Monday, June 29, 2015

Bob Moose PC

I've seen a lot of major league games through the years but only one no-hitter. That came September 20, 1969 at Shea Stadium when the Pirates' Bob Moose slammed the door (at least for a day) on the Mets' pennant express. That game was the last loss the Mets suffered at home that year as the rolled to the World Championship.

I became a Bob Moose fan that day and while collecting his cards has never been a huge priority I did have a page with a couple of them in one of my binders. I recently thought that since his cards are all very cheap I'd finish out my PC, at least with his regular Topps cards.  COMC provided most of these.

That's his '68 rookie card up top. I don't know about anyone else but those cheesy Pirates caps with their logo on a patch always made us wonder how team could be so cheap. I mean out little league caps had logo patches! Moose's cardmate, Bob Robertson looked like he was going to have a big career as a slugging firstbaseman. He hit 53 homers in his first two seasons as a regular in Pittsburgh but while he played for about a decade in all he never again approached those numbers.

The rest of the Moose collection starting with 1969 through 1972:

The 1969 is my favorite as it pictures him as I always remember him, in that sleeveless Bucco gear. The later Pirate unis bring back too many bad memories of Orioles World Series defeats.

'73 & '74......hardly looks like the same guy in these two cards. I saw Moose beat the Astros in August of '74 at the Astrodome. He had a pair of wins that season in Houston and I saw the second one. I only recall which of the two I saw because I had just moved into an apartment close enough to the Dome that I could walk there. I'd had my fill of dorm life after a couple of years and getting an apartment was a big move for me.

This is the '73 O-Pee-Chee version. Looks the same on the front.

Here are the backs of the two versions. OPC on the right. They had to ditch the stylized font to squeeze in the bilingual text in the cartoon.

I have both the '75 regular and mini cards.

This 1976 card is the last one Topps issued of Bob Moose. Not long after the '76 season, on his 29th birthday, Moose died in a car wreck while headed to a golf outing at Bill Mazeroski's course in Ohio.

Moose was also featured as the Pirates' rep in the 1970 comic booklet insert.

The last cartoon panel references his '69 no-hitter.

Here is his 1976 SSPC card. And yes, Joe Shlabotnik, it's taken at Shea. I recall those ugly plywood(?) panels they installed behind some of the seating sections. Plus, I can spot one of the Big Apple's Finest behind Moose.

The best part of having a Bob Moose PC is that his cards are cheap and easy to chase. You can find acceptable copies of all of them for around a buck or less. There are a handful of regional issues out there, a couple of which I put lowball bids on from time to time. No hurry on those.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Some love for Lindy

A recent COMC splurge added a boatload of cards to several of my PCs. These are part of my Lindy McDaniel collection.

I've read a lot of negative opinions about the '61 set recently. Maybe it's just the fact that I'm in the process of deciding on my next set project and I'm paying more attention. I dunno. But that '61 McDaniel up top looks pretty good to me. The photo was taken at Seals Stadium in San Francisco, red railings give it away. Take a look at the stands over McDaniel's back. Is that a group of fans wearing dǒulì hats, those bamboo conical hats worn all over SE Asia?

I already had a '59 but I needed one for my McDaniel PC. Actually this is a better one than my original in terms of centering and corners, so I will likely swap it into my '59 set binder.

The '73 has McDaniel wearing and undershirt with raggedy sleeves in a Spring Training shot.

This is the first of two McDaniel cards that Topps put out in 1974. He was part of the 'Traded Set' that year as well. Are those the same sleeves? Same photo shoot?

I hadn't ever thought much about that Traded set even though I have a few kicking around. Here is what Cardboard Connection says about them:

The distribution of the cards were two-fold. The entire set was included with the purchase of the first-ever Topps factory set, which was only available at the time through the JC Penny catalog. The cards were also randomly inserted as singles in later-runs of the regular season issue.
My 74T McDaniel isn't in my binder but I have it crossed off my list so I know it's someplace. Here is a 'net image of the card:

Typical airbrushing job by Topps. The regular '74 is so much nicer.

Monday, June 22, 2015

A day late and a several dollars short

Everyone and their brother has weighed in on Topps Archive, so I guess I can, too. But you can take my opinion with a grain of salt because I'm among the least experienced/knowledgeable blogger around when it comes to contemporary Topps sets.

I buy Topps cards now the same way I bought cigarettes when I was a smoker twenty five years ago....once in awhile I grab a pack, if I find some 'extra' cash I'll buy a box. And because I like the '57 Topps design, I bought an eight pack box of these at Target.

The first two packs I opened had nothing but retired players in them. It made me wonder if that was all there were in the set. But in the back of my mind I knew that couldn't be the case. These are more or less the cards I liked the most from the box:

I've seen that Jim Palmer shot before, many many times before. Of the rest the Griffey, Clemente and Sutton cards were my favorites.

The Peralta card made me much face!

Of the contemporary players I got I like the Puig and Cain cards the most. 

I was happy to get a Barack Obama card but it's so different design-wise from everything else in the box it kind of sticks out. I'd trade this for an LBJ, JFK or Teddy Roosevelt card (if they are even on the checklist).

I'm not exactly a fan of Will Ferrell so I'm not sure why I threw him into the scan. Like the presidential cards having a 2015 design in the midst of the throwback designs makes it jump out. I wonder if they considered using the vintage card styles for these inserts. I think that would be cool.

I've read the criticism of the Archives set...thin cardboard and very hard to find short print cards. I can't argue with those. The cards are flimsy feeling but the couple I handful that went into various binder will be just fine in there. As for SPs...I'm not affected since I wouldn't be one who would try to collect the whole set. But I can understand why it would annoy someone that does. Why does Topps make them so hard to get? From the odds I saw one blogger post it would be damn near impossible to finish these by the pack.

I guess nobody can even attempt that anymore. That's too bad because that was so much fun once upon a time.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Card Show Cards Pt. 2

Here are the rest of my cheap vintage grabs at Saturday's show. I may have this Jackie Jensen card already but I figured that I could pick it up just in case. Jensen was a great but troubled talent. You can find the abridged version of his backstory on my '59 Topps blog.

Sometimes one great card of a player can inspire me to make it the cornerstone of a PC. That was the case with the 1961 Topps Wes Covington. This '62 is nice but it doesn't compare to the '61.

Early 60s specials were very cool. I don't think I appreciated them back in the day. And I don't remember this '63 Stengel-Woodling card. I saw one Met game at the Polo Grounds. I seem to recall it being against the Phillies but I'm never sure about that.

Anyway I couldn't pass up a Stengel.

Orlando Cepeda was a terrific hitter, and a darn good defensive player as well. But someone will have to convince me that he's a Hall of Fame player. I'm always willing to admit I'm wrong but even the best efforts of my Giants' buddies haven't ever swayed me.

That didn't stop me from picking up this Cepeda. You never know who may need it.

I always thought Rusty Staub, otoh, was under-appreciated. That may be because i got to see some of his best days in Houston. The top hat trophy sure adds a nice touch to a card. Rusty was very young when he started in the bigs and he looks like a high school player on this '64. I have an under-the-radar Staub collection. I don't even look for his cards but when they appear I buy them. It's like collecting by osmosis.

I bought this '61 Bob Lillis for no other reason than I like the combo of colors and the palm tree background.

So that's the lot of the card show goodies. I was able to hit up someone's want list and those went out in the mail on Monday. Today was spent waiting for the 'rain-ageddon'. That never came. And quickly led to a few choice memes.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Card Show Cards

There's nothing quite like cheap vintage boxes at a card show. I visited the local hotel show on Saturday and while it's becoming harder to fill my 1960 needs list there I am always finding fresh inventory in the dollar and fifty cent boxes.

I nabbed about a dozen cards in addition to a pair of 1960 set needs and spent 10 dollars. I can't pass up a Don Mossi card even if it features a handmade 'update' scribbled in ink. I also picked up three Lindy McDaniel cards. The '66 is in pretty nice condition.

Topps used shots of McDaniel and Cardinal teammate Larry Jackson from the same photo shoot to create 'special' cards in consecutive years. The guys were yukking it up for the camera at the Polo Grounds and the shots turned in in the 1961 set......

...and a year later in 1962......

I've mentioned Willard Schmidt in the past. His great-nephew is a Civil War author and blogger and a friend. Willard didn't have many cards (four Topps cards and some regionals) but those that were issued were pretty nice. I really like this 1956.

After picking up a Sal Maglie card at the TriStar show earlier this month I've become more interested in him so I was happy to come across this '54 Bowman the other day in a bargain box. I don't think I'll really take a stab at a Maglie PC but I'll grab them if I find them cheap. There are worse habits to have, right?

I hadn't intended to put only the cards of pitchers into one post but now that it's worked out that way I'll let it ride. I'll put the other cards I dug up into my next entry. That is if this oncoming tropical depression/storm/disturbance doesn't float all of southeast Texas out into the Gulf.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Stan The Man!!

My oldest and best friend is from St. Louis and is about as hardcore a Cards fan as they come, and that's saying something. As Brooks Robinson is to me so Stan Musial is to him. When we roomed together after college we had a dog that was named 'Stosh' in Musial's honor.And through the years (we've been friends since 1971 or so) I've kind of acquired an admiration for Stan Musial, too.

I have some really sweet Musial cards but I never had an autograph. I'm not a huge autograph collector but I think it's nice to have one in any PC and that's what I shoot for.

Musial signed lots of items in his day and towards the end of his life he signed tons of stuff that was sold through his website. He also signed a bunch of stickers that ended up on Topps and Leaf cards and those sigs look terrible. All that combined to reduce the cost (and value I suppose) of Musial items. But none of that matters to me. In fact it helped me find a nice inexpensive sig on an item I really like, a baseball Exhibit card.

This was my other pick-up with my 'extra' PayPal funds. The next thing to dent my budget will be this Saturday's little hotel meeting-room card show. Hopefully I'll find a few cheap 1960 Topps cards. My needs list is steadily dwindling!

Monday, June 8, 2015

2011 Pierce Redemption card

If I'd have thought about it a bit more I probably wouldn't have pulled the trigger on this. Even as a Pierce collector I figure some things are overpriced, and this was one of them.

But I completed a sale of some extra '59 and '60 Topps cards to a guy I met at the Tristar show so I had some money in my PayPal account. Why let it sit there, right? I blew it on a couple of signed items, the first of which is this 2011 Topps Black Diamond card.

I had it on my wantlist but I wasn't really looking for it. I hadn't even seen one and didn't really know what it was until I found one on eBay a few months back. This one was more reasonable so I went ahead and nabbed it.

It's actually better in hand that in the scan but even so it's just a signed reprint that's been all gussied up. The other signed item I picked up was cheaper and probably a cooler piece but I'll hold that one for another post.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

I got free cards!

Yes, they were just 2015 Topps cards but hey, free is free.Tuesday night at Minute Maid Park I took in the Orioles game here in Houston. My wife decided that she needed a shirt to display her loyalties (to the wrong team!!) and when we were leaving the Astros' team store the lady handed me four cello pack of new Topps cards. She remarked that we could have them despite my obviously being an 'enemy' fan.

I didn't get anything special in the packs but one of them did have an Oriole showing on the front.

They each contained four cards and a coupon for 50 cents off a Topps retail product. The other side of the coupon explains that it's good on pretty much any current Topps pack.

Here is what each of the packs contained:

First pack...three pitchers and an outfielder I've never heard of.

Second pack....ditto!

Third pack was better. Looks like the Giants' guy is trying to seperate himself from his better know packmates. Sometimes I suck at scanning.

A couple of semi-related notes....Lucas Duda hit 30 homers last year. That's really good for a catcher. I knew nothing about the guy which shows you the difference between the Yankees and Mets. The Nats had about four guys in Spring Training that were sporting that 'bushy bearded Jayson Werth' look. I witnessed three occasions when a fan mistook one of those guys for him. 

Look, an Orioles hot pack! Three pitchers and Manny Machado.

After watching the Orioles meekly fold up and crawl away for three straight nights here in Houston I'm ready to declare the 2015 version of my team to be dead in the water.

But I had fun at the ballpark anyway. One night with an old college friend whose son was once an Orioles prospect, one game with my wife and a third with my sons and a couple other old friends. Good times, bad games. Oh, and free cards.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

From the TriStar show #2

Sometimes you just buy a card because...."Oh, I like that card!"  These are the other four cards from the bargain tables at the Tristar show on Sunday. These two 61s, well I don't think I need to explain them. They just jumped out of the stack and into my hand.

Up top Vic Power (one of the great names ever, yes?) poses in Yankee Stadium circa 1960. And below it's Wally Moon wearing the Dodgers' road uni and a huge grin. I can't tell where this photo was shot, maybe Spring Training. Wherever it was the Topps photographer did a great job. The '61 set isn't everyone's cup of tea but it really does have some neat cards.

I've seen this shot of Brooks a thousand times but it's a new card to me so for 50 cents I figured 'Why not?'. It's Topps Triple Threads and for the life of me I can't figure out the meaning of the name. T'aint no threads involved as far as I can tell.

This '58 Rube Walker is another card I couldn't pass up. I had a catcher's mitt just like that one with the stringed pocket that I used through high school.

Two things about the back of the card. Someone neatly date-stamped it with '1958' below the card number. And the cartoon refers to Rube as 'Lead Foot Rube'. You have to love that. 

Looking ahead to my next set chase I'm trying to decide whether to chase the 1958 Topps or the 1957 set. I've got enough 1958s to fill a dozen or so pocket pages and it's sure tempting me. But that's a long way off.