Monday, January 31, 2011

Baseball Price Guide History - 1983 Topps Wade Boggs

This edition we examine the 1983 Topps Wade Boggs rookie card. In 1983, this was the hottest rookie card around. Boggs hit .349 and .363 his first 2 years in the majors. As you can see the price of the card has gone down since 1988.

8/1985 Baseball Cards Mag             $1.80-3.00
11/1988 Baseball Cards Mag           $32.00
10/1996 SportsCards                       $24.00
10/1998 SportsCards                       $20.00
2/2005 Beckett Baseball                   $6-15.00
2/2009 Beckett Baseball                   $6-15.00
Last week on Ebay                           $6.33(57 sales with high sale of 24.97)

It has been quite a comedown for the Boggs card since the 1988 peak value of $32.00.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Mike Marson Unique

I started collecting Hockey cards in 1972 and Mike Marson was the first player I ever saw on a Hockey card who was African American. I believe that Marson was either the 2nd or 3rd African American player to ever play in the NHL up to 1974. He was only 19 years old in his rookie season with the Washington Caps. He scored 28 points which would be a career high. This is his 1975-76 Topps rookie card.

Another great thing about this card was that it captured which I think was an in between period skate around. The photo angle is also very unique (especially for Hockey cards up to 1975).

Also, what is not unique is that the Washington Capitals are in there home uniforms.
 A quick history lesson all through the 1970s and into the 1980s, All NHL teams that were at home wore their white uniforms and all road teams wore their dark uniforms. This lasted I believe up to the early 1980s.  (P.S. a quick internet search determined that the change to dark jersey home uniforms happened in 2003-04 – I swore this happened in the early 1980s.)

Beginning with the 1975-76, most action shots on Topps Hockey cards were taken in Washington. For later sets in the 1970s, almost all Topps NHL Hockey card photos were taken in Washington D.C. Almost exclusively for all Topps cards, at this time, if an opponent appear in the background of a Topps Hockey card, that opponent would be a Washington Capital (except for Capital cards themselves). How I longed to see a Pittsburgh Penguin on a Hockey card in their home whites. In fact most of the Topps NBA card photos that were taken in the late 1970s were taken at Washington Bullets homes games. However, it was not as exclusive as the NHL cards.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Ken Oberkfell #404

Oberkfell batting stance is a somewhat similar to George Brett (see last post) but he does not crouch as much. I would say this is a spring training shot. The Cardinal colors work well with the 1982 Donruss design.

Back Facts: Sprained his left knee in May of '80 and missed 6 weeks of the season.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

George Brett

I present you George Brett. This is why there should be Diamond King Cards. This card captures a youthful looking Brett who was at the top of his game. Also, the great thing about this card is that it captures Brett's Shoeless Joe Jackson batting stance in the bottom right hand corner. The color scheme on this card also works well with the green/blue background contrast with the Royals purple uniform. This card stands the test of time and is equal to anything that is made today.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

The last card

Living in Pittsburgh as a youth in the 1970s, the Steelers were beginnign to show  their dominance of the NFL. In 1976, as a kid, I was collecting Topps Football cards the old fashion way - one pack at a time, one card at a time. By the spring of 1977,  I still needed a couple of cards to complete the set.

One day in March or April of 1977, I was at a Kroger's with my mother shopping, when I saw that they were still selling Topps football cards, I threw a couple of packs in the cart. . A great thing about Topps back then is there cards were usually collated in a pack the same way. Thus, Player A would almost always follow player B etc.... Well when I got home I opened the packs. I opened one pack and saw that I got a card that I knew I needed (I needed about 5 cards to complete the set). When I saw that card, I knew that the cards behind it or the cards to follow were going to be new(to me) because of the collation (though I don't think I knew what the word meant, at that age) process.   In that pack, I got the five cards I needed. I can only remember that Andy Russell was one of those players/cards for sure, I think a Buccaneer or Seahawk was another. If I looked over the set again I could probably figured out who they were.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Best Steelers Card of 2010

Yes, I am partial to Score football. This card is great because Worilds is wearing the bright yellow Steelers jersey.  This is just a very colorful card. Topps Maurice Pouncey card comes in 2nd. Oh! No! Pouncey just got hurt before the Steelers scored the first touchdown. 7-0 Steelers

Best Jets Card of 2010

Ok, I am not a big fan of the old New York Titans uniform. Why don't the Jets wear  the 1969 unis as throwback uniforms. However, this card is a fantastic action shot, it captures are unique and rare play (a Revis interception) the players are well centered in the photo, they make up a good portion of the photo and the players don't have that far away feel.  

Best Bears Card of 2010

I remember opening packs of 1988-89 Topps Hockey and seeing Wayne Gretzky out of uniform and in a tie and I thought it was one of the cooliest cards. It also worked well on the 1991 Donruss Darryl Strawberry out of unifrom (press conference) card. However for the recent NBA draft pick cards, I think it has been a little over done. Though the 1989-90 Hoops David Robinson card worked well.

I love this card as Peppers is holding the Bears helmet in front of a drape that is litter with the Bears logo as well as US Cellular getting free advertisement on this Score Football card

Best Packer Card of 2010

Clay Matthews has been dominate in his first 2 seasons. The last LB this dominate this early in his career was Lawrence Taylor. The thing I like about this card is Clay is on the with his hair flapping in the wind and pieces of dirt/turf or grass flying around in the photo. The card has the Green Bay logo on it (I wonder if the Pack could sue Glen Beck for trademark infringement  because his logo looks mighlty similar - everytime I see his logo I think of the Packers). Anyway love those Packer uniforms. Go Green and Yellow.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Larry Herndon #172

It seemed like forever that Larry was prospect looking to have a break out season. He was turning 29 in 1982 and the break out season never happened.  Interesting posed photo front where he is wearing one glove (prelude to Michael Jackson). This is kind of an opposite shot of Vade Pinson (see last post) A mostly blue sky background.

Back Stats: Was named top rookie by the Sporting News when he hit .288 for Giants with 11 doubles and 12 stolen bases

Thursday, January 20, 2011

6 degrees of Vada Pinson (1910 WS Champs to 2010 WS Champs)

In 1981 Vada Pinson coached Harold Baines who played for the 2001 White Sox who had Aaron Rowland on the Team. Aaron played for the 2010 WS Champs SF Giants. In 1958, Vada played with Walt Dropo who played in 1946 with Ted Williams (on the B Sox). Ted played with Lefty Grove in 1939 who was coached by Connie Mack on the 1925 Philadephia A's. Connie Mack was the World Series manager of the 1910 Philadelphia A's.

Mack (1910 Champ) - Grove - Williams - Dropo - PINSON - Baines - Rowland (2010 Champ)

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

John Denny #572

This is a year before John's famous 1983 airbrushed Topps Philadelphia Phillies card. In the 1982 season John would get traded to the Phillies and in 1983, he would win the Cy Young. This is not a bad shot of him peering to the catcher during what appears to be a spring training game.

Back Stats: Indians got him 12/7/1979 from Cardinals for Bobby Bonds.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Bad Basketball Cards Photos

For me, card manufacturers have the toughest time creating well centered photos on Basketball Cards. Case in point is this 2005-06 Topps  Andrei Kirilenko. I loved the 2005-06 Topps design. The problem I have with this card and many basketball card photos is the positioning of the player on this card. Andrei's head is about 60 down on the photo. I hate these photos where all you see is the players upper chest, head and uplifted arm. Unless it is a posed head shot, the players head should be at least in the top 50 percent of the photo.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Football Card Mystery - 1985 Topps Chris Collinsworth

In 1984, Chris was the Bengals leading receiver by a wide margin. He had 64 receptions and 989 receiving yards. Those number finished in the top 20 in receiving in the NFL. Ordinarily, a player with those statistics would have warrented a card in the 396  card Topps set at that time. However, Chris did not receive a football card in the 1985 Topps set.

In 1984, Chris signed with the USFL for the 1985 (spring) season. However, Chris failed his physical and his contract was terminated with  the Tampa Bay Bandits, before the season. He never played a game with them. The 1985 Topps football set was not release until early August of 1985, about 5-6 months after Chris's contract was terminated. Chris then went back to the Bengals. However, Topps was not as flexible in producing cards at this time. Topps must not have included him when they formulated their checklist for players for the 1985 set and when he went back to the Bengals, Topps probably did not have the flexibility to add him to the 1985 set.  Ironically, Chris did not appear in the 1985 Topps USFL set. Thus, one of the best receivers in football did not get a card in 1985.

*As a side note, Chris did receive a card in the 1989 Pro Set update set even though he did not play any football after 1988.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Bob Lemon #635

A decent shot of Bob wearing the Yankee Cap. The only problems seems to be too much shadow is covering Bob's face. Bob plays a big role in Sparky Lyle's 1979 book the Bronx Zoo. Bob took over for Billy Martin in 1978 and led the Yanks to their 2nd consecutive world series win.

Back Stats; He  was named AL Manager of the Year in 1977 while with the white sox.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Internet Killed the Baseball Card Magazine

With the news of Tuff Stuff ceasing to exist, it makes me wonder how much longer the printed versions of Beckett will be around. I had not seen a Tuff Stuff on (shrinking) news shelves in a couple of years. In 2010 year, I have only seen one issue of Becketts Sports Card Monthly (which I picked up-I have been wondering if this is the last one I will ever buy) on a news stand shelf. I was never a big Tuff Stuff fan over the years as I always thought they lacked substantive articles.

I remember in the summer of 1984, seeing for the first time a Baseball Card Magazine on a magazine shelf. I bought that magazine (with a cover picture of Cal Ripken and an uncut sheet of 1955 Topps Baseball card) and still have it and probably have read it from cover to cover at least 8 times over the last 26 years. I think that was the 9th issue ever of the magazine which at the time came out quarterly. I started buying BCM on a quarterly basis and some of those issues had some great articles about Baseball Cards.

However now with the Internet and blogging I don't see a need for these magazines. The blogs The Fleer Sticker Project and Topps Archives remind me of some of the types of articles you would have seen in BCM. Most other blogs preview the new material (which is all that Beckett does - though I do like just holding the Mag in my hands), so I don't see Beckett in the printed form surviving in the next 5 years.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Jim (Kitty) Kaat #217

Look at the background on this card. It is the same background that appears on 1982 Donruss Tom Lasorda and 2008 Topps Kevin Millwood (see earlier posts). However, this is a much tighter and closer shot. All three cards show the large dark(green) wall and the stadium lighting fixture. This is also a great shot of the Cardinals logo.

Back Stats: States Jim is seemingly ageless. He is also the last active member who was part of the Washington Senators in the 1950s.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Dan Schatzeder #385

This is a classic posed shot of Dan. There are a couple of Florida palm trees behind him to the left. On the back it was shocking to see that his ERA rose from 2.83 (1981) to 4.01 (1980) to 6.08 (1981). That being said his card does state that has been bothered by arm trouble the past two seasons.

Friday, January 7, 2011

2011 Bowman: The Bikini Top(p)s Set

Look real closely at the new 2011 Bowman Design. Specifically, the rounded red borders on this card. Look. Don't you see it. It looks like a Bikini top of a somehat endowed female.  Imagine Halle Berry's breasts in those red borders (instead of Ichiro) and you can see the Bikini Top.  

Thursday, January 6, 2011

John Henry Johnson (Leg Up)

Marichal Redux. One of the great action shots of all time up to 1982. Probably one of the first baseball cards to catch that up close and personal view of a pitcher in that leg up motion just before the pitch. The only other card I can compare it to prior to 1982 was Topps 1974 Juan Marichal. However, the photo on this card is cropped a little tighter.

Back Facts: Rangers obtained him 6/16/79 from A's for Mike Heath and Dave Chalk.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Ivan DeJesus #48

Photo Front: A shot of Ivan in the Batting Box awaiting the pitch. The bat has a very strange design on it as it looks like a bunch of different sized Vs. on it.

Back Stats: One of the best shortstops in baseball, he had a puzzling slump at the plate (He batted only .194)

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Baseball Card Price Guide History - 1982 Topps Cal Ripken

This edition we examine the 1982 Topps Cal Ripken rookie card. As you can see the price of the card has gone done since the mid-1990s

8/1985 Baseball Cards Mag             $3-5.00
11/1988 Baseball Cards Mag           $10.00
10/1996 SportsCards                        $90.00
10/1998 SportsCards                        $80.00
2/2005 Beckett Baseball                   $20-50.00
2/2009 Beckett Baseball                   $15-40.00
Last week on Ebay                             $24.02(104 sales with one sale for $425 10 gem mint and 2nd highest sale of $145 10 gem mint)

The vast majority of non graded Ripken rookies can be had for less than $20.00 This card has held its value through the years. Though I wonder who the heck spent $425 on this card).