Wednesday, April 17, 2019

1990 Topps Minis #42: Tony Fernandez

I say somewhere on this blog that I post cards from the 1990 Topps Mini League Leaders set on Mondays and Wednesdays.  That doesn't mean I do it every Monday and every Wednesday, but if I post one, then it is on a Monday or Wednesday.  I'm traveling now but where I am, it's still Wednesday for another 20 minutes.  So here we are, with card #42, Tony Fernandez of Toronto.
#42, Tony Fernandez.
The Blue Jays had a lot of talent back then, which I guess is why they eventually won back-to-back World Series in 1992 and 1993.  Fernandez left Toronto after 1990, and played two years with the Padres.  He then started 1993 with the Mets but returned to the Jays in time to help them repeat as champions, with 9 RBI in the 1993 Series.  Fernandez was excellent defensively, winning four Gold Gloves at shortstop.  He amassed 2,276 hits in his career.
Tony Fernandez card back.
To earn his way into this league leaders set, Fernandez tied for fourth in the AL in triples with 9.

Thanks for reading!  We're almost through the AL, and we're almost halfway through the set.

Monday, April 15, 2019

Another 1955 Bowman card: Billy Loes

When I posted my newly-acquired 1955 Bowman Mickey Mantle in my last post, I got a few comments that the high numbers in the set can be tough.  So I looked through COMC to see, of the first few dozen of the high numbers, what seemed the toughest, at least as far as COMC is concerned.
Billy Loes.
The worst I saw, of the ones I looked at, was card #240, Billy Loes of the Brooklyn Dodgers.  The current situation is that there are 3 cards, one for $165, one for $82, and one for $52.  I think this has changed from when I first looked, though -- I think there were only two, and they were both around $150 then.  These are all listed from Dean's Cards, which I'm aware can be a bit expensive.  But it was worrying that Dean's was the only one listing this card on COMC.  So I head over to eBay.  There was one cheap listing for the card, with no Buy It Now option.  I bid on the auction, and did win it after three and a half days, for $7.51 plus shipping.  Sure beats paying over $100.
Billy Loes card back.
So, this one particular high number is marked off my list.  A bunch more to go.  For the whole set, I'm now at 85 cards out of 320.

Let's say something now about our subject, Billy Loes.  He pitched for Brooklyn from 1950 through 1956, going 0-1 in their 1955 World Series win.  He then went to Baltimore from 1956 through 1959, and was an All-Star in 1957.  He closed out his career with San Francisco in 1960 and 1961.  Loes put together a career 80-63 record with a 3.89 ERA.

Thanks for reading!  Work continues to be busy, but I do hope to be able to post from time to time.

Saturday, April 6, 2019

A big one: 1955 Bowman Mickey Mantle

A few months ago I decided to start working on a 1955 Bowman set; I love the classic design which commemorates the television becoming a major factor in American life.  According to Wikipedia, "Half of all U.S. households had television sets by 1955, though color was a premium feature for many years."  One nice feature of the 1955 Bowman set, other than the classic design, is the small set size: only 320 cards, as compared to the giant 787-card 1972 Topps set I'm also working on.
1955 Bowman Mickey Mantle.
A downside, though, is that there are a few rather expensive cards, as would be expected with a set from the 1950s.  Looking through COMC, the Trading Card Database, and eBay, I determined that it seemed the most expensive card was Mickey Mantle, followed by Hank Aaron, Ernie Banks, and Willie Mays.  Of course there are a number of other moderately expensive cards, including the popular umpire cards.  So as to not feel too daunted by these high-value cards, I decided to get the biggest one out of the way.  So this Mickey Mantle becomes my first good card of him, and becomes the third most expensive card I've ever bought, behind my 1954 Topps Jackie Robinson and my 1940 Play Ball Jimmie Foxx, both of which I've blogged about before.  The card has a crease all the way down, which I think you can see in the picture between him and his name, and some other smaller defects; despite that I'm really very happy with the condition, and it did make it more affordable.
Mickey Mantle card back.
The back has an uncorrected error, getting his birth date wrong.

I'm at 84 out of 320 of these 1955 Bowman; I find that many of them go for about $2, so it's easy to get a bunch of commons, and other than Mantle I've picked up a few of the moderately priced cards as well.  I'm hoping to finish my 1972 Topps set this year; I'm at 600 out of 787 on that, including about half of the high numbers.  When that's done this 1955 set will be my main focus for collecting.

Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

1990 Topps Minis #41: George Bell

We have another of the 1990 Topps Mini League Leaders set, today with #41, George Bell.  The teams are alphabetical by geographic location, with the AL teams first, then the checklist, then the NL teams.  So today we begin the last of the AL teams, Toronto.  Soon we'll move on to Atlanta.
#41, George Bell.
George Bell was in the AL, so I didn't know too much about him, other than that he was the 1987 AL MVP.  The Blue Jays had a lot of talent back then but it seemed hard for them to put it all together for a few years.  Bell was with the Jays until 1990, and it wasn't until 1992 that they had the first of their back-to-back World Series wins.  Bell played with the Cubs in 1991, and then with the White Sox in 1992 and 1993 before retiring.  Bell is a member of the Carribean Baseball Hall of Fame and the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame.
George Bell card back.
Bell earned his way into this set by finishing 4th in the AL in doubles in 1989, with 41.  His home run production had declined significantly from his 1987 AL MVP year, but his RBI numbers were still solid, finishing sixth in the AL with 104.  He also tied for sixth in runs and placed tenth in hits.

Thanks for reading!  Next up are a few more Blue Jays.

Monday, April 1, 2019

1990 Topps Minis #40: Ruben Sierra

We have another from the 1990 Topps Mini League Leaders set, today with card #40, Ruben Sierra of the Texas Rangers.
#40, Ruben Sierra.
I liked Sierra back in the day, largely because he was one of the many great rookies from the 1987 Topps set.  And he didn't just have his rookie card there, he also had a Record Breaker, as youngest player to switch-hit home runs in a game.  I never saw much of the Rangers, though, being an NL fan and living on the east coast.
Ruben Sierra card back.
Sierra had a solid 1989 to earn his way into this league leaders set, leading the AL in RBI with 119 and in triples with 14.  He also tied for 3rd in runs and tied for 5th in hits.  The small print says that he finished 6th in home runs with 29.  It was a different time; last year and in 2017, it took 38 home runs to be tied for 6th place in the AL, and the two years before that it was 40.

Thanks for reading!  Next cards in the set are Toronto Blue Jays, and then we're done with the AL.