Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Hope: Bernie Carbo TTM

Given the well-publicized substance abuse struggles of a number of ballplayers (from Hamilton to Bush to Jenks) recently, I thought this tom would be appropriate.

Bernie Carbo was a 1st round pick (16th overall) in the 1965 draft. Playing for the Reds, he made the Bigs for good in 1970 and finished second in the ROY voting to Carl Morton.
And like the badass portrait on the card suggests. it was an awesome year. Carbo had a slash line of .310/.454/.551 with an OPS+ of 164. The sophomore slump hit hard, and he was moved to St. Louis in 1972, who then traded him to Boston not too long after. 

He had a solid 12-year career, but what happened?

Despite his All-American appearance here, Carbo would go on to be guy who introduced Keith Hernandez to cocaine (see this article). That makes him, basically, the 1970s cocaine version of what José Canseco was to steroids in the 1990s. How bad was it? Carbo says he was high during the 1975 WS. I'd say that's pretty bad.

That said, Carbo eventually got clean and, apparently, has remained clean for almost 20 years. He even started his own ministry in 1993. Here's hoping some of the guys currently struggling with similar issues manage to get things turned around, if not for their careers then for themselves and their loved ones. 

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

Monday, March 26, 2012

Tromp's Sports Cards with the hookup: New Online Card Resource

It's been awhile. I've been thinking things would get less hectic (and they have!) but things are still crazy. Or crazier than usual.

Anyway, I've been cruising the intertoobs trying to complete 2008 Stadium Club Elliot Johnson rainbows (minus the plates, which would still be a HUGE bonus). While looking for the blue proof /99 I came across Tromp's Sports Cards. It was, literally, the ONLY place in the www that had one. I dropped the owner, Mike, an email to make sure it was the blue proof of the variation I need and he got right back to me.

Price? .79 with a VERY reasonable $2.50 shipping, for a grand total of $3.29. Seriously: can't beat that.

Card arrived secure in a bubble mailer, etc., and here it is:
Here it is with the other 3 variations:

Now I need the Platinum 1/1 plus the plates (maybe one of them) and it'll be complete!

Thanks again, Mike! Seriously, check his site out!

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

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Any good cardshops between Charlotte and Durham?

Taking the show on the road the next few day and hoping for a spare moment or two to do some looking around. Any suggestions from bloggers in the area?

Friday, March 9, 2012

Extreme ttm: 1941 Al Brancato

I'm slowly (but surely!) getting my ducks in order to start posting regularly (or semi-regularly!) again in the near future. An article I was working on has been revised and resubmitted to a journal, and today I landed my first book contract. I'm feeling good about things. Kinda like this guy:
I posted a 1940 Eddie Joost awhile back before he passed away, and had wanted to get Mr. Albert "Bronk" Brancato to sign a copy of this 1941. The Playball cards are iconic to begin with, but this one really sums them and whole era up. "Bronk" is a Philly boy, born and raised, and wound up playing for Mr. Connie Mack and his hometown A's. His smile and the early color printing technology really come together nicely with the almost art deco background you almost miss thinking it's the dugout or piece of the stadium. 
Then of course we have the classic Play Ball back: simple, to-the-point narrative stats. Beautiful. 

Mr. Brancato was also kind enough to answer my questions about his career, which was awesome, because there's not a lot out there on him on the intertoobs. I'll share that here pretty soon.

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