Friday, October 31, 2014

2014 N.L. ERA Leaders: C.Kershaw, J.Cueto, & A.Wainwright

This year's A.L. ERA leaders are:
1. Clayton Kershaw ('14T #US178) of the Los Angeles Dodgers with a 1.77 ERA.
2. Johnny Cueto ('14T #16) of the Cincinnati Reds with a 2.25 ERA.
3. Adam Wainwright ('14T #US289) of the St. Louis Cardinals with a 2.38 ERA.

Here are last year's N.L. ERA leaders ('14T #113).

2014 A.L. ERA Leaders: F.Hernandez, C.Sale, & C.Kluber

This year's A.L. ERA leaders are:
1. Felix Hernandez ('14T #US234) of the Seattle Mariners with a 2.14 ERA.
2. Chris Sale ('14T #US277) of the Chicago White Sox with a 2.17 ERA.
3. Cory Kluber ('14T #279) of the Cleveland Indians with a 2.44 ERA.

Here are last year's A.L. ERA leaders ('14T #117).

Sunday, October 26, 2014

1962 Topps San Francisco Giants team set (-1)

Here is the complete 1962 Topps San Francisco Giants baseball card team set--minus one: Johnny Orsino #377.  This was the first year that the Giants went to the World Series since moving to San Francisco in 1958.  It was also the last time that the Giants would make it to the World Series until 1989.

The primary position players were: Tom Haller C, Orlando Cepeda 1B, Chuck Hiller 2B, Jose Pagan SS, Jim Davenport 3B, Harvey Kuenn LF, Willie Mays CF, and Felipe Alou RF.  Other position players involved in at least half of season games include: Tom Haller C, Ed Bailey C, and Willie McCovey LF.

The primary starters in order of most season starts include: Billy O'Dell, Jack Sanford, Juan Marichal, Billy Pierce, and Mike McCormick.  The relief pitchers were: Don Larsen, Bobby Bolin, Jim Duffalo, and Gaylord Perry.  The closer was Stu Miller.

Major League Baseball Hall-of-Famers from the 1962 Giants team include Willie Mays, Orlando Cepeda, Juan Marichal, Willie McCovey, and Gaylord Perry

The team's All-Stars that year were: Willie Mays, Jim Davenport, Felipe Alou, Orlando Cepeda, and Juan Marichal.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

2014 Topps: Royals vs. Giants World Series team sets

With the 2014 postseason nearly over, I'm left with only 2 teams to organize in my Topps binder.  I've had the Royals in the front of my binder since the start of the postseason once the Mariners had been eliminated--more so for sentimental reasons, rather than some statistical prediction of a World Series championship.

Many of the Royals players shown have since moved on from the start of this season, and do not accurately reflect the team many of us have been watching this postseason.  I have the 2014 Topps Traded set arriving in the mail probably today, but I wanted to get a 21st Century Topps Baseball post in, and couldn't wait. 

With the Royals 3-2 victory over the Giants in game 3 of the World Series in San Francisco last night, the Royals move to within 2 games of their 2nd World Series title in three total appearances since their organization was founded in 1969. 

Although I was not born and raised in the Kansas City area, I have become partial to this team over the years having lived from 30 minutes to 2 hours away from this ballpark for the majority of the time over a 15 year period.  I have been to more Royals games at Kauffman Stadium than I have at any other Major League ballpark.  Other Major League home ballparks that I have been to include the Mariners, Nationals, Orioles, Giants, Cardinals, Rockies, Astros, Marlins, Phillies, and Yankees.  That does not include the countless number of Minor League parks where I have attended games.

I know that many Royals fans would like to see this game go back to Kansas City for a game 6 or 7 victory at home, but I would like to see the Royals get it over with in San Francisco with two more wins for a game 5 clincher.  The Royals have performed much better on the road this year, and they don't want to give the Giants any more time to adjust to Royals pitching than necessary.  Also, when the World Series collector's edition DVD set comes out, what Royals fan wants to watch games of their team losing?  One loss is enough.

I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to attend an ALCS game in Kansas City while I was out there last week.  I purchased my tickets through the Royals official website about 20 minutes before game time while sitting at a Starbucks just down the road.  It was a very exciting experience.  I love all the improvements the Royals have made to Kauffman Stadium.  It's a great ballpark.

Here are the update series cards for each team, which arrived after this blog was posted.  Congratulations to the World Series champion Giants. 

Friday, October 24, 2014

Completion of the 1970 Topps set with a #670 acquisition

Yesterday, my mailbox left me a low-grade Ron Santo Topps baseball card from 1970.  Rarely, do I stray from my 20% BV limit on purchasing cards from the early '70s, but here's one of those exceptions.  At a purchase price of 55% BV, not only did I pay nearly 3 times my upper limit, but I also paid about 5 times what the card is worth considering its condition.  Why would a smart collector do this?

This was my final missing card from the 1970 Topps set, which also means that this was my final missing card to complete the entire '70s decade of Topps baseball cards.  The '70T Santo card has eluded me for quite some time, selling online for well above listed values.  Considering that this is a high-number card of a now Hall-of-Fame player, it's probably undervalued in comparison with  other cards in this set (minor star?).  Perhaps, Beckett should look at readjusting Santo's value, now that he's in the Hall-of-Fame.

The 1970 Cubs team was full of stars like Leo Durocher, Ernie Banks, Billy Williams, Johnny Callison, Ron Santo, and Fergie Jenkins.  This was a team coming off of a 5th place record in the majors in 1969.

Unless there's some sentimental value attached to it, the 1970 Topps set is probably not the most attractive set to collectors at first glance.  This one had to grow on me, but it does fit well beside the 1971 Topps set, and makes for a great transitionary set from the cards of the '60s to the cards of the '70s.  The card back still somewhat resembles the card backs of the late '60s cards, and features the full career statistics for every player unlike the '71T set.

Now that I've completed all of the Topps sets down to 1970, my vintage collecting focus can now shift completely into the '60s and '50s.  At the top of my list for '60s sets are the 1962, 1966, and 1969 Topps sets.  With only 150 something cards missing from the '69T set, it will be difficult for me to complete online being that low grade commons are worth 3 for a $1.00 to me.  There's no one selling pick-lots for a reasonably price online.  Since I've recently moved away from the big city area, where large card shows are abundant, the '69T set may take a while.  The '66T set is another tough one to find high-number cards at the listed values, and may also take a while.  My '62T set is well on its way to completion within the next couple of years, and will probably be the first '60s set I complete.

From the '50s, I'm most interested in the '50 Bowman, '51 Topps, and '54 Topps sets.  I'm also looking to compile as many '55T and '56T cards as I can find without a serious effort to complete those sets right now.  My '50B set is only 26 cards short of completion, and will probably be the first one for me in the '50s. 

Monday, October 20, 2014

1970 Topps Kansas City Royals Team Set

This year's World Series will feature a couple of my top 5 all-time favorite teams: Kansas City Royals vs. San Francisco Giants.  My pick has to go out to the Kansas City Royals, where I spent many years sitting along the front row of the upper deck.  With my final missing card of the 1970 Topps baseball card set arriving in the mail, I thought I'd use the '70 KC Royals team to present my prediction    
The 1970 Royals team pre-dates George Brett by about 3 years, however, there were 3 players from this team that have been inducted into the Royals (not MLB) HOF: Amos Otis, Paul Splittorff, and Cookie Rojas.  The Royals were still playing in Municipal stadium on the corner of 22nd Street & Brooklyn Avenue where the Kansas City Athletics once played before moving to Oakland in 1968.  The Royals would not play in Kauffman Stadium until 1973 when George Brett would arrive, and Kansas City would host its 2nd All-Star game.  Municipal Stadium had been the host site for the 1960 All-Star game.  Including the 2012 All-Star game, Kansas City has now hosted a total of 3 All-Star games.

The pitching rotation for the Royals in 1970 included Bob Johnson, Jim Rooker, Dick Drago, Dave Morehead, and Bill Butler.  The relievers included Ken Wright, Al Fitzmorris, and Tom Burgmeier.  The closer was Ted Abernathy.  

 The primary position players were Ed Kirkpatrick C, Bob Oliver 1B, Cookie Rojas 2B, Jackie Hernandez SS, Paul Schaal 3B, Lou Piniella LF, Amos Otis CF, and Pat Kelly LF.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

1993 Topps Black Gold Insert Set #1-44

These cards represent Topps' first "modern" attempt to manufacture insert cards.  Topps Black Gold cards were randomly inserted into packs and factory sets.  A complete set of 1993 Topps Black Gold cards includes #1-44, although many people also collect the "winner" cards too.  Winner cards were also randomly inserted into packs and factory sets, which were redeemable by mail for multiple extras.  There were various types of winner cards like A (#1-11), B (#12-22), C (#23-33), D (#34-44), AB (#1-22), CD (#23-44), ABCD (#1-44).  Below, I have the first four types of winner cards shown.  Perhaps, I will go on to collect the last three types.  There is also a difference between certified winner cards and redeemable winner cards.  The winner cards I have shown below are certified winner cards that were included with redeemed sets or partial sets.  Redeemable winner cards are only distinguishable from certified winner cards from the card backs, which contain instructions for redeeming your winner cards.  I also have a redeemable winner C card (not shown) that was included as part of one of my factory sets.  I'm not sure that I really want to go on and collect both redeemable and certified winner cards.  That just seems like a little bit too much.