12.31.2009

1960 Topps
Al Kaline

Looked up his stats on Wikipedia and this is what I found:

Career stats: .297 lifetime average, 3,007 hits, 399 homers.
Teams: Detroit Tigers 1953-1974.
Career highlights: 15x All-Star (1955-67, 1971, 1974), 1968 World Series champ, 10x gold glove winner (1957-59, 1961-67), 1973 Roberto Clemente Award (sportsmanship, community team player), 1968 Lou Gehrig Award (character and integrity), 1969 Hutch Award (competitiveness).

Not bad for a guy who you rarely hear mentioned as one of the game's greatest.

What would we be saying of Kaline if he were a Yankee or Dodger?

12.26.2009

1954 Red Heart
Minnie Minoso

It feels like it's been forever since I updated redheartcards but I am down to the wire.

Of the 33 cards in the set I have 10 to go.

I noticed that it's becoming difficult to find these old cards in un-graded condition. Of the eBay auctions, it seems like nearly 70% of these cards are graded.

And since they are graded, people want a premium price. Sorry but I am not going to pay $250 for a PSA 8 Ferris Fain.

I'll take the one with the rounded corners for under-$10 any day.

It's finding that card for under $10 that seems to be my challenge.

12.22.2009

1923 W515-1
Al Mamaux

Sometimes you can get really great deals on eBay.

This 1923 strip card of Al Mamaux set me back $5.99. A great deal for a 87-year-old baseball card.

For those of you not familiar with strip cards, they were sold in strips. Several cards joined together and then cut apart. Some with scissors, some with knives. This one looks like it was torn from its neighbor.

As far as I know, the cards were sold for a penny in machines similar to the ones that sell gumballs at the local grocery store.

As a kid I saw my first strip cards in a magazine and later bought my first cards at a national sports card show in Anaheim, Calif. It was at the Disneyland Hotel. It was the 1980s. It was a time when there were baseball card shop on just about every corner. For those of you who are younger think of Starbucks.

I remember buying cards of Rogers Hornsby, Walter Johnson, Wally Pipp, George Sisler, Ty Cobb and even a Babe Ruth. I think they were like $5 each. Ruth may have been $20.

I wanted nothing more than a real Babe Ruth when I was a kid and the one I got that day is still a cherished part of my collection.

So if you want to add a vintage baseball card to your collection consider a strip card. They can usually be had for a fraction of the price of their tobacco cousin.

Just don't expect to find a Babe Ruth for $20. We're not in the 80s anymore.