Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Mantle & Maris Magazine from 1961

I came across this on eBay and remembered having it as a kid. There used to be a lot of 'pulp' mags on the shelves at Lee's Candy Store/Newsstand in Nutley N.J. when I was growing up. I bid and won and probably paid too much but as someone once said.....'Nostalgia is a helluva drug' (or something like that). I remember also having a similar Mantle/Mays issue but I've never seen it come up on eBay and I'm beginning to think it exists only in my imagination.

Anyway, the mag was published in the summer of 1961 as Mickey Mantle and Roger Maris were chasing the single-season homer record. I was living right in the middle of all the hype. I can't imagine what it would be like today with the 'net because it was out of control then.

The copy I bought is in pretty good shape. The spine is about perfect but the pages have browned as the cheap paper they used for these things tends to do. But there are no rips, tears or stains. I was very happy with the condition as I've been burned before on other old paper items.

I don't like scanning an item like this because I have to open it to place the pages on the platen and I've broken spines doing that before. So I've scanned a few easy to do pages and photographed a few others.

The content page lists over a dozen 'articles' but mostly the mag consists of black and white pictures. Lots of them. The text just serves to flesh out each group of pictures.

The center pages contain a full-page portrait of both Mantle and Maris. I thought I had scanned them both but apparently not. Here is the Mantle photo page.

The 'records section' is near the back.

They publishers dug up a lot of 'homey' shots for bios of the M&M Boys.

I'm sure it wasn't hard to find action shots of them either.

The text references the ongoing home run duel. I get the impression that the publishing date was mid- to late- summer of 1961.

Stuff like this is right up my alley collecting-wise. I can kill off a couple of evenings flipping through the pages and remembering the fun I had with my friends hanging out at Lee's and watching baseball with my father. I just wish I had hung on to all my old magazines. It would have saved me quite a bit of money nowadays.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Billy Pierce Comiskey Cash

Here's the second newly acquired Pierce item that I've added recently. It's not particularly worthy of it's own post but I had forgotten to upload the scan until last night. BP collector and all around good guy JediJeff from 2x3 Heroes alerted me to these a year ago. It took me awhile to find them on eBay.

As you can probably deduce these things were to be used like cash at Comiskey concessions. I know a lot of teams/stadiums use this sort of thing now. I'm sure there is a logical reason for it. I guess that once you buy a wad of these you are committed to spending you dough there. Plus when you buy some you are paying upfront. The Sox (or whatever team) get to put your $$ in the back and draw interest on it for however long it takes for you to get around to using them. Oh, and some knuckleheads will buy them as souvenirs and the Sox come out ahead. Imagine that.

The Texans came up with a debit card-type thing which you can preload for any amount and it works that same way. It was offered for the first time last year (I think). I jumped on it last season because they were offering $85 concession cards for $65 if you bought them with your season tickets. If there isn't a discount this year I'll pass. And I spend so little at the stadium that I ended up having to find ways to use it up. Nobody could tell me it the balance carried forward to this year.

Anyway here is the back of the Pierce $5 'bill'. It's sort of hard to tell from the scan but it appears that it's printed on 'check' paper. Makes it harder to duplicate.

I picked up two of these so if one of my fellow Pierceheads wants one just say the word.

Monday, March 28, 2016

Billy Pierce '13 Heritage

I picked up a couple of Billy Pierce items over the course of the last month. But I can't access the scan of the 2nd one at the moment so I'll save it for another post.

I debated with myself over picking this one up. It's a 2013 signed 'Certified' Heritage in the '64 style. I actually had to check to see if I had one because it seemed familiar (even outside the obvious ' '64 Topps' aspect of being familiar).

Turns out I had a different version of the same card, one signed in red (oh my!!) and numbered by hand (double oh my!!). Topps was obviously considering the fact that they could make money by having 'completists' like me chase several different non-vintage versions of this version of a vintage card. All it really does is is make eBay sellers happy.

But whatever. I didn't spend much. And I got to add another row to my Pierce collection spreadsheet and 'X' the 'Got It' column. That's always fun. items that feature BP with the White Sox are always better than those that have him with the Giants but I like the '64 design a bunch and the orange/black/white scheme with the blue San Francisco sky make this a nice card, in any rendition.

I'll post the other new Pierce item, one from Comiskey Park, later this week once my fantasy baseball draft is over.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Renata Galasso/TCMA Oddballs

A dealer had a 400 count box on his table about half full of stuff neatly aligned in top loaders. The ones that caught my eye were these Renata Galasso cards from the mid-70s. Many stars on an off-the-wall set and a lot of them with uncommon photos. I asked him what he wanted for a couple of the cards and he quoted me a surprising low price for the box so I bought it.

The Galasso set is supposedly complete but I haven't bothered to look at the checklists sites online and it really doesn't matter to me with a set like this.

My scanner really hated these and many of them wouldn't scan correctly so I had to use the old 'stick a sheet of color paper over them' and scan that way. It works but cropping the cards is more work than I usually do so I only have a few here.

What my scanner did to the Banks card is typical of what it did to many others. The names and position/team line were cut off partially or completely.

I add Allie Reynolds cards to my collection when I stumble across them because he was one of my father's favorite players.

Here is the back of the Reynolds.

If you bought sports publications in the 70's you will probably remember the ads that Galasso ran in them. They were everywhere.

The rest of the box contained other oddballs, mostly TCMAs. Those scanned better and I'll post them next.

Monday, March 14, 2016

Obligatory Heritage Post

It's like some Blogger 'Law', right? You buy some packs of the new release and post them. Or your Blogger Licence is revoked.

So here is mine. I bought one jumbo pack with 35 cards in it. Odds should be that I'd get one Oriole. Nope. I NEVER get any Orioles in these new releases. I like Heritage. I almost always like Heritage. The retro design, sturdy cardstock, all good. The pics aren't all that great but what are you gonna do?

I'm not going to post any of the base cards, and I'm too lazy to check if I have any variations. I'll hang on to my cards because I'll likely need a few for my fantasy baseball binder in a few weeks.

I got two cards of interest (at least to me). One is the shiny chrome Matt Harvey you see above. The other is the Dodgers rookie card below. I only post it because I noticed that Frankie Montas doesn't have a facsimile autograph on his pic. Is that a 'no-sig variation'?

EDIT....Tony pointed out in comments that a sig is visible on that card. I can't redo the post because I'm at my optometrist appointment. ;-)

OK, I've posted about Heritage 2016. Please renew my licence.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016


I'm pretty sure every blogger has scanned stuff and then 'forgotten' about it. I do that quite a bit. Periodically I go through my Picasa albums and pull up scans that never made it into a post for one reason or another. I label my albums by month so sometimes when the calendar changes scans get 'left behind'.

The stuff in this post comes mostly from my January and February albums. The Ron Kittle card was one I was uploading to a couple of different online storage sites as I was searching for alternatives for the soon-to-be-departed Picasa Web Albums. It sort of got lost in the shuffle.

I got the Kittle from my friend Mike McKay from Chicago who heads south to fantasy baseball camps each winter. He's gotten friendly with the somewhat larger than life Kittle and he's picked up some signed Kittle cards for me in previous years. 

Kittle is a hoot on social media and has a nice little business going making benches and displays out of baseball bats. Thanks, Mike. I always appreciate your thinking of me.

These others are football cards that I picked up at the January card show I attended or I snagged online. 

Jim Katcavage was a standout defensive lineman for the Giants while i was growing up and listening to their games with my Dad.

I found a couple of his cards in the bargain bin. His '69 Topps. that's not pink exactly. Fuchsia? Puce?

I'd buy a '64 Philly Gum of anyone for a quarter. After finding this one I dug thru the bin hoping for more but came up empty. One day I'm going to tackle this set.

I bought the Brodie for no reason at all other than the fact that I always loved the 49ers' unis back then.

I remember my father griping about the Giants trading Erich Barnes to Cleveland in the mid-60's. Hey, the '65 Philly Gum set isn't bad either.

We can file this Fleer sticker Philly Gum logo card (thanks, Jim) under 'Everything old is new again'.

Finally here is the one 1981 Topps/Coke card I needed. This 11 card set paralleled the regular Topps set. I'm not sure why the Greg Landry card out of was so hard to find. I finally found one over the Christmas break for a good price. Now I can scratch one more Baltimore Colts goal off my list.

Saturday, March 5, 2016

New York, New York...and yes, Google is harshing my mellow

I grew up in New Jersey, just a short bus ride from New York. I never rooted for the Yankees or Mets but I was immersed in the 'culture' of those two teams. It was difficult not to be if you lived where I did and was surrounded by the people I was surrounded by.

Pulling cards from vintage boxes always spark a few memories. Sometimes I buy the cards, sometimes I drop them back in the box in favor of cards I like better. On my last trip to the card show I bought some Yanks and Mets. Maybe I was feeling particularly nostalgic.

My trips to Shea Stadium were usually with friends to watch their team, the Giants, Dodgers, Braves or to see 'my' NL team, the Phillies. But no matter who we were watching I'd always root for Ed Kranepool. Damned if I know why. He played 18 years in the bigs, all for the Mets. He made one All Star squad, hit a World Series dinger and won a ring in 1969 and always seemed to be having fun.

If I had a favorite Mets' pitcher I guess it would be Al Jackson. He put together a pretty respectable career on the mound for some pretty terrible Mets clubs. I always liked the Mets' announcers a lot more than I liked the Mets and they all seemed to have a man-crush on Jackson so maybe that's where I got it from. 

Of course, due to the '69 World Series the Mets and I had a bitter breakup. Not that we were ever really an 'item' anyway. 

Hector Lopez was one of my Dad's favorites. I think he just liked the name 'Hector'. This card reminds me of the closest we ever came to snagging a baseball at Yankee Stadium. My Dad was returning from the concession stand when Lopez fouled off a pitch that came back into the upper deck just as he was coming up the ramp. The ball went right past him on a hop.

My friends and I thought Dooley Womack had the dumbest/coolest name in baseball. We liked to say it in our 'Bob Shepard voices'. I have the ticket stub from his one and only major league start. It came in July of 1966. Womack started the second game of a Sunday doubleheader against the Senators. I don't remember anything about that fact. Or that Whitey Ford pitched three innings in relief. I'm guessing that since the Yanks were getting whipped and had already lost the first game that we left early.

Semi-off topic rant #1: I've noticed over the last few months that I no longer consistently get notified what a post receives a comment. Some comments trigger and email, others don't. There doesn't seem to be any pattern as to which ones I am alerted to. I've set and re-set my notification settings any number of times.. Anyone else experience this?

Semi-off topic rant #2: Google is phasing out Picassa Web Albums. I don't know what you bloggers use but PWA has been a valuable tool. I usually scan a big stack of stuff and can easily upload the scans to an album. Then I can post from any device, any place with almost no fuss. I know that I will still be able to upload scans directly into posts but I rarely ever post from my home computer. Google Photos, the 'new' picture site they are pushing sux big time for this. You can't get a direct image URL without jumping through hoops. And alternate sites like Dropbox, Imgur and others either require you to pay for the storage I'd use or are too clunky. Flickr belongs to Yahoo and I think Yahoo is teetering financially. I'll figure something out.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Card Show Vintage...Take Four

As I said before, when I pull cheap vintage out of dealers' boxes I'm usually just picking cards of players I liked or cards that catch my eye. Like these. I saw a lot of the Giants at Shea because my best friend and his father were fans. Since I was going to be there anyway and the 'big guns' had plenty of support I picked Jim Ray Hart as a guy to root for. Love the MacGregor glove with the 'crown' logo on the wrist strap.

I bought two Lindy McDaniel cards, his '67 and '66 Topps. I already had a '66 McDaniel card but I may decide at some point to chase this set so a second one, a very cheap one, may come in handy. I collect his cards and you can read about my McDaniel fixation right here.

Cool that he's a Rawlings guy. In fact that glove looks a LOT like my Rawlings Wally Bunker. That's the exact same webbing.

I think this '66 Pitching Leaders card was a dime. It's brutal but any card with Koufax, Drysdale and a guy wearing that amazing Braves' cap is certainly worth a dime.

I scanned the back, too. I used to read the names and numbers on these leaders cards constantly. Note that there were seven 20-game winners in the NL in 1965. Seven! The NL might not have that many in the next decade! I know it's now totally un-hip, almost blasphemy to even mention games won by a pitcher. But in my day W/L was a pitchers claim to fame.

The only thing cooler than these lists were the team cards that gave the pitchers records against every other team. Those were awesome.

Now get off my lawn, dammit!