Tuesday, October 17, 2017

From My Collection: 1969 Nabisco Team Flakes Cut-Outs (Mays, Brock)

Minor correction: in my post on 1987 Kraft Home Plate Heroes Cut-Out cards, I said that I also had a couple of Kraft cards from the 60s.  There were no Kraft cards in the 60s, as far as I can tell.  I had mixed up Kraft with Nabisco.  I have two cards from the 1969 Nabisco Team Flakes set.  Team Flakes was a cereal with which I have no familiarity; according to Cereal Graveyard, it was produced from 1963 until the 1990s, changing the name to just Team at some point; I don't remember it at all.
Lou Brock and Willie Mays.
I believe that I bought these at the consigment shop, Partners, at which I also bought my 1972 Frank Robinson Traded card.   I think I barely paid anything for these -- as I said in the Frank Robinson post, I think the owner had one or two boxes of baseball cards, and they were all the same price, like 50 cents or something.  Later, instead of having a consignment shop, the owner must have realized there was money in baseball cards, and she moved her store to a better location as just a card shop.  I think she had a good feel for the market -- I remember my last interaction with her, too, when I was in college and barely collecting anymore.  She told me she thought new cards weren't going to be worth anything, since they were making so many and everyone was stockpiling them.  I told her that my collection focused heavily on the 70s, and said she thought that was a good idea.  I don't know when her shop went away, like almost all the other card shops in town.

I have a couple of other Lou Brock cards from when he was playing, from the end of his career.  As I've said before, finding cards from Hall-of-Famers at the end of their careers was a strategy I had to get some of those players into my collection in an affordable way.  It didn't work for every Hall-of-Famer, though, and this is my only Willie Mays card from when he was playing.  I will seek to remedy that -- there is a Willie Mays card (1960 Topps) on the PSA-graded part of my want list.  Other than this, the other Willie Mays cards I have are what I would call nostalgia cards, like Pacific Legends, or Hygrade All-Time Greats, or Baseball Immortals.

I really like these cards despite the roughness of the cutting, the lack of logos, and the many creases.  That's partly because of the relative obscurity of the set, and also because I got a good deal on them.  As for the obscurity, I really had no idea for quite some time what these cards were.  Eventually, I got a book, the Great Book of Baseball Cards.  I looked and looked, and eventually I found a couple of pictures and a description of the black frame with yellow border in the 1969 Nabisco Team Flakes page of the book.  This was what research was like in the old days.
The Great Book of Baseball Cards.
The Great Book on the 1969 Nabisco Team Flakes set.

Monday, October 16, 2017

Cecil Cooper in My Collection

Cecil Cooper is a player I remember from the 80s from league leader cards.  I always remember him playing with the Brewers, which was a team we didn't see much of in the 80s.  We followed the NL almost exclusively (living closest to the Phillies), and the Brewers were in the AL back then.
1974 Topps Cecil Cooper.
Although I remember him from the Brewers, Cooper started out with the Red Sox.  He was with Boston 1971-1976, and then with Milwaukee the rest of his career, 1977-1987.  According to Wikipedia, after being traded to Milwaukee, he altered his batting stance, leading to better results with the Brewers (.302 average over 11 seasons) than with the Red Sox (.283 average over 6 seasons).
1978 Topps Cecil Cooper.
1979 Topps Cecil Cooper.
My next cards of him are the 1978 and 1979 Topps cards, after he was traded to the Brewers.  Cooper was an All-Star five times with the Brewers, starting with 1979.  He led the league in various categories over the years while maintaining high batting averages.
1981 Topps RBI Leaders.
1984 Topps RBI Leaders.
You clearly see with these RBI leader cards that I'm not great at scanning.  It's somehow hard for me to always get the cards straight when they're on the scan bed.  I think I've improved at this, but I scanned these Cecil Cooper cards a while ago.  If you ignore the crookedness, you see that Cooper led the AL in RBI in 1980 and in 1983 (tied with Jim Rice in 1983).  The NL was led by Mike Schmidt in 1980, so the 1981 card now lives in my Schmidt player collection.
1986 Donruss cutout box bottom Cecil Cooper.
I don't know how Baseball-reference does its similarity scores for batters, but it rates Cooper as being most similar to Don Mattingly, Wally Joyner, Will Clark, Hal McRae, Kirby Puckett, and Keith Hernandez.   While there's only one Hall-of-Famer in that list, it's certainly good company to be in.
1987 Topps Highlights/Woolworth Cecil Cooper.
Something he has in common with Mattingly, Joyner, Clark, McRae, Puckett, and Hernandez is that they all amassed between 2000 and 2400 career hits (Puckett has the most among them, with 2,304, and Joyner has the least with 2,060).  This card, which I did show once before, is from the 1987 Topps Highlights/Woolworth set, commemorating Cooper's 2000th hit.
1981 Topps Super of Cecil Cooper.
It's out of chronological order, but I'll close with this 1981 Topps Super.  I have a handful of them, and will make a couple of posts with the rest of the ones I have in the next few weeks.  They're nice overall, but they do need to be stored separately because they're so much bigger.  I keep them with my Donruss All-Stars from 1987 and before, my Phillies team-issued oversized cards, and a few other larger odds and ends.

To sum up Cecil Cooper's career: over his career, Cooper received two Gold Gloves at first base, three Silver Sluggers, the Roberto Clemente Award, and joined the 2000-hit club.  He's in the Brewers Walk of Fame and the Wisconsin Athletic Hall of Fame.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Sets in My Collection: 1990 Colla Collection Jose Canseco

Today we present the Colla Collection "Limited Edition Set" of Jose Canseco.  I gather that Colla was a sports photographer who wanted to get in on the lucrative baseball card market, so he put out some cards of specific players.  I went for it once, with this Jose Canseco boxed set. 
The Colla Collection Jose Canseco set box.
I was a fan of those A's teams with (off the top of my head) Mark McGwire, Jose Canseco, Dave Stewart, Dave Parker, Dave Henderson, Terry Steinbach, Walt Weiss, Dennis Eckersley, Storm Davis, Bob Welch, and Carney Lansford,  I didn't have perfect information at the time.  I think it's clear now that any achievements Canseco had are tainted by steroids, and he's a terrible person, too, but I didn't know any of that back then. 
Jose Canseco holding his bat.
There are a number of him standing around holding his bat.
Jose Canseco swinging.
There are a few of him swinging the bat.
Jose Canseco running.
Canseco was also good at running, having become the first to achieve the 40-40 club in 1988.

Even though I'm sure it didn't cost much, I regret buying this set.  I don't think this regret was attained over time, but was more or less instantaneous on opening the package.  It takes more than good photographs to make good cards.  Even if they're not great as cards, though, looking at these -- for the first time since about when I bought them around 1990 -- does take me back to those days when card shows and shops were plentiful, and the A's, as well as my Pirates, were contenders.

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Billy Martin in My Collection

I have a few Billy Martin cards that I thought I would share.  This 1972 card, the infamous middle finger card, has been in my collection for a very long time.  Martin managed the Tigers from 1971-1973, winning the division in 1972.
1972 Topps Billy Martin.
If you read about his time in Detroit, there are some stories, including giving a try-out to future base-stealing champ Ron LeFlore, who was in prison for armed robbery at the time (according to Wikipedia), and encouraging his pitchers to throw spitballs.
1978 Topps Billy Martin.
Of course, while he has managed other teams, and played for a few, he's famous for being the manager of the Yankees, over and over again.  This 1978 card reflects the fact that Martin managed the team in 1977, even winning the World Series.  The next year, he feuded with Reggie Jackson and eventually had to resign; the team went on to win the World Series without him.  His replacement, Bob Lemon, didn't work out, and Martin came back at the end of the 1979 season.  He was fired again during the offseason.
1982 Donruss Billy Martin.
Martin moved on to the A's, his hometown team in a sense (he was from Berkeley, right next to Oakland, although the A's wouldn't have been in Oakland when he was growing up there).  He did well in 1981, although the A's lost the ALCS to the Yankees. 
1983 Topps Billy Martin.
He had less success in 1982, and was fired as A's manager after the 1982 season.
1986 Topps Billy Martin.
Martin returned to the Yankees a few more times.  I remember when George Steinbrenner announced Martin would be manager again for the 1988 season.  It was like a joke that had gone on too long.  He didn't last, going 40-28, a good record to be sure, before being fired mid-season.  He died not too long after, in 1989.
Hygrade All-Time Greats Billy Martin.
I don't have much in my collection to represent Martin as a player, but he is featured in part as a player on the above 1978 Topps card, and I have this Hygrade All-Time Greats card of him.  He won four World Series with the Yankees in the 50s, and seemed to be a competent second baseman for them.

Friday, October 13, 2017

From My Collection: Topps Rub-Downs

I have no idea where I got these 1984 Topps Rub-Downs, except that I must have bought some sort of "grab bag" at a show in the late 80s or early 90s.  I had never heard of these when I bought them, and I think never had seen any except these 4.  I didn't know they were called "Rub-Downs" until searching online about a month ago.  Without further ado, here they are:
A 1984 Topps Rub-Down card.
I've said before that Lance Parrish is appearing way more than I would expect in this blog.  Jack Clark is probably over-represented in my collection, but I think this is his first appearance in the blog.  Hal McRae I remember from the Royals when they played the Phillies in the 1980 World Series, and he won with the Royals a few years later in 1985.  I don't have much memory of Damasco Garcia.
Another 1984 Topps Rub-Down card.
Like Damasco Garcia, I have little memory of Chris Chambliss.  Dwight Evans, though, like Jack Clark, shows up many times in my binder, and is probably over-represented there.  I remember Julio Franco as an All-Star and an excellent hitter, but he played in the AL (which I didn't pay as much attention to) and for teams which didn't really challenge for their divisions.
A third 1984 Topps Rub-Down card.
I remember reading about John Denny; I wasn't paying much attention in 1983 (I was 7 years old), but the Phillies went to the World Series and Denny won the Cy Young.  By the time I paid better attention to baseball in 1987, he was history.  I was a big fan of the late 80s Oakland teams, and Carney Lansford was an integral part of them.  Lou Whitaker of course I remember, and I have read some articles about whether he should be in the Hall of Fame.  Mario Soto I don't know anything about.
My fourth and final 1984 Topps Rub-Down card.
Buddy Bell I remember as a perrenial All-Star; I think I have a Topps Super of him.  I also remember him getting fired as manager, of the Tigers I think, just before the end of the season once.  Lloyd Moseby I think I liked in the 80s, although I don't know why particularly.  I must have read an article about him and had some of his early cards.  Ray Knight featured in my recent post from a 1987 Topps boxed set, Woolworth 1986 Highlights, as he was the World Series MVP.

Overall, I'm sure I ended up with these because someone was getting rid of them because of the lack of marquee stars.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Two more Manny Sanguillen cards

I posted before about Manny Sanguillen, including how he was Roberto Clemente's friend, how he was an integral part of the 1971 World Championship team, and how he contributed to the 1979 World Championship team despite only having one at-bat in the World Series.  I posted the two cards I thought I had of him, his 1973 and 1974 Topps cards, which I'll put here again:

1973 Topps Manny Sanguillen.
1974 Topps Manny Sanguillen.
Looking through some more cards, I found two more of Sanguillen.
1972 Topps card commemorating Game 6 of the 1971 World Series.
I have this 1972 card of the 1971 World Series, and it turns out the Pirates player suspended in midair is Manny Sanguillen.  There's another of these World Series cards featuring him out there.
1990 Pacific Manny Sanguillen.
I also have this 1990 Pacific Legends card of him.  I'm glad they included him in the set.  He certainly had a good run in the 70s; I hadn't realized that he placed highly in the batting race multiple times.  There are multiple Topps Batting Leaders cards from the 70s featuring him (in third place); his lifetime record includes a career .296 batting average, three All-Star appearances, and the two World Series wins.

I've decided two things about my collection goals, partially based on these Sanguillen cards.  I'm going to add Manny Sanguillen to the list of players of whom I am developing deeper player collections.  That list is Willie Stargell, Mike Schmidt, Tony Pena, Dave Parker, John Candelaria, George Brett, George Foster, Eddie Murray, Rickey Henderson, Harold Baines, and now also Manny Sanguillen.  The Candelaria collection -- which I've posted about a few times already -- is basically complete.  For the others, beyond what's already in my collection, I've only bought a few cards each so far, which I'll be posting soon.

Also, there are a few World Series-winning teams which mean something to me: the 1960 Pirates, 1971 Pirates, 1979 Pirates, 1980 Phillies, and 1989 A's.  The 1980 Phillies are already very well represented in my collection, through, for example, the 1980 Burger King Phillies set (subject of one or more future posts) and the 1981 Coca-Cola Phillies set.  I'm going to aim to complete a 1971 Pirates team set and 1979 Pirates team set.  For 1979, I already have about half the cards which I collected in the 80s and 90s.  For the 1960 Pirates, I'm not going for a full set, but will try to get some key Pirates and some key Yankees, as well as the 1961 Topps World Series cards.  For the 1989 A's, the team mattered to me at the time, but in light of all the steroids, I won't be looking to get any more Canseco or McGwire cards.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

From My Collection: Robin Roberts post-Phillies

Robin Roberts is important to me since he was a favorite of my dad growing up.  I've posted two Robin Roberts cards before, which I'll repeat here:
Red Man Tobacco Robin Roberts card (without tab).
Pacific Robin Roberts card.
I have a few more nostalgia cards of Roberts, including more by Pacific and also Baseball Immortals, and maybe others.  But, I have two more regular Topps cards of him as well.  Unfortunately, these are not with the Phillies.
1962 Topps Robin Roberts.
This 1962 Topps card of Roberts says that he's with the Yankees, and he isn't wearing a hat.  You can tell, though, that the pinstripes are red.  So, he's kind of still with the Phils in this one.  He never even actually appeared for the Yankees during the regular season; he played with them in spring training, and was released in May.
1963 Topps Robin Roberts.
He then went to the Orioles.  There, he played three and a half seasons, going 42-36 with a 3.09 ERA, and mentored Jim Palmer; not bad for someone at the end of his career.  After Baltimore, he briefly played with Houston and Chicago.  Roberts was one of the great pitchers of the 1950s, and made the Hall of Fame on the 4th ballot in 1976.  I've said before that to commemorate the Whiz Kids in my collection, I'll be looking to add his 1951 Bowman card, and some of his teammates.  It will be good to have another regular card of him with the Phillies, in addition to the Red Man card above.