Saturday, November 28, 2020

My first 1950 Bowman card

The Bowman cards from 1950 to 1953 are some of my favorite sets ever. 1948 and 1949 are mediocre, and  though 1954 and 1955 are alright, I feel like they were trying to beat Topps at their own game. And they weren't good enough to do that. But I love the sets from 1950 to 1953. They're simple and look really nice.

A while back, in a free card Friday hosted by Jon of "A Penny Sleeve for Your Thoughts," I got my first 1950 Bowman card. It's beautiful. It's of Earl Johnson, who had an OK career in the '40s. His best season was 1947. That year he had a 12-11 record and a 2.97 ERA. He had a 40-32 career record. 

It was pretty awesome getting a 1950 Bowman card for free, especially in pretty good shape. Thanks Jon!

Wednesday, November 18, 2020

2nd blog anniversary

2 years ago today I started this blog. For this year's anniversary post I think I'll go way back to the beginning of my baseball card collection. 

My first 2 cards, a 1987 Ralston Purina Eddie Murray and a 1990 Starline Darryl Strawberry, were given to me by the older brother of one of my friends. Though I guess I liked them enough that I still have them, I hadn't caught the collecting bug yet. What really made me start collecting was my 6th birthday. For that birthday my Grandma gave me a 2012 Topps Yankees team set. I still have them all, though they're in pretty rough shape. 

I don't have a very good memory for things that I don't make an effort to remember, so I don't know much about my early days of collecting, unfortunately. I believe, though, that what made me start collecting in earnest is that some people we knew moved into a house and there were several thousand cards from the '80s and early '90s in the attic. I guess they heard that I collected baseball cards, so they gave them to me. For an early collector, it was incredible.  I didn't know a lot about cards, and so these cards were pretty much my whole collecting world. 1933 Goudey? Never heard of it. 1956 Topps? What's it look like? What I like is 1986 Topps. I still remember looking through a ton of 1986 Topps cards, and liking them so much. 

Baseball cards taught me everything I knew about baseball back then. One thing I still remember is the beginning of my baseball statistics education. I loved baseball statistics from the start. I guess I asked my Dad about what were good statistics, because I remember picking out Mike Krukow (20 wins one year) and Pat Clements (once had an ERA under 3) as Good Players. 

I tell you, I LOVED (and still do) baseball statistics. I like numbers, and baseball statistics tell you stories about a player, almost as vividly as a book. One game I started early on (probably in 2015), which I still play, is where I make a fictional baseball player's career out of statistics from the backs of my baseball cards. It has various rules, and is very fun. It's called Mock. My memory is that I called it that by accident, because I just liked how it sounded, but I'm not sure if I can trust that memory. It sounds too improbable.

I've been collecting baseball cards for a little bit over 8 years now, so almost a quarter of my collecting life has been covered by this blog. It's been fun writing a blog. I like a lot how there is a baseball card blog community, so people actually read my blog. I guess I'll do the acknowledgements now, as I should start wrapping up this post. Thanks to all my readers, and everybody who takes the time to comment on my posts. A special thanks to Fuji, who comments on ALL of my posts. It's very nice to have someone who always comments, because then you never have to have a post with 0 comments, which is rather depressing. Thanks to my 4 followers, and thanks to my mom and dad for at the least tolerating my messy baseball card obsession, and even sometimes getting me more baseball cards. And thanks to my Grandma, for getting me my first pack of baseball cards.

Monday, November 9, 2020

A great trip to the card shop (again)

In the last post before my birthday I showed some cards I got from my local card shop, the highlights being cards from a stellar $2 box of vintage cards. A week after that memorable visit, a month ago by now, I returned. Though it's hard to believe that I may have gotten even better cards than last time, I did. 
Yes, this is a genuine Eddie Murray rookie card, an O-Pee-Chee copy, plucked from the mysterious row of $2 cards. I expected this card to go the way of the Reggie Jackson rookie card from the last visit, understandably confiscated by the owner. But no. I showed it to the owner, asking what an OPC card was doing so far south. He looked at it, and said it must have gotten in there randomly. Go figure. And the people running this card shop are knowledgeable about baseball cards, so I cannot account for how I got this other than a miracle.
The edges are pretty ragged, as you can see best on the back. This card sells for about $20 on Ebay, which strikes me as a little low for a rare vintage card of a hall-of-famer, but whatever. 
1956 Topps is definitely one of the best post WW II baseball card sets , maybe the best, so getting Bob Feller and Eddie Mathews for $2 each.....  I love the action shot on the Mathews, as it looks like he knocked the ball loose from a Dodgers infielder. 1956 was Bob Feller's last Topps card.

1963 was the year of Richie Ashburn's sunset card, as his last year was 1962, in which he hit .306 and set a career high for home runs with 7. He had never hit more than 4 homers in a season before 1962, and just 22 over all. He retired after that season, though, presumably because he couldn't bear the thought of playing another year for a team which had just lost 120 games.

These 2 were not from the $2 box. The Staley was 60 cents, and the Posada a meager 30 cents. 

I also decided to get 3 packs of 2020 Topps Big League, as I had seen good accounts of it on the blogs ,and they had packs of it for just $1 each. I personally was underwhelmed. The design is kind of boring, the photography just so-so, and it irks me that there are just 5 seasons of statistics on the back. 

Still, it was nice to get some cards from 2020 for once, as I hadn't opened a single pack of 2020 products all year.

I miss Didi, especially as Gleyber Torres is more of a second baseman than a short stop, but DJ hitting .364 eased the pain. This year was disappointing for me as a Yankees fan. I know 98% of my readers cried for joy at the Yankees' overall meh-ness, but it was tough for me. The Yankees haven't been in the World Series since I was in diapers, so I don't have many memories of the Yankees' glorious past to fall back on.
I was very nervous about getting a Yankees card, because I had a bad experience last year where I got a 36 card pack of 2019 Topps which contained the grand total of 0 yankees. For a while it looked as my pessimism might have been justified, as over 20 of the 30 cards had gone by without one. But, thank God, the last pack contained the Orange parallel Giancarlo which you see above.

Over all, this 2nd visit with the $2 box may have been even better than the first. 

Since I've been getting such great cards from this shop, I figure I should give them a little free advertising. They're Triple Cards & Collectibles, in Plano, Texas. Here's the link to their Trading Card Database card shop page if you're interested: If you live nearby or are in the area, check them out. I've gotten lots of good cards from them over the past year or two. 

Tuesday, November 3, 2020

It's my birthday!

 Today's my 14th birthday! It's been a pretty good birthday so far, and hopefully will continue that way. For my birthday this year I got a combination of baseball cards and books. I always get baseball cards, but I think this is my first year that I've asked for books too. 

I just got 3 cards, but they're real good ones.

I love getting Phil Rizzuto cards! I now have  23 Phil Rizzuto cards! Most of those are modern, but I have 4 of his solo vintage cards, which is pretty nice. 
I thought the last line was interesting: "He was named the All-Time Yankees Shortstop by New York Sportswriters." When I read that I realized that the Yankees didn't really have any good shortstops before Rizzuto. Off the top of my head, the best I can think of B.R (Before Rizzuto) is Frank Crosetti, who Rizzuto replaced when Crosetti was just 30. The absence of good shortstops seems strange, because the Yankees historically have had good up-the-middle players, but there it is. Since Rizzuto the Yankees have had Kubek and Jeter.
This is Hoyt's 2nd-year card, and it's a very nice card. I originally wanted to see what a 1952 Hoyt rookie would cost, but when I saw it was $500 it went off the list quickly. Oh well. When I'm pitching for the New York Yankees I'll be able to afford it. :)
And lastly, I got this Yogi for my '59 set build. It's a great card: a nice shot of Yogi, and it's in good condition. Actually all 3 of the cards I got for my birthday were in good condition, which is nice.

I also got 4 books. I got a copy of the New Bill James Historical Baseball Abstract, which I already have but is falling apart because it's a 1000 page hardcover which has been dropped too many times; the Smithsonian Collection of Newspaper Comics, a good book featuring comics from the beginning to the 1970s; and collections of 2 of my favorite comic strips, Pogo and Krazy Kat, which were both major influences on Bill Watterson of Calvin & Hobbes.

I was very happy with my presents. Thanks Mom and Dad! I also got $20 from my sister, which was very generous. I hope I'll get something really good with that money. I'm also starting to enter birthday card season, so I'll have a good amount of money for baseball cards. 

It's been a good birthday so far. Thanks for reading!