Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Branching out at the local card shop

There was a time, and not terribly long ago, when I thought that I had explored pretty much all the different things Nick's (the card shop near me), had to offer. The 1950's cards were generally a bit more than I wanted to pay, not so much because they were overpriced, but because they were mostly in very good condition. Outside of that, I thought, there wasn't a whole lot else.

Part of it was that I don't go to Nick's that often, so when I did, I generally covered the same ground. This time, I also looked through some cards from the 60's (I'm really not sure why I'd never done that before), and I think I did pretty well. I didn't look through a whole lot, but I think what I got was pretty good.

I've always liked the design for 1969 Topps, especially the circle for the player's name. The Bobby Klaus is an interesting card, as he never played for the Padres, and spent 1969 in AAA in the Pirate's system. My best guess for his inclusion as a Padre is that he had spent the previous 3 years for the San Diego Padres when they were a minor league team. Though he posted low batting averages for them, he had  walked from 107-154 times for each of the previous 3 years.
I thought this card of Hall of Famer Ron Santo was a good deal at $1.

Nick's vintage cards are generally in very nice condition which is nice.
I was very happy to get a card of Bullet Bob Turley, who won the Cy Young award that year. The card is in rough condition, but that was the reason I got it for a dollar, so I'm not complaining.
I was going this way and that on whether to get this card, because I thought my Dad might already have it, but as it was $2 and a Yankee from 65 years, I decided to get it. It turned out that my Dad does already have this card, but it's still a good purchase.

I also did what I've never done before: I actually bought a football card! I know there's many people who collect both football and baseball, but I'm for the most part a one sport guy. However, when I saw these vintage football cards at 50 cents each, I thought it would be good to get a couple.
Because I know almost literally nothing about football from way back when, I'd never heard of these guys, and just assumed they were mediocre players. However, when I looked them up, it turned they were actually all pretty good ( pro-bowlers and all-pros and stuff like that.

I also went to Nick's on Saturday, and got some very good stuff, but as it's getting late and I want to get this post out tonight, I'll tell about that hopefully on Friday.

Monday, January 6, 2020

An ode to 1953 Bowman: Christmas edition.

Every year, for my birthday and Christmas I get most of the Yankees from a certain 1950's set. It's nice because I really like a lot of sets from the 1950's, and most of the cards are definitely out of my price range. Also, my dad has an affection for the 1950's Yankees because they were the team his dad told him about when my dad was a kid. I think the 1950's were definitely one of the best (possibly the absolute best) decades ever for baseball cards, as you might have been able to tell from my Black Friday purchases. This year I got 1953 Bowman, from both the Color and the Black and White set, like the Bob Kuzava above.
I think it's pretty cool seeing the patch the Yankees had on their uniforms because of their 50th year of baseball (1903-1952). Overall, I think Bowman had much the better set in 1953, and I think that explains something of it. In 1953 Topps, because basically all the cards are just head shots, and while they're very beautiful and detailed head shots,  you can't actually see a lot., while in Bowman, there are a lot of really nice pictures where you can get a better sense of the time. Allie Reynolds had his best season the year before, as he won 20, lead the league in ERA with 2.06, and threw 2 no-hitters.
 Interestingly, this card ( Jim Brideweser) was actually the hardest card for my dad to get. He had tried to get it on Comc on Black Friday, but the one he wanted to get ended up being stored remotely, and he had to get it on Dean's Cards.

The big reason I like Bowman more than Topps that year is that the pictures are just beautiful. One card that I really, really, really want to get someday is the 1953 Bowman Pee Wee Reese. I definitely won't get it for a long, long time, but it might happen someday.
Bill James credits Gil McDougald for the defensive success of the 1950's Yankees even  as Casey Stengel shuffled 2nd basemen and shortstops in and out of the lineup. James wrote in his Historical Baseball Abstract that Gil McDougald was around even, per inning, in his defensive win shares with Red Schoedienst, Frank White, and Nellie Fox at 2nd base, and even with Mark Belanger, Dal Maxvill, and Lou Boudreau. At 3rd base he ranked around even with Aurelio Rodriguez, Buddy Bell, and Ken Boyer. 
The Black and White set is also pretty nice, I think. The Color set is a lot more, well, colorful, but the photographs are still really good. Bill Miller traded to the Orioles in the 17 man Yankees-Orioles trade, which also included Don Larsen, Bob Turley, Gene Woodling, Gus Triandos, and many, many more.
RIP, Irv. When I asked my Grandpa about him ( we're on vacation in New York and staying with my grandma and grandpa), my grandpa said that he was very solid as a player, you could put him anywhere in the lineup from 1-3, and he was a very good fielder.
This picture really reminds of the 1957 Topps Ted Kluszewski, even though Hank Bauer was in reality 2 inches shorter and 33 pounds lighter than Kluszewski.
I'll close out with my dad's personal favorite of the Bowman's I got for Christmas. Johnny Sain won 14 games and lost 7 with an ERA of 3.00, and  lead the league in saves with 26 in 1954. My grandpa says that he was glad when the Yankees got him near the end of his career.