Joy of a Completed Page

As we inch closer to the games actually meaning something, I felt people might need a break from all the Heritage posts so going vintage today. Today’s completed page came about from the Mansfield Card Show I attended a couple weeks ago. It was a very successful 45 minute ride as I reeled in 30 cards for my 1959 Topps set, including the card that completed this page with some guy called Mantle.

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1959 Topps #10-18

Card that completed the page: Vern Law (12)

Favorite card: I’d be lying if I didn’t say the Mickey Mantle (10). I have a couple of Mantle cards in my collection including a beautiful ’63 Topps that has a pen mark on the back and the ’68 Topps that’s in the set I’m building. But it’s this one, that would be my favorite. Still young and and not completely ravaged by injuries, Mick looks ready to smack one out on that sunny afternoon.

Best photograph: I’m a sucker for combo cards but the colored background takes away from Danny’s All-Stars (17). Joe Pignatano (16) is cool shot showing the Dodgers first West Coast home—the LA Coliseum.

Best career: The Mick … by far. Hall of Famer, hobby legend, an idol to many kids in the 1950’s and 60’s. Too bad drinking and injuries hampered a career that could have been even better.

Number of Red Sox: One, Dick Gernert (13). A nothing special first baseman who played eight seasons in Boston while batting a middling .252 over that span.

Past/Future Red Sox: Zero.

Interesting fact: That Dick Gernert finished 25th overall in the 1952 American League MVP voting. He finished ahead of a young Billy Pierce and a soon to be retired Johnny Sain. In 102 games that year, he batted .243, 19 HR, 67 RBI.

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Here’s a close up of one of the biggest cards in the ’59 Topps set. Absolutely beautiful color on “The Mick.” Sure, it’s off-centered and has a wrinkled lower left corner but has a clean back and was a nice get off of eBay last summer. I still need to throw a couple pics up in regards to that show haul — there are some great ’59s that are surely to complete more pages!

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Working on a couple new trades this week with Nick over at Baseball Dime Box as well as Julie at A Cracked Bat, both are new traders for me and both should be fun trades as they need cards I should have a fair amount of. Also wrapping up a monster trade with Scott over at I need new hobbies—easily close to 1,000 cards if not more! So please hit me up for some trades please!!

Looking for West Coast team collectors as I’m trying to gather some Mother’s Cookie singles from 1983-1989. Maybe you have some dupes from 82-83 Granny Goose sets. How about (gulp) some 80’s Mets Fan Club cards? Anyone have extra 1987-89 Kahn’s Cincy Reds cards? How about some Stuart Montreal Expos cards from 1983-86???? These are some of the items I’d like to trade for!!! Thank you for reading!

 

Crossing of a huge set need!

1959 Topps #514 Bob Gibson (PSA 3)

Finally! I had missed out a handful of times recently trying to land this card. In the end, I figured I had a good chance at getting this one as it has a significant miscut along the right edge of the card. However, unlike many ’59 Gibsons’ I had seen in worse condition and more money, this had a strong, vibrant color on the frontside. No scuff marks here or printing blemishes. For my set needs, this was perfect as it was the last big money card (aside from the Mickey Mantle All-Star card) that I needed.

In 1959, a young Bob Gibson was still feeling his way on the mound. He still walked too many batters and really didn’t take off until his All-Star season in 1962. Gibson would go 3-5 in thirteen games — nine of those starts — and compile a 3.33 earn run average. In those nearly 76 innings, he gave up 77 hits, 39 free passes while striking out 48 batters. His WHIP in his first three seasons in the bigs: 1.53, 1.67, 1.44.

It’s too bad that Bob wasn’t able to complete my page. Missing from are cards of Harmon Killebrew (515), Mike Cuellar’s RC (518), and Gary Geiger (521). If you have one of these, maybe we can work out a trade? Hit me up and lets talk!

More 59s from the Shriners

So going to try to bang out a quick, long-awaited post as I have absolutely had no time lately. I feel as the last two weeks have been barely sleep, work, eat, freelance, barely sleep, feed the dog, let out the dog, feed the cats, pick up the kids stuff, soccer games, practices, and on and on and on. So before I start what hopefully will just be an hour of freelance, here are the 1959 Topps I was able to grab at the Shriner’s show a couple of weeks ago.

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First up, several cards that I found to be favorites of mine. The set’s opening card Ford Frick, the Commissioner of Baseball. Frick was the National League president from 1934 to 1951, and then became the third Commissioner of Major League Baseball from 1951 to 1965. The Blasingame and Bolling cards are classic fielding poses from the 1950’s sets. Something about those cards and the ballparks in the background always get my attention. Don’s is set in Wrigley and there’s no mistaking the classic facade of Old Yankee Stadium on the Bolling card. I found Tex Clevenger’s card interesting as it has (maybe that day’s starter) a pitcher warming up with the catcher in the background.

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Next up, some miscellaneous stars and well knowns. Bobby Thomson was winding down his career and would move onto Boston in the 1960 Topps set. Billy Martin had drunk himself out of New York and Billy Pierce was one of the top American League hurlers of the 50s. Cool to see the LA Coliseum in the background of Gil Hodges’ card. Gil would complete a three-year run of Gold Gloves at the conclusion of 1959. It was also his last year he would hit for double digits in home runs (25).

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More semi-stars and no I didn’t mean to segregate so my apologies, completely random. 1959 was Larry Doby’s last card. The former 7-time, American League All-Star would split his last season between Detroit and the Chicago White Sox. In only thirty-nine games, he would 26-113, 0 HRs, 13 RBI, and hit only .230. At age 35, he would out of baseball. Here’s an interesting fact about Minnie Minoso that I just learned … he led the American League in hit-by-pitch TEN TIMES!! Including a streak of six years from 1956-1961.

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Next were a bunch of Red Sox I still needed for my set. Ike Delock pitched all but 7 games in his career for Boston. If you happen to be a Sammy White super collector, you better be ready to spend some dough! He happens to be in a number of tough food issues from the 1950s. 1953 First National Supermarkets (Stop & Shop I believe), 1954 Red Heart Dog Food, 1954 Wilson Franks, 1955 Wilson Franks Booklets, and if those aren’t tough enough, he’s in the 1952 Topps high number series. Yikes!!!

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A handful of ex-Red Sox. Bob Smith is another (and not the same Bob Smith pictured as a Red Sox, 1958 Topps) guy I need to create a custom card for my All-Time Red Sox collection. Add Marv Grissom to that list. I do have a pretty decent B&W photo and where he played for the Sox in 1953, makes it easy to create a custom 1953 Bowman B&W card.

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Team cards galore!!! All but the Red Sox is marked but I got these for fifty cents apiece. I do wonder as it just caught my attention, why the Cubs card has “Cubs Team” and the other team cards do not. And why were the Cubs in all those team cards from the 1970s just their little heads ala 1963?? I always wondered why, why, why????

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Next up, some nice high numbers, one in particular Darrell Johnson was given to me for free by Mathew at Number 5 Type Collection who I met via Mark Hoyle at the show.

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And lastly, more cards from the high number series—the All-Star variety!! This batch of high number cards brings me to only nineteen more I need in the tough series. Of course, of those include the Bob Gibson rookie, Campanella, and All-Star cards of Mantle and Mays.

All in all, I ended completing eight pages in the 59 album, including one in the high series. And with that, off to do some freelance work and hopefully I’ll have some time to bang out a couple of quick custom cards that won’t need much work (ie; 1968 Floyd Robinson).

Shriner’s Show Haul

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So Saturday, I finally had put some “me” time on the calendar to head up to Wilmington, Massachusetts for the annual fall GBSCC Shriner’s Show. It would also be a chance to finally meet Mark Hoyle, and in turn a couple other bloggers which I’ll touch on below.

Since I left the show, I haven’t had to time to cross off lists, take pictures, or even really look at my spoils. I left the show and raced home to catch my daughters soccer game and then the usually son’s soccer game on Sunday and a variety of chores kept side-tracking me. I’ll have to go more in depth on more of the haul, but for the time being (stuck in training today), I’m going to try to bang this out this morning while in training.

INSIDE THE NUMBERS

1959 Topps Set Needs: 111, including #1 Ford Frick and 8 high numbers cards and then one more high number thanks to Matt over at Number 5 Type Collection.

1965 Topps Set Needs: 78, including some a couple of Hall of Famers (Killebrew, Sphan second year) I was still in need of.

All-Time Red Sox Needs: 23, including four cards from the aforementioned Mark Hoyle.

I certainly saw a number of food issues from the 1970’s I was hoping to grab, but ran out of my budget money and time. My priorities here were to make a bigger dent into my ’59 and ’65 Topps sets and also try to find some Sox for my All-Time Collection. With that, lets jump in …

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I needed these 1973 Topps cards as I had pulled them from my Sox collection and used then in the 1973 Topps set I am also buidling.

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Same here with these 1968 Topps, have another copy of each of these in my ’68 set that I am building. This is Elston Howard’s last card of the one great Yankee backstop.

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Some late 50’s Topps cards I needed for the Sox collection.

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A bunch of early Bowman beauties here! 1949 Stan Spence, 1950 Walt Masterson, 1951’s Matt Batts and HoFer Lou Boudreau, and 1952 Vern Stephens. I absolutely love the artwork on these early 50s Bowman cards … maybe someday I’ll try working one one of those sets, probably the 1950 issue since I won’t have to worry about the Mantle or Mays rookies.

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A well loved 1939 Play Ball Jim Tabor. Nicked named “Rawhide”, Tabor was a five-tool player before that phrase became part of the baseball vernacular. Tabor earned his moniker with his hustle, his win-at-any-cost attitude, and his toughness. The condition of this card fits his nickname quite well as I write this. His best year was 1941 in which he batted .279, slugged 16 homers, drove in 101 runners, while adding 17 steals. Over the course of an average 162-season per Baseball-Reference.com, Tabor was a .270/16/97/11 hitter.

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Next up and my last purchase as I was quickly going around before heading out the door, a 1936 Goudey Rick Ferrell. I already have a graded PSA 4, 1935 Diamond Stars of the Hall of Famer, but that’s reserved in a box of graded Sox greats. I was able to grab this for less than a blaster of box at Target and looks better in person than this close up. For my All-Time Sox album, this card was perfect for crossing off Rick Ferrell. I also didn’t have one of these black and white Goudey, so that was a plus.

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And finally, some collections adds thanks to Mark Hoyle!!! This was the first time I met Mark in person and I’m sure it won’t be the last!! He handed my a couple more 1967 Dexter Press photo cards of George Smith and Hank Fischer as well as some cards I had in my collection years ago but traded them away for something I was collecting more at that time.

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These cards are part of a 24-card set that was produced my a Maine collector. They are cataloged as 1979 Early Red Sox Favorites in the Standard Catalog of Vintage Baseball Cards. Measuring a little larger than a standard size card at 2-5/8″ x 3-3/4″, these are printed in black and white. The set depicts players from the 1920s-1930s Red Sox and many of these features feature more than one player. These were just added to my All-Time Sox Collection want list (but still need to post above), but thanks to Mark I can cross off several!!

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Here are a couple of the backs to the cards above. Again, if anyone has some of the others, I’ll gladly trade for them!

Lastly, one of the highlights to the show in addition to meeting Mark, was meeting Joel Freedman from OBC from Matt from Number 5 Type Collection. Matt had picked up a number of off-conditioned 1959 Topps high numbers for a buck a piece and knew I was collecting the set. Out of the blue and he said pick up that you need, so #533 Darrell Johnson was added to my set. Thanks Matt!! Mark introduced me to them and managed to chat for about 20-plus minutes (or maybe it was longer). This was the first time I had met other bloggers at a show like this. It really was a great example of how great this hobby can be! I know I’ll definitely try to hook up with Mark again a local show in Mansfield and there’s talk about getting together some night in Providence (RI) for dinner, drinks, and shop talk.

My apologies for any typos, run-on sentences, and the like, but wanted to post with the short time I had this morning. Thank you guys for making a great day even better!

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Also of note, I have some trade packages I need to get out the door in the next couple of days (Brian, Bert, John Miller, and Tony. Scott Crawford, still working on yours and probably close to an 600-800 count box at the moment). Also need to post a recent trade from Brian as well so a busy week ahead here at Off the Wall.

Joy of a Completed Page

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1959 Topps Numbers 361-369

So I finally had a couple of hours to clear the doubles, rub away wax residue, sheet, and admire my new set quest. I managed to have one completed page out of the 340 plus/minus cards I now have, with maybe another six or so pages missing a single card. 

Out of this page, Bobby Avila and Gus Bell had the best careers with seven all-star selections between them. My favorite card out of the nine would be Humberto Robinson. Those Braves wool uniforms were pretty sweet, add the bright yellow backdrop and classic pitching pose and you have a great looking card! Over a five year career, Robinson was 8-13 with a 3.25 ERA while pitching in 108 games. Although pictured a Milwaukee Brave, he actually pitched for Cleveland and Philadelphia in 1959.

I’ll post some other favorites I came across as I was putting this set in sheets. There are a number of cards from this lot that look like they just came out of a freshly opened pack. Including a number of high numbers!!

You can find a want list up under the  Wants/Topps Sets and if you too are collecting the ’59 set, I’ve got maybe hundred plus doubles looking to find homes. Drop me a line.