Saturday, November 29, 2014

2015 Golden Era HOF Ballot: Tony Oliva

The 16-person Golden Era Committee will have the opportunity to vote for Tony Oliva to be inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2015.  Oliva lasted 15 years on the BBWAA HOF ballot between 1982-1996.  The closest he ever came to HOF induction occurred in 1988, when Oliva received over 47% of the voter's approval.  Oliva played all 15 of his major league seasons with the Minnesota Twins from 1962-1976.  He won the A.L. Rookie of the Year award in 1964, and was the runner-up for the A.L. MVP award in 1965 and 1970 (years in which his team made the playoffs).  Oliva led the league in Batting Average (3x), Hits (5x), and Doubles (4x) during his career.  He also led the league in Total Bases, Runs, and Slugging.  Oliva made the All-Star team in 8 consecutive years.  Oliva appeared during all 7 games of the 1965 World Series and all 3 games of each of the first two ALCS's against the Orioles in '69 and '70.  His career .304 batting average is most notable among his body of work accomplishments, falling short on the typical triple crown categories.  Perhaps Oliva falls a little short in HOF qualifications, but out of the 10 eligible names, he's one of my Top 3.  Here are all of the regular-issue Oliva cards in my collection (missing '63, '65, '69).
1964 Topps

1966 Topps

1967 Topps

1968 Topps

1970 Topps
1971 Topps

1972 Topps

 1973 Topps

1974 Topps

1975 Topps

1976 Topps

Friday, November 28, 2014

2015 Golden Era HOF Ballot: Gil Hodges

On December 8th, the results from the 16-person Golden Era Committee will be announced.  The committee will vote on a 10-person ballot for Hall of Fame election for players and other baseball personnel that have passed their eligibility for HOF election on the BBWAA ballot.  75% of the 16 votes are required for HOF election on the Golden Era Ballot.  Who will I be pulling for?  Jim Kaat, Tony Oliva, and Gil Hodges.  Here are all of the regular-issue Topps Hodges cards I have from his playing and managerial career that lasted between 1943-1971.  Hodges played for the Dodgers in Brooklyn and Los Angeles from 1943-1961.

1951 Topps #A-31

1952 Topps #36 (1983 Topps reprint)

1953 Topps #296 (1991 Archives "Card that Never Was" reprint)

1954 Topps #102 (1994 Archives reprint)

1957 Topps #80

1962 Topps- Hodges finished off his playing career for the Mets during the team's 1st two seasons as an expansion franchise between 1962-1963.

1966 Topps- Hodges managed the Washington Senators (Nationals) team between 1963-1967.  I have a '65T Hodges on way.

1967 Topps

1968 Topps- Hodges finished off his managerial career managing the Mets between 1968-1971.

1969 Topps (1989 Topps "Turn Back the Clock") I'm still looking for a decently priced '69T Hodges card, representing the year he took the start-up Mets all the way to a World Series championship.

1970 Topps

1971 Topps

1972 Topps-  Hodges' final regular-issue Topps card was 1972, although he did not manage during that year.  Apparently, the off-centering to the left issue was common for this card, but I was able to find a nicely centered version for an upgrade (on the way).

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

2015 Hall of Fame Ballot: Randy Johnson 1988-2009

The 2015 Hall of Fame ballot will be announced by Major League Baseball on Monday, November 24th, 2014.  Headlining this year's ballot will most likely be Randy Johnson.  His career spanned 22 seasons with 6 different teams: Mariners, Diamondbacks, Expos, Yankees, Giants, and Astros.  Johnson has a career 303 Wins, 3.29 ERA, and 4875 Strikeouts in 4135.1 Innings Pitched.  He has 5 Cy Young awards and made 10 All-Star teams during his career.  Of Johnson's 603 career starts, 100 of them were complete games, and 37 of those were shutouts.  He pitched in 8 Division Series, 4 League Championship Series, and 1 World Series in 2001.  Randy Johnson is my first pick for selection to the 2015 Hall of Fame.
1989 Topps #647.

1989 Topps #57T.

1984 Topps: Active Season & Career Leaders subsets

Here's an interesting look back at the active season and career leaders from 30 years ago: 1984-2014.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Building the 1969 Topps Baseball Card Set

With my recent completion of the '70T set, all that's left for me now are the truly vintage Topps sets from the '50s and '60s.  I never thought that I'd actually make it to a point where these were the only Topps baseball cards missing from my collection.  The 1st 1960's card that I ever owned was a '69T #30 Bob Allison, Minnesota Twins, Outfielder.  I don't remember how or when I acquired it, but it must have been sometime during my original collecting period between 1987-1991.  I kept that card in a glass case for many years until I started finding '69T cards at 3/$1.00 deals at card shows beginning around 2001.  I didn't start seriously collecting the 1969 Topps set until this year--after completing the '70T, '71T, and '72T sets.

It's actually been a good year in card collecting for me, but my recent relocation has brought me to an area where I no longer have easy access to large card shows.  The nearest location for me to find a large card show is probably about 4 hours away.  This will certainly present an issue for collecting the '69T set.  Common cards from this set book between $1.50-$3.00, which means that I looking to pay between $0.30-$0.60 for common card (20% BV).  These kind of deals aren't available online, so going to card shows is the only other way for me to build this set.  At this point, I've managed to compile 515 of the 664 total cards in this set (or 516 of 666 if you count the two pose variations).  Most of the 149 (or 150) missing cards left to gain are common to minor star players that aren't worth enough to pay the minimum $1 per card rate available online.  I need 3 for a $1 or better.

Above, I have displayed 9 of the top 11 most valued cards from the '69T set.  The two missing are Mickey Mantle, and Nolan Ryan.  The Mantle Commemorative shown below makes for a nice filler card until I'm able to find a real at a reasonable rate--which rarely occurs for Mantle cards.  I only recently acquired the Reggie Jackson RC.