Coming Back On Stage To Play “Freebird”

Since I came back from “vacation” I’ve featured 2015 Bowman, non-sport cards, oversized oddballs and customs. I kinda feel like some of you might look at this like one would regard a concert by a famous rock musician who insists on playing all the stuff from his new album instead of the stuff that everybody really came to hear.

With that in mind, here’s a post featuring nothing but vintage cards which fit in a 9-pocket sheet… Well, except for one card which goes in an 8-pocket sheet.

I’m slowly working towards the 1968 Topps “Game” insert set, and here’s a card I just got featuring MLB’s PeteRose-a non grata…
1968 Topps Game Pete Rose
I’m not particularly a fan of Mr. Rose, but I like this card…  Not even sure why.  It’s kind of funny that the all-time hits king should have a “ground out” on his game card, but I guess somebody had to.  My own thoughts are that Pete Rose will eventually get in the HOF, but not until after he’s shuffled off this mortal coil.

In order to keep my efforts from getting too scattershot – yeah, right – I’m trying to focus my Kellogg’s acquisitions on Mets and the 1976  set… But that doesn’t mean I won’t pick up a cheap 1972 Kelogg’s when I see one…
1972 Kelloggs Dick Drago
Dick Drago was never a star player, but he was one of the better players in early Royals history.  In 1971 he was the Royals’ Pitcher Of The Year, going 17-11 with a 2.98 ERA, 15 complete games and 4 shutouts.

This 1972 Richie Scheinblum has a classically bad airbrush job. I think everybody should take a moment to appreciate the poorly-placed logo on the airbrushed cap.
1972 Topps Richie Scheinblum
1972 was Scheinblum’s only season as a regular, and he batted an even .300 while making the All-Star team.

I’ve been making something of an effort to get a better representation of the 1950’s in my collection.  Being a Mets fan from a young age, it’s not surprising that I have relatively few cards from before the Mets’ first season in 1962.  I’m also an Orioles fan, but I became one much later in life, so I don’t quite have the emotional attachment to vintage Orioles.  As a result, I’m often left with few budget-friendly cards to go after from the 1950’s.  Instead, I often go after guys who would later be Mets coaches from when I was a kid in the 1970’s.
1954 Bowman Eddie Yost
Eddie Yost was a Mets coach from 1968 to 1976.  Known as “The Walking Man” for his ability to draw a base on balls, he has a higher career on-base percentage than HOFers like Rod Carew, Joe Morgan, Honus Wagner, Tony Gwynn and Willie Mays (as well as Derek Jeter and Pete Rose).

I’ve been thinking of shopping for 1950’s cards using my 1956 modus operandi – go for the beautiful commons, regardless of who’s featured on them…  Cards like this:
1956 Topps Roy Sievers

If anyone’s got suggestions on any Bowman or pre-1956 Topps that fit this category, please leave me a comment (and if it’s a card you’ve featured in your blog, a link would be greatly appreciated). Thank you in advance!

My New “Oldest Doubles” And Other 1956 Topps

Up until recently, the oldest “doubles” I’d ever had were a pair of 1963 Topps Marv Throneberry cards, one of those deals where I bought a card at a show and then got home and found out that I already had it.

One thing about buying from COMC is that it makes screwing up so much more efficient… I got both of these cards in the same COMC order…
1956 Topps Eddie Yost in duplicate
…and didn’t realize it until after the cards had shipped. Completely my fault, nothing to do with COMC, please continue to buy cards from that fine website (especially my cards).

The majority of the 1956 cards I got were all of the same category: “affordable commons that I bought solely because of the visual appeal — usually the action shot”.

This Roy Sievers card was one I saw on someone else’s blog and said “Oooh, gotta get me one!”
…I wish I could remember whose blog it was…
1956 Topps Roy Sievers
Roy Sievers was the 1949 AL Rookie Of the Year, was an all-star four times, lead the AL with 42 homers and 114 RBI in 1957 and his nickname was “Squirrel”.

Ruben Gomez was one of the first Puerto Ricans in the Majors.
1956 Topps Ruben Gomez
I love the fact that this pitcher’s action shot shows him legging it out to first.  It’s not entirely uncalled for… He batted .300 in 1955 (18 for 60).

Sammy White was the Red Sox starting catcher for most of the 1950’s, and was an All-Star in 1953.
1956 Topps Sammy White
White scored three times in one inning in a game against the Tigers on 6/18/53. He had two singles and a walk in the bottom of the 7th, as the Sox scored 17 runs off three Tigers pitchers.

Wayne Terwilliger played 9 years in the Majors with the Cubs, Dodgers, Senators, Giants and A’s…
1956 Topps Wayne Terwilliger
…but what’s really interesting about him is a career in baseball that spans seven decades. He started in the minors in 1948, and between playing, managing and coaching he spent 62 years in professional baseball, finishing as a first base coach for the independent minor league Ft. Worth Cats in 2010.

An interesting sign of how much I’ve come to enjoy the 1956 set is the fact that I’ve got nearly as many cards from 1956 as from the rest of the 1950’s – Topps, Bowman and Red Man – combined.  There’s a very good chance that 1956 will take the lead with the next show I attend.

Eddie Yost, The Walking Man

Former major leaguer Eddie Yost passed away this past Tuesday; his nickname, ‘The Walking Man’ came from his ability to draw a large number of walks. Over 18 seasons, Eddie lead the AL in walks six times, had 100+ walks eight times, was in the top 10 in walks 10 different times and twice lead the AL in on-base percentage. What makes this really impressive is the fact that nobody was pitching around Eddie like they would pitch around Ted Williams or Babe Ruth, he just had that good of an eye.

Eddie Yost was a Mets coach when I first started following baseball, and the more I learned about him, the more I came to appreciate him. He was 17 years old when he made his Major League debut during WWII with the Senators.  He never played a day in the minors, but did spend some time in military service.  He was the Senators’ starting third baseman from 1947 until he was traded to Detroit after the 1958 season.

At the time of his retirement, Yost was fourth on the all-time walk list behind Babe Ruth, Williams and Mel Ott, all power hitters who nobody wanted to pitch to.   He now ranks 11th on the all-time list, behind Barry Bonds, Rickey Henderson, Ruth, Williams, Joe Morgan, Carl Yastrzemski, Jim Thome , Mickey Mantle, Ott and Frank “The Big Hurt” Thomas. Among the players with fe wer career walks are Stan Musial, Pete Rose, Harmon Killebrew, Chipper Jones, Lou Gehrig, Mike Schmidt, and Willie Mays.

He wasn’t completely about the walks; he was an All-Star in 1952, he lead the AL in doubles in 1951, runs in 1959 (his first year with the Tigers).  He was also a fine defensive third baseman;  eight different seasons he lead the AL in putouts by a 3B, and twice in assists by a 3B.

About the 1952 Red Man card pictured above:
I love Red Man cards, but this is the only one I own.  The main reason I don’t own more is because there aren’t many players I collect who appeared on a Red Man card… although I’m thinking that I should do with Red Man what I started doing with 1956 Topps, which is buying affordable commons that visually appeal to me, regardless of who’s pictured on it.