Stand up, stand out

Here’s another purchase that is fairly recent and there’s something about these 1964 Topps Stand-Ups that I love. While the only image is of silhouetted player on top of the yellow and green backdrop, the colors just pop like a sunshine filled, afternoon at the ballpark.

1964 Topps Stand-Up Frank Malzone

Thirty years after a similar issue, 1934-36 Batter-Up, these blank-backed cards follow the standard-sized (2 1/2″ by 3 1/2″) and where sold in both one cent and five cent packs. Only 77 cards man the checklist, and due to the distinctive look, as well as player selection, these cards are still fairly popular today.

I picked up the Frank Malzone, because A.) the Carl Yastrzemski is a short print that even ungraded, goes for more than what my budget allows, B.) the Dick Stuart is a short print as well and Dr. Strangeglove is pictured sporting a Pittsburgh Pirates jersey with a Boston “B” airbrushed onto his cap.

Malzone was a decent player back in the late 50’s, early 60’s making eight all-star teams and winning three straight gold glove awards before some guy named Brooks Robinson came along. Similar ballplayers to Malzone are Charlie Hayes, Doug Radar, Hubie Brooks, and Melvin Mora. All had decent years sprinkled out through their careers. Frank also finished second in the 1957 ROY ballot to Tony Kubek.

Malzone burst on the scene like … “a delayed-action bomb.” He was such a quiet, modest, and unassuming ballplayer that Red Sox traveling secretary Tom Dowd averred, “If he wasn’t on the roster, I wouldn’t know he was on the club.”

In 1995, Frank Malzone was one of the inaugural class of inductees into the Red Sox Hall of Fame cumulating a career with the Red Sox organization for more than 60 years, save for one season playing for the California Angels. in 1966.

The Big Books of Papi

First off before I jump into a quick post as we all head into the weekend … Thank you all so far who have followed me on Twitter and left comments there and on the blog. It’s good getting back to writing about this great hobby. It allows me some down time to catch my breath and learn something I did know about this card or that player. For example when I wrote about Earl Wilson, I had no idea he being the first African-American to throw a no-hitter in the American League. I will say though, I had to tweak the language from what the Boston Globe used on that day in 1962—let’s say it’d would fly in these times.


2014 Panini National Treasures NT Star Jumbo Booklets David Ortiz (jersey patch)

Was busy photographing a number of cards for future posts and thought these would be a change of pace from the vintage posts the last couple of days.  Saw these one day on eBay and thought they were really beautifully designed—even if they are missing the MLB logos.


I have a number of relics and used to want all I could find years ago, but you can only have so may white, red, or, gray squares of uniform. So I started only looking for Sox jerseys that showed some form of a patch. As you can see with this jumbo swatch, there’s a nice section of what is the “3” in his uniform number “34.”


2014 Panini National Treasures NT Star Jumbo Booklets David Ortiz (bat nicknames)


Next is a Big Papi nicknames bat booklet. I actually had picked this one up prior to the jersey book above. Both cards are really beautiful and I need to see about finding magnetic cases for these so I can keep flat instead of in a plastic team set box. I think I have seen them online but I know the LCS does not carry them.


David Ortiz will probably go down in history around New England, as the greatest Sox player they ever saw … okay maybe not “greatest”but right up there on the Mounth Rushmore of Sox players (I think Ted just turned in his cryogenic sleep tube) …  but definitely greatest clutch moment player that Red Sox Nation has seen.

Hope you enjoyed the Big Papi books and thank you again for reading. Go Sox—magic number is only 5!!

The man who wore three Sox

1911 T201 Mecca Double Folders Eddie Cicotte / Jack Thoney


This was a spur of the moment pick up off of eBay earlier this Summer, and one that was better than the image supplied with the auction. The colors really pop on this card that was inserted into packages of Mecca Cigarettes, which was a brand under the American Tobacco Company.

The 1911 T201 Mecca Double Folders was also the first issue in which two players shared the same card. On the front was one player, and on the back, the top half of another player’s picture appears. The concept of the doublefolder was that this image can be folded and flipped over onto the legs/torso of the front-image player. The rest of the back shows statistics for both players. There are a total of 50 cards and 100 subjects make up a complete set, that in contrast to the T206’s or T205’s, are generally less expensive to obtain.

What also struck me with the T201’s that I learned after the fact, was it was the first time statistics could be found on the backs of cards. Any prior tobacco releases to this point had carried advertising for various products. This set was also the forerunner to Topps’ own doubleheader issue released in 1955. Obtaining a Red Sox player in that series is on my to-do-list!

Before I loop back to the title of this post, I’ll visit one Jack Thoney who adorns the rear of this beautiful card. On Opening Day in Boston, April 14 1908, he recorded the first out (fly ball) during the first game the team played as the Red Sox (they had changed from the Boston Americans in December the year prior). Then as the leadoff man, walked, stole second base, reached third on a sacrifice, and scored on a passed ball — the first time a player wearing a Red Sox uniform scored a run.

Bullet Jack Thoney was once called “the unluckiest player in the history of baseball.” Boston Red Sox owner John I. Taylor had paid what was thought to be the most money ever paid for a player at the time, but it seemed as though every time Thoney made a major-league team, he broke a limb.

Jack played for the Red Sox over the course of three seasons, or 148 games to be exact with 1908 his only “healthy” campaign. 1909 was a lost year as he had a bout with malaria and then broke a bone in his right leg near the ankle in June. Jack lost all of 1910 when — I kid you not — slipped on a banana peel and broke and dislocated his right shoulder while heading to spring training. Making a comeback that season, he threw his shoulder out again.

So what about “The man who wore three Sox” depicted on the front of this card. Cicotte was one of baseball’s most effective pitchers in the second decade of the American League but is today best remembered for being banned from baseball as part of the Black Sox Scandal for his alleged involvement in fixing the 1919 World Series. He won at least 11 games in each of four seasons as part of the Red Sox rotation, during which he feuded repeatedly with team owner John Taylor. Cicotte purchased by the Chicago White Sox halfway through the 1912 season. It was said that Eddie decided to partake in the fixing of the World Series over a feeling of being underpaid compared to similar quality pitchers. During the Black Sox trials, he did admit to accepting cash from the gamblers, but denied he didn’t do anything on the field to jeopardize his team from winning. However, he did plunk a batter and had a couple of horrendous throwing errors in which the White Sox lost two games.

In the end, Eddie Cicotte wore Red, White, and infamously … Black Sox.