Thursday, August 30, 2018

1966 World Series Press Pass

A few weeks back I posted a press pass from the 1960 World Series games at Yankee Stadium. That was fine and dandy and I am glad to have it but for me, there was an item in that same vein that I thought would be even cooler. And as luck would have it I found one just days later:

The 1966 World Series is obviously near and dear to my heart. It was the first championship won by one of  'my' teams. The Colts titles of the late fifties came when I was about 7 or 8 and while I was aware of them I was too young to really appreciate them as a fan.

But the '66 Series was different. For one thing, I was no longer at St. Mary's School where the nuns always had TVs set up to watch the Series every fall. No, I was a high school freshman that year. Luckily for me the first two games, though played on weekday afternoons, were held in Los Angeles. That meant I could sprint home, throw my Newark Evening News paper route and make it back in time to see much of the action at my best friend and route partner's house.

The weekend games I watched with my father who still couldn't get past the fact that the Yankees were two years removed from a Series engagement. Games 3 and 4, by the way, took 1:55 and 1:45(!). Imagine that...a World Series game being completed in a Whitey Ford-ish one hour and forty-five minutes. Amazing!

Like that 1960 pass, I'd like to get this one signed by a player from each team. Or maybe just some Orioles. In a perfect world I'd send it to Sandy Koufax and Brooks Robinson but Sandy doesn't sign through the mail and Brooks is having some health issues and while he signs I feel like I'd be imposing. We'll see.

Meanwhile here are a few items from my collection that feature players who were on the field for the '66 Series. Palmer looks so young! And he's aged pretty well.

Topps Giants Koufax.

The Dexter Press postcard of Davey Johnson.

TCMA something or other of Ron Fairly. As a former first baseman, I'm partial to cards which show those gloves so prominently.

Brooksie! Topps Standup from 1964. What a cool set. I've thought about collecting all 77 of these but I have far too many irons in the fire right now.

1970 Maury Wills. The early 60s 'mystery man' who was the topic of endless speculation among my fell card freaks in St. Mary's schoolyard. We wondered what he had done that was so terrible that Topps wouldn't include him in their sets.

I like this pic. A boatload of talent, no? I saw Frank Robinson and Sandy K. and later noticed that Wade Boggs and Cal Jr. are right there as well. How'd you like to be able to listen to that conversation?

Friday, August 24, 2018

The Andrews Boys Part 3

And I'm down to the last four of the MLBers with my last name. As with the other random groupings, these guys run the gamut of eras and positions. One thing they all have in common though...none were stars. 

Nate Andrews holds the distinction of having the best ERA (2.57) for any pitcher in a 20 game losing season. He pulled that off for the 1943 Boston Braves. He made the AL All-Star team the next season while winning a career-high 16 for Boston.

Nate was an interesting character, beset with both demons and a devil-may-care attitude. His SABR bio is a fun read. He pitched for 14 years as a professional and moved through six different organizations. He began with the Cardinals after signing in 1934 but had a long uphill fight to make the majors with a team that dozens of stocked minor league affiliates.

He wound up with the Giants in 1946 but walked away after just a few appearances. He explained: “I came home … of my own accord. I decided I had had enough of the Big Show and the time had come for me to return to North Carolina, where I could be with my family. I had a lot of years up there and too many away from home." Read the rest of that SABR bio and you'll understand the photo that accompanied the autograph I bought.

He never had a card issued of him during his career but he is in a TCMA set and the Conlon cards put out under The Sporting News' name. I was planning on picking up the Conlon for this project when this signed piece came up. It's my favorite thing in the Andrews Boys collection.

Clayton Andrews appears on a pretty nice but very '90s' Bowman. He was a third-round pick of the Blue Jays in June of 1996. In 1998 he was the Sally League Pitcher of the Year. He got his only taste of the big leagues in 2000 when he appeared in eight games in the first half of the season. He had a couple of quality relief outings sprinkled among some atrocious ones and then got two starts in June that didn't go well. 

Clayton was moved on to the Reds' organization the next winter, had three unremarkable years moving down their system and pitched an additional year in the Angels chain. He was out of baseball in 2006. He had several Bowmans and assorted minor league cards.

Elbert DeVore Andrews was the first Furman University player to make it to the majors. But his time was brief. He left Furman in 1923 and appears for two games on the mound with the International League's Baltimore Orioles in 1925.  That same year he pitched in six games for the Philadelphia A's. He had eight innings of work and was gone in June. It's not clear whether he pitched for the Orioles before or after his time in Philly. Looking at the game logs there is a couple of weeks between appearances with the A's so maybe he was sent to Charm City and then recalled. He has no other pro baseball record.

He obviously had no cards but I found this cut signature. My guess is it came from his days as mayor of his hometown in South Carolina. I did find two photos of him online:

And finally, we have Ed Andrews. Sometimes known as George Andrews. I saved him for last because I found him to be the most interesting and entertaining of the group.

He was a graduate of Case Western Reserve College (a rarity among ballplayers in those days) who was born before the Civil War and died in 1934 having been, not only a big league player, but a major league umpire, a yachting writer, real estate developer and pineapple plantation owner. 

He was a regular outfielder for the Philadelphia Quakers of the NL through the 1880s and once led the league in stolen bases. He also moved around through the other major leagues after that playing in the Players League and the then-major American Association. His SABR bio has several entertaining stories from his career. He was apparently quite a character.

He appears on numerous cards from his playing days. They are in wonderful, old, expensive sets like Buchner Gold Coins cards, Goodwins Champions, Kalamazoo Bats, and Old Judge cards.  Just fabulous stuff that I'll likely never see in person much less own. (Some of the Old Judge cards listed for him on the Trading Card Database are actually those of Wally Andrews) 

I did pick up a Goodwin reprint just to have something. That's it below:

This next one is an Ars Longa art card I wouldn't mind owning but they are hardly ever around. The guy makes nice cards but keeps them on a tight leash.

Finally here are a couple of images of actual Ed Andrews cards. If I ever post a real one you'll know that I cashed in my retirement funds and lost my mind.

This was a neat little project to tackle. I learned a lot. For example, there is a Clayton Andrews who was drafted by the Brewers in June after pitching at Long Beach State. And a Tanner Andrews who is in the Marlins chain. So maybe I'll have another member of the Andrews Boys to blog about one day soon.

Monday, August 20, 2018

The Andrews Boys Part 2 (Reprised)

Aaaarrrrggh! I completed this post this morning work a couple hours worth of research, typing, and editing at a Starbucks. Then, as I was getting a refill, it somehow disappeared, morphing into a second copy of Part 3. It was weird and very aggravating. Not looking for sympathy but if I can't vent here where can I vent?

But I'm going to do it all over again. And it should be easier with having my browser history available. Here goes:

Shane Andrews was the 11th overall pick of the Montreal Expos in 1990. He made it to the majors after five seasons in the Expos' chain where he hit for power but not much else. He ended up staying in Montreal as a corner infielder for nearly five seasons. He later played for the Cubs and Red Sox and finished up with a season in the Mexican League.

He had 86 career homers which makes him the leader among the Andrews crew. He was an everyday player, or at least close to it, for five of his seven big league seasons. And yet I had no memory of him until I poked around looking at players for this collection. I then remembered seeing his rookie card once upon a time. But the second half of the 90s and on through about 2010 is my weak spot when it comes to baseball knowledge.

He has several dozen cards listed in the Trading Card Database. This Leaf Autographed card set me back about 2 bucks.

This Bowman even unsigned, is a much better card. I wish I had seen it first.

Fred Andrews played seven seasons in the Phillies chain before getting a look at the end of 1976 after they had clinched the NL East. He went four for nine and got himself another taste the next season. But after making the team in the spring he got off to a terrible start and was back in the minors again until another September call-up. But he failed to improve and he never returned to the big leagues. The Phils traded him to the Mets for Bud Harrelson but after a season at Tidewater Andrews was off to Mexico for a year and then out of baseball.

This 'card' is actually one of two stickers Andrews has from his winter baseball days in Venezuela. He has a couple of minor league cards and a Phils team-issued postcard as well. This was an eBay find that came from Venezuela via DHL...who knew they were still in business?

BTW...the sticker shows Fred with Los Aguilas de Zulia. The team has a long history in Venezuelan Professional Baseball League and some notable players who spent time with the team include Luis Aparicio, Ryne Sandberg, Greg Maddux and Cesar Tovar.

John Andrews was drafted three times in the late 60s (Yankees, Angels, Mets) but didn't sign a contract until he was offered one by the Cardinals in 1971. He impressed in his minor league seasons and got a shot with the Cards in 1973. Game logs show he made the team, was farmed out, came back at least once during the summer and got a September call-up. All told he got into 16 games out of the bullpen, went 1-1 with a hold and actually got a hit in his last at-bat (of two) which gives him a career .500 batting average.

There are no cards listed for John Andrews but eBay had a couple of autographs. I normally don't buy signatures. I always have doubt as to whether they are real. But in this case, well, who would forge John Andrews' autograph and try to make a living a $1.50 at a time?

Ivy Paul Andrews is the most accomplished of the Andrews Boys who made their living on the mound. He began his big league career with the Yankees in 1931 and finished with them in 1937. But between his two terms in the Bronx, he pitched for the Red Sox, Browns and Indians.

He won 50 games against 59 losses in his career and was a member of the 1937 World Champion Yankee team that defeated the Giants in five games. He pitched 5.2 innings in long relief in Game Four after starter Bump Hadley was knocked out early.

He went 13-7 for a Browns club that was 58-94 in 1935 and led the team in WAR.

This card is actually one-fourth of a 1936 Exhibits Four-in-One he shares with Harland Clift, Sammy West & Rollie Hemsley. It's also a good reminder to me that I need to read the fine print even when buying stuff on Net54. I thought it was a full-sized Exhibit until it arrived. Ivy has quite a few cards, postcards, and pins from his playing days as well as some TCMA cards. I'll grab a nicer piece for him one of these days.

This is what the full 4-in-1 looks like.

And finally, we have Jim Andrews. Jim doesn't have any cards or even any pictures that I could find. I am including the drawing that accompanies his Baseball reference page. I'll let his Wikipedia page tell his story.

James Pratt Andrews (June 5, 1865 – December 27, 1907) was an American professional baseball right fielder. He played in Major League Baseball (MLB) in 1890 for the Chicago Colts of the National League. He was a native of Shelburne Falls, Massachusetts.

In 1890, his only Major League season, Andrews was in the starting lineup for the first 2½ months (April 19 – July 4) of the 5½ month season. In 53 games he was just 38-for-202, a batting average of .188. He had 3 home runs, 17 RBI, and scored 32 runs. An average fielder for the era, he handled 90 out of 100 chances successfully for a fielding percentage of .900.

To give some perspective to his value to the team, the Colts were 29-28 during his time with them, and 54-25 after he was gone.

Andrews died at the age of 42 in Chicago of pulmonary tuberculosis, and was laid to rest at Mount Olivet Cemetery.
And that wraps up (again) the second installment of Big League Guys Named Andrews. One more post, four players, to go!

Saturday, August 18, 2018

The Andrews Boys Part 1

I had an idea in the back of my mind for a long time and recently decided to finally act on it. I thought it would be fun to collect a card from the careers of every major league players who shared my last name.

This initiated with this guy (BTW...shout out to Joe Shlabotnik who sent me this card):

...with whom I share a first AND last name. That and the fact that we were born within a week of each other. Anyway, I checked with Baseball Reference and the search turned up 14 players in history with my last name. I'm not including Steve Andrade whose last name I could have carried through life had the folks at Ellis Island not 'American-ized' it when my grandfather's family first came to the US from the Azores in the early 1900s. (For more on that see this post).

The Andrews' are listed here in no particular order with dates of big league service and the teams they played for:

Mike Andrews (1966-1973) Franchises: BOS,CHW,OAK
Shane Andrews (1995-2002) Franchises: WSN,CHC,BOS
Rob Andrews (1975-1979) Franchises: SFG,HOU
Ivy Andrews (1931-1938) aka Paul Franchises: NYY,BAL,BOS
Nate Andrews (1937-1946) Franchises: ATL,STL,CLE
Ed Andrews (1884-1891) aka George Franchises: PHI,IND,CKK
Clayton Andrews (2000) Franchises: TOR
Fred Andrews (1976-1977) Franchises: PHI
Stan Andrews (1939-1945) Franchises: LAD,ATL,PHI
Jim Andrews (1890) Franchises: CHC
John Andrews (1973) Franchises: STL
Hub Andrews (1947-1948) Franchises: SFG
Wally Andrews (1884-1888) Franchises: LOU
Elbert Andrews (1925) aka Devore Franchises: OAK

Finding a 'card' of each of them turned out to be impossible for several reasons but I did manage to dig up something for each. I'm going to spread this out over a few posts to keep the length reasonable. Let's kick it off with the headliner. I will link each name to their BR page.

Rob Andrews.... my namesake and the one I saw play most often. I love that he was originally signed by the Orioles although he never played for them. After a fine year at AAA in '74 he was dealt to the Astros in the trade for Lee May. He spent two seasons here in Houston before moving on to the Giants. His brother Mike is on the list. In addition to the card at the top that Joe sent me I have a couple of others.

This SSPC came from Joe as well. I have another one in the set binder.

Hub Andrews... He pitched a total of 11.2 innings for the NY Giants in two brief stints in 1947/48. He didn't get any decisions. He worked in the insurance industry after his playing days. He has no known cards but I found this autographed index card on Net54.

Mike Andrews... Rob's older brother who played 8 seasons in the AL, mostly with the Red Sox. He was part of the Red Sox Impossible Dream club of 1967 and then won a Series ring with the Athletics in 1973. He had four hits in the '67 Series. He hit .293 and made the All-Star team in 1969. This card came from a card show cheap vintage box.

Stan Andrews...He got into 70 games over four seasons as a backup catcher for the Boston Braves, Dodgers, and Phils beginning in the late 30s. He had a long minor league career and some solid seasons there. He appeared in the 1941 Goudy set but I haven't found one that was in my price range although they are not especially costly. He has cards in some reprint and oddball sets. This one I own is an 'art card' from what is called the 2017 Carl Aldana San Francisco Seals World War II Commemorative set. I'm not sure of why he's included since he never played for San Francisco and only had one very average season in the PCL with the Hollywood Stars as far as I can tell. I'm not sure what I'm missing. Either way, I may try and do better in terms of a card for Ol' Stan.

Wally Andrews... He was a light-hitting first baseman in the 1880s for the Louisville franchise of the then-major American Association. He has cards in the N172 Old Judge set which was issued in the late 1880s. He earned them with a .400 season with Omaha in 1887. Needless to say, I doubt I'll ever have an actual one in my collection. The Trading Card Database has a card showing for him which is actually of Ed Andrews who will be seen here in another post.

These are supposedly copies of Wally Andrews' N172s. But I wouldn't count on them being authentic. In any case, I'm just going to assume they are legit and list them as his only cards. The top two are different scans I found of the same card.

That's the first batch of Andrews'. I know you can;t wait for the rest of them!

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Earl Campbell Signed Goal Line Art

When you talk about the great running backs of all time Earl Campbell must be in the conversation. I'll always maintain the Jim Brown was unsurpassed on the field but if you needed a first down to save your life I think 'The Tyler Rose' would be as safe a bet as any.

I've got football on my mind as I'm getting ready for my fantasy league's 39th season. I no longer own a team in my league...I turned that over to one of my sons and I just act as a consultant to him, but in our first year, he was a stud averaging almost 130 yards a game.

Earl had a 'Koufax'-like career. He blazed across the football world but only for a short time. He never backed off from a hit and that punishment not only shortened his career but it's obviously affected him later in life. I love football but sometimes I wonder if it serves any purpose.

I came across this signed 1991 Goal Line card a few months ago while searching for the Colts in the set. (I have those now).  The set is made up of members of the NFL Hall of Fame. I don't think it is still being produced but I haven't bothered to check. I know that all the HOF Baltimore Colts cards have been issued so there's no need for me to look any further.

Back to Earl. My lasting memory of him comes from his days at the University of Texas. My Houston Cougars were playing UT at Rice Stadium in 1977 and Earl ran in a score and zoomed right through the end zone in front of me. He collided with Bevo, the live UT longhorn mascot. That steer let out a very loud 'moo' and was actually moved sideways by the hit. It was surreal.

Sunday, August 12, 2018

1960 World Series Press Pass

 Have you ever bought something because it was a bargain even if you had no need for it? In that vein, I present this 1960 World Series Press Pass. This was a $35 impulse buy on Net54. I'm not even sure what the impulse was exactly but when it was posted I checked eBay and saw things like this going for $150 and up. I sent the seller an 'I'll take it' message and figured I'd decide what to do with it later.

I do have an affinity for the '60 World Series. That year was the first I remember that we watched the Series on televisions at school. And I definitely remember rushing home to watch the end of Game Seven with my mother. What a game!! Here is the defining moment:

The back of the pass had a couple of (very sticky!!) glue strips, probably from being mounted in a display. I temporarily covered them with blue tape until I find a better way to deal with them.

Once I had it in had I decided that I'm going to send it off to be signed by one player from each of the two teams. I'm thinking of Bobby Shantz and Vern Law, both reliable signers.

Two fun facts about the 1960 Series... Game Seven is the only postseason game ever with a single strikeout... and Bobby Richardson is the only player in World Series history to be named MVP despite being on the losing team. He went 11 for 30 with a dozen RBIs.

Tapes of the first six games of the Series are long gone but singer/actor Bing Crosby, a part owner of the Pirates at the time, had the game taped and that video was found decades later in his wine cellar. If you have an hour and a quarter to spare check the last three crazy innings of one of the most iconic games in baseball history:

Saturday, August 11, 2018

Lesson Learned (again)

I've been a 'stealth' Rusty Staub collector for a while. Along with pitcher Don Wilson, Staub was a player I enjoyed watching and rooted for when I first came to Houston in the late 60s. I continued to follow his career through his time with the Expos and, to some extent, the Mets and Tigers.

I don't actively track down his cards. I don't have a Staub checklist like I do for guys like Billy Pierce, Johnny Callison, and Mike Cuellar. But I used to put stick Staub's cards in one of my 'star' binders when I found one in my stash. And over the last few years I've added them in fits and starts, mostly from show bargain bins.

Now I don't chase autographs particularly but I like having one example in my player collections. It occurred to me that I had no signed Staub card. A month or so ago I decided to rectify that. I found this 2004 Fleer Greats card on eBay for a nice price and picked it up. I didn't pay much attention to it other than the fact that it was an 'authorized' signature card so I figured it was legit.

What I didn't figure is that it was a sticker autograph. I don't have anything against sticker autographs but if I'm going to just have one signed card of a player I'd rather it be an 'on card' one. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

I guess I could have looked closer at the photo in the listing but I'm pretty quick on the trigger sometimes. This was one of those times. And besides...I did look at the text on the back and it didn't raise any red flags. Here's my scan of the back:

And here is a closer look at the key section of the back just in case, like me, you have aging eyes:

Notice that it says "PERSONALLY AUTOGRAPHED". Well, if we are going to get technical the sticker was personally autographed. The card? Nope. Here's the graph and blown up it's pretty obvious that it's a sticker.

It's not the end of the world. After all, it is a pretty attractive card. This is neither the first nor last time I'll buy or bid without looking at the small print as it were. So I'll quit kvetching over a first world problem and go stick it in my binder now.

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Power Up!

I've really neglected my 1958 and 1960 Topps set blogs in recent months. And I feel bad about it. Not because I was disappointing the vast armies of readers who were terribly interested in my latest card post from sets issued before they were born. (Those folks don't exist, BTW) No, I miss the fun of looking at these beauties. And scurrying down the rabbit holes that researching them frequently reveals.

Speaking of which did you know that Vic Power (b. Victor Pellot) was on track to be the first black player for the Yankees but was traded out of their system because of his lack of fielding prowess, or so said GM Dan Topping. Power contended there were other reasons at play. The fact that he won seven Gold Gloves during his career does work to impune Topping's statement.

So I'm going to crank 'em back up. I'm not sure how often I can get posts written and online but I'll do what I can. I'm probably going to change the contents of the posts. I want to make them short and to the point.

I'm also going to post the cards in numerical order. I'll begin with the #1 card and work through the set skipping the cards I've already posted obviously. This'll make it easier to track and eliminate the kind of things I used to concern myself with. Dumb stuff like whether or not I'm posting the same color card too frequently or trying to seed the blog with subsets and specials at certain intervals.

I think the only concession I'll make to my old ways is that I'm going to continue to post a 1960 team card along with the manager and coaches cards.  I kind of liked having them all together.

Readers here will be able to see the latest posts in each blog over on the right-hand side of course. Each set has a Hall of Famer in the #1 slot, btw. Look for them to appear on a blog near you soon!

Saturday, August 4, 2018

I am not worthy (Pt 2..from Brian) Oh...and Blogger sucks

This is the second of two remarkably similar card packages I received last week. This one came from Brian who pens Highly Subjective and Completely Arbitrary. The blog title alone would be worth 1860 points when hitting a triple word score in Scrabble.

Both Brian and Joe Shlabotnik sent me a substantial stack of very, very nice 1979s, modern Orioles and they both sprinkled in something for a different set I'm working on. Joe sent 1970 Topps Hoops, Brian went with '62 Baseball.

I had sent Brian some 59s for his set build but I gotta tell you that those cards were no match for the beauties he sent my way. Leading off you can check out Lou Clinton. What a sweet card. It's in great shape. In fact, all three of the '62s Brian included are probably two 'grades' better than the majority of what I have in the binder. Let me put it this way...I couldn't afford to collect the set if I was only going after cards as nice as the ones Brian passed on to me.

BTW...Lou Clinton was in right field for Boston on the last day of the 1961 season. He watched Roger Maris' #61 sail over his head and into the rightfield seats at YS.

Phil Regan poses at Yankee Stadium. I always like to imagine I was there the day these photos were taken. Hey, you never know. I was there a lot.

Regan was nicknamed 'The Vulture' by Sandy Koufax during his time as the Dodgers' closer. He managed the Orioles before Dave Johnson and was active as a minor league pitching coach well into his 70s.

Wayne Causey began his career as a light-hitting third baseman with the Orioles in 1955. He struggled to reach the Mendoza line and spent some time in the minors before he re-emerged with the A's in 1961 following a big off-season trade. He had found his hitting stroke and had some respectable years in Kansas City before moving on to the White Sox.

The modern Orioles card Brian sent was an Eddie Murray bat relic. The guy who glued the slice of Eddie's bat onto this card appears to have been hungover. Nonetheless, it fits nicely into my Murray pages in my Orioles star binder.

And finally here is a representative sampling of the '79s I received. Between the stack that came from Joe S. and this one I'm down to just over 100 needs for the set (edit made...never compose a post in the middle of the night).

This is one of my favorite Nolan Ryan cards.

Steve Carlton's BR page is pretty impressive.

Nolan Ryan and James Rodney Richard were on the same Astros staff for half of the 1980 season. Then J.R. was struck down in July.  A quick look at the team's game logs showed that they didn't pitch back-to-back at any point. That would have been unfair to any opposing NL teams.

Mick the Quick. He was with the Rangers by mid-season. Did you realize he had a .295 career average? I sure didn't.

I have no memories of Bud Harrelson as a Phillie. He was a spare part by this time. Nice shades though.

I also have no memories of Steve Yeager wearing a beard. I bet Night Owl does.

I scanned this card of Sixto Lezcano for two reasons. One, he has such a cool name, and two, he looks like someone but I can't put a finger on who it is..

And finally Billie Jean King's brother Randy. It's interesting (I guess) that her Wikipedia page doesn't mention her younger brother. He was a pretty decent reliever for the Giants through the 70s. He pitched for the Astros in 1982. That was a club with a strong staff and lousy hitting. And that was the year before I got married when I lived within walking distance of the Astrodome. I saw quite a bit of boring baseball.

Thanks again, Brian. The cards were all super and very much appreciated.

Oh, I almost forgot...the title. About three months ago I realized I was no longer receiving email notifications of blog comments. I dealt with it for awhile by just checking my past few posts every few days. But then I received an email from someone who had asked a few questions of me on one of my 1959 Topps blog posts and wondered why I hadn't responded. I dug around and flipped a few 'switches' and recently found that I had apparently switched over to Google+ comments...whatever the hell that means. I turned that off and nearly all the recent comments on my blogs disappeared. Add that to the fact that Blogger is unusable on an iPad as far as I can tell and doesn't work well with Firefox and I'm not happy at all.

I'll keep plugging along though but don't be surprised if one day this whole thing gets either blown up or shuffled over to WordPad.