11.26.2010

1957 Topps
Lou Skizas















This card really gets around.

Back in May, Chris over at The Vintage Sportscard Blog showed off this Lou Skizas card (the one on the left). He mentioned how he had recently upgraded the card and that the old (three-piece) card was now available. He later posted that he never thought anyone would want the old beater.

But I did.

So I offered Chris a 1951 Topps Ringside card of Lee Savold. He said yes and the trade was made. To my surprise, when the card arrived, it was accompanied by the card on the right.

He would later write: I tossed another card in along with that Lou Skizas, so it wasn't a complete "rip off" trade. Get it, rip-off. Very clever.

I thought it was a great trade. I love both cards but in particular the three-parter. If you look close enough, you may notice the card was at one time both stapled and taped together.

Oh, the stories that card could tell.

11.24.2010

1946-47 Propogandas Montiel
Larry Baldwin

This morning I got a new comment on this blog. It was from William and it came to me via e-mail on my iPhone.

It read: Where have you gone? I loved reading this blog!!

So I thought, "Had it really been that long since my last post?" Answer: Nearly five months.

At one time I tried to post something every day. Then it became every other day. I woke up every morning to see if someone had commented on my latest post. Whenever they did, it gave me confidence that at least someone was actually reading this silly thing.

Five months ago, I was an eBay monster searching for poor old baseball cards and spending a good amount of money on them. Today, not as much.

It's been a while since I last bought a baseball card on the Internet.

Does this mean I've grown up and no longer care about these little pieces of cardboard? Nope, I've been collecting since I was a little kid and am not going to stop now.

In fact, William may have given me the boost to post regularly again. Thanks William.

Oh, and about that poor old old baseball card: It's a lovely Cuban card with plenty of creases, dings and even what appears to be a hole that was at one time an insect's lunch.

Just the kind of card I like.

7.12.2010

1943 La Ambrosia
Jose M. Valdes

I love it when I find a new set I've never even heard of, let alone seen.

I recently bought a handfull of these Cuban cards and they're all in horrible shape. Perfect for this blog.

As far as I know they contain players from an amateur Cuban league.

What really drew me to post this particular card is it's watercolor-like look. The paper is extremely thin and each card is very delicate.

And check out that moustache on Mr. Valdes.

You wouldn't see a major leaguer wearing one of those in the 1940s.

7.11.2010

1953 Topps
Whitey Ford

I've come to the realization that being a baseball card collector has really changed over the years.

And it's all eBay's fault. Really fault is not the right word. I really think things have gotten better because of the Web site. Especially for buyers.

I spent a few hours this afternoon in Anaheim, Calif. for the annual All-Star FanFest. It was pretty cool but I was a bit disappointed with the number of baseball card dealers.

For those of you old enough, this was the type of event where you could expect to find those rare cards your local card shop didn't stock.

And while the show had those cards, they were really expensive.

There was a certain dealer who had some really nice stuff. He even had a few poor old baseball cards. When I explained to him my unique niche, he seemed to have just the card for me: a 1958 Topps Micky Mantle that was pretty trashed.

One problem, it had a price tag of $100.

Was it worth $100?. Yeah, probably.

But not in the day of eBay. He was even willing to let it go for $80, but as an eBay veteran, I thought I would be able to eventually be able to find one cheaper.

Just like this 1953 Whitey Ford. An eBay steal at $7.99.

6.13.2010

1952 Topps
Robin Roberts

So I think I have changed my mind.

A few years back I listed my top-5 favorite Topps baseball cards. The list went as follows:

1. 1971 Thurman Munson
2. 1957 Ted Kluszewski
3. 1953 Satchel Paige
4. 1964 Mickey Mantle
5. 1952 Any card in this set

But after getting this beauty in the mail the other day, It's got to be included in the list. It may even be No. 1. I've been a huge fan of Thurman Munson's second-year card for a long time. It's so much better than any other card made in the 1970s.

But I think there's a new (old) sheriff in town. And I think his name is Robin Roberts. How can I go wrong? Not only is this card of a great Whiz Kid, but it's from 1952.

It amazes me how this set continues to gain in popularity.

Maybe it's because it's simply the best set ever made.

So here's my new list:

1. 1952 Robin Roberts
2. 1971 Thurman Munson
3. 1953 Satchel Paige
4. 1957 Ted Kluszewski
5. 1964 Mickey Mantle

There's my list, what's yours?

5.22.2010

1953 Topps
Enos Slaughter

While deciding on a card to post, this card stood out. Way out.

Maybe it was the bold colors of this 1953 Topps card. Maybe it was the 1950s feel of the old advertising peeking over Slaughter's shoulder. Maybe it was the fact that it was just plain worn.

This card has some definite mileage. This is my kind of card.

You just know that some kid carried this thing in his back pocket for the entire 1953 season. At least that's what it looks like.

That's half the fun of owning a poor old baseball card. Wondering where it's been.

5.21.2010

1954 Dan Dee
Wally Westlake

So not only does Wally Westlake have a giant fold going across his face, but this card is totally slick.

Slick to the touch.

Dan Dees have a wax coating that kept the potato chip grease from penetrating the cardboard.

Sounds odd, but these cards were sold floating in bags of Dan Dee Hylo-ized Potato Chips.

I can just imagine pulling one of these cards for the first time.

I wonder if they had wet wipes in 1954?

5.15.2010

1920 W514
Wally Schang

So they spelled his name wrong.

Schang is probably considered the best catcher during baseball's deadball era.  He hit .300 or better six times in a career that included three world championships.

His first title was with Philadelphia A's in 1913.

He moved on to play with Boston in 1918 where he completed the battery with a certain George Herman Ruth.

Yes, Ruth was a pitcher with the Red Sox before becoming the original home run king.

In Boston, Schang would help the Red Sox to a World Series championship in 1918.

He followed Ruth to New York after the 1920 season. Ruth was traded a year earlier by Boston owner Harry Frazee.

He won his final World Series title with the Yankees in 1923.

With those credentials, they could have at least spelled his name right.

4.27.2010

1967 Topps
Frank Robinson

For those of you that think that vintage baseball cards of Hall-of-Famers are too expensive, think again.

This card was $1.50.

And of a major player nonetheless.

Frank Robinson is one of those guys every baseball fan should know about. Along with being among the all-time home run leaders, Robinson was the first, and only, to be named MVP in both the National and American Leagues.

He is also a Triple Crown winner.

He really gets little respect and should be considered among the game's best.

4.25.2010

1952 Berk Ross
Whitey Lockman

Here's one of those cards I really don't know a whole lot about.

From what I can gather on the Web, Berk Ross cards were produced in 1951 and 1952 by the Berk Ross Corp. of New York City.

I also found that these 1952 cards are larger than those produced in 1951.

Apparently in 1951, the cards were issued in boxes while in 1952 they were included in wrappers.

That's about all I know.

So I'm hoping one of you out there knows more. Like, what was Berk Ross? Was it a candy company? Was it an upstart to compete with Bowman and later Topps?  Why only two sets?

If anyone out there knows any of these answers, please share by commenting on this post.

Inquiring minds want to know.

4.23.2010

1933 Goudey
George Pipgras

I got my first Goudey in the early 1980s.

I remember thinking how cool it was to have a baseball card that was 50 years old.

Today I have several 1933 Goudys and each time I get a new one, I turn into a little kid again.

This gem arrived in the mail this morning. And after quickly ripping it from it's package, it became a favorite.

No matter the condition, Goudeys impress me every time. I don't think Goudey made a bad baseball card.

Take a look at that color! Not bad for a 77-year-old baseball card.

1920-21 W516-2-2
Grover Alexander

My guess is termites.

That's what I think got to good ol' Grover Alexander.

I don't exactly remember what I paid for this card but as you can imagine, it wasn't very much. Even if I paid a few dollars, some would argue it was too much.

But as a poor old baseball card, this card is priceless.

Someone commented the other day that he was tracking the Allen & Ginter card I recently posted and decided against it when it reached a certain price. He said he wondered if someone would bid on it because it was sooooooo BAD.


I sometimes wonder  — if this was ten years ago, would I be bidding on these trashed cards?

Probably not. But today, I relish these old cards. They're a lot more interesting than those near-perfect  pieces of cardboard.

4.22.2010

1965 Topps
Don Zimmer

Nowadays, I get most of my cards on eBay.

This 1965 Topps Don Zimmer is no exception.

One bad thing about shopping on eBay is sometimes a seller will charge a little too much in shipping and handling charges. I think you all know what I mean. I think $4 S&H is a little too much for a card you just bought for $2.

So like many of you, I often buy a few more cards from sellers since it usually doesn't cost any more to ship a few extra cards.

In my eyes, that brings the cost of each card down a bit. Make sense?

Anyway, this is one of those extra cards I got to help spread out the cost of that shipping and handling.

When I got this card, the seller was charging $2 for shipping and handling with no extra charge for more cards. That's actually a pretty good deal.

The card I really wanted was a $4 1957 Topps Richie Ashburn. Not only did I get the Ashburn, I also got a few more using the BUY IT NOW option:

1969 Don Drysdale ($1.50)
1967 Frank Robinson ($1.50)
1968 Harmon KIllebrew ($1.50)
1969 Nate Colbert ($1.50)
1975 Randy Jones ($2)
1975 Chris Cannizarro ($1)
1965 Don Zimmer ($1)
Total: $14 + $2 shipping

Not a bad deal for $16.

4.20.2010

1887 N28 Allen & Ginter
R.L. Caruthers

 











So I never thought I could afford an original Allen and Ginter baseball card.

But about a week ago, this card popped up on eBay. It was the worst A&G I had ever seen. First off I had never seen one that had turned brown, they're usually bright white. Even the ones in lesser condition are white.
I had my doubts if this card was real so I wasn't willing to go too high with the bid. I was a winner at a little over $25.

After winning, I contacted the seller to get some background. He said he thought it could have been part  of his grandfather's collection, but he wasn't sure.

I figured it was worth the risk.

It arrived today and I have a feeling it's authentic. The card is surely old. The pin holes and cracks really show the card's age. I figure if it were to be reproduced it would be sometime in the 1980s. And this card is way older than 30 years old.

I don't think it's worth having authenticated. I may show it to a few people and see what they think but as far as I'm concerned it's the real deal.

Anyone out there have an opinion?

4.14.2010

1967 Topps
Hank Aaron

For about the price of a combo meal, I picked up this 43-year-old classic — a 1967 Topps Hank Aaron.

So it has a little bit of wear —who am I kidding a lot of wear, but I love it just the same.

This same card, a PSA 9, is selling for $1,799.99 or best offer on eBay. I wonder if that card would give me more joy than this poor old baseball card. Sure, it'll always be worth more than my card, but they are both original cards of one of the game's greatest.

At least I can hold mine in my hands. I mean, I can feel the cardboard and smell the old gum residue. The new owner of the PSA 9 card won't be able to do either through the hard plastic case.

But I'm realistic. I know that for some, baseball cards are an investment. And if I had the choice of the two, I would obviously choose the one that is hermetically sealed.

But for the price, I'm happy with what I've got.

4.02.2010

1965 Topps
Joe Morgan










I've had this card several months now and it's been sitting near the scanner ready to post.

I thought that even though this is Joe Morgan's rookie card, it seemed rather boring.

Then I took a closer look.

One of the first things I noticed is how little Joe Morgan has changed. He looks the same 45 years later.

I also appreciate the bright yellow Houston flag. It seems to just jump off the card.

I then began noticing the little things like the label on Sonny Jackson's Louisville Slugger and even the orage buttons on the tops of the caps.

And check out those hats. In my opinion the .45s had one of the best logos ever.

It's too bad the smoking guns on the jerseys aren't visible.

It turns out it's not that boring of a card after all.

4.01.2010

1954 Red Heart
Richie Ashburn

Richie Ashburn is No. 28 of 33.

In August of 2008, I set out to complete the 1954 Red Heart set. There are only 33 cards in the set and Asburn is the 28th in my collection.

You can follow my quest at redheartcards.com

Five more to go: Fain, Fox, Schoendienst, Slaughter and Spahn stand in the way of completing the set.

I know it's been a long time: two years to collect 33 cards.

While these beautifull cards are not the most difficult to find, they are hard to get at an affordable price. It's also becoming more and more difficult to get them not graded. I hate graded cards.

And while searching eBay earlier tonight for the final five, I was disappointed to see many graded cards and many cards in the $50-plus range.

Not a poor old baseball card in the bunch. I'll just have to keep looking.

3.29.2010

1975 Topps
Dave Winfield

In 1975, I was 6 years old and so were the San Diego Padres. They were a  young team with no major stars — except Dave Winfield.

As a kid growing up in San Diego, Dave Winfield was the San Diego Padres. Really the first Padre to be considered a superstar.

Sure the Padres had Nate Colbert and later Ozzie Smith and even later Tony Gwynn.

But it was Winfield that I remember growing up.

As far as I was concerned, this was the card to pull in 1975.  It was either Winfield or Willie McCovey or Randy Jones.

Even though McCovey spent 2 1/2 seasons as a Padres I always remember him more as a Giant.

Jones is the first Padre to win a Cy Young award. He did so as a member of a terrible team in 1976.

3.20.2010

1961 Post
Gil Hodges










So I was looking through a box of beat-up cards and really wanted to pick something different for this post.

This 1961 cereal card is unique enough, and then I realized this is the first mention of Gil Hodges on this blog.

While I am too young to ever remember Hodges as a player, he's one of those guys you'd read about while studying baseball's heyday. I wasn't sure if I remembered him more for his numbers or the fact that he was one of the old "Boys of Summer" Brooklyn Dodgers of the 1950s.

So I took a minute to actually look up his accomplishments:
• 3 time World Series champ
• 3 time gold glove winner
• 8 time all-star
• Lou Gehrig award winner

The numbers aren't bad. But then I learned of his early death at 47 and that he was beloved by teammates.

A nice card of a nice player.

3.19.2010

1960 Topps
Whitey Ford










Here's another classic baseball card that has seen better days.

In 1960, Topps included only the previous year and career totals on the back of the card. Not a big fan.

One of the reasons I cherish looking through old baseball cards is comparing stats through seasons.

I would much rather see year-by-year totals. I would rather see how the player has progressed. I would rather see if a players great season was a fluke.

I'm also not a big fan of the horizontal card.

Except for the 1971 Thurman Munson. That's a beautifull baseball card.

3.06.2010

1909 T206
Otto Knabe

So it's been way too long since I last posted a poor old baseball card. Don't worry, I've got plenty, I just needed a little break.

For those of you who are new to this blog, I started it nearly two years ago as a way to share my collection of, let's just say, non-mint baseball cards.

When I was a kid, I always wanted the vintage card of Mickey Mantle or Willie Mays or even Babe Ruth. But as you would imagine, those cards were not cheap.

So in order to afford my first T206 Ty Cobb, I had to buy the one with a pinhole near Cobb's forehead.

Today, those cards I was buying for $20 or $30 in the 1980s are worth a bit more.

To me, It was never about condition. It was more about having that little piece of history. Even today.

And so, the quest continues.

This Otto Knabe card is actually a recent purchase. While Knabe was never in the same class at Walter Johnson or Napoleon Lajoie, he is shown here on what I consider the greatest baseball card set ever made. Plus, it's 101 years old.

So check back regularly, I have many more cards to share.

1.22.2010

1961 Topps
Mickey Mantle

Ouch!

All signs of the culprit point to one thing, and only one thing. Tape.

Tape is to the baseball card what kryptonite is to Superman.

It has destroyed far too many cards only to take their value with it.

I bet this was quite the desirable card to have in 1961 with Mickey Mantle and Roger Maris taking aim at Babe Ruth's record for homers in a season.

Most wanted Mantle to break the mark. But it was his teammate that would eventually hit number 61.

I could imagine New Yorkers, heck most all baseball fans, choosing sides.

It must have been like Conan O'Brien vs. Jay Leno.

By the way, I'm with Coco.

1.21.2010

1909 T206
Heinie Wagner

So I think I may have found it: The worst-conditioned baseball card in the world.

A few weeks ago I was browsing on eBay and found this 101-year-old beauty that was just begging to be a part of this blog.

The bidding was fierce, but I was able to land it for the price of one cent. Yep, that's right, a penny. You know, that copper coin you won't even bend down to pick up.

But I was thrilled.

It arrived in the mail yesterday afternoon, and when taking it out of its package, one of the first things I noticed was it was super brittle.

In fact it was so bad, when I took it out of its sleeve, I immediately added the major horizontal crease through Heinie's head. It's barely hanging on.

About 20 minutes ago, I figured it was time to post.

So far, so good. Then it happened.

I was pulling the card off the scanner's surface and it split in two.

Just another wrinkle in the life of this poor old baseball card.

1.13.2010

1963 Topps
Billy Williams

This card is a mess.

A closer look at this old piece of cardboard reveals rounded corners, fading, heavy creasing and a hole below Williams' chin.

It's even off-center.

It looks as if someone carried it in their hip pocket for the entire 1963 season.

Or maybe it spent a good portion of its life attached to a kid's bicycle spokes.

It could even have been thrown in a trash bin by a mom who thought their child was over collecting cards.

Or maybe .... who knows? It does make you wonder though, doesn't it?

1.12.2010

1962 Topps
Joe Torre

I'm not sure if it was the big ol' trophy or the big ol' glove that first drew my attention to this baseball card.

I'm partial to the big trophy. I think it's one of the best designs elements Topps came up with for its cards.

As a kid I remember opening up a pack and looking for the trophy. It usually meant a good card of a good player.

And this rookie card of current Dodgers manager Joe Torre doesn't disappoint.

And what about that glove? Torre won a gold glove in 1965 to go along with an All-Star appearance, one of nine he would make as a player.

1.11.2010

1909 T206 Al Bridwell




This baseball cards came with a bonus: a piece of tape that holds Bridwell's head together.

It's not a regular pece of tape, it's more like an old piece of paper that was pasted to the card's back.

I'm glad someone took the time to keep this card together, no matter what it took.

Bridwell played for the New York Giants when this card was produced. But in 1914-15 he was a member of the St. Louis Terriers.

The Terriers played in the third major league. The Federal League lasted only two seasons before it folded. But a few things remain from the old league.

The most famous being a Chicago ballpark located on the corner of Waveland and Sheffield.

That's right, Wrigley Field was home to the Federal Leagues' Chicago Whales.

1.10.2010

1958 Topps
Tony Kubek

Before the days of cable television, if you wanted to watch an out-of-market baseball game, your best bet would be to tune in to NBC's Game of the Week on Saturday afternoon.

And one of the things I remember most about those days was the broadcasting of Bob Costas, Joe Garagiola and Tony Kubek.

In the summer, Saturdays were all about baseball.

Shows like This Week in Baseball and NBC's Game of the Week were how I got my baseball info. There was no ESPN or MLB Network to feed you a constant diet of scores and analysis.

Now I've got the TWIB theme song stuck in my head. Maybe I should have gone a different direction with this post.

1.09.2010

1909 E90-1
Donie Bush

Before this card arrived, I had no idea who Donie Bush was.

Donie Bush was a darn good baseball player.

In 1914, Bush finished third in the American League MVP voting behind future Hall of Famers - and Detroit teammates - Eddie Collins and Sam Crawford.

The shortstop is also the major league leader in triple plays with nine.

I once saw a triple play during a Spring Training game. That was the only one in my 30-plus years of watching baseball.

To have nine is amazing.

He also holds the Amercan League record for putouts by a shortstop in a season with 425 and chances with 969.

Not bad for a guy I've never heard of.

1.08.2010

1945-46 Caramelo Deportivo
Lou Knerr












The first time I ever knew this set existed was when I placed a bid for the card you see on eBay a few weeks ago.

The first time I ever saw one of these cards in person was just the other day when it arrived in the mail.

I'm not sure why but this paper-thin card has several tiny holes. It's like someone took a small hole punch to them. Usually I would think that there may have been some sort of premium involved. With some old issues, cards were collected and sent in to the manufacturer to get a premium sent back. Often times the cards were sent back to the owner with holes so that they could not be redeemed a second time.

But when searching the Internet, I could not find any other examples with holes.

You know what? I could care less.

It's not every day you get a Cuban baseball card from the mid-40s in the mail.

1.07.2010

1963 Topps Rookie Stars
Mathews, Fanok, DeBusschere, Cullen

This is one of those baseball cards I picked up at the local baseball card shop a few days ago. It was $1.

A dollar for a baseball card of a Hall of Famer.

Believe it or not Dave DeBusschere is in the Hall of Fame: The Basketball Hall of Fame.

He is one of several baseball players to have also played professional basketball. But as far as I can tell he is the only one to become a Hall of Famer.

As a baseball player, DeBusschere played in two seasons for the Chicago White Sox where he compiled a 3-4 record with a 2.90 ERA.

1.06.2010

1952 Topps
Larry Doby

1952 Topps cards are great no matter the condition. It also helps when that card depicts a historic player like Larry Doby.

The first line on the back of this card reads: "Larry came straight from semi-pro ball and became an Indian regular in 1947."

The truth is Doby came straight from the Newark Bears, the 1946 Negro League World Series champions. I'm not sure that you can call that semi-pro.

Doby did become an Indian only 11 weeks after Jackie Robinson joined the Brooklyn Dodgers. Thus, Doby became the first African American to play in the American League.

Doby accomplish another first: In 1948, he became the first African American to hit a home run in a World Series.

A classic player from the classic Topps set.

1.05.2010

1976 Topps
Pete Rose

I picked up 20 (new) poor old baseball cards at my local baseball card shop today.

Why is it when I go in with a budget, I always end up spending nearly twice my goal? It's hard for me. It's like being that kid in a candy store.

I picked up this beauty for about $2. Even those staple holes couldn't keep me from including this card in my want pile.

Since starting this blog nearly two years ago, I tend to gravitate to the lesser-condition box. And Henry at the lbcs always obliges with three boxes full of one-of-a-kind examples. Some have staple holes, others are missing corners or heavily creased.

All have character and seem to tell their own stories.

1.04.2010

SEPARATED AT BIRTH
1971 Topps Hoyt Wilhelm

Just sayin'.

I've got a box full of poor old baseball cards that will eventually make their way to this blog.

While thumbing through the cards earlier in the day, this Hoyt Wilhelm caught my eye. Then I started to laugh. I thought to myself: "He's doing the Captain Morgan pose."

About 20 minutes later, with the help of Photoshop, this is what I came up with.

Just sayin'.

1.03.2010

1929 E137 Zeenut
Art Koehler

Whenever I get one of these old minor league cards, one of the first thing I do is try and find out a little bit about the player.

Thank God for the Internet.

Art Koehler played 17 seasons of baseball – all in the minor leagues. The catcher played most of those years in the old Pacific Coast League. He hit .344 in 1929 with the Sacramento Senators.

He also hit 13 homers, second on the team behind Hank Severeids' 24. Severeid was ending his career with the Senators after a MLB career that included stints with the Cincinnati Reds and St. Louis Browns.

Art Koehler never had the chance to play at the next level.

But for some, the old PCL was considered the third major league. Koehler's teammates in 1929 included pitchers Doc Crandall and Ray Keating, first basenan Dolph Camilli and outfielder Irish Meusel.

1.02.2010

1948 Leaf
Lou Boudreau

1948 was a big year for Lou Boudreau.

He won the league's MVP award, was named to the All-Star team and won a World Series as player-manager of the Indians. He was even named AP's male athlete of the year.

He also finished second – Ted Williams, .369 – in batting average with a .355 average. He batted .263 in the World Series and led shortstops in fielding for the season with a .975 average.

1948 was also a big year for Leaf as it produced one of the nicest baseball card sets ever.

1.01.2010

1954 Red Man
Bob Porterfield

Of the nine Red Man cards I own, this is the only one that has its tab intact.

That little strip below the perforated line is there for a reason: After your dad would pass along this card after buying the pack of chew, the first thing you would do was cut off the tab. After collecting 50 stubs, you would send them in along with the name of your favorite ballclub.

And in 1954, what you would get in return was a baseball cap.

While I was not around in 1954, it would be interesting to hear from someone out there who remembers collecting these old cards.