Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Breaking: 2011-12 NBA Hoops Cards live on Ebay

There are a fe Jeremy Lin rookie autographs that are over $10, it remains to be seen how high that it goes, not sure if there are any shortprints outside of the final card. No rookies in the set except for Rubio kind of. It remains to be seen if this set sparks any collector interest.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Donruss the Rookies Johnny Ray #528

This is one sweet looking card. A nice tight shot of of Ray in his batting stance. He is wearing the old fashion Pirates cap and there is a lot of Wiz Khalifia Black and Yellow going on here. I disagree somewhat with Night Owl on the use of yellow on a card design. Yes, yellow did not work on 1991 Fleer (maybe because the photo was so small) but it works here on this set 1982 Donruss and it works to perfection on this card. Johnny Ray was the Sporting News rookie of the year but lost out to Steve Sax for the regular rookie of the year award. The Dodgers have dominated that awarded over the years and Ray was trying to become the first Pirate to win it. Jason Bay would win it 22 years later in 2004 becoming the first Pirate win. There have been like almost 15 Dodgers who have won it over the years. Topps and Fleer did not have a regular Ray rookie but Topps included him with 2 other players. Also, around 1982, there was a big song by and English group on MTV which played alot that had the lyrics "oh oh Johnny Ray", it was not about this guy but an English singer from the 1950s. I can't remember the name of that group.

Mickey Hatcher #480

He would become a star in the 1988 World Series for the Dodgers. Mickey was one of those super utility guys
This is kind of a bland looking posed shot, Mickey does have a strange look on his face with is bat on his shoulder.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

The first Card Set showing players in All Star uniforms

I will never forget the day that I read a little blurb in the fall of 1982 in the Sporting News that Topps was not going to make any Basketball (and Hockey sets though we got O-Pee-Chee) sets that year. Ugh, I was not going to get my Kelly Tripuka rookie card. Sometime in the summer of 1983, the Star Company put out a 33 card NBA All-Star set of all the players from the 1983 All-Star game. The only way to get this set was from card dealers or the company directly. I believe I got my set from a card dealer. What this set also did was for the first time ever feature players of any sport in there All-Star uniform (sorry Baseball does not count - since they wear there teams regular season uniform). Also, as a side note the Star Company did produce World Champion set for the Philadephia 76ers but that set did not come out until, I believe Dec of 1983 or Jan of 1984. Just before the Star Company released
its massive 23 team sets in Feb of 1984.

Steve Howe #158

5 O'Clock comes early. Wait, I think that was Bob Welch? If my memory serves me (without going to the internet), I believe Steve suffered through some heavy drug abuse over the years and I believe he is deceased. Sorry if you are not Steve. This is a very clear spring training photo of a very young looking man. Back Facts: Has a 94 mph fastball. That would be slow today

Champ Summers

First name is John. The ultimate grizzled looking player/veteran
. On the back of his card it stats A Vietnam War veteran.

Burt Hooton #32

Kind of like an opposite version of Kravec card. Hooton's card definitely seems to be a spring training shot. Back Facts: Nicknamed Happy because he seldom breaks a smile. There is something on the back of his cards that mystify me. 1. Set Cubs record by striking out 15 mets in one game during rooke season of '71. 2. Hurled no-hitter vs. Phillies 4/16/72 in only his 4th major league start. So what this means is - in his first 4 starts he had no-hitter and a 15 k game or he got the 15 ks in a relief appearance. Both are incredibly WOW.

Ken Kravec #378

Unleash the Kravec. Ken was not that good, he sported ERAs of 4.10, 4.08, 3.74, 6.91 and 5.08 the preceeding five years. This is a decent action shot of him in mid windup. Looks like Wrigley Field in the background. Back Facts:
Hampered by muscle spasms in his back in '80.

Three Blind Giants

Greg Minton #348, I have nothing personal against him but Greg has a cross eyed look and you can really see it on his Topps 1978 card. All three cards inlcuding Doyle Alexander #96 and Tom Griffin #474, all have the same look and feel to them. I want to say all were taken by the same photographer, on the same day, at Wrigley Field. Griffin is the one I am not sure of. Doyle Alexander was once traded for Frank Robinson and later in his career for a very young John Smoltz. Frank Robinson was involved in one of the most lopsided trades in baseball history with Milt Pappas. Back Facts: Doyle also pitched the division clinching series win for the O's in 1973.

Dan Spillner

This is one boring card. The only thing interesting about it is the back ground which I think is Comisky park and the curl in the back of Dan's hair. A non descript pitcher. Though nothing personal against you Dan.

John Mayberry #306

It looks like Big John has just hit a long fly ball, the Jays bright blue uniforms really shine through on this shot. John is also wearing some cool wrist bands on his arms. Back Facts: Blue Jays purchased him from Royals 4/4/78

John Harris #444

He was one of those prospects who really never panned out. He is wearing uniform number 13. He never played a game after 1981 in the majors. Back Facts: One of the Angels brightest young prospects (he would turn 28 in 1982). –I Don’t think you are a prospect at age 27 in baseball.

Rob Picciolo #465

The classic no hit, no speed, no power, good glove shortstop of the 1970s and early 1980s. Here is a pretty sweet batting shot as his arms are blurred as he is in his swing of a pitch. The blurriness contrast with the clear background and look on his face to give the card a slight 3-D affect.

Brian Kingman #87

A super down the line posed shot where the background on this card makes it quite unusual. You can see the words on the outfield wall stating “CORNER SALOON”. The card captures the lower deck and upper deck of what I think maybe Comisky Park? (help me out Wrigley Wax). It is a before game shot as you can see the fans milling around in the stands. Back Facts: Born July 27, 1954.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Steve Garvey #3

Man is that a good looking man. Looking like a young Rick Perry, Dick Perez nailed it with Garvey. Since the Dodgers always where white, Perez was able to capture the Dodger Blue on Garvey’s hat. A borderline hall of famer, from 1974 to 1982 probably a top five player in baseball.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Jim Sundberg #268

The classic face mask catcher stance card with a little twist that the ball was also in his glove. This is the first shot that I have seen in this set like this. Some blogger in the last few years had post on these type of cards but I can’t remember who it was.

UL Washington #160

Does not appear to have his trademark toothpick in his mouth when he was batting. A nice posed shot that brings out the KC purple uniforms. Back Facts: Is one of the few graduates from the ill-fated Royals baseball academy.

Claudell Washington #58

A very tight close up of Mr. Wahington, who seems to be enjoying himself. This is a spring training photo as you can see a building in the background. He was one of those players that everyone wanted but no one kept for a long time. Although he was only 27 years old in 1981, he played for the A’s, Rangers, White Sox, Mets and Braves. Back Facts: Came to Braves last year as a free agent and signed a stunning 3.5 million contract.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Fernando Valenzuela #462

A year after Fernando Mania, this is his first Donruss card. Fleer captured him on his own card in 1981 and Topps had him grouped with other rookies in their 1981 set. Topps also got him in their first ever hobby only traded set. Back Facts: Topped off the year by being named the first rookie Cy Young winner

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Jorge Bell #54

He would become George in a few years. A Super rule 5 pick up by the Jays. His 10/21/59 birth date makes him one of the youngest players to appear in the Donruss 1982 set. I think Fernando Valenzuela was born in 1960 or 1961 making him the youngest player. This is a nice wide shot of him in his batting stance in this Spring Training Shot. He looks real skinny.

jeff Jones #213 Romulan

A decent in action shot of him starting his wind up. With the blurry background he stands out on the card almost with a 3-D affect. Home: Romulus, Michigan. Does this make him a Romulan?

Jim Bibby #171

Brother of Henry Bibby and uncle of Mike Bibby who plays for the Miami Heat. Jim is giving a big smile and his hazel eyes really shine through on this photo. It is interesting that he is wearing a batting helmet. The Pirate logo in the bottom corner of the photo almost looks like it is part of the card.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Richie Zisk #11 (and Richard Nixon)

On the night in August of 1974 when Richard Nixon went on Television before the American People and resign from office. Richie Zisk hit a game winning home run to propel the Pittsburgh Pirates to victory. It is still hard to believe that he signed a 10 year contract in 1977. Dick Perez again went with the whites on the unis n this DK card.

Willie Mays Aikens #412

A hero of the 1980 World Series, who would later end up in prison for drugs. This is a nice first baseman in action shot not sure if it is from a game or pre-game practice shot. Back Facts: Named after Willie Mays because he was born at about the same times Mays made his historic World Series catch off Vic Wertz.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Chris Bando #551

The younger brother of Sal, he was a shadow of his brother. Which is what you can say about this card. Because the bill of his cap makes a nice dark shadow over his face. I am trying to make out the background of the card because it does not appear to be a MLB stadium.

Doug Corbett #53

Doug had an incredible 1980 rookie season - 8 Wins, 1.99 ERA, 23 saves 136 Inn. Pitched; This is a nice action shot, Doug seems card almost has a 3-d effect. If you look carefully, you can see the indention of a can of SKOALS sticking out the side of his butt.

Lamaar Hoyt #117

Any time I think of Hoyt, I think of 1983. It is in 1983, that his dominant season happened. In 1983, Chicago Sox seemed to be a team of destiny but it Was no to be. It looks like Lamarr is pitching in front of the Oakland A's emblem. He Was traded from the Yankee's to White Sox for Bucky Dent.

Darrly Motley #390

A real rookie card as Darryl only had 125 at bat the season before. He is born in 1960, only a couple players in the set born in the 1960s. A potentional superstar that did not pan out. He needed a shave at age 21.

Buddy Bell #23

Dick Perez went with the white Texas Rangers uniform for this picture. I would have preferred the light blue jerseys. Son of Gus Bell.
Len Barker #4 The Diamond Kings are the first regular painted subset in a major sports card set. In 1981 Len Barker pitched the first perfect game since 1968.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

2011-12 NBA Hoops has Jeremy Lin Autos

NBA Hoops the first NBA set out in less than 14 days, and has Jeremy Lin in a Knicks uniform! and his Autos. This may be the hottest Basketball product in years. And it is affordable. This could be the most collectable set since 2010 Bowman with Strasberg Mania.

Football Price Guide Card History: 2004 Bowman Eli Manning

This is more like recent history as I am going to compare what 2004 Bowman Eli Manning autograph was worth from Beckett of August of 2011 and what it has sold for in the last week on Ebay. Eli’s Blue Bowman Autograph was listed as between $50.00 and $120.00. His Bowman Chrome was listed between $100 and $200. What has happened in the last 7 days on ebay. There were 7 sales for the average price of $173.55 for his regular blue ink auto. There were 17 sales for the average price of $333.49 of his Bowman Chrome rookie autograph. The interesting thing is that only 199 were issued, so 8.5 percent of the total cards issued were sold within the last week.

Jeremy Lin, My Mistake

For the past year your short printed Rookies and Stars and Prestige Basketball Card were sitting on ebay for a Buck or Two. Just waiting for me to snatch up. But no more.

Jeremy Lin saves M D'antoni's job

Before Lin began putting on a show, the Knicks were 8-15 with 2 80 million dollar superstars. Now they are the talk of the NBA.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Tim Blackwell

Dirty, Gritty, and Messy describes this card. Just a great non-action action card of Tim throwing the ball bac to the pitcher. The blue chest pad and leg pads add great color to this card. Dirty Gritty.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Before there was Jeremy Lin there was Bubbles Hawkins and Billy Ray Bates

Jeremy Lin has scored more points than in his first 4 starts than any player since the 1976-77 merger. Shack is second on the list, Lebron is third and Michael Jordan and Billy Ray Bates are tied for 4th. I am reminded of a player by the name of Bubbles Hawkins who took the NBA by storm in early 1977 by scoring 20 points a game. He did his scoring though for the lowly New Jersey, they were Dr. J less, after he was sold to the 76ers. Bubbles averaged about 19 points per game in the 1976-77 season.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Terry Kennedy #121

He is holding a Louisville Slugger (you can read it upside down). I don’t know where this was take. Maybe someone can help me out. It does not look like Jack Murphy stadium. Another colorful uniform card. Back Facts: is the son of ex-big leaguer Bob Kenedy, now an executive with Houston.

Rob Wilfong #130 (The first card ever showing a player pulling off his batting glove)

I think it may be. Can anyone find a earlier card of a player pulling off his batting glove. I believe that Wilfong may have been part Asian. I don't know if anyone can confirm this. Back Facts: An Excellent Bunter

Bob Clark #318

Bob Clark has one of those unassuming names. He was kind of a prospect of the Angels for a while. Like Mike Brown would be a few years later. The Angels seemed to have a lot of those guys through the years (Like Brandon Wood). A nice batting stance shot.

Leon Durham #151

Here is a very tight shot of Leon in his wide batting stance. This is not a real clear picture but it is a decent shot. Back Facts: Scouts feel he is on the verge of becoming a super star. (Sorry did not happen).

Pat Tabler

Pat looks like he is 16 years old here. He is 23 though. Just a super looking card. The Cubs logo shines through on this card.

Dan Meyer

This is not a bad Donruss 1982 card. Most have a blurry image but this one is kind of clear. There is a Yankee making a guest appearance on this card. Look into the dugout and you can see him

Buck Martinez #561

Buck  is more famous now because he is an announcer on XM MLB radio. He was an average backup catcher in his day. Here he is wearing the Blue Uniform from the classic Blue Jays uniform.

Harvey Kuenn #578

Harvey is pictured with a big wad of tobacco in his mouth. He is wearing the classic Blue Brewers jerseys from 1982. Harvey  wallbangers would win the 1982 AL pennant and lose to the Cardinals in 1982 world series.  Harvey was involved in one of the greatest baseball trades of all time. He was traded in 1960 for Rocky Calovito. It was the only time the previous league batting was traded for the previous league home run champ.

Gene Mauch #141

Gene Mauch is one of the best managers to never get to the world series. He was the Phillies manager in 1964 during there collapse in the pennant race. From 1965 to 1981, the teams he coached only once finish above 3 place

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Barry Evans #271

This is a blurry photo of Barry holding his bat at home plate looking up the third base line. He is wearing his brown shirt Padre uniform. Back Facts: Tried professional tennis a few years back but gave it up for baseball.

2011 Prime Cuts - Released in March of 2012? WTF

I just read on the Beckett Blog that 2011 Prime Cuts will be released about 75 days into 2012. I just don't get it. Why not just call it 2012 Prime Cuts. O.K. I don't get that they will be selling 2013 cars in a few months but I guess that is  me.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Dave Kingman #182

KING KONG. This card is seems very unusual  for its time. I don’t think we got to see these in close semi-action shots until the early 1990s. There just is something about the tightness of the photo that makes it stand out. Kingman maybe on the on deck circle before an bat or just swinging before the game. I don’t think he posed for this shot.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

2012 Topps inserts are needless worthless and just plain boring

Except for the 1987 design mini's. However, the real question to ask is why do they do it. One reason is to get old timers on baseball cards. Topps, I think a few years ago bought the rights to use their images on baseball cards. So if you bought the rights to use Babe Ruth's image then why not put him on baseball cards. However, that still does not explain why Topps feels it has to six or seven inserts.

I think you can really trace the beginning of the insert set craze to Fleer in 1991 and 1992. They began putting inserts sets in their Football, Baseball and Basketball sets. These usally came 2-4 inserts per 36 pack box. Prior to this Donruss (Elite), Pro Set (Lombardi Trophy) and Upper Deck (Reggie Jackson autographs) had some super rare inserts (rare at the time). By 1995 Fleer started to put out 6-7 inserts sets and even had what they called were Hot Packs where all the cards in the packs were inserts.  

Why does Topps have so many inserts. The first and major reason: They think or know that it makes them more profitable. They had to have done some sort or marketing or profit loss analysis to determine how they could get optimal sales out of their product. Instead of having  more cards of relief pitchers and backup infielders they give us cards of Babe Ruth and Hank Aaron. That makes some sort of sense. With 25 men rosters over 30 teams, 750  major league players can be spread out over 3 - 330 card series. Most teams will get 20-25 different players in all 3 Topps series (1, 2 and update.) .

But do the insert cards have any value for the collector.  No and it makes putting together complete sets by collectors that much harder. The second reason why Topps has some many inserts sets. Exclusiveness. In the middle of the decade, Topps had very few insert sets. They started increasing the number around 2008 (as maybe Topps were beginning to eye an exclusive contract  with Major League Baseball).

The reason is inserts are so boring, is how could they not be, when you try to have six or seven every year, creativity goes out the window.

Gene Richards #499

Gene Richards #499

Gene wearing the dark brown Padre jersey, looks like he just fouled off a ball or is looking down at the third base coach. A great base stealer his totals were for the last 5 years were 56, 37, 24, 61 and 20 in 1981.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Tom Hume #229

THE BIG APPLE. On the outfield wall there appears to be a picture of a Big Red Apple or most likely a big red tomato. I think I can make out the first four letters as wach. Outside of that and the Big glasses that Hume is wearing, nothing much else is going on with this card. Middle name is Hubert.

Gary Lavelle #60

There is some sort of white crap stuff that is smeared on the top of his hat. It does not look to be a printing flaw. I always remembered Gary as being a very good reliever but it appears by 1981 those days were gone. He struck out Reggie Jackson and Carl Yastrzemski in the 1977 All-Star game

Stan Papi #333

Before there was Big Popi there was Stan Papi. This is a very non descript looking card. Stan looks kind of young here (he was 30) with a full set of nice white teeth. Back Facts: Career almost ended in '75 when he missed entire season because doctors were unable to diagnose he was suffering from hypoglycemia.

Jim Anderson #181

A very dark photo of another Seattle Mariner, there appears to be lots of shadow on this card even though the sun appears to be out. Jim came up with the Angels in 1978 at age 21. Interesting that he was the Angels regular shortstop in the 1979 AL playoffs at age 22, then that December he was sold to the Mariners.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Sparky Lyle #189

Sparky was famous for pulling down his pants and leaving a dump on unsuspecting birthday cakes that were left in the Yankee Clubhouse.

Here he is in full motion ready to pitch on this nice tight action shot. You can see his famous mustache which is slightly covered by the shadows on the card. Though it seems odd to see him in a Phillie uniform.