Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Stickey Sox from '67

A while back I was fortunate enough to land a small lot of stickers from the 1967 Topps Red Sox set.  I don't see these around my neck of the woods that often, so when I had a chance to jump on some at what came out to around $6 each I couldn't resist.  I showed the first sticker back in August in the form of Dalton Jones, today I've got the rest from the lot...

Dave Morehead's MLB career wasn't that spectacular.  He did toss a no-hitter for the Red Sox during a pretty rough 1965 season.  Must have been an interesting no-hitter to witness, because due to the fact that it was a late-season day game and the Red Sox were already out of it there were supposedly less than 2,000 people in attendance.  He does have the most fitting name for this set, as each card features "more head" than your average MLB trading card.

George Smith is included in the set because he appeared in 128 games with Boston in 1966.  Those would actually be the only games he'd play with the Red Sox though, and in fact his final MLB games period.  I'm not sure why some players got a large, colored shape behind their floating heads while others, like the Dave Morehead sticker that led off the post, did not.

Jose Santiago pitched a ton for Boston in the '67 season.  He made a few starts but logged the majority of his innings via bullpen work. 

Because team ace Jim Lonborg had started the final game of the regular season, Jose actually started game 1 of the World Series in '67.  He pitched a hell of a game facing off against Cards ace Bob Gibson, giving up only two runs.  Unfortunately that was enough to earn the loss as Boston scored just a single run.  That single run came from Santiago as well, as he blasted a solo shot off Gibson to help his own cause.  Too bad none of the other guys could manage as much or else the outcome may have been different for Boston.
George Scott played a lot of games for Boston in the 9 years (2 different stints) that he was with the team.  He was named an All-Star a few times during his career, and is a member of the Boston Red Sox HOF.  He passed away last year, apparently after a lengthy struggle with diabetes.

Jerry Stephenson was literally a lifelong baseball guy.  He would play with the Seattle Pilots and the Dodgers after his time in Boston.  When his playing days were done, he served many years (decades!) as a scout for both the Dodgers and the Red Sox.  He finally retired at the end of the 2009 season, and sadly passed away the very next summer at age 66.

From what I can tell, Jose's career is best remembered for one play late in the 'Impossible Dream' '67 season where he gunned out the potential tying run at home plate late in the game.  Oh, he's also Danny Tartabull's father.

I don't know a whole lot about Wyatt, and from what I've read I don't think he had a particularly notable career at the MLB level.  He was credited with the win in Game 6 of the 1967 World Series, the very last game the Red Sox would win during that amazing season.

I doubt I'll ever even come close to completing this set, but this lot puts me at around the 25% mark with just 33 total stickers on the checklist.  At least I've got some nice examples now for my Red Sox collection, and at what I'd consider a bargain price given the age and condition.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Signature Sundays - Gainey, Park & Cheevers!

I'm closing in on the end of the Panini Classics Signatures autographs that I've been fortunate enough to acquire, and this week I've got another great trio of Hall of Famers to present...

First up is Bob Gainey, who has wonderful penmanship.  He played his entire career for the Montreal Canadiens, capturing five Stanley Cups (and taking the team to the finals where they lost to the Flames the year he retired).  Conn Smythe Trophy winner and four time Selke Trophy winner, Bob was inducted in 1992.  Making a creepy lurker appearance on the card is fellow HOFer Marcel Dionne.

Brad Park's signature is not quite as impressive as Gainey's.  Park had the unfortunate circumstance of having to play the best years of his NHL career while a guy named Bobby Orr was playing in Boston.  He finished second in Norris Trophy voting an insane number of times, you'd think he would have gotten it out of pity after enough years.  Brad never got to hoist the Cup either.  He's basically enshrined for being the second best defenseman in hockey after #4 for a good long time, as far as I can tell.  Granted he'd played his best years long before I was even born so who am I to say.

Last but certainly not least, Mr. Gerry Cheevers!  He's actually been featured in a Signature Sundays segment once before, way back in December of 2012.  I think I like the photo used for this card a bit more.  I've mentioned this before, but I've always had an affinity towards Cheevers, as he provided color commentary for the local TV broadcasts of Hartford Whalers games when I was a kid.

That's all for this week.  I believe I've shown 137 autographs from this set to date.  At this point I have just 6 more cards to show, then I'll move onto other subjects for my Signature Sundays posts.  Sure has been fun collecting these though...

Saturday, October 25, 2014

A Rainbow of Red Sox

I'm apparently a total sucker for a good colored parallel card. Even though Topps has flooded the market with these things in recent years I still seek them out.  In my last COMC shipment alone I realized I had enough to complete a rainbow of Red Sox.

Red - 2008 Topps Opening Day Manny Ramirez

Orange - 2012 Topps Chrome Orange Refractor David Ortiz

Yellow - 2014 Topps Yellow Jonny Gomes

Green - 2013 Topps Emerald Foil Dustin Pedroia

Blue - 2009 Topps Chrome Blue Refractor Josh Beckett (#'d /199)

Indigo - 2014 Topps Toys 'R' Us Purple Jon Lester

Violet - 2010 Topps Chrome Purple Refractor John Lackey (#'d /599)

This one scanned in closer to blue, but is clearly purple in hand. 

I love these parallels as much as anyone, but even I have to admit it's gotten a bit ridiculous.  I have a feeling Topps may have realized this, as the parallels in this year's Chrome product were reduced in number, and the borders on next year's flagship set don't seem very conducive to colored parallels either...

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Re-packs aren't always winners...

Before I head in for a long day and night at work, let's take a look at a couple more packs that came from one of these 20 packs for 20 bucks discount boxes...

First up is 2012 Gypsy Queen, weighing in at a measly 6 cards...

I'm not overly fond of the design, but I do like the sort of 3D effect that Topps achieved by blurring the background behind the player.

The fact that this card is a new addition to my Red Sox collection is really the only good thing about this pack, unfortunately.



Sorry I dozed off there for a couple of cards.  My mini wasn't any help in saving this pack.

I guess this would be the highlight of the pack, I think it's the best photograph anyway.  Well, that was a poor showing for 2012 Gypsy Queen to say the least.

Let's see if the Opening Day set from the same year does any better.  It does have an extra card at least compared to Gypsy Queen.

A Giants player in the first pack, and a Royals player in this one.  I'm glad Kansas City pulled off the win last night, looks like it's going to be an entertaining World Series.

Neither one of these packs was all that exciting I guess, although I prefer the flagship/Opening Day design to Gypsy Queen so I guess I give the nod to this pack.

I did get an insert, but it's an odd one that I don't care much for and won't be hanging onto.

In both packs my favorite card was the final card, in this case a late-career Todd Helton.

Wow, that was pretty bad.  Good news is at least each of these only set me back a dollar...

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

A Royal Bargain

I like to think that I do an okay job of sticking to my goals and keeping on track without straying too much in my collecting.  Every so often though I stumble across something that doesn't really fit but I just have to have, either because it's an interesting piece, or just too good a bargain to pass up.  Today's card is a case of both....

About three weeks ago, as the Royals were beginning their amazing run to the World Series, I stumbled across this on-card autograph of young pitching stud Yordano Ventura while trolling eBay.  Yordano's actually taking the mound tonight in probably the biggest game for the Royals franchise in three decades.  I'd been casually watching this fire-balling phenom progress all season long, and with the Royals qualifying for post-season play in his rookie season I decided to make a play at this one if I could get it on the cheap.

Obviously I won the card, since I'm posting about it, but I bet you'd be surprised how little it set me back.  How about less than $3!

$2.75 for an on-card autographed rookie of a 23-year-old World Series starter that regularly hits triple digits on the radar gun!  I'd call that a bargain.

I posted a Giants card last night, and they won Game 1, so my superstitious self feels like maybe this post will help Kansas City this evening.  Yes, like 90% of the baseball world I'm on the Royals bandwagon.  When I don't have a horse in the race I go for the underdog, and besides it's hard not to root for a team that hasn't seen post-season in nearly as long as I've been on this Earth!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

I'm beat...and so are these cards

Today was incredibly stressful and long, I'm out of gas but did want to at least post something.  Here are three well-loved 1959 Topps baseball cards I picked up a while back at the local hobby shop...

Not the HOF Earl Averill, this would be his son Earl Jr.  Quite a few condition issues here, not the least of which is a giant crease above the team logo.  I'll fork over a dime for any '59 Topps card I don't have though.  I think it was so cheap largely because of the back:

Yeah this was definitely taped or glued into an album at some point, but you can still see the cartoon which is my biggest concern.

Eddie Haas would later coach the Braves in Atlanta (after Joe Torre), and even spent some time as a scout in the Red Sox organization.  I love the Sporting News Rookie Stars subset in this set.

Last but not least, Allan "Red" Worthington.  Red began his Major League career with back to back shutouts, which is noted in the cartoon on the back of his card:

No paper loss here!  Three cards closer to a beater '59 Topps set, and my total cost was 60 cents.  No complaints there!

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Signature Sundays - A Pot(vin) of Coffey

Sorry, that post title is really cheesy, but it was all I could come up with to tie today's two autograph subjects together.  Surprise, surprise the cards are from the 2012-13 Panini Classics Signatures release...

Denis Potvin was a short print in the set.  I was kicking myself for missing out on one of these many months ago that sold for around $30.  As luck would have it though a couple of weeks back another one finally went up and I took it home for even less, around the price of a blaster.

Denis' career got off to a hot start in the mid to late '70s.  He was a #1 overall draft pick, and didn't disappoint as he captured the Calder Trophy his rookie season.  After that he went on to capture three Norris Trophies as top NHL defenseman within a four year span at the end of the decade!  All of that pales in comparison to the fact that Potvin won four consecutive Stanley Cups with the Islanders to begin the following decade.

Today's other subject is without question one of the all-time great offensive-minded defensemen, Paul Coffey.  He trails only Ray Bourque as far as defensemen go in most offensive statistical categories.  The thing is though, Bourque won only a single Cup, at the tail end when he latched on with an already-successful Colorado team.  Paul Coffey on the other hand was a key member of the Oilers dynasty in the 1980s, and won another Cup with Pittsburgh in 1991 as well.

Like Denis Potvin, Paul was also awarded the Norris Trophy three times in his remarkable career.  He really racked up the points for a guy who played the back end, in fact he's still the 13th all-time regular season scorer to this day!  Unless Joe Thornton, Jarome Iginla or Daniel Alfredsson, all of whom are in the late stages of their careers, explode for another 300+ points he's going to stay in that slot for some time too.

Coffey's card was one that was released this past season in the Contenders product, and I've never seen an SP/SSP list for that, but based on availability and final sales prices I'm fairly certain that this card is an SP as well.

So there you have it, two more great autographs from my favorite hockey autograph product to date.  8 Stanley Cups, 6 Norris Trophies and 2 HOF inductions between these two, not too bad at all!  I bet if you were to rank your top 10 NHL defensemen of the '80s both of these guys would make the list...

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Dog Food and Baseball Cards - My First 1954 Red Heart

When I think of oddball baseball cards, I usually picture the many great sets released in the '80s by brands like Post, Kay-Bee, Woolworth's, etc.  In that great decade of collecting, sets were produced by a range of random companies far and wide, from toy stores to purveyors of fine breakfast sausages!

Today's brief post features a much older oddball set though, 1954 Red Heart:

These beauties were distributed by The John Morrell Company, makers of Red Heart Dog Food.  Though I don't believe that particular brand name lives on today, The John Morrell Company certainly does. 

Anyway, this was a 33-card set released in three different subsets of 11 cards each.  The cards weren't actually packaged with the dog food, but rather were a mail-away promotion.  A few labels and some pocket change was enough to get an 11 card pack delivered to your mailbox.

I am a fan of the simplistic design and vintage feel.  There are only two Red Sox players on the short checklist, so I'd love to pick up the other someday (George Kell).

The backs are well done, they certainly hold up when compared against the other sets of the day in my opinion.  Certainly a unique addition to my vintage Red Sox collection, courtesy of "The Big League Dog Food".

The best part is, this card cost me less than $10.  I'll take this over a hanger box of 2014 Topps Update any day!
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