Thursday, December 24, 2020

Stuff on my desk Pt 1

Not much new in the world of cards for me in the last few months. Been catching up on books I've been putting off, binge watching The West Wing on Netflix, picking up photos and some '67T high numbers and messing with the '62 Post cards and some Philly Gum sets. 

I have a small stack of stuff that's sitting on my desk awaiting transfer to binders and boxes. Figured I'd scan a few because I had time on my hands after getting knocked out of my home league fantasy football playoffs. 

Here's a poorly cut Daryl Spencer. I have no problems with these being ragged. They were cut out by a lot of clumsy 10-year-olds like me in 1962. He played for the Giants, Cardinals, Dodgers and Reds from 1952 through 1963 but managed to avoid any postseason action.

A couple of Reds kicking off with Gordy Coleman. He was a power hitting Cleveland prospect who was dealt to the Reds in December of 1959 after getting into three games for the Indians. He played for the Reds through early 1967 and has a '61 World Series homer (Game 2, off Ralph Terry) to his credit.

Some kid (I assume) marked the Brosnan card with 'retired'. At least it looks that way. Brosnan actually retired after the '63 season. He was a solid relief pitcher who later wrote a couple of well received (and rather controversial) books about his time in the game.

These (the Olszewski above and Smith below) are customs I made for my fantasy football player binder. I hate spending on guys I only have for a week or two and who have only hard-to-find cards or none at all.

Here are a couple of cards I bought to fill out an order and I scanned because I had room on the platen.

I recently made a nice dent in my '67 needs with a purchase of high numbers and a few 'name' players. Killebrew was one. Nice Yankee Stadium shot. 

Steve Blass, he of the complete career collapse. The bunting on the railing behind him had me confused. This must be an Opening Day photo because he wasn't in the postseason or an All Star Game at this point.

J.C. Martin whose out of the base line trek to first in the '69 Series pretty much summed up the shit show I endured that fall.

I liked him better in 1960 when he appeared on a card disguised as Gary Peters.

Thursday, December 17, 2020


 I haven't done much hobby-wise lately and really haven't had the need to post much of what I have picked up. The photo seller's store I like to prowl through on eBay had a big promo running recently and I grabbed a bunch. Here are the two baseball news-wire shots I bought. Both Earl Weaver pics from 1969. Both are 101% Earl, too. For both pics I've enlarged the cutline for easier reading.

In this one he's arguing with Larry Napp. It's over game three of the '69 Series play involving Jim Palmer and Bud Harrelson who had been caught in a rundown after being picked off first. The play (and the call) ended up being of little consequence. Unlike the terribly botched JC Martin debacle later in the Series.

The second photo is Earl in a much different mood. The Orioles had wrapped up the AL East that day in mid-September. Just like Earl, I was a happy guy!!

Just a note here...I had a bunch of comments in the queue that were awaiting moderation. I haven't been getting notifications from Blogger so I must apologise if you posted something and never saw it show up. I had been getting a bunch of spam comments and went to moderation settings some time back. I may just remove the filter and see how it goes.

Monday, November 23, 2020

Pass The Milk, Please

A few more from my 1962 Post Cereal pickup...

Figured I'd toss up some National Leaguers since my last post (no pun intended) focused on AL guys. NL players got the red trim although a few errors occurred where they had blue grid lines around their stats. I'm very likely to blow those variations off. No need to build a master set when I'm gonna collect these in 'over-excited-nine-year-old-cut-these-out' condition.

The always underappreciated John Roseboro kicks this thing off. The Dodgers are the first team in the checklist for the Senior Circuit. The AL got the first hundred cards, the NL the next hundred in this 200 card set. Which reminds me...I was curious how Post decided the order of the teams in the checklist. They are aligned close to their 1961 finish, but not exactly. Obviously, the Dodgers didn't win the NL pennant in '61. The Reds did that and they are second in the checklist.

I did a bit of digging and played a hunch. Sure enough, the teams were numbered in the order of the major league standing in early- to mid-August, 1961. Between August 7th and 13th, the teams' spots in the standings and checklists matched with the only exception being following the games on the 11th. So that's the week the set must have been planned. Worth noting is that there were 10 AL clubs and 8 NL clubs in 1961. Fans of the newly formed Mets and Colt .45s didn't have player cards to look for on their boxes of Grape-Nuts in 1962. On a positive note, the NL teams got more players per team.

Player success and popularity have a bearing on the cost of these things but scarcity is an even bigger factor. Some players were included on the backs of less popular cereal and so fewer of their cards were snipped from boxes and put into kids' collections. There seem to be plenty of Ed Mathews cards out there.

My Santo is pretty brutal. He appears to be bothered by that fact.

The 'V' or checkmark that appears on my Mossi was on every card I received in my original lot purchase. No issue for me. 

Killer got the V for Victory treatment as well.

Back to NL guys. I think I like the red elements more than the blue of the AL cards.  I've given some thought to 'trimming' some of the cards where there is room to do so. I could 'fix' the Elroy Face card's top with an X-Acto blade, for example. No need to though, I'll never get these things graded.

Ruben Amaro was portraited by his son, Ruben Jr, a player/coach/executive, on a couple of episodes of The Goldbergs. Amaro Jr. went to the same school that's featured in the show and was attended by Adam Goldberg who based it on his life. That's a weird fact.

Friday, November 20, 2020

1962 Post Cereal

As my '67 Topps chase reached the point where I was looking at only needing the high number SPs, I figured I could take up an oddball-ish set just for grins. I happened upon a Net54 member looking to dump a nice, big starter set of 1962 Post Cereal cards at a bargain price. Right up my alley.

I had a lot of these back in the day. In '62 my siblings were just about the age where they would want cereal for breakfast and I, as a pre-teen, loved the stuff. (Honey Comb and Alpha bits were my favored Post offerings) Add in the fact that there was a family down the street with about six boys junior high age and younger, and there were plenty of these floating around my block.

My goal here is just to collect the cards. I don't care at all whether or not they were cut straight, folded, or have kids' names written in the blank backs. These were trimmed from box backs with blunt, dull scissors for the most part and I think that adds to their charm.

The lot I bought was mostly American Leaguers. And there were plenty of stars in it.

I also found quite a few more at a card seller's store online and grabbed more cheap ones. That bunch got me this mantle.

I had a Pierce in my BP collection but I needed one for this binder so for a buck I grabbed this one. 

I also found some of the last inexpensive '67s that I needed and those will get posted soon. 

Charley Maxwell, aka Paw Paw...aka The Yankee Killer. He sure resembles some TV personality but I can't quite figure out who it is.

Anyway, I'll have a wantlist up and if you have any of these that are collecting dust, I'd be happy to swap for 'em.

Tuesday, November 3, 2020

Mas 67s

Here are a few more from my spending spree. I meant to spread the super-duper stars out a bit but whatever. Still some pretty nice cards.

Lotta power in these smiling Pirates. 

If there was anyone on the '69 Mets I liked it was Donn Clendenon. Probably because he'd been a member of the original Expos, even if for only a few months. I'd latched on the Expos as my NL team. I have always had an affinity for expansion teams in baseball. I'm not sure why. I dug the original Padres as well. 

I remember what an interesting time it was. Clendenon had refused to report to the Astros earlier that year after the Bucs dealt him this way.

Lou Brock. All Class. RIP

Denny McLain recently had a big garage estate sale of much of his memorabilia. He invited people to browse through his house and promised refreshments. I didn't have to wonder if Pepsi was on the menu. He served hot dogs as well.

Bob Uecker sure got a lot of mileage out of a six-year stint in the majors.

Got some team cards as well. Damn scanner cut off the right side but these are already in the binder so I'm not rescanning. One of these is not like the others. Hmmm.

The Braves moved to Atlanta in 1966. Maybe...well, I have no idea why that would make Topps use the shot they used. and not crop out the background. 

Some good news...after just north of four months, today I received an email from order from the first of July is being shipped. Glory be. 

Thursday, October 29, 2020

'67 Star Power

I've had this post on hold as I gathered a few cards for my '67 build. Everything in this post came via eBay or Net54 buys. But not COMC which is where I've spent about 75% of my hobby money over the last few years.

Four months after I requested shipping I got an email from COMC that they were packaging my order. That was two weeks ago, and nothing since. I've hated to criticize any business during this time but COMC had the time and resources to send multiple emails a day touting their latest auctions. Once I get this last order in hand I am requesting a transfer of the money I have there (and it's a lot) to be sent back to my PP account. 

Enough of my bitching, let's look at cards. Yaz' signature look like a few I've seen from 90-year-old former players. Neat card though.

Here's a relatively young Pete Rose. This set is such a nice one. I can't believe I waited this long to work on it. OTOH...those high numbers will be the death of me.

I scanned the back of Pete's card for some reason. Maybe just to remark on how these backs contain almost everything...vitals, cartoons, a write-up blurb, and yearly stats. Not complete stats by any means but these were the numbers we cared about back then.

The Hammer makes an appearance.

As does Ernie Banks. I love everything about this Banks card.

And the late, great Bob Gibson. I wish my scanner treated these 67s with the respect they deserve. It likes to cut off borders.

Finally it's Vern Law. He's not a star of the magnitude of the others in the post but that shot in Forbes Field!! That's the University of Pittsburgh's Cathedral of Learning Tower in the background. That's whats lacking in a lot of modern backgrounds.

I mean just look at that card. I have a friend who grew up in Pittsburgh and attended many games at Forbes. I always tell him how jealous I am of that fact.

Here's a shot of that building. I just learned that the Pirates sold Forbes to the university who wanted more space to expand their graduate program.

And here's the view Pitt students had from the top looking down at the 1960 World Series.  "Hey, is that Clemente on second...or Smoky Burgess?" 😏

I'm rolling right along with the set. I'm about 100 cards short, give or take. About a third of them are from the lower numbers but most are from Series Seven. The list is link over on the right. If you have a spare Seaver rookie you don't want cluttering up your desk, hook me up, OK?

Sunday, October 18, 2020

Buck O'Neil Book Report

 With some extra time on my hands this summer I decided that I'd do a lot more reading than I had been. And I don't mean online. I'm sort of a dinosaur in that I still like the feel of a book in my hands. I'd been looking at The Athletic website (100% worth the subscription cost, btw) and came across Joe Posnanski's series chronicling the Top 100 Players in baseball history, at least according to him. It was a wonderful distraction from the lack of a season in the spring and early summer.

 He did it as a countdown, and while there were plenty of arguments to be made about where he put certain players, there could be no argument that his essays were marvelously written. Just terrific stuff, day after day. If you are not familiar with Posnanski's work, you are missing out.

When he got down to the last ten it was really fun to speculate on who would reign as #1 (it was Willie Mays). But, as I said, every player's story was so well written. Many suggestions rolled in that he publish the entire list in book form. I'd pre-order that for sure.

Soon after the series finished I check and found that Posnanski had written a book about Buck O'Neil. Entitled The Soul of Baseball, it is a travelogue of sorts which follows the year Posnanski spent on the road with O'Neil as the 90-year-old Negro League vet did what he'd been doing most of his life, spreading the gospel of baseball in general, the Negro leagues in particular.

I wasn't sure what to expect but I was bowled over as I read it. Posnanski came to really love O'Neil as they met fans at minor league parks, at baseball gatherings and at funerals of Buck's former teammates and rivals. The book made me laugh and tear up. And it made me do something I don't think I've ever done before...I went back and immediately re-read it. Not every page, mind you, but I dug through to find some of the wonderful stories that the book held. Posnanski shone a light on a one-of-a-kind human. 

Soon after I finished I shipped the book off to someone I know who will appreciate it. My guess is I won't get it back. But that's OK.

Then I went and found an authenticated signed pic of Buck O'Neil for my wall. As the book makes clear, Buck signed a lot of autographs. So many that I doubt anyone would bother to forge his signature. just no profit in it.

Buck O'Neil passed away just about the time the first edition of the book was being published. And that was not too long after the special committee that named many Negro League players and pioneers to the Baseball Hall of Fame but failed to include Buck. O'Neil himself would tell you he was a good, not great player. And while he was the first black coach in the majors, he never got a chance to step into the spotlight as the first black manager. 

But you can't possibly read this book and not see what a travesty his exclusion is. Naming an award after him doesn't make up for the lack of a plaque on those walls.

The book is available for five dollars or less in paper form at various sites. It's probably a $2 download to your Kindle. If you love baseball, or even if you want to feel better about humanity, it's money very, very well spent.

Thursday, October 8, 2020

My Five Favorite Pink Cards

Collecting Cutch is running a contest to raise money for breast cancer awareness. Here is his intro post with the details. I can't keep up with the parameters due to some projects but I figured I'd contribute one post at least. Hey, I LOVE pink cards, always have. That, and the fact that my sister is just getting over fighting this battle, is why I'm trying to help in some small way.

The list is restricted to cards I own. I've seen a few nice ones on other blogs over the last few days but I'll just show mine. In no order (except the last one) here they are.

'65 Topps Clemente. He had some really nice cards in his time. Who doesn't like the '65 set and it's Clemente, shown with a nice closeup in a pink frame. I've always liked how the team colors were reflected via the pennant on the Pittsburgh cards (and some of the others).

Yaz at Yankee Stadium and happy to be a ballplayer. I can't recall a Yaz card that was issued before this great '66 issue that had him smiling. It's a good look for one of the greats.


Bobby Layne was kind of like Stan Musial and Ted Williams. They were winding up great careers when I was just beginning to appreciate greatness in athletes I watched. My father had some stories of watching Layne play against his Giants, but like Williams, I can't remember having seen him although I'm sure i must have. Full disclosure...that's not my scan. Mine seemed out of focus for some reason and I don't want to dig the card out of the whatever random box I have my aborted '58 Topps build hiding in.

'58 Ryne Duren. Another guy my Dad loved. He never failed to tell me about Duran squinting in to see the signs and throwing warm-up pitches into the screen, all in an attempt to intimidate hitters. I'm not sure how it escaped me until now that Duren is wearing an Athletics uni on this card. Seems like airbrushing out the piping would have been even easier that adding a NY logo to the cap. 

This last card is my favorite pink card. I just showed it here last week. Hey there, Gibby!

OPC Gordie All-Star card

I recently went hog wild on eBay and put my eBay Bucks towards a bunch of 1967 Topps stars. They showed up today but I wanted to get this card posted before I dig into those.

This 1970/71 OPC Gordie Howe All Star is one I've seen a few times and just never got around to bidding on/buying. Then the same Net54 poster that had the Spahn card available had this for sale as well. 

The look on Howe's face is pure 'Gordie Howe'. He looks like he's eyeing the guy who just scored against the Wings and is celebrating a little too much. I'd hate to be that guy. The back of this card is hardly worth scanning, let alone posting. 

It's part of a puzzle (I hate 'puzzle back' subsets) and it shows just a piece of the border and some shadowing. The set had two different puzzles as part of the All Stars, Gordie and Gilbert Perreault of the Sabres. (I could be wrong on this, my memory is lax and I'm too lazy to do any digging right now.)

I did find a pic of the back of this Howe so I avoided having to crank up my cranky scanner.

 What did I tell ya? 😏