Friday, July 31, 2009

Bobby Shantz as the original Tim Lincecum

First, I have to apologize to Mr. Shantz for making a reference to his size in the title. I recently finished his 1953 bio The Bobby Shantz Story, and he's pretty adamant about the fact that he doesn't want people to focus on his size because he is, first and foremost, a ballplayer, and a heck of a ballplayer at that. However, the media is constantly talking about the 5' 11'' "Tiny" Tim and how he's overcome his diminutive size to be a dominant force among the big boys. Shantz, by comparison, is 5' 6''. That's right, "Tiny" Tim has about 1/2 a foot on Mr. Shantz, so make of that what you will.

What this post is about is the really awesome player and person that Bobby Shantz is. As a player his finest years were perhaps 1951 and 1952. Playing for the A's in 1952, Shantz went 24-7 with a 2.48 ERA and 1.048 WHIP. He sported a 159 ERA+. Dude was flat out dominant and won the MVP that year pretty handily over second place Allie Reynolds. In the bio he talks about persistent back troubles that nag him in his ascent to the Majors, and I'm guessing that those and other injuries plagued him, limiting his starts over the ensuing years.

Shantz remained a force for the rest of his career. For example, in 1957 he has traded to the Yankis, and he went 11-5 with a 2.45 ERA, and the best ERA+ in the league at 147. In other words, one of the best, most effective pitchers in the league. My dad remembers Shantz pitching for the Yanks in those years, and says he was awesome.

For his career he finished 119-99 with a 3.38 ERA and 119 ERA+. He was also a 3x All-Star and 8x Gold Glove winner.

He's feature prominently in two bios of the A's great and HOFer Charles Albert Bender. Bender was Shantz's pitching coach in 1951, leading up to the phenomenal 1952 season, and was a great mentor and influence. As Bender's health deteriorated in 1954, Shantz wrote him a touching letter, the complete text of which is unfortunately not on-line (lines here).

Since I am a HUGE Bender fan, I decided to write Mr. Shantz and request an auto. I grabbed a '52 Topps from his MVP season and hoped for the best. He sent it back in record time and I am very thankful!
I also sent him a small sheet with a few questions about his career, again hoping for the best. Mr. Shantz came through much bigger than I could have reasonably expected. I asked him for his favorite memory of "Chief" Bender, and he wrote the following:

"Chief Bender and I always went fishing together at West Palm Beach, where we had Spring Training. Chief was a very fine pitching coach and a great fisherman!"

I hope Mr. Shantz doesn't mind my sharing that. At any rate, it was incredible to receive those words from such an amazing player and person who is directly linked to one of my favorite players, Bender. I am also now a HUGE fan of Mr. Shantz. Many thanks, sir! That really made my day.

On a personal note, in-laws are leaving tomorrow and I'll be getting to handing out more overdue "thank you"'s. Have a good one!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Jonny Gomes and the invention of lost history

OK, so I'm back safe and sound from Iowa. It's been an eventful few days here at CCC, but instead of throwing it all out at once in a unintelligible rush I'll go more or less chronologically. Which leads me to the Cubs game last Friday at Wrigley Field.

Daddy D of error card fame decided to treat the compa and me to a ball game in Chicago while were in IA, being only a short drive away. And yes, ANY ball game is a GREAT ball game, and ANY ball game at Wrigley is SPECTACULAR, and being with family is awesome, but....

The Reds were in town, which meant I got to see Jonny Gomes. As a fan I watched Jonny come through Durham and bounce back and forth with TB, and I can say he's a real pleasure to watch. He's generally excited about something, he swings a 3-foot piece of rebar in the on-deck circle, and exudes a genuine enjoyment for the game.

He is one of the most important players in the history of the Rays franchise, although I get the feeling the 20 years from now most Rays fans will have forgotten how/why he is important. Well, we all remember that going in to last year the Rays were no good, by which I mean although their minor league system was loaded and successful, the big club wasn't getting anywhere. Despite their immense talent, in the best of times they were patsies for the Yankis and Red Sox. Without getting overly analytical, there was psychological barrier to their running with those teams, and those teams pushed them around pretty forcefully as a result.

Step in Jonny Gomes. During spring training last year another Durham alum, Elliot Johnson, broke the wrist of a Yanki minor leaguer in a play at the plate. Antics ensued, and a few days later Yanki Shelley Duncan spiked the Rays' Akinori Iwamura going into second. Even if one thought the former play was questionable, there's no doubt the latter was outright dirty. Gomes flew out of the dugout and, as they say, kicked ass and took names in the defense of his teammate.

Later in the regular season, when Red Sox Coco Crisp went after the Rays' James Shields, Gomes once again led the charge, landing several haymakers. There's been a lot of talk that Gomes was punching a defenseless Crisp, but my take on it is this: there are baseball fights where the idiot batter charges the mound and the dugouts empty only because they have to; and then there are brawls where a hit batter is much more an excuse for teams who genuinely don't like each other to get after it. Read the write up in the link above: this one was all-out and ugly. And let's not forget, the night before Crisp had done some rather ill-advised mouthing off and threw an elbow into Iwamura on a routine steal, so he had pretty much challenged the Rays to kick his ass. CC even got in a few punches according to the write up.

Anyway, by leading the charge Gomes served notice the Rays were for real and could compete with anyone. I'm not a fan of physical violence, but it's always been a part of sports, and the shady underside of baseball in particular, from Ty Cobb to Bob Gibson to Pedro Martinez. By going after them, Gomes showed the Rays weren't going to take that kind of crap anymore. And if people did try to intimidate them, well...Gomes would be in their nightmares.

Which leads me back to Gomes and the game at Wrigley. The Durham Bulls changed unis after last season so they sold off all their old, smelly, game used togs in March. I was lucky enough to score Gomes's jersey from last year, when he was with the Bulls biding time between stints with the Rays. I'm not a big memorabilia guy, but this was Gomes's jersey! I went to the game early while the compa and her dad went for beers (Cubs fans!) and waited around while the players stretched out.

Now, I hate being a creepy auto-grubbing adult. It seems like almost no one signs at the park anymore, and I noticed on the back of the tix to my last Twins game it says that MLB policy is that players WON'T sign at the park.

But I was only interested in Gomes. Not Votto, not Bruce, not Lee, nor Ramirez. Just Gomes. Gomes was shagging flies in LF during BP, so I went on the left field line. He seemed to have adjusted to life in the NL and was regularly tossing balls up into the LF stands, warming up the crowd over there, etc. Things wound down and he started to jog in, so I called his name and held up the jersey. He came over and I told him how much I enjoyed watching him in Durham. He kinda smiled, signed the jersey, and jogged on in.
I didn't grow up in a big league town so, despite my age, ball players are still like icons for me, and I'm sure I sounded like a complete idiot. Like the compa says, it's more proof she's married to a 12 year old.

Anyway, Jonny was really cool and I can't thank him enough for signing the jersey, especially since players don't do that too much anymore and MLB apparently discourages it. It's a great sig, and a great memory of one of the most important players in the Rays' rise to prominence. I hope I'll see him again one day at a Rays old timers event or something, because the organization as well as the fans owe him a lot of thanks.

So, I'm off for beers with the Daddy D and the compa. Jonny, the first beer is for you!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Overdue Thanks

First up, from a pretty nice trade from gritz76, 1979 Topps Fergie "Fly" Jenkins looking pretty fly. I pulled this card because of the devil may care attitude Fergie sports on the upper steps of the dugout. Good to know the dude could relax, b/c between the lines Fly Jenkins was all business. Also one of the greatest Canadian pitchers ever.
Next up, stunning 2009 Finest Carl Crawford Refractor from Ryan's Memorabilia blog. Sir, I am in your debt. This is the only 2009 Finest I own, much less the only refractor, and it's a sweet card. I like how the scan gave it a rainbow effect.
Keeping with the Crawford theme, this 2008 Allen & Ginter Bat card from the Capt'n over at Waxaholic. Let's face facts: Allen & Ginter is sweet. Not sweet enough to make me give up my addiction to vintage, but really, really sweet. I like how you can still touch the bat chip even though it's on a card in the frame. Very, very cool.
Finally, in a package of 1986 Topps needs from Chris at I got a 1976 Buddy Bell Father and Sons Card as a surprise.
Coincidentally, the Capt'n had sent me the same card, since it was a need from my 1976 set. The packages arrived on the same day. This story on the back of this card makes you want to cry.
He was on the verge of quitting baseball?!? His dad drove from Cincy to Sarasota to convince him to tough it out?!? Not the type of stuff you usually get from athletes.

Anyway, many thanks to all of you for your kindness and generosity. Looking forward to more trades and exchanges in the future!

And on that note, tomorrow I'm heading to heaven, er, Iowa for a few days, so the blog will be on a brief hiatus. Peace, and have a great one!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Ernie Banks: Fashion Icon

Among the greatest baseball bar debates out there, once you get past stat debates (obp vs avg vs woba) and greatest player debates (CC, duh), you finally get to the one that matters: hat straight or hat jauntily askew.

Ladies and gentlemen, if we look closely at 1956 Topps Ernie Banks, I think the issue is definitively settled in favor of "jauntily askew."
Other than being an early card of one of the greatest players of all-time and an all around great guy, this is also proof that Mr. Banks was way ahead of the fashion curve. Admittedly, his hat is on straighter than the headgears of guys like CC Sabathia or Juan Pierre, but his hat is at least 10 degrees from straight. Therefore we can put Mr. Banks at the forefront of a trend that annoys high school teachers and baseball purists everywhere.

We must give Mr. Banks his due and recognize his influence in ALL spheres of the game, from hard hitting shortstops to fashionable placement of one's haberdashery. Well done, sir.

And here's the back, because '56s are awesome.
Tomorrow night: a long post thanking folks for helping me with sets and the CC collection!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Hank Aaron baseball cards: What if?

OK, so, I'll say I'm not sure if Hammering Hank (or Bad Henry according to BB reference) was the best ever, but he's definitely in the conversation. I will say, however, that this Kmart card is at least tied for best action shot on an Aaron card with the '73 Topps being the only other of which I'm aware.
I know, it's not an "original" Hank, but it predates recycling yesteryear's starts into ginormous base sets to move product. In 1982 Hank had only been retired for 6 years and was elected to the HOF, so he still very much current.

When you think about it, it's pretty strange that Hank doesn't have a single action shot on any of his "original cards" beyond the 1972 "In action" and the above mentioned '73. 1956 is a great card, but it's more of a painting. And in the '73 he's playing first base. And in '72 he's rounding the bases. Why no shots of Aaron at the plate!?!

My guess is (and those who know can correct me or affirm this) is that '73 is really the first year that "action shots" were incorporated into the bb-card repertoire. I've thought a lot about it and, other than the '72 In action subset, there are no action (or very few) before 1973. So in '73 we have Aaron at first field a pop-up.

Part two is that someone at Topps didn't like Hank breaking Ruth's record in 1974, and that comes from my dad, not me. There is a 1976 record breaker of Aaron at bat, but it looks like he's taken a check swing. Hardly the beautiful, awe-inspiring stuff you see courtesy of Kmart. I don't necessarily believe this, but I certainly can't explain the absence of "Hank taking a heroic swing" card other wise.

If anyone else has any explanation, I'm all ears!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Recent Packages: I'm not lazy, I'm roofing

My neighbor is awesome and a contractor to boot, so he's helping me shore up some places on the roof. About 25 feet in the air.

It's not the work so much as the sheer terror of being on top of a scaffold, gently swaying in the wind, and mustering up the force required to pry nails out of the roof. I am mentally, physically, and emotionally exhausted. It's tough moving to a new area, being that high in the air, and trying to discuss the All-Star game whilst tamping down the gut sputtering fear of breaking your neck.

It sounds like no big deal but believe me, 25 feet is high.

Anyway, have a great weekend and hopefully these will be up later tomorrow night or Monday! I'm this close to the '86 and '76 sets!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

We interrupt the CC lovefest for more '76 Topps

I've fallen way behind on posting highlights from the '76 Topps set and Bruce Kison is not amused. What's more he's a pitcher who's put on a batting helmet, so we know he means business. Seriously, have you ever seen a pitcher wearing a batting helmet look so menacing on a card? They usually look like someone put a dead fish in their hair. Kison looks like he's questioning your right to exist in his space.

Luis Tiant wrote in to say the earth is off its axis (link to project 1976). My lord, why didn't they make Dock Ellis's card look like this? Or even better, put Doc Ellis on this card and say he's Luis Tiant. I mean, if there's one pitcher I associate with the bending of space and time, aside from Charles Bender, it's Dock Ellis. If you don't already know, click the last "Dock Ellis" to find out. Say "hi" to Alice for me, and stay away from that rabbit.
And Dave Winfield is here to save us all. He's larger than life, and making sure the monsters off to the right stay where they are supposed to. See monsters? Dave has a bat and a mean homerun swing. He looks more Capt'n America than Mr. May. He's the only thing standing between us and a deep blue apocalypse. Thank you Dave! And if you go on to be a Yanki, well, I guess no one's perfect.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Carl Crawford, not just the greatest player ever...

Just kidding. But as you can imagine, last night was pretty exciting times here at CCC headquarters. Next time I see Granderson leg out a triple the image of him doing so with a baseball card sandwich board will be inescapable. Crawford stealing home? Sandwich board.

And as Ricky pointed out in the comments section, if the metric is All-Star game MVP awards, I think we have the beginnings of a solid case for best player ever. At the least he's better than Aaron. I mean c'mon, he was NEVER MVP of the All-Star game!

Anyway, if you have a minute and can get your hands on it, check out the latest issue of Little League Magazine. Yep, that's Carl on the cover. I've been trying to find the content online, but there's a nice little article about him in there, and it mentions how he's a spokesman for RBI Baseball as well as a supporter of Little League in Houston and Tampa. Bay. On his role as a ball player he says, "I just want to play and hope somebody sees me and decides to play because of it." Very cool stuff.

And despite the apparent surprise in the media, last night wasn't Carl's first rodeo:

Congratulations Carl!

All-Star Game MVP.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Bar Debates: Death of an American Genre

I thought the All-Star Game "This Time It Counts," brought to you by a one minutes Taco Bell commercial, "they're all about the Roosevelts," would be an appropriate moment to throw out a word or two on the death of argumentation in the US, the highest form of which was once the drunken bar debate. Seriously. Only a scant few years ago, if you wanted to say that Hank Aaron was the greatest player ever, you had better back that up with facts, man.

Now, however, the line of argument runs something like this:
1) Hank Aaron is the greatest baseball player ever.
2) People who do not agree with #1 are filthy ignoramuses.
3) The author of CCC is a filthy ignoramus.

I know, that's ridiculous, but that basic formulation seems to be the bedrock of most political discourse in the country and it has infected everything from Congressional hearings to ESPN. Opinions are passed off as facts and ideological labels are used to bludgeon dialogue into neat little boxes from which no real thought can escape.

People talk past each other and no one listens. There is no argument because no one is trying to prove anything. Debatable issues are presented as non-negotiable facts, adjectives standing in for entire arguments. The attitude is that if you are on the opposite side of the aisle from me you have nothing to contribute to the conversation because my logic, as outlined above, is fairly airtight. Instead of teasing out different issues and trying to get to the bottom of things, answering questions like "By what standard is Aaron best player ever?," anyone who questions #1 is automatically thrust into the category of undesirables.

I think the reason a lot of sportswriters feel threatened by the blogosphere is that they have been blogging, in print, for quite some time, just spouting half-baked opinions without backing them up. Their only claim to authority is that they are in print and blogs aren't. Note that you don't hear people who cover politics carping in a similar fashion. They all just started blogging. The comments sections on those things are full of idiots spewing venom at each other that they'd never have the cajones to say around their mother, much less to the faces of the people they are throwing it at.

Which brings me back to bar arguments. When I was younger I used to genuinely like throwing back a few beers and hammering at different political issues with folks I knew. These days that's all preempted by the tripartite argument above. No one argues openly and honestly with anyone else because anyone who disagrees with them is the ignorant spawn of Satan.

And means we'll never hammer out who's the best baseball player ever, much less the more important issues of the day.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Keith Comstock and the Unbreakable Record

Today I was going to post about how tonight there is no baseball, and how that's depressing, and how Bud Selig is the devil with his transparent "This time it counts" All-Star game that, with guys like Tim "I'm the first 4.00+ ERA All-Star in History" Wakefield on the roster, will never even be an exceptional exhibition, and how insane it is that people are still using stats like wins/losses to show how effective a given pitcher is.

But then I got home and between comments on the blog and emails there were several folks interested in helping me with the '86 Topps set. It's the little things, and that really made an otherwise gloomy, baseball-less day great.

So I bring you the tale of Keith Comstock, whose record of two error cards in four years is as unlikely to be broken as Johnny Vander Meer's record of two consecutive no-hitters. His mustache is second only to that of Rollie Fingers, whose handle bars live an infamy and still are good for giggles now and then even.

First up: 1988 Topps.
I know, I know, as error cards go these are pretty tame. The color of the lettering is different. Hooray! But then, the 1991 Comstocks:
Oh yes, this is a great looking card on its own, but check out Comstock pitching for the Cubs! The color scheme works even better than the Mariners card. Nice piece of serendipity there.

And once again, thanks to everyone who's offering to help with the '86 Topps. I'll keep the list updated as folks tell me what they have!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Phil Garner and the No Good, Very Bad Day

Where does one even begin in talking about what's wrong with this card? My only guess is that someone at Donruss (now Donnini) really had a thing for old Scrap Iron. I know it was 1982 and that computers where the size of small warehouses and there was no instant access to every baseball stat ever on the intertoobs but still... who was asleep at the wheel on this one? Did they have a few glasses of wine before putting this one together? At any rate, their mind was obviously elsewhere.

Seriously, how many errors can you find on this thing in it's amazing, headsplitting, earth shattering errorness?

Once again, thx to Daddy D for this card I'd never even seen before last week.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Crawford Collection: The Ongoing Quest

As of February 25, 2013, more or less 698, I lose count. If it's not on the list I probably don't know it exists, just drop me a line and keep me informed.

Many thanks to those folks who have helped me along!


Topps Traded, #T75
Topps Traded Auto, #T75
Topps Traded Chrome, #T75

Team Best, #16

Bowman Chrome, #231
Bowman Chrome, #231 xfractor
Bowman Chrome, Gold Refractor /99

Bowman, #280
Bowman, #280 gold
Bowman, #FOF-CC jersey relic
Bowman Draft Picks, #BD139
Bowman Draft Picks, #BDP139 Gold
Bowman Chrome Draft Picks, #BDP139
Bowman Chrome Draft Picks Refractor, #BDP139 /300
Bowman Chrome Draft Picks Xfractor, #BDP139 /150
Bowman Chrome Draft Picks Gold Refractor, #BDP /50
Donruss, #503 Team Heroes
Fleer Tradition, #U12 Diamond Debuts
Fleer Tradition, #U96
Fleer Tradition, #U96 Glossy /200
Just Minors, #8
Topps Stadium Club, #108 (Throwing from OF)
Topps Stadium Club, #108 (Batting)
Upper Deck, #30 Star Rookie
Upper Deck Dream Moments, #127 (thx Paper Chase!)
Upper Deck Diamond Connection, #595
Upper Deck Ovation, #146
Upper Deck SPX, #217
Upper Deck Victory, #600

Bowman, #25
Bowman, #25 (gold)
Bowman, #25 /250 (uncirculated silver)
Bowman, Futures Games jersey relic, #FG-CC
Bowman, Prospect Premiers bat relic #PP-CC 
Bowman Chrome, #25
Bowman Heritage, #111
Bowman Heritage, #111 black border
Donruss Team Heroes, #503
Disabled Veterans of America, #8 (Stadium Giveaway)
Fleer, #137
Fleer, Wave of the Future, #WOFG-CC /100 jersey
Fleer Double Header, #85 (thx Wicked!)
Fleer Platinum Prospects, #231
Fleer Tradition, #107
Fleer Showcase, #107
Fleer Ultra, #62 (thx Priceless Pursuit!)
Leaf, #82
Topps, # 325 Future Stars w/ Hamilton
Topps, #325 Future Stars w/ Hamilton Gold /2003
Topps, Future Phenoms #FP-CDC bat
Topps Finest, #33
Topps Gallery, #69
Topps Heritage, #149
Topps Heritage Chrome, THC46 /1954
Topps Pristine, #23
Topps Pristine,, #23 gold refractor /69
Topps Pristine, Bomb Squad Bat relic, #PBS-CC
Topps Total, #848
Topps 205, #4
Topps 205 Mini, #4 (Sovereign)
Topps 205 Mini, #4 (Polar Bear)
Topps 206, #363
Topps 206 Mini, #363 (Sweet Corporal) (thx Wicked!) 
Upper Deck, #78
Upper Deck #278 (thx FOC!)
Upper Deck, #109 Game Face
Upper Deck First Pitch, #30
Upper Deck 40 Man, #89
Upper Deck MVP, #199
Upper Deck MVP, gold #199 /125
Upper Deck Ovation, #78
Upper Deck Outstanding, #S-78 mini (thx FOC!)
Upper Deck UD Patch Collection, #108
Upper Deck SP Authentic, #11
Upper Deck SPX, #113
Upper Deck Superstars, #181
Upper Deck Sweet Spot, #118
Upper Deck Victory, #91 Black
Upper Deck Victory, #91 Green
Upper Deck Vintage, #64

Bazooka, #138
Bazooka Sticker, #27 w/ Gagne, Guillen, Finley
Bazooka, Bazooka Blasts bat relic #BB-CC
Bowman #56 (thx Priceless Pursuit!)
Bowman Gold, #56
Bowman Chrome, #56
Bowman Chrome, gold refractor #56 /50
Bowman Heritage, #78
Bowman Heritage, black and white, #78 
Cracker Jack, #98
Cracker Jack Sticker, #98
Cracker Jack, #98 blue
Donruss, #189
Donruss, #298 Team Checklist
Donruss, #WS-163
Donruss Elite, #62
Donruss Elite, #62 Extra Edition /250 die cut
Donruss Leather and Lumber, #139
Donruss Throwback Threads, #183
Donruss Team Heroes, #404 /150
Fleer, #74
Fleer Tradition, #421
Fleer Tradition, #421 glossy /100
Fleer Ultra, #62
Fleer Ultra, #62 Gold Medallion die cut
Fleer Platinum, #180 Unsung Heroes
Leaf, #82
Leaf, Second Edition #82
Leaf, Extra Edition, #62 die cut /250
Leaf, Press Proof #82
Leaf Certified Cuts, #186
Leaf Certified Materials, #34
Leaf Limited, Spotlight #239 /100
Playoff Prestige, #181
Playoff Prestige, Rainbow #181 /150
Skybox Limited Edition, #74 (thx Wicked!)
Topps, #497
Topps, All-Star Stitches #ASR-CC jersey
Topps, First Edition #497
Topps, Gold #497 /2004
Topps Chrome, #273
Topps Chrome, #273 Refractor
Topps Chrome, #273 Black Refractor
Topps Chrome, #273 Gold Refractor
Topps Opening Day, #127 (thx FOC)
Topps Total, #660
Topps Heritage, #284
Upper Deck, #454
Upper Deck Origins, Play Ball auto, #CC1
Upper Deck Play Ball, #123 red
Upper Deck Play Ball, #123 blue
Upper Deck, USA Baseball #usa-40 (thx FOC)

Bazooka, #16
Bazooka, #160 (thx FOC)
Bowman, #108
Bowman, #108 First Edition
Bowman Gold, #108
Bowman Chrome, #108
Bowman Chrome, #108 refractor
Bowman Heritage, #131
Bowman Heritage, #131 mahogany
Cracker Jack, #21 sticker
Cracker Jack Auto, #SSA-CC
Donruss, #346
Donruss, #346 Career Stat Lines /283
Donruss, #PG-48 /60
Donruss Classics, #13
Donruss Classics, Timeless Tributes #13 /100
Donruss Diamond Kings, #221 (black and white)
Donruss Diamond Kings, #221 (color)
Donruss Diamond Kings, #221 Red Frame
Donruss Diamond Kings, #221 jersey /50 (thx Joe!)
Donruss Diamond Kings, #221 jersey /100 (thx Joe!)
Donruss Diamond Kings, #221 jersey /200
Donruss Diamond Kings, #221 autojersey /10 (thx Joe!)
Donruss Diamond Kings, Gallery of Stars #GS-5 /100 jersey
Donruss Elite, #138
Donruss Elite, #138 die cut 13/87 (thx Troll!)
Donruss Leather and Lumber, #21
Donruss Leather and Lumber, #21 /100
Donruss Studio, #269
Donruss Studio, Studio Proof #269 /100
Donruss Studio, #DC-20 Diamond Cuts /250 die cut
Donruss Studio, #DC-20 Diamond Cuts /1250
Donruss Studio, #SP-13 /35 (b/w, blue)
Donruss Studio, #SP-13 /35 (color/salmon)
Donruss Studio, #SP-13 /35 (b/w, salmon)
Donruss Studio, #SP-13 /40 (b/w, salmon)
Donruss Studio, #SP-13 /40 (color/blue)
Donruss Studio, #SP-13 /40 (color/grey)
Donruss Studio, #SP-13 /50 (b/w, salmon)
Donruss Studio, #SP-13 /50 (color/salmon)
Donruss Team Heroes, #303
Donruss Timeless Treasures, #13 /799
Donruss Throwback Threads, #163
Donruss Zenith, Gold #16
Donruss Zenith Silver, #16
Fleer, #24
Fleer Authentic, #24
Fleer Authentic, #24 General Admission /100
Fleer Classic Clippings, #33
Fleer Patchworks, #56
Fleer Platinum, #70
Fleer Platinum Lumberjacks, #15 LJ (thx Daddy D)
Fleer Platinum Lumberjacks, bat relic, LJ/CC /250
Fleer Showcase, #66
Fleer (Tradition?), #274
Fleer Ultra, #16
Fleer Ultra, #16 Gold Medallion
Leaf, #113
Leaf #187
Leaf Certified Materials, #22
MLB Showdown, no # (thx FOC)
Playoff Absolute Memorabilia, #14 Blue
Playoff Absolute Memorabilia, #14 Gold
Playoff Prestige, #13
Playoff Prestige, #PP-84 Prestigious Pros /700
Playoff Prestige, #PP-84 Prestigious Pros /900
Skybox Autographics, #52
Topps, #42
Topps, First Edition #42
Topps Chrome, #42
Topps Chrome, #42 refractor
Topps Chrome, #42 black refractor /225
Topps Finest, #20
Topps Finest, #20 Blue Refractor /299
Topps Finest, #20 Xfractor /250
Topps Heritage, #32
Topps Heritage, #TN9 Then and Now
Topps Opening Day, #42
Topps Pack Wars, #36 (thx FOC)
Topps Total, #80
Topps Total, #27 (checklist)
Topps Turkey Red, #152
Topps Turkey Red, White #152
Upper Deck, #497 Team Checklist
Upper Deck, #192 (thx Wicked!)
Upper Deck ESPN, #83
Upper Deck First Pitch, #192
Upper Deck MLB Artifacts, #17
Upper Deck MLB Artifacts, #17 red /50
Upper Deck Artifacts, #17 blue /100
Upper Deck Origins, #13
Upper Deck Origins, #68
Upper Deck Origins, #68 sepia /99
Upper Deck Origins, Old Judge auto, #CC
Upper Deck Pros and Prospects, #34 (thx Baseball Dad!)
Upper Deck Reflections, #21 (thx Baseball Dad!)
Upper Deck Reflections, #CC-CP w/ Scott Podsednik dual jersey, /225
Upper Deck Reflections, #CC-CP w/ Scott Podsednik dual jersey, /50
Upper Deck, SP Authentic #18
Upper Deck SP Authentic Auto, #18
Upper Deck SP Authentic jersey, #18, /99 (thx Wicked!)
Upper Deck Trilogy, #15
Upper Deck Ultimate Collection, #17 /475
Upper Deck Update, #17

Allen & Ginter, #223
Allen & Ginter, #223 mini
Bazooka, #108
Bazooka, #108 Gold
Bazooka, Rewind #BR-CC bat relic 
Bazooka Stickers, #3 Checklist w/ Wells, Stewart, Hunter
Bowman, #152
Bowman Blue Parallel, #152 /500
Bowman Chrome, #152
Bowman Chrome, #152 refractor
Bowman Chrome, #152 gold refractor, /50
Bowman Heritage, #43
Bowman Heritage, #43 mini
Bowman Heritage, #43 foil (thc Card Addict!)
Bowman Originals, #15
Bowman Originals, #15, Black Border /99
Bowman Originals, 2003 Bowman Heritage Buyback Auto, /5
Bowman Originals, 2002 Bowman Chrome Buyback Auto, /14
Bowman Originals, 2001 Bowman Chrome Buyback Auto, /18
Bowman Originals, 2000 Bowman Buyback Auto, /40
Fleer, #113
Fleer, #TL26 w/Kazmir
Fleer Tradition, #60
Fleer Ultra, #50 (thx Barrell!)
Fleer Ultra, #50 (gold)
Topps, #5
Topps, gold #5 /2006
Topps, black border, #5 /55
Topps, #UH205 League Leaders w/ Figgins, Ichiro
Topps, gold #UH205 League Leaders w/ Figgins, Ichiro /2006
Topps, #UH311 Team Leaders w/ Kazmir
Topps, gold #UH311 Team Leaders w/ Kazmir /2006
Topps Chrome, #3
Topps Chrome, Red Refractor #3 /90
Topps Co-Signers, #81
Topps Co-Signers, #81 Duo A Orange /125 (Huff) 
Topps Co-Signers, #81 Duo B Red /25 (Kazmir)
Topps Co-Signers, #81 Duo B Gold /50 (Kazmir)
Topps Co-Signers, #81 Duo B Copper /125 (Kazmir)
Topps Co-Signers, #81 Duo C Brown Refractor /75 (Lugo)
Topps Co-Signers, #80 Duo A /75 Brown Refractor (Kazmir)
Topps Co-Signers, #89 Duo B /125 Brown (Huff)
Topps Finest, #127 Refractor /399
Topps Finest, #127 Xfractor /50
Topps Finest, #127 Xfractor /250
Topps Gallery, #147
Topps Gallery, #147 Proof (thx Beardy!)
Topps Heritage, #CC-CC bat relic
Topps Heritage, #52 ('51 mini)
Topps Opening Day, #5
Topps Triple Threads, #94
Topps Triple Threads, #82 /1350 (thx Joe!)
Topps Triple Threads, #82 Brown /525 (thx Joe!)
Topps Turkey Red, #373
Topps Tukey Red, #373 White
Topps Turkey Red, #373 Red
Topps Turkey Red, #TR-CC Cabinet Card
Topps 2000 Wall-Mart Exclusive, #WM29
Upper Deck, #67
Upper Deck, #67 /50
Upper Deck #438
Upper Deck, #438 purple /150
Upper Deck, #879 Team Checklist
Upper Deck, #1247 Team Checklist
Upper Deck, #SB-4 Speed to Burn
Upper Deck Artifacts, #87
Upper Deck Artifacts, #MLB-CA jersey /150
Upper Deck Artifacts, AL Artifacts, #AL-CC /325
Upper Deck Artifacts, AL Artifacts, #AL-CC /250
Upper Deck First Pitch, #188
Upper Deck Ovation, #25
Upper Deck Ovation Gold, #25 /499
Upper Deck Ovation, Ovation Apparel #OA-CC
Upper Deck Special Effects Materials, #SM-CC
Upper Deck SP Authentic, Baseball Heroes, SPAH-5
Upper Deck SP Authentic, Baseball Heroes, SPAH-62 (with Gomes and Cantu)
Upper Deck SPX, #89
Upper Deck SPX, SPXtra Info #XI-CC (thx WickedOrtega!)
UD Sweet Spot auto, #SS-CC, /299 (ball)
UD Sweet Spot auto, #SS-CC, /20 (glove)
Upper Deck Sweet Spot, #30
Upper Deck Sweet Spot, #89
Upper Deck Ultimate Collection, #89 /799

Allen & Ginter, #16
Allen & Ginter Mini, #16
Allen & Ginter Black Border Mini, #16
Allen & Ginter mini, Bazooka back /25
Allen & Ginter, AGR-CC Bat Relic (thx Daddy D)
Bowman, #60
Bowman Orange, #60 /250 (thx Captain!)
Bowman's Best, #13 (thx Great Sports Name HOF!)
Bowman's Best, #13 blue /99
Bowman's Best, #13 green /249
Bowman Chrome, #60
Bowman Chrome, #60 Refractor
Bowman Chrome, #60 x-fractor /250
Bowman Chrome, #60 Blue Refractor /150
Bowman Chrome, #60 Gold Refractor /50
Bowman Heritage, #160
Bowman Heritage Refractor, #160
Bowman Heritage, #SG-CC (auto)
Disabled Veterans of America, #162 (Stadium Giveaway)
Fleer, #34
Fleer, Perfect 10 #PA-CC
Fleer, #397 Team Checklist
Fleer Ultra, #176
Fleer Ultra, #176 shiny
Fleer Ultra, Feel the Game, #FG-CR
Fleer Ultra, #DM-CC /75 dual jersey
Goudey Mini Green Back, #165
Goudey Mini Red Back, #165
Goudey Graphs Auto, #GG-CC
Topps, #189
Topps, #UH-250 All-Star
Topps, #UH-250 All-Star (red back)
Topps, gold #UH-250 All-Star /2007
Topps, #UH 280 Classic Combos w/ Carlos Guillen
Topps, #UH-280 Classic Combos w/ Carlos Guillen (red back)
Topps, #UH 283 Classic Combos w/ Victor Martinez
Topps, gold #UH 283 Classic Combos w/ Victor Martinez
Topps Chrome, #85
Topps Chrome, #85 Refractor
Topps Chrome, #85 Xfractor
Topps Co-signers, #28
Topps Co-Signers, #28 red /75 (w/ Cantu)
Topps Co-Signers, #28 orange /175 (w/ Cantu)
Topps Co-Signers, #28 red /75 (w/ Baldelli)
Topps Co-Signers, #28 silver /250 (w/ Baldelli)
Topps Co-Signers, #28 brown /275 (w/ Baldelli)
Topps Co-Signers, #66 brown /299 (w/ Kazmir)
Topps Finest, #98
Topps Finest, #66 (?)
Topps Finest, Finest Moments #RFM-CC
Topps Finest, Finest Moments, #RFM-CC /299
Topps Heritage, #103
Topps, Opening Day #193
Topps, Opening Day, #193 /2007
Topps Triple Thread, /1350 (thx Baseball Dad!)
Topps Turkey Red, #58
Upper Deck, #44
Upper Deck, #210
Upper Deck, #974
Upper Deck Series 1, #UD-CC jersey
Upper Deck Series 2, #UD-CC jersey
Upper Deck Series 2, Cooperstown Calling, #CC-CC
Upper Deck Black, #PB-CC auto /50
Upper Deck, #MVP45 MVP Potential
Upper Deck Elements, #38
Upper Deck Element, #80
Upper Deck Elements, #122
Upper Deck First Edition, #146 (thx Play at the Plate)
Upper Deck First Edition, Pennant Chasers #PC-CC
Upper Deck Future Stars, #90
Upper Deck MLB Artifacts, #28
Upper Deck Artifacts, #AA-CC /199
Upper Deck Artifacts, #MLB-CC Gold Edition
Upper Deck Divisional Artifacts, #DA-CC no #
Upper Deck Divisional Artifacts, #DA-CC /199
Upper Deck SP Authentic, #91
Upper Deck SP Authentic, #AS-8 Authentic Speed
Upper Deck SP Rookie Edition, #91
Upper Deck Spectrum, #39
Upper Deck SPX, #39 die-cut
Upper Deck SPX, Winning Material patch, /99
Upper Deck Triple Play, #TP-CC (thx FOC)
Upper Deck Ultimate Collection, #91 /50 jersey

Allen & Ginter, #340
Allen & Ginter, #340 mini
Allen & Ginter, #340 Ginter back mini
Allen & Ginter Jersey Relic, #AGR-CC1
Allen & Ginter Bat Relic, #AGR-CC2
Allen & Ginter, #AGA-CC auto
Bowman, #21
Bowman, #21 Gold
Bowman Chrome. #20
Bowman Chrome, #20 Refractor
Bowman Chrome, #20 Blue Refractor /150
Bowman Chrome, #20 Gold Refractor /50
Bowman Chrome, #20 Orange Refractor /25
Goudey, #177
Goudey, #177 mini /88
Goudey, #177 mini /34
Goudey, #M-CC (thanks Wicked!)
Topps, #345
Topps, #345 gold /2008
Topps, silk /50
Topps, #HR-CC, jersey (thanks Noboru and Cate!)
Topps, #HR-CC, pants (thx Joe!)
Topps, #CPR-CC AS jersey patch, /539 (thx Wicked!)
Topps Co-Signers, #17
Topps Co-Signers, #17 plaid green /25
Topps Co-Signers, #17 plaid blue /50
Topps Co-Signers, #17 green /200
Topps Co-Signers, #17 blue /250
Topps Co-Signers, #17 copper /300
Topps Co-Signers, #17, plaid copper /75 (w/ Baldelli)
Topps Co-Signers, #17 plaid red /100 (w/ Baldelli)
Topps Co-Signers, #17 gold /150 (w/ Baldelli)
Tops Co-Signers, #17 green /200 (w/ Baldelli)
Topps Co-Signers, #17 orange /300 (w/ Baldelli)
Topps Co-Signers, #17 red /400 (w/ Baldelli)
Topps Chrome, #86
Topps Chrome, #86 Refractor
Topps Chrome, #86 Xfractor
Topps Chrome, #86 Bronze refractor /599
Topps Finest, #98
Topps Finest, #98 Refractor
Topps Finest Red, #98 /25
Topps Finest Gold, #98 /50
Topps Finest Black, #98 /99
Topps Finest Green, #98 /199
Topps Finest Blue, #98 /299
Topps Heritage, #352
Topps Hritage, #CC-CC jersey
Topps Heritage Chrome, #137 /1959
Topps Opening Day, #187
Topps Opening Day White, #187 /2199 (thx Baseball Dad!)
Topps Moments and Milestones, #47 (39 0f 50 cards)
Topps Stadium Club, #31
Topps Stadium Club First Day Issue, #31 /599
Topps Year in Review, YR #120 (thx gritz76)
Upper Deck, #664
Upper Deck, #759 Team Checklist
Upper Deck, #784 Season Highlight
Upper Deck, #784 gold Season Highlight /99
Upper Deck, #SA-2 Star Attractions
Upper Deck Baseball Heroes Tan, #165 (thx gritz76!)
Upper Deck Baseball Heroes Tan, #165 /149
Upper Deck Baseball Heroes Blue, #165 (thx Daddy D!)
Upper Deck Baseball Heroes Blue, #165, #/199 (thx Priceless Pursuit!)
Upper Deck Baseball Heroes Green, #165 /99 (thx FOC!)
Upper Deck Baseball Heroes, #165, /125 jersey
Upper Deck First Edition, #478 (thx FOC)
Upper Deck Documentary, #1769-TAM59 (thx Troll!)
Upper Deck Masterpieces, #86
Upper Deck Masterpieces, #86 black frame (thx WickedOrtega!)
Upper Deck Masterpieces, #86 red frame (thx WickedOrtega!)
Upper Deck Masterpieces, Captured on Canvas #CC-CC grey jersey relic (thx Lost Collector!)
Upper Deck Masterpieces, Captured on Canvas #CC-CC white jersey relic
Upper Deck Premier, #118 /99
Upper Deck A Piece of History, #91
Upper Deck A Piece of History, #91 Red /149 (thx FOC!)
Upper Deck Signature Stars, #21
Upper Deck SP Authentic, #46
Upper Deck Spectrum, #91
Upper Deck Spectrum, #91 /399
Upper Deck Legendary Cuts, #97
Upper Deck Legendary Cuts, Gen-BC relic w/ Lou Brock
Upper Deck Sweet Spot, #19 (thx waxpackrelapse!)
Upper Deck Ultimate Colection, #73 /350 (thx FOC!)
Upper Deck X, #93
Upper Deck X, #93 die cut (thx Troll!)
Upper Deck X, Xponential #X-CC (thx Troll!)
Upper Deck X, #X2-CC

Allen & Ginter, #251
Allen & Ginter mini #251
Allen & Ginter nno mini, /50
Bowman, #149
Bowman, #149 gold
Bowman Chrome, #149 (thx SportsnameHOF)
Bowman Chrome, Refractor #149
DAV #448 (in Bulls uniform)
Goodwin Champions mini, #239 (thx nightowl!)
Goodwin Champions mini, #239 foil
Goudey, #185 (thx Daddy D!)
Goudey, #185 mini green back (thx Nachos)
Goudey, #35-35 w/ Upton, Longoria, Peña
O-Pee-Chee, #MM11 Mid-Summer Memories
Topps 206, FR-10 bat relic
Topps, #40
Topps, Gold #40 /2009
Topps, #40 Wal-mart black
Topps Silk Collection, /50
Topps, #TTT67
Topps, gold #TTT67
Topps Black Border#40 (thx Chris OK!)
Topps, #246 Postseason Highlights w/ Upton and Longoria
Topps Black Border, #246 Postseason Highlights w/ Upton and Longoria
Topps, #UH179 (thx Priceless)
Topps, Gold #UH179 /2009
Topps, #UH179 Wal-mart black
Topps, #UH318 (thx Play at the Plate)
Topps, #UH318 Gold /2009 (thx Ike!)
Topps, #UH318 Wal-mart black
Topps, #UH318 black border /58
Topps, #UH318 Yellow Printing Plate /1
Topps Attax, #??
Topps Heritage, #166
Topps Heritage Chrome, #C23 /1960
Topps Heritage Chrome refractor, #C23 /560 
Topps Heritage Clubhouse Collection, #CC-CC (grey)
Topps Heritage Clubhouse Collection, #CC-CC (white) (thx FOC!)
Topps Heritage Flashback, #FB-05
Topps Finest, #78 (thx Troll!)
Topps Finest, #78 Refractor
Topps Finest, #78 Blue Refractor #358/399
Topps Turkey Red, #TR140 (thx FOC)
Topps Unique, #110
Topps Unique, Unique Unis #UU17
Upper Deck, #359 (thx waxpackrelapse!)
Upper Deck, OPC-7
Upper Deck Ballpark Collection, #12 /699 (thx FOC!)
Upper Deck Icons, #IC-CR
Upper Deck Icons, #IC-CR /999
Upper Deck, A Piece of History, #92 (thx Daddy D!)
Upper Deck, A Piece of History, #92 /299 (thx Hazel Eyes!)
Upper Deck, A Piece of History, Cut from the Same Cloth with Ichiro /999 (thx FOC)
Upper Deck Signature Stars, #21 (thx Wicked!)
Upper Deck SP Authentic, #113
UD SP Authentic, gold #113 /299
UD Sweet Spot, #11 (thx Padrographs!)
Upper Deck X, #87 (thx Wickedortega!)

Allen & Ginter, #67
Allen & Ginter, #67 black border mini
Allen & Ginter, #67 Ginter Back mini
Allen & Ginter, Baseball Sketches, #AGHS7
Bowman, #7
Bowman gold, #7 (thx Joe!)
Bowman, #BE14 w/ Desmond Jennings
Bowman Chrome, #49 orange /25
Bowman Chrome, #49 gold /50
Bowman Platinum, #76 (thx Hackenbush)
Topps, #95 (thx Chris!)
Topps, #95 gold /2010
Topps #95 black /59
Topps US-170 black /95
Topps US-158 w/ Sabathia /95
Topps, #BT24 Bowman Throwback
Topps, #LL30 w/ Rickey Henderson
Topps, #LL49 w/ Lou Brock
Topps Silk Collection, /50
Topps All Star Stitches, #AS-CC jersey relic
Topps Chrome, #31
Topps Chrome, #31 Refractor
Topps Chrome, #31 Orange Refractor
Topps 206, #272
Topps 206, Piedmont mini
Topps 206, mini American Caramel
Topps 206, mini Cycle /99
Topps 206, relic Piedmont
Topps 206, dual relic Piedmont /99
Topps Attax, no #
Topps Finest, #90
Topps Finest, #90 Refractor /599
Topps Gold, #95 /2010 (thx Nachos!)
Topps Hat Patch, #MHR-137 (thx Troll!)
Topps Heritage, #289
Topps Heritage Chrome, #289 /1961 (thx Cardsplitter!)
Topps Heritage Chrome, #289 /561
Topps Legendary Lineages, LL30 w/ Rickey Henderson (thx Baseball Dad!)
Topps Legendary Lineages, LLR-BC w/ Lou Brock, dual relic
Topps National Chicle, #55
Upper Deck, #UDGJ-CR jersey (thx Joe!)

Allen & Ginter, #50
Bowman, #129
Bowman gold, #129
Bowman, Bowman's Best #BB25
Gypsy Queen, #32
Topps, #25
Topps, #25 sp in Red Sox uniform
Topps, #25 Diamond Anniversary
Topps, #25 Factory Set Limited Edition (thx Baseball Dad!)
Topps, #25 black /60
Topps silk, /50
Topps #US300
Topps, leather nameplate #MGL-CC
Topps, Diamond Duos #DD4
Topps, Diamond Duos #DD-11
Topps Diamond Gem, BDW30
Topps, Diamond Stars #DS-21
Topps Diamond Giveaway, #TDG-26
Topps 60, #T60-16
Topps Chrome, #3 (thx Baseball Dad!)
Topps Chrome, refractor #3
Topps Chrome #VC3
Topps Heritage, #300
Topps Heritage, #CCR-CC jersey relic
Topps Lineage, #79
Topps Lineage, #TCS21 cloth
Topps Marquee, #96 /299
Topps Opening Day, #13
Topps Update silk, /50

Bowman, #39
Topps, #368
Topps Chrome, #29
Topps Opening Day, #198

1986 Topps and the Quest for the Holy Grail

The first set I ever tried to put together (and, if you saw the last post, FAILED to complete) was 1986 Topps.

I bought boxes and boxes of the stuff. Dwight Gooden dominated pitchers, and dominated my collection as well. I seemed to pull him every other pack.

We're not talking the heyday of the junkwax era, but by 1986 things were definitely trending in that direction. Overproduction and poor collation were the orders of the day, but my friends and I still had a great time. We traded, thought we'd be millionaires with our Pete Rose flashback cards, and put everything into top loaders that have long sense turned yellow.

Like I said, I was after the set. Whether it was collation or karma, trading with my friends only got me so far. In '86 there was only one card shop in the city where I lived, and is was about a 30 minute card ride away. I was 9 and utterly dependent on my parents to get to the great cardboard Mecca in Northwoods Mall. I begged, I pleaded, I saved my allowance. My parents finally acquiesced, and I got to go, '86 needs list in hand.

When our valiant knight arrived, the card shop punched him in the face and took his money. Innocently enough I asked if they could fill my list (I think it was only five or six cards then), thinking I'd grab the cards I needed for a pittance and have about 13 or so dollars left over to indulge in other thing.

This shop did not sell individual commons, but 100 card bags of commons at high book value. I had planned on getting my needs list filled and ogling the other cards I could buy until my parents picked me up 20 minutes later, but instead was confronted with either fulfilling the purpose of the trip or not.

It was pre-intertoobs so book value ruled by default. 100 commons was $5, so I bought $15 worth of '86 Topps commons and only got one of the cards I needed, Karl Best if I remember correctly. This was one of the worst disaster of my 9 y.o. life, and to make matters worse these weren't even all different cards. Each bag had multiples on top of multiples of the same card.

Any way, now 30-something and fully recovered, 23 years later, I'm going to finish the set. Suspiciously enough there are a few more cards missing than I remember, which gives me a good laugh. Guess my pre-teen organizational skills weren't quite up to the task!

Is anyone else going back to sets like this? And better, were all card shops like that one?

And I almost forgot: it has this gem of a card, #792 Charles Hudson.
Check out the outfielder behind him, throwing in the OTHER direction. Don't see that every day.

1986 Topps Needs

Complete! 12/11/09

1975 Topps Needs

As of 1/13/13 1 needed

228 George Brett -- Kansas City Royals

Friday, July 10, 2009

1976 Topps Goes Greek

I've been pretty negligent about keeping up with posting more of the great cards from the '76 Topps set, like the #98 Dennis Eckersley RC. It would be easy to favor this card because it's the RC of the first "closer" but I'm not too partial to Eck, and I honestly can't stand the man who made him the A's mulleted 9th inning madman, Tony LaRussa.

Rather, I love the font on the jersey and have no idea why the Indians would have ever gone away from it. It's the same one you see on the awning of every Greek restaurant in the world. For all we know he's pitching for Athens, as if the Indians have understood your need for retro and nostalgia and raised the stakes. "Cleveland, the original team of Western civilization." Of course, the idea that the "Indians" would sport a font with those kind of associations is an unending fount of irony. Makes me wish the Eck had taken the mound, in all his mulleted glory, for the Clevelanders against the Fighting Whites. Oh man, talk about vertigo.

Here is the definitive post in the '76 Eck at Project Baseball 1976.

And here is where you can get your official Fighting Whites gear.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Big Klu Comes to Town

So, another clue was "ripped shirt," and this 1957 Topps card of Ted Kluszewski.
Still not sure what the old man meant, but I did find this great post (featuring the same card!) over at POBC, where the authors say Klu had to cut the arms of his uni because his guns were so big the uni restricted his movement on his swing. And this is before roids, so we can assume that Klu's pythons were 110% natural, most likely acquired during cow-throwing competitions at his alma mater, Indiana University.
Seriously. I'm a built well enough but my arms roll around uninhibited in every shirt I own. I cannot fathom the maniac Klu must have been in the weight room to have guns like that. Or maybe it's just that his parents made their living as iron smiths and his moms is just as comfortable wielding a 75 lb. hammer as his dad is. Who knows? I imagine that in the off-season he was Mr. Redlegs's collection agent. That dude shows up at your door you pay up, no questions asked.

And once again, a beautiful vintage back:

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

My Father-in-law Mooned Me

So, family is exhausting. These are the people to whom you are most connected, with whom you have the best conversations and the worst disagreements. My folks were in town for the past week (!) and I am happy to say it was a great time. Next week I'll put up some pictures of the Maris Museum and the Metrodome.

For now, one of the coolest things that happened (non-my parents division) was that I received a package from one of my fathers-in-law. He had recently been in town, was intrigued by the whole blogging thing, and sent some cards he thought were interesting. Ever the educator, he enclosed a scavenger hunt index with the cards, so I had to figure out why each was special.

Under "Google Wally Moon Shot" was this card of Dodger Wally Moon.

Down to the technicolor this card is a classic '61 Topps. The area around his head is practically glowing and his cheeks look like he had Tammy Faye do his makeup. Wally has an incredible uni-brow that contrasts beautifully with an incredible, "awe-shucks I'm in the Big Leagues" smile. Obviously Wally played in the days before many players got pedicures or made a habit of scowling. 

More importantly, the term "moon shot" refers to the homers Wally hit at back in the day over the left field fence in the Coliseum (article here). I'd always just assumed a moon shot was a heck of a home run and had no idea it referred to Wally. Even better, fearing he wouldn't make it in his new digs after being traded from St. Louis, he sought the advice of Stan Musial on how to best take advantage of the the fence in left!

I'll include the back of this card just because the '61s are cool.

Thanks again Daddy D.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

As American as Baseball Pie

Scott Eyre has eaten many a baseball pie since this photo was taken.

I have to thank Dinged Corners once again for trading this spectacular card to me. Eyre sports the togs of the Charleston Rainbows, the minor league team of my childhood. He's in College Park, a place that can only be described as a Bull Durham-like minor league dive with decrepit wood bleachers and all the decaying amenities typical of such environs. The city replaced College Park a while back with a new, family friendly Camden Yards-style park, which is nice, but it has nothing of the nickel beer night charm of a place like College Park.  

All of which leads to me saying that my folks are in town at the moment, which means posting will be infrequent for the next week or so. We'll be going to the Maris Museum in Fargo, and a game in Minn. on the 4th (!), so it'll be full of baseball.

Cy is going out today, as well as a package or two I've been unable to send out. Peace, and have a great fourth!