Monday, February 23, 2009

Tiny Art for ‘08 Wee Bears

Here’s some baseball art for the unfortunate Cubs fan. These 4x6 note cards from Octavine Illustration depict three infielders from the 1908 World Series Champion Chicago Cubs: Joe Tinker to Johnny Evers to Frank Chance. The seller also has hand painted Moleskine notebooks, my notebook / journal of choice, of generic Detroit Tigers from the 1920’s.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Bob Gibson Tasco Poster

Thanks to Blue Heaven’s post on a Drysdale Tasco poster, we’re the proud new owners of the Gibson version. It’s roughly 12 x 16 and on its way to be framed. I bought it from a different dealer, but there’s a two poster package (Gibby & Frank Howard) from another seller listed. This scan is from the auction I won ($9.99 BIN). I’ll try to post a better picture of the framed poster.

Gibson Tasco

First Musial Card

Ok. Not THE first Stan Musial card, just our first real vintage Musial. Its from the 1963 Topps set highlighting the 1962 NL Batting Leaders. Musial was third that year behind Tommy Davis and Frank Robinson. Amazingly, The Man did this in his penultimate year, 21 years removed from his first AB in 1941.

I just checked out his page at Baseball Reference and am trying to figure out how someone who retired holding 17 Major League and 29 National League records and an All Star 19 out of 21 seasons was left off the initial All Century Team and had to be added later by a special panel.

Is it actually possible for a man with three MVP’s (four runners up), three World Series rings (a fourth as a GM), 3630 Hits, .331 Career BA (averaging just 33 strike outs a year), 475 HR’s, and 1951 RBI’s is under-appreciated or even under-rated? And that’s a career shortened one year for military service. And yet, 45 years after he hung them up for good Musial still ranks in the Top 10 in nine offensive categories, ten if you throw in  games played.

Musial 1963 Batting Leaders

Its really just a sliver of a Musial card, sharing face time (literally) with two HOF’s. I picked this card up at a card shop / antique toy store in Prescott, AZ earlier this month. A neat little shop where the owner remembered me from my last visit six months ago and who offered to set aside interesting Cardinals for my next visit in Feb 2010. I’m looking forward to what they have for me next time I’m in town.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Atlanta Card Shop???

Reaching out to anyone in Atlanta who might venture onto this blog... I'll be in Atlanta for a few days in March and would like any card shop recommendations. I usually stay in Vinings but know my way around the city. Anyone?

On a similar note, I may start posting reviews of the many St. Louis area card shops. Hopefully it will help collectors traveling here to locate a nearby shop AND direct Isaac's aunts, uncles and grandparents to a local shop in time for his birthday in May.

Monday, February 16, 2009

1968 Fleer World Series Cards

I ran into a box of these over lunch. I only picked up two Cardinals related cards and left the rest of the deck behind. I can go back and pick up what’s left if anyone is interested. Plenty of Yankees, Cubs, Red Sox, etc… cards in the pile.

1943 – Cardinals Lose the Series to the Yankees 4 – 1.

WS 1943f

WS 1943b

1967 – Cardinals Win the Series over the Red Sox 4 – 3. Aside from being horribly miss-cut, this card is curious for the absence of player names on the back of the card. The 1943 card included player names, this one does not. I wonder if player contracts with Topps extended beyond using photos of players and included even using the names themselves? Its disappointing not to see names like Brock, Gibson, Maris, Cepeda, Carlton, Yaz, etc… on the back of the card. I watched this series on the MLB network over the weekend, narrated by Harry Caray no less, and it makes me wish we had it at home!

WS 1967f  WS 1967b

Lucky Streak Continues…

So last month, Isaac pulls an instant winner Rick Ankiel autograph ticket at the Winter Warm-Up. Saturday, he gets a 36 card jumbo pack of 2009 Topps in his Valentines basket. He didn’t pull an autograph, a relic, or a Cardinal legend, much less a base Cardinal, but he did pull this:

RobinsonStamp 2009

At first he thought it was a silk card. He really wants to pull a silk card. He doesn’t want to buy one, just pull one… Wrapper says the insert rate for the Legends Stamp cards is 1:755 packs (not sure if that is all packs, retail packs, retail jumbos, etc…) and is easily the rarest thing he’s gotten out of any pack. Ever the set builder, he set this one aside, put the base cards in order, then promptly logged into ToppsTown to start building that online set. You go buddy!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Don Hamerman: Found Baseballs

Everyone owes it to themselves to view Don Hamerman’s photographs of baseballs in various states of disintegration.

From the artist:

”I began collecting these baseballs in the winter of 2004-2005. Discovered in the park near my house where I walk my dog daily, they went unnoticed by others. Abject, rejected and forlorn, their state depended on the season of their discovery. Some hid in the high grass, gutted by lawnmowers, or under leaves, rotting, the leather skins long since decomposed. Covered in ice crystals on a February morning or shrouded in summer moss, they all hinted at mysterious pasts.”

Check out this Hamerman interview on 20x200 for more background.

I was fortunate enough to grab these before they sold out… and the small sizes sell out very quickly. I’m hoping they offer more from this series this spring… maybe another double header on Opening Day? Oh yeah, like all 20x200 editions the “base” is numbered to 200, with larger editions numbered to 20 and 2.




Untitled (Elephant)

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Weekend Card Show Review

I took Isaac to the monthly St. Louis Sports Collector’s show on Sunday as we haven’t gone in a few months. I thought I’d blog a few random observations on the show but will focus on one event that serves as a microcosm of the hobby, good and bad.

We were looking through the 10 cent boxes (great stuff in there: 06/07 Turkey Red Ad backs, Isaac found a bunch of Sizemore & Braun cards, 08 Heritage, etc…) when a dealer on the backside of the table noticed Isaac and offered him this card: a die-cut UD X Longoria Rookie card. He gave it to Isaac out right even after I asked him if he was sure. That’s the good part.

Longoria 1008 UDX Diecut

The bad? He had it priced at $12.95!!! I imagine the thought process went something like this:

- Before the show: Longoria is hot. Let’s price these high and wait for the $$$ to roll in.

- Half way through the show: Man, it doesn’t look like this is going to sell… I’ll offer it at half off to anyone who touches it.

- Hour left in the show: Hey, check that little kid out, haven’t seen a kid that young around here in months. I’ll just give it to him… just a piece of worthless cardboard anyway.

The better? Isaac thanked him (without prompting) and immediately said he wanted to send it to Dave at Fielders along with a stack of Rays Cracker Jack mini’s & stickers he pulled out of the box (Dave, I hope you need them ‘cause they’re on the way). Turns out Dave already has this one so he put it in his favorite player binder… in the back with a Pedroia of all things.

Overall, the show was a good time (except for the eerie encounter with a 36 year old collector, still living with his parents, telling us how great the big Turkey Red & Allen & Ginter cards looked taped to the walls of his room… uh, look Isaac! THAT booth across the room has Cardinals stuff. Let’s go… quickly). There were actually quite a few dealers who gave Isaac freebies when he walked up including Cardinal Heritage dupes, free packs, and stacks of random cards. The best part of the day was opening five packs of 2009 Topps over our lunch at Steak ‘n’ Shake.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Grover Alexander Update

The Grover Alexander original artwork I ordered while in Mexico arrived last week while I was in Arizona. It unexpectedly arrived framed and was definitely more stunning in hand than online. Unfortunately my camera skills do not do it justice. The artist, Mark Penxa, also has his online gallery available on Flickr.


The Babe In The Negro Leagues

Another opportunity to combine my interests in art and baseball on this blog. This print by Mark Ulriksen was from a 2008 World Series double header on 20x200, an online art gallery / blog offering affordable prints, photographs, and originals in limited editions. This one is numbered 33 / 200! Perfect!

From the artist:

“The Babe in the Negro Leagues is a personal piece. I took the opportunity to portray one of my baseball heroes in a setting I also enjoy, the advertising-cluttered outfield fences at stadiums of yore. The hand-painted quality of the old typography in the signage is somehow more authentic and attractive than anything one sees today.

While the Babe barnstormed the world in the off-season and played one of his last games against the New York Cubans of the Negro Leagues, this portrait is purely hypothetical.”

The second half of the twin bill: Stars and Stripes. Numbered 198/200.

Friday, February 6, 2009

More From the Vintage Buy

How many posts can I milk from one shop visit? Let’s bleed this one dry and find out… This time a Topps type-card stroll through the 60’s + 1.

1960 – Bill White

White 1960

1961 – Nada

1962 – Bob Duliba

Duliba 1962

1963 – Carl Sawatski. That might be one of the best baseball names I’ve never heard. Can you imagine ESPN highlights whenever he’d bash a homer?

 Sawatski 1963

1964 – Ray Sadecki

Sadecki 1

1965 – Ron Taylor

 Tayler 1965

1966 – Dal Maxvill.

Maxvill 1966

1967 – Nada

1968 – 1967 World Series Highlights

 Briles 1968 WS

1969 – Ron Willis

 Willis 1969

1970 – Chuck Taylor. Sir, my son wears your shoes… red ones of course.

Taylor 1970

Here are the other posts:

1959 Topps Heritage

1957 Topps

Lost In The Shuffle



Only a few more to go…

1959 Topps “Heritage”

Isaac loves the 2008 Heritage but, being six, didn’t understand that the set was based on the Topps 1959 design. Fortunately, these were part of the vintage haul so he could see old and new in person. I’m considering building Cardinal team sets around these random cards from various years but imagine that could be a fairly costly proposition given the likes of Musial, Gibson, Brock, Carlton, etc… We’ll see.

Jim Brosnan

Brosnan 1959

Phil Clark

Clark 1959

Gene Oliver

Oliver 1959

Thursday, February 5, 2009


1980 – Brock & Yaz 1979 Highlights

Now this is a highlight card. Not one of those modern manufactured highlight or year in review insert cards, this card celebrates two legends from two of baseball’s most storied franchises eclipsing the 3000 hit mark in the same year. The card is appropriately #1 in this set and it certainly is fitting that the Brock photo appears to be at Wrigley.

Brock Yaz 1980 Highlights

Trade With Blue Heaven

A by product of Jawdy’s Basement Heroes January Break was a trade with Ernest at Blue Heaven: a stack of Cardinals for a stack of Dodgers. I returned from a trip to Guadalajara to find Blue Heaven’s very generous package. He sent a mix of 80’s & 90’s Cardinals, a smattering of vintage cards and then some really, really vintage cards.

Isaac loved the Ozzies, especially the action shots.



Two current Cardinals. Ankiel’s story truly is amazing and I’m reminded of it every time I see his older cards as a Pitcher.


A few vintage cards… plus four 1972 Topps not pictured.

Alexander 1950 Callahan

Schoendienst 1967  Groat 1966

Three interesting Victorian cards from the 1800’s. Check out these links from Blue Heaven for more info: Victorian Baseball Cards, Merchant’s Gargling Oil Cards. Click on the cards for larger images. I doubt we’ll go search these out but, like Japanese cards, they’re fun and interesting.

The Hero of a Home Run A Fine Catch A Wild Throw


And finally a pin for Isaac’s jean jacket.

Brock Button

Thanks again to Blue Heaven for a great trade. I only hope the cards we sent in return came close in offering the sheer enjoyment with these cards. Check out his blog for Dodgers info and vintage baseball card and memorabilia information. It truly is a great resource and has pointed us to several items of note we would not have known about.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

1957 Topps

Another pair from the vintage haul, this time Hall of Famer Hoyt Wilhelm and our first vintage Stan Musial card. That’s him in the back row, second from the left.

Wilhelm 1957

Cardinals 1957

Thoughts on Topps 2009

Trying the blog by email on my phone...

- Junior waving goodbye in a White Sox uni is wrong
- Yadier Molina will not be #660 this year
- Glad to see Turkey Red back. The two we have picture modern stadiums
in the background.
- Are we losing a card or gaining a checklist?
- They couldn't find a better shot of Pujols for the MVP card? Really?
- Photography overall is much nicer this year.
- The player cards will give Isaac even more reasons to like Topps
Town. Look for gold parallels in addition to regular TT cards.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Trade With Fielder’s Choice

Another day, another package for Isaac. Dave from Fielder’s Choice sent a package in exchange for some 2008 Heritage High and some U & H’s. Here are Isaac’s favorites:

David Kopp – 2008 Bowman Chrome Auto. Never heard of him so I told Isaac to look him up in his Cardinals prospects book. He said, without looking, that he wasn’t in the book. I told him to check the book… sure enough he wasn’t listed. The kid has a memory. He loves autographs since the Winter Warmup.

Kopp 2008 Auto

Albert – 2008 Masterpieces

Pujols 2008 MP Black

Grady Sizemore – 2008 Target Chrome Insert & 2008 Topps Finest Refractor

Sizemore 2008 TCCP Sizemore 2008 Finest

Amazingly, he may have been more excited about the Sizemore’s than the Pujols. I’m chalking it up to having a ton of Albert in his binder and only a few pages of Sizemore. How excited? Between the Sizemore & the autos he wanted to site down and write a thank you note to Dave!

Monday, February 2, 2009

Trade With All Tribe Baseball

Isaac loves coming home and seeing a package in the mail. I was out of the country last week and it was nice hearing how excited he was each evening as he told me what state the package came from, opened it up, and told me about each card inside. It felt like we were opening the package up together… almost like I was home.

This was our usual trade: a stack of your favorite team for a stack of Cardinals. This time, All Tribe Baseball sent a box of Cardinals our way along with a nice note about collecting with his sons for 16 – 17 years. He sent a ton of nice cards. These are Isaac’s favorites.

Brian Barton – 2007 UD Timeline. More on one of Isaac’s favorite players here.

Barton 2008 UDT

Two Jim Edmonds Mini’s – Another of his favorite players, even if he wore Cubbie blue last year.

Edmonds Cracker Jack Edmonds 2007 UD Goudey

Two Musial 2004 Diamond King Variants

Musial 2004 DKc Musial 2004 DKbw

Two Brocks & one Gibson

Brock 2003 UD SP Legends Brock 2005 Donruss Playoffs Gibson 2005 Donruss Playoff

Grady Sizemore – 2008 X. Not sure when he became a fan of Sizemore, not to mention Ryan Braun, but he’s started pages for both of them in his Favorite Players binder.

Sizemore 2008 UDX

Thanks again, Jack. We’ve filled up the box with Indians and will be sending them tomorrow!