Saturday, July 22, 2017

1960 Fleer Autograph Project - Part 5

Goodness. It has been well over a month since I last posted. I have been active in the hobby area, but I have been bad about writing blog posts.  I have made some progress on my 1970 and 1972 Topps sets. I am down to needing 195 cards to complete the 720 card 1970 set and 105 to complete the 787 card 1972 set. Additionally, I actually have 7 posts (including this one) in the draft folder regarding my Fleer autograph project, and 3 more cards in the mail, so I need to start cranking them out.  Life has been busy. But, that is the way of this modern era, so I just need suck it up and get these done.

Here is the 5th signed 1960 Fleer card I have added to my collection.

This Lefty Gomez was the second most expensive acquisition on this project at the time, at $32.50 delivered.  As things go, I am sure it will get worse as I get further along.  It already has. But, I'm not going to worry about that now.

I am not a writer, and I can't really do justice to any of these posts when there are fabulous resources on line.  But, I am not a fan of the "look at what I bought kthxbai" posts, so I need to add some color. so, I try to throw in some observations about the players career and life.  If you really want to read more about Lefty Gomez, I strongly encourage you to read his SABR biography, which some of what follows is derived from.

Yes, I ended that sentence with a preposition.  I told you, I am not a writer.

Lefty Gomez had a 14 year MLB career from 1930 to 1943. The first 13 of those years were with the Yankees and the last was a partial season with the Washington Senators. He compiled a 189-102 career W-L record, with a 3.34 ERA. For the more modern stat-head, he had a career 125 ERA+.  During his career, he had four twenty win seasons, including a 26-5 in 1934 when he finished 3rd in the MVP voting behind winner Mickey Cochrane and Charlie Gehringer, but ahead of season WAR leader Lou Gehrig. Interestingly, as measured by both ERA+ and WAR, his finest season was 1937, when he compiled a 21-11 record while racking up 193 and 9.4 on the two sabrmetrics, respectively. He was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1972, by the Veteran's Committee. He passed away in 1989 at the age of 80.

Gomez had something of a reputation as a wit. Indeed, after the 1932 World Series, won by his Yankees, Lefty did a 12 week stint as a vaudevillian for the princely sum of $3000 per week.  Much of his humor was at his own expense.   My favorite story was his reaction to NASA being confused about a white object Neil Armstrong found on the moon.  His reaction was “I knew immediately what it was. It was a home run ball hit off me in 1937 by Jimmie Foxx.” Indeed, Gomez faced Foxx more than any other player in his pitching career and Foxx was clearly the winner. Jimmie Fox's slash line, in 172 plate appearances against Gomez was .341/.471/.739 with 13 home runs. Ouch.

What I am listening to: Symphony of Destruction by Megadeth

Monday, July 3, 2017

Alternate Collection Update

I've got like 5 posts in my draft folder that I can't get around to completing, but I can knock this on out all quick like.  Some time ago, San Jose Fuji asked if the various card bloggers collected anything other than cards.  I responded at the time and have updated as we went along.

Original Post
Update 1
Update 2
Update 3

So, here is the fourth update:

Introducing Raymond Purr!

My wife and I were sitting on our back patio Sunday night looking over the barn yard and having an adult beverage, when we say something moving out by the barn.  We were a bit surprised when we realized it was a cat, because our barn cats had already bunked down for the night in the garage.  So, we went out to see what was up and quickly realized it was a kitten.  It was pretty scared and we had to herd it into the barn and trap it in the tack room to catch it.  He was wily prey, but we finally managed to capture him.

He is tiny, only 6 or 7 weeks old. He looks a lot like our first (long departed) cat Boxcar, who was a Maine Coon.  Maine Coons are the gentle giants of the cat world. Very chill. Raymond has big old ears and paws and the vet thinks he may get up to 15-18 pounds. So, we are hoping we have another Maine Coon We get what lands on our doorstep, so to speak. So, this may be a little bit of serendipity.

Monday, May 29, 2017

Ten Favorites

It's been a while since I posted.   I've been pretty busy at work and it is that magical time of the year when the grass just won't stop growing.  There has been some hobby activity and I have the skeletons of 4 posts in my drafts folder.  But, what drew me back out was this contest over at Collecting Cutch, where you show your 10 favorite cards of your favorite player.  It gave me a chance to revisit my player collection.

Of course, I chose Paul Blair, a player from my childhood.  I had a Paul Blair model baseball glove and his cards were my entry back into the hobby.  As it currently stands, I have 112 unique Paul Blair cards in my PC.  Here are my favorites in no particular order.

This 1993 Nabisco All Star Legends is probably the most valuable card in my Blair PC.  It was not issued through the mail, like the more common cards from this set.  It was only issued in person and regional card shows.  It rarely comes up for sale on EBay, but when it does it often sells for over $100.  I actually have two, neither of which cost me more than $25.

This 1965 Rookie Stars card is, as you may have surmised, Paul Blair's rookie card.

I'm not trying to troll Night Owl here, though I have to admit it is a nice side benefit. No, I like this 1967 Topps World Series card because it captures a key moment in his career, which many cards of the time never did, what with all the spring training posed and head shots.

1978 Topps.  This was during the period when I followed the Yankees religiously. I even cut out box scores, taped them in a notebook and kept running statistics, game by game.

This Pro-Cards card appeals to me on several levels. It is an oddball, I like the design, and it features my favorite player as a coach of my hometown Rochester Red Wings

2000 Upper Deck Legendary Lumber. It's a nicely designed card that features Blair and, for some reason, Lou Pinella. There is a Gold version of this card where the cutout is the NY letters and is surrounded by the bat relic chip.

This 1999 SI Fleer Greats of the Game auto card is it. The very first card I got when I decided to get back into collecting.

1993 Upper Deck Baseball Assistance Team three panel card, based on the T202 Hassan triple fold cad from 1912. This is part of a 165 card set that might be fun to collect. In fact, I think I will.  a 24 pack box (with 12 cards per pack) is going for around $30 on EBay.  Of course, I'll need to find an appropriate Ultra Pro sheet for them.

My favorite modern era set is the 2004 Fleer Greats of the Game set.  It was the best of the several GOTG set, with thick embossed cards and a great checklist. 

1981 The Franchise, a regional issue set featuring members of the 1966 Baltimore Orioles.

So, there they are. Now I am off to do some yard work before it gets too hot.

Friday, April 14, 2017

1961 Fleer Autograph Project - Part 6

After the big 1963 Fleer Mays pickup, my hobby activity has been quiet.   A serious uptick in the activity at work, along with the various farm chores that come with the spring, have kept me busy.  My recreational attention has also been focused elsewhere (but more on that later.)

I have picked up a few more autographed Fleer cards recently. Two are still in transit, but here is one that has been sitting on my desk for a while.

Hal Trosky was a power hitting first baseman with the Cleveland Indians in the 1930s and early 1940s.  His 11 year career was shortened as intense migraines kept him from playing, and out of military service, in 1942 and 1943. With the migraines under control he played for the Chicago White Sox in 1944 and 1946, after which he retired to farming and scouting in his native Iowa. His finest year was 1936 when he hit .343/.382/.644 with 42 home runs and a league leading 162 RBIs. Alas, it was only good enough for 10th place in the AL MVP behind none other than Lou Gehrig.  Trosky passed away in 1979 at the age of 66.

A Word about the blog: You may have noticed that I have changed the blog header.  I had been exclusively a baseball fan until recently.  Living in Oklahoma City, it is hard to escape the NBA Thunder.  As the years have passed, my wife and I have grown more and more interested in following them.  We ended up buying a 6 game mini-package of tickets this year and managed to attend 10 games total (They went 9-1 in those games.)  We also have playoff tickets for the first round against the Houston Rockets. So far, I have not been paying attention to baseball because the Thunder have consumed what little band width I have available. I have no intention of collecting basketball cards to go along with this new passion, although you may see one or two every now and then.

A word about the banner:  I love that picture. It was taken right after Russell Westbrook hit a buzzer-beating 3 pointer to win the April 9th game against the Denver Nuggets in Denver. This was the game where Westbrook collected his 42nd triple-double to pass Oscar Robertson for the single season record.  It was also the game where the Nuggets were eliminated from the playoffs.  The whole range of human emotion, from Westbrook's elation to the fans mixture of incredulity and resignation, is shown in that picture.

What I am listening to: No Mess by Sarah Gayle Meech

Sunday, March 19, 2017

1961 Fleer Autograph Project - Part 5

After the big 1963 Fleer Mays pickup, I have been sleeping off the hobby hangover that came with it.  I have had one post in my drafts folder for an auction I won prior to the 1963fest:

I won this for a bit over $18 delivered.  Allie Reynolds is a native Oklahoman. He was born in Bethany, which is now an OKC suburb (not sure if it was back in 1917 when Reynolds was born.)  He died in OKC 77 years later. He had a 13 year career between 1942 and 1954, with the first five years in Cleveland and the final eight with the Yankees.  In those 8 years with the Bombers, he played on six winning World Series teams.

He retired after the 1954, in which we was still effective turning in a 13-4 record with a 3.32 ERA and a better than league average ERA+ of 105.  After his playing career, he was active in the oil and gas business in Oklahoma, becoming the owner and President of the Atlas Mud Company which appears to be still extant 23 years after his death from complications of lymphoma and diabetes.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

1963 Fleer Autograph Project-Part 62

Before I get to the 62nd autographed 1963 Fleer card, I'm going to build a little suspense and take you through the other cards I bid on but didn't win. And I am going to hide the pickup below the fold, so you have to cheat to see it. Don't cheat.

So, here are my losses:

Vada Pinson - this one surprised me. I figured it would sell for around $50, so I set my bid limit comfortably above that at $75. However, I was wrong and consequently lost the auction. My habit is to wait until there are about 10 seconds left, then enter my bid. Normally, it works fine for me. I get my bid in but don't leave enough time to have someone outbid me. But, in this case, someone else had taken a similar approach, but with a higher max bid, and I didn't have time to place a followup.  I would have liked to get it, but the final price of $82 was probably a bit steep.  Particularly since this was the first auction I was bidding on and was trying to not overbid early and shoot through my budget before the end.

Dick Farrell - I'm kicking myself on this one. I though the auctions were spaced out enough that I could finish bidding on one and move to the next, but for some reason when I flipped over to the Farrell auction there was just a few seconds left and I didn't have time to get a bid in before it closed.  The auction closed at $78, considerably less than the $132 a similar card sold for some weeks back. Who knows if I would have gotten it anyways, but I would have rather bid and lost fairly than to miss bidding altogether, like I did.

Ken Boyer - I really wanted this one. Ken Boyer died young in 1982, so I have seen very few of these. In fact, this was only the second one I have ever seen. The other one was a few years ago and I can't remember how much it sold for. So, I was willing to go up to $100 for this. It ended up going for $163. Crazy. Whomever got it for that price deserves it.  Tip of my hat.

Now, you may have figured out what the third auction I won was. But, in case you haven't put the effort in to looking back at my previous posts where I list the cards I was till missing (and I hope you have enough life that you didn't), I am going to hide the card below the fold.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

1963 Fleer Autograph Project - Part 61

Jumping ahead to the new additions to my autographed 1963 Fleer set, ere is the 61st signed card:

I ended up snagging this one for $43, which I think was a good deal. Power (nee Pellot) lived out his retirement in his native Puerto Rico, where he passed away in 2005.  He had a 12 year MLB career, between 1954 and 1965, playing with 5 teams (Philadelphia/KC Athletics, Cleveland, Minnesota, California Angels, and the Philadelphia Phillies.) He was considered a solid first baseman, winning 7 consecutive Golden Gloves and pioneering the one handed fielding style that is common today, but considered flashy at the time.

Coming tomorrow: the second, and best, of the new additions.

What I am listening to:  We're a Happy Family by the Ramones (note the shirt at 1:10)