Saturday, June 16, 2018

Card #52 - Larry Andersen

The Card
Here's a fun one!  Larry Andersen, the longtime journeyman reliever, wearing the powder blue uniform of the Seattle Mariners.  If you're like me you forgot he ever played on Seattle.  Though he's most remembered as the player traded to the Red Sox for future Hall of Famer Jeff Bagwell, he was an outstanding bullpen arm and pitched into his 40's.  Plus, he has a legendary sense of humor and still broadcasts games today.

(That's Yankee Stadium in the background, right?)

The Story
I rescued this one from the commons bin at my card shop.

The Price
$0.15

The Condition
The corners and edges are quite sharp, but as  you can partially tell by the scan, the card has "yellowed" over time.

The Verdict
Powder blue and gold uniform and a mustache for days...what's not to love?!

Friday, March 9, 2018

Card #51 - Chicago Cubs Future Stars


The Card
Ooh, it's another "Future Stars" card!  This time it features the Chicago Cubs.  Two out of the three guys on this card were nothing close to a major league star.  Carlos Lezcano had already played his last game at the MLB level when this card was printed and, minus a couple of cups of coffee in 1982 and 1987, Ty Waller was done too.

That leaves Jay Howell, who was an honest to goodness star, though not for the Cubbies.  He became a standout closer for the Oakland A's before joining the Dodgers for their magical World Series run in 1988.  Howell would pitch in fifteen big league seasons and make three All-Star teams, so Topps batted .333 on this card.

The Story
There's no mistaking it - the grubby corners, the faded picture...this is an original card in my collection!

The Price
Free - thanks Dad!

The Condition
Let's just say it's "broken in."

The Verdict
1982 Topps were my first ever cards, but it wasn't until later in the 1980's that I fully immersed myself into the hobby.  I remember pulling this card out of my common's bin more than once, hoping Beckett had finally listed it in their price guide.  That never happened, but I do love my first gen cards just the same.

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Card #50 - Buddy Bell

The Card
What an unusual picture!  We have a zoomed-in profile shot of Texas all-star Buddy Bell.  He also received the honor of holding down one of Topps' fifty numbered cards, so kudos to Buddy and those sweet blond sideburns.

The Story
This card was in my very first package of cardboard purchased over at COMC.  I was nervous the first time using their site but my mind was perfectly at ease once I had this bad boy in my mitts.  Thanks COMC!

The Price
I paid $0.70 for Bell (plus the shipping and handling).

The Condition
It's nicely centered and the corners are still crisp.  I think the white borders have yellowed a bit from their original printing, but that comes with age.  Or it's an optical illusion produced by Buddy's beautiful mane.

The Verdict
This is one of the more distinct cards in the set.  And Buddy Bell was an underrated player.  I love this card!


Saturday, January 6, 2018

Card #49 - Alvis Woods

The Card
You're looking at an original member of the inaugural 1977 Toronto Blue Jays!  On the back of the card it says Woods is the "all-time Batting Leader" for the Blue Jays - I'm not sure if they meant hits (482) or batting average (.274) through the 1981 season.

Check out the underside of Woods' hat, where it meets his forehead.  Is he wearing a sweatband under his cap?

The Story
I rescued Alvis from the common's box at my local card shop.

The Price
$0.15

The Condition
It's crisp and the corners are sharp but it's off-centered, skewing to the bottom.  It's easier to tell on the back of the card.

The Verdict
It's a simple card, but I like it! 

Sunday, December 31, 2017

Card #48 - Bobby Castillo

The Card
Here's a pretty spring training shot of the late Bobby Castillo, a noted bullpen member of the 1981 World Series champions Los Angeles Dodgers.  He was also a close friend of Fernando Valenzuela right when Fernandomania went global.  In fact, Castillo is interviewed as part of Valenzuela's "30 for 30" special.

The Story
You see those fuzzy corners and plenty of creases?  That can only mean one thing...it's part of my original collection!  This is one of the first cards I ever owned as a kid.

The Price
Free - it comes from a pack in my youth.  Thanks dad!

The Condition
Like I said above...it's in rough shape because 7-year old me didn't know any better.  Plus, the picture is off-center and skews to the upper-right hand corner.

The Verdict
I've had this card in my possession for 35+ years and I love it.  I'm just sad Mr. Castillo is no longer with us.

Have a safe New Year everyone - I'll try to post more regularly in 2018!

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Card #47 - Jeff Leonard

The Card
Hehehe...one of the funnier baseball personalities of the 1980's...Jeff Leonard!  The eccentric Leonard, who would go on to wear "00" as his jersey number, drew the ire of the St. Louis Cardinals with his "one flap down" home run trots in the 1987 playoffs.  I remember my dad, who grew up in St. Louis, getting quite upset by the whole display.

The Story
This was yet another baseball card shop discovery, buried in the commons box.

The Price
$0.15

The Condition
The front of this card looks great!  But when you turn it over there's a bad ding on the side of the card, making it look like the cardboard could start to split.  I'm surprised I didn't catch it when I bought it.

The Verdict
I always think of Leonard as a slugger, but when you flip the card over you see he only had seven homers in his first five seasons and 285 games.  You have to love cards of characters from the game and I'm glad to have this in my collection.

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Card #46 - Jerry Augustine

The Card
I always think it's cool when the hometown team is able to draft and develop talent from their own backyard.  That's the case with Jerry Augustine!  He was born in Kewaunee, WI, and got drafted out of UW-La Crosse and spent his whole major league career with the Brewers.  He later coached the UW-Milwaukee baseball team for a number of years and is still active in the Wisconsin sports scene.  Check out his twitter account!

This card features a nice portrait of Augustine.  The lower camera angle captures the sky above in a nice way.  And that old Brewer logo will never not be the coolest.

The Story
I rescued this one from the common's box at my local card shop.

The Price
$0.15

The Condition
The card was cut off-center, it definitely skews up.  Otherwise, it's in great shape.

The Verdict
The pinstripes, the logo, the skyline...I like this card!