Friday, August 30, 2019

Some Colts signed cards

It's been awhile since I added anything to my Baltimore Colts binder so finding these 1999 Fleer/SI Greats of the Game cards on COMC was cool. I think I had seen some before but hadn't paid much attention at the time. I was too busy chasing down the vintage Colts cards for my project.

I haven't check to see if there are others I'm missing but these four will do for now. Nice that these are on-card sigs. The folks in charge of this used actual covers or really nice SI-type pics.

Here are the front and back of the John Mackey card. BTW...if you are still wondering why Andrew Luck could walk away from the NFL while he could still function, look up John Mackey.  Or watch the video below the cardback.

All the card backs were the same as this only name and logo changed.

Mackey defined the tight end position, invented it really. And was kept out of the Hall of Fame for many years because his work on behalf of the Players Association. Total bullshit. Like John Unitas, he finished his playing with the Chargers.

OK, no more down notes. Enjoy the other three cards....

Earl Morrall. He had an underrated career.

The amazing Lenny Moore!!! My picks for the top five most fun-to-watch players...Earl Campbell, Jim Brown, Gale Sayers, Barry Sanders and Lenny Moore. Oh, and you want more reason feel Luck did the right thing? Look at what Earl Campbell is fighting these days.

Finally, Bert Jones, The Ruston Rifle. Does anyone remember his final year, the one he spent with the Rams? Didn't think so. I'm not sure why all great Colts players ended up in California to finish their career.

Monday, August 26, 2019

Orioles Signed Postcards circa 1988

Digging further through boxes of 'stuff' as I attempt to organize my shelves I came across these Orioles team-issued postcards. I got them signed on one of my last trips to Arlington Stadium. I'm guessing 1988 or '89. After that I was too busy with kidsand coaching to make the regular trips to watch the Birds.

Nothing spectacular here. I used to stay at the same hotel as the team which was just across the parking lot from the ball park. Even though I am not much into autographs I enjoyed getting cards signed there. Most of these were signed in the lobby or hotel restaurant, a few in the parking lot. I always asked the player to sign to me and for the most part they did.

Funny thing, I wouldn't dream of approaching a player for a signature like that now at my age.

The last time I collected an autograph 'in the wild' was at Nationals' Spring Training when Matt Williams and Tony Tarasco came over to talk to us in the team box seats. Oh, and I did flag down Dennis Martinez at Minute Maid Park.

RIP Frank Robinson

My scanner hates bright white borders. I had to bump and bruise these cards to get images.

It was in the parking lot there at Arlington Stadium that I heard Eddie Murray speak for the first time. I'd previously been convinced that he was mute.

More fun stuff from my 'vault' coming soon.

Thursday, August 22, 2019

Tribute to an old friend

I got word yesterday (belatedly, I'm afraid) of the passing of Mary Alice Fee, 'Miss Fee' as she was known to family and friends. She had turned 100 last fall and I'd known her most of my life. I met her when she was my aunt's next door neighbor in Baltimore nearly 60 years ago. She looked after my cousins (and me and my siblings when we visited) and was a dear friend to my aunt through the years.

I was always close to my aunt and cousins, and she was essentially part of the family. She was funny and kind and was an Orioles fan of the first order. She knew her baseball despite never attending a game in person. Her thing was following the Birds on the radio. She had lost her sight in recent years but she still enjoyed the games. She had opinions on the state of the team and was never afraid to voice them.

In her honor I'm posting a signed IP 1975 Brooks Robinson TCMA/SSPC from the Superstars set. I came across it and a couple other related Orioles signed cards while digging through my old hobby storage boxes the other evening.

A love for Brooks Robinson was another thing Miss Fee and I shared.

These next three are from the SSPC set.

This final pic is Miss Fee and myself at Amicci's in Baltimore's Little Italy during a trip about ten years ago. RIP Miss Fee 💔

Friday, August 16, 2019

Card Show Hit & Miss

I hit the hotel card show last Saturday in hopes of knocking out a chunk of my 1974 set needs. I don't think I've yet relayed the backstory on that set. I bought an 800 count box of '74s with the hope of obtaining a fair-sized number of the 660ish cards. Nope. The 'some dupes included' turned out to be multiples upon multiples of many cards. Plus a couple hundred of the traded set. Ugh. Lesson learned.

With want list in hand I spoke to my friend Darryl who runs the show and learned that he had decided to travel light this time, and he had left most of his cheap vintage boxes at home. He had just a few '74s sitting in general bargain boxes. I picked them up and will be happy to see his '74s at this weekend's edition of his show.

Meanwhile, I added a few '57s. I'll have a post showing off some big name, auction house-acquired, '57 star cards this week. Meanwhile, I'll show some of my faves from last Saturday's show.

Not much to say about these other than I'm really getting to love this set with every handful of cards I go through. Elmer Singleton wearing the 'full name' Cubs' jersey with the cap that has the piping. This is an awesome look!

Gus Zernial at Yankee Stadium. Nice card but not as cool as his 1952 Topps!

Here are a couple of Phils at Ebbets Field.

As I noted, I did find some '74s. About a dozen or so. I already had this Don Baylor but I bought this copy because I dig the Yankee Stadium scoreboard background.

I think I already had this Dick Allen card but it's hard to pass on another cheap one. I can keep the first one where it is, in my small, unofficial Dick Allen collection.

Mays as a Met. I'll never get used to it. This card led me down a rabbit hole. I'll get to that in a bit.

The Astros have gone back to wearing orange and blue but their current threads don't hold a candle to the sets they wore back in the day.

Darryl had a stack of Exhibits on his table. Only one interested me and when I looked closer I saw it wasn't an Exhibit card after all. This Guy Lombardo is actually a Mutoscope postcard. Mutoscope was known for it's 'girlie' cards. Like Exhibits, these were sold in vending machines for the most part.

I mentioned that the Willie Mays '74 World Series card sent me down a 'rabbit hole'. I was looking into what he did to merit being the 'face' of Game Two of the '73 series. Turns out (and I had no memories of this) he entered the game as a pinch runner and stayed on as the game went into extras. He got two at bats and drove in the go-ahead run in the top of the 12th in the Mets' win. I noticed that George Stone got the save for New York and I had this Dean Stone card (note the Sox logo on his cap is an artist's addition) on my desk at the time.

I looked to see if Dean was related to George. He's not, but I read a neat story about Dean Stone's only All Star appearance and how he came to become the winning pitcher in that '54 ASG without throwing a pitch. His SABR bio is the best write-up. Recommended reading!

EDIT: Dean Stone passed away almost exactly a year ago at the age of 88. His obit in the Washington Post is here.

So I added a few cards to my two baseball chases. I have added a BUNCH of '74s in the week since but those came via various blog and Twitter friends. I'll catch up with those soon.

Oh, and I will be adding a want list for the 1969 Topps FOOTBALL set today. On the odd chance you have any of these available I'd love to hear from you.

Friday, August 9, 2019

Artsy Fartsy Billy P

With only two items* on my Billy Pierce 'wish list', and both of them being costly/hard-to-find, I haven't really done much to bolster my Pierce collection lately.

I added a couple of 'art cards' which fall into the 'I'll add them if they are reasonable' category. They weren't 'must-haves' but they are attractive pieces that I was happy to pick up.

Almost all my Batman art cards are original sketches. I rarely give a second glance to prints, no matter how limited. When it comes to sports art cards I'm not as fussy. I really like Edward Vela's style. He's done a handful of Pierce cards previously. I have bought and posted two others. This one is the best of the bunch. It's based on a photo that I've seen used multiple times on cards.

That card back is signed which is unique among the Vela Pierce cards I own. The fact that it has "#4" after Pierce's name means there is one more I might eventually track down. I bought a stack of his cards a few months ago and still haven't scanned them. I'll get to that soon enough.

The other addition is a Gypsy Oak 'faux' vintage postcard. I believe it's a woodcut and it's done on old cardboard. This came from a third party seller on eBay. I purchased a few items from the artist directly some years back and I see some of his work on Twitter. Earlier today I tried to locate his home page by looking at his Twitter profile and found that he has blocked me. 👀😏😄 This could be due to the fact that I declined his offer to sell me a large Pierce commissioned piece. (too costly and I couldn't display it anyway) or, and this is more likely, due to my left-leaning, socialist (LOL) Twitter posts and re-tweets. Sigh.

Nonetheless, it's a nice piece and it'll go into the Pierce binder postcard pages. I hold no grudges. Besides, I think I blocked him first. ᕦ(ツ)ᕤ


Today's afternoon mail brought something that fits this post perfectly. A postal cachet featuring BP with the Giants canceled in NYC in 1985. I don't think the date has any significance at all. One reason I liked it is the fact that it mentions his duels with Whitey Ford. I saw a couple of those at Yankee Stadium with my father.

But it's another oddball Pierce item. 

*= they are the '59 Bazooka Short Print and the 1959 Topps Venezuelan Ace Hurlers #156 with Robin Roberts

Monday, August 5, 2019

RIP Dan Even...Postcard Guru

Over the weekend I got word of the death of Dan Even. Dan was a longtime collector/dealer for sure. But he was much more than that. He was one of those collectors who got more enjoyment out of helping others with their collecting than his own.

He had multiple interests but chief among them was team-issued postcards. He set up at shows across the country through the 80s and 90s and dispenced help and advice to anyone who stopped by his tables. He made Houston shows a couple of times a year. My collecting interest back then was primarily Orioles postcards.

Dan was a Cardinals fan but he knew quite a bit about Orioles cards and he helped me fill in gaps in my collection.  Once we became acquainted at shows he took to bringing me small boxes filled with postcards he'd picked up since his last Houston trip. I'd buy them sight unseen knowing that there would be some gems in the group.

I hadn't spoken to him in quite a while. I think he still attended National shows in the summer but I haven't made one in many years.

It was a pretty shitty weekend, to be honest. No need to discuss what everyone is aware of. But the obituary written for Dan that I found this afternoon is an absolute gem. It made me grin and then laugh out loud. Even if you have never heard of Dan Even I recommend reading it all the way through. Every collector will certainly appreciate it.

Dan Even Obituary

I'll wrap this up with some team issued Orioles postcards, a couple of which I know I received from Dan (Johnson, Grich).

RIP, Dan. And thanks!