9.20.2011

1950 Bowman
Roy Campanella

Everyone should have a card of Roy Campanella.

When I saw this on eBay about a week ago, It had a buy it now price of $6.99.  I figured, why not?  I know, it's a total beater but it's a second-year card of the Dodgers great.

Ever since starting this blog a few years ago,  I don't even look for cards in nicer condition. My eyes just gloss over those cards that look like they were just unwrapped, and they especially gloss over their higher price tags.

I'd much rather have this poor old baseball card at a fraction of the price.

9.02.2011

1909-11 E90-1 American Caramel
Dots Miller

It's a funny thing how a player gets a nickname.

Some are easy: Rube, Killer, Pee Wee, Lefty. Some take a little more explaining: Piano Legs, Oyster,  Some are plain funny: The Human Rain Delay.

John Barney Miller was a world champion after his rookie season in 1909. The second baseman made his debut for the Pittsburgh Pirates on April 16.

Most baseball fans wouldn't be able to name a single one of his teammates, except one: Honus Wagner.

The Flying Dutchman is arguably one of the greatest ballplayers of all time. An inaugural member of the National Baseball Hall of Fame, he won eight batting titles.

Technically speaking, even "Honus" was a nickname. His given name was Johannes Peter Wagner. "Honus" was probably a take off Johannes and "The Flying Dutchman" payed homage to his speed and his German (Deutsch) background.

One day, Wagner was asked by someone where his second baseman was.

He replied by pointing in John's direction and saying, in a heavy German accent: "Dots (that's) Miller."

8.30.2011

1911 T205
Bill Carrigan

Dear Baseball Card Blog,

I'm sorry I have neglected you. It's been a long time — more than a month since I last paid you any attention. I know it's not an excuse but sometimes life gets in the way. Work. Family. The longer I waited, the harder it got to post again. I had to come up with something good. Something so bad it would justify the title of a poor old baseball card. I think I found something. I'm ready to post again.

Sincerely,
POBC

Okay, that's done with. This Bill Carrigan has all the qualities of a poor old baseball card: Plenty of creases, rounding, chipping and let's not forget that hole. It's great!

It's also a T205. A cousin to the famed T206 that we all know and love. This is my first T205. I haven't been avoiding them, I just never had one. How could I have avoided this beautiful set?

I have a feeling there will be more of these gems in my future. I bet "T205" will be a regular search in my eBay bar.

Oh, and by the way, I hope it won't be another month until my next posting.

7.25.2011

1916 M101-4 Sporting News
Joe Jackson (Reprint)

A few months ago, while searching for poor old baseball cards on eBay, this card popped up. The title said: "1900's Shoeless Joe Jackson Strip Card, Rough Card." The starting bid was $1.

Upon further review, the description went on to mention this card was a reprint. Normally I would not look any further, but there was something different about this old card.

I gave the card and good look and wondered if the seller could have been mistaken. The color was right, it had badly rounded corners and several stains and creases.

Again, it was listed as a reprint but it didn't look like it was recently printed. Could it be a really old reprint?

So I took a stab and put in a $1 bid. A few hours later, I won.

I wasn't expecting this to be a $5,000 card but the curiosity of exactly what this card was, was killing me. It arrived a few days later. Needless to say, I wasn't about to retire.

It looks like someone used a photograph of a poor-conditioned card of Joe Jackson and attached it to a piece of cardboard. They even took the steps of rounding the corners and bending the card to produce its deep creases.

To me, that's not a reprint — it's a fake!

On the bright side, it does make a nice bookmark.

7.13.2011

1919 W514
Stuffy McInnis

This card is just plain dirty. I think it may be tar.

Can't you just see this card falling onto the fresh pavement in 1919?

I'm not sure how this gunk got on this card but it's caked on.

Stuffy McInnis is one of those players that you've probably heard of but not sure why?

He was a member of the Philadelphia Athletics' $100,000 infield of the early 1910s. A first baseman, McInnis teamed up with Eddie Collins (2B), Jack Barry (SS) and Frank Baker (3B). Some consider them to be the greatest infield ever.

And by the way, their salary would equal less than $2.5 million today.

Now that's a bargain.

7.03.2011

Greatest comment ever!





Every now and then, I'll get an email alerting me of a new comment on this blog. Sometimes it's the highlight of my day.

Yesterday afternoon I got the best comment ever. It was from Reivax and he shared his story of his poor old baseball cards. (If you click on the photo above, you can read it yourself.)

These type of comments are what keep me writing. Thanks for the inspiration!

6.21.2011

1953 Topps
Connie Marrero

I read today that the world's oldest-living person died.


The Brazilian woman was closing in on 115 years. The new oldest living person is Besse Cooper, 114 years, 299 days of Monroe, Ga.

So why does this all matter?

Connie Marrero is the world's oldest living Major Leaguer. While the back of this card says Marerro was born on May 1, 1915, his real birthday is April 25, 1911. That makes him 100 years, 1 month, 27 days.

Marrero made his Major League debut in 1950, a few days shy of his 39th birthday. Before that, he played for years in Cuba.

I guess those four years made a difference for the Washington Senators. A 35-year-old rookie is one thing, but 39?

6.03.2011

1916 BF2 Ferguson Bakery Felt Pennant
John Lavan

I knew nothing about this pennant before I bought it a few days ago. And there's really not a whole lot out there about it. But here's what I've learned:

• Produced in 1916
• Less than 6 inches in length
• Photo is glued to the pennant
• Same photo (card) used in Sporting News issue of the same era (M101-4)
• Inserted in loaf of five-cent Ferguson bread
• Distributed in Roxbury, Mass.
• Pennants had coupons on back that could be collected and redeemed for a premium (I even read that you could get a larger pennant which is very rare)

I also know that they are fairly rare.This is the first one I've ever held in my hands.

It is also in horrible shape. I think this one was at one time part of a larger quilt. You can still see some of the thread. It's also missing part of its left side.


Still a great poor old baseball card. Okay, so it's not technically a baseball card, but you can't deny that it's pretty cool.

6.02.2011

1958 Topps
Sam Jones

It's called "The Great American Baseball Card Flipping, Trading and Bubble Gum Book." And on page 45, a 1958 Topps Sad Sam Jones.

I first saw the card when I was a kid, I knew some day I would have it. Even though he looked so sad, he made me smile.

It's not like it's a particularly expensive card. And it's not like I didn't try to get one before this beauty arrived in the mail yesterday.

A few years back I walked into my Local Baseball Card Shop and asked the clerk if he had a 1958 card of Sad Sam Jones. I know he was thinking: who? But he directed me to a box of late-50s commons. After searching for a few minutes, I found good ol' Sam. It was probably in worse condition than this card.

I asked the clerk, "How much?"

He looked into a price guide and said something to the effect of $15. I almost choked.

Needless to say, I didn't get Sad Sam that day. And then I got to thinking: When is the next time someone is going to walk into this store and ask for a 1958 Topps Sam Jones? Answer: Never.

And so I bet Sam is still sitting in that box of commons. I'm sure he'll be there forever. I don't think I ever went back to that shop for a baseball card again.

Fifteen dollars? Are you kidding me.

By the way, this card cost me $1 on eBay. Overpriced? Some may say so. But at least it didn't make me lose my lunch.

6.01.2011

1960 Fleer
Zack Wheat

Do you ever buy a card on eBay only to find the shipping cost is more than the card itself? It happens to me all the time.

Lately, I've tried to find a few other cards from the same seller in order to cut down on the price of the card. Does that make sense? In other words, I buy multiple cards from the same buyer taking advantage of combined shipping.

This card is one of those. It was $.25 but the shipping was $3. So I added a 1960 Rookie Star Julio Navarro for $.01, a 1960 Topps Joe Cunningham for $.01, a 1960 Topps Rookie Star Frank Howard for $1.50 and a 1960 Topps Harry Simpson for $.15. Total cost with shipping $4.92.

This is my first 1960 Fleer card and I'm not all that thrilled with its design. It' just plain terrible. But that big piece of tape residue makes it worth while. It's the little things that make a poor old baseball card.

5.30.2011

1950 Bowman
Chief Petty Officer Bob Feller

So it's Memorial Day and what better card to post than that of a real hero: Bob Feller.

Feller enlisted in the Navy the day after the attack on Pear Harbor and served aboard the USS Alabama as a gunner. He served from 1941 -1945, missing four prime years of a terrific baseball career.

Feller is not the only player to serve. A special thanks to all who served this country, ballplayer or not.

5.28.2011

1952 Topps
Ray Boone

Yesterday was the three-year anniversary of my first post here at Poor Old Baseball Cards.

It's been three years since I decided to begin posting baseball cards from my little corner of the collecting world.

Before that first post, I remember asking myself if anyone out there would be interested in seeing my beat-up old cards. And sometime I still wonder. I've gotten a few of e-mails from some of you out there who who share my passion for these old pieces of cardboard. And for those I am grateful.

Sometimes it's hard to get to the computer and add a new entry. Especially when your posts seem to fall on blind eyes and you continue to ask: "Is anyone out there reading this thing?"

But sure enough, someone will give you a hint and tell you it's time for a new entry. 

Some of you out there also have blogs. And I don't need to tell you that it can be frustrating when no one comments or when you don't get feedback. I know readers are thinking: "No one cares about what I have to say."

Well I do. If you see a card here you like, let me know. If you see a mistake, let me know. If you have a similar card, let me know. And by all means, hit that comment button. Let me know.

5.25.2011

1934 Goudey
Leo Durocher

It arrived yesterday. I had been waiting for nearly a week and it finally made its way into my mailbox.

How cool is this card! I'm a big fan of Goudey in general and this1934 card is a favorite. And a Hall-of-Famer nonetheless. Check out that lime-green and blue coloring. I love how the 1934 Goudey has a little note from the great Lou Gehrig. For the record, cards 80-91 had a quote from Chuck Klein. There are 96 cards in the set.

Durocher is best known as a manager but is shown here as a shortstop for the St. Louis Cardinals "Gashouse Gang." His scrappy play helped inspire the nickname as the Cardinals went on to win the World Series in 1934.

He died in 1991 and was inducted into Cooperstown three years later. He has the fifth most career wins as a manager with 2,009. Too bad his induction couldn't come a little sooner.

5.17.2011

1914-16 T213-2
Owen Wilson

It's a good day when I can pick up one of these old pre-war cards.

This is the first card of this set I have ever owned. The T-213 advertised Coupon Cigarettes and this particular sub-set offers 20 cigs for five cents.

Chief Wilson hit 36 triples in 1912, a major league record. He was also the National League leader with 107 RBI in 1911 and hit for the cycle in 1910.

The most remarkable of those numbers is the 36 triples. Ty Cobb hit 24 triples in a season twice. Willie Mays hit 20 in 1957.

If you're looking for a record that may never be broken, you need not look much farther than Owen "Chief" Wilson.

5.16.2011

1975 Topps
Bob Gibson

How could you not love this card?

Its bright colors and unique color combination make the 1975 Topps set one of my favorites. And what better two colors to use for Bob Gibson than red and yellow.

If you are a parent, reading this post, do your kids a favor and get them an original card of one of the game's greatest pitchers. I got this one for a little over two bucks.

Gibson was a fierce competitor. Could you imagine him playing in the 2011? There would be quite a few sore players walking around. Hint: After hitting a homer, don't showboat. Put your bat down and run the bases or you may be the recipient of a fastball in the ribs your next time at bat.

Today, both batters and pitchers seem to have no problems showing up their counterparts. Player routinely admire their long fly balls and pump their fists after a strikeout. In the 60s and 70s, Bob Gibson and Don Drysdale would have none of that.

Unless you wanted one in the ear.

5.15.2011

1972 Topps
Reggie Jackson In Action

It's a Reggie Jackson baseball card ... or is it.

As I mentioned before, I could only imagine the disappointment when opening up that wax wrapper and knowing you could get a Reggie Jackson but having to settle for this In Action card.

It's like expecting to see Cinderella but meeting one of her step sisters.

One thing that must have disappointed more is getting no stats on the back. This card actually has a story about Hank Aaron hitting his milestone 600th homer.

But at least it's Reggie, right?

1971 Topps
Tom Seaver

Sometimes the cards I post look worse than they actually are.

This Tom Seaver card is worse than it looks.

It has so many creases, I can't count. And those black borders don't help.

Some people may wonder where I get these old cards. Since starting this blog nearly three years ago, I actually seek them out. The worse, the better. Believe me, I don't go overboard – at least in my opinion – this card probably cost a few bucks if you include shipping.

Some may take pride in having a perfect card. Even borders. No creases or rounding. Perfect surface.

For me, it's all about finding the worse card out there. The poorest of the poor. If you have a 1971 Topps Tom Seaver that has seen worse days than mine, give me a shout. It may be worth a few bucks.

5.14.2011

1943 La Ambrosia
Julio Trujillo

That writing you see across this Julio Trujillo's face is actually on the back of the card. The card is so thin, the writing is poking through.

Sometimes, we think that Baseball is an exclusively American sport. But in 1943, baseball was big in Cuba. This Cuban card features one of many amateur players in this set.

It took me a while to figure it out but it says Cienfuegos across Trujillo's chest. I figured this was a mascot but I was wrong.

Cinefuegos is actually a city on Cuba's southern coast about 150 miles from Havana.

1972 Topps
Vicente Romo

Vicente Romo was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1992.

The Mexican Baseball Hall of Fame.

Romo piched with the Indians, Red Sox, White Sox, Padres and Dodgers. He had a 32-33 record with 52 saves and 416 strikeouts in 335 games. Not exactly Hall of Fame numbers.

While researching the righthander, I learned his nickname was "Huevo" or egg. I don't know why but I would venture to guess that his noggin had something to do with it.

Wow! Take a look at that hat.

1955 Bowman
Bob Feller

I met Bob Feller last July while attending the All-Star FanFest in Anaheim, Calif. I stood in line with what seemed to be a thousand others waiting for an autograph.

I remember talking to the guy next to me in line as we were wondering about Feller's age. We recalled how he pitched in the 1930s. He had to be pretty old.

When I got home I realized he was a rookie in 1936. He pitched against Lou Gehrig and just missed playing with Babe Ruth.

He was 91 when I saw him.

Sadly, Feller was in his final days. A month later, he was treated for leukemia before celebrating his 92nd birthday in November. He died in December.

Another one of the game's greats gone.

5.10.2011

1923 W572
Pete Donohue

Now this one's pretty bad.

First, it's badly trimmed. But when it comes to these old strip cards you need to be a bit forgiving. Remember they came in strips of ten and had to be cut apart. You rarely find the borders in perfect condition.

But this card is far from perfect.

There is also a raised stain on the card. Is it chocolate syrup? Motor oil? I'm not sure but it's definitely on top of the card. What a mess!

As for Pete Donohue — he had a 12-year career earning a 134-118 record with the Reds, Giants, Indians and Red Sox.

With all its problems, this card till a great old baseball card in my book.

5.09.2011

1921 W516-2-2
Jimmy Ring

Jimmy Ring was probably best known as a member of the 1919 World Champion Cincinnati Reds.

You know, the team that beat the heralded Chicago White Sox. The Black Sox. Eight Men Out.

Ring beat Eddie Cicotte in Game 4 of the World Series 2-0. Cicotte was 29-7 with an 1.82 ERA during the regular season.

When I was younger, these old strip cards provided me with a way to get a card of a star player at an affordable price. I remember getting my first strip cards in the late 1980s. I think I got a Babe Ruth, Ty Cobb, Walter Johnson, Rogers Hornsby, George Sisler, Wally Pipp and Jess Barnes for about $50.  Good luck getting Wally Pipp alone for under $50 today.

I still enjoy finding these cards on places like eBay. This example set me back about $7 — and it's the rarer W516-2-2 version.

Just in case you were wondering there were three variations of this set. 516-1 were hand lettered and had a normal image, 516-2-1 had a reversed image and typed lettering, 516-2-2 was reversed and hand typed.

It really doesn't matter which variation you get, these old cards are a great addition to any vintage collection.

2.13.2011

1959 Topps
Billy Martin

Sometimes I wonder how my latest acquisition became a poor old baseball card.

In this card's case, I'd guess the culprit was some sort of drink. Kool Aid?

Take a look at the left edge. It's got a pink-like hue that reminds me of the stain made when you spill Hawaiian Punch all over your shirt. Not that I've ever done that.

And what about all those creases?

They've got to be the result of the old back pocket.

I'm not sure how Billy Martin got all his flaws, but it's fun wondering.

2.07.2011

1948 Leaf
George Vico

It looks like someone took a bite out of George Vico.

On April 20, 1948 Vico made his Major League debut as a first baseman for the Detroit Tigers.

And on the first pitch he ever saw, Vico hit a homer.

No kidding, a home run on the first pitch.


It had only been done once before in the American League (Bill LeFebvre, 1938) and four times in the National League (Walter Mueller, 1922; Clise Dudley, 1929; Eddie Morgan, 1936 and Clyde Vollmer, 1942).

But what first attracted me to this old card was its vibrant red and blue colors. And the fact that it's from one of the best baseball card sets ever produced.

 They just don't make cards the way they used to. Boy, do I sound old!

2.06.2011

1971 Topps
Merlin Olsen

I know ... wrong sport.

But hey, today is Super Bowl Sunday and I wanted to do something a little different.

I never really collected football cards. I'm not sure why. I guess they weren't really my thing.

I think it has to do with history. I know my baseball history, I know very little about football's past.

Before things got way out of whack, I knew the importance of 61 and 744. I knew just about every member of the Baseball Hall of Fame. I knew about Fred Merkle, Wally Pipp, Moses Fleetwood Walker and the $100,000 infield.

Football is just different.

One thing I do know: Merlin Olsen was pretty good as Jonathan Garvey on "Little House on the Prairie."

2.05.2011

1971 Topps
Johnny Bench

So how old does a baseball card need to be to be considered vintage?

When I was a kid, if a card was 20 years old, it was old. There's no doubt about it, to me, it was a vintage baseball card.

But can anyone consider a card made in the 1990s vintage?

Would you consider a card made in the 1970s or 80s vintage?

As far as I'm concerned, anything after 1980 is junk, especially that stuff they made in the 90s.

 I know, there's lots of newer cards out there that are worth a whole lot more than this torn up Topps 1970 Johnny Bench. And I know you can't compare today's baseball cards to the junk they made in the 1990s.

But for me, this old Johnny Bench card is one of the last true vintage baseball cards.

CORRECTION:  This entry originally stated this was a 1970 Topps, It indeed is from 1971. Thanks to those who pointed out the error.

2.02.2011

1952 Topps
Vern Stephens

So while browsing eBay a few weeks ago, I saw this poor old baseball card at a reasonable price.

One man's trash is another's treasure. That day, this 1952 Topps card was my treasure.

It really didn't matter who was on the card. The fact that it was from Topps' premiere and historic set was all I needed to fork over the $3 on a buy-it-now bid.

To my surprise, Vern Stephens turned out to be a pretty good player.

A quick google search provided me with his career stats and a few highlights. Among them:

* Stephens was an 8-time All-Star
* Led the Al in home runs in 1945
* Led the Al in RBI three times
* Was in the Top-10 in batting average three times

Not bad for a nobody on a poor old baseball card.

1.16.2011

1960 Topps
Vic Wertz

So you learn something new every day.

Today, I learned that Willie Mays should thank VicWertz. we should allk, Hec thank Vic Wertz.

Why you ask?

It is Wertz that is partly responsible for creating the legend that is Willie Mays.

You see, I consider Willie Mays to be the second greatest baseball player ever. Babe  Ruth is tops on my list. And whenever I picture Mays at his greatest, I imagine him making that amazing over-the-shoulder catch at the Polo Grounds during the 1954 World Series.

Guess who hit that ball 460 feet?

That's right, Vic Wertz.

So thank you Willie Mays and thank you Vic Wertz. Thanks for giving baseball "the catch."