Tuesday, November 8, 2011

A little late with the best of 2011 today...

...but I'm getting it, and the next few together over the next few hours. Stay tuned!

Monday, November 7, 2011

2011 In Review Part VII: 1957

Let's start off today with this beauty, grabbed from Dr. Wax at a ridiculously low price that I won't even repeat here. You'll note that there is some paper loss on the front of the card, usually a total no-no when you're picking something like this up. However, look at where the majority of it is (yeah, there's that nick by Campy's bat, but look at the rest of it!). If I were to create a story based upon the placement of it, either some heartbroken kid ripped off the word "Brooklyn" after the Dodgers left, or they taped something to it with "Los Angeles" over the "Brooklyn" and ripped it off later. Or, it could've just happened. Life's weird like that. Still, thanks to the magic of childhood card damage, once again, I've got a Roy Campanella card I'd never be able to afford otherwise. Maybe one day, I'll own a Campy card that isn't damaged.

Picked this up at White Plains in October. Real nice Sandy Amoros card. No great backstory to it, but it doesn't need one.

Maglie hangin' on with another team. Of course, he did more than "hang on" in '56. He had a hell of a season, and I can personally vouch for him pitching a really good Game 5 of the '56 World Series, having watched it. Of course, really good wasn't quite enough that day, but damn it, he was solid.

This Oisk literally just landed in my mailbox as I'm writing this (Friday afternoon; trying to stay ahead of this stuff). Another great picture. After this one, I only need one more base Topps of Carl's (and of course, it's the '52, but it's a low number, thankfully). This and the Sal Maglie card were recent, cheap eBay pickups.

Some other stuff from this time period that you've already seen, most likely:

Sunday, November 6, 2011

2011 In Review Part VI: 1956

Stu here was actually my oldest Topps Diamond Giveaway pull, and the card's in pretty nice shape. In the end (well, there's still 2 months left and I've still got almost 300 cards, most of them pre-'80 in my account), I did pretty well over there, when the site actually worked.

THE DOG ATE MY ASHBURN! I picked up this poor guy at Rookies & Stars for under a buck, might've even been a quarter. Definitely no more than a buck, though. Couldn't resist.

For some reason, though I scanned it earlier (as I did with the Ashburn), I don't think I posted this Billy Loes when I got it. It was a card show pickup, so it might've gotten lost in the shuffle, but it's a '56 Bum and there's just no excuse for that!

Some other stuff from this time period that you've already seen, most likely:

Saturday, November 5, 2011

2011 In Review Part V: 1955

Poor Pee Wee. Crease right down the middle of 'em, but we love 'em anyway.

This one just came in on Thursday. The Brooklyn Strasburg! (Let's hope Stephen has better luck with his career than poor Karl did.) I still don't have a lot of '55 Topps (again, Bowman's ahead here), but I'm gonna work on that a bit in 2012. It's a small set and there's no Mantle in it, so who knows?

Man, look at that brow. You're the king, Wally! Scanned this a while ago, no idea why I didn't get around to posting it.

Some other stuff from this time period that you've already seen, most likely:

'56 tomorrow!

Friday, November 4, 2011

2011 In Review Part IV: 1954

Another great card of "Shotgun", this one from the Bowman set. I'm still doing better on '54 Bowman than Topps as of right now.

From what I can tell, I didn't end up posting this when I got it. I have no idea how that happened. I mean, look at this. They even count his total bases! No tab though, sorry.

On the reverse side, different times, yeah, but two things jump out at me here: 1. 50 packages of chewing tobacco for the premium? Holy mouth cancer! 2. "your boy"? Not only does that sound way more sinister nowadays (I think I just listen to too much Derek and Clive and spent too much time in lower Manhattan in my teens and 20s), but what about those girls who want their dad to die young in order to get them a ball cap and 50 pictures of the famous Red Man All-Stars, personally selected by J.G. Taylor Spink himself? OK, I'm off my soapbox now. Great card, and a nice, if slightly disturbing time capsule.

Some other stuff from this time period that you've already seen, most likely:

Thursday, November 3, 2011

"This is kinda what I mean..." Part II: 1923 Wills Cigarettes Lucky Charms Set

Say you got something for one of your collections that was so old, it was made when your grandparents were in their early teens. Say it was really, really cool, and in great shape. Now, say you even have a web site where you post and discuss these things. First of all, you'd have posted about it right away, I'm guessing. Second, when doing a "best of the year" series, discussing all your great finds from that year, you'd have mentioned it, right?

I guess not! This is the 1923 Wills Cigarettes Lucky Charms set. Yep, the whole set.

(click through each image for a better look at the pictures and text)

This is all kinds of awesome and old and occult and weird. Beautiful artwork, too.

And yet, for some reason, I didn't mention it in my "Best Of" post. Might've been an "out of sight, out of mind" thing because it's in an album now and not as "in front of me" as my baseball stuff is.

As this was printed in 1923, the 4th card from the left in the top row didn't mean what it's come to mean just yet. It'd be nice if it never came to mean that.

I'd planned to do a longer series about these cards, and even showed the first page in a Round-Up post as a teaser, but I've talked this week about what happens when I plan to do long series. (November's Player Of The Month is Meb Keflezighi, on that note.)

Seriously, these things are gorgeous, and I came across them by accident while hunting for a Pug card from the Player's Cigarettes dog heads series that either Smed or Mooss got earlier in the year. Never would've known they existed otherwise, so thanks, whichever one of you it was!

Wonderfully esoteric cards, and I hope that you all enjoy them. Me, I need to spend more time enjoying them, obviously...

...and with that, I bid you adieu, and again, say to myself, "Slow down, Scott."

2011 In Review Part III: 1953

Had a little better luck with 1953 this year, to put it mildly.

This was a pretty recent pickup. Tape marks on the corners, but those are really sharp corners, and the rest of the card's gorgeous. No creases, good color, amazing. I feel like I'm cheating by owning this, it looks so good.

Got this awesome Clem...

...and Dick here as a two-for-one deal.

This card of "Shotgun" is just awesome. Even cooler to think that I've met the guy who painted it and the guy who's on the card.

Some other stuff from this time period that you've already seen, most likely:

53 Topps Don Hoak

53 Topps John Rutherford and 53 Bowman Color Carl Furillo

Next up, '54!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

2011 In Review Part II: 1952

1952's a tough year to nail down. The Topps stuff has that "aura" about it that drives prices on even the most beaten up commons through the roof, and I just don't run into a ton of '52 Bowmans I'd want. I did get a very small handful of '52 stuff this year, though, finally.

Billy Cox here is the only one I haven't posted yet. He's rough, but not my roughest '52 by far. When I was scanning this tonight, I was again reminded of how awesomely heavy the cardboard is on '52 Topps (and '53 as well).

Some other stuff from this time period that you've already seen, most likely:

How'd you do on '52?

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

This is kinda what I mean...

...when I talk about slowing down and taking some time to appreciate things.

Yep, this is a 1951 Topps Ringside Sugar Ray Robinson card in great shape.

I was just looking at my previous post, and it occurred to me that oh yeah, I had forgotten to scan a gorgeous card of one of the best fighters of all time.

Slow down, Scott.

2011 In Review Part I: 1951-back

Wow. While it's pretty hurtin' (and affordable!), this is my oldest Brooklyn guy, a card of Lefty O'Doul, a guy who really should be in the Hall of Fame but isn't, and wait, there's more!

Looks like a Goudey, but it's not! It's a Big League Gum! Check out the bilingual text, with French first! Not even O-Pee-Chee had that big a set on 'em!

Speaking of guys who should be in the Hall, but aren't...double wow. If I'm not mistaken, this is Gil Hodges' first Topps card. It's been through it, but it was also dirt cheap. Like most of Gil's cards, I get chills when I look at this one. From everything I know about the guy, he was the kind of "baseball hero" the establishment has always talked about and painted a lot of not-as-heroic guys as. I love getting Hodges cards. Thankfully, it's actually happened a few times this year, finally.

So I started collecting '51 Topps Ringside this year, and this is the crown jewel of the collection so far. (I've got a Don Eagle on the way, though, and that should be pretty badass to have as well.) Here are some more Ringsides I've picked up over the past few months:

Here's Charley Fusari (spelled as "Charlie" on his card). Look at that hair. Chase Utley wishes he could cultivate that look with whatever he uses in his hair.

Randy Turpin, "The Leamington Larruper". Man, what a nickname. Sad story, but what a nickname.

Johnny Saxton had a controversial career, from the looks of things. Lots of that with these old fighters, dealings with gangsters and such. It's just like now, only back then, people watched boxing! This card's got a pretty harsh glue stain/paper loss thing going on over on the back, but it was also $3.

Some other stuff from this time period that you've already seen, most likely:

How'd y'all do in this time period this year? Show us some cool stuff!

2011 In Review: some thoughts before I start something I hope I'll finish...

Recently, I said that I wasn't really super-keen on "Look what I got!" posts, and to be honest, I'm still not. For instance, going here a few times recently and seeing how grateful some folks are just to have a bag of second hand clothes passed onto them doesn't necessarily mean that I should be ashamed of the other things I do with my still-limited-but-not-there resources, but it does give me a really strong interest in not appearing tone deaf like some folks I see online, who are pretty clearly flaunting wealth in the face of the suffering of others. I'm not rich, I'm not wealthy, and I still probably couldn't survive for more than about a year solely on my own resources, but I would still consider myself extremely fortunate to have what I do and to have some of the opportunities I do. I really don't ever want to take that for granted again, nor do I want to give anyone who is down on their luck the feeling I get sometimes when I see people talking about trust funds and bottomless pocketbooks and homes on 2 coasts or in multiple countries, which is a feeling of "What planet do these people live on?" Hopefully, I don't do that, and hopefully some of you out there who aren't even able to (relatively) bargain hunt like I do and find stuff can enjoy some of what I share with you.

I've also got to seriously, totally, you bet your ass rein it in with the spending (again, we are almost all in a bad way economically, and the pretty modest windfall I received late this summer doesn't change my situation that much), and start financing this hobby with some of my extras, through trades, etc., and I think that taking a long look at what I have managed to get, slowing down and appreciating it all a bit more, that could help me. Yep, I've still been struggling with the compulsive spending, but I think I've got a chance to beat it. I'm definitely getting better at recognizing the signs. So, consider this therapy of a sort, too.

I'm also notoriously bad at doing "series" posts. Always have been bad at finishing anything, really, and remembering to finish card series posts is no exception. However, I'm gonna give this a try.

What I'm going to try to do here is post highlights from my collecting year, grouped by year of production. There are 61 days left in the year, so I'm going to do 1951-back today, and 1952-on as one-a-day posts. In some cases, I may link to older articles, but in others, I'll be scanning things I haven't shown you folks yet. 

As part of that modest windfall I mentioned earlier, I got a much better scanner than we had in the house previously as a free throw-in when I finally upgraded my dying computer; by better, I don't mean "crazy resolution", I mean "wireless and capable of batch scanning". This will hopefully help me get things posted here much more easily and with greater frequency, though again, I really want to focus on appreciating what I have more than "Lookit what I just blew a buncha dough on!" Plus, with the holidays coming up, like most of us, I've got to focus more on picking up gifts for folks than "MOJO! MOJO! MOJO!".

OK, enough apologies for who I am for one post. In a little bit, I'll be posting part 1 of Best Of 2011, starting with the really old (and pretty busted, in a few cases) stuff!