Friday, March 11, 2011

Gran nachos y grandes tarjetas de béisbol es igual a gran comercio!

I guess we will see if Google Translate actually works, but it should be "Great nachos and great baseball cards equals great trade!"  Anyway, Chris from Nachos Grande sent me some 2010 Topps from my want list in exchange for some 2009 American Heritage and 2009 Topps Target Retro.  I was able to get quite a few cards off my list as I continue to complete some recent sets.  Thanks Chris for a "comercio grande".

Monday, March 7, 2011

Trade with "Heartbreaking Cards of Staggering Genius"

Matt over at Heartbreaking Cards of Staggering Genius sent me a huge amount of 2011 Topps and some 2009 American Heritage in exchange for some 2010 Allen & Ginter's Inserts and 2011 Topps Inserts.  I now need less than 100 cards to complete my 2011 Topps Series 1 set.  This trade is exactly why I love card blogging and trading with fellow bloggers.  It is not about $$$, but about set building and helping someone out with what they need in exchange for your needs.

The 2011 Topps included some stars but also some Royals, which I know Matt and I appreciate.  One notable current Royals that is shown as a Brewer is Jeremy Jeffress.  Jeffress was a piece of the Zack Greinke trade.  He looks to figure into the Royals future bullpen plans with a fastball that tops 100 mph.

As a history teacher I can appreciate the American Heritage cards a great deal.  I love the idea of putting America's historical figures on trading cards highlighting their achievements to our past.  Topps has thought a lot of this as well when you consider the number of non-sports subjects in sets like this and Allen & Ginter.

Thanks Matt!  This was a great trade.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

I forgot I had those.....

Today, while going through a 5000 count box of cards I ran across some of the first "high end" cards that I ever collected.  I remember that my wife bought me a box of them for my birthday and I opened them thinking how impressive the picture quality was.  It was basically the same feeling I had when Topps Stadium Club first came out, but these were much cooler.  When I gave up on collecting in 2002 I pretty much forgot about these until today.  I came across my 2nd favorite player, Mark Grace, while going through this set.  Even though I grew up in Kansas, when we first got cable TV (and all 13 channels that came with it!) I spent my summers watching the Cubs on WGN every afternoon.

I also scanned in the Derek Jeter Ballpark Figures insert.  Although I am definitely not a Yankee fan I can appreciate what Jeter has meant to the Yankees during the last 16 years.  I was not real impressed with this insert set compared to the base set.  I guess having ballpark attendance figures on the back of the card was kind of a letdown.

This was also one of my first "box breaks" as I usually just bought a few packs at a time.  I was able to put together 73/100 base cards while collecting 3 inserts also.  Considering there were 20 packs of 4 cards each, I guess Topps decided to count the 4 checklists I pulledd as "cards" even though they are on regular card stock.  Anyway, I have updated my want list to include the remaining 2000 Topps HD cards needed to complete my set.  I would love to get this set and my 1980 Topps set finished off in the next couple of months.

EMAW #2 - Keith Thomas

1953 Topps #129
Most people around northcentral Kansas would not know the name Keith Thomas.  However, most would probably say they have been to Kite's, a bar in Manhattan's Aggiville District.  Keith "Kite" Thomas is the namesake of that bar, one of Aggieville's most historic bars, and one that was recently name the #1 College Sports Bar in the Nation.

"Kite" Thomas was born in 1923 in Kansas City, KS.  Following a stint in the U.S. Navy during World War II, he came to Manhattan, KS and played basketball and baseball at Kansas State University.  His collegiate baseball career would only last one year (1947) when he was signed as a free agent by scout Lee McPhail for the New York Yankees. (Would anybody care to guess why a Royals fan would care about Lee McPhail?  Answer at the bottom.)  Thomas went on to play 5 seasons in the minor leagues before being drafted by the Philadelphia Athletics in the Rule V draft away from the New York Yankees.  He would go on to make his major league debut on April 19, 1952.  He would continue to play with the Athletics until he was selected off waivers by the Washington Senators on June 30, 1953.  Thomas would play his last major league game on September 27, 1953 when he was traded to the Chicago White Sox and sent to the minors.  He retired from baseball the next year.

Thomas would end up playing in 137 games over his 2 major league seasons.  He batted .233 with 52 hits, 7 home runs, and 32 runs batted in.  His best professional season came in 1950 with Beaumont (TX) when he had 156 hits, 109 runs, 42 doubles, 8 triples, 16 home runs, 111 runs batted in, and batted .283 in 149 games.

In 1954 he would move back to Manhattan and open the now famous Kite's Bar.  The tavern was said to dispense more beer than any other in Kansas during the 1950s.  He would continue to operate the bar until he sold it in 1969.  He would eventually end up owning over 37 Pizza Hut restaurants in the eastern Carolinas.  Keith "Kite" Thomas passed away on January 7, 1995 at the age of 71 in Rocky Point, NC. Keith Thomas is on the Kansas State University All-Century Baseball Team.

(**Lee McPhail would serve as President of the American League from 1974-1984.  He would overturn the controversial call in the infamous Pine Tar Game which would eventually allow the Royals to defeat the Yankees.**)

**This is the second player in the EMAW Series, a look at the history of Kansas State University players on cardboard.  EMAW stands for Every Man a Wildcat, a popular phrase amongst Wildcat fans.**

Friday, March 4, 2011

Trade with "No Ones Going To Read This"

Today, I received a package I had been anxiously awaiting from Jeremy over at No Ones Going to Read This.  I sent some inserts to him in exchange for some cards that have reduced my want list for my 1980 Topps, 2009 Topps, and 2010 Topps Sets.  He also sent along some Royals cards and a card that I will feature in my new EMAW Series at a later date.

I was able to get my 1980 Topps Set wantlist down to 19 cards thanks to cards like Floyd Bannister and Reggie Smith.  Bannister had a good career but some may be more familiar with his son Brian, who I have watched pitched for the Royals the last couple of years.  Brian is currently continuing his career over in Japan.  Smith is one of those players that I don't believe gets enough credit.  In a career that spanned 17 years with the Red Sox, Cardinals, Dodgers, and Giants, he hit 314 home runs and collected over 2000 hits with a career .287 average.  He played in 4 World Series finally winning one in 1981 for the Dodgers.

I was also able to knock a good number of cards off my 2009 and 2010 wantlists.  One of my favorite names in baseball, Marco Scutaro, was included with his 2010 Topps card.  My wife says the next dog we get she is going to name Scutaro.  I actually think it has a good ring to it.

Then to top it off, Jeremy included some Royals cards and one Kansas City Blues cards from the Obak Tristar Set.  This is the first card that I have from that set.  The old Kansas City Blues were one of the best minor league teams back in the day as they were a farm team for the New York Yankees.  In some ways, you can say the Kansas City Royals are also a farm team for any MLB that has money to spend.  Maybe the future will change that with the current #1 farm system in baseball.  "Moose" Skowron hit 31 home runs with 134 RBIs to win the 1952 Minor League Player of the Year Award.  The Royals include the 2007 Goudey Alex Gordon, the "next George Brett", that unfortunately has never lived up to the hype, and Reggie Sanders, a former Royal rent-a-player.  I also received three 2009 Allen & Ginter's mini cards of my current favorite player Billy Butler, my wife's favorite former Royal and current Athletic Coco Crisp (love the name!) and recently retired Gil Meche.  Meche was one of the Royals recent infamous free agent signings that we overspent on and never got much in return.  Meche has a couple decent years but battled injuries before retiring prior to this season and WALKING AWAY from $12.5 million.  I am glad my team didn't have to spend that $12.5 million for a bullpen arm this year, but how can you walk away from that much cash!!!

Thanks a lot Jeremy for this great trade!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

This Day in Baseball Card History - ???

I have always wanted to take a card and try to figure out when, where, and at what point of the game the photo was taken.  I saw another blogger do this a few weeks ago so I thought I would try it with one of the cards from my favorite player, George Brett.  The card in question is the 1994 Topps George Brett.

Royals Stadium is the location.  The game is a Royals-Brewers game.  The score is 4-1 in the bottom of the 2nd inning.  The count is 2 balls, 2 strikes and this ball was put into play.  Brett is also 0 for 1 with 1 RBI on the day.  It is a day game and the time is 2:21.  We also know the bottom of the Royals order is Hiatt, Gagne, Wilson with Haney pitching.  With the famous Royals crown scoreboard in the background this should be easy!

With a little investigation of the Royals Schedule we can narrow it down to a couple of home series with the Brewers.  Based on the current score and the final scores of those games we can narrow it down the exact day.  This was Brett's second at-bat of the day.  In his first at-bat he hit a sacrifice fly that scored one of three Royals runs in the 1st inning.  In the bottom of the 2nd inning Brett worked a 2-2 count before grounding out in his last at-bat of the day.  The Royals would go on to win the game 8-7 and push their record to 30-24.  Others on the card include Brewers pitcher Jaime Navarro, catcher Joe Kmak, 2nd base umpire Dave Phillips, and home plate umpire Rocky Roe.

Sunday, June 6, 1993

Thanks to for providing the official box score for the game.