Tuesday, February 21, 2012
An impulse buy
Up until about a week ago, I had only made one impulse purchase as a result of seeing a card on another blog.
I was browsing through some of Night Owl's older posts a couple months ago and came across one of his "Awesome Night Card" posts that featured this Brent Mayne card.
In one of the best games of the 2011 baseball season, Phillies shortstop Wilson Valdez earned a pitching victory in a 19-inning game versus the Reds. He retired three straight Reds hitters in the top of the nineteenth before the Phils got a run in the bottom of the inning to earn the "W".
Before Valdez, catcher Brent Mayne was the last non-pitcher to earn a victory. Mayne pitched a scoreless top of the 12th for the Rockies in a game against the Braves on August 21, 2000. The Rockies would score in the bottom half of the inning to win the game.
This impulse buy set me back a mere 80 cents via Sportlots.
It was worth every penny.
I made my second impulse purchase as a result of another blogger's post last week.
A few weeks ago, Ted over at "Crinkly Wrappers" made a post showcasing the 1994 "Origins of Baseball" set.
I'd never heard of the set before Ted's post. Naturally, I set sail for Ebay in an attempt to get one for myself. No luck.
I'd forgotten about the set until last week, when Ted graciously sent an email alerting me about a couple of these sets that popped up on Ebay. I pounced on one of them. All in all, the 100-card set cost me just $20 shipped.
The set came in the mail today.
A big thanks to Ted for his original post on these cards and sending me the follow-up email that allowed me to purchase one for myself! I probably wouldn't have these in my hands today if it wasn't for him.
After I got home from school today, I spent about an hour just going through the cards and reading the backs.
I'm a total nut when it comes to baseball history, especially the pre-1900's stuff.
These cards go all the way back to the earliest bat-and-ball games, which apparently originated around 700 A.D. according to the above card.
A lot of the cards were stuck together as a result of being in that box for almost two decades. I managed to separate most of them with little damage, but a few didn't turn out so great, like this "Pud" Galvin card.
No matter, as I'm not much of a sticker for condition anyways. (Which is good when it comes to some dime boxes, as the cards look like they were literally "thrown" into the box sometimes.)
This is my first card of Galvin, who won 365 games in his fifteen-year career.
On a side note, he was also the first player known to be using performance-enhancing drugs. In 1889, he used an elixir which contained monkey testosterone. (Look it up.)
I love the mustaches on a lot of these old-timey baseball pictures. I find it hard to believe that most adult men walked around with those things at one point in time.
This is also my first card of "Old Hoss" Radbourne.
Radbourne holds the all-time record for wins in a season with 59 in 1884. The book Fifty-nine in '84 is a great chronicle of what was a truly crazy season in baseball history.
There's another reason why I like this card so much. Radbourne is subtly extending his middle finger on the right side of this card.
That was over a century before the famous Billy Ripken incident.
There's some outstanding team photos in this set as well, this one of the 1886 Chicago White Stockings.
So many mustaches!
Catcher Buck Ewing invented the modern catcher's crouch over a century ago.
Before Ewing, catchers would stand straight up and would point their glove downward. Ewing was the first to crouch behind the plate and give the pitcher a target.
I love seeing photos of pre-1900 catcher's masks, like the one Ewing is holding in this shot.
They've certainly come a long way.
As far as I'm concerned, I'm not sure it gets much better than an action shot from the dead-ball era.
You can see how far "Wee" Willie Keeler choked up from this shot, as his left hand is about a quarter of the way up the bat.
I think this is my favorite card from the set.
In 1889, the Chicago White Stockings embarked on a "World Tour" to bring the game of baseball outside of America.
A few of the members of the White Stockings are shown here at the famous Sphinx in Egypt during an afternoon break from play.
This is the best set I've come across in a long, long time.
It may be the best twenty bucks I've ever spent.