Monday, July 28, 2014

2014 HOF Induction Ceremony: T.Glavine, G.Maddux, & F.Thomas

     Congratulations to this year's class of Hall of Fame inductees at Cooperstown, NY: J.Torre, B.Cox, T.Larussa, G.Maddux, T.Glavine, & F.Thomas.  Frank Thomas' rookie card first appeared in the 1990 Topps set alongside his star teammates Sosa and Ventura.  Perhaps, the '90 set will start gettting a little more respect after Thomas' induction into the HOF.

     Shown on only this single page from my collection are cards integrated from the 1990 Topps base set along with Topps Traded and Topps Debut.

2014 HOF Induction Ceremony: T.Glavine, G.Maddux, & F.Thomas

Congratulations to this year's class of Hall of Fame inductees at Cooperstown, NY: J.Torre, B.Cox, T.Larussa, G.Maddux, T.Glavine, & F.Thomas.

Joe Torre's managerial rookie card appeared in the 1978 Topps set depicting him as both a player and a manager with his complete MLB player stats on the back.  During his HOF speech, Torre jokingly gave credit to Felix Millan for his ability to consistently get on base, which allowed Torre to hit into 4 straight double plays at some point during their playing careers as teammates.  The other three senior members (Koosman, Harrelson, & Kranepool) depicted in Torre's first team as a manager were all veterans from the '69 World Series championship Mets club.  Torre later apologized to the media for not mentioning enough gratitude towards George Steinbrenner.  I thought that Torre's introduction made that clear--that he would not be at the podium that day if it weren't for the Yankees.

Bobby Cox's managerial rookie card also appeared in the 1978 Topps set as the skipper for the Atlanta Braves ballclub.  His senior player, Phil Niekro, began his career with the Braves and had moved with the ballclub from Milwaukee to Atlanta in '66.  Niekro earned a Gold Glove, and a spot on the All-Star team during Cox's managerial rookie year in '78, and would later enter the Hall of Fame in 1997.  

Cox's other senior player, Cito Gaston, would eventually lead a team of his own to 2 consecutive World Series titles in 1992 and 1993.

Tony LaRussa's managerial rookie card appeared in the 1980 Topps set as the skipper of the Chicago White Sox.

The 1980 Topps set did not provide additional information about team managers on the card backs of this set. 

Greg Maddux's rookie card first appeared in the 1987 Topps Traded set.  Here, Maddux is shown as the youngest player on his team alongside other big name players like Palmeiro, Dunston, Moyer, and Martinez.

The Topps Traded card backs are lighter than the base set, but I integrated them into one set anyway.  Wouldn't it would be a shame to be missing this card from your '87 Topps set.  As one of my all-time favorite sets.  I compiled a bunch of these Traded sets (probably too many).  I wish I could say the same for the '00 Topps Traded sets before the M.Cabrera RC skyrocketed..

Tom Glavine's rookie card first appeared in the 1988 Topps set with the same team he would end his career with. 

It is by chance that Glavine is shown here isolated from his teammates and surrounded by Orioles.  The Orioles team had the next lower winning percentage than the Braves in 1988, so here he is next to Murray, Ripken, and F.Robinson, who had just taken over as Orioles skipper from Ripken Sr.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

1952 topps #159: Saul Rogovin, White Sox, P

Saul Rogovin was one of five player cards not authorized to be reproduced in the 1983 Topps '52 reprint set.  I previously posted about #196 Solly Hemus, and have since acquired #20 Billy Loes.  That leaves two more holes in my '52T set: #22 D.Dimaggio and #289 Tommy Holmes.  

Saul Rogovin played 8 seasons in the majors between 1949-1957 for four different teams.  In 1952, Rogovin was coming off a league leading 2.78 ERA season, and his first full year with the White Sox.  1951 and 1952 were probably Rogovin's best career seasons, ranking top 10 in the league in Wins, ERA, Strikeouts, Shutouts, Innings Pitched, and Complete Games in either one or both of those years.  He was traded away from the White Sox after the '53 season.

With only a few original '52T cards in my collection, it is noticeable when 5 of them are part of the same team as in this case.  I continue to integrate originals into my reprint sets as they are acquired.  I really enjoy this method of collecting vintage cards because it relieves the pressure of having to "power through" trying to obtain cards faster than my budget would allow.  All of the cards are here; just some of them are reprints (most of them actually).  I've done this with my '53T and '54T sets as well, but with a much higher percentage of originals.  I do wish that more of the '50s sets were reprinted, since they are so difficult to obtain.  I have a box of these extra reprint cards from '52, '53, and '54 that I will probably list as a pick lot auction sometime.  Here's what my 1952 Topps White Sox team look like:

Friday, July 25, 2014

1998 Topps #7: Mickey Mantle, New Yankees, OF

This post title may seem to be a little misleading, but it is definitely suitable for my intended purpose.  What we actually have here is a 2006 Topps Mantle Collection card #MM1998, but for me, it's a 1998 Topps #7.  It really bothered me that Topps retired the #7 card between 1997-2005.  After returning back to the hobby in 2001 following a 10-year lapse, I noticed that the missing card number would throw off my page count when organizing my sets into binders.  Where I have been used to card #'s 90, 180, 270, 360, 450, 540, and 630 occurring at the corner of every 10th page, there had been oddball number cards in those positions. 

The missing #7 cards probably led to the beginning of my set organizations by team, which then evolved into organization by team performance and players.  Extra cards first went to the front of my binder, and eventually to the back, where additional bonus cards could be easily added in the future.  The missing #7 cards also probably led to my temporary lapse in modern card collecting between 2007-2012, in which I focused solely on vintage card collecting.  My temporary lapse in modern card collecting was also encouraged by the onset of numerous variation cards ('99T McGwire/Sosa HR's, '00T Magic Moments, '02T Bonds HR's, Factory Bonus Sets, etc.), scarcity of Traded Sets ('01-'04), and probably significantly, the missing 2006 Topps card #297 Alex Gordon.  Just when Topps returned card #7 to their sets, they pull a stunt like introducing a card that either is, or is not part of the "complete" set--but it exists.   

I have since recovered from the disappointment of all of these modern sales gimmicks (and Topps has again removed card #7 from their sets), but for the missing #7's from between 1997-2005, at least, there is an affordable answer.  The 2006 Topps Mantle Collection consists of 10 cards numbered from #MM1996-#MM2005, or at least from what I am aware.  I currently only have two of these, but intend to obtain them all eventually to integrate into my base sets.  I probably chose the worst one to start with since the border of #MM1998 does not quite match the border of the rest of the '98T set, but the rest of the '06T Mantle Collection cards seem to match their respective sets very well.     

Now, comes the issue of where to place the #7 Mantle card.  From about 1995, Topps began manufacturing veteran-type player cards beginning with Babe Ruth, and then M.Mantle '96, J.Robinson '97, R.Clemente '98, N.Ryan '99, H.Aaron '00, etc.  Originally, I included these long retired veterans at the front of their respective team sets; then I moved them to the back of my binders with the rest of the extra cards (they're not current players!).  Now, I'm considering moving them back into the front of their respective team sets as shown in the first page of my '98T set binder for the 1998 World Champion New York Yankees.  There are two reasons for this: stats on the back of each card like they were still playing and recent veteran variation factory bonus cards. 

This is all just part of the fun of collecting baseball cards these days. 

Monday, July 21, 2014

1950 Bowman #136: Buddy Rosar, Boston Red Sox, C

I picked up about 15 of these '50B cards at a local card show for about 20% BV.  I had never held such a stack of 100's of these cards as I had at this 250-table event.  There was supposed to be an $8 admission charge, but they ignored it on the first day.  I came out of that show with major contributions towards my '50B, '62T, '66T, and '69T baseball card sets.  Here's just one of those cards.      



Friday, July 18, 2014

1951 Topps #A-14: Wayne Terwilliger, Chicago Cubs, 2B

Wayne Terwilliger played for 5 different teams during 9 seasons between 1949-1960.  This 1951 Topps card would represent his final year with the Chicago Cubs, as he would be traded along with 3 other teammates to the Brooklyn Dodgers for 4 players before mid-season.  Andy Pafko, Johnny Schmitz, and Rube Walker went to Brooklyn with Terwilliger; Bruce Edwards, Joe Hatten, Gene Hermanski, and Eddie Miksis went to Chicago.  Terwilliger played mostly at 2nd Base throughout his career, which also included time with the Washington National/Senators, New York Giants, and Kansas City Athletics.  He continued playing in the minors through 1968 and managing in the minors through 1980.  Terwilliger was a major leage coach on the Washington Senators staff under Ted Williams during their final seasons in D.C. and continued coaching on various major league staffs through the early '90s.  He was a base coach for the Minnesota Twins during their championship season in 1987.  Terwilliger began managing independent league teams during the mid '90s through 2005.    

Thursday, July 17, 2014

1955 Topps #33 T.Qualters & #148 L.Ortiz Phillies

I've recently began building up my '55s as they become available for just a dollar, and have thus far, been able to acquire over 20% of the set already.  Not all of my '55T acquisitions are one dollar commons though, as my current collection also includes a J.Robinson and R.Campanella.  Here are couple of Phillies cards that I scanned from my earlier acquisitions of '55T that have been sitting in my blog drafts. 

Tom Qualters pitched in 8 different games for the Phillies beginning as an 18-year old between 1953-1958.  He was purchased by the White Sox early in the '58 season, where Qualters would pitch in 26 more games before being sent back down to the minors later that year to end his major league career.     

I could find no record of Lou Ortiz ever playing in the majors.  He spent of majority of his 13-year minor league career in the Cardinals' farm system between 1946 through 1954--mostly with the Rochester Red Wings AAA affiliate.  Ortiz ended his minor league career with the Kansas City A's triple-A affiliate Buffalo Bisons in 1958. 

Monday, July 14, 2014

Topps' 1st Traded/Update Set: 1951

In a sense, the first Topps Traded set also happened to be its first baseball card set.  In 1951, Topps released its inaugural 104-card baseball set in two different series consisting of 52 cards each--Series "A" and "B".  Series "A" has come to be known as the Red Backs, while Series "B" has come to be known as the Blue Backs.  It was in Series "A" that Topps introduced two Traded cards, signifying an update to the team status of the represented player.  In the mail today, I received one of those Traded cards from the 1951 Topps Set.

Tommy Holmes' regular-issue '51 Topps card features an Outfielder for one of the final Boston Braves teams that would eventually relocate to Milwaukee after the 1952 season--long before moving to Atlanta in 1966.  Apparently, sometime during the production of "A" series cards in the 1951 Topps set, an updated version of his card was released to reflect Holmes' changed status as the Manager of the Braves' Minor League affiliate in Hartford. 

The other Traded card in the 1951 Topps set belongs to Gus Zernial.  To my knowledge, the only other set that had Traded cards of this sort prior to 1972 is the 1969 Topps set, which also had two Traded-type cards.  Of course, it is well recognized that the 1972 Topps set contained the actual first Traded cards, but those cards were numbered as part of the base set.  The 1974 and 1976 sets were the first Topps Traded Sets to be numbered separately from the base set.  Topps didn't begin manufacturing Traded sets regularly until 1981.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

1970 Topps #712: Nolan Ryan, New York Mets, P

The primary roadblock to completing a 1970 Topps baseball card set is acquiring Nolan Ryan's 3rd year card.  It's taken me some time, but I finally found one for just over 11% BV, which makes it a perfect fit for my collection.  If you've been paying attention to asking prices for lower-grade early Nolan Ryan cards, you'd probably agree that they aren't going for under 20% BV in any condition.  With book values such as commanded by Ryan's cards, there's a hefty difference between it's cost at 10%, 20%, and 30% BV.
With the toughest card of 1970 Topps now out of the way, the final 6 cards missing from my collection should be a breeze.  Except for Ron Santo's card, the rest of my missing cards are just commons from the final two series.  Santo's card books at only $8.00, but is hard to find at even 50% BV.  I may have to overpay a little for the last few at between 30%-50% BV.  I'm anticipating completing this set before the summer is over.  

With completion of the 1970 Topps baseball card set soon to follow, I will have completed not only 3 key sets from the early '70s this year alone, but all of the Topps baseball card sets from the entire '70s decade. 

Pages from my '50B Binder: Washington Senators Team Set

After compiling more than 75% of the 1950 Bowman set, I have finally completed my first team set.  The 1950 Bowman Washington Senators consists of 14 different player cards.  From oldest to youngest, the Senators cards included in this team set are:

#143- Eddie Stewart, OF
#144- Al Evans, C
#17- Sid Hudson, P
#160- Mickey Harris, P
#108- Rae Scarborough, P
#161- Sherry Robertson, IF
#18- Eddie Robinson, 1B
#53- Clyde Vollmer, OF

#15- Al Kozar, 2B
#52- Sam Mele, OF
#107- Sam Dente, SS
#54- Gil Coan, OF
#247- Irv Noren, OF
#162- Eddie Yost, 3B

The first page of Senators players has a space because it has been reserved for the last St. Louis Cardinals player, which was the team with the next best record in 1950.  Following the Washington Senators for team record in 1950, were the Cincinnati Reds.

What's nice about the size of the 1950 Bowman set is that the 252 total cards fit nicely into 28 full pages of 9-pocket card protectors.  I've cut standard-sized single card protectors to store my '50 Bowmans snugly into the 9-pocket pages, adding addition protection for each card.