Blog Archives

Goodbye, Don Baylor

(June 28, 1949 – August 7, 2017)

Baylor

Slugging outfielder and 1979 American League MVP, Don Baylor passed away today from multiple myeloma, a form of cancer of plasma cells. Baylor his 338 home runs in his career, was an All-Star in 1979, and won the World Series with the Minnesota Twins in 1987. He presided over the Boston Red Sox’s kangaroo court, and fined Roger Clemens $5 for giving up a single to Spike Owen on an 0-2 count during his 20-strikeout game in 1986. He was also the Colorado Rockies’ first manager.

Goodbye, Sammy Ellis

(February 11, 1941 – May 13, 2016)

Ellis 1966

Cincinnati Reds pitcher and 1965 All-Star, Sammy Ellis passed away on Friday in Florida. Ellis pitched for the Reds (1962-1967), California Angels (1968), and Chicago White Sox (1969), and served as pitching coach for the Yankees (1982–84; 1986), White Sox (1989–91), Cubs (1992), Mariners (1993–94), Red Sox (1996), and Orioles (2000). He was inducted into the Mississippi State University Athletics Hall of Fame in 2012.

A tragically short four-year career

Lyman Bostock

Lyman Bostock was a star on the rise when his life came to a screeching halt on September 23, 1978. The outfielder was shot and killed while sitting in a car at an intersection in Gary, Indiana. He was not the intended victim; the shooter was aiming for his estranged wife, who he thought was guilty of infidelity. The shooter was tried and found not guilty by reason of insanity. He was committed for psychiatric treatment, but was given a clean bill of mental health just seven months later and was released back into society. Indiana changed state insanity laws shortly thereafter, making it possible for an insane person to be found legally guilty and serve time in prison after psychiatric treatment.

Bostock was fourth in the American League in batting average in 1976, behind George Brett, Hal McRae, and Rod Carew. In 1977, he was bested only by his teammate and future Hall of Famer Carew, who hit at an amazing .388 clip. In his tragically short four-year career, Bostock hit .311 for the Minnesota Twins and California Angels.

[This is the fifty-third of a series of “pre-season” baseball cards published at TWJ cards on tumblr. At least one new virtual card is planned for each day from now until Opening Day. Follow TWJ cards on tumblr for more.]

Fun Cards Submission: 1989 Fleer Dave Concepcion

1989 Fleer Concepcion

Patrick decided to take another crack at making a Dave Concepcion card with the Angels, this time using the 1989 Fleer design. Personally, I love 1989 Fleer…not as much as 1987, but it’s still pretty great.

Fun Cards Submission: 2013 Topps Dave Concepcion, California Angels???

Concepcion signed with the Angels in 1989

One of the most beloved players to don the Cincinnati Reds uniform was Dave Concepcion, but all good things must come to an end. After his skills had deteriorated and with the emergence of future Hall of Famer Barry Larkin, the Reds decided to cut ties with #13 following the 1988 season. But Concepcion thought he could still play. The California Angels decided to give him a chance and invited him to Spring Training in 1989. Concepcion didn’t make the team, and a card was never issued showing the shortstop wearing any jersey other than the Reds.

Using another original Topps negative, TWJ reader Patrick has created a fun card of Concepcion in Angels garb from 1989 Spring Training. I had previously made a fun card (in the 1989 Topps style), but Patrick’s photo is much better than the one I had found online.

One more submitted fun card from Patrick will be posted tomorrow, featuring a pitcher wearing a Reds uniform, even though he never pitched a game for the team.

New Kurt Stillwell cards in my collection

A websurfer recently stumbled across my Kurt Stillwell wantlist and e-mailed me, offering to fill some holes in my collection, including a parallel, an upgrade of a poor condition card, and a card I didn’t even know existed! I happily accepted the offer and six more Stillwell cards have found a good home:

1986 Texas Gold

1987 Broders Rookies

1988 Starting Lineup Talking Baseball

1991 Royals Police

1992 Carls Jr Padres

1997 Pacific light blue parallel

I love the Broders cards. I know that they are unlicensed and are frowned upon by many in the baseball card community, but to me they are just more cards to chase down and add to my collection. I had not been made aware of this particular Broders issue before it was offered to me. I am always on the lookout for more cards to add to the checklist, so if you know of other unlicensed issues featuring Stillwell, please let me know.

The regional Royals and Padres issues are the first of their kind in my collection. These cards will pop up from time to time on eBay, but I’m not willing to shell out the money usually requested for them (or the extravagant shipping prices). I have seen a few on other marketplace websites, and may eventually use those to further my collection.

While I am not generally a fan of parallel sets, and will not actively seek to add those cards to my collection, when the offer is right I may go ahead and say yes. The offer was right in this instance, and the 1997 Pinnacle Light Blue Parallel will be housed in the Stillwell binder right next to the base card.

Here is my updated wantlist (only 25 to go!) for Kurt Stillwell cards:

  • 1987 Reds Kahn’s Kurt Stillwell 11
  • 1988 Royals Smokey Kurt Stillwell 23
  • 1988 Royals Team Issue Kurt Stillwell 31
  • 1988 Starting Lineup Talking Baseball Reds Kurt Stillwell 18
  • 1989 Cedar Rapids Reds All-Decade Best Kurt Stillwell 6
  • 1989 Kenner Starting Lineup Cards Kurt Stillwell 140 (figure and/or card)
  • 1989 Royals Tastee Discs Kurt Stillwell 8
  • 1989 Score Young Superstars II Kurt Stillwell 42
  • 1989 Topps Stickers Kurt Stillwell 266
  • 1990 MLBPA Baseball Buttons (Pins) Kurt Stillwell 106
  • 1990 O-Pee-Chee Kurt Stillwell 222
  • 1990 Royals Postcards Kurt Stillwell 24
  • 1990 Topps Stickers Kurt Stillwell 269
  • 1991 Donruss Super DK’s Kurt Stillwell 24
  • 1991 O-Pee-Chee Kurt Stillwell 478
  • 1991 Red Foley Stickers Kurt Stillwell 91
  • 1992 Padres Mother’s Kurt Stillwell 5
  • 1992 Padres Police DARE Kurt Stillwell 23
  • 1992 Padres Smokey Kurt Stillwell 34
  • 1992 Score Rookie/Traded Kurt Stillwell 19T
  • 1994 Indianapolis Indians Fleer/ProCards Kurt Stillwell 1819
  • 1994 Topps Spanish Kurt Stillwell 198
  • 1995 Indianapolis Indians Fleer/ProCards Kurt Stillwell 104
  • 1996 Rangers Dr Pepper Kurt Stillwell 32
  • 1996 Rangers Mother’s Kurt Stillwell 22

I obviously need the most help with those regional cards in Kansas City, San Diego, and Arlington.

Wantlist: Kurt Stillwell cards

I’ve been a fan of Kurt Stillwell since he was a rookie with the Reds in 1986. Over time, I have collected a good number of his cards, but I would like to increase that collection. I posted scans of most of the cards on the blog quite some time ago, but it hasn’t been updated since.

Below are the cards I am missing. I’m not concerned with parallels too much, so I’m leaving them out of this list, but if you see a card that is not bolded & scanned on the link above, I will certainly consider obtaining it if you would like to part with it. Also, any oddball cards that I don’t have listed (because I’m not aware of them…magazine inserts, unlicensed, etc.), I am certainly interested in.

Updated August 8, 2012

1987 Reds Kahn’s Kurt Stillwell 11
1987 Toys R Us Rookies Kurt Stillwell 26
1988 Panini Stickers Kurt Stillwell 276

1988 Royals Smokey Kurt Stillwell 23
1988 Royals Team Issue Kurt Stillwell 31
1988 Starting Lineup Talking Baseball Reds Kurt Stillwell 18
1988 Starting Lineup Talking Baseball Royals Kurt Stillwell 19
1989 Cedar Rapids Reds All-Decade Best Kurt Stillwell 6
1989 Classic Light Blue Kurt Stillwell 14
1989 Donruss All-Stars Kurt Stillwell 29
1989 Donruss Baseball’s Best Kurt Stillwell 63
1989 Kenner Starting Lineup Cards Kurt Stillwell 140 (figure and/or card)
1989 O-Pee-Chee Kurt Stillwell 217
1989 O-Pee-Chee Stickers Kurt Stillwell 266

1989 Royals Tastee Discs Kurt Stillwell 8
1989 Score Young Superstars II Kurt Stillwell 42
1989 Topps Stickers Kurt Stillwell 266
1990 Classic Yellow Kurt Stillwell T29
1990 Fleer Canadian Kurt Stillwell 118

1990 MLBPA Baseball Buttons (Pins) Kurt Stillwell 106
1990 O-Pee-Chee Kurt Stillwell UER-(Graduate misspelled-as gradu 222
1990 Panini Stickers Kurt Stillwell 79
1990 Publications International Stickers Kurt Stillwell 356

1990 Royals Postcards Kurt Stillwell 24
1990 Score Kurt Stillwell 96
1990 Topps Stickers Kurt Stillwell 269
1991 Donruss Super DK’s Kurt Stillwell 24
1991 O-Pee-Chee Kurt Stillwell 478
1991 Panini French Stickers Kurt Stillwell 279
1991 Red Foley Stickers Kurt Stillwell 91
1991 Royals Police Kurt Stillwell 21
1992 O-Pee-Chee Kurt Stillwell 128
1992 O-Pee-Chee Premier Kurt Stillwell 177

1992 Padres Carl’s Jr. Kurt Stillwell 21
1992 Padres Mother’s Kurt Stillwell 5
1992 Padres Police DARE Kurt Stillwell 23
1992 Padres Smokey Kurt Stillwell 34
1992 Panini Stickers Kurt Stillwell 97
1992 Score Rookie/Traded Kurt Stillwell 19T
1992 Topps Traded Kurt Stillwell 112T
1993 Panini Stickers Kurt Stillwell 259
1993 Select Kurt Stillwell 193

1994 Indianapolis Indians Fleer/ProCards Kurt Stillwell 1819
1994 Pacific Kurt Stillwell 90
1994 Topps Spanish Kurt Stillwell 198
1995 Indianapolis Indians Fleer/ProCards Kurt Stillwell 104
1996 Rangers Dr Pepper Kurt Stillwell 32
1996 Rangers Mother’s Kurt Stillwell 22
1997 Pacific Kurt Stillwell 210

Original Carter Sketch Card: Mark Langston

Featuring an original design, this 1990 sketch featured Mark Langston with his new team, the California Angels. This card commemorates Langston’s debut with the Angels, when he and Mike Witt combines for a no-hitter.

Fun Cards: 1989 Topps Dave Concepcion (Angels)

Following the 1988 season, the Reds released longtime shortstop Dave Concepcion. The man who inspired countless Cincinnati youths to wear #13 on the little league fields had to make way for a couple of youths on the big league diamond — Kurt Stillwell and Barry Larkin. Concepcion was a nine-time All Star, a five-time Gold Glover, the definition of stellar defense prior to Ozzie Smith‘s arrival. The Veteran’s Committee recently voted on individuals from the “expansion era” for the Hall of Fame, and while no player received 75% of the vote for induction, Concepcion was at the top of the list. Perhaps in a few years he will be given the highest honor among retired ballplayers, the honor he rightly deserves: a permanent home in Cooperstown among the immortals.

In 1989, Concepcion was invited to spring training with the California Angels. There seemed to be some bad blood between Davey and his former Big Red Machine teammate Pete Rose at the time, as they had a minor war of words through the media. Rose questioned Davey’s ability, saying, “If we thought he could still play, he’d still be with us.”

Concepcion responded, “I thought Pete and I were friends. But I don’t think he knows what a friend is. He doesn’t have a friend.”

But when all was said and done, Angels manager Doug Rader tended to agree with Rose. The day before Concepcion was let go by the Angels, Rader said, “I think it’s tought to look at a player like Davey Concepcion. It’s really unfair because you keep looking for what was there before and it’s just not there. The question is whether there’s enough still there.”

His bid to make the team ended on a Tuesday–March 28–and Concepcion retired playing for no team other than the Reds in a regular season game.

I may be a 1/1

Joe from Cardboard Addiction and I were recently exchanging pleasantries in an electronic fashion, and he mentioned that I may be the only Kurt Stillwell collector in existence. Can it be true? Am I the only one who actively seeks out and purchases Kurt Stillwell cards? It’s possible, I’m sure, but I have a feeling there may be a few more out there.

Anyway, I have posted scans of all the Kurt Stillwell cards I own (that I could find, anyway) on my “Players I Collect” page. There may be another 1 or 2 hiding in a complete set somewhere in the closet (1988 Topps Traded, where are you!?!?!), but I have posted all of the singles in my collection, along with a few that are a part of a set. If you should happen to have any of the cards I am missing, I would certainly be willing to entertain offers. I believe the most difficult to obtain will be the team-issued sets, as they are usually priced a bit too high on eBay for my liking.

%d bloggers like this: