Wednesday, September 25, 2013

1962 Topps 475: Whitey Ford All-Star

Whitey Ford made his 4th consecutive All-Star appearance on July 11th, 1961 (his 7th of the past 8 seasons).  He was the starter for the A.L. team in San Francisco's Candlestick Park, striking out 2 of 11 total batters faced in 3 innings, while giving up a hit and a run in the 2nd inning due to an error.  The A.L. would go on to the lose the first of two All-Star games played that year in 10-innings with a final score of 5-4.  Ford finished the '61 season as a winner of the A.L. Cy Young Award with a 25-4 record in 283 innings pitched against 1159 batters faced--all career highs to lead the league.  Ford would also go on to win two games against the Reds in the '61 World Series, pitching 14 innings with a 0.00 ERA in addition to scoring a Run.  

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

1962 Topps #318: Mickey Mantle In Action

In 1955, Mickey Mantle became the 6th player in the Major Leagues to hit a homerun from both sides of the plate in a single game (  In 1956, Mantle switch hit homeruns in a single game for the 3rd and 4th times to break the all-time record of two switch hit homeruns in a single game previously held by Jim Russell.  Mantle would finish his career with a total of 10 switch hit homeruns within a single game--a record that stood until 1994.  To date, only four other players have accomplished this feat: E.Murray, N.Swisher, M.Teixeira, and T.Clark.  Mantle hit 372 of his career 536 homeruns left-handed.

The 1962 Topps baseball card set contained 9 total In Action cards numbered from #311-319.  Topps also included In Action cards with the 1972 and 1982 sets. 

Thursday, September 19, 2013

1962 Topps #200: Mickey Mantle

Mickey Mantle won his 3rd MVP Award in 1962 after coming in second place for voting during each of the previous two seasons.  He also won a Golden Glove Award, and made the All-Star team for an 11th consecutive year.  Mantle maintained a .321 Batting Average while leading the league in Walks, despite making the lowest number of Plate Appearances since his rookie season.  Mantle also made 29 Plate Appearances during his 12th consecutive World Series in a 7-game victory over the San Francisco Giants--all before the age of 30.   

This is the key card for one of my all-time favorite sets.  I picked it up a few month ago for about 6-7% BV.  It appears to be in FR 1.5 condition to me.  I'd say GD 2.0 if the centering was a little better.  Regardless, Mantles are tough to obtain in any condition.  So far, I've managed to compile over 42% of this set.  I typically pay between 50-75 cents for commons between #1-371, even though they book for at least  $5.  I'll try to start posting more cards from this set as I work my way towards 50% completion.    

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Set Reviews: 1990 Topps Debut

     After more than 23 years since I first completed the 1990 Topps set, I recently discovered, by chance, that my set was never actually complete.  After getting back into the hobby in 2001, I began integrating the Topps Traded sets into each year's base set.  Now, I have begun integrating the Topps Debut sets into my collection as well.  Luckily, there are only three sets to purchase: 1990, 1991, and 1992.  The 1990 Topps Debut set actually shows 1989 on the factory box cover to represent the year that the first game was played by each player.  What I find interesting about this set is that some of the cards depict players with a team that the base sets never printed them with, or even players that were never printed at all.  A prime example is Sammy Sosa's Texas Rangers card, which I never knew existed--which one is really his rookie?  I'm not sure about the order in which the Topps, Debut, and Traded sets were released, but it seems to me that the Debut sets would have come out either just before or just after the Topps base sets.  I'm not typically a collector bonus or insert sets unless they can be effectively integrated into the base sets, which is the case with the Debut sets.  When integrating this set into my binders, the major decision I had to make was: which team do I file each card with?  In the case with Sammy Sosa's card, the player is depicted with the Rangers team on the front, but the back shows that he played with both the Rangers and the White Sox in 1989.  Do I ignore the additional information about his being traded to the White Sox or not? (Sosa certainly wasn't playing for the Rangers in 1990).  I finally settled on filing each card with the team they were depicted with on the front of the card.  The 1990 set contains 152 total cards.  A choice few are shown below.

1990 Topps Debut #120: Sammy Sosa

1990 Topps Debut #12: Joe Girardi

1990 Topps Debut #132: Omar Vizquel

1990 Topps Debut #46: Ken Griffey Jr.

1990 Topps Debut #129 Robin Ventura

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Hirings & Firings: Charlie (Chuck) Manual

Recently retired Phillies Manager, Charlie Manual, was once a Major League outfielder for the Minnesota Twins and Los Angeles Dodgers.  Looking through all of my Topps sets for the years he played, I could only find the following two cards of Manual as a player.  He played for the Twins for 4 seasons between '69-'72, and appeared in the postseason twice during the first two years of the ALCS: 1969 and 1970.  Both times, the Twins lost out to the Orioles.  Manual was traded to the Dodgers in '73 and played for the club during the '74 and '75 seasons. 

Friday, September 13, 2013

1971 Topps #698: Brewers Team

The 1971 Brewers were managed by former Reds manager, Dave Bristol, who took the position after being replaced by Sparky Anderson.  Bristol was the first manager of the Brewers team, which had changed its name from the Seattle Pilots after moving to Milwaukee's County Stadium in 1970.  The team had the best season in their 3-year history in 1971, winning a total of 69 games the entire year.  The primary position players were: Ellie Rodriguez C, John Briggs 1B, Ron Theobald 2B, Rick Auerbach SS, Tommy Matchick 3B, Tommy Harper LF, Dave May CF, and Bill Voss RF.  The primary starting pitchers were: Marty Pattin, Bill Parsons, Skip Lockwood, Lew Krausse, and Jim Slaton.  The primary relief pitchers were: Marcelino Lopez, John Morris, Jim Hannan, and Floyd Weaver.  The primary closer was: Ken Sanders.      

BV: $4.00
Cost: $3.99
Condition: VG-EX 4.0
Completion: 732 of 752
Comment: No creases, just some off-centering with edge and corner wear that really stands out in this black bordered set.  I'm down to the last 20 cards for completing this set, which is also where I'm at with the '72 set.  I guess the only question now is--which set will I complete first?

Thursday, September 12, 2013

1971 Topps #532: Bill Rigney

Bill Rigney began managing the Twins at the start of the 1970 season, leading the team to the ALCS against the eventual World Series champion Orioles--a team that was in the middle of a three year stretch of World Series appearances.  Rigney's Twins finished below .500 the following year in 1971.  The Twins were playing above .500 when Rigney was replaced after 70 games into the 1972 season.  He would manage again one more time in 1976 for the Giants team, where his managerial career began during their last year in New York at the age of 38 in 1956.  Prior to becoming a Major League manager, Rigney was an All-Star player for the Giants organization during the '40s and '50s.  He lost three years in baseball due to military service during WWII between 1943-1945. 

BV: $4.00
Cost: $1.50
Condition: VG-EX 4.0
Completion: 731 of 752

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

1971 Topps #673: Gerry Janeski

Gerry Janeski played three seasons in the Major Leagues between 1970-1972 for three different teams: White Sox, Senators, and Rangers.  With the Washington Senators during their final year in D.C., Janeski pitched in 61 innings with a win, a save, and 19 strikeouts against 281 batters faced.  Janeski remained with the team the following season during their move to Texas to become one of the original members of the Rangers during, which was his final season as a player.  

BV: $12.00
Cost: $1.99
Condition: VG-EX 4.0
Completion: 730 of 752
Comment: Nobody likes gum stains, but the card is crease-free with nice centering, and only minor edge and corner wear.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

1971 Topps #645: Jim Maloney

Jim Maloney played all but his final season with the Cincinnati Reds during his 12 year career between 1960-1971.  Maloney pitched in his only World Series against the Yankees in 1961.  His personal best seasons, however, were probably in 1963 (23 Wins, 2.77 ERA, 265 SO) and 1965 (20 Wins, 2.54 ERA, 244 SO).  Maloney also made the All-Star team in 1965, finishing the season as the league leader in Shutouts.  He was also a member of the 1970 Reds team that made it to the World Series under first year manager, Sparky Anderson, but never pitched during the postseason.  Maloney was traded to the California Angels prior to the 1971 season, where he pitch in only 30 innings and finish out his playing career.  He was traded to the Cardinals and then Giants for the 1972 season, but Maloney never played a game with either team.    

BV: $15.00
Cost: $3.00
Condition: VG-EX 4.0
Completion: 729 of 752

Monday, September 9, 2013

1971 Topps #671: Bill Voss

Bill Voss played in the Major Leagues between 1965-1972 for five different teams: White Sox, Angels, Brewers, Cardinals, and Athletics.  His salary in 1971 was $23,000.

BV: $12.00
Cost: $2.47
Condition: VG-EX 4.0
Completion: 728 of 752

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

1972 Topps #573: Fritz Peterson, New York Yankees, P

Fritz Peterson played mostly for the Yankees during his Major League career, which spanned 11 seasons between 1966-1976.  His best season was probably 1970, when Peterson was selected for his only All-Star team and won a career-high 20 games.  1972 was also a great season for Peterson, who finished the year with a 2.27 ERA after pitching more than 250 innings and winning 17 games. Peterson was later traded to the Indians early in the 1974 season, and then again to the Rangers in 1976, where he would finish off his MLB playing career. 

BV: $4.00
Cost: $2.49
Condition: EX 5.0
Completion: 767 of 787
Comment: I certainly paid more than the $0.80 I would like to have paid for this card.  I don't have a good card shop nearby, and haven't been to any card shows lately, so I purchased this one online.  There aren't really any good high series set builder lots available for sale online that I'm aware of.  I wanted to put this card into my collection as the only one outside of the final series I was missing, and below number 661.  I now have only 20 cards left to go.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Hirings & Firings: Charlie Manual, MGR, Philadelphia Phillies

Charlie Manual became Manager of the Philadelphia Phillies after the end of the 2004 season, leading the team to 8 seasons above a .500 win percentage.  His most notable seasons with the Phillies were in 2008 as the World Series champions, and then in 2009 as the National League champions.  Including his three seasons as a Cleveland Indians Manager between 2000-2002, Charlie Manual has accrued a total of 1000 wins as a Major League Baseball Manager.  Manual was released by the Phillies in early August of this year after his team failed to win above the .500 mark during his 9th season as a Phillies Manager.  

2005 Topps Update #UH87

2006 Topps #286

2007 Topps #251

2008 Topps #632

2009 Topps #496