Some of you may remember that last fall I went to a postcard show for the first time. Well, my experience at that annual event was good enough that when I received notification of this year’s show – via postcard, naturally – I blocked the date off on my calendar. Once again, it was well worth the hour-long drive (nothing comes easy for collectors here in Shlabotsylvania).
I’m going to assume that the majority of you haven’t been to a postcard show, so I’ll give you an overview in case you get the opportunity. Like a sports collectibles show, you’ve got dealers with numerous boxes set up on folding tables. These boxes are generally divided up into two major categories. The first is a location, so if you’re looking for postcards of landmarks in Cincinnati, you’ll go look for the divider which reads “CINCINNATI”… or maybe “OHIO – CINCINNATI”. How each dealer organizes his/her inventory is fairly subjective.
The other major category is “Topic”, and that’s done by what is featured on the postcard. It’s astounding how many different types of topic can be featured on a postcard… There are postcards of chickens and churches and chimpanzees, lighthouses and outhouses, hospitals and schools, presidents and “nudes”… The list goes on and on.
The thing is, every dealer has their own method of organizing their inventory, so if you’re not finding something it’s always best to talk to the dealer because there might be a different line of thinking involved. For instances, one of my quests was to find postcards related to Curling (as in the Olympic sport). Curling could be under “Winter Sports” or “Sports – Miscellaneous” or “Olympics” or some other category. I did find one old German postcard which featured Curling, but if I bought that it would’ve used up a good chunk of the money I brought with me, so I decided to pass.
Coming into the show I had a number of different ideas of what I was going to look for; In this post and one next week I’ll cover the sports-related postcards, and then I’ll wrap up with a non-sport subject that I had a lot of fun chasing.
There were a pretty good number of baseball postcards. Most of the ones I saw appeared to be either team-issued or related to members of the Baseball Hall Of Fame.
As it so happened, I bought three Dodgers postcards which seem like they could be from the same set – all featured photos from Dodger Stadium and featured a white facsimile autograph – but none of the three players I picked up had played for the Dodgers at the same time, so these weren’t all from the same set. Maybe Night Owl or some other Dodger collector is familiar with these.
Jim “The Toy Cannon” Wynn played for the Dodgers in 1974 and 1975.
Although Wynn was the first Major Leaguer I’d ever seen up close and in person, it somehow never occurred to me until recently that I should collect the guy. This is my first acquisition after officially declaring Jim Wynn to be A PLAYER I COLLECT.
Dick Allen played just one season (1971) with the Dodgers, so I couldn’t resist a “Short Term Stop” postcard.
The main reason I got this Jeff Torborg postcard was just that I liked the photo, but I could rationalize it by saying I got it because Torborg managed the Mets in 1992 and part of 1993 before being replaced by Dallas Green (Joe turns and spits on the ground at the mere mention of Dallas Green).
Torborg played for the Dodgers from 1964 to 1970 and he looks pretty young in this photo… but even if this came late in his Dodger career, he still didn’t overlap with Allen or Wynn.
One last Dodger, this one features Jerry Reuss from 1986…
I like Jerry Reuss in general, but he and I also have an extremely tenuous personal connection… A few years ago my wife was selling off some of our no-longer-wanted CD’s on eBay and one day I was taking several packages to the post offices and noticed that one of them was addressed to “Jerry Reuss”. After some internet searches I found references to Jerry collecting CD’s and living in the same city that was on the mailing label, so I feel confident that a CD that I originally bought is in Jerry Reuss’ collection.
Hey, I’ve had far worse reasons for collecting a player.
Here’s the back of that postcard with a boilerplate greeting; these were clearly provided to the players for responding to fan mail and the like:
I’m going to wrap this post up with a hockey postcard which was very much an impulse buy… This postcard of the Buffalo Sabres’ Ric Seiling is nice enough, but not something I would normally bother with. Seiling played for the Sabres in the 1970’s and 1980’s and was a regular in the hockey sets I collected as a kid.
Because I didn’t immediately recognize Seiling from the front of the postcard, I flipped the card over to see what the back of the card said, and that’s when I found out that…
…This postcard had been autographed! Even though the postcard is creased (although not as obvious in person as it is in the scan) and doesn’t really fit in my collection, I just couldn’t walk away from this. It’s just a shame my name isn’t Daniel.
In my next post in this series I’ll feature several postcards from another Major League team (and, again, one I don’t normally collect), plus my favorite single acquisition from the show, one featuring a famous baseball stadium… but not one you would normally think of.