Friday, September 9, 2016

Old Friends and New Friends

This past Wednesday I had what was a new experience for me; meeting a couple of other collectors out for dinner, beer, and baseball card talk.  The infamous Mark Hoyle, Matt from Bob Walk the Plank and I sat around for a good three hours just talking shop at a brewery/restaurant in Providence.  Mark and I have met numerous times at a local card show, but this was my first time meeting Matt and it was nice making another hobby friend.

It was great to get some personal face-to-face interaction in the hobby for a change, and I can't think of a better way to spend a Wednesday evening than talking baseball cards over cold beer!

I wasn't expecting to exchange cards (though Mark did tell me he had a couple of buybacks for me), but looking back on it now I definitely should have known better with these guys.  Now, I had these stacked on my passenger seat on the ride home and they tumbled over slightly.  No damage was done, but it's possible I may be off on who gave me what.  If that's true, apologies in advance.  These kinds of things can happen when you mix beer and baseball cards.

With that being said, I'm 99% certain that Matt supplied the cards that are leading off the post here.  I've seen some of the amazing trade packages he has shipped around over the past few years, and these were right on par.  That Moncada that I led off the post with is just my third card of his overall, and my first truly licensed Red Sox version.

That Curt Schilling card is definitely a step above your average relic, and an on-card autograph of Simon Mercedes (a guy still in the Boston organization) rounds out the trio.

Here's one more autograph, from 2010 Bowman Chrome.  Mark and I actually turned Matt on to our local shop while he was up and I know he made what sounded like a very fruitful visit.  I'm not sure if he picked these up there or not, but they are much appreciated!

Wow!  Relic cards have somewhat lost their luster overall, but this one is really impressive in person I have to say.  This is from 2016 Museum Collection, and it's the first card I've seen from this set.  Was even nicer receiving this card the night after Clay made a very impressive and key spot start against San Diego.  Boston is going to need him to eat up some innings down the stretch here.  This card is so well done that it makes me want to search out some more Museum Collection.

Another really beautiful card here.  I never end up with stuff from high end sets like this (2013 Triple Play), but this is a thick and impressive card in person.  While Middlebrooks has fallen off a cliff since 2013, the other two guys on this card are enjoying damn fine seasons in 2016 (how many home runs is Napoli gonna hit?!?!).

A solid boost to the Red Sox collection there, thank you Matt!

As I mentioned above, Mark Hoyle had indicated that he had a couple of buybacks for me, and he sure did.  Let's see how many of the eleven that Mark hooked me up with make my franken-set...

1967 Topps #359 - Dick Ellsworth

Every single one of the buybacks Mark gave me are of the Topps Heritage variety, my favorite kind.  Dick Ellsworth, from the 2016 Heritage set, makes the cut uncontested at #359.  If Wikipedia can be believed in this case, Dick won the most games of any Cubs pitcher in the '60s.

1967 Topps #197 - Ron Perranoski

One other '67 buyback from this year's Heritage set, Dodgers pitcher Ron Perranoski.  A nice posed shot here, but Ron has some competition as he's not the first #197 buyback I've acquired...

Not the most exciting card.  I like the Dodgers more than the Giants, and '67 Topps a bit more than '73, so those will be the deciding factors here.

The buyback from Mark is in, Ed Goodson is out!

1966 Topps #17 - Johnny Stephenson

The rest of the buybacks were 1966 Topps, from 2015 Heritage.  Smiling Johnny Stephenson is in!

1966 Topps #158 - Jim Brewer

Some nice trees on this Jim "Tall Hat" Brewer (just made that nickname up).  Jim has an existing #158 to compete with, but the competition's not that stiff:

Adios Joe Sambito.  It's nothing personal.

1966 Topps #64 - Bob Bruce

All of the remaining buybacks here made the franken-set uncontested.  Random bit of trivia, did you know that Bob Bruce once pitched a perfect inning (3 strikeouts on 9 pitches)?

1966 Topps #44 - Bill Davis/Tom Kelley

The first dual-player card to make the franken-set.  6'7" Bill Davis had one career home run.

1966 Topps #10 - Tony Cloninger

Did you know that despite being a pitcher, Tony Cloninger once clubbed two grand slams in a single game?!?  I certainly didn't until I received this card.  Pretty impressive feat!

1966 Topps #82 - Bob Hendley

Most known for losing a 1-hitter in which Sandy Koufax threw a perfect game.  Also without question the absolute flattest haircut in the franken-set to date.

1966 Topps #84 - Jim Beauchamp/Dick Kelley

Jim Beauchamp actually made his MLB debut in 1963 but didn't get a card those first couple years.  Dick Kelley was a Massachusetts native.

1966 Topps #147 - Lum Harris

A very solid addition to the franken-set here as I'm a total sucker for vintage manager cards.

1966 Topps #170 - Cookie Rojas

Last but certainly not least, five-time All-Star Cookie Rojas and his fantastic frames.  Best pair of glasses in the franken-set so far?  Quite possibly.

Franken-set Progress:  118/792 (15%)

Mark (I think!) included a few other nice Red Sox to accompany the buybacks, like this insert from 2015 Diamond Kings.

This one tripped me up a bit, but it looks like it's from a 1979 "Early Red Sox Favorites" oddball set.  Had never heard of these before but it's a 24-card set released in the state of Maine.  I absolutely love any Red Sox card with a photograph this old on it.

Of course, there was some vintage.  A pair from the '61 set, outfielder Gary Geiger...

...and a gloriously off-center Dave Hillman.  Didn't have either of these, sweet!

I really love the '67 Topps set, and considering how significant that year was for the Boston Red Sox it's really inexcusable that I haven't knocked off the team set yet.  One card closer with this beauty!

Here's a nice Yaz from that Legends Timeless Teams set that I have so little of.

I'll close it out here with my very first Topps Bunt card.  Like many collectors, I'm a fan of these for sure.

Thanks a lot for the cards guys!  As cool as they are, it was even better to be able to meet up and discuss the hobby.  Would be great to do it again someday!


John Miller said...

Kelly isn't far behind Hendley for the flat-top haircut.

shoeboxlegends said...

Hahaha, yup! A close second...

Shane Katz said...

Sorry I missed a chance at hooking up with you guys. Just traded with Mark after seeing a number of sweet Red Sox cards I had never seen before on his Twitter account. Plan on blogging again over at Off the Wall ( and looking at your lists, I sure can cross off a number of extra Sox I have. Sounds like a great time by all.


Billy Kingsley said...

Sounds like a great time. If I ever get up to the card show in Taunton again maybe I can join you guys. Haven't been to that show since 2005 though.

Mark Hoyle said...

Very cool time. Don't get to talk cards for three hours very often. Great to meet Matt. Anybody else reading this Boston is a great town but Providence is a lot of fun. You definitely have to hook up with Shane K.

night owl said...

I had an experience very close to yours today in fact. I'll be posting about it. ... My brother just moved back to Providence after living there years ago. I'be always liked it the 3 or 4 times I'be been there.

night owl said...
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