Monday, February 22, 2021

My 400th Bonds cards came from Ohio

I am on a mission to get 762 Barry Bonds cards; one card for each home run. I've gotten some help from fellow bloggers, and this past week I got help from a reader; Ohio Tim. 

Tim sent me 36 Bonds cards. I needed 17 of them. Almost half. Not bad!

These 17 cards take me past the 400 mark for unique cards. I'm now at 411.

Tim mentioned that he's not a fan of Bonds and I totally understand that.He certainly is polarizing. I remember going to Diamondback vs. Giants games and booing Bonds, but hoping he would hit a home run. 

If you are like Tim and don't want your Barry Bonds cards, feel free to send them my way and I'll give them a good home. At least until I get to 762 unique ones. 

Wednesday, February 17, 2021

1981 Donruss Update

My 1981 Donruss page got a major upgrade after a recent trip to a dime box at The Batter's Box card shop. 

Here is the before:

Here is the after:

I added three Hall of Famers and one of my favorite players to the page. Jim Rice, Gary Carter, and Phil Niekro are all in the Hall and I already have this particular Murphy in my Murphy collection, so I added this one to the Donruss page. Like I said, these cards all came from a dime box.

At the same time I grabbed this 1981 Donruss Reggie Jackson card for a quarter. It doesn't make the Donruss page because I didn't already have it for my Reggie Jackson collection.

I am not very familiar with the 1981 Donruss set, but looking at the back of this card it appears to be a special card rather than his base card. With a little bit of research it looks like Reggie has three different cards in the 1981 Donruss set.

This card focuses on Reggie's Mr. October nickname and his World Series feats. It's interesting that 

The comment on the back "It's just too bad (for Reggie) the Yankees can't win the pennant every year." really stuck out to me. I just finished reading a book called They Bled Blue about the 1981 Los Angeles Dodgers. 

The Dodgers played the Yankees in the 1981 World Series and so Reggie was discussed in the book. Reggie did not play in the first 3 games of the 1981 World Series. Reggie was dealing with an injury, but felt he was ready to play in Game 1. There is speculation that George Steinbrenner wanted to show Reggie, who would become a free agent in the off season, that the Yankees didn't need him to win the World Series. The Yankees did win the first two games, but lost game 3. Reggie was inserted into the lineup for game 4 and would make his impact know by hitting a home run. It wasn't enough though as the Dodgers won the game along with games 5 and 6 to win their first World Series since 1965. 

Reggie would leave the Yankees to join the Angels and the Yankees would not make the postseason again until 1995 and would not win a World Series until 1996. The book I'm currently reading is called Chumps to Champs: How the Worst Teams in Yankees History Led to the 90's Dynasty. I've been reading a lot lately and have really been enjoying it. I love the history of baseball and I love taking what I read and finding cards that relate.

Tuesday, February 16, 2021

A 1953 Topps Ad

My LCS, The Batter's Box, must have bought a big vintage collection recently. First they put out the 1952 Topps a week or so ago. Then this past weekend I noticed that they put out a bunch of 1953 Topps. I picked up one. I got this Clem Labine card for $6.95. 

I liked that Topps snuck a partial Topps Gum ad in the background. To my knowledge they did this with 3 cards in the set. This one from the 1st series, as well Sid Hudson and Willie Miranda; both in the 4th and final series.

I did a little bit of research and found that Topps used 4 or 5 different artists for the set and gave them a black and white 8 x 10 photo of the player and paid them $25 for each painting.

Great looking cards! Probably my favorite Topps design of all-time. Not just because of the fronts, but I also really like the backs of the cards as well.

Check out how much info Topps was able to cram on the back of the card. I did notice that we no longer get the players hair and eye color, but that's okay. I think the facsimile signature on the back works and prefer it on the back as opposed to the front. 

At some point I'd like to add the two other cards with the Topps advertisements.

Since I'm sharing a 1953 Topps cards, I'll share my 1953 Topps Page-A-Year from this set.

Maybe I should replace the Don Hoak card with the Clem Labine card. 

Sunday, February 14, 2021

My Favorite Valentines Day Card

I got this card in the mail a week or so ago, but I waited to show it off on the blog today because "technically" this was my Valentines Day gift from my wife. It was one of those situations where I bought the card for myself and then in between my purchasing it and it arriving, my wife asked me what I wanted for Valentines Day and so I told her she didn't have to get me anything because I already took care of it.

I've wanted this card for a couple of decades. I read a biography about Yastrzemski back when I was a teenager and have wanted to own this card ever since, but it has always been out of my price range. Over the years I've tried finding a copy in my price range, but haven't been succesful. A few years ago there was a copy a The Batter's Box card shop for $125 and I tried to see if I could get it for $100, but by the time I made it back, it was sold. I haven't seen one at a card shop until just recently, but this time the card was priced at $225. Online copies in almost every condition end up going for well over $100, so I had pretty much counted myself out for the time being. That is until this copy popped up on a Facebook auction site that I'm a part of and I was able to snag it for $39 shipped.

The front of the card isn't perfect, but overall the centering is nice and I am super happy! The reason I was able to get it for the price I did is because of the back. There is some paper loss, but again, for the price I can't complain.

It looks like someone put tape on the back of the card to display it and it didn't end well for that one particular corner. But ultimately I'm glad it happened, because it's the only reason I own this card. In fact, I think this is my favorite Valentines Day present, or Valentines Day card, I've ever gotten. How about you? Did you get any hobby related Valentines Day gifts today? Or maybe not today, but in the past?

Saturday, February 13, 2021

1952 Topps Giveaway

Last Saturday I picked up a few 1952 Topps cards at The Batter's Box card shop. A few days before my sister had shared a picture of my Dad's 6th grade class from 1952. My Dad was 12 years old in 1952. 

He grew up in a small town in Northern California. He wasn't a baseball fan and never bought a baseball card as a kid. He once told me that as a kid he thought the World Series was just a game between the Yankees and the Dodgers. He collected stamps as a kid. The only time he ever bought any baseball cards was for me, was when I was a kid.

This Irv Noren was the 3rd and final 1952 Topps card I picked up last weekend.

It was only a few bucks because of the damage and writing on the back of the card. Irv actually spent the majority of the 1952 season with the New York Yankees. He would be a part of three Yankee World Series winners and was an all-star in 1954.

I didn't realize it, but I liked this card so much that I had already purchased it and it's part of my Topps Page-A-Year set.

So, I want to give away this most recent purchase. Leave a comment below with a link to a baseball card blog that you don't see on my blogroll so I can add it and I'll select one of the new blogs to be the recipient of the 1952 Noren card and I'll send the person who provides the link a PWE with a few cards as well.

Monday, February 8, 2021

Name a more iconic card from the 1952 Topps set.

Yesterday I shared the 1952 Topps Minnie Minoso card I purchased this past Saturday at The Batters Box card shop. I picked up a couple other 1952 Topps cards. Here is one of them.

Other than the Mickey Mantle card, this Gus Zernial card might well be the most iconic card from this set. It's certainly an image that is hard to forget. The "Philadelhia" Athletics slugger, wearing a pink undershirt, featured with with a bat with 6 baseballs attached.

The story behind the photo is alluded to on the back. Gus hit 6 homers over 3 consecutive games to tie an A.L. record. He would hit another the next day to set the record at 7 in 4 straight games. Oh and if you are wondering, Gus's eyes are blue.

 What do you think? Aside from the Mantle, is there a more iconic card from the set than this Zernial card? And yes, I know there is a Mays card in the set as well.

Sunday, February 7, 2021

Look at how much I paid for a 1952 Topps Minnie Minoso rookie card

My blog is as much for me as it is for anyone else. Sometimes I write for readers rather than myself. That stops now. I don't know exactly what that means right now, other than I am going to start posting more of the prices that I paid for things. Sometimes I leave out the price because I might have paid too much and I don't want to be ridiculed for it. Other times I don't include the price because I got it for a steal and don't want to incite jealousy (that might be a little strong). But like I said, this blog is just as much for me as anyone else and I want to remember how much I paid for various cards.

As I prepared to write this post about the 1952 Minnie Minoso card I purchased at The Batter's Box card shop (I'm also going to document where I purchased the cards) I went back to my post from last year about the 1952 Bowman Minnie Minoso card I purchased at the same card shop and realized I didn't notate the price and I couldn't remember what I paid. I want to say it was probably somewhere between $8 -$12, but I'll never know now. I don't want that to happen again.

Yesterday I made an unexpected stop at The Batter's Box after my son's baseball tournament. Since I had been there last they had put out a couple hundred 1952 Topps cards for sale. There were several stacks between $6 - $10 per card. I didn't have time to look through them, but there were a few individual cards that caught my eye.

The Batter's Box has showcases for different dealers, but these cards were from the shop owners own case.
They typically tag their cards in this way, with the "List" (Beckett) price and then the sale price.

There are typically fairly priced, but I usually still do a quick eBay search to see if I can find a better deal elsewhere. I didn't do that this time. Even in this condition, I felt like $29.50 was a fair price and I wanted to snag it before someone else did.

Check out the back of the card and see just how fantastic 1952 Topps was! You get the players full name, when and where they were born, height, weight, with what hand they bat and throw, and their hair and eye color. How cool is that?

You also get a nice write up on the player. Here we learn that "Minnie" hit a home run in his first game with the Indians in 1949 and with the White Sox in 1951 (this may or may not be accurate, depending on if you believe wikipedia or not).  We learn that before he was playing in the majors with the Indians, he was playing in the Negro Leagues, which they referred to as "semi-pro ball" for the New York Cubans (he would spend parts of 3 seasons with the Cubans). We also learn that in 1951, his first full season and the year before this card was printed, he led the American League in stolen bases and triples while ranking second in batting average and runs scored.

Topps also included batting and fielding statistics from the past year and lifetime. This combined with the information above it, gives us some insight into 1949 and 1950. We are able to deduce that between 1949 and 1950 he only appeared in 9 games and had 16 at bats. These 9 games and 16 at bats would all come early in the 1949 season as he would spend he majority of 1949 and all of 1950 in the minors.

Such a great rookie card of a great player. I went into a little more detail about his career in the post about his 1952 Bowman rookie card which can be found here if you are interested.

I am glad to have been able to add his 1952 Topps rookie card to my collection and am happy with the price I paid. On the way home I told my nine year old son about the 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle card that sold last month for $5.2 million and we had fun discussing that and what else you could buy with that amount of money.

How about you? If you had $5.2 million and you had to spend it on you on the hobby, what would you purchase? I think I would start by picking up each Topps set from 1951 - 1980, obviously not in PSA 9 condition, but I still think I could add each set and have $5 million left.

Friday, February 5, 2021

Two different relic cards from the same base

I came across the two cards below recently at a card shop and picked them up not because I am a fan of Jason Giambi, but because I found it interesting that these base relic cards feature pieces of the same base.

You can see that the this card features pieces of a base used in a game between the A's and the Angels on April 6, 2001. The back even features a picture of the base. This was from the A's home opener, but not from Opening Day.

Here is a card from a different set also featuring Jason Giambi and a piece of presumably that same base from the card above. It is at least a base from the same game. April 6, 2001. Giambi had a good game, going 3 for 4 with an RBI even though the A's lost to the Angels 5-4.

This card refers to the relic as an "Opening Day Base" even though it was not actually from Opening Day.

My question is how many relic cards do you think can be made from a single base? My guess is probably close to 1000. Maybe more. What do you think?

Wednesday, February 3, 2021

Fleer Pro-Vision through the years (1991 - 1995)

I've been a huge fan of the Fleer Pro-Vision cards ever since I spotted the their black edge against the bright yellow in the 1991 Fleer packs.

I got some help recently with the 1992 Pro-Vision cards and so I set out to finish off the run and picked up the 1994 set.

Here is look at all of the Fleer baseball Pro-Vision cards.

1991 - The black border cards were inserts in the regular set and the white borders were inserted into factory sets.

1992 - The only year it was a subset and not an inter set.


1994 - All of the cards fit together.

1995 - The final set also fit together.

I wonder why Fleer stopped producing the Pro-Vision insert. What are your thoughts as to why the popular insert?

I don't actively collect basketball or football cards at this point, but I want to collect all of the Pro-Vision cards. I have several of the various sets already, and once I complete each run I'll post on here as well.

Monday, February 1, 2021

Hall of Fame? Rookie Card - Herb Score

Yesterday I mentioned the 1956 Topps Herb Score rookie card that P-Town Tom sent me. Here it is, in all it's glory.

Herbert Jude Score made his major league debut in 1955 on the Cleveland Indians at the age of 21. He would go 16-10 with an ERA of 2.85, setting the major league rookie record for strikeouts with 245 k's. His record would stand until Dwight Gooden broke it in 1984. Herb was rewarded with Rookie of the Year honors for his 1955 campaign and was selected to represent the American League in the All-Star game.

So how do you follow up on that?

Let's take a look at the back of the card, and specifically the cartoons. We learn about Score setting the record for strikeouts by a rookie. We also learn that he was a Bonus Baby, receiving a $60,000 bonus from Cleveland in 1952. The last section of the panel is inaccurate and tragic at the same time.

The depiction is of Score asking the Hall of Fame for a "reservation for 1965". With Score debuting in 1955, he would need at least 10 years of MLB service to be eligible for the Hall of Fame. An election though would need to occur 5 years after retirement, so that would put the date at 1970 at the earliest.

The tragic part is that Score would not be elected to the Hall of Fame. He wouldn't even accumulate the 10 years in the big leagues to be considered. So what happened?

Score followed up his rookie season by winning 20 games and lowering his ERA 253 strikeouts. He was an All-Star for the second straight season. He was on his way to becoming one of the most dominating pitchers of his generation. But on May 7, 1957 Score would take a line drive off his face. He would miss the remained of the 1957 season. When he returned to the mound in 1958 he tore a tendon in his arm just after just a few starts and he was never the same. Between 1958 and 1962 he would only start 57 games, being traded to the White Sox in 1960. He would start 65 games between 1955-56. What a shame.

I became interested in Score when I pulled his autograph from a pack of 2000 Fleer Greats of the Game. I had never heard of him at that time. I did some research and have never forgotten him since. Every so often I come across something that sparks my interest again.

A few months ago I grabbed a 1960 Topps Score card from the 50 box at my LCS and it prompted me to start looking for his rookie card again and I put it on the top of my Most Wanted list. I've been looking at various copies on eBay on and off since then. I struggled finding one that was in acceptable condition for an acceptable price. I had actually put in a best offer or two, but hadn't been successful.

Speaking of condition, I don't expect or even want perfection necessarily when it comes to vintage. I don't mind soft or even rounded corners and creases to me add character. My main concern is centering and even that doesn't need to be 50/50 for me to be happy. The condition of this particular card is phenomenal! The centering and even the corners are fantastic. Thank you so much Tom!

Injury, illness, military service have cut careers short and altered the history of baseball. I truly think Herb Score would have ended up in the Hall of Fame if he had not been struck in the face and missed so much time, which may have resulted in him injuring his arm. Who sticks out to you?