Monday, October 31, 2011

Tom Paciorek #253 (Dark Shadows)

This is one dark shadow photo. It looks like Tom fouled off a pitch and was looking at it go into the crowd.

Back Facts: Finished 3rd in the AL in batting, fourth in hits and third in doubles.

Richie Hebner (The Grave Digger) #328

 Richie (one of the few players known as Richie) appears to have a big wad of chew in his left cheek. Only 35, he was on his downward spiral in his career. It seemed like he was always making the playoff in the 1970s with the Pirates and Phillies. Best known Grave Digger ever.

Back Facts: Works with his father as a grave digger in the off-season.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

John McNamara #526

 John is smiling here because the Reds just finished First in the overall standings in the 1981 baseball season but John did not realize that because it was a split seasons and the Reds did not finish first in either season so they did not make the playoffs.

It is going to be a very scary Brady Halloween Eve for the Steelers

At least the Ravens are losing big to the Cardinals (who have been having a Big weekend - St Louis and Stanford

Butch Hobson #577

A dugout shot of Butch who probably did not know that he was being snapped as he is left with an open mouth.

Back Facts: Was a quaterback for Alabama’s 1972 Orange Bowl Team.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Scott Fletcher #544

 A nice posed shot of a very young looking Fletcher who was born in 1958. He was called up by the Cubs on September 1st, making this card his rookie card.

Only a few more days until bdj610's topps all-rookie team contest ends

I was one of the winner's last year and it is just a great contest to play.

Gary Matthews #441

 A nice posed shot of Sarge in most likely Veterans Stadium as you can see the different color upper deck seats. He looks a lot older than his age at this time (31).

Friday, October 28, 2011

Game 7 - My Favorite Card

This is probably my favorite game 7 card baseball card. This is probably the last year Topps tried to make great playoff and World Series cards (by game) -  They stopped after 1974 and they tried to do it in 2005 and 2006 to so success but they now pretty much ignore the World Series game cards.

What I love about this card is Campy running up the baseline and you can see the ball, the security guards along the foul line and the World Series banner. Just an awesome peek into the past.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

The Iconic Series: 1984 Topps Dale Murphy

 This was a close call as I have to admit none of Dale Murphy’s card stood out more than any of the others in my mind. His 1982 Topps card is close but that was just a terrible design.

I think this card is his most iconic because it tends to capture his full batting stance and it has a nice head shot of him. This was his Topps card after he won back to back MVP’s in 1982 and 1983 and he was probably considered the most elite baseball player heading into the 1984 seasons and this card kind of captures that.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

The Evolution of Sports Card Collecting from the early 1970s to the present

Well, this post is really my history of card collecting from the early 1970s to today the present. While, I am probably not the typical collector, I think this will give readers a good overview how collectors obtained cards through the years.

The Early 1970s

I bought my first wax pack of cards in the spring of 1972 at a local drugstore. The cards were 1972 Topps baseball. The drug store is still in business but I doubt they have sold cards for more than 30 years. Also, my uncle owned a little grocery store around this time and he began carrying cards. I bought my first pack of hockey cards from him (1972-73 Topps). For the next few years I bought all my cards (for all 4 sports) at his store. I would usually have money to buy a few packs and he would then give me few extra packs free.

In the mid-1970s my uncle and my aunt had marital problems and there went my access to free cards. The first rack pack of cards that I ever remember buying was 1977 Topps football. I remember looking at all the packs hanging on the rack, trying to find the cards of players that I did not have. What a great idea, see through rack packs, I would only buy the ones that I was assured of getting cards that I did not have. One thing I did notice was the price, while you got more cards, the packs cost more, so you had to buy less packs.

The late 1970s

Because I did not have great access to retail Basketball cards in my city, the 1976-77 Topps Basketball set was the first set I bought through the mail. I don’t recall who I bought them from but I pretty sure I saw the ad in the Sporting News. I don’t recall many stores ever carrying much basketball cards in the late 1970s where I lived. I continued to buy all my basketball sets through the mail from then on for about 10 years. I bought my first Hockey set through the mail in 1979 (1979-80 Topps set) and my first football set through the mail was 1980 Topps. I bought most of my sets from Renata Galasso in New York.


Topps had competition in 1981. I originally had planned to collect only Topps but I ended up buying Donruss and Fleer sets. I bought all three sets through the mail. By 1981, I was buying all my cards through the mail except for Topps football. 1981 was also the first time I recalled buying cards at Flea Markets. I remember buying a lot of 1971 Topps Baseball at a flea market for something like 100 cards for $5.00 around this time. I recall going to flea markets from 1981 to about 1985 and picking up older Topps cards. I rarely picked up cards from flea markets after 1985.  

Early 1980s

Beginning in 1982, I began buying wax boxes to put together my Topps football sets(I did this throughout the 1980s). I bought the cards at a wholesale district near the center city.  I continued to buy my Topps Baseball, Donruss Baseball, Fleer Baseball, Topps Hockey (O-Pee-Chee the 2 years Topps did not make cards) and Topps Basketball (later Star Company Basketball) sets through the mail. 

Mid 1980s

I bought my first set of cards at card shop around 1985 or 1986. I remember paying $125 for a complete mint 1973 Topps baseball set. The second set I ever bought at a card shop was a 1986-87 Fleer basketball set for $10 (I wish I bought more). By 1987, I was buying wax boxes of Fleer Basketball, Topps Hockey and Topps Football  at wholesale shops and put together my complete sets. I remember for about a couple of years the price of the wax boxes were $10.60. (I won’t ever forget that number).  I bought my Baseball sets through the mail, except for 1987 Topps, which I  bought a ton of  wax boxes.

1989 the beginning of the end

1989 Upper Deck Baseball was the first major set I did not collect. From 1971-1988, I had owned every major Baseball Football Basketball and Hockey set. I did not collect Upper Deck because I thought they were too expensive.

1990s and into the 2000s

In 1990, I went to my first card show and I attended on average about 5 card shows a year through 2007. I went wild (like everyone else) buying cards between 1990 and 1991. I would buy (or put together) 3-4 Baseball, Football, Basketball, Hockey sets during those years. This was probably the most diverse time collecting. I pretty much stopped buying wholesale wax boxes after 1991 and I scaled back my card shop buying, I began to get most of my cards from the card shows. From 1992 to 2006, I probably got 95 percent of my cards from card shows. Beginning in 1994, I scaled back my card collecting to getting one complete set for Hockey, Basketball, Baseball and Football for that year. Affordability was the key and I would still pick up a few single cards. This was pretty much the way I collected until 2001. Since then I have been basically collecting completes sets every other year or so (for example, the last 4 football sets I bought -2001 Topps, 2005 Topps, 2008 Score, 2010 Score) for each sport. I hardly bought any retail packs of cards during this period.


In 2005, a friend at work told me about Ebay, I joined in late 2005 and since 2006, every single card (or set) I buy comes from Ebay now. I still pick up wax packs occasionally at stores (I have never bought a wax pack or box of cards on ebay).

My evolution of collecting - where I got (most of) my cards from:

1972-1980 – Retail
1980-1986- Mail Order
1987-1991 – Wholesale
1992-2005 – Card Shows
2006-2011- Ebay

There also has been a lot of lasts in my card collecting career:

2007 Last time I went to a card show.   
2004 Last time bought a complete card set from a mail order dealer.
2003 Last time bought a complete card set from a card shop
2001 Last time bought a complete card set from a flea market
2001 Last time put together a complete card set from wax boxes (bought from card show)
1991 Last time put together a complete card set from wax boxes (bought wholesale)
1990 Last time put together a complete card set from retail packs (though I stopped getting most of my cards from retail around 1980.)

I still collect, since 2009, I have bought 87 autograph cards on ebay (about half for 99 cents shipped). The most I paid for an autograph card shipped was $9.86 for a 2007 Topps Prince Fielder. I bid low and if I win I feel like a got a good deal and that makes me a happy collector.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Phil Niekro #475 and Denny Walling #496 (odd looking expressions)

 Or some strange glares. I have to wonder what Phil and Denny are looking at. Phil looks a little mad and Denny looks a little amused and confused. Also these cards are interesting for their mostly full color background (Niekro – Blue) (Walling – Green)

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Rick Camp #223 (Hero!)

What sticks out about this card is the clear shot of Rick’s three fingers holding the baseball. This photo appears to be a warm up toss on a very sunny day.


Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Steve Garvey #84

A near Hall of Famer as you can get but someone his has not even sniffed the Hall of Fame. This card captures his iconic image as he is about to throw a baseball while wearing red white and blue wrist band

Back Facts: He can become a free agent after this season. (I think he did, I do remember at least he was on the 1984 Padres)

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Baseball Card Price Guide History - 1984 Donruss Don Mattingly

Possibly the most famous rookie card of the 1980s. This card help lift the 1984 Donruss baseball set into elite status for a few years. At one time this card and set could have been considered high end. Here is how the card done through the years

12/1986 Baseball Card Magazine     $9.00-15.00
10/1996 SportsCards Mag               $60.00
2/2005 Beckett Baseball                  $15-40.00
11/2008 Beckett SCM                    $10.00-25.00

Last week on ebay                          $19.72 (34 sales with about half of them graded)
The card is no where near what it could possibly command 15 years ago. However, it was a decent investment if you were collecting in the mid 1980s and kept it for 25 years.

Friday, October 14, 2011

The Iconic Series: 1962 Topps Willie Mays

I was almost going to throw Mays in the rookie batch as his most iconic card, as his 1952 Topps card is well known. This was a very close call. I think it is the wood grain borders that convinced me to pick this one as the 1962 set had a classy feel to it.

I associate him more with the San Francisco Giants rather than the New York Giants, thus making this card more iconic that his rookie card.

There is a great big smile on Willie’s face that just gives it a feeling of fun.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Larry Bowa #63

It looks like Larry was about to hitter a chopper or already did. I can’t tell. Notice there is a photographer in the background in the dugout. It appears he is wearing a Philly hat.

Back Facts: Still the NL’s premier shortstop at age 36.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

The new football card insert: The football football card

 I am not sure if it has been before, (I know there are jersey cards and autograph cards) but has any manufacture cut up an actual NFL game used football and inserted them into cards. I would love to own pigskin cards. I guess there some problems in doing this is as acquiring the football may be more difficult than acquiring a jersey. There is also less individualism in using a football as a relic piece. Since everyone uses the ball. However, would it not be just as interesting to pull a game used football Tom Brady card as a game used jersey card

Friday, October 7, 2011

Aerosmith – Sing Willie, Dream On and the Wonders of the Internet

In the mid 1970s, Aerosmith put out a song (that probably everyone has heard by now) called Dream On. I have to admit I have always had trouble understanding the lyrics. There is a part of the song, the chorus, that is sung a few times. What I know is that it begins with the word SING for about 30 years this is what I thought I heard:


Sing Willie, Sing for the years 

I always thought the words to the chorus was Sing Willie. I always wonder who Willie was(I was always a big Willie Stargell fan – the song could not be about Willie Stargell could it?). That is what I thought I was hearing (Willie) but really sure but about 5-6 years ago I talked to someone about the lyrics and he convinced me that the lyrics were Sing Women. Thus I now thought I was hearing this:


Sing Women, Sing for the years.

However, recently I discovered the wonders of Youtube and Pandora and I finally found out what he (Steven Tyler) was singing.  After looking at the lyrics I found out the Chorus was this


Sing With me, Sing for the years 

So after all these years I finally know the words to Dream On, (though I am not 100% positive sure the words are With me but how can the internet be wrong).

So the words for this song evolved for me from Sing Willie to Sing Women to Sing With Me which I think is its final resting place.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Ken Singleton #105

 A very nice action shot of Ken swinging the bat and connecting in this picture. What is strange about this photo is all the yellow in the background. You can see the Oriole players in the dugout but there is a long painted yellow line above the dugout and a few of the fans are wearing yellow (at least 3 in the background).

One thing I can say about this card, wherever it was it was cold as a lot of the fans seemed bundled up.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Bob Sykes #640

Bob had a couple of interesting action shots on 1982 baseball cards. His 1982 Fleer card was used in a post recently by Night Owl cards. The odd thing about this card is the angle. Where exactly is the photographer who took this card. Also the ball is mysteriously missing from this photo.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

We need more kicker football cards

Jason Hanson just set an NFL record for appearing in the most games with one team. Hanson has been with the Detroit Lions since 1992. This 2009 Upper Deck card appears to be the last card made of him. He has had very few cards made of him over the years. In the 1990s, kickers were all but eliminated from most cards set. Topps and Score may put in one or two kickers in their sets now. 30-40 years ago numerous kickers appeared in Topps sets.  Today that is not so.