Tuesday, February 18, 2014

1975 Topps - 70 more cards in the binder, 122 to go....

Just recently did a "u-pick" Ebay lot of 1975 Topps to go into my set.  I am down to 122 cards to go and my goal is to have that complete by summer.

I thought I would showcase 6 of my favorite cards that entered the binder today and why I chose them along with a bit of history about that player.

The Jackie Brown card is a great commercial for Red Man.  He just might have put the whole pouch in for the picture.  Jackie spent 8 years in the majors as a player and another 9 years as a pitching coach for the Rangers, White Sox, and Rays.

Wilbur Wood first became known to me while completing my 1973 Topps set.  A knuckleballer, who learned his craft from Hoyt Wilhelm, Wilbur was a 4-time 20 game winner in the majors with a league-leading 24 wins in 1972 and 1973.  Wood would see a major decline in his career after a 1976 Ron LeFlore liner shattered his kneecap in 1976.

Oscar Gamble, The Big O, perhaps, best known for his hair was a valuable platoon player for the New York Yankees.  He was discovered by Kansas City icon, Buck O'Neil, playing in a semi-pro league.  O'Neil would convince the Cubs to draft Gamble.  Besides the hair, Gamble is also known for having one of the worst batting stances of all time, crouching down so that his back was almost parallel to the ground.  He claimed it helped him see the ball better.

Darold Knowles, who is obviously disinterested in having his picture taken, was either possessed or checking out the girl in the upper deck.  Darold played 16 major league seasons and appeared in all 7 games of the 1973 World Series.  To this date the only pitcher ever to do so.

Ross Grimsley was chosen because he was born just up the road in our state capital of Topeka, KS.  Please don't think any less of him or me based on the monstrosity that is currently going on with the state legislature.  Grimsley came from a baseball family as his father played for the 51 White Sox and his grandfather was a career minor-leaguer.  Nicknamed "Scuz" because of his grooming habits.  Billy Martin accused him of throwing spitballs and having vaseline in his hair (actually, he didn't like washing it during winning streaks).  In Manning v. Grimsley, a Red Sox fan successfully sued the Orioles and Grimsley for Grimsley purposely throwing a ball into the stands when he was warming up and injuring the fan.  The Orioles defense was the fan was heckling Grimsley and thus, interfering with his work.

Finally, Cookie Rojas, the 5-time All Star 2nd baseman for the Kansas City Royals.  Rojas played 16 seasons for the Reds, Phillies, Cardinals, and Royals,  He was elected to the Royals Hall of Fame in 1987.  During the 1972 All Star Game he hit a pinch hit 2-run homer to become the first non-American player to hit a homer for the American League in All Star Game history.  I'll bet you never use that piece of trivia again.'

To see my 1975 Topps Wantlist, look here.  If you have anything let me know and we'll see if we can work out a trade.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

George Brett Card of the Day #5

2003 Topps Series I Record Breakers RB-GB

The 2003 Topps Set included a Record Breakers insert set.  The cards were inserted at a rate of around 1 in every 5 packs.  Purple background cards were inserted in Series I packs while Series II packs had green backgrounds.  The front of the card highlights Brett's 1980 season in which he batted .390.

The back of the card is bright yellow and highlights his 3 batting titles spread over 3 different decades.  His 1980 mark of .390 was the highest since Ted William's .406 in 1941.  Brett also won the American League MVP that year beating out Reggie Jackson for the award.

Friday, February 7, 2014

George Brett Card of the Day #4

2005 Upper Deck Past Time Pennants #34

The 2005 Upper Deck Past Time Pennant set featured 90 cards of baseball's legendary players.  The picture features Brett with another Royals presumably in the on-deck circle.  Based on the 25th Anniversary patch on the uniform, this picture is from 1993.  You can make out the #34 on the back of the batting helmet so this has to Felix Jose, who came over from the St. Louis Cardinals in a trade for Gregg Jeffries prior to the 1993 season.

The back of the card refers to Brett's role during the 1985 World Series against the St. Louis Cardinals.  This series still brings bad memories to Cardinals fans for Don Denkinger's missed call at first base in Game 6.  The card lists Brett's five best seasons and his career totals.  Three of those five seasons resulted in him winning a batting title (1976, 1980, and 1990) and made him the only player to win a batting title in 3 different decades.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

George Brett Card of the Day #3

1992 Jimmy Dean Living Legend #1

The 1992 Jimmy Dean Living Legend set was a 6 card set available for 3 proofs of purchase plus $1.00.  As you can see, the set is not licensed by MLB.  Front is a picture from Brett's days as a first basemen at the end of his career.

Brett's cumulative statistics are listed on the back with information about his 3 batting championships, one in each of the decades of his career.  Brett had not yet collected his 3000th hit as he was at 2836 following the 1991 season.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

George Brett Card of the Day #2

2013 Topps Archives #124

In the 1985 Topps style, this Archives card from 2013 shows George in his traditional batting stance photo.  A picture from early in his career is displayed on the front while career stats appear on the back.

Perhaps, one of Topps worst cardbacks, the red lettering on green background makes his Royal record hitting streak almost unreadable.  Then if you try to look at the stats, you will need a magnifying glass to even try to make them out.  Not a big fan of the Archives sets, but won't turn down a Brett.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

George Brett Card of the Day #1

In an effort to blog more in 2014 AND get my George Brett PC under control I am hopeful to do a post about my George Brett cards.  I don't plan on doing the posts in any sort of order, rather to just pick a random card from my collection and highlight it.  I will also be posting the card scans on a separate page of my blog here.

The first card in the series goes to the 1976 SSPC George Brett #167.

This set, originally printed in 1975, challenged the Topps monopoly in the card market.  Based on the 1953 Bowman design, this set is sometimes referred to as the "Pure Card" as the fronts are strictly player photos.  The set maker was eventually sued by Topps and further production of these sets was prohibited.  (http://www.baseballcardpedia.com/)

Baseball is close and the Royals hit a homer already.

Last year, if you saw the Royals billboard of James Shields and Salvador Perez you had to be impressed.  You couldn't drive by this and not get pumped up for the upcoming season.

This year, they have outdone themselves with this new billboard of Alex Gordon.  Maybe this will be the year the Royals get back to the playoffs.  At least the billboard is better than the 2014 slogan, "Be Royal".

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Let 2014 Begin...

Amidst all of the 2014 Topps posts, I thought I would go ahead and add to them.  I decided to try my fate with a Jumbo Hobby Box from my local LCS.  Here are some of thoughts after opening my first pack.

First Card:  Buster Posey - nice pearly whites.  I didn't know that Upper Deck was back to making cards.....wait, there is a Topps logo on it.  I guess I don't mind Topps not doing anything groundbreaking here.  After all, it is their base set so I probably shouldn't expect much.  However, every once and a while, I would like to see them do something outside the norm.  I guess they are saving that for their other 72 sets this year.

First Royal:  Yordano Ventura.  Fastest recorded pitch of a major league debut last year at over 101mph.  Should be contending for a spot in the rotation this year, but I wouldn't be surprised if he starts in Omaha before coming up in late May-early June especially after the re-signing of Bruce Chen this week.  Dear Dayton Moore....just go for it and put the kid in the rotation!

Power Players: Jose Altuve.  Good young 2nd basemen.  Create an account, register the code, have a chance to win fabulous prizes.  This is getting old Topps.  Unless the code is going to get me an actual vintage card like a few years ago, I am not really interested.

Red Foil Parallel:  Former Royal catcher Brayan Pena.  Cards have a nice look to them.  Maybe I will try to get the Royals team but do we really need 72 parallel versions each year (actually only 11)?

Last Card:  Former Royal outfielder David DeJesus.  If he can win Royals player of the year in his rookie season, then you know what Royals fans have had to deal with the last 25+  years.  Let's hope this year is different.

Summary:  330/331 Base Cards.  Can we just put #7 back in the set???  Need #218 Matt Dominguez...anyone, anyone wanna trade?  Inserts sets?  Nothing to see here...very boring!!!  89 Topps Die-cut?  I feel like I need to peel the sticker and put it in my sticker album.  Oops, its not a sticker.  Sorry, Joe Mauer.  

My 3 Relics?  Kolten Wong auto is OK.  Fred Lynn Rookie Cup All Star....widest damn card I've ever seen.  Would rather have the Matt Dominguez and 10 other base doubles.  Finally, a *($#*($  #@*($*)($$ jersey relic of someone that will not be playing in 2014 because of a suspension.  This could be yours for your unwanted Royals, anyone, anyone?  Guess not.  Oh well!