Saturday, March 31, 2012

2012 Smokies sked

Today was the Smokies Family Fun Fest at Knoxville Center (mall) today.  I was out in that area so I dropped by.  No players, but I did make some contacts with front office type people and picked up some pocket schedules.

I was also able to get some quick photos of the Smokies' mascots, Diamond and Slugger.



Can't wait to get out to the ball park.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Collection Auctions Auction Catalog

This nice catalog was waiting for me in my mailbox yesterday afternoon.  Bidding started on Monday and will wrap up on April 12.  Visit Collect Auctions to join the fun.

As is the custom in my auctions posts, I find a few lots that I'd like to own.  I don't bid on them, just day dream.

Title: 1934 R310 Butterfinger Complete Set (66)
Lot #: 18
Description: R310 1934 Butterfinger complete sets are much scarcer than many collectors realize. Sets rarely come up for sale, A great value, with almost 30% HOFers, this is another very attractive 1930s oversize issue. Condition ranges from Poor to Ex-Mt, with some very clean examples of some of the better HOFers. The cards tend to have nice images, but tape reinforcing a tear on the reverse, or border chipping keeps the technical grades very low, but not the eye appeal as a rule. The key cards grade as follows: 1 Averill GVG, 5 Bottomly (Bottomley) VG+, 10 Cochrane Fair-Good, 12 Cronin Ex, 14 Dizzy Dean Ex, 16 Dickey VG, 17 Durocher Fair-Good, 19 Ferrell VG-Ex, 21.1 Fox (name incorrect) Good, 21.2 Foxx (name correct) Ex-Mt, 23 Frisch VG-Ex, 24 Lou Gehrig Good, 25 Gehringer VG-Ex, 26 Gomez Ex-Mt, 28 Grove Ex-Mt, 30 Hafey VG-Ex, 31 Harris Ex+, 34 Hornsby VG+ mounted paper, 35 Hoyt GVG, 36 WalterJohnson EX, 41 Manush Ex+, 49 Ott GVG (w/advertising on cardboard), 52 Ruffing VG-Ex, 53 Babe Ruth GVG, 55 Simmons Ex+, 59 Vance VG, 61 L. Waner Ex+ and 62 P. Waner VG-Ex. Has both Jimmy Foxx Variations, so the set is complete at 66 cards.
Opening Price: $400
Current Price: $0
My Thoughts: These are nice looking photos.  The cards measure 7-3/4" x 9-3/4".  A nice set of players from the mid thirties.  Sort of a cross between a slightly bigger Turkey Red and the photos of the Goudey Wide Pens.  I'm not quite sure how I'd display them, though.

Title: Negro League Legends Multi-Signed Display with Jackie Robinson, Satchel Paige (PSA/DNA)
Lot #: 210
Description: This matted display features five monster names in African-American baseball history, led by Jackie Robinson and Satchel Paige. Each player is pictured with a cut signature also included near their photo. The Robinson signature is really nice in blue steel tip pen, along with Paige in blue steel tip pen on a lined index card. Other signatures include: James "Cool Papa" Bell, Judy Johnson and Walter Buck Leonard. All signatures are authenticated by PSA/DNA with a full letter of authenticity.
Opening Price: $200
Current Price: $220
My Thoughts: I'd probably remove the matting and make five individual pieces.  You can't get a better selection of players' signatures.

Title: 1961-62 Fleer Basketball Set and Wrapper (66)
Lot #: 342
Description: Fleer’s inaugural basketball issue is offered here in highly collectible condition, Ex to Ex-Mt, with good centering in an issue often troubled by same and a solid, consistent overall look. Perhaps a half dozen of the cards edge past Ex-Mt to Near-Mint; a similar number show centering difficulties that would typically be enough to warrant an off-center qualifier in the highest grades. Eight singles have been graded by SGC, including No. 8 Wilt Chamberlain SGC 3, No. 10 Bob Cousy SGC 5, No. 22 KC Jones SGC 5, No. 36 Oscar Robertson SGC 4, No. 38 Bill Russell SGC 5, No. 43 Jerry West SGC 5, No. 44 Len Wilkens SGC 6 and No. 62 Bill Russell (Takes to the Air) SGC 4. The breakdown: 1 Attles Very Good, 3 Baylor Very Good, 23 Jones Good, 35 Ramsay (signed), 46 Baylor In Action Nr-Mt o/c, 47 Chamberlain In Action Ex m/c, 49 Cousy In Action Ex, 61 Robertson In Action Very Good, and 66 West In Action Ex. The wrapper fits in nicely at; Ex-Mt.
Opening Price: $400
Current Price: $783
My Thoughts: These are the cards that were produced celebrating the basketball season the year that I was born.  I like the simple design and the players shown here?  Wow.  The mascots just give the cards that extra something special.

I probably need to contact the auction houses because I haven't been getting many catalogs lately.

Monday, March 26, 2012

A nice run

I had a nice run of posts in February.  Sure, they weren't all baseball card related, but I thought that I was on point.

So, you might ask yourself, why the sudden drop off?  The best answer that I can give is: too many irons in the fire of life.

I've been having a grand time over at Baseball Nuggets, recently posting about the Svengali Baseball Team of 1895.  They played the Trilbys.  Exciting stuff.

And I recently stumbled across the student newspaper (1915-1997) of Maryville College at  That's keeping my Old Knoxville Baseball blog humming.

Just for kicks I did some research on the origin of the term Paddy Wagon at the My Good Life blog.

I vowed not to join in any fantasy baseball this year.  Too much to keep track of.  I'd rather spend my time watching games and reading than wondering who is pitching and is my bullpen on the DL.  I'll enjoy baseball this year.

About a week and a half ago I had the opportunity to stop by Johnson University while they were playing Lancaster Bible College.  I was on the third base side and had my Blackberry in my hand.  The runner came from second.  I pulled up the phone and was able to take a photo through the chain link fence.  Not a great photo by any means.  But it proves to me that baseball is happening.  Johnson won.

The 2012 Emerald Baseball Guide has been e-published.  Pick up your free copy.

I haven't picked up any new baseball cards in quite some time.  And I probably won't be buying any 2012 releases.  Sure, they're tempting, but they don't fit in with my collecting goals.  Which has had me thinking, what are my goals for this year?  Oh, probably about the same as last year.  Collect less broadly, add more Hershisers, share what I have with others.  Also thinking of picking up some tobacco cards.

I mentioned in my nickel box post about a few magazines I picked up.  21 years ago Trading Cards was first published.  An interesting mix of, well, everything.

And this is what I was looking for.  The problem is that I'm not that interested in racing cards from 19 years ago.  Although it is a good starting point to see what was available.  To me it seems the prices were inflated then.  Not much has changed.

So, I'll try to climb back on the posting horse and ride it a bit more, but now I'm off for a small buying spree at

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Happy St. Patrick's Day

1992 Upper Deck
Kevin McHale (card # 183)

Friday, March 16, 2012

I'm half the man

of Nick, over at Dime Boxes.  Why?  Because I raided the nickel box.

I had a few free minutes yesterday so I stopped at the local Antiques and Collectibles Mall in south Knoxvegas.   I was looking for a racing collectibles magazine.  I found one, but that's another post.  I did find the nickel box.  Let's take a look at a few.

Tony, just a few years removed from managing in Knoxville.

1981 Donruss
Tony LarRussa (card # 402)

I was able to get four of the five checklists for that set.  They are unmarked and really crisp.  I don't need them, I just couldn't pass them up.

1981 Donruss
Checklist #1 (card # NNO-1)

Oh, there was a mess of Nolan Ryans.  A mess of them, I tell you.  And I got them all.  I'm putting together a trade package for a Ryan collector.  The early 1990s Pacific Ryan sets are goofy.  Goofy, I tell you.

1992 Pacific Nolan Ryan Series 2
100th National League Win (card # 150)

I'd never seen the Conlon cards in anything other than a black border.  There are 47 cards in this set, with various print runs and production years.

1994 The Sporting News - Conlon Collection
Color Inserts
Hughie Jennings (card #25)

I'm not a fan of the 1986 Topps set.   They phoned it in.  Or faxed it in, maybe.  But when I stumble across a signed Schrom, I can't get that nickel out of my pocket fast enough.

1986 Topps
Ken Schrom (card # 71)

I picked up about 50 cards. I think that Nick would be proud.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Rain of Error's Second Book Club Book

Jon, over at Rain of Error, has reminded everyone that the second book in his Baseball Book Club is Timothy M. Gay's Satch, Dizzy & Rapid Robert.

I first learned of this book at the Jerry Malloy Conference that was held in Birmingham.  There was an author panel.  Tim was on the panel.

I contacted Tim this week and asked for an interview. He already has answered a few questions on his site.  I'd like to come up with interesting questions for the interview, so I'll ask my readers what they'd like me to ask him.  Leave the interview questions in the comments.  Remember, no annoying word verification here.

While you're thinking, take note of the fact that Tim's working on his third book.  His first book was on Tris Speaker.  In a few weeks Assignment to Hell will be published.  So, after you finish reading Satch, buy Assignment to Hell.  I think you'll be pleased.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

1994 Ted Williams - Negro League cards

I think that I meant to scan and share these cards last month in honor of Black History Month.  But I didn't.  Here you go. 

Toni Stone is the subject of the Martha Ackman biography, Curveball.  Here are links to the NPR interview with Ackman and the Radcliffe Quarterly article.  I got to meet and hear Martha Ackman a few years ago at the Jerry Malloy Conference that was held in Birmingham.  Yes, I bought the book.  No, I haven't yet read it.

1994 Ted Williams
Toni Stone (card # 112)

I selected the George Wilson card because the image hadn't been added to Zistle.  That has been corrected.  Gary Ashwill has a nice post on George Wilson.

1994 Ted Williams
George Wilson (card # 115)

Checklists sometimes get overlooked.  This one is a bit dark, but the scan turned out decent.  Again, another image that Zistle didn't have.

1994 Ted Williams
Checklist (card # 117)

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Soapbox Time - 2012 edition

About once a year I get cranked up and jump on my soapbox. It is time. But not a time for chastisement. A time of celebration. A time to say, "Thank you." It has been over a year since I've had the need to call any of my fellow bloggers out on using the R-Word.  Thank you.

At the DSAG Buddy Walk

For those of you who are new to my blog or may not have delved deep enough into the archives, my daughter, Caroline, has Down syndrome. Down syndrome occurs when some or all of a person’s cells have an extra full or partial copy of the 21st chromosome. This additional genetic material alters the course of development.

Caroline and Edison

Caroline is in the first grade. She is mainstreamed in the public school, but does attend speech therapy. Last semester she made the honor roll. She has a great imagination and loves to read. She plays NASCAR with her Hot Wheels and blocks, will have tea parties with her dolls, has a 'boyfriend' at both school and church (yes, two different guys), the normal stuff.  She likes to watch her brother, Edison, play football and she likes to imitate the cheerleaders.  She doesn't like loud noises, likes routine, loves her daddy, and thinks she wants to go to church camp this summer so she can ride the zip-line.  Again, the normal stuff.


Many people, from all walks of life, feel the need to use the word, retard or retarded.  For me and my family it is a hurtful word.  It is not necessary.  I'd invite you to join with me in a show of respect and help end the use of the R-word.  Jump on over to and sign the pledge not to use it.  This is not a guilt thing.  This is an encouraging thing.

Caroline and I thank you for supporting the R-word Awareness Day.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Dale Murphy Oddballs

Michael Schecter Associates was everywhere in the 1980s. Here are two non MLB licensed issues.

The True Value cards came in panels of three with a purchase of $5 or more.  Dale shared his panel with Robin Yount and Tom Seaver.  There are worse guys to get paneled with, I guess.  I'm thinking Buddy Bell and Bill Madlock.
1986 True Value Super Stars
Dale Murphy (card # 10)

This 1st Annual Collector's Edition was also the Last Annual Collector's Edition.  A mail in set of 24 cards.
1988 Chef Boyardee
Dale Murphy (card # 17)

Friday, March 2, 2012

2000 Pacific Backyard Baseball

Many moons ago, my son liked to play childish games on the computer. Along came Humongous Entertainment's Backyard Baseball 2001.  It was a simple, but fun game of baseball.  Not very realistic, but it kept him off the streets.  I probably played it as much, if not more, than he did.

Included with the game was a set of 10 baseball cards.  Two game characters and eight pro players, depicted in the game as kids.

2000 Pacific Backyard Baseball
Pablo Sanchez

2000 Pacific Backyard Baseball
Cal Ripken, Jr.

2000 Pacific Backyard Baseball
Derek Jeter

2000 Pacific Backyard Baseball
Randy Johnson

The player included in this set are:
  • Nomar Garciaparra
  • Ken Griffey, Jr. 
  • Derek Jeter
  • Randy Johnson
  • Mark McGwire
  • Cal Ripken, Jr.
  • Ivan Rodriguez
  • Sammy Sosa 

Backyard Baseball characters included in this set are:
  • Vicki Kawaguchi  
  • Pablo Sanchez
Pacific also teamed up with Humongous Entertainment to produce some Backyard Football cards in 1999.  But that's another post.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

15 Guys on 5 Cards

Looking through my binder this morning I came across these cards, all produced by Fleer.  Let's see if I can find something smarmy to say about them...

No belt, belt, belt.  And teeth that only an orthodontist could love.  Actually, Bowa's teeth aren't that bad.

1981 Fleer
Triple Threat (card # 645)

Hat, no hat, hat.  I don't know if the photo or printing is fuzzy.  I guess they were all hanging out at the Little League park that day.
1982 Fleer
Big Red Machine (card # 630)

Another hat, no hat, hat card. I see that Pete ditched Foster and Concepcion for Perez and Morgan.  Glad to see that Fleer left lots of space on the back of the card for autographs.  What?  White space is good?  Okay.

1984 Fleer
Reds Reunited (card # 636)

Tall (6' 4"), shorter (5' 10"), tallest (6' 5").  This shot was probably taken at the 1985 All-Star game in Minneapolis.  Ah, the good old days when the National League won those games.

1986 Fleer
N.L. West Sluggers (card # 64)

Gloves, glove, gloves.  Terry Who?  Alternative thought... Juiced, not juiced, juiced.

1989 Fleer
Triple A's (card # 634)

I'm not sure if these trios were a designed feature of Fleer's set in the 1980s, but I kind of like them.