Monday, March 27, 2017

A Mystery Card, Reprints & Buybacks from Off the Wall

Last week I received a great bubble mailer stuffed with cards from my friend Shane Katz of Off the Wall.  In a relatively small package Shane sure hit on a variety of areas within my collection.  Before we get to the rest of the goods though, I need some help with identifying this awesome Yaz card.  Anyone seen this before?

At first I got excited thinking that maybe Shane had starting printing hard copies of his own excellent customs, but I don't recall having seen this one posted on his blog before.  There's no indication on the back of what year the card was printed, or who was responsible.  Anyone?

With that out of the way, next up is a nice little run of black and white beauties from The Conlon Collection.  This set seems to be generally adored by collectors, particularly team collectors whose franchises have been around since the early days of baseball.  I completed the entire Series 1 set a few years ago, but have very few singles outside of that so I needed each and every one of the cards Shane sent.

First up is Dusty Cooke, who played for the Yankees, Red Sox and Reds in the 1930s, primarily as a fourth outfielder.  After wrapping up his playing career he served in the US Navy in Okinawa during WWII.

Val Picinich was a Major League backstop from 1916 through 1933, and at one point earlier in his career he was the preferred catcher of the great Walter Johnson.  He once played for Connie Mack, and caught three no-hitters over the course of his career.  Sadly, he died of complications related to pneumonia at just 46 years of age.

Lou Finney was an effective outfielder for the Sox during the Ted Williams era, and earned his lone career All-Star selection while with the club during the 1940 season.

Jim Tabor played with Boston from 1938 through 1944 at third base.  He once hit two grand slams (one inside the park) and a solo shot in the same game!  Jim also passed away at an early age, suffering a heart attack at 36.

Underscoring why collectors love the Conlon release so much, all four of these represent the first cards of their respective subjects to enter into my collection.  Awesome stuff.

From there, Shane did some damage to my 1959 Topps want list by sending me card #336, Billy Loes of the Orioles.  It's fitting to receive this one given that Shane's mega-delivery of '59 Topps cards late last year is largely responsible for inspiring me to get going on this set in earnest.  Great to be one card closer.

Next in line is a nice pair of cards featuring one of my all-time favorite baseball personalities, Casey Stengel!  This 1980 Baseball Immortals gives us a glance at a young (relatively) Stengel from his days with the Dodgers...

...and this '91 Topps Archives 1953 release finishes the pairing.  This is one of the few cards at the end of this set that shows subjects who weren't actually included in the original '53 set.  I was always disappointed that they used photographs instead of paintings, which would have been more true to the original release.  Either way, I had a ton of these cards as a kid collector in the '90s and I think this set is a big reason why I adore the '53 release so much to this very day.

From there, we move into some reprints.  This Turkey Red was printed by Galasso in the early '80s.  It's a standard-sized card, whereas the original Turkey Red cabinet cards were oversized.  I don't own any originals, though I've come close to picking one up once or twice.  They really are works of art, but they're not the easiest things to find and tend to command a pretty penny when they do surface.  Happy to have a reprint for now.

I also received a pair of reprints of these Sporting News cards from 1916.  Referred to as "M101-5", these are even rarer than the Turkey Red cabinet cards in my experience.

In fact, I'm not sure I've ever seen or held an authentic one in hand.  I love that they use actual photographs though, something that you don't see a whole lot of from baseball cards of this era.  Owning an original is probably a pipe dream, so I'm grateful to have these two reprints.

Last reprint for the day features the 1922 American Caramel release.  I actually do own one or two of these, and the set is one of my absolute favorites as far as pre-war cards go.  I just think the design is gorgeous, and many of the players in this release don't have a lot of other cardboard out there given the limited number of sets that were printed during the 1920s.

As it so happens, Herb Pennock is one of the Red Sox I don't have from this set, so Shane definitely hit the mark with this last reprint.

Last, but certainly not least, Shane dropped seven new buybacks for my franken-set project into this package!  Let's review...

1966 Topps #114 - Jim Gosger

Jim Gosger played for five franchises/six teams over his career (he was with the As during the KC-to-Oakland transition).  He was mostly a reserve fourth outfielder who also made a few appearances at first base.  1966 was his last season with Boston, so he was not on the roster for the 1967 "Impossible Dream" season.

This '74 California Angels card is already in the buyback binder in slot 114...

I have to vote against the Sox sometimes if I want to preserve some variety in the binder, so I'm moving this off-center Gosger to the reject box.

1988 Topps #233 - Rafael Santana

Rafael Santana won a World Series with the Mets in '86 against Boston.  Despite being a Red Sox fan, I'm too young to have any memories of that disaster of a World Series.  These days Santana's serving as a scout in the Dominican for the White Sox organization.

Unfortunately for Rafael, he's got a brutal match-up when it comes to franken-set induction.

That was one of the easiest decisions I've had to make to date.

1987 Topps #12 - Jeff Sellers

A new Red Sox buyback, score!  Sellers was a promising starter for Boston at one point, but his career was cut short due to a combination of injury and Lyme disease.  As far as the franken-set goes, the news doesn't get much better for Jeff:

For the second time in recent weeks a challenger has stepped up to face off against this 1967 Strikeout Leaders buyback...

...and for the second time the challenger has been defeated.  Putting a Red Sox pitcher in the reject box is at least made a bit easier due to the fact that he lost out to another even greater Sox buyback.

1988 Topps #79 - Ernie Whitt

Ernie Whitt actually began his MLB career with the Red Sox in 1976, but is better remembered for the time he spent with the Blue Jays between 1977 and 1989.  Whitt was coming off the best season of his career here, as he hit 19 HR and drove in 75 runs in 1987.

Once again we've got a contest when it comes to the franken-set, as Ted Kubiak and his straying strand of hair are already in slot 79.

I normally detest cards featuring hat-less subjects, but I just find that Kubiak card amusing.  A rough start for Shane's buybacks here going 0-4, however I'll spoil the suspense now and declare that the last three he sent were all new numbers for the project and make the set without contest.  Let's see 'em!

1977 Topps #477 - Rookie Infielders

This is actually the very first four-player rookie from '77 Topps to be evaluated for this project.  I was familiar with the tragic story of Doug Ault, and Rich Dauer won a World Series with Baltimore in '83, but I don't really know much about the two bottom subjects.  A great card to add some variety to the binder for sure.

1992 Topps #652 - Bobby Rose

Bobby Rose played sparsely over the course of a few seasons with the Angels, but really hit his stride when he took his talents overseas to Japan.  There he was selected as an All-Star multiple times, and even won a batting title in 1999.  Cool story, and this is also just the third buyback from 1992 Topps to make the franken-set binder.

1968 Topps #581 - Garry Roggenburk

The last buyback I have for today is definitely my favorite of the group, as Shane was kind enough to gift me with his box topper from his hobby box of 2017 Heritage.  This is an especially thoughtful gift given that Shane is himself a Red Sox fan and collector.  I have no idea where Garry is standing in this particular photo (is that a greenhouse?!?!), but I was psyched to find that I didn't have a 581 buyback previously.  A very solid addition to this project to say the least.

Best of all, the seven buybacks that Shane sent along now mean that I've evaluated 500 total buybacks for this project here on the blog!  Not too shabby for a project I started less than a year ago now.

Shane, thank you so much for the awesome batch of cardboard!  I have the remaining Bowman Heritage cards I owe you all bagged up, but have been held back by the fact that I lack the appropriately sized bubble mailer to get them sent off.  I promise I will get it done by the end of the week here...

Franken-set Progress:  355/792 (44%)
"Rejected" Buybacks:  145
Total Buybacks in Collection: 500


Chris said...

Awesome buybacks as always. It's tough to knock out the '68's, especially Scott. Very cool of Shane to send you Sox buybacks. The '77 Rookie Infielders is the oldest "Discover Topps" buyback I've seen by far. I was starting to think they didnt use anything older than '84.

The Jake Stahl Turkey Red has to be my favorite card in this post. I'm still kicking myself for passing on a T206 (i think) on COMC; it was probably poor-fair, and about $25 but still. have one more '59 Topps card coming your way. ;)

GCA said...

Roggenburk looks like A-Rod standing in a greenhouse.

shoeboxlegends said...

Chris, the Stahl T206 is a thing of beauty (I think there's more than one variation but the one I'm thinking of has him with his glove outstretched to make a catch). Also thanks in advance for the '59!

GCA, I can't believe I didn't notice it but you are dead on with the A-Rod comparison, looks very similar!

Mark Hoyle said...

There's two versions of the Stahl T206. One with glove one without glove

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...