Saturday, April 30, 2011

The Pittsburgh Pirates and the 2008 Topps Set

with the Pirates acquiring Brandon wood I have noticed that they have acquired a lot of young players since 2008, who appeared for different teams in the 2008 Topps baseball set. I have listed the players, card no, team, and if they had the rookie card logo.

2008 Topps Set
74 Garrett Atkins - Rockies **
102 Ross Olendorf - Yankees (rookie card logo)
126 Brandon Jones - Braves (rookie card logo)

129 Kevin Hart - Cubs (rookie card logo)
162 Andy Laroche - Dodgers
186 Lasting Milledge - Mets
243 Akinori Ikwamura - Rays
286 Jeff Clement - Mariners (rookie card logo)
351 Bobby Crosby - A's
437 Brandon wood - Angels
457 Josh Fields - white Sox
608 Brian Burres -Twins

*Pirates with the rookie card logo(Steve Pearce, Nyjer Morgan, Evan Meek)

**Ok not so young.

I counted 55 players with the rookie card logos and 7 would play for the Pirates

For Good Measure
2008 Bowman Draft*

12 Chris Carter - Red Sox (rookie card logo)
38 Jonathan Van Every - Red Sox (rookie card logo)
51 Charlie Morton - Braves (rookie card logo)

*note there was not one Pirate in the set

2008 Topps Update

UH309 John Bowker

(1 Pirate with rookie card logo Brian Bixler)

That is 12 different players with rookie card logos from the 2008 sets who would be property of the Pittsburgh Pirates.

The Pirates also just acquired Xaiver Paul who had a rookie card in the 2009 Topps update set to go along with former Dodger James McDonald who had a rookie card in the 2009 Topps set. 

Friday, April 29, 2011

Jamie Easterly #623

This is a nice action shot of Easterly about to pitch. The Brewers uniform looks great in this card design. If you look closely he is wearing some big wire rimmed glassses. Is the background, Oakland - there is a lot of empty seats there. Back Facts: Struck out 231 batters in 111 innings his senior year in H.S. 

Monday, April 25, 2011


I have been worried that one year eventually Score football would be cancelled. But this is not the year. It is not the big hit set that every one clamors for and it does not get big publicity.  It is truly the last 99 cent, non gloss card set left in the world. It has a large checklist and is just big time fun to collect. See a sneak peek over at the Official Blog of Panini America

Sunday, April 24, 2011

The Anti-Hausman, Guidry played on only one team (the 1982 Yankees) that failed to win 80 games in a non strike season.  The 82 Yankees won 79 games. The 1981 team went 59-48. This shot of Ron looks like a warm up toss prior to the game or in between frames.
Back Facts: Was the only home grown Yankee on the World Series Roster last year. He is listed at 5'11 and 160 lbs.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Tom Hausman

Not John Houseman the old actor who did the Smith Barney commericials but the good old pitcher who pitched for some crummy Met teams in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Hausman is a medicore middle reliever who did not pitch a full season with a team that won more than 70 games in his career from 1975 to 1982. In 1982, in September, Hausman was traded to (America's Team) the Atlanta Braves and pitched 3 games for the Braves who would make the playoffs. The Braves went 10-11 after acquiring him.  I don't think he was included on their playoff roster. He never pitched in the majors again.

Photo Front: This is a classic shot of him in his windup with a high leg kick.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Baseball Card Price Guide History - 2001 Bowman Chrome Albert Pujols #340

OK, this is recent baseball card price guide history. Probably the most iconic rookie baseball card since the 1950s. Maybe only 2nd to Mickey Mantle. Off the top of my head, I can't think of a rookie card that can get you these prices (below for) besides maybe Willie Mays and Hank Aaron rookie cards from the early 1950s.
2/2005 Beckett Baseball                   $1000.00-1400.00
2/2006 Beckett Baseball                   $2000.00-2500.00
2/2009 Beckett Baseball                   $1500.00-2500.00
11/2009 Beckett SCM                     $3000.00-4000.00
10/2010 Beckett SCM                     $3000.00-4000.00
Last week on Ebay                           $3700.00(2 sales)

Wow. There is not much more to say. They are some very powerful figures. Even after a slow start Albert's card still commands a hefty price that very few cards in existence can match. And it has been going up since early 2009.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Willie UpshaW #652

No that is not Willie Upshaw but I find it cool how simliar how his card is to 2011 Freddie Freeman. Yes, they have the gloves on the different hands but they are in the same crouched position (ok Freddies is a little lower) and the photo is cropped about the same tightness (though Freedies maybe a little more tightly cropped). What sticks out for me is the same color uniforms (ok Freddies is a little lighter).

Back Stats: Drafted out of the Yankees' farm system 12/5/77.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Fleer in Philadelphia

Over at the Vintage Sports Card Blog there is a great article about Fleer Cards. When I lived in Philadelphia a few years ago, I would take the train from Center City to the Fern Rock station where my apartment was just around the corner.  On the trips to Fern Rock, I made sure that I got a seat on the right side of the train. The reason was about 3 or 4 minutes before we would get to Fern Rock, the train would pass which looked like an abandoned building. But that building was distinct because It had the large words FLEER on it. My biggest regret when I was in Philadelphia was not going in search of that building. I am not exactly sure where it was but using google street level maps I was able to find it. It was right next to the train tracks at 5336  N. 10th Street. The sign states Fleer Gum. It appears the building is being used by another company but it was great that they kept the sign up.

The link to the map/photo is,-75.139513&spn=0,0.0012&t=h&z=20&lci=com.panoramio.all&layer=c&cbll=40.033715,-75.139601&panoid=jvt2xMsf44rCbnxFjXyV4w&cbp=12,69.98,,0,-13.52

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Mookie #175

There are very few players you can identify by their first name but Mookie Wilson is one of them. (Where have you gone Mookie Blaylock). This photo has too much shadow in it but it is a good head shot of Mookie but just an average card.

Back Facts: There was a lot of blue on the back of this card, as the Donruss 1982 narrative on the back of the card was written in white on blue and the stats were black on white and the bio info at the top of the card was written white on blue. There was not much written about Mookie.  He was the Mets No. 2 selcection in the June '77 draft.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Dave Laroche #569

For some reason this shot of Dave reminds me of some Hollywood Actor that I just can't pin point right now. Dave has that unshaven look going on in this photo. A classic Yankee card with a nice shot of the Yankee Cap.

Back Facts: Originally signed as an outfielder.

Side Note: That makes sense since he would have 2 sons Adam (Born 1979) and Andy (Born 1983 and not yet at the time this card was produced) who were position players

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Is this the best looking card of the 1980s? A Blogger Challenge

This card comes to mind after yesterdays post on Maz. You have probably seen this card before at least hundred times but can you come up with a baseball card from the 1980s that could just top the sheer awesomeness of this card.

This card is just excudes class and style and smoothness. It has an unusual camera angle. It is an in action show that tells you something that happened that does not actually show you on the card. It shows you the classic Yankee uniform and has a hall of famer in the background(Yount right?). The 1983 Topps set may have been the best set of the 1980s. What more can you ask for.

Can any Blogger produce a Baseball Card from the 1980s that can top this card.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Lee Mazzilli #49

This is a pretty nice shot of Maz just after he threw a ball, I like the blur of his hand which gives the card a slight 3-D effect. Again, a well proportioned card where the player takes up most of the photo.

BackFacts: Bothered by a bad back and other assorted injuries, but refused to sit out games until forced. 

Friday, April 8, 2011

Dan Quisenberry

This is a kind of unusual side shot of Dan Quisenberry. It looks like he maybe engaged in a conversation with someone off photo as his mouth is slighty open. The thing that pops out at you about this card is the word Royals on his uniform. It is a closely cropped photo with ever minimal back ground but it gives you more than a head shot.

Back Facts: Says he became a submarine pitcher because his arm got tired throwing overhand in college.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Willie Wilson #448

This photo appears to be from a spring training game as you can see a blurry crown background. This is not a great photo because it has a blurry dark look to it. What is strange about this photo is that it appears that Willie's pants are unbuckled.

Back Facts: Was KC's top pick in the June '74 amateur draft and turned down a football scholarship from Maryland

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Topps finally gets it right with 2011(1962) Heritage.

Topps produces the best set ever to give you that vintage feeling.

After producing Heritage sets for last (11) years, Topps has finally produced the feel of vintage cards in the modern day. I think they did it because the 1962 set is the first Topps baseball set that was design centric. This is not to say that some of the Topps sets from 1952 to 1961 did not have great designs but in 1962, I think Topps went out of its way to do something different. The two things they did different were never done before, the non white borders and the little photo flip on the bottom left side of the card.

From 1952 to 1961, all Topps sets had white borders and all were box/square/rectangle centric in design (except for the 1959 oval set). Even though the sets during that time period are iconic all had very simple designs. The 1959 set was the only time Topps went outside the box so to speak and they produced a very nice Heritage (2008) set and was the best Heritage set  to date until 2011. But that set still just did not give you that 100 percent vintage feeling. It was close. For example, the 2010  Heritage (1961), to me just feels/looks like modern photos on a 1961 design. I think the problem was the design.

 2011 Heritage gives you a more than ever vintage feel and it may be because the wood grain borders and the little flip give the photo's a grainer look making the cards look like they were from 1962.

Beginning in 1962, Topps began to put more effort into the designs of the cards (maybe it was a 60's thing). Lets take a look at what to expect that could top 2011 (1962) Heritage in the future.

2012 Heritage (1963 set) - This one could be the grand daddy of them all for Heritage sets, though it has a slight boxy feel, the circled second photo design was so awe inspring that Topps used it again (1983-too almost sweet perfection) and again (1984-poorly) and again (2003-one of the best Topps designs in 20 years).

2013 Heritage (1964 set) - Topps liked this design so much that it kind of used it again in 1971, 1972, 1975, 1977, 1986, 2004, 2005 and 2008 (all to a certain degree). This is a well thought out design on par with 1958 Topps and will make a great Heritage set.

2014 Heritage (1965 set) - If one set could top this years Heritage it could this set with its banner Team Names this would be one to look forward to. This was the last year of a 4 year great design period.

2015 Heritage (1966 set) - not really looking forward to this one at all. Too boxy with a rectangle stripe.

My comments on whether Topps should do Heritage sets for the following sets.

1967 - Yes, but less head shots and more shots like Dick Ricketts and please capture the grainy feel of the large photo.

1968 - Yes, but this dark border set feels less vintage than 1962.

1969 - Yes, but with more action footage or an all action photo set.

1970 - No, gray is dull.

1971 - Yes but Upper Deck already did this set

1972 - Heck Yeah, The last vintage set with a great design.

1973-1974 - No

1975 - Yes, but Upper Deck kind of did this set with 70s set

1976 - no

1977 - Yes

1978-1980 - Death knell of Topps designs

1981 - Maybe

1982 - no

1983 - maybe

1984 - no

1985 - maybe, gives ode to the 1965 set but with out the swerve

1986 - no

1987 - Yes, I want to see this design again on a Heritage set.

1988 - also a surprise maybe, over the years the 3-d effect has held its own

1989 on - no

I would also like to see Topps have its Heritage set take on the 1984 Fleer (does anyone own the licesne)  set. I know it has a boxy/square rectangle feel but it works somehow.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Baseball Card Price Guide History - 1984 Fleer Don Mattingly

If there could be one player that was responsible for the rookie card craze, I would think it was Don Mattingly in 1984. Wade Boggs kind of warmed up the market the year before and Cal Ripken was not Cal Ripken yet. Too many years had passed for Brett, Yount, Murray and Henderson's rookie cards to light up the market. But the year was 1984 and the print, media and technology world was changing and Don Mattingly's rookie cards were the hottest thing around. It helped that he was a Yankee and SCD and Baseball Cards Magazine were on the news stands. ESPN was really beginning to take off and Donnie Baseball was just pounding the ball for a .343 batting average. While I think his Donruss card is the most expensive, I think his 1984 Fleer card was the best looking rookie card. Maybe it was the black shirt uniform. The slight crouch as he is standing just off first (this is a card that makes you imagine more that you see) as he is awaiting the next pitch. It is possible that this could be a posed shot but I think it was taken from a game. I also like the way 1984 Fleer used the logo's on the cards and the design really worked.

8/1985 Baseball Cards Mag             $1.20-2.00
12/86 Baseball Cards Mag               $3.00-5.00
11/1988 Baseball Cards Mag           $30.00
10/1996 SportsCards                       $34.00
10/1998 SportsCards                       $30.00
2/2005 Beckett Baseball                   $8-20.00
10/2009 Beckett SCM                     $8-20.00
Last week on Ebay                           $7.50(26 sales with high sale of 20.00)

The 1984 Fleer  Mattingly card appears to be just a little bit more valuable than the 1983 Topps Wade Boggs (see earlier posts)

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Ozzie Smith #21

Photo Front: What stands out the most about this card is how Dick Perez used two different color uniforms in creating Ozzie's Diamond King. Ozzie white uniform stands out against the dark background and his brown uniform. In most of Diamond Kings, the players had the same color uniform in this set.

Back Facts: The Padres are fortunate to have a shortstop who can field the position and provide speed on the basepaths.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Amos Otis #70 and Hal McRae #196

I love cards that I can find some sort of similarity to each other. In the Donruss 1982 set 2 Royal cards are very similar. Amos Otis and Hal McRae photos were taken at almost the same time and at the nearly the same angle. The McRae card was taken at a lower angle but you can see the blue and red seats in the back ground. I am not sure what stadium this is. The Otis card show the same red and blue seats but the angle is focused upward and show the upper deck of the stadium in the back ground. The cards have a greater effect when you put them side by side.

Back Facts: Otis - began his card as a shortstop and also played a little third base for the Mets. McRae - A real "gamer" who comes to beat you.