Wednesday, August 26, 2020

Cards from Kit Young

For me, Kit Young has always been one of those names that I hear about, but never really think about as an option for buying cards. However, recently my Dad called me over to the computer to show me the site, and it turned out they had good prices for 1933 Goudey. Intrigued, I probed deeper, and was able to find 8 cards for a good price. Here they are:
1949 and 1950 Remar are the cheapest pre-TCMA minor league cards that I know of ; these 2 were just $2.50 combined.  While Earl Jones pitched only briefly in the major leagues in 1945, Augie Galan actually had a long and successful major league career, lasting for 16 years, from 1934 to 1949. He hit .287 for his career, and walked a good bit, while leading the league in stolen bases twice. Just out of the major leagues in 1950, he hit .282 with 13 home runs.
Jess "The Silver Fox" Petty was the only 1933 Goudey I got. Petty was not a bad pitcher, though his career win-loss was 67-78 for his MLB career. He had ERAs of 2.84 and 2.98 in 1926 and 1927, and the '20s was one of the hardest hitting periods in history. By 1933, at 38, he was pitching for the Minneapolis Millers in the American Association, and was still a pretty good pitcher, winning 18 games against 8 losses. For his whole pro career he won 253 games.
It also had an "autograph" on the back, which I don't mind.
I got very good prices for the Red Man tobacco cards. Though it's tough to find even commons for $4, none of the four I got cost more than $3. They aren't mint or anything, Nellie Fox has some heavy creasing, but not too bad. I was very happy to get cards of both Fox and Bobby Avila. Though Avila isn't very well-remembered nowadays, he actually was a very good player for a while there. In 1954, the year of his Red Man card, he won the AL batting title with a mark of .341.

The Whitey Ford was what really sealed the deal, I think. I could hardly believe that an early career card of a Yankee hall of famer from the '50s was just $3, even if there was some heavy creasing. Hank Bauer was appreciated, if not as spectacular.
I was really happy to get this card. I'd always wanted a Mother's Cookies card from the '50s, and I was finally able to get one at a good price. Despite it being in good condition, graded, and a guy who hit .306 in his major league career, Bob Dillinger was priced not much more than a beat-up common usually is. Bob Dillinger actually had his best season in the Pacific Coast League by far in 1953, as he hit .366 with 236 hits in 171 games. For comparison, he hit .287 in 1951 and .301 in 1954.

Overall, I was pleased with my order. The prices were good, and though the shipping was a bit above normal ($7), the cards came on the same week as I ordered them, so I can't really complain.

Thanks for reading!

Saturday, August 8, 2020

Free cards

For a while it seemed like every other blog was participating in the free card Friday movement, though the phenomenon has practically disappeared. However, I claimed some cards from 2 different bloggers before the end. The first person I claimed some cards from was Jon, of A Penny Sleeve for Your Thoughts. He was definitely putting up some quality cards for free. Here's the three I got from him:

I only claimed the Brooks Robinson and the DiMaggio from his blog, but he sent Pete Rose as an extra! Neither Brooks nor Pete are exactly in mint condition, but anybody who wants to send me vintage hall-of-famers for free is welcome. 1971 and 1973 Topps were both some of the best sets of the '70s, in my opinion.

I also claimed a couple from Nick, who writes Dime Boxes -- The Low-End Baseball Card Collector's Journey, one of the blogs which made me decide to give blogging a try myself. I only claimed two, but he also sent a couple extras:
These were the 2 that I claimed off the blog, and they packed a punch. I was very happy to get a vintage Phil Niekro, as it was just my 3rd vintage card of him.
These were the four "throw-ins", and mighty good "throw-ins" too. I don't remember if I told him that I liked minor league cards, or if it was just a coincidence, but I was very glad to get some. For one thing, minor league cards are generally a good deal rarer than major league cards. Also, they're more off the beaten path. It's also very interesting to see major leaguers before they made it to the big time (Kevin Seitzer, Rex Hudler) and after ( Fred Gladding.) My favorite of these is Rex Hudler A.K.A "Wonder Dog". It's got a good design and a good picture. I really liked the Seitzer too, as he went on to be a good major leaguer, and because it's a TCMA minor league card.

In retrospect, I wish that I claimed more cards from people, but I guess it's OK. If I claimed too many cards I would have felt obliged to host one or two free card Fridays myself, and I'd go broke from the shipping. Okay, maybe it wouldn't leave me penniless, but it wouldn't be too far off.

Thanks for reading, and thanks to Jon and Nick for the cards!

Saturday, August 1, 2020

Getting serious about 1933 Goudey

I've always loved 1933 Goudey, and a couple of years ago I decided that I'd try to complete it. However, that project went on the back-burner after getting 5 cards as I decided that with $10 prices for commons, and 4 Babe Ruths, it wasn't going to happen.

I thought about it more this spring, and I realized that if I sold the cards I have that I don't need or want, I could get a hall of famer or two and some commons. That's gone alright so far; I've definitely made some progress. Here are the cards I've gotten so far in my Goudey quest part II:
This was the first one I got, and my favorite. Over the past year or two I've gotten interested in the minor leagues, and John (Jack) Ogden was one of the stars on the greatest minor league dynasty ever: The Baltimore Orioles. They won the International League pennant every year from 1919 to 1925, under the leadership of Jack Dunn, who is usually remembered as the man who sold Babe Ruth to the Red Sox. Jack Ogden spent all of his minor league time in the International League, which at the time was at the highest minor league classification, AA. He was very successful too, winning 213 games against just 103 losses in the International League. His best season was 1922, as he went 31-8, as the Orioles won 115 games against just 52 losses that year.

 His career was winding down by 1933,  his last year in pro ball outside of 1 inning in 1934. Ogden was featured as an Oriole on his Goudey card, because Goudey included some minor leaguers in the set. Here's the back:
It looks like this card was once owned by a certain Dick Cawley. Whenever something like that happens I always Google the name, hoping that the person went on to fame or something. No luck yet.
Same deal here, though I just got a boring name. John Smith, I mean. It would have been so much more interesting if I got Isaac Jablonowski, or something distinctive like that. This was my 3rd Yankee from the set, which I was happy to get for just $7. Walter Brown, or "Jumbo" Brown as he is more well known, was the heaviest player ever until C.C Sabathia came along, tipping the scales at 295 pounds. He led the league in saves twice later in his career with the Giants, but you have to understand that his league-leading totals were 7 and 8 respectively.
Gus Suhr had another interesting story. In 1929 he came out of nowhere to lead the Pacific Coast League, which at the time was the top minor league, with 51 home runs. It just was a fluke; he had never hit more than 27 home runs in a minor league season before, and his major league high was 17. Even funnier was that he played regularly for 3 years in the PCL during war time, and hit the grand total of 1 home run in the 3 years combined. You could look it up, as Casey Stengel used to say.

He wasn't a bad player in the majors though; he played 11 years in the bigs and led the league in games played 3 times.
Dick Bartell had the best major league career of the guys I got in this round of Goudey's, playing for 18 years in the major leagues, with a career batting average of .284, pretty good for a infielder. This one was actually completely funded with cards I sold on Ebay, so that was nice. It's a nice card, though, really, they all are.
This card is definitely the worst conditioned '33 Goudey I've gotten so far. Oh well. As I've recounted a couple times, I'm a Stratomatic player, and the '27 Yankees is the team I play with the most. Mark Koenig was the starting shortstop for that team, so I've developed an appreciation for him. When you play Stratomatic with a player, you really get to know them better. I know Koenig as He Who Never Does Any Thing But Hit Singles.

That batch of 5 cards gave me 10 total. I still have 229 left, including a lot of hall of famers, not to mention 6 cards of Ruth and Gherig alone. I probably won't finish it unless I get a really good job when I grow up, but you never know.

And in any case, it's a great set.

Thursday, July 16, 2020

Thank God for card shops

I'm very grateful for the privilege of having two very good card shops not too far from me. I take it for granted sometimes, but I know that some people don't have any card shops near them at all.

And card shops definitely have advantages over ordering online. For one, you have to pay shipping ordering on the internet, which is generally a couple dollars. While that isn't exactly a lot of money, it could be used for the cards themselves, and for me it's a good part of my budget. Also, it's nice to get the cards physically when you buy them. When you order online, you place you order and then you wait. And wait. And wait. It isn't really too long usually, between a couple of days and a week, but it's enough for the time to drag.

I generally go to Nick's, which I've been going to for years, but last year I discovered another one that has good prices on vintage.

As I was in the area last week, I went with my Mom, who I thank for reading for an hour while I went through nearly all of their vintage baseball cards. It took a little digging, as that card shop has varying prices. Some are very affordable, others not so much. In the end I emerged with 27 cards, after a very  careful perusal of all the options. I'll show the cards from oldest to newest.
The Jim Grant rookie card was my most expensive purchase overall, at $1.20, but I think it was worth it. For one, he was a pretty good pitcher, plus his nickname was Mudcat. Nicknames don't get too much better. Hal Smith had a pretty nice card that year, with the old time catchers gear, not to mention him giving a sign to the imaginary pitcher.
I've finally decided to officially collect 1959 Topps, and this shop is the reason why. For some reason, I feel like 1959 Topps is always priced more affordably compared to other sets. It's also a pretty nice looking set, with a good design, good backs ( which is very important to me), and interesting photography. Don Gross is an example of good photography, as it's always nice to see a pitcher posing with a bat.

 Frank Herrera, whose rookie card I got, had a short major league career, but hit 321 home runs in the minor leagues.

The 1959 cards I got this time pushed my total to 54 cards, nearly 10% of the whole set. I've been very surprised at how many I have. Of all the sets I'm actively trying to complete, I've definitely gotten the farthest for '59 Topps. I like the background on the Johnny Groth card, especially the guy standing right behind him.
Of all the cards I got, these two were my favorites. They look like mere commons on the front, but when you turn them over they disclose the reason: They're high-numbers, my first of the set! I was especially pleased because they were just 60 cents each, a real steal. 
They have very good prices on their '70s cards, which is nice. All the '70s cards I got were 10 cents each, except for Bob Montgomery, who was 16 cents. 
These 4 yanks aren't exactly in mint condition, and my Dad might have them already, but I just couldn't pass up the quartet above. Sparky Lyle was the best of the 4, pitching in the majors for 16 years, and he was in his prime at the time this card was made, winning the 1977 Cy Young award.
Of these 3 I was especially excited to get Andres Mora's rookie card. Though he didn't have much of a major league career, he played in the Mexican League until 1993, hitting 435 home runs in his minor league career, placing his name among the greatest minor league power hitters ever.
For as long as I can remember, I've been fascinated by the name Sixto Lezcano. Sixto sounds a lot like six toe, which highly appealed to my sense of humor back then. The full name has a very nice ring to it. 

Overall, it was a highly productive trip to a card shop.

Thanks for reading!

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.