My last couple of posts have highlighted my recent visit to the Independence Mall Card Show. My goal of getting a card from the 50s was met with my new 55 Bowman Billy Shantz, but I was also able to bring home seven cards from the 1956 Topps set. This new stash allowed me to complete a page in my vintage binder so I was thrilled to be able to make a good purchase at just over $1 per card.
I will be honest in that I don't know much about any of the 6 players above but they are just cool vintage cardboard. I do find it interesting that Al Silvera finished his 2 year major league career with exactly 1 hit. Bill Wight would eventually sign Hall of Famer Joe Morgan. Johnny Antonelli went 21-7 for the Giants in 1954 and led them to a World Series sweep of the Indians.
However, the winner of the Best Answer to Worthless Trivia Award goes to...we'll get to that shortly. After his major league career was over, this Omaha Cardinal took a baseball on August 1, 1957 and launched it from the right field corner to the left field corner. He was given a 6 step running start, but this is still one amazing feat for the Guiness Book of World Record holder, Glen Gorbous. Now you know!
My final 1956 Topps card is Jackie Jensen who is probably the best player of this card show haul (1958 A.L. M.V.P.), but it's his story that is so fascinating. To me the best part of a card show is when you can engage a dealer in some great conversation about the cards that you are buying. Jensen was the left fielder with the New York Yankees during the 1950-1952 seasons. The dealer asked me if I knew what Jensen's biggest obstacle was? I said it was Mickey Mantle who would take over Jensen's spot and allow him to be traded to the Washington Senators. He smiled but told me that I was wrong.
You see during the 1950s teams began using a new method of transportation. When the expansion of teams to the West Coast continued, teams started using this method much more to the dismay of Jensen. Jackie was afraid to fly! He would be helped a great deal by Red Sox owner, Tom Yawkey, who paid for therapy treatments, but his fear was just too great to overcome. After a brief retirement in 1960, Jensen came back in 1961 after hypnotherapy treatments. However, due to his declined production, Jensen would retire for good to spend more time with his family. I would love to find a copy of his biography, The Golden Boy, to learn more about his interesting life and career.
The Independence Mall Card Show this past weekend provided an opportunity to get some things in my collection that I didn't have. My last post showed a 1955 Bowman card that I was able to put into my collection. My goal was to get a 1950s card and find one from set in which I had no cards. Check.
Another goal was to get a vintage card of a "superstar". Well I not only got one great player, but ended up with two greats on the same card.
I was able to get a card with Sandy Koufax and Don Drysdale. This 1964 Topps N.L. Strikeout Leaders card only set me back $3, and it was worth it to get a vintage card with these two quality Dodger starters. Koufax led the N.L. in strikeouts in 1963 with 306 while Drysdale was 3rd with 251. Jim Maloney of the Reds was 2nd with 265.
Some other items that I ended up with included about 20 1981 Topps cards off my want list which can be found here. I also picked up two and a half Royals team sets for a total of $2. I got the 1989 and 1990 Fleer team sets along with a group of 1979 Topps that was missing 7 cards.
My last card show post will highlight some cards from the 1956 Topps set that enabled me to fill my sample page. Look for it in the next couple of days.
Yesterday, a good friend of mine and myself had a great baseball card day. The day started at the Baseball Card Store in Shawnee, KS. I was able to pick up about 200 cards that I needed from the 2012 and 2013 Topps Series I, II, Update, and Heritage sets. As a result of that, my wantlist for those sets is nearing completion. Feel free to take a look at it here.
We then headed to the Independence Mall in Independence, MO for one of their card shows that they have usually every 2-3 months. For the first time, I went to the shop and show with a few goals in mind. One of which was to find a card from the 1950s, preferably one from a set in which I had no cards.
My last stop of the day, got me that card. Turn on the color TV folks because I present to you my first 1955 Bowman, card #175 of Kansas City A's catcher Wilmer "Billy" Shantz.
Billy would play parts of three seasons with the Philadelphia/Kansas City A's and the New York Yankees. His career line included a .257 batting average with 2 home runs and 29 runs batted in. His 6'1" 160 pound frame might be the reason he didn't cut it as a big league catcher. He is probably best known for being the brother of 1952 A.L. M.V.P. Bobby Shantz. Welcome to your new home Billy!
Even though I still have 2 cards left to complete my 1973 Topps Set, I thought I would try to get started on my next conquest. I had chosen 1973 because that is my birth year so why 1975? It contains the rookie card of my favorite player, George Brett, and it is just so damn colorful!
I had already accumulated a small stack of 75s previously. I was also able to get a lot of 46 cards off eBay recently for $5.50 shipped. Here are three of those cards...with a Kansas City connection, of course.
Diego Segui lives in the Kansas City area and makes frequent stops at Kansas City Athletics reunions. Ken Brett, brother of George, ended his career playing alongside George during the 1980 and 1981 seasons. Finally, Paul Splittorf, a lifelong Royal who was drafted by the club in 1968, won 166 games during his career, and ended as a great broadcaster until his death in 2011.
I can't help but wonder what was going through the Topps executive's minds when the set designers came up with this one. It has to be the most colorful set produced, and I am looking forward to the challenge of putting this one together.
You can find my wantlist here. Thanks for looking.
I didn't have a 1954 Bowman in my collection so when browsing eBay the other day, I ran across a pretty cheap card of Preston Ward. Ward played for the hometown Kansas City Athletics in 1958 and 1959 and was born in Columbia, MO. He was really nothing more than a light-hitting first basemen who also saw time at the hot corner and outfield. He compiled a .253 career average with 522 hits, 50 homeruns, and 262 RBIs. He is probably most notable for the trades in which he was involved. He would be a part of a trade that would send him from the Cubs to the Pirates in 1949. Ralph Kiner and Joe Garagiola were a part of that 10 player trade. He would also be involved in a 5 player trade in 1958 that would send him and Roger Maris to Kansas City from Cleveland.
Even though it is graded a PSA 2. It is really a beautiful card with the only major blemish a crease noticeable only across the back of the card. Anyway it is the first 1954 Bowman card to be added to my collection, and it only set me back $4.90.
I recently completed a huge trade with Robert over at $30 A Week Habit. He had recently posted about his 1973 Topps project and I thought I might be able to give him a hand since I am down to 2 cards on my 1973 Topps set. I contacted him and a few emails later we were sending one another some pretty good sized packages. He was able to put together some cards that I still needed from my 2012 and 2013 Topps and Topps Heritage want lists. Those list can be found here. Here are some of the highlights from his half of the trade.
When I first opened the package I noticed a couple of Royals. One that currently plays for the Reds and another that is currently on the D.L. recovering from Tommy John surgery. Both happen to be the Blue Wal Mart variety.
The next two are also Royals, and neither of them are currently with the team (or perhaps, any team!).
The next card is also a current Royal, but one that is currently battling back from Tommy John surgery. He was recently optioned to AAA Omaha after his rehab stint. So all these highlights are Royals that are either "former Royals" or "rehabbing Royals". That might explain a lot about my team.
The next highlight is actually a current Royal that isn't rehabbing...yeah! However, I should state that his last few appearances have been less than stellar. But he will always have that #1 pick status going for him.
The biggest stash of cards didn't actually include any Royals, but it knocked off quite a bit of my 2013 Heritage want list. The picture even has by next set project in the background.
Finally, one of my favorite cards of the trade and one of the greatest players of all time. A 2013 Topps Cut to the Chase Willie Mays.