Monday, May 20, 2019

Now For Something Completely Different

I have been holding out on everyone.  I have talked about and shown my Virdon, Red Sox, and Boxing Collection but I have never shown or talked about any of my other collections.  

These are 1910 E27 American Caramel Teddy's Trophies.  It is a 30 card set featuring animals from Roosevelt's 1909 African Safari to procure specimens for the newly founded Smithsonian Institute. He did just that collecting 11,400 specimens.  He later chronicled it in his book African Game Trails. (which one of these days I am going to buy a copy of.)

The card backs are all exactly the same.  A blurb about the hunt, a checklist, With Manufactured By American Caramel Co at the bottom.

Not all the cards are horizontal a handful of them are vertical.  You can hardly tell from the scans but these cards are surrounded by both a white and gold border.  The gold border really stands out in hand.  It is almost like it is gold leaf instead of regular print. 

It is a cool little set that I am about halfway through with.  I could probably go all out and finish the set tomorrow via eBay but instead I slowly pick them up when I see them for a good price. 

Sunday, May 19, 2019

1960 Pirates 50th Anniversary Postcard

I know that my Strat-O-Matic post was pretty darn bland.   It was like hearing a lecture.  The scans were ugly too.  So I decided to add some color to this post.

This is a 2010 Postcard commemorating the 50th Anniversary of the 1960 World Series Pirates.  

The 1960 World Series is remembered for Maz's Game 7 Walk Off Home Run.  

These Postcards were put out by Mike Wheat Cards in a 28 card set.  

Friday, May 17, 2019

All My Strat-O-Matics in One Post

Yesterday I posted an APBA Virdon and mentioned Strat-O-Matic cards.  I know just as little about the Strat cards as I do the APBA cards. The main thing I have learned about them is there are an awful lot of different ones. Even though there are allot if scans this isn't going to be a pretty post.  Strat-O-Matic cards are the very ugliest of cards. 

The best that I can tell there are 3 main types of Strat cards.

  1. Original - Printed in whatever year that say.  These are blank backed and have a slightly thicker card stock.  
  2. Recreated - These have the same fronts but in addition they have a whole other set of things on the back.
  3. Super Advanced - How anyone calls these super advanced is beyond me.  Yeah they have a little bit more color and the stats are a little different but Super Advanced they are not. 
On top of those three main types there are a few variations. The ones I have seen are color and cut but who knows if there are more.  Moving on to scans.

Starting at the beginning of Virdon's career this 55 Strat is of the Super Advanced variety. All of the Super Advanced have the first stat at the bottom as AVG. 

All the colors on the back are also a sign it isn't original.

If you compare the fronts of these 1956 Strats to the 1955 you will notice the first stat at the bottom is AT BATS.  That means that they are not Super Advanced.  

Since there is stuff on the back these are also not original.  They are however two different variations of recreated Strats because the colors are reversed between the two of them.  Maybe this could tell a more knowledgeable person what year they are from or maybe not.

The 57 I have is of the Super Advanced type. 

My 58 is also of the Super Advanced variety.  They seem to be way more common in this type.  

The back of this 59 makes it look like it should be Super Advanced but it is not.  It is a recreated card with that uses the coloring pattern of the Super Advanced but the AT BATS is the giveaway.

Here is a side by side comparison of the regular next to a Super Advanced.  The 1960 on the left is the first Original Strat-O-Matic card I have shown.  It however is a Red Ink Variable which I am told is less common.  Or at least that is what the eBay auction said.

The back is where you can see the difference in the original.  The blank back is a dead giveaway.

The two 1961s on the right sure look the same but they are not.

Even the scan of the back looks exactly the same.  What you can't see in the scan however is that the edge of the cards have little nipples from where they were attached together in a sheet.  The edge of one of these has no nipples.  It was printed individually instead of a sheet that one had to tear apart.  

This 62 is another recreated card.  It has no nipples just like the 61 I posted.  These are the only two recreated cards I have without the nipples.

A 63 in the Super Advanced variety.

This is an original next to a Super Advanced 1964.

Again another Original next to a Super Advanced.  

I got a whole bunch of these from Chris Rosen who runs Moonlight Grahams Marketplace.  I just sent him and email saying I am interested in any Bill Virdon gaming cards he had and he sent me a list of all he had.  

I promise next time I'll post something with a little more color.

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Not Playing Games

I have a Fantasy Baseball Team but I have never played any of the baseball games like APBA Baseball, Strat-O-Matic, or anything like that.  That doesn't mean that I don't pick up the cards when I can. 

I just recently picked up some 1989 APBA Baseball Senior Circuit cards.  Now I have no idea how to play APBA or really anything about the cards or even what years they made cards however I pick up the Virdons when I see them.  

Does he have good stats?  The game looks confusing to me.  I saw the worksheets to play this before and it was enough to scare me off. 

I picked up these three team sets off ebay for hardly anything.  I bought then just for this one card.  If anyone wants the other cards let me know.

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

He Played There Too

A month or so ago I posted an 8x10 of Virdon in a Mets uniform and the consensus was nobody else knew he spent time there as a coach.  Well I think everyone knows he was a yankees coach for a time but probably most didn't know he came up through the yankees system.

Virdon went to college in Springfield, MO which is only about a half hour from Branson, MO where the yankees held open tryouts back in the 50s.  (though in 1950 it probably took longer than half an hour.  I'm sure there was no 4 lane highway running between the two back then)  He signed with the yankees for 1,800 to play in the Kansas/Oklahoma/Missouri league.

I'm not 100% sure when this photo was taken but he started wearing his glasses to play in 1953 so it has to be from either 53 or spring training 54.  He batted .233 for a season without them in AAA and the next year he batted .333 with them.

He tells a funny story about his last spring training with the yankees.

I was working in the outfield, catching fly balls, making throws,  showing off, trying to impress somebody," Virdon said. "We had a relay guy, I'd come in throwing. Somewhere, Mr. Stengel got between me and the relay guy. I hit him right in the back and knocked him on his ass. When I saw what I'd done, I turned to get in among the other outfielders. They are all laying on the ground pointing at me, like 'He did it, he did it.'

He got traded to the Cardinals two weeks later for Enos Slaughter.  Though it probably had more to do with being blocked by Micky Mantle than hitting Casey Stengel with a ball.

Monday, May 13, 2019

Sometimes You Take A Lot to Get A Little

I found a Virdon Team Issue buried in an Astros Photo Lot.

1981 5x6 Virdon
Handwritten on the back is 1981.  Even though I can't find reference to a Team Issued cards issued in 1981.  That's what I'm going to go with.

Along with Virdon I got 16 other Astros Team Issues and photos.

1967 Arnold Umbach
Check out the specs on Arnold.  Can you imagine a current player having to tape his glasses and pose for a picture ontop of that.  Yeah, not going to happen.  This 8x10 has 1967 handwritten on the back.

1967 Grady Hatton
Another 8x10 with 1967 handwritten on the back, this time of Manager Grady Hatton.

1995 Complete Team
The Astros did these 8x10s with 8 players/managers for multiple years.  The only reason I know that is because I have one with Virdon on it from when he was the bench coach in 1997.

 A couple more 5x6s of guys I don't even know.  Woodeshick is hand dated March 1965 and Harrison is dates March 1966.

Another Grady Hatton this time in 5x6 from.  No hand written date on the back this time.  Instead typed on the back is:

Hatton, Grady                                                                                 5-2-1973
               Baseball Coach

That is the layout of the typing too.  Never before have I seen a Team Issue with anything printed on the back.

1986 Manny Hernandez
 This is the only 1986 anything in the bunch.  It is in 8x10 form.

The picture on the left has Sonny Jackson 1967 on the back and the right has Alonzo Harris OF 1967 on the back.

The Alonzo is strange.***  I can't see that he ever got a big league at bat.  At least I can't find it on Baseball-Reference.  But he did get a Topps RC card in 1967.  That seems out of place as back then Topps usually didn't give anyone a card until their sophomore season.

***EDIT:  Mystery solved, sort of.  Alonzo Harris is listed as Candy Harris (for no known reason)  He even has a Wikipedia page as Candy Harris that lists his name as Alonzo.  He made it to the Astros roster at 19 and played a part of one season where he got one at bat and was a pitch runner 5 times before his season and career was ended due to military service.

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Mailbox Shock

I found this draft from 2007.  I have no idea who sent these cards to me.  

I love going to the mailbox and getting a shock. unless it is a bill  Card shock is always great.  I recently got one of those shocks.  I was warned that some cards were coming but I didn't expect an 800 count box full of Red Sox.  Here is a tiny portion of what I got.

  • Yes, I still need 1993 Bowman cards. I was only collecting football in 93 so the want list is extensive.
  • Cyborg Mo - Hard to see but he has a metal arm and leg.
  • A rookie Nomar
  • Hard to see in the scan but that is a Donruss Press Proof Mo Vaughn.  The first one I have ever had.
  • Wakefield is in back in the rotation and I now have a blue parallel Wake.
  • Of all the painted sets ever made 2003 Playoff Portraits may be the very best ever.  
  • Pedro was supposed to go on a different scan.

Upper Deck Timeless Teams are kick ass. Somehow I missed that set but I am always glad to find some.  The big checklist means I wall be chasing them for years.  I received 7 in this box so to fill the scan here are 2 Nomars.

The floodgates were opened with Nomar cards as you could see in past posts.  Now I hope the Pedro floodgates open.  If they do this package will be the start of it.  I think if I decided to bite off player collecting again I would probably choose Pedro.  The best pitcher that I have ever seen and he has a ton of great cards.

Thanks again for the great box of cards.

Friday, April 26, 2019

Going Blind

No the shininess of this Gonzalez Refractor didn't blind me.  I went to the eye doctor this week; he more or less said, dam your getting old!  But this isn't about my eye doctor visit either.  I see less clear than before but I am not going blind.  The post title is about a Sportlots purchase I made.

In a way all your Sportlots purchases are made blind because you never see a scan of the card you are buying.  But I am not quite talking about that either.  I purchased some cards on Sportlots from Mkoates5.  They showed up a few days later with a letter.  (that I wish I saved to scan)  The letter said something along the lines of "Thanks for purchasing from me.  I notice you ordered only Red Sox.  I have allot more Red Sox available." and gave me his email address.

 So I contacted him and he offered to go through my want list and pull anything on it he had and he would sell them for .15 each regardless of if it was an insert, parallel, or whatever. 

I figured .15 a card with zero doubles and I don't even have to look through the inventory to find them, YES PLEASE!!

Pictured are just a tiny portion of the 231 Red Sox cards that received.  It sure was a great haul.

Thursday, April 25, 2019

Still Into Vintage

I know I have mainly posted Virdon cards for the last few months but that doesn't mean I am totally ignoring my Red Sox collection but for the last few years I have only sought out vintage Red Sox cards.  New cards just don't hold my interest. 

My favorite set all time is 1948 Leaf.  (I call it 48 Leaf though the Standard says it is 49 Leaf)  If I ever won the lottery I would build complete 48 Leaf Baseball, Football, Boxing, and Pirates sets.  Yes, there is a Leaf Pirates set.  It isn't Pittsburgh Pirates it's guys like Captain Kidd, Cisco and tons of guys you have never heard of. 

Since I'm not winning the lottery any time soon I decided to at least build the Red Sox team set.  But even that is an expensive undertaking.  The set it littered with Short Print cards and many of them happen to be Red Sox.   So I always seek them out on eBay but since they go for hundreds each I just keep watching and waiting. 

Every now and then patience and persistence pays off and I get lucky.  Usually the SP cards go for hundreds of dollars even when they are in horrible shape.  But they go for considerably less when the get listed as 1948 Laef instead of 1948 Leaf.  Yes whoever listed this misspelled it and I got it for a steal. 

1948 Leaf Matthew Batts

Matthew Batts is one of the dreaded SP cards.  This one is offcenter, offcut, and has some paperloss but it cost me less than a tank of gas.  Actually it was closer to a half tank of gas.  That is a steal!!

I am down to needing two more cards to complete my team set.  I still need Johnny Pesky (RC) and Billy Goodman, both are SPs.  I know I won't get them for a song, like the Batts, but eventually one will be cheap enough for me to snag and when it does, I'll be waiting.

Wednesday, April 24, 2019


This isn't a post about someone sending me cards.  This is about some mail that got sent 20 years before I was born.  One year after winning the NL Rookie of the Year Bill Virdon started coaching on the side.  It was probably a good start since it was something he did for over 30 years after his playing days were through.  

How cool is that return address?  A full photo on the front of the envelope.

Inside is a letter on legal paper.  Man were the times different.  The camp, plus room and board are only $165 for 4 WEEKS!  My daughter's 1 week soccer camp last year was $650.

Kudos to Mr. Formuff for preserving this envelope and letter so well.  It is a cool little addition to my Virdon Collection.