Wednesday, May 31, 2017

1950 Bowman - Post #2 - Monte Kennedy (Or Is It Monty?)

I've decided to take a crack at building the 1950 Bowman set, largely because it was responsible for the first truly vintage baseball card I ever owned.  Tonight I inch one card closer to that goal with pitcher Monte Kennedy of the New York Giants:

Monte (also spelled Monty in some instances) was a lefty who wore a Giants uniform for all 249 of his Major League Baseball appearances across 8 seasons.  While he began his career primarily as a starter, he would later shift to a bullpen/spot start role.  In the end, just about half of his career games were starts with the other half coming out of the pen.

While he never won a World Series, he did pitch in two games of the 1951 Fall Classic against the Yankees.  In one instance, he had a nice 1-2-3 inning.  The other appearance?  He gave up a two-run shot to Phil Rizzuto.  You win some, you lose some.

Here's a look at the back.  Kennedy was obviously still a starter in 1949, as evidenced by the 12-14 record.  It was the final year of his career though where at least 50% of his appearances would come as starts.

As far as the card itself, the plain grey is easily one of the least interesting backgrounds in the entire set.  I love all of these miniature beauties though, and am happy to have Monte here in hand at this early stage of my set build.

Set Progress:  2 of 252 (.8% Complete)

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Buyback Franken-set: Rough Odds

Ten more buybacks to evaluate, let's see how we do...

1981 Topps #56 - Buck Martinez

Starting off with a set that I don't see a ton of in buyback format for whatever reason, 1981 Topps.  I think it might be safe to say at this point that despite a 17-season Major League career Buck is actually better known as a broadcaster.  Either way, a nice enough card to start us off.

John Hale was already in slot 56...

...but Martinez replaces him.

1979 Topps #191 - Mike Norris

Next up, we have starting pitcher Mike Norris, who was pretty spectacular the season after this card was released.  He's got some existing competition when it comes to the franken-set... the form of Al Fitzmorris, who looks almost like he was standing on a country farm when this particular shot was taken.

Going with the '74 based on the fact that I like that set better than '79, and because the background on the Fitzmorris card is just more interesting.

1988 Topps #100 - Jack Clark

Back to the '80s, and a nice round "hero number" of 100 for slugger Jack Clark's '88 Topps card.  While there's nothing wrong with this one by any means, there's already a better Clark card in slot 100 of the binder:

Tough to beat one of my favorite players from childhood on the first set I ever collected.

Luckily for Jack he's already represented in the franken-set on a much nicer buyback.

1977 Topps #471 - Del Unser

We seem to be bouncing back and forth between the '70s and the '80s today.  Del Unser was a steady, hustling ball-player who lasted many seasons at the Major League level despite possessing pretty much an average bat.  I'm partial to this one as a fan of franchises of yesteryear.

Partial enough to oust this sweet '58 Lenny Green buyback from the binder, though?

No way!

1989 Topps #192 - Paul Mirabella

Next we have Paul Mirabella, who actually cobbled together an unlikely season of success the year before this card was printed up.  In 60 innings pitched in 1988, Paul struck out 33 batters and posted a slim 1.65 ERA.

Unfortunately his '89 Topps buyback gets pitted up against some serious star power in the form of this 2012 Topps home run leaders buyback.


1984 Topps #117 - Tom Veryzer

I have to be honest and say that despite all the baseball cards I've accumulated in my lifetime, I'm very unfamiliar with Tom Veryzer.  I guess this one scores a few points based on the fact that I don't have many '84 buybacks, although that hypnotic stare from the small inset photo is creeping me out a bit.

Tom gets matched up with this in game action shot of Ron Blomberg from '74 Topps.

Another easy call there.  Sorry Cubs fans.

1987 Topps #244 - Dickie Noles

A boring, late-career card of pitcher Dickie Noles is next.  In what seems to be becoming a theme for this post, I've already got a buyback of this number in the binder.  This is another tough draw as well:

Hmm, the 1979 "We Are Family" World Series champion Pirates vs. Dickie Noles...


1989 Topps #645 - Jack Morris

Finally, eight cards in and we get a new card number for the binder.  Jack was basically the most-worked pitcher of the 1980s, as he pitched the most games and the most innings of any pitcher in the decade.  He gave up more hits than any other pitcher in the decade as well, but also acquired more wins than anyone.  Not a bad buyback to have in slot 645 at all!

1987 Topps #116 - Bill Russell

How about a "sunset" buyback of Bill Russell, who wrapped up his MLB career in 1986.  Can the 3x All-Star and 2x World Series champion make the binder?

If so, he'll have to supplant Padres third baseman Tucker Ashford...

...easy enough!

1988 Topps #43 - Dick Schofield

Last buyback for today, shortstop Dick Schofield of the Angels.  He had 56 career home runs, which doesn't seem half bad for a shortstop whose career was over by the mid-'90s, but then you see the .230 career average and cringe a bit.  Random bit of trivia...Dick is actually an uncle to Jayson Werth.

This Gene Michael was selected for slot 43 of the franken-set only recently.

The Gene Michael card is gonna remain in the binder, at least for now.  Better luck next time, Dick.

Well, I can't lie, that was a bit rough.  Out of ten cards just one new number for the project.  On top of that out of nine conflicts only two cards forced their way into the binder.  Oh well, the franken-set is now in (slightly) better shape than it was at the outset of the post.  I'll be back with another ten later in the week...

Franken-set Progress:  426/792 (53%)
"Rejected" Buybacks:  232
Total Buybacks in Collection: 658

Monday, May 29, 2017

One Card Post - Buyback Bogaerts RC

What:  2017 Bowman Buyback Bronze #2014-84 - Xander Bogaerts
Where:  eBay
How Much?:  $7.99

:  A rookie card of my favorite current player in buyback format?  At less than $10 it was too much for this collector to resist.  I don't plan on collecting the Bowman buybacks like I do with Topps, but I sure do like this one.  A nice, somewhat rare, addition to my ever-growing Bogaerts collection!

Sunday, May 28, 2017

1950 Bowman - Post #1 - Maurice McDermott (The Beginning)

Recently I've been in a bit of a hobby funk.  My buyback franken-set has kept my interest, but I have hundreds of buybacks already in hand just waiting to be processed for that particular project so there's not much need to seek out others, at least at this stage.

In giving some thought as to what might inject a dose of motivation I came up with a project that I'm shocked I haven't already tried tackling to date...

...1950 Bowman!

This set has always evoked feelings of nostalgia for me, largely because the Maurice McDermott card you see above was the first true vintage card I ever owned.  My Dad bought it for me when I was probably 8 years old or so, from a bin of random vintage baseball cards at an antiques store a few towns over.

Though I had no idea who Mickey McDermott was at the time, this card was the catalyst to my enjoyment of the hobby that, while it went dormant for a few years there, remains to this day.  I thought it was the coolest thing to have a baseball card from decades before I ever took my first breath, and I still do.

We all have those memories that, for whatever reason, we recall vividly, and for me one of those is a memory of my Dad snickering about the fact that McDermott is referred to as "String-bean Maury" on the back of this card.  Hell, this one has so much sentimental value for me that I ranked it my #1 Red Sox card in a countdown a few years back.

So yeah, I'm going to take a crack at completing the 1950 Bowman set.  It won't be easy, and if I ever manage to complete the set it will become the oldest that I've finished off by a long shot.  We'll see how it goes, but I've stepped off the ledge here and am one card in already!

In the unlikely event that you have any of these you'd be up for trading, I've updated my want list...

Set Progress:  1 of 252 (.4% Complete)

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Buyback Franken-set: Mel & Davey

Let's lead off today's buyback post with a name from the '60s that I think most baseball fans are familiar with...

1967 Topps #225 - Mel Stottlemyre

Mel Stottlemyre was a key piece of the rotation for the Yankees from the mid '60s through the mid '70s.  He tossed a lot of complete games during that stretch, and was named an All-Star five times between 1965 and 1970.  Folks from my generation remember him more as pitching coach for those dominant Yankees teams of the late '90s.  I like the pre-game photo here with all the bats strewn about in the background.

This Ramon Martinez rookie card was already sitting snugly in slot 225.  I enjoy this one mostly due to the great Dodger Stadium backdrop, but...'s not enough to best that '67 Stottlemyre.

1979 Topps #360 - Amos Otis

Though Amos Otis began his career with the Mets, and finished it with the Pirates, he really flourished with the Royals throughout the '70s.  Like Stottlemyre, he was selected as an All-Star five times.  Add to that three Gold Gloves, the AL stolen base crown in 1971, and enshrinement in the Kansas City Royals HOF, and you've got a great career.  Didn't have a #360 buyback yet either, so this one's in.

1974 Topps #164 - Tom House

I guess the most interesting thing I can say about this one is that Tom House was the guy who caught Hank Aaron's historic 715th home run in the Braves bullpen the season this card was printed up.

Is that enough for the card to win out against this late-career Mickey Lolich that's already occupying slot 164, though?


1966 Topps #313 - Chris Zachary

Don't know the first thing about Chris Zachary, who pitched for a few different franchises to the tune of a career 10-29 record with an ERA north of 4.50.

Already had this '65 Jimmie Schaffer buyback in slot 313.

At least Jimmie is wearing a cap, albeit backwards.  Hat-less Chris Zachary is out.

1974 Topps #518 - Derrel Thomas

I have to be honest and say that this isn't exactly the most interesting photo that 1974 Topps gifted us with, not by a long shot.  To each his own I guess, but for me just about any other buyback would probably bump this one from the binder.

Certainly so for this Bob Veale, which currently occupies slot 518.

Easy choice there.

1973 Topps #186 - Bill Fahey

This buyback of backup catcher Bill Fahey has really been through the wringer.  Smashed corners, surface scratching, creases, it truly has it all.  I do enjoy the advertisements on the outfield wall at least.

A brutal match-up here, as Fahey has the misfortune of being pitted against the single oldest buyback in the binder.

No chance.

1979 Topps #98 - Ray Burris

Ray Burris grew up on a farm in rural Oklahoma, and wound up pitching at the Major League level for 15  years.  He is currently serving as a pitching coach within the Phillies organization.  He's somewhat washed out in a sea of blue on his '79 Topps release here.

Another tough match-up, with a '63 Heritage buyback blocking Burris' path to the franken-set.

Had to go with the '63.

1978 Topps #253 - Jim Kern

Jim Kern was a solid bullpen arm, particularly in the late '70s.  He was named an All-Star for three consecutive seasons beginning in 1977, and even won the AL Rolaids Relief Man Award in 1979.  He certainly seems to be enjoying his success in this photo on his '78 Topps release.

Between Kern and the franken-set stands probably the single most beat-up buyback I've acquired to date in this '58 Don Mueller.

This is one of those cases where I'm second-guessing myself, especially since Kern was at the pinnacle of his career in 1978, but it was hard for me to choose this buyback over any '58.

1979 Topps #521 - Sam Ewing

A first round pick of the Montreal Expos in 1969, Sam Ewing would play with the White Sox and Blue Jays in MLB before finishing up his career in Japan.  The best thing I can say about this one is that after a long stretch of conflicts we finally have a new number for the franken-set!

1968 Topps #273 - Dave Johnson

Last card for today is an early-career Davey Johnson!  This one has seen better days as well, but I don't mind in the least.  Johnson was a very talented second baseman before he later enjoyed a lot of success at the coaching level.  1968 was the first time in his career that he was named an All-Star, which earns this one some extra points.

Tough match-up here, as this is a fine-looking '62.  Not only that, but Gary Bell would go on to make a start for the Red Sox during the infamous 1967 World Series.

Even still, I had to go with the Davey Johnson card.

Well, that was one of the rougher groupings to date, with just two new numbers for the project and eight conflicts.  Oh well, you can't win 'em all!  I'll be back with another batch early next week...

Franken-set Progress:  425/792 (53%)
"Rejected" Buybacks:  223
Total Buybacks in Collection: 648
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...