Saturday, July 17, 2021

A white whale speared, and a milestone reached

 Yesterday I went to Nick's, a card shop I've been going to for just about forever. It had been a long time since I'd gone, so I went to check things out and hopefully get some good cards. 

I only had about 15 minutes, because my Dad had a meeting. I quickly shuffled through cards, planning to spend around $10. I made a stack of some decent  cards, but there wasn't anything particularly exciting. I was looking through 1963 Topps cards, and not really finding anything, when I saw it. My dream card. 

I mean, I have a lot of different dream cards, but this was one of the big ones. A card of one of my favorites of all-time, who only has one card from his playing career. 

After staring at it for a moment, (remember, time was short), I ran out to my dad because I didn't have enough cash. He was outside the store with our dog, so I took my turn with the dog as my dad paid for the card. Finally it was mine. Okay, fine, I'll show the card now:

STEVE DALKOWSKI ROOKIE CARD!!!!!!!!!!

I've wanted a Dalkowski rookie card for as long as I've known about it, but as it's a semi-high number it's always been out of my price range. In decent condition, it starts at $40. And as I used to only look on COMC, and there it used to start close to $100, it seemed to be unattainable for now. A dream card.

I got it for $25, which is the most I've ever spent on a single card, but reasonable. Actually, it was $30, but the guy knocked $5 off when he heard that I was a huge Dalkowski fan, and had been wanting his card for years. Thanks! It's in very nice condition, too. As you can see, it's off-center, but I don't really mind that.

I think if I got this card in 1963, I would've thought that Steve Dalkowksi was made up, an April-Fool's joke. I mean, 1099 K's and 1136 walks in 697 innings? What the?

What you may be wondering, though, is who is Steve Dalkowski, and why did you want his card so much? If you've never heard of Dalkowksi, I can't really blame you, as he never pitched in the majors. But he may have been the fastest pitcher of all time. 

Dalkowski's control problems kept him from success, though. One time he hit a radio announcer broadcasting the game -- up in the radio booth. Another time a Dalko-thrown ball went above the catcher and hit the umpire in the face, sending him back 18 feet and breaking his mask in three places. He was in the hospital for three days. In 1960 Dalkowksi hit a guy in the back, which wouldn't be noteworthy except that he was in line for a hot dog. He survived, and Dalkowksi signed the ball for him.

Dalkowksi started out in pro baseball with Kingsport in the Appalachian League in 1957, and quickly showed that he was something different. That year he allowed just 22 hits in 62 innings and struck out 121, but had a 1-8 record and 8.13 ERA because of 129 walks too. The next year was more of the same, but even more so. Splitting his time between Knoxville, Wilson, and Aberdeen, he walked 245 batters and struck out 232 in 118 innings, with an ERA of 7.78. 1959 brought more cartoonish stats, with 190 walks and 142 strikeouts in 84 innings. In 1960, with Stockton in the California League, he had a career-best 5.14 ERA, and a beautifully symmetrical 262 strikeouts and 262 walks. But in 1961 he appeared to hit low, with a 8.39 ERA and 3-12 record. 



1962, though, was the turning point in his career. That year he was pitching for Elmira, which just happened to be managed by a young Earl Weaver. Weaver had a custom of giving I.Q tests to his players, and Dalkowski's turned out to be 60. After seeing this, he realized that the reason Dalkowksi was so wild was that pitching coaches were trying to get him to change speeds, throw a curveball, pickoff runners, and he just couldn't do all that. Weaver told him to just throw, and it worked. After that happened, according to Gary Cieradkowski, he struck out 104 batters against 11 walks in over 50 innings, allowing but one earned run. A star had been born.


In spring training with the Orioles in 1963, he pitched well, and was informed that he had made the major league team at the end of spring training. His future seemed assured, and his picture was taken for a Topps baseball card. But in the last exhibition game of spring, he blew out his shoulder fielding a bunt. He would never be the same again.

He had one last hurrah with Stockton in 1964, with a 7-4 record, 2.83 ERA, and 141 strikeouts in 108 innings. That was the last time he pitched well anywhere, though, and he was out of baseball by 1966, at 27. 

He virtually disappeared for the next 27 years, working as a fruit picker in California when he wasn't drunk. He was a friendly guy, and his teammates loved him, but he'd always been a drinker. Think Rube Waddell, except not as eccentric. 

In 1993, his sister put him into an assisted living home in New Britain, Connecticut, his home town, where he spent the next 26 years until his death on April 19, 2020. Rest in peace, Steve Dalkowski. He had a tragic career and life, and I hope the afterlife makes up for it for him. 



So how hard did he throw, anyway? Real data is scarce, but most people who saw him pitch give estimates of 110+ MPH. In spring training, Ted Williams stepped into the batting cage against him before a game.  After one pitch, he stepped out. Earl Weaver considered him the hardest thrower of all time, over Nolan Ryan, Sandy Koufax, them all. It is said that the speed at which he threw caused his pitches to have a movement all their own. According to Gary Cieradowski, " Physics made the thing dip half-way to the plate, then accelerate and rise one to two feet as it blazed across it. Someone likened it to a fighter jet taking off." 

Bob Lemke's version of his 1963 Topps card.



That sounds exaggerated, but I've read similar things almost everywhere, and the thing is we just don't know what would happen if a ball was thrown that hard. 

But I'm sure you want real data before crowning him as the fastest pitcher in history. He was timed once, in 1958, at the Aberden Proving Grounds. He was timed at 93.5 MPH, which doesn't sound like a lot. However, back then the velocity of a pitch was timed at home plate, rather than 10 feet from the rubber like now. If you adjust for that, that brings it up to about 100 MPH. Not bad, but not historic. But wait, there's more. Dalkowski had pitched the day before, plus it was on flat ground, plus it took 40 minutes before he even got a reading. Taking that all into consideration, I think 110 MPH is fairly conservative.

Thank you, Gary Cieradowksi, who first introduced me to Dalkowksi in his book "The League of Outsider Baseball," which I also used as a source for this post. You might know him as the creator of The Infinite Baseball Card Set. His blog is at https://studiogaryc.com/ .

*

Today I hit a milestone, with 100 posts! It's taken me way too long to get here, more than two and a half years, but better late than never I guess. I'm really happy to have such great readers. As Yogi Berra said, "Thank you for making this night necessary." Comments are kind of the reward for blogging, and I wouldn't be able to do this in isolation. 

I also reached 20,000 pageviews, which is cool too. A special thanks must be given to my readers in Sweden, who have provided over a thousand pageviews in the last month. (eyeroll) Somehow I don't believe I'm a blogging celebrity in Sweden, but whatever. 

So anyway, there you have it. My white whale speared. My next white whale will probably be the T206 Jack Dunn, because I'm a big minor-league Baltimore Orioles fan, and Dunn was the mastermind behind their 1920s dynasty.



Tuesday, July 13, 2021

Set accumulating

I made a third order on Kronozio a while back, and it seems like I've exhausted the stores of the seller I've been using. The only vintage cards added by 'my seller' recently have been overpriced. It was good while it lasted. Anyhow, I got some very good cards in this last order, so here they are.

I made some progress on 1963 Topps, which is one of my favorites. Currently, I have 36 of the 576, and my dad has another 26, so altogether I have 11% of the set. 


Hoyt! At $2.90, this was a little on the expensive side, but that's fine for a vintage HOF knuckler. By the time this card came out, Hoyt was pitching for the White Sox. Only once in his six years with the Sox did he have an ERA higher than 2.00. 

As many of y'all know, Joe Pepitone is currently suing the Hall of Fame over the ownership of Mickey Mantle's 500th homer bat, Pepitone claiming it was his bat and he had loaned it to Mantle. It'll be interesting to see how that's all resolved. Pepitone's 1963 Topps card is his first solo card. His rookie card costs $60, as he is one of four floating heads on a high number in 1962.

The dirt cheap high numbers return, with Bell being the only of this quartet who cost more than 80¢, at a whopping $2. 

Frank Funk?
The second-most expensive card in my order, at $3.40. For some reason, you can't get this card for under $10 on either COMC or Sportlots. And $3.40 feels like overpaying a little.
I'm thinking of using the Gibbs/Metcalf rookie for TTM, as both are still living. It would make for a pretty cool piece autographed by both. 

Though Buford isn't widely remembered, he was a highly capable leadoff man for one of the greatest dynasties of all time, the Baltimore Orioles at the start of the 1970s. He scored exactly 99 runs a year each year from 1969 to 1971, but in 1972 he hit just .206, and went to Japan after the season. He played for the Taiheiyo Club Lions and Nankai Hawks from 1973 to 1976, earning Best Nine honors in his first two years. His best year was 1975, in which he put up a slash line of .330/.430/.487. 

It would be nice to get his rookie card autographed, too.


I like how in Dick Bosman's signature, the 'i' in Dick is dotted with a star. 

Now I can say I have one 1967 high number, as the Nye/Upham rookie card is #608, next to last in the set. $3.90 well spent, as you can't get it under $10 on COMC. It's in very nice condition.
I was recently rating my favorite sets on TCDB, and 1967 Topps is one of my favorites, at 9 out of 10. I'd say it's my 8th favorite set of all-time.

Etchebarren has my favorite picture of the cards I got, with the unibrow and Yoohoo's sign in the background. 

Ron Campbell's sunset card is another card that's overpriced on COMC, at $19.92. Sportlots doesn't have a copy at all. 
Despite what Topps would have you believe, Phil Ortega had an 0-2 record for L.A in 1962, not an 0-28 record.

And I'll close with two Yankees who had beautiful cards, even if their careers were not quite so beautiful. 
Ruben Amaro hit .234 with 8 home runs in his career. His son Ruben Amaro didn't do much better, at .235/16. Fred Talbot's career record was 38-56, with a 4.12 ERA. Not exactly the glory days of the Yankees.

Though I may have used up the inventory of my favorite seller, there are a couple of other sellers who have cards I'm interested in, so I might make another order sometime. 

It's been a while since I've shared any songs, so I think I'll feature some tonight.





Ruby Falls by Guster is a great song, and I think this Line Rider track takes it to an even higher level. Line Rider is a game where you build a track for a rider to go over. Rabid Squirrel is one of the greats of Line Rider. 

While I'm on the subject of Line Rider, I'll show maybe the greatest Line Rider track of all-time. Hope you enjoy these. 

Mississippi John Hurt is one of my favorite bluesmen. 


This is my 99th post, so my next post will be my 100th. I'm planning on posting a special card, so stay tuned.

Aaron Judge is batting for his second time as I write this. I hope he gets a hit. I was glad to see him score the first run of the game.




Tuesday, July 6, 2021

A Net54 pick-up

 I joined the forum Net54 earlier this year, because I thought it would be cool to learn more about pre-war cards, and get to see all the other members' great collections. And dream of when I'll have a collection close to some of theirs. That's worked pretty well, but I've also found you can get some good deals for buying too. One member holds weekly auctions of lots of 1950s and 1960s cards, and I made a couple of purchases from him.

One was an 8 card lot of 1955 Bowman, including three high numbers which I got for $19. Before buying this, I had just three 1955 Bowman cards, so it was definitely time to get some more.


These are two cards I really bought the lot for. Jim Brosnan was one of the few real intellectuals in the history of baseball, writing The Long Season and Pennant Race, two acclaimed baseball books. He was duly nicknamed "The Professor." This card of him was my first of his, so it's not bad to start with his rookie card.

Tommy Byrne's card, like Brosnan's, is a high number. I already wrote about Byrne earlier this year, for my Christmas 1956 Topps post, so I won't repeat myself, but his control was historically bad. According to COMC, Mickey Mantle is in the background. I'll take their word for it.


Who needs a card of an umpire? Especially expensive, high number umpire cards. Nothing against umpires, they're just not exactly thrilling. I might sell the Barlick so I can get cards of some real players. Update 7/7/21: I just sold the Barlick on Ebay for $11. So that's good I guess.

1955  Bowman is a nice set. The backs, especially the ones with the dull writeups like "My Favorite Memories in Baseball," are pretty bad, but the fronts are fun in a nostalgic, heavy-handed way.

It looks wrong to see Preacher Roe as an Oriole. Especially as he never even pitched for them.

I'm glad that I have a new option for buying cards in Net54, and I'm also glad I have more than three 1955 Bowman cards now. 


Thursday, June 3, 2021

The best player in baseball that you've never heard of

 I know that title sounds a lot like click-bait, but this time it's actually true. If you have heard of Isiah Kiner-Falefa, it was probably in the context of his ungainly name, or maybe from me talking about him on my blog. Playing for the Rangers is definitely not the best way to make a name for yourself. The primary reason for his relative obscurity is probably that most of his value lies in his glove work. It was not until Isiah's fifth minor league season that he hit his first pro home run. In his first two seasons with the Rangers, his batting averages of .261 and .238 were certainly not impressive, especially combined with his lack of power. Another problem was that over his first two seasons, he played all over. And I mean all over. Over his first two seasons he played as much at catcher as anywhere else.

A Ranger? Seriously?


In 2020, though, Isiah finally settled down offensively as he stopped playing catcher, and was able to focus on 3rd base and short stop. In 2020 he hit .280 with 8 stolen bases -- not very impressive numbers, but he starred in the field, with 10 defensive runs saved according to Baseball Reference, winning the Gold Glove at 3rd. 

This year, playing at short stop, Isiah is having his best season yet. He is hitting .283, with 10 stolen bases and just one caught stealing. His fielding is just as good as last year, with 8 defensive runs saved and a .980 fielding percentage at short stop. 

The hobby and the baseball world still haven't woken up to Kiner-Falefa's performance. Except for guys like Ozzie Smith, glove men are always underappreciated, and he is nothing if not a glove man. On COMC, you can find plenty of his cards, including parallels and rookie cards, for under a dollar. 

I decided to take my own advice, and get some of his cards on COMC. Though I generally focus on vintage, Isiah Kiner-Falefa is one of my favorites, and it's also nice to change things up a little occasionally. 

2019 Topps Gold, /2019, $.39


2019 Topps Black, /67, $1.75

2019 Topps Chrome Sapphire, $1.27


2019 Topps Allen & Ginter Hot Box, $.60

It's quite possible that Isiah Kiner-Falefa will stay under-appreciated his whole career, or that his fielding will cool off and he will go back to being average. But I'm not getting his cards for the investment (investing on a gloveman is a bad idea); I'm getting them because he's my second-favorite current player. And if his cards do heat up, I'd be kicking myself if I hadn't gotten any. Who knows, maybe I'll become an Isiah Kiner-Falefa super-collector (not sure yet if I'm joking).


Monday, April 26, 2021

Yankees, knuckleballers, and prospects: more cards from the online dime-box

 This post is basically just a continuation of my last post, because I dislike both making my posts too long and just completely leaving out cards.

CC Sabathia was a bit of a favorite of mine, and I think he deserves to go into the Hall of Fame, with 251 wins, 3,117 strikeouts, and a 62.6 WAR. Though he spent most of his career in the AL, he also hit .207 with 3 home runs. 
Somehow, before this order I didn't have a single DJ LeMahieu Yankees card. I've been kind of disappointed with the Yankees' performance so far this year. Though on the balance their pitching has been very good, and their hitting okay, they haven't been able to do well in both areas in the same game. Right now they're tied for last place in the AL East with the Orioles.  The Orioles! The Yankees with their $200,000,000 payroll, are tied with a rag-tag band of minor leaguers and outcasts.  On the bright side, both Cole and Judge have been doing very well, though LeMahieu is the only one of the four above to be playing well this year.

Yesterday I was talking with my dad, and I said that with the starting rotation being so bad, if I was in charge I'd bring up Deivi Garcia. Who's pitching today? Deivi! So maybe I should be GM of the Yankees. :) Another change I'd make would be to get Odor off the roster, because he has a career OBP of .289 and is a bad fielder, put LeMahieu back at second, and then have Mike Ford and Chris Gittens combine at first. 
I'm not a prospector, but could I really resist cards of prospects like Royce Lewis and Sixto Sanchez for 10 cents? As relievers, Liam Hendriks and Sean Doolittle don't have much potential for upside, but it's kind of cool to have a player's rookie card. 

In my opinion, the signing of Liam Hendriks was a very bad idea for the White Sox. Though he's been elite for the last two years, that's just two years, and Hendriks did not have much success before then. He certainly doesn't deserve $13 million a year, which is a level generally reserved for Hall of Fame quality closers.
Baseball can be painful sometimes. Getting hit by a pitch is one of the most dangerous aspects, as Andy Van Slyke can attest. And I'm not sure Greg Gagne is actually getting hurt in that card, but it sure looks like it. I don't think arms are meant to go at that angle.
With some guys, each new card is a joy, and Tekulve is certainly one of them. With his coke-bottle glasses and funky delivery, it's hard to think of a bad card of his.
Steven Wright is one of the few knuckleballers still hanging on in baseball, though he hasn't pitched in the majors since 2019. Right now he's in the Pirates' organization. The Allen & Ginter card of him is actually a short-print, which is nice.
Tim Wakefield's time with the Pirates was rather strange. In 1992, the converted infielder went 8-1, with a 2.15 ERA. And then in 1993 he went 6-11, with a 5.61 ERA, earning himself a ticket back to the minors. There, he actually did even worse, going 3-5 with a 6.99 ERA for the rest of 1993, and a 5-15, 5.84 ERA record in 1994. And then the next year he was 16-8 with a 2.95 ERA for the Red Sox in the majors. Huh.
Brett Gardner is one of my favorite Yankees. Though he doesn't have any one skill which really sticks out, he's fast, a good fielder, walks a lot, and has some pop in his bat. Plus, he just plays hard and cares about the game. Sometimes he might be a little too competitive, but I prefer that to not caring. Generally, he's the one player Yankee haters respect.


I also got a few Conlon cards. Johnny Bassler is one of my favorite obscure Hall of Fame candidates. He hit only 1 home run in his major league career, but he had a .416 OBP as a catcher, and had MVP voting finishes of 6th, 7th, and 5th. Though his major league career was short (811 games), he had batting averages of .365, .354, .357, .336, .351, and .354 in the high minors. He's never going to get in, and might not deserve it, but I honestly think he was a better player than some in the Hall. Bobo Newsom, Pete Jablonowski/Appleton, and Earle Mack, son of Connie, all have interesting stories too.

And that's all. It might be a while until I make another order on baseballcardstore.ca - hopefully I'll make to a card show sometime soon and enjoy a real dime box. 

As a side note, a while back I was at the library, and while looking through baseball books this fell out:
Isn't that cool? A ticket from Fenway park that also features my favorite team! It fell out of a book called "Emperors and Idiots" which is a book about the Red Sox- Yankees rivalry, so it's pretty fitting. Generally when I find something baseball related in a library book, it's a baseball card bookmark which I forgot to take out when I returned the book.

I've started another blog, https://johnsbaseballblog.blogspot.com/ ,which is me talking about whatever interests me in baseball as a whole. It's kind of a mix of commentary, opinions, and research, about current and historical baseball. Check it out.



Sunday, March 28, 2021

Dime card smorgasboard (+ rant about death of free minor leagues)

After my first order from baseballcardstore.ca, or the online dime-box, I made frequent small purchases by taking advantage of combined shipping. 400 cards later, in December, I finally got my cards shipped, hoping it would arrive by Christmas. And then I waited, and waited, and waited .It turned out that they were low on card supplies for shipping, which is okay, but I wish they had said something. I finally got my cards the same day of the card show, in late January, and when I heard it was delivered I ran out to the mailbox. I was not disappointed. It took a while, but it was worth it. Digging through 400 cards was pure joy!

I got a nice mix of Yankees, player collections, and just random cards. I am proud to say that I now have Yankees cards of 510 different Yankees players, and 1704 different Yankees cards overall. 

I compete in speech, and last year I did a speech on baseball players who overcame great odds, featuring Rick Ankiel, Jim Abbott, and Mordecai Brown. All three are favorites of mine. It was a fun speech, as I love being able to tie in baseball to speech topics whenever I can. 
 Dan Quisenberry has become my second favorite player ever, behind only Mariano Rivera, and that 1983 Fleer card is my favorite card of his. It sums up his warm, quirky personality perfectly. The 1990 Fleer card on the right, by the way, is not your everyday run of the mill 1990 Fleer card. It is a Fleer Canadian card.

I now have 25 cards of Quiz, or a little over 10% of all his cards. Just 205 to go!
This order was very helpful in filling in holes in my "One card for every Yankee" quest. The Jack McDowell was especially satisfying, as I'd been looking for one for a while.

It's always cool getting cards of favorites in unfamiliar uniforms. 
Isiah Kiner-Falefa might be second favorite current player, behind only Aaron Judge. He spent two years for the Frisco Rough Riders a while back, and two years playing for one team is forever in the minors nowadays. Gone are the days when Jigger Statz got 3,356 hits with one minor league team, the Los Angeles Angels. It seemed like every time I went to see the Rough Riders, Isiah would be playing. He was a constant, an oasis in an ever-changing roster. I have very fond memories of the P.A saying " Isiah Kiiineerrr FALEFAAAAAA!!!!!!" And then the Rangers called him up, and ever since I've rooted for him from afar. I mean, not very far, but I almost never go to Rangers games. 

Which reminds me of angry angry angry I am at MLB for renaming the minor leagues. The Texas League is now "AA Central"? The Pacific Coast League is now "AAA West"? What in the world? First they took away the minor leagues' independence, and now they've taken the last thing they had, their individuality. To me it's just the last straw. It shows just how little they care about the minor leagues. The minor leagues now exist only to funnel players into the major leagues. They are the vassals, the slaves of the major leagues. 

MLB is bent upon destroying the true, the free minor leagues, and something has got to be done. If the Frisco Rough Riders were an independent team, if they were free to try to win, I would be a Rough Riders fan first and a Yankees fan second. But they exist only to school players for the majors.

Rant over. Ahem. 

Shiny cards will help to distract my mind from the wretched way MLB is treating the minor leagues, from the dastardly, evil, Sauron-like the way MLB is..... 

Deep breath, John. Focus on the cards.
Of course, no trip to the online dime box would be complete without O-Pee-Chee.
It was a nice surprise to get some just-barely-vintage cards for just a dime, especially cards as awesome as that Bake McBride. Jesus Alou is nothing to sneeze at, either.
Four iconic cards, finally mine for the paltry sum of 40 cents.
Though Mickey Hatcher is another one that has gotten its deserved attention already, the other three above I hadn't seen before, and I've never seen a card that's anything like the Kirk Gibson.

Vintage for 10 cents! Generally when I find vintage in a real life dime box, they're creased, taped, trimmed, or something, but the Leron Lee is in nice condition, and the Watson is okay.

I always feel bad about leaving cards out of posts, so I'll probably do a second post for these cards. 

Thanks for reading!


Monday, March 15, 2021

Getting high (numbers) on Kronozio

In my first order on Kronozio, there was a high number among my cards which was priced the same as the others. After getting them, I looked through the seller's inventory in the hope that there would be more high numbers, priced just as well. To my glee, I was able to find about a dozen high numbers, along with some other cards.

I don't know why it took so long for me to get a Don Mossi, but that '57 above was the first in my collection. The Pedro Ramos, from the scarce series, set me back just $1.40, the same as Mossi. That is the most I paid for any of the cards in this post.

                                         

I think I'll also start working on completing 1963 Topps, and finding so many good deals on high and semi-high numbers is one of the reasons. I love getting cards of 1962 Mets of any kind, and I especially love getting semi-high short prints for $1.10!

I find it interesting how in the cartoon on the back of Thomas's card, there's a portrayal of Casey Stengel, lecturing to the Mets . It's odd because for almost all the cartoons, it features only the player, or the player with some generic figures. Casey also makes a cameo in one of my 1956 Topps Yankees.


Casey's in the 3rd panel - back images courtesy of TCDB

I guess Casey was pretty easy to caricature. 

                                               

A row of Rowes! (sorry)

Too bad Randy Cardinal didn't pitch for the Cardinals. Anyhow, I was glad to get a McNally rookie on the cheap, because it's a high number and the cheapest copy on COMC is $22.56.
                                 

Too bad Dick "The Monster" Radatz didn't last longer, because he was incredible at his best. Over his first three years, he averaged 13 wins, 25 saves, a 2.17 ERA, and 162 strikeouts per year! The workload was probably too much for him, as he worked in as many as 157 innings in a season. What might have been.

                                           

These aren't very noteworthy except for being high numbers, but they were still satisfying adds.

                                             

Does anyone else have the problem where, when writing a blog post, they keep on wanting to write things from The Great American Baseball Card etc. book? It happens to me all the time. I had to restrain myself from writing whooooooooooeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee for the 1963 Roseboro a little bit back in the post. (For those who are interested in getting the spelling exactly right, it's 10 o's and 17 e's.) Now I'm tempted to just write "Jim Bouton is a big mouth" for Bouton, and repeat the passage on Daddy Wags and "Rent Your Pad From Super Dad." But I guess I'll have to resist the urge.

By now I have the book almost memorized, so these passages just spontaneously present themselves to me when I see the cards featured in the book. I've read it for almost as long as I've been collecting baseball cards, and it's been very influential to me.

The holy grail of the high numbers I got were three 1972 Topps high numbers, all of which were under a dollar.

                                             

Because my dad has a complete 1972 set, I didn't need these for the collection, and by selling Ivan and Koosman, I almost paid for the rest of the cards! And I haven't sold the Gallagher yet. Think of it. 1960s high numbers, practically for free!

So that's it. I have some more 1963 Topps cards from this seller that I'm going to buy, including some more high numbers, so I'm feeling pretty happy right now. 

By the way, sorry for going almost a month without posting. Half the time I've been too busy to write a post, and the other half I just haven't wanted to. I'm planning to start doing a post at least every Sunday, so hopefully that'll help me with my consistency.