Monday, December 26, 2011

You want (vintage) Christmas cards? Alright, here! Here's your (VINTAGE!) Christmas cards!

1956 Topps #307 Hoyt Wilhelm

As I mentioned in my last post, my dad got me an extra-special Christmas present this year.

He went on a mini-"CheckOutMyCards" shopping spree for one of my gifts, buying a stack of (mostly) vintage for me. And the way he wrapped them was great. He threw them in a gigantic box and filled it with styrofoam; I literally had to "dig" for my cards! 

Nobody knows my collection better than my dad (except me, of course!). That being said, a couple of the cards he bought were ones I already had. With my gigantic collection, can you blame him? Besides, it's the thought that counts. Unfortunately, I already had the "big one" he got for me, the '56 Wilhelm at the top of the post. I somehow forgot to put that one on my Wilhelm havelist page on my site when I got it a few months ago. (It's for trade if anyone wants it, by the way.) Oops!

Here's the full scoop on the best baseball-card present(s) I've ever received. We'll start out with the dups. Enjoy!

 1961 Topps #185 Herb Score
The scans of my duplicates are all for trade if anyone out there wants them!

I was surprised my dad even knew I collected Herb Score.

This is Score's second-to-last Topps issue (he'd have a 1962 Topps card). Score's story is a sad one. We might be talking about him in the same sentence as Sandy Koufax and Bob Gibson had he not had such bad luck.

Score led the league in strikeouts in each of his first two seasons ('55 and '56). He'd combine for 508 K's in those first two years, as well as 36 wins. In 1957, he took a line drive off his eye and was never quite the same pitcher. He'd suffer other injuries as well as the eye problem and be done by 1962, only winning 19 more games over his final six seasons.

 1963 Topps #128 Matty Alou
1964 Topps #65 Felipe Alou

The three Alou brothers (Matty, Felipe, and Jesus) are three of my favorites from the 1960's. All of them were fine players as well. 

I'm not certain, but it looks like that Matty Alou photo was taken at Wrigley Field, one of the finest backdrops for any baseball picture.

I'd bet that the Felipe Alou card is one of the first to picture a player on a different team than the card states. Cards like that were usually airbrushed to match the new team in older Topps issues, why not this one?

1963 Topps #165 Jim Kaat
1972 Topps #180 Dock Ellis IA

Two of my favorite cards of my favorite pitchers. My dad was on the right track with these.

My dad told me that the '63 Kaat cost him a mere 40 cents. My copy set be back a whole $4!

1972 Topps In-Action cards are always fun. It was the first time cards were specifically created with action photos.

2011 Panini Americana #76 Jeffrey Tambor

Now we'll begin with the best part of this post, the cards I didn't already have!

Starting with a laugh. A card of Jeffrey Tambor (the best part of "Arrested Development")! "No touching! No touching!"

Now do you see why I like those 2011 American Pie cards so much? The designs for these types of non-baseball cards usually look like throwaways for card companies. Bland and boring. Not the AP's, though!

But even that horrific design can't ruin a Jeffrey Tambor card!

1997 Kenner (?) #NNO Hoyt Wilhelm

Here's a Wilhelm card I didn't already have. I'm not sure on the specifics of this one, but my dad said they came with cereal boxes. Definitely a neat oddball addition to the ol' Wilhelm collection!

2009 UD Goodwin Champions Mini Gypsy Queen Red #15 Dick Allen

Dick Allen is one of mine and my dad's favorites. This is a mini parallel from his '09 Goodwin Champions issue.
Be on the lookout for Allen in a later "Glory of Their Time" post!

2006 Artifacts "MLB Apparel Gold Limited" #MLB-CO Coco Crisp JSY /150
2004 Bazooka "One-Liners" #BOL-DA Dick Allen BAT

These are the first game-used cards I've gotten in a while.

I was surprised to see that I didn't already have a jersey card of Coco Crisp. And now I do!

Staying with the Dick Allen theme, here's an awesome bat card of his with one of his most well-known quotes. I've got the Jerry Koosman memorabilia card from the "One-Liners" set as well, it's a fantastic game-used set.

1970 Topps #205 Bert Campaneris
But enough of that recent stuff, let's get on with the vintage!

This is one of the few "Campy" cards I don't have from his playing days. One of his finest, I must say, with the beautiful background of Yankee Stadium.

I seem to find cards of his in every vintage box I go through. This one managed to slip through the cracks. Until now, that is. 

1972 Topps #440 Billy Williams IA

Another of the fun '72 Topps In-Action cards, showing Billy Williams gearing up for a pitch in what looks like a largely empty stadium judging from all the empty seats in the backdrop.

On a side note, 1972 was the only year Williams led the league in batting average, hitting at a .333 clip. It was also his last 30+ HR season (he'd hit 37).

1972 Topps #313 Luis Aparicio

This just doesn't look right to me. Aparicio looks wrong in any non-White Sox uniform. He looks a little uneasy about it too in that photo.
I never realized how small Aparicio was until I looked at the back of this card. It's got him listed at 5'8" and 160 pounds. That's about what I am, and a good number of the guys my age sky over me at school. 

That's part of why baseball is the best sport. You don't have to be freakishly tall or freakishly strong to excel at it. Just look at Luis Aparicio.

1961 Nu-Card Scoops #476 Dizzy/Daffy Dean

It was tough to decide which was my favorite card of my dad's gift. It was tough, but I decided it wasn't this one. Don't get me wrong though, this is an absolutely great card, commemorating the Cardinals' Game 7 victory to clinch the 1934 World Series, an outcome which Dizzy Dean correctly predicted at the beginning of the '34 season. "It ain't bragging if you can do it." Well said, Diz.

I try not to put to much faith in Beckett pricing, but I was really surprised when I saw that this one only booked at $2.50. I'll give you $2.50 all day for this one. Even less because it's in worse condition, of course.

1959 Topps #440 "Lou" Burdette

I decided that this was my favorite of the cards my dad got me for Christmas.

I've wanted this one ever since I saw it in one of my old "Hall of Shame" books. This card features not one, not two, but three mistakes on it. Can you spot them? (Cue "Jeopardy" music.) Here's the answers.

1) Burdette's first name is spelled "Lew", not "Lou".

2) He's a righty, not a lefty as pictured. He borrowed Warren Spahn's glove to try and pull one over on Topps for this photo. And he did.

3) There's no baseball in his hand!

Topps featured this one in their "Cards Your Mother Threw Out" insert set in 2010. And now I've got an actual copy. That's a great feeling.

I've just got one last thing to say before I go.

Thanks for the "Christmas cards", Mom and Dad! It's great to have a family that helps support my often-pricey hobby (or addiction, depending on who you talk to). I appreciate the support every time I look through my cards.


night owl said...

Great cards. The Bazooka One-Liners relic card is the best thing I've seen all day, and I've got to start searching for some of those.

And, just because I'm lazy and don't want to comment on two posts, I love that Big Hair '80s insert card from the previous post. As a college student in the late '80s I knew lots of girls with hair like that. We should have all died of hairspray consumption.

Nick said...

Thanks! The '80s certainly seemed like a wacky time for hair, although so do the hairstyles I see on people walking down the street today now that I think of it. Ripping those American Pie packs was the most fun I've had in a while!

Play at the Plate said...

What a great gift!