Monday, November 30, 2020

Where were you on August 11, 2018?

I went to a card shop the other day and I browsed for a while before deciding on one particular card. I paid for the card and turned around and saw a "discount" bin that I had been looking through earlier. I had looked through this bin earlier and had set a side a few things that weren't priced because I wanted to ask for a price. So I grabbed the three items I had set aside and took them to the counter to ask for pricing. One of the items had a price, but the other two did not. 

The one that was priced was a 2018 National Baseball Card Day set, or so I thought. It was marked at $2 and then was supposed to be 25% off. As you will see it ended up being one card short. I wasn't expecting it to have the two bonus cards (Aaron Judge and Rhys Hoskins), but card #6 (Jose Altuve) was also missing from the set. I'll have to track that down. 

I'm not sure what I was doing back on August 11, 2018, but it doesn't appear that I went to the card shop because I don't think I had any 2018 National Baseball Card Day cards. Well now I do.

Do you collect the National Baseball Card Day sets? Do you have the Jose Altuve available for trade?

Sunday, November 29, 2020

I just need the Topps card to complete the trifecta.

Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving! 2020 has been a strange and challenging year, but I still have much to be grateful for this day. My faith and my family are at the top of the list, but I have a long list of hobby related items that I am thankful for as well.

I'm grateful for card shops and one in particular; The Batter's Box. I've mentioned them before, but I love that they have weekly live auctions. They hold them on Saturdays and Wednesday nights. This past Wednesday I was in the area and was able to stop by for the auction. 

I only snagged one item from the auction. It was this 1954 Red Heart Harvey Kuenn rookie card.

It's beat up, but I was able to grab it for about $6, so I can deal with it for that price. It's also my first card from the Red Heart set. 

I'm not a dog person, but I would like to think that I would have begged my parents for a dog, 6 cans of dog food, and 30 cents so I could get the complete 33 card set. Yep, 2 cans of dog food and a dime, would get you an 11 card all-star team. Each 11 card grouping has a different background color, so that means that the kid that got this Harvey Kuenn card also got the Mickey Mantle card as well.

If you recall, I recently picked up a 1954 Bowman Harvey Kuenn recently. With the addition of this Red Heart card, I just need the 1954 Topps Kuenn rookie card to complete the trifecta.

I can pick up a well loved version of the Topps card for around $10, so it shouldn't be long. 

Do you have any Red Heart cards in your collection? If so, which ones? 

Saturday, November 28, 2020

What are the odds?

I shared a small lot of Maury and Bump Wills cards I bought on eBay recently in order to upgrade my 1963 Fleer Maury Wills rookie card. Included in the lot was this 1979 Topps Bump Wills error card. I wasn't familiar with this card, so I looked it up and found out the origin behind it and that there is a corrected version as well.

Fast forward about a week and I'm at the card shop looking through the dime box. In addition to the dime box, they have a couple of small snap tight quarter cases, a 50 cent case and a $1 case. In the 50 cent case I found the corrected version of the card.

I look through the dime, quarter, 50 cent, and $1 boxes/cases every time I go to the card shop and this was the first time I remember seeing this card. Anyways, it seemed pretty crazy to me that I wasn't familiar with the card and then within a week I end up with both versions. Here they are side by side.

You ever had a situation like that happen before? I had a similar situation happen recently that I will post about tomorrow. This one involves a rookie card from 1954.

Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Dave Philley of the Phillies

I came across this 1958 Topps card of Dave Philley in a dime box recently. I tweeted about it and referred to it as a 1959 Topps card. My bad. To be honest, before coming across this card in the dime box, I wasn't familiar with Dave Philley. I bought it because his last name is Philley and he plays for the Phillies. 

I looked him up and found out he had a lengthy career and was a pretty prolific pinch hitter. In fact, he ended the 1958 season with 8 consecutive pinch hits and started the 1959 season with one as well; setting the record for the most consecutive pinch hits at 9.

The back of his card also mentions this pinch hitting prowess regarding his performance in the 1957 season.

I know his name isn't an exact match to the team name, but it's pretty close. Are there any others out there that are close or an exact match? Last name and their team name. Not their first name and their team name. I'm curious. 

Monday, November 23, 2020

I upgraded and saved 9 cents: 1963 Fleer Maury Wills

A while back I set up an eBay search for a 1963 Fleer Maury Wills rookie card. I was able to secure one as part of a small lot of 1963 Fleer cards. Because it was part of a lot I ended up getting the Wills rookie for $1.07 and it shows. Let's take another look. It's in rough shape, but I love it. Huge crease right down the middle, worn corners, off centered, etc. and that's just the front.

The back contains some ink.

I never removed the eBay search and so I continue to get notifications for the card. One such notification was for another small lot that included this 1963 Fleer Maury Wills rookie card.

This card is certainly not in gem mont condition, but it is a huge upgrade to the previous card in almost every possible way. No huge crease down the middle, the corners are not great, but improved and the centering is way better. Oh, and no writing on the back. So how much did this copy set me back? $0.98.

Like I mentioned, this was part of lot, which is why the price per card is so low. So what else was in the lot? Another 1963 card and this one is just as rough as the first 1963 Fleer card. 

This is a 1963 Post card that looks like it was cut out by a 6 year old. Maybe some day I will upgrade this one as well.

There were a few other Maury Wills cards in the lot. The 1969 is in decent shape except for the writing on the front advising of the fact that Maury was back on the Dodgers after a brief stint with the Expos.

More Wills in the lot, but this time it was Bump and not Maury. There is rookie card and a 1979 Blue Jays error card in addition to his 1980, 1981, and 1982 Topps card.

Bump didn't have nearly as productive career as his father, but he has some interesting cardboard, just like his dad. I mentioned the 1979 error listing him on the Blue Jays. This was based on a tip provided to Sy Berger that did not pan out. His 1978 Topps card, not shown here, also has a variation. 

I'm happy with the upgraded Fleer rookie and happy to add the Post card to my collection. The rest were just extras. Do you have any 1963 Post cards in your collection? How about the Wills card? If so, how's the condition?

Sunday, November 22, 2020

These put the "Odd" in Oddball

I came across a small lot of these 1992 Confex Baseball Enquirer cards in one of the collections I bought last year. I don't recall ever seeing these cards before. Like the title of the post says, these cards are truly odd. This is a 64 card set that doesn't feature any names (of the player or team) or any logos. 

The characteresk drawings are decent, but I find it really odd that they include a blank nameplate on the front of the card. Why include it since there are no names?

The backs include a question and answer interview between the unnamed player and The Baseball Enquirer designed to poke fun at the player.

Out of the 20 cards in this lot, there was one of a player that I collect. So this one will make it's way into my Dale Murphy collection. 

I'm not going to actively collect this set, but it is tempting considering I have a third of the set already: 20/64. 

Do any of you have this set? Have you ever seen it before? Is there a more oddballl set out there?

Saturday, November 21, 2020

Topps All-Star Rookie Cup Cards

Topps started naming All-Star Rookie teams in 1959, so the All-Star Rookie Cups appeared on Topps cards starting in 1960. While the All-Star Rookie teams have been selected every year since 1959, Topps did not commemorate the previous years top rookies on their cards in 1974 and from 1979 - 1985.

Below is a list of winners whose card from the subsequent year I would like to obtain. I will add the card as I get them. I have the ones that are bolded.

1959 - Willie McCovey

1960 - Ron Santo

1961 - Billy Williams

1962 - Boog Powell

1963 - Pete Rose

1964 - Tony Oliva

1965 - Joe Morgan

1966 - George Scott

1967 - Rod Carew or Tom Seaver

1968 - Johnny Bench

1969 - Al Oliver or Ted Sizemore

1970 - Thurman Munson

1971 - Bill Buckner

1972 - Carlton Fisk

1973 - Gary Mathews

1974 - Bill Madlock

1975 - Gary Carter, Jim Rice, or Fred Lynn

1976 - Mark Fidrych

1977 - Andre Dawson or Eddie Murray

1978 - Paul Molitor or Ozzie Smith

1979 - Alfredo Griffen

1980 - Joe Charboneau

1981 - Cal Ripken Jr.

1982 - Ryne Sandberg

1983 - Darryl Strawberry

1984 - Kirby Puckett

1985 - Vince Coleman

1986 - Jose Canseco

1987 - Mark McGwire

1988 - Mark Grace

1989 - Ken Griffey Jr.

1990 - Larry Walker

1991 - Ivan Rodriguez or Jeff Bagwell

1992 - Kenny Lofton

1993 - Mike Piazza

1994 - Manny Ramirez

1995 - Chipper Jones

1996 - Derek Jeter

1997 - Nomar Garciaparra

1998 - Kerry Wood

1999 - Carlos Beltran

2000 - Pat Burrell

2001 - Albert Pujols or Ichiro

2002 - Austin Kearns

2003 - Mark Texiera or Brandon Webb

2004 - Joe Mauer

2005 - Brian McCann

2006 - Justin Verlander

2007 - Dustin Pedroia

2008 - Joey Votto or Evan Longoria

2009 - Andrew McCutchen

2010 - Buster Posey or Giancarlo Stanton

2011 - Craig Kimbrel

2012 - Bryce Harper or Mike Trout

2013 - Nolan Arenado or Christian Yelich

2014 - Jose Abreau

2015 - Kris Bryant

2016 - Alex Bregman or Corey Seager

2017 - Cody Bellinger or Aaron Judge

2018 - Juan Soto or Shohei Ohtani

2019 - Pete Alonso, Vladimir Guerrero Jr., or Fernando Tatis Jr.

2020 - Luis Robert

Friday, November 20, 2020

Coca-Cola or Coke

A week or so ago I found this 1981 Topps Coca-Cola Kent Tekulve card in a dime box at a card shop and picked it up. I don't think I have any other 1981 Coca-Cola cards and I don't think I'm alone in having a soft spot for Tekulve.

On a subsequent trip to the card shop I noticed that they had packs of 1981 Topps Coca-Cola Pirates for 95 cents and I decided I would pick up a pack or two the next time I went. When I went to get the 1954 Bowman set at the shop on Veterans Day I was looking around and on a different shelf I found this.

Whoever wrapped this up and labeled it referred to the Coca-Cola set as a Coke set. Likely to save room on the label, but maybe its a play on the Pittsburgh drug trials which would take place a few years after this set was produced. but only Dave Parker was the only player in the set that was part of those proceedings. My guess though is that it's just because nobody says Coca-Cola. Everybody just says Coke.

Complete set including two header cards for 50 cents. Lots of star power on this Pirates team. Bill Madlock, Dave Parker, and Willie Stargell. I wish they had the other teams. 

A couple of questions for everyone out there. I was born in 1981, so how were these distributed? Anybody have this or any of the other teams? Do you ever refer to it as Coca-Cola or just Coke? 

Thursday, November 19, 2020

Bowman Page-a-Year:1954

I did what I called, a Topps Page-a-Year binder where I gathered one page per year of every Topps set from 1952 - current. From 1952 - 1956, the pages only hold 8 cards. Starting in 1957, 9 cards fit per page.

Naturally I need to do the same thing with Bowman. I have a page of 55 Bowmans. Yesterday I shared some Baltimore Orioles cards from the 1954 set that I purchased recently. Here are the 3 additional cards I picked up from the 1954 set for my page.

Check out this beat up Frank Thomas rookie card. The creases and dinged corners allowed me to snag this for just 95 cents. 

I wanted a Brooklyn Dodger card and this was another 95 cent option, so George Schuba joins my page. Schuba is all smiles after hitting a pinch hit home run in the 1953 World Series even though the Dodgers would lose to the Yankees in 6 games.

Joe Nuxhall is best known for being the youngest ever to play in a major league game when he pitched 2/3 of an inning for the Reds in 1944 a just 15 years, 316 days old. This card was produced roughly 10 years after his debut.

So here is my page of 1954 Bowman.

Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Is it called airbrushing when it's a painting.

What is the first instance of airbrushing on a baseball card? I don't know that we'll ever know the answer. These 1954 Bowman cards feature a painting rather than a photograph, but the artists had to "airbrush" the uniforms since the St. Louis Browns relocated to Baltimore during the winter of 1953-54 and nobody at Bowman knew what the Baltimore Orioles uniforms or logos would look like.

I picked up these 5 Baltimore Orioles cards from the 1954 Bowman set recently. I picked them up specifically because of the artistic nature of the cards.

Looks like Bowman artists weren't consistent with the logos on the hats for the Orioles players. Some of the birds face left and some face right.

The Orioles facing right, for some reason are almost undistiguishable, especially compared to the birds facing left.

The Orioles uniforms would have the Orioles name across the front, but they wouldn't have the bat and birds on their chest....ever.

I've mentioned it before that I am no expert on old ballparks, but I think the Sportsman Park in St Louis is the backdrop of some of these cards.

These will go in my binder page for 1954 Bowman. Since these cards are a little larger than todays cards, the page only holds 8 cards. So what are the other 3 cards on the page. You'll have to turn in tomorrow to find out.

Tuesday, November 17, 2020

What could have been. 1954 Bowman

Last Saturday I went to a card shop and while I was there they put out a 1954 Bowman set. This set included the Ted Williams card that got pulled early on because Topps had signed him to an exclusive contract. 

There were a couple of different options to buy the cards. The set was in pretty rough shape, so it was $1250 for the entire set, or $750 for the Williams, Mickey Mantle, and Willie Mays cards, and/or $500 for the other 221 cards. After thinking about it, I decided to buy the set. I called the shop on Sunday a few minutes before they closed to ask them to hold it for me, but they didn't answer. I was working on Monday and they are closed on Tuesday, so I decided to head to the shop when they opened on Wednesday since I had the day off for Veterans Day. 

When I arrived I went to the display case and noticed the three big cards were gone. I asked about it and they had sold the Williams, Mantle and Mays to someone and then decided to just break up the remainder of the set and sell it card by card. I was extremely disappointed. The owner said you should have called and I said I did right before they closed on Sunday and the other employee said he remembered the phone ringing as they were walking out the door. They did say that the three cards cards had sold earlier that day anyways, so I guess it was just not meant to be.

I did go through the remainder of the cards and picked out a few as a reminder of what could have been.

The first card I grabbed was this Harvey Kuenn rookie card.

Kuenn won the 1953 American League Rookie of the Year award after leading the league with 209 hits and a .308 batting average. He would also be named to the first of 10 consecutive All-Star teams. His .353 average would lead the A.L. in 1959 and he would end his career in 1966 with a .303 career average, but his numbers would take a sharp decline starting in 1963. After his playing career, Kuenn would go on to manage the Brewers for several seasons, including 1982 when the Brewers would make it to the World Series. During his time at the head of the Brewers they would be known as Harvey's Wallbangers. 

Another card I picked out was this Vern Law card. I'm a fan of Law and so whenever I see his vintage cards at a good price, I tend to add them to my collection.

Law made his debut in 1950 with the Pirates, but would spend 1951 through 1953 in military service before returning to the big leagues in 1954. His rookie card is in 1951 Bowman and he has a 1952 Bowman and Topps card, but none in 1953. His best year was 1960 when he won 20 games, made the All-Star team and won two games in the World Series as the Pirates beat the Yankees.

I love that the card features Law mid windup compared to the majority of the set which is is more like the Kuenn and showcases the player chest up or seated. 

Anybody out there have the 1954 Bowman set? Do you have a favorite 1954 Bowman card? If so, why?

Monday, November 16, 2020

A sampling of samples.

I never had a subscription to Beckett when I was a kid and I haven't bought a copy of the magazine in over 10 years. Not that I didn't want a subscription back in the day, but I hated spending money on anything other than cards when I was a kid. That meant that I only purchased price guides every couple of months and I typically used 800 count boxes instead of sheets and binders. I still don't like spending money on supplies. 

Promotional sample cards have been around for a while, but they reached their peak in the late 90's and early 2000's when they were inserted into copies of Beckett magazine. Since I didn't buy many magazines, I don't have a lot of sample cards. One of the collections I bought had a small stash of sample cards. Sometimes they are easy to spot and other times they are difficult to determine. For example, I nearly missed the Diamond Kings Roberto Clemente sample card.

Sometimes the player selection for these Promo cards is a little puzzling. For example Aramis Ramirez isn't a name that I would have expected to see on a promotional card, but maybe he was a bigger name than I remember. 

I have a couple of questions for the blogosphere. Answer any, all or none. Thanks for reading!

Have you ever, or do you currently have a subscription to Beckett?

What are the first sample cards that were produced? What year? What product?

Do you collect sample cards?

Sunday, November 15, 2020

Strange PWEs and Strange Careers

I got two PWEs from the Lost Collector helping me out with the 2020 Archive set. 18 cards. Thank you very much! They arrived on different days, which I thought was strange, assuming they were mailed on the same day. I also thought it was strange that there were no cards from the 1974 design. 

You know what else I find strange? Players that have an amazing start to their career and then just drop off. I'm talking about players that appear to be on track for the Hall of Fame and then just flame out. Most of the time due to injuries. Such is the case with these two players, both of which were sent to me by the Lost Collector.

Tim Lincecum pitched from 2007 - 2016 and was absolutely dominant between 2008 - 2014. He won back to back Cy Young awards in 2008 and 2009, pitched two no-hitters, was a 4 time All-Star and helped the Giants to three World Series championships. Injuries and a hip surgery halted his dominance on the mound and led to him retiring from baseball after the 2016 season. 

Eligible for the Hall of Fame in 2022, I suspect that he will get a few votes, but he won't get in. He might not even get enough votes to remain on the ballot. 

Ryan Howard won Rookie of the Year in 2005 and was MVP in 2006. He was the fastest player to reach 100, 200, and 250 home runs as well as 1000 RBIs all while leading the N.L. in home runs in 2006 and 2008 and RBIs in 2006, 2008, and 2009. Add on 3 All-Star appearances and a World Series title in 2008 and that is a heck of a 5 year resume. By 2012 injuries had taken its tole and he would retire after the 2016 season with 382 home runs, 1,194 RBI, and a .258 batting average.

Howard will be eligible for the Hall of Fame in 2022, but will he get any votes?

2020 Topps Archives Needs

3, 5, 7, 9, 10, 21, 23, 24, 25, 26, 29, 30, 32, 33, 36, 40, 43, 44, 49, 51, 52, 56, 57, 58, 59, 67, 68, 77. 78, 80, 82, 85, 88, 91, 93, 95, 101, 103, 108, 115, 119, 121, 124, 126, 132, 133, 136, 137, 140, 142, 145, 150, 151, 152, 153, 154, 155, 156, 157, 158, 159, 160, 162, 165, 166, 167, 168, 169,172, 174, 177, 178, 179, 180, 181, 182, 183, 185, 186, 187, 191, 193, 194, 196, 197, 198, 199, 210, 212, 213, 214, 215, 217, 221,224, 230, 232, 233, 235,241, 242, 243, 244, 247, 249,252, 255, 258, 262, 263, 264, 266, 267, 269, 272, 275, 277,280, 282, 283, 284, 285, 289, 292, 293, 295, 297, 298, 299, 300

Saturday, November 14, 2020

Oddball: 1993 Kraft Singles Superstars Pop-Ups

One of my favorite things about buying collections is finding stuff that I have never seen before and most of the time that ends up taking the form of an oddball food issue. Such is the case with this 1993 Kraft Singles Superstars Pop-Ups set. Not sure why I wasn't familiar with these other than when I was growing up we didn't eat a lot of Kraft Singles. We would typically buy a block of cheese and cut it ourselves.

I don't know a whole lot about the set, but it looks like Kraft produced these sets in 1993, 1994, and 1995. I'm not sure if they were available as singles or only in a boxed set, but I do see boxed sets available, so that tells me you could probably send some Proof of Purchases into Kraft and get these sets via mail. If anyone has any other information about this set, or the other years, please let me know.

I thought I was one card short for the set because I was missing the Griffey, but it turned out it was just in a different location initially and so when I found it I reunited it with the rest of the set and put the complete set in pages.

So here is the set, both the front and backs.

The collection that this came from also included this Collector's Album, but I chose to use standard pages instead.


Middle - the flaps fold out so you would fit the entire set


How about you? Do you have any of the Kraft sets? Should I have put the cards in the Collector's Album? Did you eat Kraft Singles as a kid?