Thursday, May 31, 2012

Satchel Paige '52 "Topps style"

I figured I wouldn't go out and buy a vintage Paige card anytime soon. But Bob Lemke did a nice job on this one so it'll fill a hole for me for the time being. And fill it nicely indeed.

Thanks again, Bob.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

1958 Stan Musial All Star

Sometimes you buy something on eBay and it turns out to be even better than you thought it would be. I like the '58 All Star cards and I've poked around looking for a Mantle and a Musial for quite awhile. The Musials have been pretty reasonable but I didn't want one that was too beat up. Last week I looked and saw this one for less than I had intended to spend and the card looked OK in his scan.

When it showed up I was very pleasantly surprised at how nice it was. It's a bit off center and has just the faintest of a surface crease (you have to hold it at an angle to see it) but the corners are really good and the color is great. My scan doesn't do it anymore justice than the eBay dealer's did.

I have a long time college friend who is a Cardinal fan, Stan Musial is his favorite. I heard so much about him that I developed a fondness for the guy. It's hard not to. I bet you can't find someone who lived that era of baseball who has a bad thing to say about Stan The Man.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Upper Deck Marichal Sweet Spot

There's a TriStar card show coming to Houston next weekend. I still call them 'card' shows but I guess the proper term is 'memorabilia' shows. They are big and dominated by dealers selling other things than just cards. By the size of the lines and what the promotional flyers that I get tell me, autographs are the big draw.

I'm not complaining. I collect all kinds of sports 'stuff' and there are still enough card dealers to satisfy my wants in that area as well. Other than when I looking for '59s I never have a 'game plan' for the shows. I buy on impulse.

At the last show I attended there was a dealer who had a big box of game used cards that he was selling for a few dollars each. I think the highest price he had one any was $5. I'm still new enough in my return to modern card collecting that the 'shine' of these things hasn't worn off.

I bought a handful of these and paid maybe ten or twelve dollars. I was really impressed that I could have a piece of a Juan Marichal uni. I loved watching him pitch when he was in his glory days. Saw him a bunch, too. My best friend was a Giant fan, as was his father. We'd hit up the Giants are Shea frequently. Marichal wasn't my favorite Giant, Jim Ray Hart held that distinction, but he sure was fun to watch.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Ouch!! Blame my brothers!

When I went off to college I passed along the remnants of my card collection to my younger brothers. They decided to paste quite a few of them into a loose leaf binder. This '68 Palmer was one of the 'victims'. This card got off lucky. Some of the cards they cut into their 'component parts' and pasted them down separately. A 1967 high number Brooks Robinson suffered that fate. That card ended up as a name plate, team name and picture as separate pieces on a page of the binder. It never bothered me until years later when I realized what the card was worth.

I couldn't be too mad at them when I thought about how I had given away boxes of cards to neighborhood friends when we had moved to Houston in 1967.

I'm not sure why I still have this particular card. While a couple dozen of my star cards from that era have somehow survived intact I thought I had tossed out the damaged stuff.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Koufax Cards by Bob Lemke

If you don't make it a habit of reading Bob Lemke's blog, you should. He has a background in this hobby surpassed by very few. He is the former editor and publisher of the sportscards and memorabilia periodicals and books at Krause Publications and former editor of the Standard Catalog of Baseball Cards. I've been reading his output for so long I feel I know him.

Being a sucker for custom cards, cards 'that never were',and the like, I get enthused when Bob adds one of his to the blog. There are several folks out there who do a great job with that sort of thing and Bob Lemke certainly is among that group. He recently offered some of his surplus cards for sale and I jumped on the opportunity to add a few to my Koufax collection. Here are a couple of the cards he sent. You'll have to agree I think, whether or not custom cards are your thing, he really does them well. It's obvious Bob puts time into the backs as well as the fronts.

Custom cards are certainly not all he blogs about, he has access to lots of vintage printed material and ads, etc. Some of those will make you wish you had a time machine. Check his work out sometime.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

1981 TCMA Cal Ripken

This is from the 'My Favorite Orioles Cards' page. To repeat what I said on that page:

This is an early 80s version of a lucky 'pull'. I ordered this Rochester set through the mail. When I opened it I found that I had a complete set and one dupe, Yes, I got two Ripkens. I should have sold one off at the height of the Ripken craze but that was also the beginning of the 'graded' card craze and since neither was in a slab with a grade, and I was too cheap/stubborn to pay to get it graded, I still have both. And I'm glad.
As I type/paste this entry I'm struck by two things... 1) Cal wore #5.... and 2) I bet I've looked at this card a hundred times and that fact never dawned on me.

I just checked Cal's minor league record. He had nice numbers before he made the majors but he sure wasn't knocking anyone's socks off.

Once a friend and I (he was a huge O's fan as well) were among the first to enter the old Arlington Stadium when the gates opened in the late afternoon for an Orioles-Rangers game. We went down behind the Orioles dugout and found Cal Sr. sitting in the box seats near the field, smoking. We asked him a few questions and he talked with us for quite awhile. I don't recall what the conversation was about but I do remember he said something funny about Earl Weaver.

That's all I have.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

'94 Nabisco Jim Palmer

I think these were a mail-in premium. I don't remember sending in for it so it's more likely I got it at a show somewhere along the way.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Another Brooks Card

I'd love to know where Donruss got the pictures they used for their Past Time Pennants set. It features some of the best photography I've ever seen on a card. Here's a Brooks Robinson photo that I've never seen and believe me, I've seen plenty. My scanner didn't nearly do this one justice. 

That Orioles uniform is my favorite, due in large part to the great bird head patch. Just a hint of stirrups shows. And Memorial Stadium, a place I loved to visit all rounds out this great card.

Brooks celebrated his 75th birthday on Friday. Here's to many more!

Friday, May 18, 2012

Brooks turns 75 today

Today my favorite player celebrates a milestone birthday. Brooks Robinson is 75. Hard to believe he's been retired for some 35 years. Seems like yesterday I saw him hit one of his last homers. It was a ninth inning shot in Arlington Stadium in June of 1976 and I recall knowing that it would likely be the last time I would see him bat in a major league game.
I've had the good fortune to have spoken to Brooks a few times. He's always been very gracious. I named one of my twin sons Brooks Robinson Andrews. I received a nice note and inscribed picture from Brooks when my aunt made him aware of that. That was something that amazed and impressed me.

I sure hope Brooks can get past his recent medical issues real soon. Meanwhile, Happy Birthday to one of the greats, Brooks Robinson!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Thursday, May 17, 2012

'Eggie' Lennox, T206 card

My scanner cut off the top of Edgar Lennox' card but the top corners are just as rounded as the bottom two. No matter, I bought it because I thought the picture was cool. 'Eggie' looks good against the red background and I remember noticing that the Dodgers continued using the same "B" right up until they moved as they used way back when. They were known as the Superbas then.

'Eggie' Lennox played for the Cubs and Athletics in addition to the Superbas. He also played a couple of seasons for the Pittsburgh Rebels in the Federal League. 

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Both Beautiful, In Their Own Way

From one end of the spectrum of cards to the other. My T206 Rube Marquard really has nice bright colors after all these years. Really neat painting of a early baseball ace lefthander. I only have a dozen or so of these but they're pretty special to me. I'll so more as I go along.

The Colavito card shows off the best of what cards companies can do with their modern technology. This is as gorgeous as any card I own. The colors just jump out of it. I posted my Eddie Murray 2005 Upper Deck Past Time Pennants the other day. This Rocky Colavito is just as sweet or even better. 

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Wearing 'enemy' gear.

I've always loved this cap. I finally got one and wore it the other day. My Astro fan son was disgusted/bemused claiming he'd never wear a cap that wasn't from one of  'his teams' (Stros and Orioles). I told him when he got to be my age he'd quit worrying about little stuff. He's not convinced. Especially when I showed him my other really cool 'enemy' cap. It's one I've been wanting for ages. Lots of other ChiSox vintage caps were available but I never could find the red bordered logo cap. I finally did and it's sweet.

He really hates the White Sox. He's never gotten over the 2005 Series. And now that I think about it I can't see myself ever wearing a Mets cap. Maybe he has a point.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Another Nice Murray

I'm not a fan of color jerseys, the so-called 'softball tops', but I liked the O's orange ones. Add to that the fact that this is a Murray and that I'm still new enough to current cards that silver foil impresses me and you have a card I really like.

This is a 2005 Upper Deck Past Time Pennants Murray. My scan is pretty lousy. I've seen better examples on the web but I use my scans whenever possible.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Friday, May 11, 2012

1932 Sanella Babe Ruth

Yup, it's German. Yes, it shows it's origin as a 'card' that was at some was mounted in the set's album. And, yes, it's the cheapest contemporary Ruth card you'll ever find. But I'm happy to have it in my collection.

Sanella was (is?) a German margarine company that sponsored a set of 112 'cards' depicting athletes. They are printed on paper stock and were intended to be placed in an album which has a space for each. Only two cards were of baseball subjects, the Ruth and one of an unidentified Japanese Olympic player. I have that one as well, in better condition than the Ruth. Better condition in the sense that the back shows no signs of being glued down.

These cards were at one time thought to be pretty rare and had a price tag in the $1000s, at least according to some vintage card sites I've browsed. Then one particular collector brought quite a haul of them out of Germany and the price dropped like a rock. They are readily available on eBay these days. I believe I paid about $75 for the pair. Both were graded but I hate slabbed cards so, for better or worse, I set them 'free'.

At one time in my collecting life I had a goal of collecting a card of every Hall of Famer. I was going to buy 'originals' to my best ability and fill it out with reprints of those Fleer Hall of Fame cards.

Anyway I never thought I'd actually own a Ruth card issued during his career. Well, this is it. I think it's a beautiful card. The painting is based on a well known shot of Ruth at the Polo Grounds dating from 1921ish.

There is more info on these two cards here and here.

The other thing like about these Sanellas is that the Japanese player fits into my growing Japanese card collection.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Night Owl Flew In...

...and deposited a few Oriole cards on my window sill. Among them was a sparkly golden Brian Matusz Topps from this year and a Topps 2012 Nick Markakis from the Opening Day set (subset?). The cards are not crooked, but my scanner is.

Stuff I didn't know:
Matusz played for the University of San Diego Toreos. A Toreo is a bullfighter.
Markakis played for Young Harris College which is in Georgia. He played for the Greek Olympic team.

Stuff I did know:
Night Owl is a pretty neat guy, a Dodger fan, and the author of a blog I read every day.

BTW... he also sent along a few cards (a Jeff Ballard! I loved that guy!) from what became my 'transitional period' when I got away from collecting every issued Orioles card and became more of a publications geek. When Upper Deck issued the 1990 Ben McDonald error card right at the peak of both the McDonald and error card hype I let go of the card hobby. The McDonald error, which I always thought was intentional, turned me off. The price was too high for it and, since I decided that I wouldn't be able to complete the '90 Upper Deck Orioles, I might as well not bother with the others. Thus the 1989 team sets are the last complete ones in my orange binders.

Thanks again to Night Owl for thinking of me. After back-to-back poundings at the hands of the Texas Rangers I needed a bit of Oriole karma.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Every Murray card is a great Murray card

I'm probably one of six guys on the planet who liked the 1983 set. I thought the gray border worked very nicely to show off the team logos and player photos. Better picture quality and selection as well. More of the pics filled the frame.

I kind of wish I hadn't gotten rid of the 83's I had.

Full disclosure. I'm on the road and don't have a pic of my '83 so this one is pilferage. 

-Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Monday, May 7, 2012

Johnny Unitas 1957 Topps Rookie card

Johnny Unitas was born on this day in 1933. In my humble opinion he is the greatest football player to ever play in the NFL. At least among those in my lifetime. I feel honored to have seen him.

As a kid I would spend Sunday morning in church praying for the Baltimore Colts and John Unitas. As much as I love the Orioles and Rangers, the Colts were all important in my life.

Johnny Unitas died in 2002. Outside of the assassination of John Kennedy his was the only public person's death to have affected me. RIP, John Unitas

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Topps 2012 Chris Davis

I'm not really sure that if I tried to explain the Orioles 9-6 17 inning win over the Red Sox today that I could do it justice. Suffice it to say that DH Chris Davis pitched two innings in relief and got the win. This after an 0-8 day at the plate.

Oh, the Red Sox had the winning run cut down at home in the bottom of the 16th. And JJ Hardy hit two homers. The Orioles 20 plus scoreless streak by the bullpen ended when Troy Patton gave up a run but they've been awfully good.

I had misgivings about putting out the $$ for MLB.TV this season. Today made the whole thing worthwhile.

My First Foul Ball

Friday night my wife and I attended the Astros-Cardinals game at Minute Maid Park. We had nice seats down the third base side low in Section 107 which is about where the stands curve to meet the foul line. We were on the aisle on the home plate side of the section. Prime foul ball territory no doubt. When we sat down I told my wife to be sure to be paying attention, we were in the line of fire.

Sure enough Astros' catcher Chris Snyder ripped the second pitch of the bottom of the second inning. And I do mean 'ripped'. I know because I saw the replay later that night, and therein lies the problem. When he hit the ball I was texting my son. I never saw it coming. My wife said she saw Snyder swing but couldn't follow the ball. Luckily (and I'm not even sure of the physics involved here) instead of killing someone in the vicinity the ball clipped the edge of the aisle seat in front of me, inches from my knee. It ricocheted off my wife's ankle rattled around under our seats and came to rest between our feet. How it passed over (or through!) the folks to our right yet hit so low on the side of that seat I'll never know. I had no idea what was coming or, when it hit, what was happening. It happened just that fast.

Didn't take long for my wife's ankle to swell a bit so we got her looked at by a medical tech called by an usher supervisor. All that was required was a bag of ice and we enjoyed the rest of the game. She had a nice bump and bruise by the next morning.

The Astros ended up winning the game so the 60% or so of the crowd that was rooting for them was happy. I   used the MLB-TV replays to get a couple of screen caps of the whole thing. Not gonna post them because my wife hates the pics.::shrug:: 

The Houston crew showed our section as we settled back down. The Cardinal broadcast stayed with Snyder. Looked to me like he took a glance to see if he'd killed anyone. Chris, if you're reading this, we're fine but next time try not to knock out any fellow Houston alumni. 

I gave the ball to a kid behind us. I've been to a lot of games but that was the first time I've gotten a batted ball. I had a few tossed to me as a kid and had a Willie McCovey foul hit an armrest in front of me in the Astrodome and whistle past my head.

Obviously that's a 2011 Topps Chris Snyder card up there. It's the only one I have of him. Don't know if there is one of him as an Astro.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Let's Go Rangers!!!

Here's the Topps 57-58 Camille Henry I picked up recently from eBay. There are some cool vintage hockey cards that came be had cheaply on there. Henry was a long time Ranger star who last played for them in 1967/68. I saw some games that season but he wasn't there for the full year so I don't know if I ever saw him play in person.

That season's hockey release isn't all that much different from the '58 baseball set.

1958 Topps Don Zimmer #77 Front

Friday, May 4, 2012

T-205 John McGraw

John McGraw managed the New York Giants for 31 years winning 4424 games, 10 pennants and 3 World Championships.

But before that he managed the Baltimore Orioles. Two different versions, btw. The NL Orioles in 1899 and the AL Orioles in 1901/02. He got canned by the O's in that 1902 season. He began his run as dictator skipper on Coogan's Bluff that same year. I'd call that landing on your feet.

This is my J. J. McGraw T-205 Gold Border. When I bought it it was in a graded case. I think it was graded Poor. That was a long time ago at a National in Arlington in a former life and slabbed/graded cards were just becoming a big deal. I broke it out of the case because I believe cards should be allowed to breath.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Obak David Clyde

This is one ugly card. Another sticker autograph, too. Oh well. 

My brothers and sister went to high school with David Clyde at Westchester High in Houston (I was a couple years ahead of him). My dad and I would go watch him pitch at the high school field and the crowd filled the stands and would ring the field watching through the fence. 

Clyde was unbelievable. It was like watching a grown man mow down little leaguers. He had perfect form, looked like Sandy Koufax out there. Opposing players were lucky to foul a ball off at times. Then in 1973 he graduated and went straight to the Rangers to help Bob Short prop up his franchise. I listened to his first game along with a group of friends while we played a city league softball game.

David Clyde won that game but time showed he wasn't ready and he certainly would have benefited from some time in the minors and a chance to mature as a pro. But Short believed Clyde was the team's 'savior' and kept him in the bigs. The rest is well known. David Clyde fought demons and ended up a happier man when he finally retired and went into the lumber business north of Houston.

BTW... I also saw him play football for Westchester. He was a kicker and I'll never forget him kicking a field goal of better than 50 yards into the wind in a rainstorm. That kick was about as impressive as any ballgame I saw him pitch.

Ryan Callahan, NYR

NOTE: This post went up on my '59 Topps blog accidentally earlier today. I've been trying to post from my iPad and not all the kinks are ironed out yet, obviously.

Mighty tired today. Stayed up late watching my Rangers beat the Caps in triple OT. When you have four hours invested in a game you can't just turn it off now can you?

I don't have a lot of hockey cards, at least not in comparison to football and baseball. And just a few of those are of current players. But I thought these were pretty nice. When I got back into the collecting hobby I was surprised to see that Panini was doing cards. When I had dropped out they were in the sticker business.

Ryan Callahan is a terrific hockey player, btw. Just so you know.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad (or not!)

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

2009 Upper Deck Matt Kemp Future Foundations

I have cards in a shoe box (yes, I still keep cards in a shoe box, sue me) that just seemed to appear. I have know idea where they came from. This is one of them. I suspect it was a box break or a card 'draft' that I participated in in the last couple of years.

Anyway in my attempt to become more knowledgeable about the current game I've heard and read a lot about Matt Kemp. Some writers say he's the best player in baseball. I've read a couple of times that he should have won last year's MVP award.

Anyway I'm still new enough to the modern card world that autograph cards are kind of exciting. Even ones that have the autograph on a crookedly applied sticker. So having a card of Matt Kemp with a autograph is pretty cool.

I guess what prompted me to scan and post this is the fact that I've been hearing a lot of Vin Scully lately. Between Sirius radio and I've caught a bunch of games and once the Orioles are done for the night I gravitate to the Dodger broadcast just to hear him. You can tell he's getting up in years but he's still just a pleasure to listen to.

He says a lot of nice things about Matt Kemp, by the way.