9.23.2008

1913 T200 Boston Americans


This is another old tobacco card from the early 1900s, except this issue was of teams only. Sixteen teams were released, eight National League, and eight American League.

If you look close enough you will see photos of three significant players for the Red Sox including: Tris Speaker, Harry Hooper and Joe Wood.

These cards are printed on a very glosssy, yet very thin, photo paper. As you can tell by this card's edges, it has become very brittle over the years.

Years ago I owned a T200 Pittsburgh Pirates card. Obviously it included Honus Wagner. I thought it was great to own a card of Wagner but his image was tiny. So I sold the card and promptly bought another Wagner card.

No, not that Wagner card. I actually got an E95. It is a gum and candy card from 1909. It's not the Wagner, but a nice one nonetheless.

It's also a poor old baseball card.

9.18.2008

1984 Ralston Purina
Fernando Valenzuela

Those of you who visit this blog regularly may have noticed that I try and post a variety of classic cards from 1952 Topps, to vintage Bowman, to Goudeys, to early tobacco and gum cards. I've even posted some not-so-familiar cards like Dan Dee and Red Heart.

I've posted original cards of players like Babe Ruth, Ty Cobb, Mickey Mantle, Ted Williams, Willie Mays, Roberto Clemente and Jackie Robinson.

While Fernando Valenzuela was a fine ballplayer, in no way can this be considered a classic baseball card.

This, however, is a card produced during what I consider the hobby's dark days: Bad quality + tons of stock = bad baseball cards. I recently re-discovered this card in a box full of oddball cards from the 80s. What a bunch of junk!

I not sure what it's worth. I might have to pay someone just to take it off my hands.

Before you get too excited, that last sentence was not meant to be taken literally.

I just don't see anyone retiring on baseball cards from the 1980s. But maybe it's not about worth, maybe it's about the memories theses small pieces of cardboard provide.

One man's piece of junk is another man's treasured memory.

1958 Topps
Willie Mays

Whenever I think of Willie Mays, this is the vision I see. Not today's Willie Mays, but a young Mays who was at his peak.

Growing up, I was a baseball numbers geek. And while I memorized the baseball history book, I was more than impressed with Willie Mays. Next to Babe Ruth, I think he is the greatest all-around baseball player of all time.

I'd even rank him above Mickey Mantle, Honus Wagner and Ty Cobb.

Too bad he had to associate himself with a certain Godson who played in the City by the Bay.

9.16.2008

1933 Goudey
Mule Haas

I got my first 1933 Goudey in the early-1980s. It was of Phil Collins.

Not the "Sussudio" guy. This Phil Collins was a pitcher with the Philadelphia Phillies.

To me the card was old. I was amazed that, at the time, I owned a baseball card that was 50 years old.

I have more than a few Goudeys today, and this is one of my favorites.

As a member of the Philadelphia Athletics, Mule Haas played a big part in the 1929 World Series. He sparked his team to a win in Game 4 after hitting an inside-the-park homer in the seventh inning. The Athletics went on to score ten runs that inning, beating the Chicago Cubs 10-8.

He hit another homer in Game 5, as the Athletics won the series.

This Goudey is one of those that doesn't include the red bar along the bottom advertising Big League Chewing Gum. Something about the missing bar makes it look weird. But it's a real Goudey nonetheless.

Oh, and by the way, Mule's real name was George.

9.13.2008

1978 Hostess
Oscar Gamble

Boy, does that uniform bring back old memories.

I don't remember watching Oscar play in old San Diego Stadium (I'm sure I did see him but I was only nine years-old at the time) but I do remember the likes of Ozzie Smith and Dave Winfield wearing the old mustard and brown.

I still have my old giveaway hat from the 1978 All-Star season. I remember the folks at the stadium opening the gates the day before the All-Star Game and fans being able to watch batting practice.

If I'm not mistaken, this event became the forerunner to today's Home Run Derby.

Kind of cool!

Speaking of cool, check out that hair.

9.11.2008

1952 Topps
Gus Niarhos


When I got this card years ago I first thought, hey it's a 1952 Topps. Then I thought, hey it's autographed.
But who is Gus Niarhos?

Does it really matter?

I often wonder if the signature is authentic. But then I catch myself and ask: Who would fake Gus Niarhos' autograph?

The bottom line is that it is a nice old vintage card from the classic 1952 set. Enough said.

9.09.2008

1961 Topps
Tommy Davis

Topps sure did like to stick that big giant trophy on their cards in the 1960s and 70s, didn't they?

I love it.

Davis was a two-time batting champ (1962, 63) and was the National League RBI leader in 1962. But my favorite factoid about Tommy Davis is that he played on 11 different teams in a ten-year stretch.

Beginning in 1967, Davis played for the New York Mets, Chicago White Sox, Seattle Pilots, Houston Astros, Oakland Athletics, Chicago Cubs, Oakland Athletics (again), Chicago Cubs (again), Baltimore Orioles, California Angels and Kansas City Royals.

After being released by the Orioles in Spring Training in 1976, he signed with the New York Yankees, but never played for them. That would have made it 12, but I guess it really doesn't count.

All-in-all, Davis did play for 12 teams, counting his first seven seasons with the Los Angeles Dodgers – his first eight seasons if you count the one game he played in 1959.

9.06.2008

1909 T206
Johnny Evers

Johnny Evers played in 18 major league seasons and compiled a .270 average with 1,659 hits, 538 RBI and 12 homers. Those are career numbers. Yet he was elected into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1946.

Huh?

I wonder if Evers' election was more of a reaction to being the second baseman in the famous Tinkers to Evers to Chance double-play combination?

I found this card on eBay and was fascinated by its history. The previous owner said that the cards' damage is, in part, a result of Hurricane Katrina.

The card came from Mississippi.

The card has obvious paper loss and, on further inspection, looks like it has some water damage.

A great story for a great card of a fair player who happens to be in the hall of fame.

9.02.2008

1971 Topps
Larry Bowa

Larry Bowa played 16 season in the Major Leagues, the majority of those years right in the middle of my childhood. And as I remember, he was a pretty good player.

Wikipedia seems to back me up: Bowa was a two-time Gold Glove Award winner and a five-time All Star. I think that counts as pretty good. And remember, part of his career overlapped that of one of the greater shortstops, Ozzie Smith.

His 1971 Topps card is pretty good too. Not quite Thurman Munson's card but a nice one nonetheless. And Hey, it has the giant trophy.