Tuesday, December 31, 2013

1970 Topps #549: St. Louis Cardinals Team

Managed by former Hall-of-Fame player, Red Schoendienst, the Cardinals' 78-86 record in 1970 put them in 4th place out of 6 teams in the N.L. East behind the Pirates, Cubs, and Mets.  The primary position players were: Joe Torre C, Dick Allen 1B, Julian Javier 2B, Dal Maxvill SS, Mike Shannon 3B, Lou Brock LF, Jose Cardenal CF, and Leron Lee RF.  The starting rotation consisted of: Bob Gibson, Steve Carlton, Mike Torrez, Jerry Reuss, and Nelson Briles.  The relievers were: Frank Linzy, Sal Campisi, Bill McCool, and Tom Hilgendorf.  The primary closer was: Chuck Taylor.

BV: $6.00
Cost: $0.67 (paid 11% BV)
Condition: FR 1.5 (worth 7.5% BV)
Completion: 653 of 720 (90% complete)
Comment: Heavy creasing, but with nice coloring/focus and some surface gloss left.  Nice edges overall with a little chipping/notching.  Corners are noticeably rounded with moderate layering.  The centering is 50/50 L-R and noticeably off from T-B with minor to moderate diamond cutting.

Monday, December 30, 2013

1970 Topps #548: Howie Reed P, Montreal Expos

As an original member of the Montreal Expos club, Howie Reed was near the end of his 10 season MLB career by 1970.  Throughout the Expos' first 3 seasons as a major league franchise, Reed pitched in 31, 57, and 43 games, respectively.  He began as part of the team's starting rotation, but began his move to the bullpen during the Expos' inaugural season.  1970 was Reed's best season with the Expos, as he participated in 57 games with a .545 win percentage and a 3.13 ERA in 89 innings.  Reed played for a total of 5 different major league teams between 1958-1971.  Reed was part of the 1965 World Series championship Dodgers team, which he served as a reliever during 2 games.

BV: $4.00
Cost: $0.66 (paid 16% BV)
Condition: VG-EX 4.0 (worth 30% BV)
Completion: 652 of 720 (90% complete)
Comment: This appears to be a solid VG-EX with a 1/2" hairline crease coming off of the top-right corner that is only visible from the front.  There's also some minor corner wear with a couple of dings along with some noticeable offcentering from L-R.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

1971 Topps #664: Rookie Star Pitchers (Archie Reynolds / Bob Reynolds / Ken Reynolds)

In 1971, Topps manufactured 8 different 'Rookie Stars' cards that didn't readily fit into one of the team sets, so I decided to organize them in the back of my binder with the rest of the subset cards for the year.  These 8 different cards were: #529 N.L., #559 A.L., #633 A.L., #664 Pitchers, #692 A.L. Pitchers, #709 Outfielders, #728 N.L. Outfielders, and #747 N.L. Pitchers.  The cards weren't uniformly labeled except for the '1971 Rookie Stars' designation at the top and the identification of three different players.  The most famous of these 8 cards is the Dusty Baker/Tom Paciorek/Don Baylor Outfielders card #709.  

Archie Reynolds played in the majors for 5 seasons between 1968-1972 for 3 different teams.  The Cubs drafted Reynolds in '66 and traded him to the Angels for Juan Pizarro in 1970.  The Angels traded Reynolds to the  Brewers for Curt Motton in 1972.

Bob Reynolds played for 6 different teams during 6 seasons between 1969-1975.  He was most active between 1973-1974, when as an Oriole, Reynolds finished the season with a 1.95 ERA in 111 innings pitched over 42 games, and with a 2.73 ERA in 69.1 innings pitched over 54 games, respectively.  Reynolds also saw postseason action in the ALCS against Oakland during his best two seasons.   

Ken Reynolds played 6 seasons in the majors with 4 different teams between 1970-1976.  He was most active between 1971-1972 with the Phillies where he pitched in 162.1 innings over 35 games the first year and 154.1 innings over 33 the next year.  Reynolds was used primarily as a starter, throwing a couple of complete games during his most active years.  He also finished a few games in relief for a few games in 1971-1972.    

BV: $12.00 (high # SP Common)
Cost: $1.74 (paid 14% BV)
Condition: VG 3.0 (worth 20% BV)
Completion: 741 of 752 (98% complete)
Comment: 82/18-L/R centering on this card is the primary detractor [VG].  In the other direction the centering is 65/35-T/B.  The corners are slightly rounded/layered [VG].  The edges actually look much better [EX].  The surface has a hairline crease [VG-EX].  I didn't feel that the improved condition of the surface and edges were enough to bring the overall condition of this card up to a [VG+] but it has to be a solid VG worth at least $2.40.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

1971 Topps #734: Rob Gardner P, New York Yankees

Rob Gardner pitched in only 1 game for the Yankees in 1970.  At the start of the '71 season, he was traded to the Oakland A's along with Ron Klimkowski for Felipe Alou.  The following month, Oakland actually traded Gardner back to the Yankees for Curt Blefary after pitching in only 4 games.  He pitched in only 2 more games for the Yankees the rest of the season.  Gardner had somewhat of a breakout year with the Yankees in 1972, pitching in 20 games with a .615 win percentage and a 3.06 ERA.  After the end of the season, the Yankees traded Gardner back to the A's again along with Rich McKenney for Matty Alou.  Rob Gardner played for a total of 6 major league teams during 8 seasons between 1965-1973. 

BV: $12.00
Cost: $3.00 (paid 25% BV)
Condition: EX 5.0 (worth 40% BV)
Completion: 740 of 752 (98% complete)
Condition: There's a little more wear on all four corners than just a little fuzziness, but there are no dings or creases.  The card is very well centered with nice surface gloss and only a minor scratch near the bottom-left corner.  The edges have some roughness, slight notching, and only a little chipping.

Friday, December 27, 2013

1971 Topps #524: Mickey Stanley OF, Detroit Tigers

Mickey Stanley began the '71 season coming off of 3 consecutive Gold Glove awards as an Outfielder--a run that began for him during the Detroit Tigers' World Series championship season of 1968.  Although his OPS improved to a five-year high of .733, '71 and '72 would be down years for Stanley (in terms of total offensive numbers), although he would help the Tiger reach the ALCS against the Oakland A's.  Stanley would make a comeback in 1973, earning some of his best career numbers, along with a 4th Glove Glove award to top off the season.  He played for the Tigers during all of his 15 seasons as a major leaguer from 1964-1968.    

BV: $6.00
Cost: ?
Condition: GD 2.0 (worth 10% BV)
Completion: 739 of 752 (98% complete)
Comment:  Mickey Stanley appeared on the HOF ballot one time and earned a couple of votes in 1984.

1971 Topps #717: Tommie Aaron 1B, Atlanta Braves

Tommie Aaron played his entire career with the Braves' organization beginning with his first major league appearance for the Milwaukee club in 1962, and ending with his final appearance for the relocated Atlanta club in 1971.  This was also Tommie's final Topps card as a player.  He appeared in a postseason game against the Mets in 1969 during the first NLCS.  Tommie is exactly 5-1/2 years younger than his brother. 

BV: $12.00
Cost: $3.00 (paid 25% BV)
Condition: VG+ 3.5 (worth 25% BV)
Completion: 738 of 752 (98% complete)
Comment:  The primary flaws on this card are from heavy chipping/layering along the edges.  There is also some minor off-centering with slight corner rounding, but nice surface gloss.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

1972 Topps #690: Willie Montanez OF, Philadelphia Phillies

Willie Montanez was the runner-up for the N.L. Rookie of the Year award the previous season in 1971 with a total of 153 Hits, 27 Doubles, 30 HR's, and 99 RBI in 599 AB's.  Montanez's major league career actually began with 8 games for the Angels in 1966, but he didn't make another appearance after that until 1970, when Montanez was traded to the Phillies.  In 1972, Montanez would lead the N.L. with 39 Doubles and 15 Assists as an OF.  Montanez would remain with the Phillies until being traded to the Giants for Garry Maddox early in the 1975 season.  

BV: $15.00
Cost: $2.99 (paid 20% BV)
Condition: FR 1.5 (worth 7.5% BV)
Completion: 776 of 787 (98% complete)
Comment: With the addition of this Montanez card to my '72T collection, only 1 of the 11 cards I'm missing are numbered below 700. 

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

1971 Topps #751: Al Weis, Infield, New York Mets

Al Weis was at the end of his 10 year major league career in 1971.  His career began with the Chicago White Sox in 1962, but after his sixth season, Weis was traded to the Mets with Tommie Agee for Tommy Davis, Jack Fisher, Buddy Booker, and Billy Wynne.  Weis appeared in the first ever NLCS playoff in 1969, scoring a run against the Atlanta Braves in his only plate appearance.  He appeared in all five games of the '69 World Series against the Baltimore Orioles earning a .455 BA, with 1 HR, and 3 RBI in 11 AB's during the Mets run for the Championship. 

BV: $15.00
Cost: $1.49 (paid <10% BV)
Condition: VG-EX+ 4.5 (worth 35% BV)
Completion:737 of 752 (98% complete)
Comment: Centering= [NM+7.5]-- front is 50/50 L-R, 60/40 T-B with very slight diamond cutting, while back is 50/50 L-R, 60/40 T-B; Corners= [VG-EX 4.0]-- slight notching/layering and moderate dings; Edges= [EX 5.0]-- noticeable roughness/chipping, very slight notching; Surface= [EX+ 5.5]--minor border discoloration, some gloss lost from surface but relative solid with minor scratches

Monday, December 9, 2013

1971 Topps #686: Chico Ruiz, Infielder, California Angels

Chico Ruiz is shown demonstrating a bunt during what appears to be while waiting to bat in the on-deck circle.  Ruiz earned $20K during his first year with the Angels after being traded with Alex Johnson from Cincinnati for Pedro Borbon, Vern Geishert, and Jim McGlothlin after the '69 season.  His final year in the Majors would be in 1971.

BV: $12.00
Cost: $1.99 (paid 16% BV)
Condition: VG+ 3.5 (worth 25% BV)
Completion: 736 of 752 (97% complete)
Comment: centering (=2.5) is 95/5 T-B (1.5) 75/25 L-R (5.0); corners (=5.0) are all fuzzy with a minor ding on lower right; edges (=5.0) have noticeable chipping with very slight notching on bottom and right; and surface (=6.0) has a few printing specks, nice color/focus, and relatively solid gloss with minor scratches that to not break the surface.  I chose to grade this one a full grade higher than the minimum grade set by the centering, which is the limit imposed by Beckett.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Free Agent Signings: Robinson Cano, 2B, Seattle Mariners

Today, the Seattle Mariners have shocked the baseball world with an unexpected offer of nearly a quarter-billion dollars for superstar second baseman, Robinson Cano, to play ball in the Pacific Northwest through the 2023 season. 
2013 Topps #612.
2012 Topps #400.
2011 Topps #130.

2010 Topps #370.

2009 Topps #615.

2008 Topps #136.

2007 Topps #225.

2006 Topps #142.

2005 Topps Factory Bonus Insert #3 of 5.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

1971 Topps #644: Jim Stewart

Jim Stewart served mostly as a utilityman for Cincinnati just prior to, and at the start of, the Big Red Machine days from 1969-1971.  He played in one of the the '70 NLCS games against the Pirates, and two of the '70 World Series games against the Orioles.  Stewart spent much of his time in LF with the Reds, but ultimately played all of the positions except Pitcher for the team during some point in those three years.  After the end of the season, Stewart was part of a big trade with the Houston Astros that brought Future Hall-of-Famer, Joe Morgan, to the Cincinnati Reds.    

BV: $12.00
Cost: $1.99 (paid 16% BV)
Condition: VG-EX 4.0 (worth 30% BV)
Completion: 735 of 752 (97% complete)

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

2014 Hall-of-Fame Ballot: Greg Maddux

     Greg Maddux pitched in the Major Leagues for 23 years between 1986-2008, winning the Cy Young award 4 times with 18 Gold Gloves.  He earned a total of 355 Wins with a .316 ERA and 3371 career strikeouts.  Maddux pitched during 3 World Series in 1995, 1996, and 1999.

1990 Topps #715.

1991 Topps #35.

2014 Hall-of-Fame Ballot: Greg Maddux

Greg Maddux pitched in the Major Leagues for 23 years between 1986-2008, winning the Cy Young award 4 times with 18 Gold Gloves.  He earned a total of 355 Wins with a .316 ERA and 3371 career strikeouts.  Maddux pitched during 3 World Series in 1995, 1996, and 1999.

1987 Topps #70T.

1988 Topps #361.

1989 Topps #240.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

1972 Topps #708: Tim Foli (In Action)

Tim Foli debuted for the Mets during the final month of the '70 season at the age of 19.  In 1971, Foli played for more than half of the season, switching positions among 2B, SS, and 3B.  Before the start of the '72 season, Foli was traded to the Montreal Expos along with Mike Jorgensen and Ken Singleton for Rusty Staub.  That year, Foli settled mostly into the SS position as an everyday player.  On the back of his card, Puzzle C features a 9-piece Tony Oliva puzzle (middle-left piece shown).

BV: $12.00
Cost: $3.00 (paid 25% BV)
Condition: VG-EX+ 4.5 (worth 35% BV)
Completion: 775 of 787 (98% complete)
Comment:  Left-right centering drops the grade of this card below EX 5.0 for me.  There are four fuzzy corners with nice edges.    The surface has nice gloss, color, and focus.