Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Binder Page Heroes Rookie Cards(Not) Part 3

Welcome to the third and final installment for this edition of my binder page filled with early cards from some of my favorite players who are not Dodgers.  I've got another binder page full of early issues from different players, but I think I'll hold off on posting that one for a while.  I'm feeling like I want to change things up a bit, and riff on a different topic next.

It so happened to work out that these final three players are all featured on other California teams, two being Western division rivals.  And away we go...

Leading off is Reggie, and his third-year card.  His RC is in '69 topps, and I just haven't had a chance to find it available (i.e., affordable, but not mangled).

with apologies to Nick, from Dime Boxes, who just posted that every scan on his blog must pass the 'perfect' test (a scanning quirk).  My scan here is kinda blurry, but I'm moving onward.  Perhaps my quirk is accepting mediocre scans

 I mentioned that Reggie's RC has been unavailable up to this point, but his second year card isn't even on my radar screen.  That's because it sits within '70 topps, which I consider one of the ugliest, yet simultaneously boring releases of all time.  I have no desire to chase cards with those dulled-out grey borders.

Check out the beauty above.  I dig this card for so many reasons.  First of all,  '71 topps is a great set, sporting those black borders.  Here we get Reggie kneeling on deck, holding two bats.  Just as Phil Bechtel pointed out with the Molitor card in Part 2,  Reggie looks like a freakin' kid.   And how can you not love that sweeping arm on his middle initial 'M'?

Next up is Tony Gwynn.  I wish I had his RC, but haven't been able to nail one down yet.  Till then, his second-year issue will do...

Tony poses here showing all the confidence of a guy who just knows what a cool baseball career  lies ahead of him.  It might also be the satisfaction of polishing off the last slice of a double dish, Chicago style pizza.

As we get a gander at the final Hero, I need to say two things first.  It's a finally a rookie card! and...


Will the Thrill.  Sure, he played for the hated ones, but he was always one of the respected ones.  I loved having Will Clark as an opponent.   He played a helluva game, swung a fearsome bat, and despite a smile that only a mother could love on the RC above, Will always wore badass eye black on the field to go along with his equally badass scowl.

Will Clark will forever remind me of the no holds barred, baseball wars of the Dodgers vs the enemy at candlestick park.  Good times. 

THANKS for reading, everybody!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

B.P. Heroes Rookie Cards (Not) Part 2

Hey everybody,

Happy Sunday!  I'm jazzed this morning because I watched the Rolling Stones' concert last night, broadcast live from N.J.  The highlights for me were ex-Stones guitarist, Mick Taylor joining in for a scorching version of 'Midnight Rambler', and a super-impressive Lady Gaga joining Mick on 'Gimme Shelter'.  I'm not a lady Gaga fan - I can't even name one song of hers - but dang, she turned it up to 11 on that number.  Bravo, Gaga.

On to baseball cards and Part 2.  When I first started posting this edition of B.P.Heroes, I named it with my heart, rather than reality.  As the post has continued on, I have come to realize I have far fewer true RC's than I originally thought. 

This blogging about our hobby certainly allows us to view our collections deeper in depth, and to get a clearer perspective of what we really have.  So, I'm altering the name of the post to Rookie Cards (Not).  LoL.  Bear with me, and let's have some fun anyways.

 First up is the Kid's second year fleer card...

I'm a big fan of cards with batting cages and stadiums in the background. 

Sure, baseball action shots are great on cards, but another huge part of the game is that pre-game prep period.  The players are warming up on the field and getting into a game mindset, but there is also a laid back, aint it grand to get paid for playing a game, kind of feeling as well.  Some guys are stretching alone, others are running side by side sprints, and others are joking while waiting for a turn in the cage.  That easy lull before the contest is a type of feeling that only baseball seems to capture.

I mentioned in Part 1 that I prefer a second-year card where the player is alone, over one of those multi-player mug shot cards.  (Scott Sawyer agrees with me on this one.  Thanks for the comment, Scott.)  I suppose those multi-player cards are great for the purists and the investors, but I collect based on the visuals of the card.  I love Molitor's scuffed helmet and easy smile in this second-year issue.

Because he is who he is, Molitor also gets his third-year card in this binder page...

 THANKS for reading, everybody!

Next Post: B.P. Heroes (Not)  Part 3

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Binder Page Heroes Rookie Cards (Mostly)

Hello everybody,

It's certainly not a secret who my favorite team is.  For a not-too-subtle hint, check the header again.  Although I'm a Dodger fan first and foremost, being a fan of the game of baseball runs a close second. So that means my love of baseball makes me a collector of cardboard from across the board.  Well, the Great Ones anyway, from any and all teams.

When I first dove into baseball cards as a serious hobby, I had additional notions that I would build a great collection and even make a buck or two along the way.  How to do that?  By acquiring Rookie cards, son. 

Actually, the real 'investment' is not in buying RC's from Mantle or Campanella.   Nope, the real trick is to guess which prospect playing out in the sticks (or the desert wastelands) will strike lightning and actually become a hit in the major leagues.   That was the trick back in the 90's and it's no different today (see Brian Harper).   Then, you're supposed to sell off those cards when the former prospect wins ROY, and buy a boat for the weekends with your baseball card reaping.  HA!

That game's not for me, but the lesson I did take from that slice of card collecting culture is that Rookie cards from the great ones, hall of famers and the legends of the field are still pretty cool to have.  So Rookie cards are part of my collection.  Sometimes the players RC is too darn expensive, or elusive, so I make do with a second or even a third-year card, until I can get the real mccoy. 

Of course, it's impossible to complete this chase, with so many high-caliber historical players, so I only collect personal favorites.  Those whom I believe made or changed the game into what it is today, or somehow shaped my baseball experience as a fan.

Here's the first installment of Binder Page Heroes, Rookie Cards...

Speaking of third-year cards, here's an example now.  .  I haven't even seen a Rookie or second year card of his, so I've had to settle for this one.   That said,  his RC is one of those shared cards, where he's one of 4 players pictured on the front.  That's not so aesthetically interesting to me, so I'm pretty happy to have this groovy third year issue, showing Hunter in the glory of his youth, with his signature proudly sporting the nickname 'Catfish', that he will eventually make into baseball royalty.

I don't have his topps RC yet, but below is the fleer version for the Dodger's skipper...

Speaking of Fleer RC's for Dodgers that started with other of the greatest Dodgers ever (that's right, i said 'ever')...

Next post: Part 2

THANKS for reading!

Monday, December 10, 2012

Binder Page Heroes - Baseball Thrills Edition

Hey everybody !

How's it going out there?  I haven't posted for a while, but once a week or so, I've been checking in and reading everyone's blogs.  Tonight I was reading and I noticed ATBATT listed in someone's blog roll.  Then I noticed I haven't posted in 3 weeks !!! YIKES !  That's the longest I've gone without a post since launching ATBATT, so it's definitely time to stop that slide....

Reviving the Binder Page Heroes series, here comes a page featuring a subset I've been chasing since I started collecting.  It's the Baseball Thrills subset from 1959 Topps.  These cards are beauties and they commemorate some big moments in MLB history.  They cost a pretty penny when they're in good condition, so I'm far from completing the set.  That means there are a couple of modern reprints, and a lurker on the binder page, who certainly hold their own.  Let's check 'em out....

How about these cards?  Beautiful colorization, action-packed photos, and simple but powerful designs.  I feel those thrills just looking at the cards!

Leading off is Hammerin' Hank, the Home Run King, hitting exactly as you would expect from him in the Fall Classic.  Aaron helped lead the Braves to a 7-game win over the YankeesAlong the way, he batted nearly .400 and punched 3 homers.


Reprint Alert - This comes from 2001 Topps.  This will have to do until I get my hands on the real mccoy.

Reprints or not, I just can't resist these cards.  They just scream Old Time Baseball.

Leave it to the Dodgers to play 26 innings and only score one run.  Luckily, they held the Red Sox to one run also, and played the longest game ever in baseball history.  Why didn't they finish?  No, bud selig's grandfather was not the commish, the game was stopped on account of...darkness.

I picked this one up from a trade with a fellow blogger.  One step closer to completion!  THANKS, trading partners!

The Duke brings in the next highlight.  I love this one because of the early use of consecutive action shots on one card.  It really captures the THRILL of the play.   How about that guy in the stands ? I've often wondered if that was his strange posturing to try and catch the ball if it went up into the seats. 

This set just drips baseball history.  Tiger Kaline finds his way into the set, and we get a bonus view of old time umpire gear. 

Another Tiger and another consecutive photo action shot. COOOOOL !

Finally, one of my vintage faves.  '52 Bowman rocking an absolute work of baseball art on cardboard.

THANKS for reading, everybody ~ 

Sunday, November 18, 2012

A Small Trade With A Big Blogger

hey everybody,

i just don't know how the guy does it.  he writes an awesome blog that i faithfully read.  besides that, he writes yet even more blogs, which i'm quite sure are equally fascinating, but i confess, i don't read those as often.

keeping up with several blogs would be enough for any regular mortal, but that's not enough juggling for the Night Owl.  on top of all that, the guy has time for twitters, tweeters, listias and tumblers - and whatever the heck all those things entail. think he's done?  not even close...

then he squeezes in time to be a sportswriter, and a regular joe with a family and everything that comes along with those responsibilities.  whew!   he does all of that before finding time to maintain, catalog and love a huge card collection.  WTH - does this guy get an extra allotment of hours per diem that we don't?

you may ask yourself, "why should i care if some crazed blogger wants to eat, drink and sleep baseball cards?"  it's because the man still cares enough to use some of his carefully scheduled schedule to TRADE!  have we overused the term - 'he's passionate' yet?

which brings me to our latest trade.  Night Owl scored a couple of '65 topps Dodgers that he mentioned will be upgrades for his collection.  since i'm trying to collect that same year's Dodgers, i immediately requested, and was just as immediately given, those '65s.   if i was as busy as N.O., i would be forever crabby and have no time for others.  Good ol' N.O. shipped those right out to me, along with a fistful of other Dodgers.  coolness, indeed. 

here's the '65s that started this trade. i dig this set's design, colors and those pennants.

Howe's is a tragic storyhe was a truly good pitcher who never reached his full potential because drugs and alchohol kept taking control of his life.  this is a great photo because it seems Howe himself is wondering about what might have been. 

 here's a tragedy of a different sort.  Adrian Beltre came up with the Dodgers and played a solid third basewhile wielding a pretty good bat.  he left LA as a free agent, and while he suffered a few lean years, he is still around bashing multi-HR playoff games and still rocking the hot corner.  Beltre was recently awarded a gold glove for the 2012 season.  since Beltre's departure, LA has had about 500 third basemen.  among the 2012 Dodger third basemen, juan uribe.  a fricken tragedy indeed.
with a name like his, ol' Burleigh had 2 choices - play baseball or bootleg liquor in chicago.

my first Karros relic!

this Sheffield card is transparent awesomeness. 

i can never, ever have too many nomo cards. 

THANKS for a great trade, busy man.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Maybe Target will Start A "One Star Club"

hey everybody,

My Dodger buddy Night Owl wrote a great piece about topps' new super-elite, double exclusive club for "passionate" collectors.  in it, he referenced another great post from The Wax Fantastic

Being a sort of passionate blog reader, i followed the link, and was glad i did, because that was yet another great read.  as an aside, i'm glad to have discovered Andy's blog.  Since his is a perspective from "the other side of the atlantic", i get to expand my mind a bit further, and i get the quiet enjoyment of reading a blog with occasionally quaint spelling (i.e. programme).  ah, the simple pleasures.

suffice it to say, i am probably NEVER gonna be in topps' 5-star club, because i don't ever foresee meeting their requirements.  First of all, I don't have a minimum of $10,000 extra cash annually to spend on baseball cards.  heck, even if i hit the lotto and i had that much to burn on cards, i couldn't in good conscience sit down and write a required 500 word essay for topps declaring why i wanna be in that dopey club anyways. I wonder how the topps brain trust settled on 500 words being the right amount to establish passion?  i wonder if i could include citations in the 500?

as our friend Night Owl reminds us, we readers and bloggers are certainly passionate enough about our collections and collecting habits in our own ways, even without topps' blessing.  i may not have ten grand, but i can scratch together $3.99 to take a chance on this little package i spotted at my local target...

i'm passionate enough to spot that daryl strawberry card, and i know my fellow bloggers and readers are passionate enough to want (or need!) the assorted extras in the package.  as would be expected, there's plenty of set and team filler, and i'm happy to report, a few feature players and cards you all might want in trade.   let's see what i pulled...

young kirby !  and yet another addition for my mike schmidt collection!

there's 22 all-star cards in this set and i got about 10 of them.  the gloss and colors on these cards are shiny and gorgeous like they came out of a pack yesterday.  below are a few more...

Fernando pitched in this 1986 all-star game and he got 5 consecutive strike outs.  alas, no Fernando in this package.  however...

how's this?  one of my favorite yankees!  bernie williams RC!  nice.

any knoblauch fans out there?  this pacific card is sweet.  the photo is embedded and can be seen from front and back.

remember when jay buhner being traded away from the yankees was mentioned in seinfeld?

chromey goodness

gotta love this shot of gibby advancing to the plate. all business and getting zoned in.  i think gibby looked like this when he was seven, mustache and all.


i'm not a fan of this donruss set, so this schmidt is available...

this nomar card is a beauty. the shine is very refractory.

finally!  a Dodger.  and one i didn't have yet. :)

closing out with a pittsburgh legend. 
it just goes to show you don't have to spend $10,000 to enjoy your passion. 

THANKS for reading!