Friday, July 31, 2020

Early 70's Hockey Didn't Go Without A Fight

Picked up a pretty decent starter lot of 1973-74 Topps hockey from the 'Bay this past week.  It's one year from being the oldest hockey set I have.  I'm still catching up on vintage sets in the sport.

It's a very simple design, using four primary colors ~ red, green, yellow, and blue for the borders.  One of my pet peeves is that they repeat a lot of the colors in consecutive cards.  Gotta mix it up!  The O-Pee-Chee version of the set apparently changes up some of the colors.  A green Topps card might be red in the OPC set.  Teams are all denoted with white banners.  What makes the set remarkable now are the photos of the old equipment, like the goalie gear on Wayne above, and the unis from franchises that moved and changed in later years.

These were the days before helmets were a requirement.  And a lot of the guys had that "show hair" flowing back then.

More flow & leather in this studio shot of the Penguins goalie.  I actually like the Penguins from back when they originally wore the ice blues.

Walt's got the Errol Flynn look and is sporting the green & gold from the former California franchise.

Can't hate the Gold Kings sweaters either...

They were just starting to put action shots in cards, just like baseball, so a lot of them are these posed pics.  I doubt that Tim here is related to the British heiress Tamara Ecclestone...

There's not much of a resemblance....

And of course, the most famous card from the set, the Phil Roberto/Billy Smith scuffle.  The last mainstream card to depict an actual fight before it was prevented by the league.

I need all the League Leaders, post season cards, and most of the All-Stars.  I'm really getting into vintage hockey.

Thursday, July 30, 2020

Does Heritage Stay True? (1959 vs. 2008 edition) Chapter 4

Stopped last time at the twin Preston W's at #176.  In the next section, the trend of matching subtle pairs while largely ignoring the big stars continues.  And a lot of them could have been fixed.

Leading off, we have one of the prettiest cards in the '59 set, Yogi Berra.  He's paired at #180 with his Yankee counterpart who also dons the Tools Of Ignorance.  So we're starting off on the right foot at least.

Not sure if Matt Cain was a star yet, but Milt Graff was definitely not, bless his heart.  At #182, the only match here is the color scheme.

Having Stu Miller - the NL ERA leader for '58 - one card away at #183 just makes it a miss.

The next cards match up perfectly.  Reds star pitchers in the great black with yellow text scheme.  Back on track at 184.  Though Haddix only hurled for Cincy the one year, it's a nice coincidence that he matched up well here.

We've reached the #200 plateau.  And again, since they don't include executives any more, the matchup is ignored here. 
There was a new AL President in '59, so there isn't a corresponding card of him (Tom Yawkey for a year and then Joe Cronin), so that's the end of the executives. 
Gallardo was known for being the 26th pitcher in MLB history to win a game 1-0 by pitching the shutout and hitting the home run himself.  This doesn't quite make him executive material though.

Two more steps down the line and it's another disjointed union.  #203 has Roger Maris (on the A's) and Nick Swisher with the ChiSox BEFORE he actually had his most productive years in New York pinstripes.  Topps isn't psychic, so this one's a miss too.

#205 fares no better.  Don Larsen and Milton Bradley?

While later on, Roy Halladay has no '59 partner either.  He and Larsen both had similar wins and strikeout numbers in proportion to their seasons.  Larsen came before the Cy Young award really got going.

Furillo at #206 isn't quite a superstar, but he's very easy to match to a modern counterpart, since there are three outfield positions to choose from.


Either of these guys would have worked...

Especially since Jones comes soon after at #212.  Finally, a cardboard tribute to the "Jones brothers".  Wonder if they considered matching the poses on the original cards?  Doesn't seem like that got communicated to the photographers.

Another marginal matchup at #217.  Pink pitchers.  Maybe Erskine and Weaver are somehow alike...?

But with all these quality Dodger pitchers, couldn't it be one of them?

My PC guy Osteen at #224 matched with David Wright?  No offense David, but ~ meh.  The fence lines matching up with his uniform piping looks like he's got one of those braces on that they use for spinal injuries.

Not sure who you'd match with Wright, since there were no Mets yet, but this guy was up and coming from the Reds...

It's not gettin' any better at #225 either.  Another Mets star mismatch. 

And this guy was just brought in in 2008 to play short with the Braves.  More on Pedro in a second.

At least the combo cards are keeping some semblance of relevance in this part of the sets.  They've even brought the fonts closer to what they should be.  Again, the star power in the modern version of #237 far outweighs the old one, at least from the perspective of 2020.  Maybe those guys were revered as much back then as Jeets is now...?

Here's Halladay down at #246.  Paired with a versatile yet irrelevant catcher from Washington. 

So let me backtrack for a second.  Back at #163, we had Koufax and Ausmus.  If we switch out Halladay to Larsen, that opens up Ausmus to pair with Porter as versatile infielders that can catch.  This also frees up Koufax to take his three Cy Youngs along to compare notes with Pedro, who has done it three times as well.

Early Wynn and Carlos Zambrano are good Chicago pitchers at 260, but it's blasphemy to match up North and South side rivals, isn't it?

Put this guy there instead.  He put up several years of double digit wins like Wynn.

Ugh, even though they're both Dodger trios, the font thing has once again regressed into that smooshed look.  And the names are twice as far from the title as in the previous combo.  Fire the typesetter!

Two respected fan fave hitters at #268, but I'd have done it differently on both sides.

Tigers slugger outfielders...

...and White Sox sluggers and (at least part time in Thome's case) first basemen.

Much better!

Monday, July 27, 2020

The Sincerest Form Of Flattery

Was jonesing for some cardboard digging this weekend, so I drove the overland route to Rocky Ridge Collectibles Saturday and spent several hours.  Found these in a dollar box and had to have them.  They are an oddball vintage-ish item called Starliner Stickers

There are 16 stickers in the whole set.  I'm now just missing Aaron, Clemente, Mantle (a double print), Mays, Frank Robinson, and Pete Rose (another double print).

In the SCD Standard Catalog, the description reads:

This unauthorized collector's issue is based on 16 of the cards issued by Dexter Press in 1967 as Coca-Cola premiums.  In July 1983, a Midwestern card dealer produced these stickers by reprinting the 5½" x 7" Dexter Press cards in 2 7/16" x 3¼" format and eliminating the white border....

Summarizing further, they can be found with either white or tan backing.  In the early 90's, the story of their creation was largely forgotten, and dealers were overcharging for them.  From the rates listed in my 2009 book, I still might have underpaid at a buck a shot.

Authorized or not, I love oddball stuff like this, with the photos that you haven't seen on a hundred other products before.  Plus the choice of putting the autograph over the player's head is a cool one.

Here's what the tan backs look like.  It reminds me of the back of floor tile or something.  Not sure I've ever seen the white ones.  Hopefully the double-prints occured in both, but they're only listed as happening to the white backs.  I suppose I'll take either color for the last six to fill out the set.

Here's Palmer against his regular issue Donruss card (of the same production year).  Kind of surreal that both were made in 1983 but the phots were 16 years apart.

Interestingly, there are 20 sets of large cards in the '67 product, 19 of them teams sets, and one set of All-Stars.  Each set is 12 cards.  One exception is the Angels, which are only represented by one guy - Paul Schaal.  The set is listed under his name.  Apparently, he was the only participant in the promotion from his team, and there were also no takers from St. Louis at all.

The lineups of the '67 All-Star set and the '83s don't actually line up either...

Dexter Press All-Stars                         Starliner Stickers
Bunning                                                 Aaron
Clemente                                               Clemente
Davis                                                      Colavito
Kaline                                                     Kaline
Killebrew                                               Killebrew
Mays                                                       Mays
Pepitone                                                McCovey
Brooks Robinson                                 Brooks Robinson
Frank Robinson                                   Frank Robinson
Santo                                                      Rose
Torre                                                      Stargell
Yastrzemski                                          Yastrzemski

All players are with their respective team sets, though.  I would love to find a bunch of these.  Especially since they include about a dozen of my player collection guys among them.  But the stickers will do for now.

Friday, July 24, 2020

I've Got A Warrant For Your ... Autograph

Just picked up this 2008 UD Spectrum Of Stars autograph of Jani Lane, the late lead singer for Warrant.  Such a great voice.  And yet another one of those talented artists who took himself away far too soon.

The band's default song is "Cherry Pie", but that one is not representative of their depth at all.  I think that's one of the things that drove Jani over the edge was that a shallow song like that would be his legacy in music.

Check out some of their better tracks...

Always like the ballads... (between song comments NSFW)

Not all the good ones were slow, though...

They're one of those bands that you forget how many good songs they did.

Unfortunately, the pop fluff song is what he felt like he would be remembered for.

RIP Jani Lane.

Monday, July 20, 2020

The Wisdom And The Beauty

Been busy pulling and shipping a couple big lots to readers of the Dispersing The Hoard posts.  Which is the main reason why I got through another three day weekend without writing any posts.  So here's one of those trade posts that allegedly no one really likes to read, but I just enjoy seeing the cards I send on the screen, and it's a neat way to acknowledge the trade. 

This one comes in a surprise packet from the blogger king, Night Owl.  (Not even gonna link - if you're reading this, you already know where to go.)

Started off with some hits to my 2012 Allen & Ginter build, including the lovely Mrs. Verlander.  A&G hottie shots are always so conservative.  The short 'do and the side facing pose.  Guess they gotta keep it PG.  Still nice, though.

A couple sketchy portrayals of Maris & Robinson...

Matty & Ian...

and Roger, Kirk, and Coach Knight.

Yet another completely original concept from the team behind A&G.  These should make for good reading when I get all 100 of them.

Figures N.O would have extras of this one.  Seaver is looking too cool for school...

Great sunset shot of Muncy.  Blends with the wood grain background and the tinted Big League logo to make it almost look like a parallel.

With all the modern cards in this package, this one was at the end, and I thought it might be a reprint.  It's the most pristine '68 I think I've ever seen.  This is my new PC copy, and the original one will go in the set.

The note that was with everything is nothing short of the Gospel according to Night Owl:

Amen brother, and thanks!

Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Does Heritage Stay True? (1959 vs. 2008 edition) Chapter 3

Now we're up to the section of the '59 set that is The Sporting News rookies.  Unfortunately, even if you mix them up in terms of numbering, there really isn't a single pair that match up very well in ALL the rookies.  They're either different positions, or have different notable skills.  I guess the rookies are the rookies for that year, and so the diversity is limited enough that the two season's crops of newbies just don't correspond.  There are only 13 matching pairs of rookies on the same teams.  That's out of 30 possible combos.

The closest match I can find that pairs players from the same team and position, is Coles & Votto here.  They aren't even close to being similar card numbers, but at least Coles was the RBI leader in his minor league and we know that Votto is good at the plate.  Looking back, I would say Votto is the "star" rookie of the set, but back in 2008, maybe they didn't know it yet.

Moving on...

We jump to #147 and the next combo card.  I would have to say that the modern version is more consistent as far as star power across the three players.  Except for an 8-game HR streak by Dale Long, Ernie Banks dominates the stats described on the back of that card.  Meanwhile, Lee & Soriano went to the All-Star Game, and Ramirez was the team RBI leader.

For the next card pairing, you put Mike McCormick with Hunter Pence, while Barry Zito was the next card down?

That just had to be a mistake!

Although maybe this was the pairing they were going for.  Teams don't match, but the #149's do.

But #150 gets back on track in a big way.  Though that color for Pujols is cool but really unusual.  What would you call that? Periwinkle?

And right back off the rails with Sosa and a Senator.  Ex-Senator teams don't count for much in the matchup criteria. 

Especially with Bobby Thomson languishing alone at #429...  Sosa being on the Rangers at this point doesn't help either.

There we go - Yankee outfielders with good bats at #155.  And both well-known for long stints on other teams.

Next card, another combo.  I'll let it slide that they used two newer franchises.  But that font thing just isn't cutting it.  WTF?

Pirate shortstops at #160 in green.  I like this pairing.  Two guys that were under the radar compared to a lot of stars in their day.

I guess this one makes it even for the Jeter slight the other way.  You mismatched KOUFAX??  Survey said ~ a big fat BZZZZT!!

And this guy is in the set?  Again, not sure if Kershaw was Kershaw at this point, but now I would put 'em together in a heartbeat, even though it is a big time veteran and a rookie.

The subtle pairs are all over the place, but the superstars are left hanging.  It's just weird.  #165 puts these two Brave outfielders together.  Nicely done.  I'm not going to get into the old logo.

And the next card is the other Native American mascot team.  Still not going there.  These match up nice, though.  I got Colavito's autograph as a kid when he was a Royals coach at an Orioles game in the 80's.  Still have that program around here somewhere.  Should make a cut auto card out of it.

We've got a yellow trend now.  Baltimore outfielders at #170.  Markakis has been a Brave for so long now, it isn't weird any more.  Glad he's done so well in his overall career.

This might be one of the best duos in the sets.  Two Preston W's.  Gotta love the heck out of that.  Nice place to pause until next time.