Black Friday: Bob And The Red Men

When COMC had it’s Black Friday promotion, I bought somewhere in the neighborhood of 150 cards.  I’ve shown a few cards here and there over the past few days, but this is the official kickoff of this particular round of “show and tell”.

I’ll start off the festivities with a trio of oversized cards, two of which feature Hall-of-Famers.

First off, we have a beeeeee-yoootiful 1955 Red Man Henry Thompson card.

1955 Red Man Hank Thompson

This card is in quite nice shape for a 58-year old card;  there’s a pinhole up in the corner of the box, the corners are slightly dinged, and the tab is missing from the bottom, but I don’t care about any of this.  I just see an awesome addition to my collection.

Slightly older and in worse shape is this Ralph Kiner:

1953 Red Man Ralph Kiner

Yeah, the cards a little rougher, but he’s also a HOFer so you’ve got to have some give and take here.    As you can see, someone “updated” the card with a ball point pen.  What you can’t see is that some of the back has been torn away; it looks like this may have been pasted into someone’s album.  The actual artwork remains unblemished, which makes it more than nice enough for me.

Ralph Kiner went to the Cubs in a mid-season trade that involved 10 players and $150,000.  According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Inflation Calculator, that’s equivalent to $1.3M in today’s dollars.  That’s a hell of a deal.

Moving forward to the 1960’s, we have another Hall-Of-Famer;  an affordable copy of this card has eluded me for years…

1964 Topps Giants  Bob Clemente

Yes indeed, it’s “Bob” Clemente.  It seems ridiculous now to think that “Roberto” was too exotic for the youth of America to process, but apparently it was.  You could make a good drinking game out of the number of times “Bob” is used on the back of the card.
1964 Topps Giants Bob Clemente back

Now that I’ve got “Bob”, I need just 7 SP’s to complete the set…. Hah!  “Just 7 SP’s”.   Among the seven are Sandy Koufax and Willie Mays… it’ll be a challenge to finish this set off while staying within my budget, but we’ll see what happens.


Baby, Baby, Where Did My Cards Go? Part 3: 1973 Topps

One of the things about completing the 1973 set which frustrates me is that as I work closer to completing the set, I could swear that I had many of these cards at one point, but I don’t have them now.  Naturally, we’re not talking about a checklist or Bob Didier, we’re talking about Roberto Clemente and Johnny Bench and Joe Torre.  I suppose it’s possible that I’ve seen those cards often enough that familiarity has convinced me that I owned the cards, but I’m also not ruling out the possibility that, as a child,  I had some friends who were less than trustworthy.

The worst part about all this?  I have a complete run of Topps sets from 1974 to 1978, all of which I completed in the 1970’s.  Now, I’m getting paranoid and wondering if I really have complete sets, or if any of those cards have walked off on me.  *Sigh* …Time to do some inventory, I guess…

By the way, my nicely miscut Roberto Clemente shows him batting at Shea Stadium, and Jerry Grote is the catcher.  Pete Rose below is batting… um… at Candlestick Park?  Did I mention I’m not good at this?

Review: Game 7 of the 1960 World Series – Pirates vs. Yankees

All images courtesy of

1961 Topps #312 - World Series Game 7 Bill Mazeroski - Courtesy of CheckOutMyCards.comI recently finished watching Game 7 of the 1960 World Series, and boy, that was a fun game to watch.  The game itself is exciting, but the fun is on so many levels…  The players, the uniforms, the ballpark, the manual scoreboard, the broadcast itself… it’s so great being able to watch an entire game from 50 years ago without going through the filter of a World Series Highlight film.

If  you know anything about this series, you know that Bill Mazeroski hit a walk-off homer in game 7 to win the series.  What’s telling about this series is that the Yankees absolutely beat upon the Pirates in their 3 wins, and scored 9 runs in this loss.  Yankee Bobby Richardson was the MVP, and when the MVP is on the losing team, that tells you something.

1960 Topps #405 - Bobby Richardson - Courtesy of

For those who don’t know the story behind this recording of the game, it was something which was thought to have been lost, but an archivist going through Bing Crosby’s wine cellar (Bing was a part-owner of the Pirates) found a kinescope (a film made of a TV broadcast) of the game.  It was originally re-broadcast on the MLB Network in December, 2010.  I’d Tivo’ed the game at the time and didn’t watch the game all at once;  instead, I watched an inning or two every time I needed a baseball fix.

It’s kind of trite to say this, but a large part of the fun was seeing players “come to life”.  There were so many players I was familiar with, but had never seen on a field before;  there’s Hall of Famers like Mickey Mantle, Roger Maris, Yogi Berra and Roberto Clemente – one small thing I noticed is that when Clemente tossed a ball back into the infield, he did so underhanded, almost like fast pitch softball.
1960 Topps #326 - Roberto Clemente - Courtesy of
I’m familiar with Tony Kubek from his  broadcasting days, and many of the other players, guys like Bobby Shantz, Roy Face and Gil MacDougald, I know solely from vintage cards.  I hadn’t realized it, but if Shantz were playing today he’d be a favorite of mine… Dude was about my height (5’7”), and those who read this blog regularly are probably tired of me saying that I’ve got a soft spot for the vertically challenged.

1960 Topps #315 - Bobby Shantz - Courtesy of
At one point in the game, it looked like Hal Smith would go down through the ages as the hero of Game 7, but things didn’t quite pan out that way…
1960 Topps #48 - Hal W. Smith - Courtesy of
There was Bill Virdon patrolling center field, which was very interesting to me… Virdon was the manager of the Yankees when I first started following baseball, and it’s odd to think of him as a defensive specialist and on-base guy.
1960 Topps #496 - Bill Virdon - Courtesy of
Then there’s just the general feel of the game.  The uniforms were flannel, still a bit baggy, but starting to come into what we’re familiar with.  The stirrups were getting longer, the sleeves were getting shorter.

They showed the manual Forbes Field scoreboard often, and showed the score being changed once or twice.  I have to say, If I were ever to have input into the design of a ballpark, I would make sure that there’s a manual scoreboard somewhere in the place.  You can have 300-foot tall megatron videoboards everywhere, but there needs to be one manual scoreboard somewhere.  It’s just too cool not to have.

If whatever method you might use to watch this game includes the post-game interviews, don’t skip them.  It’s fun to watch and see how each player gets his 15 seconds on camera and then is almost literally shoved off to the side.  And the jacket that Bob Prince is wearing… GAHHHHH!!!!  Even in black and white, it’s a sight to behold.
1970 Fleer World Series #57 - 1960 Pirates/Yankees - Courtesy of
I’m not a particular fan of the Pirates, and I’m certainly not a fan of the Yankees, but even so I’m thinking about buying this on DVD.   Great stuff, highly recommended.