Thursday, December 15, 2016

1928 Tharp's (F50) #13: Rogers Hornsby, Boston Braves, 2B

     Some time back, I ordered a 1972 TCMA reprint set for the famous 1928 F50 ice cream sets (Tharp's, Yuengling's, and Harrington's).  In the late 1920's there weren't really any representative baseball card sets for the era except for these 3 nearly identical ice cream sets containing 60 different cards.  When my reprint set came in, it was missing a card.  I was upset because no one was selling singles for this set--much less other complete sets.  This set is truly rare.  Well, I finally found a seller with about 10 cards for sale containing my missing card.


     Now, I have a few extras that are going to be listed for sale, including this Rogers Hornsby reprint.  I can't tell if he is being depicted in a New York Giants (1927) or a Boston Braves (1928) uniform.  He only spent one year with each team during his 23-year career.  Although Hornsby was just past halfway through his career (1915-1937), he still managed to win the MVP award the following year with the Cubs.  In 1928, he led the league in AVG, SLG, OPS, and Walks.


Sunday, December 4, 2016

Today's Game Era Committee Hall of Fame Ballot

     Tonight at 6 p.m. EST, the 16-person Today's Game Era Committee will vote on 10 different people for the opportunity to be entered into the MLB HOF.  The 10 people on this year's ballot include 5 former players (Mark McGwire, Orel Hershiser, Will Clark, Harold Baines, Albert Belle), 2 former manager (Lou Piniella, Davey Johnson), and 3 former executives (George Steinbrenner, Bud Selig, John Schuerholz).  To be selected into the HOF under this format, the ballot member must receive at least 75% of the committees vote (or 12 out of 16).  Here are my picks if I had a vote:






Sunday, October 9, 2016

1962 Topps Upgrades: #350 F.Robinson & #516 Checklist 7

     Being so close to completion of the 1962 Topps set (-4 cards), I increasingly find fewer opportunities to acquire additional cards from one of my all-time favorite sets.  Recently, I decided to upgrade a couple of cards that were selling at a reasonable price.


     The fingerprint stain was a little annoying, but the card served as a nice filler at a reasonable cost earlier in my '62T set building.  I can't imagine what would have caused it.  It seems more like a chemical discoloration than a colored topping.  Other than the mysterious fingerprint, the card is in really nice condition.


Here's a page from my '62T binder showing my new Frank Robinson card.  Although not as well centered from top-bottom, there's no more fingerprint to look at.



Finding marked checklists from this era of cards is definitely a common occurrence.  Somehow, this was my only marked checklist in the '62T set and I was able to find an unmarked checklist for a really good price.  


Here's the final page from my '62T Topps set depicting the last 4 checklists, which are all unmarked.


Friday, September 23, 2016

1962 Topps #598: Rookie Parade Outfielders

     With my recent acquisition of the last card in the 1962 Topps baseball card set, I'm now down to only 5 missing cards to complete one of my all-time favorite sets.  The only issue I have with this acquisition is that it arrived slabbed.



     So forgive me for being a slabcracker because all of my personal sets are stored in binder pages without exception--I thought that this card was actually a [VG-EX+ 4.5] anyways, since the centering and surface are nearly perfect.  Below, are a couple of binder pages from the back of my 1962 Topps set binder that depict the Rookie Parade subset.  The 2 missing slots are reserved for #592 and #594.


     So, what I've begun doing with my set binder organization as of late is leaving only the special subset cards that don't fit effectively into one of my team sets and placing them at the end in reverse chronological or significance order.  In this case, I was able to pull out the All-Star and Player Combo cards to insert along with my team sets.  The subsets I have leftover are: World Series (not shown), League Leaders, Rookie Parade, Babe Ruth Special, and Checklists. 

1970 Topps Booklet #22: Bob Gibson, St. Louis Cardinals, P

     Just when I thought that I've completed the 1970's Topps decade collection, I discover a few insert sets that I'd like to include into my collection. The first two were the 1973-1974 Topps Team Checklist insert cards that I finally completed a few weeks ago, and now rest in the front of each of the team sets in my set binders.  Recently, I discovered the 1970-1971 Topps Scratchoffs, Posters, and Booklets.


     Here's my first Booklets double that I've also listed for sale.  It's a copy of Hall of Famer Bob Gibson's story in not-so-great condition, but very interesting never-the-less.  I did manage to complete the 24-card Booklets insert set this week, and currently have them organized numerically in the back of my '70T set binder.  I'm not yet sure if I'll integrate them into my base set, but it is certainly a consideration right now.    





     I think the 1970 Topps set deserves to get a better look from collectors.  The grey backgrounds with the blue and yellow card backs design probably wasn't the most appealing to collectors, but the set is full of great photos of stars either early or late during their careers.  It also has a 3 cool insert sets that are still very affordable.  I find myself looking more often at my 1970 Topps set than many of my other early-'70s sets, including the typically more popular 1971 Topps set.  I guess there is just something special about the 1970 set that is easy to overlook at first glance.    

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

3 Years into my 1951 Topps Set

Three and a half years ago, I posted a blog on my first acquisition from the 1951 Topps set.  With the acquisition of three new cards today, I've somehow managed to put together 86 cards from this 106-card set during that time.


I finally broke down and purchased a box of 12-pocket pages to store my 1948 Bowman to 1951 Topps collection and save space.  As with all of my sets, my 1951 Topps collection is organized by team winning percentage followed by player's age.  In this case, the Yankees beat the Giants for their 3rd consecutive World Series victory after Bobby Thomson hit that famous HR against the Dodgers in a tie-breaker to get into the World Series.  The rest of the team follow by winning percentage.


Sometime over the past three and a half years, I was able to complete the "A" series (Red Backs) consisting of 52 Topps Base cards, and what I like to refer to as the first 2 Topps Traded cards for a total of 54 different "A" series cards.  Since then, I've been focusing on the much more expensive "B" series (Blue Backs), from which I've managed to complete 32 of the 52 cards so far.  


When I first started collecting baseball cards in 1987, I had never even heard of the 1951 Topps set.  The industry seemed to behave as though Topps didn't come out until 1952.  It wasn't until Topps' 40th anniversary set in 1991 when I first started to question when the initial Topps set was released.  I don't even think that price guides were acknowledging this set during my initial collecting years.  I don't actually remember when I first discovered this set, but I'm willing to bet that it didn't occur until after my return from a 10-year hiatus away from the hobby in 2001.  


I think this is a fantastic set deserving of much more respect from the baseball card industry, and hope to have it completed long before Topps' 70th anniversary.






Tuesday, August 9, 2016

1975 Topps #336: Rennie Stennett, Pittsburgh Pirates, 2B

     Before Brandon Crawford of the San Francisco Giants received his 7th hit during the 14th inning against the Miami Marlins late last night, Rennie Stennett did it during a 9-inning game against the Cubs on September 16th, 1975.  Only 3 other players have achieved the feat since 1913, before Stennett's and Crawford's all-time league leading 7-hit games,



Sunday, August 7, 2016

Top Collecting Priorities and Recent Blog Changes

     I'm sure most of us have heard the saying that it's not work if you're enjoying what you're doing.  Well, quite the opposite is true as well.  At one point, I expanded my number of blog to 4 different.  I had one for 21st Century, two for 20th Century, and one for 19th Century.  It was becoming too much, so I consolidated 3 into 1, will now use this blog to discuss everything prior to 1990's baseball.
     Since I haven't posted on this blog in a while, I'll kick it off again by describing my top collecting priorities at the moment.  I am so close to completing four different sets with the acquisition of 5 different cards.  The first set is 1950 Bowman.  Before the movie "42" came out, I could find Jackie Robinson cards from the '50 Bowman set for $75-$100.  I wasn't ready to buy one then--but as the only card missing from my set--I am now.  The only problem is that these cards are now going for twice the price.  This card remains my #5 priority.  


My #4 Priority is Nolan Ryan's rookie card.  As only one of two missing cards from my 1968 Topps set, I'd like to find one of these for $60-$80.  I've already missed a few opportunities this year due to timing.


The '68T #490 card is my number 3 priority because it's an easier acquisition to bring me within one card of completing the 1968 Topps set.  I haven't seen one of these for under $15 since the start of the season.  In fact, anything Mickey Mantle seems to have bottomed out well above the 10% BV mark since the start of the season.  I'll be patient on this one.


My #2 priority is all that stands between completion of the 1969 Topps set.  I'd be happy to find one for $25.


My top priority right now is this 1973 Topps Yankees Team Checklist insert card.  Although my 1973 Topps set was completed some years ago, I didn't collect insert cards at the time.  I now start off my 1973-1974 team set with these team checklists in my set binders.  This has become my top priority because I'm trying to get out of the '70s and start moving into the mid-to-late '60s.  I haven't seen one of these for below $10 lately, and I'm looking for pay only $4.

2016 Topps #566: Alex Rodriguez, New York Yankees, DH

     Alex Rodriguez announced his "release" from the Yankees today; however, he never did not use the word, retirement, and will remain eligible to sign with any interested team.  A-Rod's final game with the Yankees with be on Friday, August 12th.  Although he is not the oldest player left in the Majors (Ichiro Suzuki holds that honor), A-Rod is the last player in the Majors still around from the the 1994 strike season.





     The number of players still around from the 1990's is rapidly dwindling down.  The only other ones I could find based on a quick scan of the 2016 Topps set are: Bartolo Colon ('97), David Ortiz ('97), Carlos Beltran ('98), Adrian Beltre ('98), and A.J. Pierzynski ('98). 




Wednesday, June 22, 2016

1964 Topps #230: Brooks Robinson, Baltimore Orioles, 3B

     Brooks Robinson is currently one of the owners of the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs (an independent league team) through Opening Day Partners (ODP).  I've had the opportunity to attend a few of their games from one of the fantastic box suites available at Regency Furniture Stadium.  It's too bad that I didn't get to meet the man himself while I was out there.  This would have been a great card to have autographed.




Tuesday, June 21, 2016

1939 Play Ball #9: Jim Tobin, Pittsburgh Pirates, P

     Jim Tobin was nearing the end of his tenure with the Pirates in 1939, having come off an active year with 241.1 Innings Pitched in 40 Games the previous season.  Although, Tobin led the league in Fielding % as a Pitcher in 1938, his best years were still ahead of him.  He was traded to the Boston Bees/Braves after the 1939 season, and was purchased by the Tigers in 1945.  Tobin appeared in the 1944 All-Star Game and won a ring in the 1945 World Series against the Cubs.  He continued playing professional ball through 1950 with the White Sox AA-affiliate Memphis Chickasaws--a career that began with the class-D Bisbee Bees in 1932. 



1964 Topps #300: Hank Aaron, Milwaukee Braves, OF

     My 1964 Topps set has grown significantly over the past year, going from only a couple of pages worth, to just over 50% of the complete set now.  My set is rapidly becoming a respectable one too, with stars like Hank Aaron to include in my collection.  The 1964 Topps set was probably the last of the '60s sets that I started collecting, along with the 1961 Topps set.  I think I've finally reached just over 75% completion for the decade now--or pretty close (73% the last I checked).



Friday, June 10, 2016

1939 Play Ball #83: Gus Suhr, Pittsburgh Pirates, 1B

     Gus Suhr started his 10th MLB season with the Pirates in 1939 before being traded to the Phillies after the All-Star break.  Suhr was a reliable 1st Baseman, often leading the league in Games Played each year.  He batted .303 between the Pirates and Phillies in 1939, ranking 2nd in Fielding % at 1B.  Suhr made his only All-Star appearance in 1936.



Saturday, June 4, 2016

1993 Topps #36: Scott Servais, Houston Astros, C

Scott Servais played for 4 different teams from 1991-2001, but mostly for the Houston Astros.  His 1993 On-Base Percentage was .313 and his Slugging Percentage was .415 for an OPS for .727.  As a Catcher, Servais ranked in the top 5 for Double Plays Turned, Range Factor/9Inn, Range Factor/Game, and Fielding Percentage in 1993.  Servais remained with the Houston Astros until 1995, when he was traded to the Chicago Cubs along with Luis Gonzalez.  He would eventually reach the playoffs with the Cubs in 1998.



Scott Servais took over as manager for the Seattle Mariners in 2016.