Sunday, September 30, 2012

Ain't the beer cold!

And the Orioles have clinched a post season berth. The world is a weird and wonderful place sometimes. yes?

To celebrate I'm posting a bunch of Orioles cards from my Picasa folders.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

T206 Jack Dunn Baltimore Orioles

Jack Dunn played and managed in organized baseball from 1895 until his death at the age of 56 in 1928. Much of that time was spent as the owner and manager of the Baltimore Orioles of the Eastern and International Leagues. As a player he had some outstanding seasons as a pitcher for Brooklyn before the turn of the century. He transformed himself to a third baseman and outfielder in 1901 with the Orioles of the American League. He went on to play with the New York Giants and serve as player/manager of minor league Providence club before purchasing the Orioles in 1907. He won seven straight IL pennants beginning in 1919. His teams featured stars such as Babe RuthLefty Grove, and Max Bishop. Dunn was an interesting guy and his SABR bio makes for great reading.

Looks like Jack is posing with his back to the infield trying to haul in a pop-up over his shoulder on the T206. It's part of my collection of the minor league Orioles included in this milestone set.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Oriole Fever!!!

I've tried to keep an even keel when it comes to this year's Oriole club and the amazing run they've been on but now, with the final weekend and last half dozen games upon us and the O's still in the thick of it I can't help but get wound up. I think seeing the O's on the cover of SI has really driven it home for me. The Orioles are THIS CLOSE!!!

And so for luck I'm putting up the '70 Earl Weaver. Maybe the old guy can work a little bit of 'Oriole Magic' again. I just know he's at home puttering around his tomato garden and fretting about his club.

Go Orioles!!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

1960 Leaf Brooks Robinson & Luis Aparicio

For a set of black and white cards the '60 Leaf cards have a weird aesthetic appeal for me. I think some of it is due to the 'aura' that surrounds each players head. Here is 'St. Brooks' and done below is 'St. Luis'.

It's not a very popular set it seems. Leaf went head to head with Topps and included a marble in their packs instead of gum. I remember having (or at least seeing) these when I was a young collector but I don't recall the packs or the marble. The checklist doesn't have a ton of stars among the 144 players but you will find Duke Snider among the dozen or so Hall of Famers.

The PSA site has a pretty thorough (and wicked) critique of the set. I think they are a little harsh but they do make some good points along side the insights. I have a handful of the cards including these two and while I like them I can't see myself chasing the rest.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Chris Stufflestreet, Quite a guy

It's been a busy last seven days and I was away from this place for most of it. Needless to say I was surprised and saddened to read of Chris Stufflestreet's death last week. I'd had some correspondence with Chris through the years as he has been well known in vintage card circles for years. When I began blogging the '59 Topps set Chris was helpful through his voluminous online resources and in answering questions I posed to him. He was always ready to set me straight with a comment or email when I "stuck my foot in it". I really appreciated his thoughtfulness and considered him a friend even though we never met in person. 

On the net Chris seemed to be everywhere. He had a couple of regular baseball card blogs, two music blogs and my favorite Stufflestreet spot... the Vintage Card site which contains a wealth of info on sets going back to the hobby's earliest days.

Chris was not yet 40 and leaves behind a daughter. As others have said far more eloquently on other blogs... RIP, Chris. You'll be missed.

My own little tribute to Chris consists of my posting some vintage cards including three of my collection of '73s and a few others. I'm pretty sure he'd have appreciated them.

Friday, September 21, 2012

1973/74 Linnett Portaits, Paul Blair & Brooks Robinson

Sports art. I've discussed it before. Charles Linnett did these portraits and they were sold in packs of three. He produced them for just about every professional team at the time. I've had these two for so long I can't remember how I got them.

Linnett's daughters are in the design business these days. Their dad died in 2006. They commented on a Bobby Orr portrait which was shown on another blog a few years back. Here is a checklist of the baseball portraits.

Here is a pic I found of the original packaging:

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

1963 Fleer Brooks Robinson

Yup, off-center as hell but it's still one of my favorite cards because 1) it's Brooks and 2) the '63 Fleer set is just awesome.

The set has lots of stars and with only 66 total cards (plus the checklist) it's not impossible to complete. There are four Orioles in the set and they occupy the first four spots on the checklist. American league teams are the lower numbers followed by the NL teams. Each team is represented in alphabetical order, Baltimore --> San Francisco, and each team's players appear alphabetically. Here are the Orioles:

1 Steve Barber 
2 Ron Hansen 
3 Milt Pappas 
4 Brooks Robinson 

Followed in order by the Boston Red Sox:

5 Willie Mays 
6 Lou Clinton 
7 Bill Monbouquette 
8 Carl Yastrzemski 

Wait... Willie Mays? Yup, it is thought that Mays was a late addition to the set and he was inserted into the #5 spot, bumping and Oriole or Red Sox player. Probably the Sox' Eddie Bressoud or perhaps Russ Snyder of the O's.

There are a few other exceptions to the numbering conventions. They are detailed on the PSA site.

It's a great set and I especially love the Koufax. Mine is a bit frazzled but it's OK by me.

The rest of the Orioles and maybe a few strays will be in another post.

Monday, September 17, 2012

This and That Pt. 2

I'm not sure if they do it today but every major sporting goods firm used to distribute photos of their 'advisory staff' of endorsing athletes. I've seen some from Rawlings, Mizuno, Wilson and Spaulding. Some googling brought up some from Yonex golf (Phil Mickelson) and Brunswick billiards equipment (Willie Mosconi). The last ones I remember were smaller color cards/pics that came attached to baseball gloves I saw when I was shopping for my kids' gloves back in the '90s.

Rawlings was always 'my' company because I owned a Rawling Wally Bunker model glove (I still use it) and because it was the equipment endorsed by Brooks Robinson. 

Brooks signed the photo above for my son a few years ago. 

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Surprise Package

I got a package in the mail late last week that I wasn't expecting. I had no trades pending and hadn't ordered anything that wasn't accounted for. I opened it and found these two cards. Then I remembered that I had won a small contest on a card site and these were my prizes.

A couple of small name NFL players but I'm posting them because I really like the design. I'd never seen Topps Inception cards, I don't know much about any of the non-flagship sets that get put out. Who knows, maybe one of them will become a big time player some day.

Oh, that site I won these on? Gone overnight. Trading Card Zone was a forum I had come to enjoy even though I, as a vintage collector, didn't quite fit the profile of the average poster there. Then a week or two ago it was shut down with an apology and no explanation. Such is the nature of the interwebs.

Friday, September 14, 2012

This and That Pt. 1

I've added a few cards recently that have some nostalgic value to me. None of them is very valuable and all came pretty cheap but I had a reason for picking them up.

This is a 1988 Pacific Allie Reynolds. Outside of Joe DiMaggio I believe Reynolds was my Dad's favorite player. He mentioned him to me many times. 

'Superchief' pitched full time for the Indians ('43 thru ''46) and Yanks ('47 thru '54) and finished with a record of 182-107, a 3.30 ERA with 36 shutouts, named to five AL All Star teams and finished second (1953) and third (1951) in MVP voting. He pitched in six World Series for the Yanks, went 7-2 and got a championship ring for all six Series!

I'm happy to have an Allie Reynolds card in my collection, even a 'novelty' card.

Most everyone knows the Jim Abbott story. No need to repeat it here. My admiration for him runs deep. He was an inspiration to someone close to me who overcame a similar disability to play baseball, basketball and tennis.. and play them well. That's a sticker autograph on an unauthorized card but it's a nice sig on a good looking Panini card. I have a bunch of Abbott cards but this one is among my favorites now.

I am a big Nebraska fan, my son being a Husker who is about to finish up there in December. Darin Erstad is their baseball coach and has been a very big monetary supporter of the school. Plus he played for the Astros for awhile. I'm not crazy about the Angels' unis from this era but Donruss put out a pretty cool card here. It's from 1997 and cost me next to nothing. Cheap at twice the price.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Topps '65 Embossed Inserts

Quick, who is this?

It's Brooks Robinson. And I know because the actual card tells me. Otherwise it might as well be Bob Turley, Lloyd Waner or  Jerry Lynch.

These embossed cards were a 1965 Topps insert and show that gold foil cards were not invented within the last two decades. There were 72 of them with AL players appearing in blue backgrounds and NL guys on red. There were lots of stars in the set but there were also some run of the mill guys like Joe Azcue and Jim King. I've seen reports of silver foil being used on a few cards.

I have the Orioles and a couple of others. Here are some O's. Without the printed name they'd all look pretty much alike.

Monday, September 10, 2012

1974 Memorial Stadium Giveaway

The Orioles loved to publish stuff like this back in the late 60s and into the mid 70s. There were all sorts of over-sized team pictures, commemorative publications, etc. This is a four pager given out in 1974 to mark the 20th anniversary of the first home game in franchise history. 

It features pictures from Mort Tadder, box score of that first game (a 3-1 O's win!!) and short blurbs about some of the players, coaches and staff of the '54 team. The team photo takes up the back.

I have several item in this vein, mostly over-sized team photos and promotional items. I used to buy any paper Orioles related item I could find. 

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Game Day 2012

I've got big expectations for the Texans this year. I've poured a lot of money, time and emotion into this team as a fan and season ticket holder. It started to pay off last year. Ready for more.

I'm on the way to Reliant for a tailgate breakfast and hopefully a win today. Arian Foster is iffy for the game. No matter.

Next man up!!

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Orioles 1977 Burger Chef Fun Tray

I seem to recall there being a Burger Chef not far from the house we moved into in Houston in the mid-60s. I wouldn't bet my life on it. Anyway, Burger Chef was at one time the second leading fast food franchise in the U.S. behind McDonalds. One thing I am sure of... there were no McDonalds in the Houston market until about 1973 or so. The rights to that name were owned by a local burger franchise. When the legal shenanigans were finally overcome the first McDonalds opened to great fanfare.

All of that local history lesson has nada to do with this fairly charmless item I pulled out while looking for other stuff. Apparently Burger Chef distributed these as part of a kids meal promotion in 1977. There were twenty four different teams included in the promotion. I found this 2009 entry on the Things Done To Cards blog which lists the teams and checklists them all.

Each team set had nine different player discs as part of the box. They were die-cut and had some Burger Chef characters on the reverse. Apparently these were supposed to be used as part of a baseball game. The rules and directions were printed on the box. I bet the game was never attempted.

The discs themselves were another MLB Player endorsed item and no team logos are seen. The Al Bumbry disc is shown at the top in 'blown up' form. No stats, just the vitals of each player were printed.

These are readily available on eBay pretty cheaply. I can't remember where mine came from or if I'm the one that did such a crappy job of trimming it off the box.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

1984 English's Orioles Discs

I think English's is/was a fried chicken chain that has/had outlets in the Maryland Eastern Shore area as well as down in Ocean City. May or may not be one still in OC.

Anyway they used these discs (lids) as part of their chicken bucket packaging in 1984. The discs came in two sizes (at least) and featured 13 Orioles. The Singleton above is about 7 1/4 inches across while the Murray is just under 8 1/2" in diameter. As with all MLB Players liscenced issues they don't have the team logo on the caps or anywhere else. The player's 1983 stats and a tiny bio blurb flank the photo. I have a complete set that is divided up across both of the different sizes.

These are fairly common on eBay but I found next to nothing as far as background info about these online. Not even one pic turns up in a Google photo search. I did find the checklist and that was how I found that the set is complete at 13.

1 Mike Boddicker
2 Rich Dauer
3 Storm Davis
4 Rick Dempsey
5 Mike Flanagan
6 John Lowenstein
7 Tippy Martinez
8 Scott McGregor
9 Eddie Murray
10 Jim Palmer
11 Cal Ripken
12 Gary Roenicke
13 Ken Singleton

The backs are blank and have a waxy surface. And obviously my scanner hates them.