Thursday, December 31, 2009

SAMPLE cards

I went to one of the local card stores on Tuesday. I knew what I was looking for. I had seen them the last time I was in, but I didn't know that anyone collected them. I have since found out that someone does, so I went by to pick them up.

The "them" is sample cards.

1995 Select, Roberto Alomar (card # 34 - SAMPLE)

1995 Select, Jeff Bagwell (card # 37 - SAMPLE)

These are two of the three sample cards that came from Pinnacle's Select 1995 offering. The other card is of Alex Rodriguez (card # 241). I didn't see that one.

One of the things that I noticed on these cards are that the gold foily stamping on the front of the cards was applied after the printing. Somehow I always imagined that the card would be created and then the word SAMPLE would be the last thing. Shows you how much I know about the card creation process. It makes sense, but I don't think like that.

I was able to pluck these out of the 25 cent card box. Three other (non sample) cards joined them. I offered the shop owner a dollar for the five of them, including tax. He didn't quibble and I think was glad for some store traffic, although he never got off the phone with his buddy the whole time I was there. I think that they were playing online cards together and were ganging up on their opponents. To be fair, he did greet me when I entered and I told him that I knew what I was looking for and I'd let him know when I was through.

Some lucky editor will be receiving these cards in the coming weeks.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

A Bernie Williams Christmas

I received a number of baseball related items for Christmas.

One package from my folks (posing as Santa) contained 5 cards of Bernie Williams.
1992 Topps (card # 374)

1994 Fleer Extra Bases (card # 142)

1997 Bowman Chrome, International Refractors (card # BBI4)

2002 Upper Deck Ball Park Idols, Uniform Sluggers (card # US-BW)

2005 Topps Gallery, Original Relics (card # GO-BW)

Also included in the package were some Ultra-PRO One Touch card holders. The magnetic kind.

And there was a CD. A Bernie Williams CD. He's a guitarist. A rather good one, too.

It is a lighter, jazzy type sound. Guitar based. And some good players on the CD, especially Leland Sklar, one of my favorite bass players. To hear some tracks, visit the album's page at

Thanks for the package, Santa.

There's more to be revealed as I coast to the New Year.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Shameless Plug

If you haven't yet done it (and I know that you haven't), please go to Beardy's Ho Ho Holiday Card Contest and vote for my card. The poll is on the upper right of his blog. The poll closes around dinner time on Sunday.

I don't want to go to bed this evening knowing that I only got one vote. And that it was me that voted.

No, mine is not the best. Clearly there are others that are better, but mine is good.

Heck, just go there and vote for the one that you like.


"Vote for the Kennedy of your choice, but vote." - Vaugn Meader

Coasting to the New Year

More from Google books. This time, Popular Mechanics caught my eye with some snazzy and unique patents from the early years of last century.

I'm still trying to figure out why these didn't catch on. Maybe they didn't have the right financial backing.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas

While looking through old copies of Baseball Digest on Google books I found some Christmas themed ads.

Who wouldn't want a Novel, Yet Practical Chenille Baseball Rug?

December, 1960

Ever wonder who's pitching? Look no further.

November, 1949

Wondering what to give that spouse, boss, blogger?

December, 1959

Want to clean up at the plate?

November, 1946

As much fun as this is, looking at Santa ads, doing a card for Beardy's Ho Ho Holiday Card Contest and the like, the real reason for Christmas is to celebrate the birth of Jesus.

I share with you the story of the birth of Jesus from Luke's Gospel...

1-5About that time Caesar Augustus ordered a census to be taken throughout the Empire. This was the first census when Quirinius was governor of Syria. Everyone had to travel to his own ancestral hometown to be accounted for. So Joseph went from the Galilean town of Nazareth up to Bethlehem in Judah, David's town, for the census. As a descendant of David, he had to go there. He went with Mary, his fiancée, who was pregnant.
6-7While they were there, the time came for her to give birth. She gave birth to a son, her firstborn. She wrapped him in a blanket and laid him in a manger, because there was no room in the hostel.

8-12There were sheepherders camping in the neighborhood. They had set night watches over their sheep. Suddenly, God's angel stood among them and God's glory blazed around them. They were terrified. The angel said, "Don't be afraid. I'm here to announce a great and joyful event that is meant for everybody, worldwide: A Savior has just been born in David's town, a Savior who is Messiah and Master. This is what you're to look for: a baby wrapped in a blanket and lying in a manger."
13-14At once the angel was joined by a huge angelic choir singing God's praises:

Glory to God in the heavenly heights,
Peace to all men and women on earth who please him.
15-18As the angel choir withdrew into heaven, the sheepherders talked it over. "Let's get over to Bethlehem as fast as we can and see for ourselves what God has revealed to us." They left, running, and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in the manger. Seeing was believing. They told everyone they met what the angels had said about this child. All who heard the sheepherders were impressed.
19-20Mary kept all these things to herself, holding them dear, deep within herself. The sheepherders returned and let loose, glorifying and praising God for everything they had heard and seen. It turned out exactly the way they'd been told!
(Luke 2:1-20, The Message)

I wish you all a Blessed and Merry Christmas. And I hope that Santa is good to you, card-wise.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Willie Stargell Game Used Bat Card

In my quest to obtain inexpensive autograph and relic cards of members of the Hall of Fame, I ran across this 2002 Topps Gold Label Willie Stargell bat card. The actual subset title can be found between the images. It is much longer.

2002 Topps Gold Label, Class Two Platinum Memorabilia, MVP Winner
Willie Stargell (card # ACR-WS)

The wood of the bat is quite rough as if they rip cut the bat and didn't plane it at all. One can see the bat from the back, but can only touch it from the front. There's some plasticky film covering it. The positioning of the card and punching out of the window was off on the back.

I picked this up for $1.04 plus $3.95 shipping and handling. A bit steep on the transport, but it is within my pricing range ($5.00 total).

I was interested in this card because I got to see Willie Stargell and the Pirates play the Expos. It was July 25, 1974. Parc Jarry. They split the double header that night with the Expos winning the first and the Pirates winning the second. Willie almost hit for the cycle that night. I know, it is generally considered proper to hit for the cycle in a single game. This was spread out over the two games. You'd think that a man of his power and stature could get a single. Nope. But that means that he did hit a home run. That was just one out of 475.

My brother ordered a pizza at that game. From somewhere not in the park. Or parc. He had it delivered. He put the money through the fence and they slipped it under.

Willie's stats are solid, to say the least. He spent all 21 seasons with Pittsburgh, playing on two World Series winners (1971 and 1979). He was a seven time All-Star with a lifetime Batting Average of .282. 1979 was his banner year. He won the NL Babe Ruth Award, Major League Player of the Year, NL Player of the Year, NLCS MVP and the WS MVP. Nothing to sneeze at.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Topps Cards in Dynamite Magazine

Greg (the Night Owl), is in the process of upgrading his cards. This leads to an interesting discussion as to what grade of card to collect. Is it better to get three rather beat up card from a 1960 Topps set or get one card in nice condition?

I have heard that one should always collect quality. But, I think that I'd rather have the three cards than the one. Now, it is quite subjective. What are the cards? Exactly what condition are they in? Are they from the team you collect or like? High Number or Low Number? What is right for me may not be right for you.

But, that is a discussion for another time. Right now the topic is Topps cards inserted into Dynamite Magazine.

Greg posted about upgrading a Topps 1976 Mike Kekich card.

MattR, of A Giant Blog, commented
I think some of the kiddie magazines had baseball cards in them. I remember some '75 cards that I cut/tore out of Dynamite magazine when I was about 9.
I ran over and dug out my 2008 edition of the Standard Catalog of Baseball Cards.

In part, here's what it said...
1976 Topps/Dynamite Magazine Panels

In at least one issue of its "Dynamite" kids' magazine, Scholastic Book Club teamed with Topps to insert a six-card panel for its 1976 baseball issue.

469 Rawley Eastwick
471 Jim Burton
474 Ray Corbin
481 Rudy May
482 Tim Horsley
522 Ted Sizemore

1977 Topps/Dynamite Magazine Panels

In at least two issues of its "Dynamite" kids' magazine, Scholastic Book Club teamed with Topps to insert a six-card panel for its 1977 baseball issue.

Panel 1
215 Butch Metzger
335 Bill Robinson
599 Mike Tyson
625 Ken Holtzman
630 Bert Blyleven
641 Dan Larson

Panel 2
242 Ken Henderson
294 George Medich
415 Jay Johnstone
535 Cesar Geronimo
580 George Brett
626 Al Bumbry

1978 Topps/Dynamte Magazine Panels

In issue No. 47 of its "Dynamite" kids' magazine, Scholastic Book Club teamed with Topps to insert a six-card panel for its 1978 baseball issue. Three such panels have been found thus far, one of which includes an Eddie Murray rookie card.

Panel 1
36 Eddie Murray
125 George Scott
141 Ruppert Jones
150 Bobby Bonds
490 Amos Otis
550 John Mayberry

Panel 2
21 Steve Kemp
168 Reggie Smith
200 Reggie Jackson
245 Rick Burleson
332 Duane Kuiper
440 Davey Lopes

Panel 3
44 Toby Harrah
120 Gary Carter
130 Jeff Burroughs
320 Fred Lynn
335 Bucky Dent
670 Jim Rice

1979 Topps/Dynamite Magazine Panels

In at least two issues of its "Dynamite" kids' magazine, Scholastic Book Club teamed with Topps to insert a six-card panel for its 1979 baseball issue.

Panel 1
2 Home Run Leaders (Jim Rice, George Foster)
5 Victory Leaders (Ron Guidry, Gaylord Perry)
6 Strikeout Leaders (Nolan Ryan, J.R. Richard)
201 Mike Edwards (Record Breaker)
202 Ron Guidry (Record Breaker)
203 J.R. Richard (Record Breaker)

Panel 2
232 Jimmy Sexton
292 Don Reynolds
225 Bobby Thompson
432 Dave Heaverlo
532 Buddy Schultz
539 John Ellis
So, I started to look on ebay to see what else was out there. I found a variety of years. Some of them match up with what the SCBC. Others? Not so much.

This April 1974 issue has cards.

According to this auction, when asked about which cards are in the magazine, the seller says: "Yes, sadly there are only 4, there must have been 8 originally, 4 in the front part of the magazine and 4 in the back. The front ones are gone. These are Topps 1974 cards : 530 Mickey Stanley, 536 Duffy Dyer, 571 Rich Hand and a checklist 397-528"

This 1975 issue has cards. Two types. Topps and Dynamite spoof cards.

I found this listing for "3 Topps Baseball Cards Uncut Dynamite Magazine 1976".

Clearly these are 1975 Topps. Vada Pinson, John Curtis and Fred Norman. I contacted the seller and they said that the cards are dated 1975 on the back. It is not known which issue this half panel came from.

This April 1976 issue has cards. The Fonz is cool. Baseball cards are cool.

I have contacted the seller to see which cards are included.
UPDATE - The seller graciously responded with the following information: Ken Henderson (White Sox), Fred Stanley (Yankees), Ceaser Cedeno (Astros), Steve Hargan (Rangers), Mark Belanger (Orioles) and Roric Harrison (Indians).

This April 1977 issue has cards. Sweat Hogs are sweet.

I have contacted the seller to identify which cards are listed.

This April 1979 issue has cards.

Cards are #526, Tom Lasorda, #96 Jeff Torborg, #328 Jack McKeon, #479 Roger Craig, #259 Sparky Anderson & #66 Less Moss. These are all Team cards with the managers listed.

This March 1981 issue with Buck Rogers and Wilma doesn't state on the front that it has card, but it does.
The players are Ross Grimsley, Skip Lockwood, Lynn Jones, Jerry Royster, Fred Martinez and Bombo Rivera.

This March 1982 issue shows the attractive Melissa Gilbert.

Cards included are Dave Palmer, Jerry White, Steve Rogers, Reggie Smith, Rick Langford and Rick Peters.

This March 1983 issue brings a look at MTV. And "FREE Baseball Cards!"

Cards in this issue are Jim Morrison, John Curtis, Rich Hebner, Clyde King, Jerry Garvin and Joe Pittman.

This March 1984 issue with the dreamy Michael J. Fox states "Free Baseball Cards!"

The cards in this issue are Bob Welch, Dennis Eckersley, Jose Cruz, Jeff Burroughs, Bill Cauldwell and Dave Stapleton.

The February 1985 issue is said to have baseball cards. The cover is Duran Duran. I haven't found an image or any info on this one.

More info on Dynamite Magazine can be found on the Wikipedia page.

The blogger Gilligan has a fun walk down memory lane with his blog Retrospace. Not everyone's cup of tea, but I know a few of you will like it.

Perhaps this post would have been better handled by ToppCat over at The Topps Archives blog. I took a shot.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Shiny Don and Orel

This was on my list of cards I wanted to get someday. That day came and went. I picked it up on ebay for 99 cents. Shiny enough to put out the eyes of the Night Owl. He likes shiny, but I think that this is too much for him.

2004 Donruss Elite Extra Edition Draft Class,
Don Mattingly, Orel Hershiser (card # DC-10),
numbered 323 of 500

Don Mattingly went in the 19th round, pick number 493. Orel Hershiser went two rounds before him as pick number 440. 870 players were drafted in the June Regular Phase of the 1979 Draft. Scrolling through the list of draftees, I'm hard pressed to find many that went on to have good, solid careers.

Don and Orel did. Don faced Orel in 6 Plate Appearances over two games. Don got 1 hit and 1 walk. You do the math. Or look at the last link.

Birthday Haul

Last week I celebrated another birthday. I'm probably older than most of the active card bloggers. I know of a few that are older than dirt me.

I didn't get a single card, but I did get some books.

Ballparks Then and Now is a nice sized stiff covered book that my son gave me. It is similar to a large coffee table book that I have, but this is much more manageable to read.

Negro League Baseball looks like it is the book on the subject. It is well researched, with about 400 pages of text and another 100 pages of notes and index. I do not think this is a casual read book, nor do I intend to treat it as such.

I have recently finished reading Robert Carroll's Baseball Between the Lies. The Baseball Uncyclopedia goes way beyond that. Funny and snarky. The authors have a thing for tweaking Barry Bonds. And throwing sacred cows on the grill.

Entries include:
  • Bases, Number of: You Should Not Try to Learn About Baseball by Watching a Television Sitcom
  • Etiquette, Baseball: You Do Not Embarrass Another Baseball Fan in Front of His Date
  • Fish, Raw: Sushi Does Not Belong at a Ballpark
  • Jackson, Shoeless Joe: Joe Jackson is Not in the Hall of Fame Because Kevin Costner Made The Postman
These last two books are from my parents. I think that my Dad picked them out so he could read them the next time he visits. I think that Kevin, the Core Contrarian, would really like this book.

I also received some DVDs (Big Bang Theory - Season One and Monty Python - The Truth). And some chocolate. I should have birthdays more often. But now I need the time to read, watch and eat.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Beardy's Holiday Card Contest submission

No, I don't mean submission as in "I give up."

This is my actual entry.

We'll see if the grease that I sent helped in any way. I doubt it.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Beardy's Holiday Card Contest

Beardy's hosting a Ho Ho Holiday Card Contest. I have submitted my entry and will race him to reveal it after the submission deadline on the 20th.

I came up with some (what I thought) were good ideas, but since we were only allowed one entry, I share some scratch ideas on this blog. I don't have the technical skills of Slangon or of PunkRockPaint, but I'm improving.

This is not my contest submission card.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Cards from Core Contrarian and boys

A few weeks ago I sent out a passel of parcels. Some were thank yous, some were just gifts and only one was part of an actual trade (which I initiated and was so weak in structure that I'll probably see it consummated in the coming months).

One of the packages I sent was to the Core Contrarian. Kevin and I have an interesting blog relationship. Some months back I was wondering about my blog's worth. Not monetary. It has none. But the comments weren't appearing like I hoped they would, the hit counter wasn't spinning like my electric meter and I thought that I was wasting my time. Then, the next thing I know, Kevin has added me to his Essential Links sidebar. No, he wasn't my saviour, but that action did give me a bit of a boost.

I think that I was already following his blog at this point and would read it on a regular basis, wondering how a mind could put out that sort of entertaining blather. I'd comment on his posts and he'd reply to me in comment form.

I like reading his blog. Like a few other bloggers, Kevin and I email back and forth about stuff. Not frequently and not in great depth. Now some of you might be hurt that I don't have an email relationship with you. You'll live. I know that there are scores of good bloggers out there. I don't even read your posts. I don't have that sort of time. I'd love to, but work, family, etc, etc.

Anyhow, I got together a package for Kevin and his two boys. I focused on Detroit Tigers and Lions. After finding out that Computer Boy likes college team cards, I scraped a few of them together and sent them off. I expected nothing in return. Not because Kevin isn't a nice guy, but unless I set up a trade, my cards for your cards, I'm not looking for something. You have wants, I have some cards. If I remember to set them aside and have a few bucks for postage, you'll probably get something eventually.

Kevin emailed asking for my address because he had some cards to send my way to return the favor. I got some cards from them in Wednesday's mail.

1989 Topps, Steve Sax (card #40)

Kevin sent this one because it is on my want list. Just 15 to go.

1987 Fleer, Gorman Thomas (card #359)

Kevin threw in the Gorman card for fun. He's probably referring to this post. Somebody actually reads my blog.

2002 Fleer Dueling Duos, Paul Molitor and Dave Winfield (card #DD-PM2)

Kevin also knows that I like relic or auto cards of Hall of Famers. I'm not quite sure what Paul and David are dueling over. Maybe over team name trademarks. The Yankees are registered.

2007 SP Legendary Cuts, When It Was A Game, Paul Molitor jersey (card #WG-PM)

And another relic card. This is not natural. The fabric, I mean. Synthetic. I don't know if the jersey would be accepted at my local recycling center. I like the design of this card. Small photo but stately looking. I've already shared some of Mr. Molitor's career here.

On card signed Thank You Card by Kevin and both of his sons

The treasure of the package. A triple auto. And it is personalized. I have various ways of storing cards. Some get tossed into a box. Some get penny sleeves. Some get penny sleeves and toploaders. Some get screw-down cases. The Sax will join the the other 1989 Topps in a box, perhaps to be upgraded to a binder someday. The Gorman will stay in the penny sleeve/toploader combo. The Molitors will end up in screw-down cases. Those three cards will be tucked inside the Thank You card for safe keeping.

Thank you, Kevin, Computer Boy and Skate Kid. You are very generous and I value your contributions to the hobby and to my hobby.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Library of Congress - Baseball Americana

I have been hearing rumblings, good rumblings, about the book, Baseball Americana, from the Library of Congress. The LOC is selling it for about $30. Amazon has it listed for about $17.50. You can also see an excerpt in pdf format. Here is the blurb from the LOC website:
Home of the world's largest baseball collection, the Library of Congress presents this lavishly illustrated history of the National Pastime. More than 350 images--many never before published--chronicle the game's hardscrabble history. Among the Library's treasures are the first known image of baseball published in America (1787), the first dated baseball card (1865), and the Paul Thompson photographs (1910) shot specifically for the landmark T206 baseball cards, as well as vintage advertising, posters, film stills, cartoons, maps, and more. Baseball Americana is a must-have for any baseball fan.
National Public Radio did a story on it. I'd recommend that you listen to it, although if you don't have the eight minutes to spend, read it the story. There's something about baseball on the radio. Even if it is only a book review.

I've been lazily perusing my copy of Smithsonian Baseball the last few days. Find a copy of it. From your library or from for less than the cost of a blaster.

On PBS tonight I saw a trailer for the upcoming Ken Burns Baseball: Tenth Inning film. This information is not new. But it is the first time that I heard about it. It should be released in the fall of 2010.

Lest you think that all I do is listen to NPR and watch PBS, I also check my mail. Yesterday I received a package from "Below the Bridge". I hope to reveal the contents on Friday.