson cards into Stadium Club. He was a hot number in those days.

El Presidente!!

This is the 1993 Robin Yount. Still nice rich full bleed shots. But as you can see the backs are much changed. Much more standard elements such as stats, bio info, another picture. Prettier, but maybe not better.

hey look...it's Bip!!!

And finally, Moose!!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

I was a Charter F'ing Member!!

In 1991 Topps came up with the Stadium Club concept. I don't recall all the details but I do remember that I thought the cards were  pretty sharp. I signed up for the first offering which was available only through a mail-in offer that (I think) came in packs of the regular issue cards.

The first cards issued were 'Charter Member' cards and they came in a box about the same size as so many of the junky boxed sets of the day. Only the box was better looking. And they were designated as Charter Member issue in gold across the bottom. 

The cards were better looking as well. Back then full bleed/borderless cards were not routine. And these has richer color and better photography. They were slick and shiny, too. I'm not ashamed to admit that I really dug the set. 

The backs had a fake newspaper style story about the featured player. 

This dual Griffey card is kind of cheesy. I think they could have used a picture of the two of them posed together and issued this action shot of Junior on it's own.

The Charter issue included hockey and football stars as well as baseball cards. Here is Brett Hull, may be my least favorite hockey player ever.

If you missed out on Barry Sanders playing days you really missed out on a treat. He was amazing.

The history of the Stadium Club concept is probably out there on the 'net someplace but all I know is that I have a box of the 1993 cards that I'll put in a separate post. And I'll show off some of the back variations.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Today in Springfield, Massachusetts

This afternoon I will have the honor to be in attendance as the great Houston Cougar  basketball coach Guy V. Lewis is finally inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame.

I've ranted on this previously and I won't repeat all of that other than to say that it's something that is overdue by literally decades. I'm so grateful that Coach, who is now 90 and not in good health, is alive to see it happen.

Here are some pics, cards and links I'm posting today for Coach Lewis' special day.

Cougar family thrilled for Guy Lewis

Guy Lewis: His 10 defining moments

Here's to you, Coach!!

Friday, September 6, 2013

Those Wacky Brits!

Ok, so I don't 'get' British humor. My sons laughed hysterically at Monty Python. I had a roommate that thought Benny Hill was the funniest man alive. Me? That all leaves me scratching my head. OTOH I enjoy British dramatic series like my wife's fave, Downton Abbey. And The Avengers is among my favorite TV series ever. All of which leads me to these neat little cards I picked up recently on a whim last year.

These are the Players' Cigarettes cards from 1938. The set is Military Uniforms of the British Empire Overseas. It's made up of fifty cards, each depicting the uniform of one branch of the British military seen around the world. The British Empire was far-reaching and it's influence immense. Looking through these cards and seeing the variety and scope of the uniforms gives you a sense of just how global it was.

I think I paid $18 shipped for the set which is nearly pristine. At that price the cards work of to less than 50 cents apiece. For me that was hard to pass up. They are not anything rare or highly sought but the set was definitely in my wheelhouse when it comes to collecting off-the-wall stuff.

This is my favorite. The Mounties have a knockout uniform and it looks sharp on this card. 

The backs of the cards have a description and brief history of the military unit that wears the uniform. As noted at the top of the back the cards have an adhesive surface. It resembles an 'unlicked stamp' and was intended to be mounted in an album.

Here is one of the cards with a standard card for size comparison.