Saturday, August 24, 2019

Two Colt .45s cards

I have a certain fascination with cards of teams that no longer are.  The teams on my list (in what I might call the modern era) would be the Boston Braves, St. Louis Browns, Philadelphia Athletics, New York Giants, Brooklyn Dodgers, Washington Senators, Milwaukee Braves, Kansas City Athletics, Seattle Pilots, Washington Senators again, and Montreal Expos.  The Houston Colt .45s aren't really on that list since the team still exists; they've just been renamed.  But still getting a couple of Colt .45s card feels to me like it fits in with the project of making sure all these teams are represented in my collection.  So I wanted to get a couple of Colt .45s cards, and here they are.
1963 Pepsi Rusty Staub.
Card back.
I've mentioned a few times that I love Pepsi about as much as I love baseball cards, so baseball cards with a Pepsi logo always draw me in.  Unfortunately the few 1990s Pepsi cards (see here for a Rickey Henderson and here for a Bobby Bonilla) were terrible cards.  Then I have a bunch of the 1970s MSA discs, which I haven't shown yet.  But this is a card with a nice (slightly old-fashioned at this point, which is a plus) Pepsi logo on the front, and it features a well-known player of the Colt .45s.  This is a great card but the only downside is that it's not really on usual card stock.  It's slightly thicker than just paper, but not what we're used to for card thickness.  Still, very happy to have this in my binder.
1963 Topps Manny Mota.
Card back.
Then I thought I would get another Colt .45s card, from a regular Topps issue.  There are a few years to choose from, and I picked this 1963 Manny Mota.  A great thing about this card is that Manny Mota, through his long and illustrious career, never played for the Colt .45s.  The back shows only minor leage experience and then a debut with the Giants in 1962.  He was traded from San Francisco to Houston in November, 1962, then Topps made this card I guess, and then in April, 1963 he was traded to Pittsburgh.  So he played 1963-1968 for the Buccos, and then 1969 in Montreal, and the rest of his playing career through 1982 with the Dodgers.  He coached for the Dodgers for many years as well.  He had two World Series championships with them in 1981 and 1988.

Thanks for reading!

Friday, August 23, 2019

1986 Fleer sticker back Famous Feats

In yesterday's post, I showed the 5 old 44-card Fleer boxed sets that I recently picked up.  Of course, these being Fleer products, the boxed sets contain not just cards but also Fleer stickers.  I started seriously collecting in 1987, so I don't think I ever saw any of the 1986 Fleer stickers.  Here are the backs of the stickers that came in my 1986 Fleer Limited Edition set.
Hank Gowdy.
Ty Cobb.
Hank Gowdy hit .545 in the 1914 World Series, playing for the Boston Braves.  Ty Cobb won 12 batting titles in 13 years between 1907 and 1919.  These kinds of facts on baseball cards were an invaluable source of knowledge pre-internet.  I did have books on baseball history but I learned so much from things like this; these remind me a lot of the 1985 Topps Woolworth All-Time Record Holders set I blogged about a while ago.
Hack Wilson.
Ed Reulbach.
Here we have Hack Wilson, who drove in 190 runs with the Cubs in 1930 (although Baseball Reference says that it was actually 191 runs).  This is still the all-time record, and Wilson is in the Hall of Fame.  Ed Reulbach is a player I've never heard of before, and he pitched a double-header shutout for the Cubs in 1908.  I bet he threw more than 100 pitches that day!
Walter Johnson.
Bill Klem.
Then we have another pair of Hall-of-Famers, Walter Johnson and umpire Bill Klem.  And even if people know about Walter Johnson, they might not know this particular thing about him, that he won 38 games with a score of 1-0.

When I bought the boxed sets, I didn't give any thought to the stickers.  Two of the five boxed sets I got were from 1988 and two were from 1989; I have seen lots of those stickers over the years.  But these Famous Feats were a pleasant surprise and are definitely an added benefit of getting the 1986 Fleer Limited Edition boxed set.  It almost makes me want to order a 1986 Fleer wax box.  Almost.

Thanks for reading!

Thursday, August 22, 2019

Recently Acquired Sets: Five 1980s Fleer Boxed Sets

At some point I said I wasn't going to buy any more of these 1980s boxed sets.  For one thing, I already have a lot of them that I picked up during my childhood, and getting more might seem to dilute that.  For another, if you have one of these, the others are just about the same. 

But after experimenting with buying some blasters of 2019 product (I got some Topps Series 1, some Topps Series 2, some Topps Opening Day, some Topps Big League Baseball, and some Panini Donruss), I determined two things.  One is that even though I already have plenty of junk-era cards, I still enjoy buying junk-era cards more than buying modern cards.  I don't anticipate buying any blasters again next year.  The other is that the problem of all the sets being the same is still with us, but instead of manifesting in these boxed sets it manifests in the insert sets.
1986 Fleer Limited Edition.
Don Mattingly.
So I used Trading Card Database to make a list of Fleer 44-card boxed sets that I didn't already own.  I already had a bunch, but there are many more.  And I looked at pictures of the cards and picked out a few to get.  I chose five and bought them all on eBay for a few bucks each. 

One iron-clad rule of these boxed sets is that they always included Don Mattingly.  So I won't show all, or even many, of the cards from each set, and instead I'll just show the Mattingly.  I started seriously collecting in 1987 but the Fleer 44-card boxed sets began in 1985 as far as I can tell, with a single one called "Limited Edition."  I didn't choose the 1985 set because it looks a lot like the 1990 Fleer design, and I have plenty of 1990 Fleer.  So I went with the green-and-gold 1986 Limited Edition instead.  For this they used a snap of Mattingly in a t-shirt seemingly during a practice.
1988 Fleer Baseball's League Leaders.
Don Mattingly.
Then I skipped ahead and got a couple from 1988.  This is the "League Leaders" set, but the cards don't mention anything about what any of the players may have led the league in.  Instead because they're stars, more or less, presumably they were all among the league leaders in some category.  We have a nice action shot of Mattingly batting, with the bat straight up in the air.  I chose this set because the vertical stripes remind me of the design of the 1987 Fleer Baseball's All-Stars 44-card boxed set, which is the subject of some of my earliest memories of getting serious about collecting.
1988 Fleer Baseball Superstars.
Don Mattingly.
Then for the 1988 "Baseball Superstars" set, we have a similar photo, but with the bat pointed down.  The 1986 box says "Baseball Super Stars" and "Limited Edition," and there were 1985 and 1987 versions of that set.  It's not clear to me whether this is supposed to be a continuation of that, since these cards don't say "Limited Edition" on the card fronts.
1989 Fleer Baseball's Exciting Stars.
Don Mattingly.
Then I moved ahead to 1989.  I don't think I have any of these boxed sets from 1989.  I had had my fill with these by the end of 1988 I guess.  But I can get a couple of the 1989's now.  And I think this set, which is supposed to be EXCITING, if you believe the box, shows what an opportunity Upper Deck took advantage of.  If this is what Fleer was churning out in 1989, then of course there was an opportunity for a better product out there.  We have Mattingly adjusting his batting glove, for a variation on his batting pics.
1989 Fleer Baseball All Stars.
Don Mattingly.
For the last of my recently acquired Fleer 44-card boxed sets, we return to the vertical stripe theme with the 1989 Baseball All Stars.  And for this we have another batting shot, but with the bat in yet another position after a swing.

Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

1990 Topps Minis #53: Eric Davis

Today we have our next installment of the 1990 Topps Mini League Leaders set, with card #53, Eric Davis of the Reds.
#53, Eric Davis.
Eric Davis was a huge star at the time, and I was always very happy to have one of his rookie cards in my collection.  It was off-center, but that was ok -- it may have been out of my price range otherwise.  There was a story once that Davis was having drug problems and he always denied it.  His potential was limited, though, by injuries/illnesses, most dramatically the kidney laceration he got in the 1990 World Series and the colon cancer that interrupted his 1997 season.
Eric Davis card back.
In 1989, Davis tied for third in home runs with 34 and tied for 4th in RBI with 101.  He also placed 4th in the NL in slugging with .541.  He was an All-Star and won a Gold Glove and a Silver Slugger.

Thanks for reading!  Next up is John Franco of the Reds, and then a couple of Astros.

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Some 1977 Padres Schedule Cards

I found these Padres schedule cards on COMC; I'm not sure how I came across them exactly, but I was looking generally for lots of 70s goodness.  And these sure qualify.
Dave Winfield schedule card.
Dave Winfield back.
I don't try to get complete sets of odd things I stumble across but instead am mainly happy to have the set represented in my collection.  So I chose three Padres to get schedule cards of, starting with Dave Winfield.  There are a number of variations, with three different kinds of backs, and several different photos of Dave Winfield available.  I chose this photo of Winfield, and all the backs (of the three I have) are the same.
Gene Richards schedule card.
George Hendrick schedule card.
For the other two I chose Gene Richards and George Hendrick.  I've said before that Hendrick only came to my attention recently when Night Owl published a long post on him.  For some reason I remember Gene Richards' 1981 Fleer card clearly, and he also shares a 4-player rookie card in 1977 Topps with Andre Dawson. 

I said at the top that I was looking for a bunch of 70s stuff when I got these, and I have a box full that I haven't posted yet.  I'll work on that.  Thanks for reading!

Monday, August 19, 2019

1990 Topps Minis #52: Mitch Williams

We have another installment today of the 1990 Topps Mini League Leaders set, with card #52, Mitch Williams of the Chicago Cubs.
#52, Mitch Williams.
Williams was a premier reliever for a while, starting with the Rangers from 1986-1988, then with the Cubs from 1989-1990.  He then was with the Phillies 1991-1993.  In Philadelphia he became a scapegoat for the Phillies' 1993 World Series loss to the Blue Jays, famously giving up Joe Carter's series-ending home run.  He then played a bit more, with the Astros, Angels, and Royals.
Mitch Williams card back.
Williams made his way into the League Leaders set by placing second in saves in 1989 with 36.  He would finish his career with 192 saves.

Thanks for reading!

Sunday, August 18, 2019

1986 Dr. K Disc Offer

In the pile of stuff I got out of my mom's house, there was this, an offer for a Sportsflics disc of Dwight Gooden.  This would have been just after his amazing 1985 season in which he went 24-4 with a 1.53 ERA, with 16 complete games and 268 strikeouts.
Offer for a Dwight Gooden disc.
It's like a Slurpee disc without the Slurpee.  I wouldn't have called this offer sheet a baseball card, since it's on a sheet of paper, not cardstock.  Buy COMC has copies of this disc offer for sale, and on eBay, they have a PSA-graded version for sale.  COMC doesn't have any of the actual discs, but eBay does.  I think I'll pass, though.  COMC also has a Mattingly disc offer.
Back of the offer.
I'm sure I would have passed back then, too; actually, I guess I did, since I have the offer form but not the disc.  It's $4.99 (in 1986) for a single disc.  I thought 1986 was before the market had overheated, but I guess it was on its way if people were paying $4.99 for one Sportflics disc.

Thanks for reading!

Saturday, August 17, 2019

Two 1955 Bowman umpires

I love the 1955 Bowman set for its design and because it captures the last moments of baseball being confined to the northeast and the upper midwest/rust belt, more or less.  But one of the most popular features, of course, is the inclusion of umpires.  I have three of the umpires so far, and showed one, Bill Jackowski, already.  Here are the other two I have.
Larry Napp.
Larry Napp card back.
Larry Napp worked in the AL from 1951 through 1974.  He was at third base during Don Larsen's perfect game, and at first base for Catfish Hunter's perfect game.
John W. Stevens.
John W. Stevens card back.
John W. "Johnny" Stevens was an AL umpire from 1948 through 1971.  Notice the wide line spacing on the back of the card -- Bowman couldn't come up with much to say.  On both of these, they went out of their way to point out the umpires' ethnicities.  They didn't actually do this on all of the umpire cards, as a quick check of COMC shows no similar mention on Jocko Conlan's card back.  Maybe they needed more text and a short sentence about Napp being Italian and Stevens being Slovak made for a little less unused space.

Thanks for reading!

Friday, August 16, 2019

A Tour Through the 1979 Topps Set: Ten Cards from 501-600

Now I pick up an occasional feature, in which I show about 10% of the 1979 Topps set.  It would be nice to blog the whole set but of course that's a huge undertaking.  So I've gone with 10% as a compromise.  This is my 7th post on the 1979 set, so here are the links to the other segments if you're interested.

Previously in this series:
  1. My Ill-Fated 1979 Topps Project, and My Acquisition of a 1979 Topps Set.
  2. A Tour Through the 1979 Topps Set: Ten Cards from 1-100.
  3. A Tour Through the 1979 Topps Set: Ten Cards from 101-200.
  4. A Tour Through the 1979 Topps Set: Ten Cards from 201-300.
  5. A Tour Through the 1979 Topps Set: Ten Cards from 301-400.
  6. A Tour Through the 1979 Topps Set: Ten Cards from 401-500.

#543, Kiko Garcia.
#517, Al Bumbry.
It turns out that two of the cards in the set that I bought are autographed.  At least, I've noticed it on two of them, and I think that's all there are.  The first of these is Kiko Garcia, and the second one should show up in the next installment of this series.  The autographs on both are in ballpoint pen, unfortunately.  Then we have Al Bumbry, also of the Orioles.  The 1979 Orioles were a great team, just barely edged out by the Buccos in the World Series.
#510, Ted Simmons.
#571, Darrell Porter.
Then we have two solid catchers of the 70s, Ted Simmons and Darrell Porter.  Porter was a 4-time All-Star and MVP of both the 1982 NLCS and the 1982 World Series.  Ted Simmons was an 8-time All-Star.  I think Simmons has a solid Hall of Fame case, and maybe he'll be inducted one day.
#544, Fergie Jenkins.
#575, Luis Tiant.
And here's some great pitching talent and two great cards as well.  Jenkins is showing a great smile, and Tiant is doing some great fan service, signing a ball.
#579, Greg Gross.
#581, Darold Knowles.
Here we have two guys I think of as Phillies.  Greg Gross was a pinch-hitting specialist and part of the 1980 World Series champion Phils.  Darold Knowles was the pitching coach for the Phils for a while when I was going to games with Dad in the late 80s/early 90s.  I also remember Knowles for his 1980 Topps card with the Cardinals; he looked pretty different then.  I remember it specifically because I pulled it from what I guess we call a repack now, which I probably bought at Toys'R'Us.  There were two 1980 cards in there, which were by far the oldest.
#557, Ken Brett.
#547, Clint Hurdle.
I'll close the post out with Ken Brett and Clint Hurdle.  I am suspecting that the Pirates second half of the season this year, under Hurdle, will be the worst second half of a season in MLB history.  Quite a feat, really.  Here's hoping the Pirates clean house soon, and that it results in an improvement.  Ken Brett is one of many who has fallen to baseball's brain cancer epidemic, including other members of the 1980 World Series teams, including Dan Quisenberry, Dick Howser, John Vukovich, and Tug McGraw, and more generally also Gary Carter, Johnny Oates, and Darren Daulton.

Thanks for reading!

Thursday, August 15, 2019

Five stars from 1955 Bowman

Many of my posts lately have focused on my 1955 Bowman set project.  That's because it's my main collecting focus now.  I've accomplished most of my collecting goals for this, my renewed interest in collecting which started two years ago.  When I finish my 1972 Topps set and my 1955 Bowman set, I plan to be done. 
Roy Campanella.
So, let me show a few of the stars I picked up lately.  This is my second good Campanella card, after the 1957 Topps card I showed recently.  One unanswered question I have for my collection goals is whether I'll also pick up a nice PSA-graded card of Campanella.  It probably depends on how much room I have in the box I store the graded cards in.
Hoyt Wilhelm.
This is my only good card of Hall-of-Fame reliever Hoyt Wilhelm.  I always heard that the reason Lee Smith wasn't in the Hall was that the criteria for relievers wasn't clear, but somehow that didn't stop guys like Wilhelm, Rollie Fingers, and even Bruce Sutter.  I'm really glad they finally saw fit to induct Lee Smith.
Phil Rizzuto.
I've never been a fan of Phil Rizzuto, who I mainly know of from his 1980s commercials for The Money Store.  It seems clear to me that the only reason Rizzuto is in the Hall is that he was a Yankee when the Yankees were great.  So I didn't insist on condition on the Rizzuto card, accepting a huge crease down the front so that I didn't have to pay as much.
Minnie Minoso.
Then we have Orestes "Minnie" Minoso, the only non-Hall-of-Famer in this post, but who has been a credible candidate for enshrinement.  Minoso started out in the Negro Leagues and then became the first black player for the White Sox in 1949.  Minoso racked up 1963 MLB hits.  Of course there's no telling what stats he might have racked up had he had a fair shot at playing in the bigs the whole time.
Whitey Ford.
Then we have Whitey Ford; I featured my other good Whitey Ford cards and autograph in a previous post.  I was disappointed when I found out that Ford was a cheater, as he admitted in his autobiography, cutting balls at least towards the end of his career.  But I do have a good memory at least, which is that when Dad and I got the autograph of Whitey Ford, I could tell that Dad was really happy to see and him and talk to him for that brief moment.  Ford would have been one of the dominant pitchers of Dad's childhood.

Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

1990 Topps Minis #51: Ryne Sandberg

We have another of the 1990 Topps Mini League Leaders today, which is also another single-card Ryne Sandberg post after yesterday's 1992 Slurpee disc.
#51, Ryne Sandberg.
Speaking as someone who is more or less a Phillies fan, Ryne Sandberg always feels like the "one who got away."  The late 80s Phillies were terrible, so if they had Sandberg maybe they would have just been terrible but with a good second baseman.
Ryne Sandberg card back.
Sandberg (and the Cubs) had a good year in 1989.  He made his way into this league leaders set by tying for first in runs with 104, and placing fifth in both hits and home runs.

Thanks for reading!