Friday, January 31, 2014

1972 Sunoco NFL Stamps

Over at Listia I bid on, and won, a pack of 1972 NFL Stickers that were used as premiums at Sunoco and DX gas stations.

Looking around the internet I found that the wrappers featured the Eagles, Jets, Dolphins, and Cowboys.

Nine stamps per packet.  624 stamps total.  Here's what they look like...

But how did they advertise in the newspapers?  Don Shula says:
Springfield Union - September 17, 1972
Apparently they were targeting girls.
Greensboro Daily News - October 1, 1972
And then back to the boys.  Specifically the boys.
Plain Dealer - December 20, 1972
The seasons changed but collecting is still primarily a manly thing.
Plain Dealer - January 8, 1973

Maybe their graphic artists got tired.
Springfield Union - January 11, 1973

Action News 6 - On Your Side...
Trenton Evening Times - February 26, 1973

I don't remember these as a youth.  It would have been in my early collecting period.  I'll have to ask my folks.  Anyone else remember collecting these when they originally came out?

For another look at the stamps, visit Chuck Miller's blog entry from a few years ago.

Newspaper images snagged from  Other images snagged from the internet in general.  Hunt them down yourself.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

The Dugout in Pigeon Forge

A snow storm has swept through the south this week.  Being raised in the North Country and then living in Chicagoland it didn't bother me so much.  Driving was a bit tricky.  My work let out at noon on Tuesday and then we were closed on Wednesday.  School let out Tuesday morning.  Just got the call.  School is closed again on Friday.

The sun has melted most of the snow on the main roads and getting a bit stir crazy, Caroline went out and ran some errands.  What do you know?  Trying to find some Topps 2014 was on that list.

Wal-Mart was first on the list.  They had cereal boxes and jumbo rack packs, but not the single retail packs I was hoping for.  We went on farther down the road to a NASCAR/Autograph store.  It was closed and from the looks of things they won't be reopening.

Deeper into Pigeon Forge we went.  At traffic light #6 (yes, we use traffic light numbers as points of reference) I turned in and found The Dugout.  I knew it was there, I just hadn't been to it in a number of years.

The store was empty of customers but full of cards.  And signed memorabilia.  And figurines.  And graded cards.  And supplies.  And gnomes.  And... Well, you get the idea.

All major sports.  Baseball, football, basketball, hockey, racing.  I didn't ask about curling.

The owner, Rick Rollar, was very eager to talk, and was very helpful. We exchanged a bit of pleasantries.  I asked about 2014 Topps and he was sold out.  He got six boxes in and now they're gone.  He didn't open any for himself.

After going through my main list of collections he pulled out some interesting items from a box behind the counter.  Some press proof sheets for the 1984 Fun Foods pins that several players had signed, including Orel Hershiser.

And then he pulled out these beauts.

1914 B18 Blankets.  One Wheat and two Sweeneys.  These are in great shape.  I've never actually seen them before.  A bit smaller than I had imagined.  They are 5-1/4" square, but I thought they'd be bigger.  I don't know why.  He offered me a very good price for the three of them, but I don't need all three.  He offered me the Wheat for a very good price as a single piece.  I almost bought it but thought I'd take a breath before pulling the trigger.  I'm trying to stay away from impulse buying, even if it is a good deal on a good product.

So, if you want a knowledgeable dealer with a well lit and well stocked store, visit Rick at The Dugout in Pigeon Forge.  22 years of going strong.  Traffic Light #6.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

A few Listia pick ups

I won a few auctions over at Listia.

I probably got too attached to the Chipper relic card.  I purchased it for 3,807 credit.  But I had them sitting in my account and what a better thing to purchase?  Well, vintage, for sure.

2009 Topps Allen & Ginter
Mini Relic
Chipper Jones (card # AGR-CJ)

Another seller had this nice League Leaders card.  For a mere 40 credits it was mine.  I'm starting to like Kershaw more and really starting to appreciate Cueto, although I can't get passed his 'signature' from a few years back.  Dickey's always been a favorite to watch.  Yes, I'm a bit of a homer here.
2013 Topps
Blue Parallel
NL ERA Leaders (card # 81 )

I picked up a few other things, but they haven't yet arrived.  No, I haven't purchased a JB card in over two months.  Night Owl, you're safe.  For a while.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Ask and they will send

A few posts ago I talked about completing my Topps Type Collection.  Prior to that I was pleading for the cards I needed.  I let my fingers do the walking and I purchased the bulk of my wants from COMC.  I should have waited.  Faithful blogger, reader, and internet friend Greg, from Night Owl Cards, sent me some to plug the holes.

Here's a look-see.

Ronnie Kline.  I already have a Ronnie Kline.  A 1953.  If I subbed this one in for Bobby Shantz, then I'd have two Klines and two Pirates on the same page.  Cool thing about this card?  That's not his signature.  It is an uncorrected error.  J. Robert Kline played one season for Washington.  Good quality control, Topps.

1956 Topps
Ronnie Kline (card # 94)

Tom Morgan.  So, would that be Captain Morgan or Major Tom?  If he subbed in the TTC he'd displace Hal Jeffcoat.  Two Athletics on the same page.  Unless Bobby Shantz goes.  J. Robert Ronnie Kline is looking pretty good right about now.

1957 Topps
Tom Morgan (card # 239)

Greg sacrificed one of his beloved Dodgers on pink for my collection.  Tex Clevenger would have to step aside for Larry.  If you stare long enough at his name on the card the letters start to move.
1960 Topps
Larry Sherry (card # 105)

Bobby Munoz would replace Steve Avery.  The card in the 1995 slot is a Yankee.  Can't have too many of them clumped together.  I think that Steve is safe.
1994 Topps
Bobby Munoz (card # 144)

Steve Sparks or Dennis Eckersley?  See ya, Steve.
1996 Topps
Steve Sparks (card # 279)

I forgot about Matt Williams.  Solid player.  Should he replace Sammy Sosa?  I don't have any other Cubs in the TTC.  But I also don't have any Diamondbacks.  I reasoned before why I wanted Sammy, but Matt's looking good here.
2000 Topps
Matt Williams (card # 5)
I do have a clump of Royals in the 80s, so maybe I can put a Cubbie in there.

Thanks for the cards, Greg.  Thanks for making my head hurt.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

"Tot" Pressnell - 1940 Play Ball

1940 Play Ball
"Tot" Pressnell (card # 146)

I picked this up on ebay through Sirius Sportscards.  I think that it was $3.75.  Listed as Poor.  Probably because of the small splotch on the front and a bit of grease pencil on the back.  I'll take it.  Twice on Sundays.

This card is from the second series.  There were a total of 240 cards in the set, also known as R335 in the American Card Catalog.

Rather than recount the set, I'll point you towards the Cardboard Connection overview or the PSA overview.

Rather than recount his whole life story, I'll point you towards David Fleitz's biography of Pressnell from the SABR BioProject.  If you don't want to go there, here's the short bit of it.  He played for five seasons in the majors, with the Brooklyn Dodgers and then the Chicago Cubs.  He never had a losing season. He was a knuckleballer.

This is another on my list of goals.  Get some pre World War II cards.  It is working.

Monday, January 20, 2014

How am I doing?

Three weeks into the new year and I feel that I need to check on myself.  Here's the list of goals I set out for myself followed by a bit of commentary.
  • I'll blog when I darn well feel like it and when I feel like I have something worthwhile to say.
Yeah, that one's okay.  I'm good.

  • I've started a new football player collection.  Well, is one card a collection?  Maybe not, but it is a start.  Need to create a checklist and prioritize my goals for this player.  Then share him out.
This would be the Jeff Lewis collection.  I'm still on the fence about collecting his cards, but Hiflew made a good point in his comment.  
He was a flawed human being, no doubt, but a small collection of him could serve as a reminder of how fragile we are as human beings.
  • Start and finish cataloging my Jeff Burton cards
No progress on this front.  Well, I did finish up a checklist.   It broke blogger.  I think that the actual spreadsheet just wouldn't fit, so I've linked to the google doc.  My cataloging will pick up about the same time that NASCAR starts racing again.

  • Create a checklist for Kevin McHale cards.  Catalog same.
I've created the checklist.  Now to plug them in.

  • Put my player collections in some sort of order.  Too many stacks of cards, not enough full binder pages.  Specifically Earl Wilson, Kevin McHale, Bill Wade, Jeff Burton, Orel Hershiser.
Fail.  I've added more stacks.

  • As part of cataloging make sure that I'm using Zistle more.
Yep.  I'm slowly adding images that they don't have and adding some team info.  I'm not as big a contributor to them as I once was, but that's okay.  Other young pups have taken the torch and are carrying it.

  • Add more blogs to follow.  Read them.  Comment on them.
I'm reading a few more blogs.  Need to comment.

  • Engage at least two bloggers I've never sent a package to.  Send them a package, trade or goodness.
I'm still seeking them out.

  • Read more books about the hobby.  Operation Bullpen.  Before there was Bubble Gum.  Those types of books.
I did finish reading Before there was Bubble Gum.  A rather easy read, but a good introduction to early baseball cards.  What are some good books about the hobby?  Any suggestions?  I've read

  • Focus on older cards.  Pre WWII.  Pick up a few of them.
Halfway there.  I picked up one.  Future post.

  • Find a local card show.  Attend it.  This will be a tough one.  It looks like a two hour trip to the closest one.  I could get knock off some of my other goals with what I'd spend for gas.
I'm still looking.

I'm happy with where I'm at.  

Some other things that didn't make the list of goals, but I'm pursuing...

Friday, January 17, 2014

Tools of the Trade

This set confuses me to no end.  I've picked up a few Hershisers from it (Jumbo Swatch and Blue).  There's still the Black and the Red standard versions to obtain.  I've seen autograph cards of other players, but not so much Orel.

2005 Playoff Absolute Memorabilia
Dual Swatch
Orel Hershiser (card # TT-159) #/55

This came from ebay and put me back a little over ten bucks.  But it was ten ebay bucks.  Free to me.

This is my first "patch" card of Orel.  I've got some jersey cards, but not one with lettering or numbers.  It is thick.  It can't fit in a binder page.  I'll have to take it to the card shop tomorrow to find a case.

Another month and then local college baseball starts here.  I'm planning on attending the University of Tennessee Volunteers host the Purdue Boilermakers in mid February.  Yes, it will be cool.  But it will also be baseball.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

A Rookie Purchased

I went fishing in the waters of ebay and pulled this from the weeds.

1951 Topps Magic
Bill Wade (card # 2)

It was the $13.60 model.  I was pleasantly surprised to see that 85 % of the back hadn't been scratched off.  The sweet part of this is that I had to purchased some rather expensive items on ebay in the past few months.  I was reimbursed but I got to keep the ebay bucks.  Enough to pay for this one.  And the Jeff Lewis auto.  And two other cards I'll be showing in the coming days.

I think that I might be nearing the end of the line on the Bill Wade collecting train.  Sure, there are more issues out there, but I'm not really a Coke cap collector, nor do I need any Bell Brands or Kahn's cards.  But I'm leaving my options open.

Tony LaRussa in Knoxville

After a spotty career as a player and before he made it as a manager in the big leagues, he had a stint manager of the Knoxvile Knox Sox, the AA farm team of the Chicago White Sox.

1978 TCMA  Knox Sox
Tony LaRussa
Tony didn't spend the complete season in Knoxville.  By the third week in July he was the first base coach on Chicago's southside.   20 players on that 1978 Knoxville team spent time in the majors.  Here's two of them.

1978 TCMA  Knox Sox
Harold Baines
1978 TCMA  Knox Sox
Tom Spencer

I snagged these images from an ebay auction. I've never seen these actual cards.  From ebay I was able to put together a partial list of the 25 Knox Sox in this set.
  • Harold Baines
  • Rich Barnes
  • Dean Craig
  • Donn Deidholz
  • Rich Dotson
  • Marv Foley
  • Quency Hill
  • Fred Howard
  • Tony LaRussa
  • Rusty Kuntz
  • Mark Naerhring
  • Chris Nyman
  • Andy Pasillas
  • Duane Shaffer
  • Ken Silvestri
  • Tom Spencer
  • Mike Wolf

Okay, this was going to be another thing I wanted to do in 2014.  Catalog and expand my Knoxville minor league team sets.  I've put up a checklist, so that's a start.

Monday, January 13, 2014

A new year, a new player to collect - maybe

1996 Pro Line Autographs
Jeff Lewis (card # 38)

You might ask yourself, "Who?"  Jeff Lewis.

He was a quarterback at my alma mater, Northern Arizona University.  I didn't see him play.  Heck, he was only in grade school when I attended college.

He was a fine student athlete and then went on to the pros, playing a few seasons with the Broncos, behind John Elway, and then a few seasons with the Panthers behind Steve Beuerlein.  He didn't fare well in the pros, completing only 54 passes with no TDs.

He then was an assistant coach at the University of Louisville and then at NAU.

He died in January of 2013, just over a year ago.

As I was doing research to flesh out this blog I came across an article from the Charlotte Observer that discusses the results of his autopsy
Former Carolina Panthers quarterback Jeff Lewis, once thought to be the team’s quarterback of the future, died in January as a result of an accidental drug overdose, according to an autopsy report obtained by the Observer. 
The autopsy found morphine and zolpidem, a sedative and sleep aid more commonly known as Ambien, in Lewis’ blood.
 Medication containers and handwritten documents found in Lewis’ Phoenix home indicated a possible history of prescription medication abuse, including zolpidem and the painkiller hydrocodone, Maricopa County medical examiner Kevin Horn wrote in his report.
This doesn't make me happy.  I've been looking at his cards for the last 12 months and finally found one that was going to do it for me on ebay.  I picked it up.  Delivered for less than $3.  I created a checklist and a plan.  I wasn't going to try to get each of the different cards.  Just a rookie, an auto, a card from his last year in Denver, a card from the first and last years in Carolina.  Five cards.

Tragic ending for a young man.  It makes me sad and I'm now I don't know if I want to collect his cards.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Condition of a Rookie Card

We all know that there are a few things to consider when purchasing a card.
  • Condition
  • Condition
  • Condition
  • Price
But mostly condition.  Now, I think that we all have a weakness for old vintagey cards with slightly rounded corners and sometimes a pin hole isn't the worst thing in the world.  "Character" is what they say about them.  "Charm".

Here are some of the 1951 Topps Magic cards of Bill Wade that are currently available on ebay.  I searched for Bill Wade Magic.  You can get more results if you drop the Magic and ad 1951.

I've grabbed some screen shots of the fronts and listed Buy It Now prices, or starting bid price if an auction.

The card offered at the lowest price is in the poorest condition.  Since this is the one of the keystone cards to a respectable Bill Wade collection I'm thinking that I should pass on this one, despite the "charm".


The second card has some promise.  Fairly tight.  A bit of corner ding.  The price is at the right range for me.


Next card is a big dingier.

Condition doesn't always apply to the front or the corners.  What does the back look like?  The "Magic" of these cards is one could scratch away the silver coating and reveal the answer to the question.  Topps revived this at least one more time in 1983 with their Scratch-Off cards.  I guess an unscratched card would be more pristine.  We'll see one in a bit.

Next up is a card for about $30.  Rounder corners, off center, and a nasty ding / crease at the bottom left.

We're over $30 for this.  Ding upper right.  Rounded lower right.  Like Bill Wade, I think I'll pass.


Close to a $50 card.  I've never spent that much on a single card.  And I won't, although it does look nice.
And now we reach the highest priced 1951 Topps Magic Bill Wade card on ebay.  Two hundred dollars.  Look at the back, though.  Virtually pristine.  Except for the scratches.  The great condition isn't enough for me to want to buy this one.


So, for those that know my collecting style, which card should I get?

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Manny Ramirez - At What Price?

I was looking through COMC this week and a card leaped out at me.  Not so much the card, but the price.  Actually, it was the disparity of the prices of the cards.

I wasn't searching for Manny.  I don't collect Manny.  I like his ball playing, but not his attitude towards the game.  I don't want this card.  I'm not into graded cards.  Especially at these prices.

1994 SP Holoviews #31 - Manny Ramirez [BGS 9.5] - Courtesy of
1994 SP Holofoils
Manny Ramirez (card # 31)
BGS 9.5
COMC Price: $276.00

There are three of these things.  I've showed the high.  I'll show the low.  Yep, there's one in between at a cool $196.00.

1994 SP Holoviews #31 - Manny Ramirez [BGS 9.5] - Courtesy of
1994 SP Holofoils
Manny Ramirez (card # 31)
BGS 9.5
COMC Price: $21.50

Ah, here's a much cheaper alternative.  Pick one up that isn't graded.

1994 SP Holoviews #31 - Manny Ramirez - Courtesy of
1994 SP Holofoils
Manny Ramirez (card # 31)
COMC Price: $0.74

The silly thing to me is that there is one seller of the two higher priced graded cards.  Why, then, the $80 price difference between the two cards?  They're both graded at 9.5.  But I don't need to worry about it.

Brave New World

Congrats to Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine, and Frank Thomas for being elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame. These "cards" are 8-1/2" x 11". I've scaled them down a bit so that your viewing pleasure would be quicker.

2000 Atlanta Journal Constitution Atlanta Braves cards
Tom Glavine

2000 Atlanta Journal Constitution Atlanta Braves cards
Greg Maddux