I love making custom cards (or “fun cards,” as I usually call them). Cards that should have been, cards that never were, original designs, slightly modified designs…you name it. It’s a fun way to pass the time. But I have never actually produced these cards. They reside on the internet only, with no physical copies (unless someone printed them off at home).
Some card creators take it a step further, producing highly collectible items. Take, for instance, the When Topps Had (Base)Balls blog. Gio has now produced five series of cards from different eras of America’s greatest game. His most recent offering, “1960 Stars of Baseball,” is a 40-card, 10-sticker set featuring the best players from the 1960 season. There are two Reds cards (Frank Robinson and Vada Pinson) and one sticker (Robinson).
The cards, if left uncut, are quite large. They are reminiscent of the old Post cards from the 1960s, though these are glossy. But if you take scissors to them*…
They are horizontal 3.5 x 2.5 cards…perfect for your standard 9-pocket binder page.
The stickers are also quite nice…
I didn’t measure it, but if I guessed I would say they are probably 1.5 x 1.5 or 1 x 1.
Unfortunately for team collectors, Gio doesn’t sell single cards. So if you want your team’s cards, you have to buy the entire set. I’m glad I did, because I enjoyed seeing cards of a couple guys from 1960 who should be in the Hall of Fame, Ken Boyer and Minnie Minoso.
And there were plenty of other Hall of Famers like Warren Spahn in the lot as well, both in card form and sticker form.
Only 20 sets of “1960 Stars of Baseball” were produced, and the stock is completely sold out. I’m trying to decide whether I should keep the set intact, or sell off most of the non-Reds to team collectors who didn’t have a chance to purchase it. Right this minute, I’m leaning toward keeping it, but I might change my mind tomorrow. I’m willing to listen to any serious offers, though, if you think you can change my mind.
* – I did not actually cut these cards. I may look stupid, and may act stupid, and may be stupid. But I ain’t that stupid.
Since the exposure of the inflated statistics of the steroid era, it is high time to re-examine the case of Dave Kingman for the Hall of Fame. The first 400-home run hitter to be denied entry into Cooperstown, Kingman shared his talents on the baseball diamond with fans in seven cities. Instead of writing several lengthy chapters to convince you of Kingman’s obvious worthiness, I’m going to go with simple bullet points. All of these could easily be expounded upon. Feel free to disagree. It’s your choice if you want to be wrong.
- 442 home runs, 40th on the all-time list. But if you remove all the ‘roiders, he moves up to 31st, and if you remove all the guys that passed him after he retired, that puts him around 22nd at the time of his retirement. The 22nd-best clean home run hitter of all-time at the time of his retirement definitely deserves to be in the Hall of Fame.
- He made the All-Star team in three different seasons. That’s more than Babe Ruth, and Babe Ruth is in the Hall of Fame. If you’ve done something more than Babe Ruth, you’ve really done something there.
- He received MVP votes in five seasons, four times in the NL and once in the AL. If you will recall, Frank Robinson was the first player to ever win the MVP in both leagues. Frank Robinson is in the Hall of Fame. Do I need to go on? OK, I will.
- Hit thirty or more home runs seven times in a sixteen-year career; five other times he topped twenty. In the pre-steroid era, that’s spectacular.
- Some try to put a negative spin on Kingman’s status as a legend by pointing to his strikeouts. You know who had more strikeouts than Kingman? Hall of Famer Reggie Jackson.
- He had a 1.167 OPS for the Yankees. 1.167!
- He was a Diamond King in 1982. So were nine Hall of Famers, including Gary Carter, Rod Carew, Phil Niekro, Nolan Ryan, Tom Seaver, and Ivan De Jesus. Wait, forget that last one.
- He was a Super Veteran in 1983. Not just a Regular Veteran, a Super Veteran.
Some solid bullet points, right? I thought so too. Let’s get Kingman in the Hall! Download the badge, resize it to your heart’s content, and display it proudly on your blog!
Whenever I come across a Tim Wallach baseball card, I know what to do with it. No, not throw it away. Just because it’s not “worth anything” to me, doesn’t mean it’s not worth something to someone else…especially this guy. I’ve sent Mr. Stackhouse a few PWEs and he’s good about sending some Reds back my way, even though I never ask for them. (Speaking of sending cards out, I need to get rid of a few more non-Wallach cards. See the bottom of the post for info on how you can help out.)
This package was full of awesome Reds cards that I didn’t have, including three Johnny Bench issues. One was an insert from the current Topps release, 50 Years of the Draft.
These red-bordered cards look really good with Reds players on them, especially Reds players who might end up in the Hall of Fame someday like Joey Votto. Maybe they don’t work for the Padres or Giants, but they absolutely do work for red-themed teams. Perhaps Topps should consider using team colors instead of a white border in the future?
Alright, so the colored borders don’t always work. 1964 isn’t supposed to look like this. But I always enjoy adding Johnny Cueto cards to my collection.
This Jay Bruce is the first of the 1971 minis I have received. I really like them, and the smaller size doesn’t bother me at all like it does other bloggers.
Now for sending out other non-Wallach cards, if you would like to be added to my list of bloggers to send stuff to, drop me an e-mail with your favorite team and/or player and your address. As finances allow, I would like to start to whittle down my non-Reds collection via PWE send-outs. Even if you think you’re already on my list, send me your details again just to be sure. I won’t mind.
The only real surprise in right field may be the order of the rankings, as nine of the top ten right fielders are already enshrined in Cooperstown. Two players topped the 300-point mark, with Hank Aaron (362.05) beating out Babe Ruth (331.13) for the #1 spot. Even when removing the awards and All-Star appearances, Aaron still edges out Ruth for the top spot, though only by a mere .42 points.
I feel that Frank Robinson (#3, 289.8) is one of the most under-appreciated ballplayers in history, and his spot on this list supports at least the notion that he was a great right fielder. The man won two MVP awards and was a Triple Crown hitter, but is almost never mentioned among the all-time greats.
Continuing down the list: Mel Ott (#4, 268.80), Al Kaline (#5, 265.82), Roberto Clemente (#6, 264.23), Andre Dawson (#7, 247.13), Reggie Jackson (#8, 244.48), and Dave Winfield (#9, 234.04). That’s right, all you Hawk haters, Dawson beats Mr. October. Granted, it’s because of Reggie’s less-than-stellar fielding; if offense were the only thing considered here Jackson would win the head-to-head battle.
The last name on the top ten list is not yet eligible for the Hall of Fame: the recently retired Vladimir Guerrero (#10, 233.95). While there is little doubt Guerrero will eventually have a plaque hanging in the Hall, he may not make it his first time on the ballot considering recent elections. If Craig Biggio, a 3000-hit club member, can’t make it his first try, how can you elect a player who didn’t hit any magic numbers on his first ballot appearance? Only time will tell.
Eight players have been honored with their #20 retired by nine teams; Robinson gets double the glory from both the Reds and the Orioles.
Monte Irvin, New York Giants
Irvin was a 1973 inductee into the Hall of Fame via the Negro League Committee. He played with Larry Doby on the champion Newark Eagles team of 1946, and continued playing in the Negro Leagues through 1948. In 1949, he got his shot with the New York Giants, debuting July 8 as a pinch hitter against the Brooklyn Dodgers. Irvin batted .293 in his 8-year major league career.
Don Sutton, Los Angeles Dodgers
Frank Robinson, Baltimore Orioles
Frank Robinson, Cincinnati Reds
Frank White, Kansas City Royals
Lou Brock, St. Louis Cardinals
Luis Gonzalez, Arizona Diamondbacks
Mike Schmidt, Philadelphia Phillies
Pie Traynor, Pittsburgh Pirates
My father-in-law likes to go to garage sales, and at a recent one he “negotiated” for a free box of sports cards to be thrown in with something he wanted to buy. When my wife told me about the box, I didn’t have very high hopes…I’ve gotten garage sale boxes before, and they are full of junk wax. This one was also full of junk wax, but there were a few gems hidden inside.
Most of the box was basketball cards, but there were a few keepers even among them. Rex Chapman, B.J. Armstrong, Dee Brown, Muggsy Bogues, and Patrick Ewing were a few of the basketball cards I pulled out for myself.
There were also a few Topps Stars cards from 1998…
There was also what appeared to be a retail blaster of 2005 Topps. All the packs were opened, but there were some pretty cool cards inside…
But the best card in the box, hands-down, was a 1971 Fergie Jenkins. Not. A. Reprint.
If it weren’t for a small pinhole just below his left sleeve, this would be a very good condition 1971 card. The corners are nice, no creases, just a small pinhole.
In any case, this was a pretty good box…especially for free!
I recently completed a trade with Chewing Liquorice. For a stack of Expos, he sent back a treasure trove of Reds cards, many of which I had never seen, including a ton of Conlon cards from 1992-1994. This one commemorates one of Johnny Vander Meer‘s no-hitters…
These cards are fantastic as they help to keep the old stories alive, allowing us to learn about players that we never had the privilege to see.
There were a lot of other historical cards in the bunch, too. There were some 1991 Topps Archives, which were reprints of the 1953 Topps set. And some reprints of the 1954 Topps set, which I assume were released in 1992. They are not on my master checklist, so I will have to research them a little bit more to find out for sure, but they are exactly like the 1991 reprint set with glossy cardstock. Here’s the Ed Bailey card from that set:
All of the old players weren’t on newer or reprinted cards, though. Geoffrey threw in some fantastic vintage cards of Reds Hall of Famers and Baseball Hall of Famers, such as Wally Post, Frank Robinson, Vada Pinson, and an O-Pee-Chee Joe Morgan:
I don’t remember the Action Packed baseball cards at all!
And a whole slew of George Foster awesomeness…
That last item is particularly cool. The Ted Williams Company made pogs that you could punch out and included them in their baseball card packs. This is something I have never seen before…but that just goes along with the rest of the package!
If you have some Expos to get rid off, you need to contact Chewing Liquorice and work out a deal. He’s a great trader!
I got a package from Marie of A Cardboard Problem several days ago, but I’ve been working so much I haven’t had time to scan the cards and post them. In all there were 30 Cincinnati Reds cards, mostly from 2010. A few of my favorites are posted below…
I have another one scanned, but I let some guy scribble all over it. I’ll post it tomorrow.
Thanks for the cards, Marie…I’ll be looking around for some cards for you very soon!
1956 Rookie of the Year. 1961 NL MVP. 1966 AL MVP. 1966 Triple Crown. Finished in the top 5 in MVP voting 3 other times (once with Cincy, twice with the Birds). Fourteen-time All-Star. Frank Robinson was a no-brainer for the Hall of Fame in 1982 (which means 45 voters had no brain and should have been immediately stripped of their privilege to vote). He was inducted with Hank Aaron, both on the first ballot (duh). Future Hall of Famers Juan Marichal, Harmon Killebrew, and Don Drysdale would all have to wait their turn, falling short of the required 75% that year. Former Reds teammate Vada Pinson received 6 votes; Leo Cardenas 1 vote; Tommy Harper and Deron Johnson none.
Robinson was traded from the Reds to the Orioles prior to his 1966 Triple Crown MVP season. The Reds received pitcher Milt Pappas, pitcher Jack Baldschun and outfielder Dick Simpson.
I wanted to go to the game. I live ten minutes (at most) from Great American Ballpark. I know a good parking lot that usually only charges $5 and is a reasonable distance from the stadium. But I waited too long to get tickets.
The Reds don’t usually sell out. But for this game, you couldn’t get two seats next to each other. No, the Reds aren’t having a great season. And no, the White Sox are not inexplicably popular in Cincinnati. As mentioned previously, this was the Civil Rights Game. And it was a big deal.
One of the main reasons I wanted to go was for the giveaway. I love going to the ballpark when they’re giving away stuff. I was there for baseball card day a few weeks ago, and plan to be there next Saturday for the Jay Bruce Bobblehead. But the giveaway for the June 20 game was something even more special: a replica 1964 Frank Robinson mesh jersey. I thought, “Now that would be something cool to have in my Reds memorabilia collection.” But I couldn’t get two tickets to the game, and I couldn’t stand the thought of leaving Joshua at home while I went to the game alone.
Lo and behold, a couple of days after the game, I get an e-mail from David, the bloginator at Confessions of a Sports Junkie (have you still not clicked that link? Do it already!) He said he had a special surprise for me. And that surprise arrived yesterday.
Yes, he sent me his 1964 Frank Robinson replica jersey. He noted how he appreciated Frank Robinson, but he thought I would appreciate the item more. And I appreciate it very, very much! I’m sorry I missed the game. Even though the Reds lost, I know it was an exciting matchup and the jerseys the players wore looked really cool. And the photos on David’s blog are pretty awesome.
In case you’re wondering what the Robbie jersey looks like, it’s very similar to this, except short-sleeved:
Again, thanks David!
(Disclaimer: I do not own that card. I wish I did. But I don’t. I just stole the image off the internet.)