Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Scan Dump, Part 1

Between a couple of hotel shows, the TriStar show and some online purchases, I've accumulated a bunch of  'stuff' that covers a wide range of my collecting interests. I have most of it scanned, but little of it posted. This will keep me occupied for a few weeks.

From Net54 came a pair of un-connected lots from the same seller. This one, obviously, was a group of signed vintage cards. Now I'll admit that I'm not much of an autograph guy. But when a grouping of them comes cheap, has cards of Orioles, players I semi-collect, and/or come from sets I have chased, I'm gonna buy it.

I'm going to crank up my '57 chase once I finish off the stuff I'm doing now. But I bought a fair sized starter lot some time back and I add to it if something falls in my lap. Add to that the fact that one way I spice up my vintage sets is sprinkling in a few signed cards, and the Triandos is a natural for me. And as a bonus, it's nicer than the one I would have yanked from my old Orioles team set pages.

Hal 'Skinny' Brown pitched for several clubs but had his best seasons as an Orioles starter from 1956 through 1961. This '64 card is from his last season in the bigs. That's the Polo Grounds behind him, I'm 99% sure of that. I don't plan to collect the '64 set but there are worse ways to spend hobby money, I'll say that.

It's a lousy sig on the Milt Pappas but it's got a spot in my '62 binder.

A few years ago I made a halting start on chasing the 1963 set. Considering how much I was into it as a kid in '63 (it was right in the heart of my collecting days) I'm surprised that it doesn't really inspire me these days. 

I have a couple of Bobby Richardson signatures but this is the first on a real card. I saw so much of him at Yankee Stadium back in the day. If I had a 'favorite' Yankee list, he'd be at or near the top.

Manny Mota just sort of came along for the ride. Too bad he got an airbrushed helmet instead of a pic in that spectacular Expos uni in their first year.

That's the first load from my backlogged scan file. And the last baseball cards to be shown from it. The rest are spies, cars, presidents, actors, and oddities. I know you can't wait.

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

It's Late, I'm Tired, Here's Mickey Mantle

Two Mickeys, in fact.

First up, a nice, creased, somewhat frazzled Mantle Exhibit card. It's a 1951 photo/issue (the AL 50th anniversary patch was worn that season) from the 1947-1966 checklist of Exhibits. It was a spur-of-the-moment purchase from a Net54 member. It was a package deal that included a Campy that turned out to be a reprint I'm afraid. I decided not to make a fuss over it since I like the Mantle.

This next one is actually more exciting to me.


I wanted to find a Mantle stamp for the Yankees page in my '61 Topps Stamp Album. But Mantle stamps are silly expensive (like a lot of Mantle stuff). I could see myself paying a ton for a little stamp. But this one, flawed as it is, was cheap and will do just fine. It already sits in the album and brings me one small step closer to finishing that project. You can see my wants over in the sidebar.

Sorry for the glare. When you take a picture at 2:30 a.m. you don't retake it because of a little glare. That's my man, Elston Howard, under the spotlight. 

Good night, all!

Sunday, February 24, 2019

Here Today, Gone Tomorrow

I thought I had my 1975 Topps set completed but no, it can't be that damn easy. I  bought the final card for it from a seller on eBay who I've bought from before. One of those folks with tons of sales and positive feedback.

The card I needed was the Yount rookie. Not hard to find but I was doing my usual thing with it...waiting to find one that was in acceptable shape at a decent price. We all do that, right?

Anyway, I found it and as expected it arrived within two days since the dealer is located just northwest of Houston. Here are the pics from the eBay listing.:

As soon as I pulled it from the packaging I knew I had a problem. I've handled enough cards in my time to be able to tell that this one wasn't right. Now, I've accidentally bought 1975 minis on COMC because I sometimes shop too late at night and really should be sleeping, but that wasn't the case here.

Just to be sure I placed my Yount on top of a standard card and sure enough, it was trimmed. Now my standards are not perticularlyhigh, especially in light of how tough it can be to find really great cards for this build (and the 62 and 71, sigh), but I'm not going to put a trimmed '75 in my binder when I can find a 'whole' card at a similar price with a bit more work. If this was the last card star I needed for a tobacco set that would be a whole different story.

So I sent the pic to the dealer and within a few hours, I had a return invoice sent my way with ample apologies. The dealer received the card yesterday and my refund should be here at any time.

I wasn't angry about it. As I mentioned, I have bought from this particular dealer in the past and wouldn't hesitate to do so again. I was just disappointed that the baby I thought I had put to bed was suddenly sitting straight up in the crib and screaming for attention.

Such is the life of a collector.

Friday, February 22, 2019

1961 Topps Update, also Hank!!

Slowly but steadily I'm creeping up on the 1961 set. And I'm growing fonder of it every day. It's interesting in that it's sort of a 'transition' set in terms of my baseball memories. There are a lot of guys in the '58, '59, and even the '60 set (which I had a lot of as a kid) that were unfamiliar to me when I was acquiring the cards. The '62 set was one where I knew almost everyone on a card. The '61 is kind of in-between.

I'm at the point where knocking off needs is slow going. I'm at a little over 96% (566 of 587) but of the last 21 I need, 20 are high numbers. Those have been difficult. Not because they are hard to find, but because they are hard to find at a reasonable price. Some of them just seem to carry a premium for reasons I can't figure out. But I'll get it done. My goal is to finish before the end of the year.

Here is a look at the high numbers I nabbed off COMC earlier this year. It's just coincidental that all are pitchers. Not much to say about these other than they were all in pretty nice condition. '61s, in general, don't seem to show the wear that other sets from back in the day show.

Frank Baumann is wearing one of my favorite ball caps. I really like the S-O-X logo when it's got that red outline. Baumann, who split his career between the Red Sox and White Sox (with a few games with the Cubs to make it interesting), was the AL ERA leader in 1960.

Larry Jackson was a 5-time NL All-Star who led the league in wins in 1964. He was a politician and lobbyist in his native Idaho after baseball, once running for governor.

Barry Latman, according to Wikipedia, had to stop playing baseball for several years when he turned ten because his parents wanted him studying for his bar mitzvah. Indians had some sweet unis back then.

Don Cardwell was traded from the Phils to the Cubs on May 15, 1960. Two days later he pitched a no-hitter for the Cubs over the Cardinals.

Here's a guy who was new to me. Jim Archer had been an Orioles farm hand for years (I had no idea) before he was traded to the A's near Opening Day in '61. Topps had time to get his pic in KC gear for this last series card. He had a really nice rookie season in '61. He was among the top ten in several categories. He developed arm problems and had a brutal follow-up year in 1962 and was gone from the game soon after that. Like Larry Jackson, he dabbled in politics after he retired.

Bill Fischer was the guy who, as an off-season job, filled my Dad's car at the Flying A station on Flatbush Avenue while us kids sat in the backseat. OK, that's probably not true but I can see him doing that.

In truth, Fischer has a nine-year career with four clubs in the AL. He spent some time as a starter with the nats in the early 60s but did most of his work from the pen.

Saving the best for last....

Henry Aaron was the second to last star card I needed. I'm not counting the high number, Mays and Banks, All-Star cards.

That's Seals Stadium in San Francisco. Baseball unis don't get much better than those classic Braves' duds. Entering the '61 season Henry Aaron was 26 years old, just hitting his prime.  Just in case you were unaware...he's the all-time leader in RBIs and total bases. And in class.

Other than the two All-Stars the last star I need is Juan Marichal. The '61 is his rookie card, so you know how that goes. I have a handful of copies in an auction sniper bid group. Hopefully one of them falls to me.

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Spirit of '76

A while back I sent some cards to P-Town Tom of the Waiting 'til Next Year blog. He is building a Hall of Fame collection. That caught my eye because that same idea was the first 'special interest' collection I tried way back in 'ancient' hobby times, the late 70s/early 80s. I never finished, and have since broken up what I had, but I always take an interest in other collectors' efforts.

Tom was kind enough to go beyond the call and headed to his LCS. There he nabbed a pile of 1976 Topps that I needed. Between those and the last hotel card show, I have now put that baby to bed!

I've scanned a handful of the big stack Tom sent. It was a fun and fairly easy set build. As always I began with a starter lot and went from there. There are no expensive rookie cards to fret over, no errors or variations worth mentioning.

It's colorful (even next to the bodacious '75) with some great photo choices.

If stirrups like those worn by Manny Sanguillen on his card were mandatory I'd consider getting season tickets to Minute Maid Park. And not much sez the '70s like field-level dugout benches.

Jerry Remy earned a Rookie Cup and went on to play for the Angels and Red Sox for a decade. he's been a Sox broadcaster since then with some time off for his cancer fight.

Ah... spring training. Fergie is all set with his collared windbreaker under his uni top. A couple on nice Pompano Beach palm trees complement the shot.

I'm not quite sure what's happening here with Willie Horton. I think he's following the flight of a foul ball.  ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Bill Lee was ahead of his time. Back in his day, we appreciated his loony persona but nowadays social media would have made him a phenomenon.

Anyone care to chime in on the stadium in Ben Oglivie's photo? Cleveland?  He sure doesn't look like a guy who would hit 41 dingers in a season just five years down the line. He's built like Mark Belanger.

Carew, Lynn, and Munson. Lot's of talent on the BA Leaders card. If you never got to see Rod Carew at the plate you missed something. He had Tony Gwinn-like plate coverage. An artist with the bat.

Thanks again, Tom. Helping me finish off the '76 binder is something I appreciate very much!

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Don Newcombe

I had something different planned for this post but I heard of Don Newcombe's passing this morning. I don't really have a dedicated Newcombe collection but he was one of those guys who just happened to have a lot of great cards. Here's my favorite, his 1954 Bowman:

Newcombe was, of course, a terrific pitcher and competitor, the first-ever Cy Young winner. But he was much more. He spent much of his post-career time helping others fight a battle he had won earlier, the rocky road to sobriety. It's a subject close to my heart.

I did a Newcombe post back in 2015. That was a spin-off of a Night Owl post featuring Newcombe's '56 Topps card a few weeks prior. Tonight, as I thought he would, Greg has a nice tribute to the late Dodgers star. Plenty of cool cards on that one, both vintage and modern. If you haven't already done so, check it out. You'll see what I mean about Newcombe having so many sweet cards.


Monday, February 18, 2019

Productive Weekend

I really had a great weekend. And, of course, you want to know what I did! So I'll tell ya.

Friday night was a Dwight Yoakam concert. The tickets were a Valentines Day gift to my wife who, a vaquera at heart, is a huge fan of the "Bakersfield Sound" icon. And, truth be told, I'm a big fan as well. He never disappoints in person. Terrific band, great stage presence, plenty of great tunes which he plays back-to-back with barely a breath in between. He did a couple of Merle Haggard standards which made me very happy. And the Arena Theater is a nice venue for him. It's one of those music-in-the-round places with a revolving stage. Everyone in the place is close to the front. Great show!

Saturday was the hotel card show day. Coming a week after the TriStar show I didn't feel like spending a lot of time there but it was productive. I went through my friend Darryl's 1971 box and pulled about forty needs.

The '71 set will change your mind about being condition-conscious. Luckily I already had my senses dulled by chasing the '62 set.

I did something I rarely do at Daryll's shows, I looked seriously at other dealers' table. One guy had tubs of minor/obscure/pointless autograph and relic cards. At a couple of bucks each, I figured I could spare ten minutes playing through some of them. I found a couple of Topps Archives baseball sigs that are already in a PWE headed east. I got this Calvin Borel signed Panini for myself. 

I'm not a huge collector of racing stuff but I do follow the thoroughbreds in the spring leading up to the Triple Crown races and I used to hit Sam Houston Race Park with some friends pretty regularly. This card of the Hall of Famer and three-time Kentucky Derby winner is just the second racing autograph I own. I have a Ron Turcotte photo of him riding Secretariat that I got when he appeared at a  charity event about a decade ago. 

I also found this Chief Bender oddball card from the 1975 Sheraton Great Plains Greats set. You can't tell by the scan but it's a bit bigger than standard card size.

Back at Daryll's tables, I found a pair of 1975s that I needed. I'm down to three cards to finish off that one. If you have a spare Yount rookie hanging around, hook me up, would you?

Keith Hernandez looks odd without any facial hair. Here's an odd fact: Hernandez is the only player to lead his position in Gold Gloves and not be inducted into the Hall of Fame.

Jim Rice IS a Hall of Famer, though. And here's a Jim Rice fact: He is the only player in major league history to record over 200 hits while hitting 39 or more HRs for three consecutive years.

Sunday was a stay-at-home day and I spent it clearing card office clutter, consolidating my fantasy baseball spreadsheets and card collection into one file and one binder respectively. I figured it was silly to maintain more than one of each. I now have a pretty big stack of current and recent player cards since they previously had slots in multiple binders. Trade bait!

I hope you had a fun weekend, too.

Thursday, February 14, 2019

TriStar, the Post Office, and other rants

First off I need to thank everyone who reached out here and on Twitter after I posted about my brother's death. My appreciation is heartfelt, believe me. Now, back to business.

I attended the TriStar show this past Saturday. I wasn't able to meet up with Marc from Remember the Astrodome as he was there on Sunday. But I spent time with my friend Daryll, the hotel show promoter/dealer and I did bump into an old friend who I hadn't seen in many years. Jon O. is an Astros/Colt 45s collector and was a part of our small, regular crew that hung out at a couple of LCSs and did all the shows together. We had a nice time reminiscing and, in particular, telling stories about our old, and now departed friend, John Baucum a.k.a. John Oriole.

But I did more than chat up my friends. I also knocked a huge dent into my 1971 and, to a lesser extent, 1975 want lists. The show itself was one of the better TriStar ones I've attended here in Houston. More dealers with solid offerings, less tables/booths with folks selling roasted cashews and sunglasses. Yes, those have been a thing in the past.

This post has a few of the non-set chase cards I picked up. I semi-collect Allie Reynolds. I've noted several times he was my father's favorite pitcher.

I bought the '56 Spook Jacobs card because, well, it was a buck. And they put 'Spook' on a Topps card. BTW..his given name is Forrest Vandergrift Jacobs. I found a nice story about him online. He passed away about eight years ago. One of the local SABR members writes about old players and he had a column about Jacobs in which he explains the nickname. But I have my doubts.

I was unaware of this JFK set and I need to look into it. I grabbed a handful of these from Daryll's oddball bin.

I also found a signed Gump Worsley card. I have tried to nab one on eBay a few times but never was able to do so.

Oh, rants. Yes, I almost forgot that I mentioned rants in the title. Well, I'll spare you my annual whining about being out $27 before I get to the first table at TriStar shows ($12 parking plus $15 admission). I'll spare you but I won't stop being annoyed by it.

The Post Office! I went to mail some packages on Monday. Normally when I'm sending someone a few cards I just fold up a 9-pocket, use those hard sleeves for strength, and stick a stamp or two on it. Never a problem. Monday I had large envelopes to send so I took my card PWEs to hand over the counter. The lady said they were parcels! Parcels? They barely weigh an ounce. She proceeded to add about two or three bucks postage to my stamps on each of them. ┌П┐(ಠ_ಠ)

 Here, I can't go on. Listen to some Isaac Hayes live. The Shaft soundtrack is what I played in my dorm room every night the first year I lived on campus.

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

10 Posts, 10 Cards, 10 Books, 10 Songs (#10)

I was surprised at how much the loss of Frank Robinson last week affected me. Maybe I shouldn't have been. On January 23 I lost my youngest brother to cancer. He was only 58 and left a wife and three kids, two of them 16 years old. I remained stoic through all the services. I'm not the emotional type, I try to focus on the fun times in the past.

Anyway, when I got news of Frank Robinson's passing I was pretty down and it still saddens me. Even going to the TriStar show on Saturday didn't lighten the mood. I think it's been just the suppressed emotion bubbling up.

But things get better over time and I'm ready to roll again. I'm working three days this week and that'll be fun. I dug out a few Robby items for scanning today. That's a Dexter Press postcard up top. Both their cards and postcards are really sweet. Very under-appreciated collectibles.

 Here is his rookie card, of course. An all-time favorite of mine. I found a decent enough second copy not long ago and bought it. Normally I'll put PC cards into the set binders to save costs. But in some cases, I can't bear to pull a card from a player's page and this is one of them. My fledgling '57 build isn't going to poach my Frank Robinson binder.

Frank has several books that have been issued with his name on the cover. I can't speak for the others but this one, co-authored by Al Silverman, definitely rang true to Frank's voice. He didn't shy away from discussing his earliest professional days as a black man traveling through the South in the 1950s. I read the original edition back in the day. My copy was lost over time and I later replaced it, thanks to a good friend, with an autographed copy of the updated edition.

 As the title implies, Frank lived the game his entire adult life. He changed the culture of the sport in Baltimore when he arrived. He brought the team two World's championships. He gave me one of the most remarkable moments of my life as a fan. RIP, Frank.

 I had a few other songs in mind for this final entry. I realized that I hadn't included either George Jones (my favorite vocal artist) or the anything by the great Isaac Hayes. One of these days I'll toss a few more music vids into posts to remedy that. Meanwhile here is something I was listening to this afternoon while driving...Miles Davis in a live performance of one of the great jazz standards, Stella by Starlight.

Fantastic. Miles teamed up with John Coltrane (two guys who would interpret songs from opposite ends, as it were) and the result was these performances in Paris and Stockholm in 1960. Here's the concert which was later released as Miles Davis & John Coltrane – The Final Tour: The Bootleg Series, Vol. 6.

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

10 Posts, 10 Cards, 10 Books, 10 Songs (#9)

And now for something completely different... a pair of 60s Dutch Gum cards that I added to my non-sports binder recently. It's a fun set that includes all sorts of celebrities. I have picked up some of my favorite actors and musicians over the last few months. I haven't posted them obviously. This kind of card draw much less reader interest than posting the latest Topps offerings but you gotta collect and blog what you like, right?

These particular cards are blank-backed and measure about as tall as standard cards but are just a quarter inch or so narrower. It goes without saying that both Gary Cooper and Jimmy Stewart are icons of Hollywood. If they are in a film, I'll watch it. And both made baseball-themed movies. Cooper as Lou Gehrig in Pride of the Yankees is the more widely known but Jimmy Stewart did a commendable job in The [Monty] Stratton Story.

For the second time in this series of posts, I'm breaking a rule and showing a book I have yet to read. My copy of The Pride of the Yankees: Lou Gehrig, Gary Cooper, and the Making of a Classic has been on my shelf for a while. I found it at a Goodwill Store and I have yet to attempt it. It received some very good reviews so maybe I should push it up on the reading queue.

Speaking of Dutch Gum cards...

These are smaller in size. More like those Topps stickers from the 80s. I would never even consider trying to figure out the Dutch Gum issues and various series.

How's that for a pair of icons? Give a listen to their 1956 Ella and Louis album:

Great, right? It should be. Here's the crew:

  • Louis Armstrong - vocals, trumpet
  • Ella Fitzgerald - vocals
  • Oscar Peterson - piano
  • Ray Brown - bass
  • Herb Ellis - guitar
  • Buddy Rich - drums