Thursday, July 2, 2020

Exhibiting some exhibit cards

A few weeks ago it suddenly dawned upon me that baseball exhibit cards are very affordable. To give a little background in case you don't know about them, exhibit cards were released in several different series from the 1920s to the 1960s. The most common one was released from 1947-66. I already exhibited the Bob Feller I got from the 1939-46 series on this blog back in March.

As I was saying, it dawned upon me how cheap they were, and I decided to get a couple off Ebay. I picked two hall-of-famers, both who were about $5. Now, I understand why they're so inexpensive. They're black and white, they're oversized, and they were produced over multiple years, so they're not too hard to find. However, I think they're still good buys. Without further ado, the cards:
This was my first card of Bobby Doerr released in his playing career, so that was pretty cool. I wanted one, and this was his cheapest.

Though this isn't my only playing career card of "The Scooter", it's not like I have many. As you can see, the condition of either of these isn't great; there are pin marks on the top of both, and other stuff. The dark spot by Rizzuto is some sort of stain, but I don't mind it too much as it's not on Rizzuto himself. Overall, I think the condition on these is acceptable, and they didn't blow out my budget. However, I think next  time I'll buy some more colorful cards.

Thanks for reading

Tuesday, June 23, 2020

The worst (best) card ever?

This is a picture from TCDB because I currently can't upload pictures.
I traded for this ( and a couple other cards) from my Dad yesterday, and I'm still not quite sure what to make of it. I think it's one of those " So bad it's good" cards. I mean, all that awful '80s facial hair. Goose Gossage looks like a mouse, Rollie Fingers like a wannabe suave corsair, and I'm not quite sure what Dan Quisenberry looks like. I thought maybe rejected Sesame Street character, my Mom thought he looked like a butcher. I'm a big Quisenberry fan, but that definitely wasn't his best picture. 

So what do you think? Awful or awesome?

Because it's been so long since I shared some a song I like, I'll share a couple from Big Star's 2nd album, and also I'll do a little history of Big Star, which you may skip if you want.

 I shared one of the songs from their first album back when I was doing "Song of the Week"    (remember that?) For a long time I only liked their first album ( #1 Record), but over the past year I've come to appreciate their second album too. It's a bit different sounding than the first album. Chris Bell had left the band because he didn't like that Alex Chilton was getting all the attention. Bell ended up dying in a car crash at 27 in 1978.  For a long time I only liked " O My Soul," the first song on the album, but but by now I think I like them all.

( September Gurls is one of their best known songs)
Though the first two albums were ( in my opinion) some of the greatest albums ever, they never were able to sell well because of faulty distribution, and are not very well known. The third, and last, album was more of a mess. By then they only had 2 members of the original 4 ( Alex Chilton and drummer Jody Stephens), and Chilton was kind of in a flame out at the time. When the record company heard the album, they were horrified, and it wasn't released until the 1990s. Though it's erratic overall there are still some good songs like " Jesus Christ" and " Big Black Car". 

Though Big Star wasn't very successful in the band's life time, it influenced many bands, including R.E.M. I'll close with " Big Black Car", from the third album. It might be my favorite Big Star song. The best I can describe is that it sounds like a slice of eternity, like it's never gonna end and you don't want it to.

A special thanks if you got to the end.

Friday, June 5, 2020

Online dime box (part 2)

I also indulged in a good amount of Yankee oddballs. The card on the bottom left is the most interesting to me, as it has yellow baseballs on the front and was created for the 12th National Sports Collectors Convention, which I'm guessing was just the National. 
I was really excited to get my 1st card of Luis Tiant as a Yankee, as I'm a Tiant fan. Bobby Murcer was my Dad's favorite in the '70s, and Ron Guidry was a key cog in the Yankees' back-to-back championships in 1977 and 1978, compiling one of the greatest seasons on the mound in recent history. I'm not really sure why Ron Davis is carrying a bat, but it's a cool shot.
2 really great pictures here. Cards of players tossing footballs are always welcome, and John Wathan's card is definitely a little out of the ordinary too.
I was extremely surprised to get a vintage hall-of-famer for 10 cents. Granted, 1978 is just barely on the tail-end of what I consider vintage, and Weaver was a manager, but still. 1978, in my opinion, had some of the best manager cards ever. It's practically impossible for me to conjure up a mental image of guys like Earl Weaver when they were young, so I appreciate the help.
The Senior League was interesting, as it lasted just a bit longer than one season, and is by now pretty much forgotten, but it was the last stopping point as a professional for semi-stars like "Mick the Quick", "The Mad Hungarian", and Ron Leflore, who had an interesting career. And there's Earl Weaver again!
I added some new cards to the ol' knuckleballer collection. Charlie Hough was definitely old enough to qualify for the Senior League at the time (he debuted in 1970,) but he was busy pitching in the starting rotation of the Rangers. 
R.A Dickey isn't the last knuckleballer in baseball, as there were 2 in the majors in 2019, but as they combined for just 12 innings it didn't really matter. 
I certainly couldn't turn these down for 10 cents. I like the Giancarlo (Mike) Stanton cameo on the Jordany Valdespin card. 
I added a couple of cards to my Jim Abbott collection, which now stands at a whopping 19 cards! Okay, I know that's not really a whole lot, but it isn't too bad.
I'll close out with the late Bob Watson. Though his career numbers don't seem that impressive (.295 AVG, 184 home runs,) you have to realize he spent most of his career in the '70s, which wasn't a big hitting decade, and he also spent most of his career playing for the Astros, who had a very bad stadium for hitters at the time. Rest in peace, Bob Watson.

Sunday, May 31, 2020

Online dime box

After all the coronavirus stuff kicked in, I had no idea when was the next time I would be able to go to a card show, which was a frightening thought. Already I missed digging through cards, especially dime boxes, and just being around people. There's still no date in sight for card shows returning, but at least I was able to take advantage of a dime box.

 How, you may ask? Or maybe you already know from blog posts by other baseball card bloggers. For a while now has had a sale reducing the prices of all their cards from 25 cents each to 10 cents, and believe me, I took advantage of it. I spent a good amount of time digging through the inventory, and emerged with a whopping 249 cards! That's about $10-15 more than I've ever spent at a real dime box, the reason for my affluence being a check from my grandparents.
The 3 stacks in the picture are my pile of Yankees, my pile of player collection cards, and my pile of random cards, which as you can see, got a little big. It will be hard for me to figure out where to start this post, but I'll have a try.
I always enjoy getting O-Pee-Chee cards, so I got a lot of Yankees and other players. It's rather ironic that for a lot of the OPC cards I don't have the Topps card yet.
These look like regular old Topps cards, but they're actually O-Pee-Chee. For some odd reason OPC cards in both 1990 and 1991 have the Topps logo on the front. Whenever you see what looks like a 1991 Topps card in this post, it's actually a OPC card.
I always enjoy getting cards of failed Yankee phenoms, like Kevin Maas, Ruben Rivera, and Brien Taylor here.
For the last two years of the brand's existence, they used designs different from Topps. These 4 are from the final set, 1994, and the Paul O'Neill card in the picture above is from 1993.
Going through the cards made me realize how much I've fallen behind in keeping current with collecting Yankees. Though 3 of the 4 players above played vital parts in the Yank's success in 2019, these were the 1st cards I've gotten of them. Part of the reason is that I made a decision to stop buying retail except on very rare occasions, and the other is that although I always mean to start trading cards, I never do. Hopefully I'll get to that sometime soon.
Same story as above. I did not particularly enjoy Neil Walker's stay in New York, and I doubt he did either. He hit .219, for which I dubbed him "The Hitless Wonder". Oh well.
These two were actually my 1st two 2020 Topps cards at all. The design is okay, the photos are good, and they still have full-career stats, so I can't complain.
I thought Renata Gallasso Glossy Greats were a steal at 10 cents, and I also enjoyed getting a couple of TCMA minor league cards.

To avoid the risk of going on forever, I'll end the post here, and a follow-up will appear in a few days. Generally when I say it takes a month for me to write the 2nd post, but as it's summer break and I'm sitting around the house anyway,you don't have to worry this time.

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Right place, right time

Sometimes you're just in the right place at the right time. One day I was browsing on Comc, as I do too often, when I noticed that a couple tobacco baseball cards were heavily discounted. This was perfect, as I love getting any baseball cards made before World War 2, and these were the cheapest I'd ever seen, outside of some really beat-up T205 commons. And they weren't just mere commons. The one I was itching to get the most was a T206 Fred Merkle, known for his "boner".

The only problem was money. I technically had enough, but that was earmarked for a card show that was coming the next weekend (yes, this was a while ago). I was very anxious about it, when finally I remembered something.

 My Uncle Charlie, a little after Christmas, had asked if there was something he could get me for a late Christmas present. Being me, I had kept on putting it off, which turned out well. I had originally planned on asking for just  a baseball book or two, so it turned out to be very providential that I put it off.

Late that night, with my mind still going way past it's normal rate, I had bought the Fred Merkle, which my Uncle got for me, and another card.
Beautiful, isn't it? Though Merkle is just remembered for the error which lost the 1908 pennant race, he was actually a pretty good player, finishing 7th in the MVP voting in 1911, and 18th in 1912. He hit .273 for his career, pretty good for the dead ball era, and after he was done in the major leagues starred in the high minor league for a couple years.
And now for the other card. This was my first T205, and I was not disappointed. I think the set would be as popular as T206 if it wasn't missing the attention-catching errors and scarcities that T206 has in relative abundance.  I chose Doc Crandall for my 1st example as he had a very interesting career. He was one of the 1st relief aces, for one, leading the NL in games finished every year from 1909-1913. He was also a very good hitter, and in fact in 1914, while playing in the Federal League, he was used as both a pitcher and a 2nd baseman. It worked pretty well, as he went 13-9 on the mound and hit .306.

Also, he won 354 professional games, most of them in the majors and the Pacific Coast League, the best minor league at that time.
And here are the backs, from when they knew how to make good backs.  T206 had simple but attractive backs, and T205 was one of the very first sets to have statistics on the back.They were both Sweet Caporal cards, which is interesting.

Thanks for reading, and also thanks to Uncle Charlie, who made these cards possible.

Sunday, April 26, 2020

The Great Stereo Find

Every now and then I read about incredible "finds", like somebody discovering a Babe Ruth rookie card in a piano or rare Ty Cobb cards in a paper sack.

This is not quite on the same level, but as it happened to me pretty recently, it doesn't just make me think " I want that to happen to me but its never gonna".  They were already my cards anyway, but it was still a triumph.

Anyway, on with the story:

About a month ago my sister was dusting behind our stereo when she found a small stack of cards, and gave them to me, because whenever you find cards lying around, t's pretty obvious they're mine.

As I thumbed through them, they're wasn't much to get excited about. Mostly, they were Upper Deck Looney Tunes baseball cards, with some other junk wax cards mixed in.

But then I noticed...

 2 Carlton Fisk rookie cards, both in surprisingly good condition!

There is, by the way, a back story for me having 3 Carlton Fisk rookie cards ( counting the one I already knew I had). Long ago, when my knowledge of the hobby was not as great, as I was thrilled to discover in my 1997 Beckett price guide that Fisk's 1972 Topps rookie card was listed at a stupendous $60!

Of course, that was way back in 1997, but whenever I found that card in my Dad's duplicates, I would trade for it, thus stockpiling a few. However, going forward to 2020, as I didn't know where the others had gone, as I just had 1, I just assumed that I'd traded them back to my Dad.

Anyway, as I already had one I decided to trade them to my Dad for some of his duplicates. I started out with a Mike Schmidt rookie card, as I'd had my eye on that card for awhile because my Dad had 4 (!) copies of it.
Not in great condition, but still a great card. I also got my Dad to throw in 3 commons from 1973 with good photos.
I especially like the guy in the purple suit in the background of Herrmann's card.
Overall, a pretty good haul for the 1st card. But there was still one more to trade..
I ended up deciding on an assortment of 70's stars and semi-stars, of which I'll show a sampling. I like the mountain in the background of Bill Voss' card, something I've noticed on a lot of Brewers cards around then.
I've been fascinated for a long time by Bert Campaneris' 1970 season. For Bert's career, he generally hit about 4 home runs a year, but in 1970 he hit 22! Outside of that, he hit just 57 home runs over 18 years.

1972 was Joe Morgan's 1st year with the Reds, and he went on to win 2 MVP awards for the Big Red Machine in the 70's. Also, I always love it when there are bats strewn about the ground on a card, like in Ted Simmons' card.
Although I'm not a huge fan of the design for 1973 Topps, it has some pretty great photography.  Jim Kaat was actually a pretty good hitting pitcher, as he hit .185 with 16 home runs over his long career. His best season at the bat was actually 1972, as he hit .289 with 2 home runs in 45 at-bats.

And I'll close out with "The Mad Hungarian" himself. 1975 was Hrabosky's best season, as he posted an ERA of a sparkling 1.66, with 22 saves.

Thursday, April 9, 2020

Quickest Card Show Ever

Nearly exactly a month ago, a little before all the Coronavirus stuff started,  I went to a card show.

However, because as it was held on a Sunday, I had to also fit in church AND hitting practice at 3. A tall order, as my church is pretty far away and we had to go the 11 O'clock mass. Not to mention eat lunch.

Somehow or other, I did it. Everything kind of blurs when you go through a card show in 25 minutes. One thing it did was make my appreciate how nice it is just to be at a card show without being stressed and hurried.

The cards I got weren't too much worse than if I had been able to take my time, though not as much as you might expect. But I can tell you it's a lot funner to be able to take your time and see the sights at a card show.

But, as I said, I got some pretty good cards.
Though there was just 1 seller with a dime box, and he didn't have many cards, the cards there were certainly packed a punch. Really, there were just about the right number of good cards for my budget.
These were my 1st Cracker Jack cards, placed next to a regular card for comparison.
Lefty O'Doul had a pretty cool career, as he started out as a pitcher in the Pacific Coast League, and was pretty successful for a little, winning 25 games with a 2.39 ERA in 1922. He spent parts of 4 years in the major leagues, 3 with the Yankees, before converting to the outfield after a 6.54 ERA in 1924 in the PCL. It was the right choice, as he went on to win 2 NL batting titles, though he never won a PCL batting title, which is a little ironic.
I'd never seen any of this set before (it was made by Upper Deck in 1993), but any sets that have guys like Ron Neccai, who struck out 27 batters in a 9-inning minor league game, are welcome.
The photography is really nice on these cards. If I had a bit more time to think, I would probably would have gotten a couple more, but it's all right I guess.
In my opinion, any dime box that gives me vintage hall of famers is a good dime box. And I was also very happy to get the '79 J.R Richard, as I'm a J.R fan.
 It's nice getting 3 more Conlon cards into my long-term quest to complete the Conlon collection series, let alone them being Lou Gherig. The 1933 Goudey reprint was done by the Renata Gallasso company, which I think is pretty cool.
While I was digging through the dime box, my Dad looked throughout the card show to see if they're was anything I might be interested in. I think he did a pretty good job, as he found a dollar box which held the 2 cards above. I think getting a vintage hall-of-famer for a dollar is pretty good, especially as it's in beautiful condition outside of some non-intrusive pen marking on the back.

I generally prefer getting vintage than memorabilia or autograph cards, but I wasn't going to pass up this Rick Ankiel card.
One nice thing about this card show is that for $1 paid admission, you get a grab bag with cards. They're generally pretty hit and miss, but it's still fun getting them. But this time, one of them was practically filled with O-Pee-Chee cards! I always enjoy OPC cards, as they're rarer than regular Topps cards and also are bilingual, which is always interesting.

I got  a lot of new OPC cards from that bag, most of them from about 1990. I got a near complete 1993 World Champions set, featuring the 1992 World champion Blue Jays. I'm missing only the 3 hall-of-famers in the set, so if you have any of the missing cards I might be interested in trading.

Before I went, I also looked through the free bin of stuff, which is always at this particular show. I would have loved to look through it more, but time waits for no man so I had to rush. I still found some cool things, like this sheet of Panini stickers featuring 2 yankees.
I also found this:
I know it's chance of being authentic is about the same as my chance of being elected president in the next 10 years (I'm 13), but it's still kind of fun to think that they're might be a tiny chance of it being real. I looked a little at some of his autographs, but I wasn't certain so I'd be interested in hearing your opinion on it.