As I mentioned last week, I went to an annual postcard show in November and had a lot of fun with it. There really is a significant overlap between “traditional” sports card collecting and postcard collecting, plus there are plenty of other items at a postcard show to make for a fun outing.
One discovery I made this past show came when one of the dealers invited me to look at their “Ephemera binders”. I didn’t realize that any of the dealers had items other than postcards for sale, and I didn’t really know what “ephemera” might mean in this context, but the binders (which were loosely grouped by subject) contained all kinds of paper items that were often neat but didn’t fall into any particular category… Brochures, schedules, stickers, placemats, small posters, those promotional booklets that car dealers use to list all of the details for a new car… I didn’t buy anything but it was a heck of a lot of fun to look through. I bring this up because anyone who has the opportunity to attend a postcard show might want to keep an eye out for any binders the dealers might have… Don’t assume, like I had, that they were just higher-valued postcards. There could be something of interest in there!
Moving on to the actual postcards I got… Today I’m featuring several different sports-related postcards, most of which wouldn’t normally fit into my collection but I couldn’t pass them by.
Like with the four Dodgers I shared in the last post, I got three postcards of a team that I wouldn’t normally chase after… but in this case, my 1970’s upbringing plays a significant role in my impulse buys.
I’ve been to two postcard shows and both times I picked up a Fritz Peterson postcard for my collection. This is from the Indians 1974 team-issued postcard set; Fritz went to the Indians on April 26, 1974 in a seven-player trade that saw Chris Chambliss and Dick Tidrow heading to the Bronx.
I seem to run across a fair number of these mid-1970’s Indians postcards, and because this is what the Indians wore when I first got into baseball, this is a look I feel the Indians never should have gone away from. They might not be great uniforms, but they’re at least interesting uniforms (especially when compared to today’s uniforms which are kinda dull).
I’ve been a Mets fan since I started following baseball, but during my first couple of seasons I also liked the Yankees (before I finally wised up). Dick Tidrow pitched for the Yankees during that three-year period, so he qualifies as a “Good Yankee”. Here, on a 1973 team-issued postcard, he’s shown before he grew his awesome Fu Manchu. From the bunting in the stadium I would guess that these postcard photos were taken on or around opening day.
I was a little surprised when TradingCardDB listed this as a 1973 postcard, because I think of these uniforms as starting in 1974… but it turns out to be one of those timeline-type issues which always screws me up… the Indians started wearing these uniforms in 1973, but they didn’t appear on Topps baseball cards until 1974.
One of the first baseball cards I remember getting was a 1974 Topps Charlie Spikes… I believe I got it as an insert in one of the early issues of “Dynamite” magazine. I lived for Scholastic catalogs back in the day. Anyway, even though I don’t really collect Charlie Spikes I couldn’t resist spending a buck on this postcard.
Although the same photo of Charlie Spikes was apparently used in the 1973 and 1974 postcard sets, I believe this postcard is from 1973 because the back matches the 1973 Tidrow but not the 1974 Peterson.
I was a big NASCAR fan in the 1990’s, and my favorite driver was 1992 Winston Cup champion Alan Kulwicki, who tragically died in an airplane crash the April after winning the title. When I first started following NASCAR I was drawn to Kulwicki because he was an underdog (fielding his own team on a relatively small budget) and different from the traditional NASCAR drivers (he was from north of the Mason-Dixon line and had a degree in Mechanical Engineering). I thought this postcard would make a nice addition to my modest Alan Kulwicki collection…
…but I’ll be honest, 25 years later Alan Kulwicki collectibles are still a bittersweet reminder of what had been and what could have been.
Easily my favorite single purchase at the postcard show was this stadium postcard. Simultaneously familiar and strange, it caught my eye even before I knew what it was.
Curious, I turned it over and saw that it was a Japanese postcard…
…and then focused on the one bit I was able to read, and that’s what got me excited.
Tokyo’s Korakuen Stadium had been home to the Yomiuri Giants before they moved next door to the Tokyo Dome for the 1988 season. Korakuen also hosted the first NFL game outside of the US (a 1976 preseason matchup between the Cardinals and Chargers) and concerts by the likes of Michael Jackson and Madonnna. Since I didn’t know when I might run across something like this again and it was only $4, I quickly added it to stack of cards I was buying from that particular vendor.
Japanese baseball has fascinated me ever since the late 1970’s when I stumbled across a game broadcast on a small New York TV station which carried international programming. My Japanese baseball collection is fairly small and generally scattershot, but I love to add to it anyway.
That wraps up the sports-related part of my postcard show recap. For the next and final post in this series, I have a number of postcards relating to one particular international event from the 1960’s.
Here’s a hint for fans of the band They Might Be Giants:
Eighty dolls yelling ‘Small girl after all’.
(Only I wasn’t all alone, my family was with me.)