Saturday, December 19, 2009

Tony Oliva: I'm Glad He's Got a Few Years on Me

I've scored some nice cards from 50 cent boxes lately. Last Friday I scored this '69 Tony Oliva for the compa. In general, though, the card shop in town doesn't do the best job of helping me out with my player collecting needs. There are several 5000 count boxes you can pick through but nothing is in order and yes, as a player collector it absolutely drives me nuts.

"Do you have...?"

"Check the box."

It kills me, but sometimes they have some beat up vintage I'll gladly take off their hands for 50 cents. Not what I went in for, but after going through 1000 cards I'm not remotely interested in for any reason I'll take it. Tony definitely fits that bill and even fits the player collections.

First, the photo is nice. It's a typical posed shot but Tony's not looking at the bat, the cameraman, or the viewer. He is looking somewhere off to his right at who knows what. In fact, it gives the photo a playful quality better suited for a GQ shoot than your typical Topps baseball card.

As for the card itself, what can I say? It's straight off off POBC's dream list. Wrinkles? Check. Creases? Check? Tape stains? Check. Massive piece of half-torn scrapbook page still glued to the back 40 years after it was first put in? Check.

In short, it's everything a well loved card should be.

It also nicely compliments this card, which I scored out of a 5/$2 box when we were last in Iowa.

Jay Ward played parts of three season with Minnesota and Cincy, and let's be honest: there couldn't be a bigger contrast in demeanor between these dudes. Ward is deathly serious and has a Marine's haircut. He's out to make the team, not taking any prisoners, and will not be denied. Oliva is sticking his tongue out at us, just having a good time. That's the kind of screw it whatever, happy go lucky self-confidence we could all use a little more off. You get the feeling the Oliva just knows he belongs, just know he's good, and that he'd be that way if he were playing ball, acting Shakespeare, or flipping burgers. The kind of guy who will offer your compa mini-powdered donuts, which will then have her taking about said donut offer for, oh, the next seven months.

I mean, that guy on the XX commercials has NOTHING on Tony Oliva.

Have a good one everybody and good night Pumpsie Green, wherever you are!


  1. I am a HUGE Tony Oliva fan! I paid HUGE to get his rookie, you got a GREAT deal! The '69 for 50 cents is sweet too! My card shop has some good cards, but he is strictly Beckett price on everything. If it is creased badly he will go 50% off, if you spend over 200 bucks you get 25% off. I have treated myself to a few cards this month since I have worked so many extra shifts. I paid big, but my collection is happier. He does hook me up with cards that rippers leave on the table sometimes. If I have a day off he gives me cards in exchange for sorting/collating '70s commons. When I see you guys post about 50 cent boxes, I get SO jealous! My shop has boxes to sort through, but after I pick everything I want out of the box-then the Beckett comes out. I hate the Beckett!!!

  2. h, indeed that Oliva card was loved! Some kid's hero.

    I don't know why they don't sort those cards in that 5000 card box into players. Are they really so busy? If I owned a card shop everything would be meticulously detailed. I know I buy more when things are ordered and clearly cared for, so others probably do too.

    I just wish I had a card shop to visit! The only one nearby was always high Beckett book before it closed down. And his claim to fame was that he had the only card store in the state that specializes in commons. High book on those too.