Saturday, September 19, 2020

Iron Man Gus Suhr

A simple one-card post today.  I mentioned in the comments the other day that I love the 1940 Play Ball set but the cards are mostly either too expensive to justify getting more, or of players I've never heard of, which makes them less interesting.  So in a way I'm looking for excuses to get more of the less-popular (read: cheaper) cards.  Such an excuse presented itself the other day, although with the 1939 Play Ball set.  This is now the oldest card in my collection, tied with another card not yet in-hand which is coming from COMC, also from 1939.

1939 Play Ball Gus Suhr
Gus Suhr card back.
I was watching the Pirates game and they mentioned long-ago Pirate Gus Suhr, who was an Iron Man of his time.  He had a streak of 822 consecutive games, which was the NL record at the time.  He's still in 10th place all-time; the current NL record holder is Steve Garvey with 1,207, which is fourth place all-time.

I do like this card but the 1940 Play Ball set is definitely more charming, with its borders decorated with a ball and bat and whatnot.  Suhr had a good career, with three 100+ RBI seasons and batting over .300 twice.

I don't anticipate getting any more from the 1939 Play Ball set, but it's nice to have one and to recognize a notable Pirate of years gone by.  Thanks for reading!

Thursday, September 17, 2020

Finished my 1972 Topps set

When I was young, I dreamed of collecting a vintage set, the 1979 Topps set.  It was hard to find a bunch of old cards then so I only got about 10% through.  When I resumed collecting a couple years ago, instead of making good on that progress, I just bought a complete 1979 Topps set for not too much money.  I did pursue the dream, though, by starting a 1972 Topps set.  And now I'm done.  I don't have every single card with me, though, because a bunch are in my COMC order.  I put in to have it shipped back in July, and in the current environment, they say that means that I'll get it in mid-October.  But, I do own them all, even if I can't hold them all in my hands right now.  For now the ones I have with me are in a couple of boxes.  I think eventually I'll get them situated into a new binder.

Pat Corrales In Action.
Pat Corrales In Action card back: Tom Seaver.

The last of the high numbers are these five, which came to me via eBay.  They're a good bunch to show to illustrate this post about completing the set.  I have a clear early memory of Pat Corrales from the 1983 Topps set as the Phillies manager.  I knew the Phillies won the pennant in 1983 and assumed that it was with Corrales.  But he had been fired at some point, and Paul "the Pope" Owens took them to the World Series instead.  Wikipedia tells me that Corrales is the only manager to ever be fired in first place, although the Phils' record at the time was only 43-42.

One of the reasons I've decided to put the set in a binder is to be able to see the puzzle backs of the in-action cards.  I think it was Greg from The Collective Mind (if not, sorry) who said that while you use 9-card pages for most of the set, a good way to see the puzzle cards is sideways in 8-card sheets, so that the puzzle is assembled.  This bit of Tom Seaver seen here can serve as a sort of tribute to the recently departed as I don't especially have interesting cards of him to make into a post of their own.

Bobby Murcer.
Donn Clendenon.
This Bobby Murcer is card 699, putting his in-action card in the honor position of number 700.  That strikes me as a little odd because it would seem like he was a big deal, but I've actually barely heard of him.  Wikipedia tells me that he was touted as "the next Mickey Mantle" back in the day.  He had a decent enough career, being a five-time All-Star, but all that ended a bit before my time, and like I said, growing up in the 80s I never heard much about him.  Then we have Donn Clendenon, who is more familiar to me because he was a longtime Pirate.  He missed out on the Pirate championships in 1960 and 1971 since his years with the team were 1961-1968, but he was part of the Miracle Mets in 1969.
Jose Pagan In Action.
Jim Kaat.

Then we have Bucco Jose Pagan (In Action), and Jim Kaat.  I wouldn't have been surprised if Kaat were in the Hall of Fame, but instead he's someone that people can write articles about, debating whether he should be in the Hall of Fame.  He had a long career spanning from the late 50s to the 80s, and he makes an appearance in my binder with a very beat up 1978 Topps card with the Phillies.  Part of why I picked the 1972 set as the new object of my dream of collecting a vintage set was to commemorate the Pirates winning the 1971 World Series.  Jose Pagan drove in the deciding run in Game 7, so he's a perfect card to feature here at the end.

So that's a complete set in the books.  That leaves me working on my 1955 Bowman set; I have 250/320 cards for that, so only 70 to go.  I don't expect to pick up another vintage set project -- I've toyed with the idea of 1959 Topps or 1967 Topps, but I think they'd be too hard to finish out.  Maybe I'll reconsider one day.  In any case, thanks for reading!

Update: Just after posting, I looked at other recent blog posts and saw that Night Owl had written two days before about the 1972 Topps Set club.  Total coincidence.

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Two more New York Giants: Ott and Fitzsimmons

I've posted a couple of times now about the movie Big Leaguer.  While it's not that great a movie and I don't want to make too much of it, I did order a handful of cards related to the movie and I've been posting them as they come in.  So today we have two more, Mel Ott and Fred "Fitz" Fitzsimmons.  There's a scene in the movie where they're telling the guy running the Giants spring camp to get more results, and he says that not everyone is going to be an Ott, Hubbell, or Fitzsimmons.  Hubbell was not only mentioned but was in the movie, and I posted some of his cards the other day.

Cramer Baseball Legends Mel Ott.
Mel Ott card back.
For Hubbell and Hans Lobert, I got 1940 Play Ball cards of them to go in the binder. Fitzsimmons, too, as you can see below. I looked at a 1940 Play Ball of Ott but decided I had spent enough money already. I have a few Ott cards already (1985 Topps Circle K, 1986 Sportflics Decade Greats, Pacific Legends, and Swell Baseball Greats), but I wanted one that was closer in its look to the 1940 Play Ball, while also being cheap. So here we have it, this Cramer Baseball Legends card, which is my fifth from that set.
1940 Play Ball "Fitz" Fitzsimmons.
Fitzsimmons card back.
I hadn't heard of Fitzsimmons before and had to look him up. He's actually here in the Play Ball set as a Brooklyn Dodger; he was with the Giants from 1925-1937, and then was with Brooklyn from 1937-1943. He had a solid career, with a 217-146 record with a 3.51 ERA. He actually went on the manage the Phillies for a couple of years, and was a longtime coach after that.

There's just one more card I have coming related to the movie, and that's a 1939 Milky Way card of Edward G. Robinson, which I've mentioned a couple of times.  I'll post that when it arrives with my COMC order, hopefully next month.  Thanks for reading!

Monday, September 14, 2020

Negro Leagues Centennial Team postcard set

A new gem of my collection is this postcard set to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Negro National League.  I got this boxed set of 3.5"x5.5" postcards for a $100 donation to the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum.  It's a limited edition of 2020 copies, and mine is numbered 0943/2020.  They still seem to be available if you want one, too.

Rube Foster on the box.

I've only been to Kansas City proper once, for a friend's wedding.  I flew in another time but didn't stay, when I visited University of Missouri at Columbia for a conference (that time, if I had planned better, I could have caught a Royals game, since I drove right by the stadium when a game was about to start).  When in Kansas City, my wife and I did make it to the Nelson-Atkins art museum, which is a wonderful museum.  But I didn't know then that Kansas City was where Rube Foster led the organization of the Negro National League in 1920.  And so Kansas City now is the home of the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum.  That's going to be worth another visit to Kansas City one day, when we can travel more again.

Rube Foster on the checklist card.
Checklist.
Naturally they feature Rube Foster several times, including on the box and on the checklist.  If you take a glance at the checklist, you see there are a lot of greats here.

Judy Johnson.
Judy Johnson card back.

To highlight one front and back, I'll show the local favorite, my fellow Delawarean, Judy Johnson.  For a long time he was Delaware's only Hall-of-Famer.  Hilldale played in Darby, PA, just west of Philly.

Larry Doby.
Buck Leonard.
To show just a couple more, we have Larry Doby with the Newark Eagles and Buck Leonard with the Homestead Grays.  The Grays were one of two great Pittsburgh-area Negro Leagues teams, the other being the Crawfords.  I posted a while ago about having read a great biography of Larry Doby, which I really enjoyed.

I'm really so pleased to have another fine Negro Leagues set in my collection.  Thanks for reading!

Saturday, September 12, 2020

Some more 1986 Sportflics Decade Greats: the 1950s

I posted some cards from the 1950s portion of the 1986 Sportflics Decade Greats set the other day.  When I went to put those cards away, I saw that there were some cards missing.  A little investigation showed that I had set some cards aside for a blog post.  The cards I'm showing here are the ones I had originally (several months ago) intended to show to represent the 1950s portion of the set.  But then, you know, pandemic and all, I forgot.  So between the two posts, I'm showing almost all of the cards from of the 50s from the set.

Jackie Robinson.
Roy Campanella.
I should have noticed something amiss.  I should have noticed that Jackie Robinson should have been there.  So here he is with his Brooklyn teammate Roy Campanella.  Back in the late 80s/early 90s when I was collecting, cards like this and Baseball Immortals and the like were the only way I could have cards of these greats.  I'm fortunate to have been able to add a couple of old cards of them to my collection lately.

Ernie Banks.
Mickey Mantle.
Ernie Banks and Mickey Mantle are here, and to my mind they show a limitation of the format, that it's hard to slot some of these players into just one decade.  Of course Banks and Mantle were huge in the 60s, too.  They both won two MVP awards in the 50s, and Mantle got a third in the 60s.  They both led their leagues in home runs and RBIs a few times, but in both cases, not after 1960.  So maybe the 50s is the right call for both of them, that while they continued to be great, they had the most impact in the 50s.
Mainly Robin Roberts.
Bob Lemon, Don Newcombe, and Robin Roberts card back.

If I told you that a Sportflics card had Robin Roberts, Don Newcombe, and Bob Lemon on it, you wouldn't necessarily know who the scan of the card would pick up.  The image that came out was mainly Robin Roberts, which I'm glad about.  I've said a number of times that he was Dad's favorite when he was growing up.  I feel like I'm almost done collecting overall, but I definitely want to pick up one more good Robin Roberts card before I stop.  (I have a couple more goals, but I do need to add another solid Robin Roberts card.)

That's all for now!  Thanks for reading!

Thursday, September 10, 2020

1990 Topps Minis #55: Glenn Davis

It's been about 10 months since I featured any of the 1990 Topps Mini League Leaders cards, but there's no time like the present to resume the series.  We last had John Franco of the Reds, and now we're on to Houston with Glenn Davis.

#55, Glenn Davis.
Davis was a slugging first baseman for a few years, hitting at least 20 home runs per year between 1985 and 1990.  Having started with Houston in 1984, he closed out his career with Baltimore in 1993.  He finished second in NL MVP voting in 1986, when his Astros lost the NLCS to the Mets.  Number one in the NL MVP voting that year was Mike Schmidt, winning his third and final NL MVP award.
Glenn Davis card back.

To get into this league leaders set, Davis tied for third in home runs with 34 in 1989.  He was 7th in RBI and slugging.  Numbers one and two in the NL home run race were Kevin Mitchell and Howard Johnson, and Eric Davis tied with Glenn for third place.

That's all for now.  Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, September 9, 2020

Some Carl Hubbell cards

In a recent post I mentioned the movie Big Leaguer, which I saw many years ago on cable, and then looked it up recently and watched it again.  It was mainly about the New York Giants and I guess they wanted a baseball player to have a bit part, so they got Carl Hubbell.
1940 Play Ball Carl Hubbell.
1940 Play Ball Carl Hubbell card back.

I'll put a few cards in my binder related to the movie, and I already posted the 1940 Play Ball of Hans Lobert.  I also ordered, but haven't received yet, a 1939 Milky Way Edward G. Robinson, who played Lobert.  Then while writing the previous post I thought I could get a good Hubbell, too, and it came in the mail this past weekend.  So this is my 4th from the 1940 Play Ball set; I posted the other three recently (Lobert, Jimmie Foxx, and Bucky Harris).

Baseball Immortals Carl Hubbell.
1986 Sportflics Decade Greats Carl Hubbell.
Of course a look through the old collection shows that I already had a couple of Hubbells, but not as good as the 1940 Play Ball.  One of these is a Baseball Immortals.  I bought the whole set of Baseball Immortals around 1983 or so; the set wasn't completed yet I guess, as they kept issuing new cards for a few years after that.  But I don't even have all of my circa-1983 set, as I must have traded a few here and there back in the day (or been careless and lost or destroyed a handful).  Then I have this 1986 Sportflics Decade Greats card; I've made a couple of posts of cards of that set, and will keep doing so as they're great nostalgia cards.

 The movie itself is only so good, but I like commemorating things that I've seen in my binder, and it's always good to have an excuse to pick up another old Play Ball card.  Thanks for reading!