More Assorted Vintage Because I’ve Time For Little Else

All of these came from the last show I went to… or maybe the show before that. Does it really matter? Nope, not really.

I got this Hal Lanier because I spent a short time using the All-Star Rookie trophy as an excuse to buy vintage cards.  I’ve backed off on that goal just because I had far to many goals in 2016.

In 1964, Lanier batted .274 with 40 runs scored and 16 doubles in 98 games… Not too shabby for a 2nd baseman back when offense was more or less icing on the middle infielder cake.  I think of Hal Lanier as a manager first (Astros in the late ’80’s) and as a Yankee second, even though he only played 95 games in pinstripes… but the beloved 1974 set – my first – shows Lanier with the Yankees, so end of story.

Reasons for buying this next card:  1)  I like it, 2)  it was cheap, 3) I enjoy saying “Rico Petrocelli”.

Rico hit 2 homers in game 6 of the 1967 World Series, and batted .308 in the 1975 World Series.

This Dick Howser card was also fairly cheap, and I can’t resist cheap 1963 Fleer.  I’ve only got 8 of them, but someday when I’m looking for a new vintage challenge, I may go after this abbreviated 66 card set.  Maybe.

Dick Howser is another guy I think of as a manager and a Yankee…  He managed the Royals in the 1980’s and was a Yankees coach during my formative years.  Howser died tragically from a brain tumor in 1987.  He was 51 when he passed, which I’ve always viewed as sad and tragic, but it’s admittedly even more sad and tragic to me now that I’m 51.

Established after his passing, the Dick Howser Trophy is awarded annually to the collegiate player of the year.  Somewhat-recent winners have included David Price, Buster Posey, Stephen Strasburg and Kris Bryant.

I Gave Some Thought To Collecting The 1963 Fleer Set…

Why not go after 1963 Fleer? It’s a cool vintage set that is only 66 cards (67 if you include the checklist) and could be considered an “oddball”. I’ve already completed the Mets team set, and I’d featured it a year ago.

But then I look at the cards that command bigger prices… Clemente, Koufax, Mays, Gibson, Yastrzemski, Drysdale, Spahn, the Maury Wills rookie, the short-printed Joe Adcock, and I think “Ehhh… Maybe completing the set isn’t that important to me…”.

That doesn’t mean I can’t “collect” it like I collect 1956 Topps… Buy any cheap cards I can find, and leave it at that.

Here are the 4 non-Mets cards that are in my 1963 Fleer collection:

For a guy who was a 4-time All Star and a 7-time Gold Glove winner, Vic Power often gets  overlooked… Possibly because his career looks like a tour of small-market teams. Kansas City, Cleveland, Minnesota are the three cities where he put in the most time.
1963 Fleer Vic Power

Ron Hansen is one of those guys where I didn’t realize I had multiple cards of  his until I put all the pieces together.  “Oh, wait, this is the same guy who’s with the Senators on my 1968 card, and with the White Sox on my 1970 card and with the Yankees on my 1971 card…
1963 Fleer Ron Hansen
He’s also the winner of the 1960 A.L. Rookie Of The Year award.

Tito Francona was an All-Star in 1961, lead the league in doubles in 1960 and is the father of Terry Francona, but I frankly bought the card because I love the photo.
1963 Fleer Tito Francona
It sounds impressive to say that Tito Francona finished second in 1956 Rookie Of The Year voting… except that Luis Aparicio got 22 of the possible 24 votes, while Tito and Rocky Colavito each got one vote. Hey, it’s still second.

His full name is John Patsy Francona. “Patsy”? Maybe it’s his mother’s maiden name? “Patsy” makes me think of King Arthur’s trusty “steed” (played by Terry Gilliam wielding two halves of a coconut shell) in Monty Python & The Holy Grail.  It also reminds me of the episode of The Dick Van Dyke Show where Rob has to explain to his son Richie why his middle name is “Rosebud”.

I could talk about Milt Pappas winning 150 games before turning 30, or for being traded to the Reds for Frank Robinson, but I’ll leave you with just one fact:
1963 Fleer Milt Pappas
He was born Milton Stephen Pappastediodis.

It makes one wonder if Jarrod Saltalamacchia were born 50 years earlier, would we know him as “Jed Salt”?

1963 Fleer: Complete Mets Team Set

It may be a very small vintage team set, but it’s still a completed team set.

I recently completed this set when I acquired this card at a show:
1963 Fleer Al Jackson
FWIW, it’s not miscut, it’s mis-scanned.

I’m guessing that this photo was taken at the Polo Grounds, which had been the Giants’ home field before they moved to San Francisco, and was the Mets’ home field until Shea Stadium was finished.  Al Jackson was one of the Mets’ best pitchers at the time, and on 4/29/62 he pitched the first shutout in Mets history, a 8-0 whitewashing of the Phillies.  He lost 20 games twice, but you have to be a good pitcher for them to keep putting you out there enough to lose 20 games.  He was also the only alumnus of Wiley College to play in the Majors.

1962 Fleer Rod Kanehl

“Hot Rod” Kanehl’s entire 3-year career came with the Mets.  He was a fan-favorite of those early days, played 7 different positions and had a less-than-stellar career .277 OBP.  On a more positive note, he hit the first grand slam in Mets history.

1962 Fleer Roger Craig

Sorry about the scans… My scanner clearly does not like 1963 Fleer.

Roger Craig should be familiar to most of you, if only for his time managing the Padres and Giants.  During his playing career, he pitched in 4 different World Series, lead the NL in shutouts in 1959 and lost 20 games twice with the Mets.

1963 Fleer has really been growing on me lately.  I recently picked up a few other cards from this 66-card set, and I’ll share those another time.