Friday, December 6, 2019

Five Cool Commons

Twitter friend Mark Del Franco tossed up a tweet the other evening asking to see collector's favorite commons. I tossed up my '61 Wes Covington as it's one of my favorite cards, common or otherwise. And I thought that idea would make a good post. I know I really need some motivation to post and I appreciate neat commons from vintage sets, so here we are.

I'm sure I've posted each of these five cards in one form or fashion before, either on this blog or one of my set build blogs. These five are here for different reasons but all are among my favorites.

This '57 Charlie Neal card challenges the '61 Covington for artistic appeal. I just love the Ebbets Field background with the Schaefer Beer ad atop the scoreboard, the fencing above the Gem Blades ad, etc. And don't forget that "Schaefer is the one beer to have when you're having more than one."

Don Rudolph's 1959 Topps card looks very ordinary, yes?

But here's the cartoon on the back...

You really do want to read about Don Rudolph's 'dancer' wife. Trust me on this. She's the reason this common is so high on my list.

And Wes Covington appears...

That, my friends, is art. The pose, the bat rack, the uniform (those stirrups!!). The perfect baseball card? It has to be in the running.

I was always a fan of the late Elrod Hendricks. He played and lived with joy and a smile on his face. He never turned down an autograph request and loved talking to fans, especially after his playing days when he was on the Orioles' staff.

This card from the 1975 SSPC set captures him perfectly. Seeing his smile makes me smile. I have a signed copy of this card in my Hendricks binder pages but I like the unsigned one just as much. Hard to beat Ellie's zest for baseball.

The best day I've ever spent in a ballpark came in late June 1970. The Yankees-Indians mid-week, afternoon doubleheader was more fun than one could ever hope for. Tony Horton crawling back to the dugout after whiffing on a Steve Hamilton 'Folly Floater', four dingers by Bobby Murcer, a firecracker tossed from the upper deck that landed at home plate and probably shaved a few years off Ray Fosse's life. And the best baseball brawl I've ever witnessed in person. I did a blog post a few years ago centered on this remarkable day which you can see here.

This card of Vada Pinson from Topps' wonderful 1971 set uses a photo taken during the first game of that doubleheader (with a cameo by Thurman Munson). Every time I see this card I'm reminded of the day my best friend and I spent at Yankee Stadium just weeks before my family made our second, and permanent, move to Houston.

So there they are, five commons I love. I'm sure there are many more I could include in a list of commons I treasure but it would take something remarkable to bounce one of these off my list.

I'd love to see other bloggers' lists.


  1. I love the '57 Neal, I've had that on my radar for a while.

  2. Great cards all around! I'll have to consider a list of my own!

  3. Love the Charlie Neal.
    I'll have to come up with five and make a post.

  4. Ooooh, the Wes Covington is my favorite of the lot. The stirrups are amazing and I love a good bat rack card when I can find one.

  5. Excellent idea. I probably would have to scrape up 5 commons I've never shown before, which would be tricky.

    Also, I enjoyed my comment on your linked post. Had I remembered the cartoon, I would've included it in Beckett article about cartoons.

  6. Nice blog, thanks for sharing. Five?? Hmmmmm.....

  7. I love that Neal card, cards with interesting stadium backdrops in the photo are my favorite and Ebbets Field is hard to beat.

  8. That Neal is the only 57 Dodger I have but it combined with the 59 Hodges are a great before/after stadium pair.