Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Another 2011 Bowman error card

Over at Card Board Problem there was a mention of a 2011 Bowman error card. Here goes another one. Cardona is missing his sig on this card just like the Cabrera. I don't know if there are variations of this card out there (with the sig.)

Buddy Solomon #437

This shot of Solomon just reems of late 1970s and early 1980s Pittsburgh Pirates "We are Family" classic uniforms. The power of this photo is devine. It is an incredibly close cropped well position photo that makes me feel like I am standing next to Buddy on the mound. The 1982 Donruss design works well with this type of Pirates uniform. Black and Gold. Just a great baseball card

Back Facts: Pirates obtained him 4/24/80 from Braves for P Greg Fields....Also goes by the name of Buddy Jay.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Mike Torrez #285

Mike's face just seems kind of strange in this photo, like there is some invisible shadow over his face or something. He does not seem to be smiling but grimacing. This card has a nice blue sky background.

Back Facts: Just when his critics believed he might be on the way down, he rebounded with one of his best seasons last year.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

George Foster vs. Jason Patric

GEORGE FOSTER WEEKEND. Topps previously had theme cards that said AL Sluggers etc... /combo cards in previous sets (mostly from the late 1950s - late 1960s) However, the design was a little different than a regular issued card as were the backs. In 1981, Fleer issued theme cards of players and not only kept the same design but kept the same backs also. A couple of these cards are famous for errors. Though in 1981 it was only fitting that the gave George Foster a card that had Slugger.

In 1997, while I was at school, the school showed a movie called Sleepers. The movie was really two parts. The first part dealt with a group of boys how their acts as boys would later impact their lives when they were grown up (which was the second part of the movie and that had major actors protraying them as adults). I have seen the whole movie twice but I have watched the second half of the movie about 5-6 times. The second half of the movie had some great court room drama and some great acting. The actors who appeared in this movie were named Kevin Bacon, Brad Pitt, Dustin Hoffman and Robert Dinero (and also Minnie Driver). However, if you were around at the time the name of the actor that had top billing was Jason Patric. Yes, Jason Patric had top billing in this movie over all the others. I was not really following Hollywood at this time (I was in school), but I guess he was a star(I think he was engaged to Julia Roberts at one point, but I could be wrong).

Jason Patric reminds me a little of George Foster - replace the above actors names with Joe Morgan, Tony Perez, Johnny Bench, and Pete Rose (yes Dinero is Pete Rose) then Foster would be Jason Patric because I think in 1977 and 1978 he would have received Top Billing among this group of players.

George Foster vs. Jose Bautista

GEORGE FOSTER WEEKEND. The best thing about this card is the Blueish Purpleish Pinkish All Star Banner. This card from the 1979 Topps set also has a great background. What more can you ask for George Foster All Star Super Star player posing for his baseball card next to a steel fence and high school sized bleachers during a beautiful spring training day (probably from 1978). It is a very intimate setting (as oppposed to action shots at MLB stadiums) as fans seem to be an arm length away. I wonder how many of the people in the background know that they appeared a George Foster baseball card.

George Foster had a break out year at age 27 in 1975. Jose Bautista had a break out year at age 30 in 2010. Foster hit over 50 home runs at age 29, Jose age 30. Both players became stars at a much later age. Bill James had a theory that players that peak at a latter age have a shorter span at the top. George seemed to lose it at age 34 in 1982 when he went to the Mets. I think Jose has a another couple of good years in him.  

Saturday, May 28, 2011

George Foster v. Mike Schmidt

George Foster vs. Mike Schmidt

GEORGE FOSTER WEEKEND. If there was only one card that would be associated with Foster it would be his Topps 1977 card. I loved the fact during this time Topps put the All-Star banner on the card which gave the cards a little something special. The blue coloring and design is just awesome. 1977 was also his MVP year.

Between 1975 and 1981 ( a seven year period), Mike Schmidt was probably considered the best baseball player in the majors. However, if you compare his stats to George Foster during this time, Foster was his equal.

                        Schmidt                         Foster

AB                        3646                        3626
Hits                       977                         1077
BAT                     .267                        .297
TB                        2010                        1968
Slug                      .551                        .542
HR                        259                         221
RBI                      707                          749
Runs                     703                         589
BB                       678                          408
SB                        110                         34

Foster hit 30 points higher than Schmidt and drove in 42 MORE runs. Schmidt has him slugging percentage, homers, runs and Base on Balls. However a closer look realizes when it comes to producing runs Foster topped Schmidt during the seven year period.

Foster had 1117 runs produced (R+RBI-HR) in 4034 plate appearances(AB+W) for a .276 average. Schmidt had 1151 runs produced in 4324 plate appearance  for a .266 average. Thus for every 1000 plate appearances Foster produced 276 runs to Schmidt 266.

Also, Foster’s Reds won 635 times to Schmidt’s Phillies. Foster was also on 2 Champions to Schmidt’s 1. However, Foster never got a whiff of the Hall of Fame or even credit as a great player.

Friday, May 27, 2011

George Foster #274

GEORGE FOSTER WEEKEND. George Foster has always been one of my favorite players of all time. When I began following baseball , George Foster was the man. He was so intimidating at the plate with that stance and the stroke (and his usually black bat except in this picture). I always thought he was the most feared player from the Big Red Machine. This card (like Carlton's) exudes power and coolness. George has that stern look on his face with those menacing side burns, he looks like he is ready to crank on the ball as his arms seem to be made of sinew.

Back Facts: Has taken over as the leader of the Reds' offense....Won three consecutive RBI crowns in '76, '77 and '78...Has hit more home runs into the upper deck seats of Riverfront Stadium than any other players.   

Thursday, May 26, 2011

2000 Topps Miguel Cabrera - The youngest player ever to appear on a regular Topps Baseball Card

Miguel Cabrera was born in April of 1983. In 1999, he was signed by the Florida Marlins and he appeared in the Topps Traded/Update set in 2000. He was at the ripe old age of 17 years old.  I realize today that Topps produces baseball cards of USA team members on the under 18 years of age but they have never been included as part of a regular or update set except for as an insert. I could not find a card of a player that appeared in any Topps set that was younger than Cabrera. In 1969, a bat boy appeared on the Topps card on Aurelio Rodriguez but I don't think that counts. I am also excluding the boyhood photos subset used in the 1972 Topps set (while the photos of the players were from their childhood, the ages of the players in 1972 were more than 17 years old).

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Lefty #42

What I like about this photo it just exudes POWER. Carlton just looks unhittable and the ball has not even let his hand. He is just bearing down on you ready to wail. And this may only be a pre game warm up toss.
The background seems to be a nice sunny day at Veterans Stadium. This is a nice well proportioned photo shot.

Back Facts: 262 wins 173 losses and 3.00 ERA 3148 strikeouts. (Carlton was at the top of his game and would have a few more decent years). He may not talk to writers, but there is no question he is a sure-shot first ballot Hall of Famer. Noted his 3000th strikeout 4/29/81 vs. Expos.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Baseball Card Price Guide History - 1955 Topps Harmon Killebrew

I did a little experiment with this round of Baseball Card Price Guide History. Harmon Killebrew passed away last week, so I wanted to compare his sales on Ebay for the week before his death with the week after his death. Anyway, here is Killebrew's Topps rookie card priced through history.

Price Guide                                         Value     
1982 Renata Galasso Guide                $15.00
9/1984 Baseball Cards Mag               $9-20.00
12/1986  Baseball Cards Mag            $15.75-35.00
10/1996 SportsCards                         $220.00
10/1998 SportsCards                         $225.00
2/2005 Beckett Baseball                    $150-250.00
2/2009 Beckett Baseball                    $150-250.00
2 weeks ago on Ebay                         $171.00 (59 sales - High $570)
Last week on Ebay                            $163.00 (87 sales - High $610)

I don't have any pricing between 1987 and 1995 but the card did go up a good bit during that time. As with most vintage cards the pricing for them has gone down since the mid 1990s. However, this card has seemed to hold some value. As I anticipated the week after Harmon Killebrew's death there were more sales of his cards, however there was not an increase in price (which I did not expect). However, with the laws of supply and demand it appears more people probably put his card up for sale after his death. (Thus flooding the market to keep up with increased demand).

Sunday, May 22, 2011

One of my favorite logos

One thing about sports and sports cards that invoke a passion in people are the team logos. I love cards that have the logo placed on them. One of the best sets ever to utilize a logo was the 1971-72 Topps Hockey Set. This is one of the first sets that I can recall from my child hood. There was something about the North Stars logos that invokes that inner child in me bringing back fond full childhood memories.  I think it was the use of the green and yellow color that caught my eye (green and yellow also works were with the Packers and I did like those purple and yellow uniforms that the Lakers had in the early 1970s).

After Minnesota moved to Dallas, they made a variation on the logo but for some reason it does not do it for me.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Bob Bonner #610 (1st baseball card ever to mention Hepatitis).

The other great Oriole rookie card in the 1982 Donruss Baseball Set. Remove a n from his last name and he would have a funny sounding last name. He kind of has that scraggy dirty 1970s look about him (aka Adam Morrison). It is also interesting to try to figure out what exactly is he wearing on this card. I guess it is a rain coat warm up jacket.

Back Facts: Hit only .229 in minors last year, but may have been still feeling after-effects of a bout with hepatitis in spring training.

Yes as the title states I believe this is the first (only? no I don't think so) baseball card ever to mention the word Hepatits on the back of it. Of course I could be wrong.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Dave Chalk #590

Back Facts: (Note this is one of the funniest of all time) Has served as KC's backup third baseman the past two seasons and the man they call on when George Brett gets hurt. (Get it - Because George Brett always got hurt).

Dave Chalk was your classic no hit, no power, no speed, good glove middle infielder from the 1970s and early 1980s (Pre-Ripken era). He is wearing the KC Royals uniform that the KC Royals have been recently wearing during their games in 2011. It is virbrant purple. Dave in this photo looks like he might have a little bit between his cheek and gum. It also looks like he has the number 7 written batting glove which was his number with the Royals. He never played in 1982 or there after.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Basketball Card Price Guide History – 1980-81 Topps Bird Magic rookie

Back in December of 1980, I sent away for (for about 6.99 ppd), a complete set of 1980-81 Topps Basketball cards. When I received the cards, I was amazed that the cards I was particularly looking forward to having were in non perforated 3 card panels. Topps, how could you do this to me. How I wanted to hold a 2 ½ by 3 ½ Topps rookie basketball card of Larry Bird in my hand. How Topps ruined it all for me. This was a time before the internet and card set previews, I had no idea I was going to get these type of cards. Aagh!!!!! I eventually undid the perforation and within the last 3 years sold all the cards (including the Bird rookie). How I wish Topps would create a reprint in 2 ½ by 3 ½  size of the 1980-81 Bird rookie. Anyway, here are the prices for the Bird/Magic rookie through the years:

Fall 1982 Renata Galasso                   $----- (Not listed whole set listed at $8.00)
12/1990 FBH Collector                      $210.00
10/1996 SportsCards                         $475.00
10/1998 SportsCards                         $450.00
Last week on Ebay                             $191.00 (4 sales)

I don’t have any listed prices from the past 13 years but this card has held its price. 3 of the ebay sales were not graded and one was graded a PSA 7.  I did not see any sales for any perforated cards.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Ron Jackson #602

The other R. Jackson in the set. I thinkthe photo on this card may have been taken at Tiger Staduim but the outfield wall looks to high. This is a well proportioned photo with most of Jackson's upper torso included in the card and the top of his cap making it into the photo.

Back Facts: Traded to the Tigers from Twins 8/22 of last year for a player to be named later.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Prospects of Days Gone Bye

Sometime in 2005, when I went to a card show I picked up some 2004 Bowman Draft cards. I just picked these players up to see if one day one of these players might turn into the next Albert Pujols. None of these players were first round draft picks. They went in the 3rd and 4th round. The players are Josh Johnson, Mark Robinson, and Cory Dunlap
All of these guys were born in the mid 1980s, so at this point in time they would be 25 or so years old. That would be getting kind of late to be a major prospect. I am positive none of these players have seen the light of day in the MAJORS. The only player I recall hearing any news about was Josh Johnson. In 2008, Tampa Bay Buccaneers drafted a QB named Josh Johnson (who appears on a Topps Football Card), at first I thought it was the same Josh Johnson but after checking the back of the cards I found out they were not. In 2010, I remember seeing a transaction report where the Royals released Josh Johnson. As to the fates of the other 2 players - Unknown.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Reid Nichols #632

 This is just an awesome background card. I am not positive what stadium this was taken in but someone could figure it out. You have an advertisement for Elgin watches in the background. A few of the players are warming up in this pregame picture in which Reid has taken the classic batting stance pose for his baseball card. Also, beautiful blue sky in the background, what else can you ask for. A great day for baseball and a great looking baseball card 

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Earl Weaver #27

It is still amazing to look at the back of this card and see these numbers 109-53, 108-54, 101-57 which were the Orioles records from 1969-1971. That is dominance. For what ever reasons blue as in blue borders or in this case a blue stripe seems to be the best color on a baseball card to go with the Orioles uniform (and colors).

Earl was in the news recently because the was selling all his memorabilia because he could not divide it up equally between all his heirs.  

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Baseball Card Mystery - 2008 Topps Woody Williams #621

You are asking why I don't have a picture of this card. Well I have not been able to find one because I am pretty sure that this baseball card was never produced. If you own a 2008 Topps factory set, you will see that card #621 was checklisted Woody Williams. However, if you find the card in the set, #621 was Denard Span. Card #621was in Series 2 of the Topps Set. Woody Williams was released by the Astros on March 28, 2008 and Denard Span made his major league debut on April 6, 2008. Obviously, the factory set boxes were produced much earlier than that. Topps pulled Williams card from the checklist and inserted Span. The checklist that you would receive in Series 2 packs, had Span listed as card #621. This is MYSTERY SOLVED.

This mystery reminded me of a situation that I think happened in the 1988 Topps set. Steve Carlton was listed on the checklist but another player occupied his spot. However, I think there were checklist variations which one had Carlton's name and another had the other player listed.

The real mystery would be is there a Woody Williams printing plate floating around or maybe a 1988 Topps Steve Carlton printing plate (or in the olden days they were called proofs) floating around.

Saturday, May 7, 2011


Has been in the news lately. I dont know if this is the photo everyone is asking to see but that is ONE HUGE MUSTACHE. I don't think he was named after the Roman Emperor - E Tu Brute but he was probably the worst player on the Big Red Machine (but he was still kind of decent).

Back Facts: Played on 5 Cinci championship clubs and in three World Series. Best year was '76 when he hit .307

That still was one big mustache.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Al Bumbry #153

There is something about seeing a player wear a uniform with the number one. It just seems to catch your eye in a way that other numbers don't that players wear (except if it is your birth date). This is just a nice card as Al is smiling on what seems to be a bright sunny day.

Back Facts: Was Named AL Rookie of the Year in 1973 when he hit .327

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

End of an Era?

In the last 10 years many things have come to an end. Within the neighborhood, the National Record Mart, Blockbuster, Borders and Barnes Noble have all closed their doors. They were all swept away by the passage of time. No one buys records or CDs anymore, its all down loaded music. No one goes out and rents a movie from an exclusive video store anymore. Finally, the print media  seems to be slowly fading away.

In the summer of 1979, when I was a kid, I went to the local library and found a book that would change my life. It was a copy of the 1969 Baseball Encylopedia. It contained stats for all major leaguers up through 1968. The 1969 season was on the back pages of the book. I took the book out for 3 weeks, returned it and took it out for 3 more weeks that summer. I went through that book and memorized stats and seasons that stay with me today. I got to know about players from that late 19th century and early 20th century. Off the top of my head players like Riggs Stephenson, Billy Hamilton (how many steals? wow), Fred Clarke came to life.

However, since 2008, there has not been a Baseball Encyclopedia printed. The last Sporting News NBA Guide printed was 2006, which was also the last season the Football Encyclopedia (sponsored by ESPN, like baseball) contained. In the age of the electronic media, I doubt we will ever see a Baseball Encyclopedia (or any other sports) printed again. There is just something about turning the page and seeing those stats that flipping from screen to screen just does not feel the same. I will miss you Baseball Encylopedia. RIP.