Thursday, January 30, 2020

Wrapping One Show, Ready For Another

With about a week to go until the Houston TriStar Winter Show, I thought I'd finish posting my meager takings from the last hotel show I attended.

First up, a handful of oddball Rusty Staub cards. I'm buying Rusty stuff without a checklist which is a little like driving around at night with your lights rely a lot on memory.

Swell Gum:


TCMA (from the 12-card All-Time Expos set.
But I was positive that those were new to me.

Unlike this Charles Bender 1913 National Game card. I have a really nice one that is in a slab that I blogged previously. This one was a cheapie. You can never have too many of these, right?

'77 Topps Cloth Sticker Lee May:

I found a small stack of these things and bought a few to pass on to some other bloggers. I didn't realize that I already had one of these. Jim Palmer is the other Orioles guy in the set. I wanted to find a Staub but no luck.

Billy Pierce 1959 Baseball Thrills subset card. I had this one but used it for my '59 build.

1987 Fleer Akeem Olajuwon sticker card. Yes, he was Akeem before he was Hakeem. I have some funny Olajuwon stories from his days at UH but I'll save them for when I have a cool piece to show with them. All I'll say now is that if he crashes a soccer game you are playing in... don't get in the way of one of his shots.

I haven't shown much (anything?) of the '61 Fleer football set. Most because nobody would read it. But I'm almost done with it and I wasn't even half trying. As with the Houston college player photo I had on here recently, this pic has the UH practice fields as the location and the surrounding neighborhood as the background.

'87 Donruss Murray. Part of the bunch of Murray cards that I was gifted at the show. I always liked this design. This is probably the last set that I paid attention to before I lost interest in the hobby a few years later.

1960 Lenny Moore. I had this in my Colts collection but I just love this card. One of these days I might try to chase this set.

Finally a pair of Arm & Hammer Orioles cards from the 1930s. I'm shown the backs in XL so they can be read.

The TriStar show is next weekend. Brooks Robinson is a guest on Sunday. I may take my son to reprise this shot from 20ish years ago:

 Brooks and Brooks!

Thursday, January 23, 2020

1938 Churchman Boxing set

I'm always surprised at how affordable vintage tobacco sets are (especially English sets). Twenty bucks, give or take, can get you 50 cards that include some of the best boxers in history.  And the sets are easy to find. I've had my eye on this for a while and found one in nice condition at around that price.

Up top, we have the great Jack Johnson. A product of Galveston, Texas, just down the road. Here's the back.
Max Baer and one of the greatest fighters that nobody talks about, Henry Armstrong. He was my grandfather's favorite.

Max Schmeling and Jack Dempsey

Four more great ones...James J. Braddock, made famous to modern audiences through Cinderella Man, one of my favorite boxing flicks. Primo Carnera was well known as a wrestler after his boxing career. I grew up going to school with one of his nephews. And below them, Gene Tunney and Joe Louis, considered by many the greatest of all time.

The back of Braddock's card....

The full checklist. These were numbered using last names in alphabetical order. The last 11 cards are of managers and refs.
1     Lou Ambers
2     Henry Armstrong
3     Max Baer
4     Jack "Kid" Berg
5     Eric Boon
6     James J. Braddock
7     Primo Carnera
8     Georges Carpentier
9     Dave Crowley
10     Arthur Danahar
11     Al Delaney
12     Jack Dempsey
13     Jack Doyle
14     Jim Driscoll
15     Tommy Farr
16     Ben Foord
17     Larry Gains
18     Len Harvey
19     Frank Hough
20     Jack Johnson
21     Peter Kane
22     Jack Kilrain
23     Johnny King
24     John Henry Lewis
25     Ted "Kid" Lewis
26     Joe Louis
27     Benny Lynch
28     Jock McAvoy
29     Tommy Milligan
30     Harry Mizler
31     Walter Neusel
32     Jack Petersen
33     Eddie Phillips
34     Max Schmeling
35     Gene Tunney
36     Paolino Uzcudun
37     Jimmy Walsh
38     Billy Wells
39     Jimmy Wilde
40     Moss Deyong
41     C.H. Douglas
42     Jack Hart
43     Jack Smith
44     Victor Berliner
45     Ted Broadribb
46     Sam Russell
47     Johnny Sharpe
48     Arthur J. Elvin
49     Sydney Hulls
50     John E. Harding

Saturday, January 18, 2020

On A Bender

I hadn't added anything to my Charles Bender collection in months when I got a Twitter tip from Nick Vossbrink who writes a great card/photography blog and opines on Twitter using @vossbrink.

He pointed me towards this 4x5 Type 1 contact print produced by William Jacobellis who photographed many sports and entertainment figures over a long career that stretched into the 70s. He shot for the New York Journal-American and was responsible for many pictures used on Topps cards in the 50s. PSA's site has a lot of info on how these pics would up on Topps products. It's a link worth following.

The pic above was taken during Chief Bender's last baseball gig, pitching coach for the Philadelphia A's in the early 1950s. Bobby Shantz won the MVP in 1952 while under Bender's tutelage. Chief died of cancer and other health issues in 1954 at the age of 70.

I'm planning to be in the Philadelphia area in late February or early March and hope to find a chance to visit his grave just north of the city if I can squeeze in some time.

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Card Show Potpourri

I hit the hotel card show on Saturday. Having nothing in the works in terms of set building gave me the chance to just schmooze with some dealers and pick through my friend Darryl's cheap vintage boxes and cherry-pick a few things I thought were nice. I went home with about twenty vintage cards. Here are a few of them. And note that my scanner likes to cut off borders and I'm too lazy to re-scan anything at the moment.

Do I collect Dick Allen? Mmmmmmmaybe. I have plenty of his cards, that's for sure. I bought the '64 because I'd given mine away to a friend who was lamenting losing his childhood Phillies collection. I put together the 1964 Topps Phils team set for him. It was really neat to see how much he enjoyed the cards from his favorite Phils club ever.

This '76 is an upgrade to the one in my set.

'75 Luis Tiant. I have this in my '75 set of course but it's also gonna have a spot in my 'cards I like just because' binder.

Not my favorite Gale Sayers card but it helps fill out his page.

Darryl had lots of '69 Topps football in really nice shape. This set is very condition-sensitive and I could use a bunch of upgrades. I don't yet have a list of cards in my set that could be improved upon but here are three I bought for the simple reason that they were nice enough to buy on spec.

Vintage Giants cards remind me of my father.

I think I already had this Elvin Hayes card. He does UH basketball radio color commentary and walks right by us every game. I still haven't asked him to sign anything. I haven't seen anyone else ask either, so I'll wait.

Artis Gilmore came thru Houston when he played for Jacksonville U. He was part of a 7 foot-ish tandem post with a guy named Pembrook Burrows. Both schools were sort of wild, outlaw programs at the time and the games were a blast. Jacksonville made the NCAA final in 1970. Burrows went on to become a Florida highway patrolman and Gilmore had a long pro career and is in the hoops hall.

Darryl pulled out a huge box of 80s/90s cards that were part of a buy he made a few months back. He had promised me some Eddie Murray cards because of a friendly argument we had over Murray's Hall of Fame credentials. I had the mainstream cards of Eddie with the Orioles but few, if any, of him in other teams' gear. Darryl said I could just take anything I wanted.

The box had all the routine Topps, Fleer, Donruss cards and some oddballs as well. I ended up pulling one of each different card even knowing I had many of them already. I'll post a sampling of them.

I wish Upper Deck was still in the card making game. If they were I might still be in the pack buying game.

Back in 1988 I bought a box of those Topps-issued schoolkid folders that were replicas of this Topps card. There were 15 or twenty in the box. Over time, I gave them away to kids at my school I still have two.

1990 Fleer. Junk wax at it's finest.

'92 Topps something or other. Topps Kids?  I don't remember this.

I normally ignore stuff like this but it's actually sort of fun. The back is cute.

Stickers posing as cards. Why?

Another nice Upper Deck Eddie. At this point in his career, Eddie had decided that appearing to have some fun out there wouldn't kill him.

'93 Fleer. I don't even know if this is the regular issue for that year or not. By '93 I was out of the card hobby and close to being out of the fan business as well. I was hanging on by my fingertips and a year or so later the strike/lockout/stoppage came along and stomped on those fingers.

That's it for tonight. This show was the first one I've attended without a want list in hand. TriStar is coming up so I better get to work on something.

Friday, January 10, 2020

News Photo Randomness

A few eBay pickups that have arrived over the last couple of days.

This photo of Orioles pitcher Wally Bunker came from the Miami Herald archives and is dated February 21, 1965 on the reverse. That was probably around the date pitchers and catchers reported.

As I've noted several times here, I used my earnings from my Newark Evening News delivery route to buy a Rawling Wally Bunker model glove in the summer of '65. I still have it. I've been tempted to send it off to be refurbished but the cost gives me pause. After all, with my kids grown and out on their own there isn't much chance to play catch around here these days.

Next picture is an AP news wire shot from the 1970 World Series Game One win celebration. Three faves here, Boog, Ellie, and Brooks. Good times. I watched much of that Series on the University of Houston campus in the University Center. I also remember listening to Game Three in my biology lecture with and earpiece. I didn't do too well in Bio but I can't blame the Orioles.

Speaking of the University of Houston...

Harold 'Hal' Lewis was a local guy who played halfback and returned kicks for the Coogs in the late 50s and was a co-captain on a couple of Missouri Valley conference championship teams. He was drafted by the Baltimore Colts in 1959 as a 7th rounder, the 84th pick overall. He played in parts of three seasons in the pros. Besides the Colts he suited up for the Bills in 1960 and the Raiders in 1962.

I bought the Lewis photo for a couple of reasons. First of all, I recognize the locale. The picture was taken on what was the football team's old practice fields which were still in use when I arrived and on which I spent many an afternoon. They also served as the intramural fields when I worked in the IM/Rec offices. The buildings in the background were across Scott Street from the fields.  The pic was cheap and didn't cost me any extra shipping.

In a fun coincidence, I had picked a nice lot of Baltimore Colts publications over the holidays. And one was this 1959 Colts 'Action Pictorial', which is essentially their yearbook.

And rookie halfback Hal Lewis appears. It's the same pic!

And I also won this 1959 NFL title game program. It was one of those auctions on eBay where the seller had it listed so low I thought it might be a reprint. But it is genuine and I got it for a song.

And rookie back Hal Lewis appears in this one, too. But now he has a picture showing him in his Colts uni.

After playing sparingly during the regular season, Lewis got into the championship game and made the stat sheet with a 12-yard kick return. He appeared in only two games for the Bills in 1960, but he had a bigger role with the Raiders in '62, appearing in 11 games.

He was out of football after that and went to work in the private sector. Lewis passed away in 2014.  Through the years the Baltimore Colts drafted four University of Houston players. I should make them a mini collection.

Wednesday, January 8, 2020

Here's Johnny (Callison)

I'm 'nickel and dime-ing' my way through my Johnny Callison want list. He hasn't reached Billy Pierce's collection status. In other words I'm not going to go out and try to find every stupid Topps Lineage Canary Diamond sparkle card like I did with BP.

But I am trying to build a solid career-era collection and add will mix in assorted oddball post-career stuff when it's available cheaply. Same as I am doing with Elston Howard and a few others.

And Callison doesn't really have much in the way of Heritage-type cards. Most of them fall into the buyback/re-issue realm and if I have an 'original' I can do without the gold stamped versions.

This came from a Net54 member. Seriously miscut (but signed) '59 Rookie Stars. I love the design.  Part of the appeal of the vintage sets I built were the subsets. The rookie and All-Star cards Topps birthed in those days were just so cool.

But when it came to the '65 Embossed...Topps whiffed. Actually, this Callison bears a decent resemblance to him. But go find the Yaz Embossed. That ain't Yaz.

Here's an example of a post-career card that was easy to add to my PC. 1981 TCMA Go-Go White Sox Callison.

The seller sent it in a Card Saver inside a PWE which is fine by me. But he used a sticker to seal the thing:

Even if you're selling cheap oddballs, do better.