Vintage Bargain Bin Finds: HOF Rookies, Stars

I made a trip to one of my local card shops a few days ago to dig for a 1960 Topps rookie card of Ted Wieand, whom myself and Beckett’s Chris Olds learned about after Topps posted on Twitter an image of the retired Reds pitcher signing baseball cards.

1958 Topps Curt Flood rookie

Why was I intrigued by Wieand? Well, for starters, Topps misidentified Wieand as Ted Weiland — a name that turned up nothing on Google. Even the Topps rep had no clue who he was. A few minutes later we determined who the guy was — which was also intriguing. Wieand only played in six games (one in 1958 and five in 1960), but he was involved in a trade for Curt Flood in 1957 — a year before his rookie card was produced. Flood, a solid major leaguer, is probably best known for actions a decade later that helped shape free agency. One more thing on Wieand: His full name is Franklin Delano Roosevelt Wieand. I guess we know where his parent’s political allegiance was. I’m always fascinated by players who were named after presidents.

So yeah, I went to the card shop and … there was no Wieand. Bummer. BUT I did find 16 vintage cards that soothed my itch for old cardboard. I managed to cross off 10 rookie cards from my ultimate rookie collection, upgraded one rookie I already had and added a few other vintage beauties.

1963 Topps Cookie Rojas

We start with Cookie Rojas‘ 1963 Topps rookie card. Oddly enough, Cookie is also linked to Curt Flood. Actually, Cookie was involved in the trade that set the Flood ordeal into motion. I also wanted the card because this is the father if Victor Rojas, formerly of the MLB Network. Victor Rojas is soooooooo much better than Chris Rose, who was recently added to the Network. Price: $2

1963 Topps Rookie Stars, 562

Honestly, I bought this card because it was a cheap high number rookie that I thought featured two brothers, Don and Ken Rowe. As it turned out it’s just a high number rookie with two guys who share the same last name. It should be noted that this card features a Jewish baseball player named here as Randy Cardinal, who made only one Major League start. Cardinal’s real name: Conrad Seth Cardinal. Also, this is a rookie card of Dave McNally, the only pitcher to hit a grand slam in a World Series game. If you didn’t know, now you do. Price: $2

1960 Topps Gordy Coleman rookie

This was the first card that I pulled out of the box for purchase. It just looks cool. I love that old school Reds logo Price: $1

1953 Topps Rip Repulski rookie

Seriously, how bad-ass is it to have your nick name on your rookie card.  Because I know you’re curious, his full name is Eldon John Repulski. Yes, Eldon, NOT Elton. Price $3.

1972 Topps Doyle Alexander rookie

I love rookie cards of mediocre pitchers. Price $2

1971 Topps Al Hrabosky rookie

And here comes a closer run.

Al Hrabosky rookie. Some have credited this man, known as “The Mad Hungarian,” as the closer who started all the nonsense (facial hair, wild antics, etc) to psych themselves up. Word. Oh, and look, it’s a humble Hrabosky without a Fu Man Chu : Price: $2

1973 Topps Goose Gossage rookie

Second closer rookie card I picked up is a sweet one because it is of a Hall of Famer. Gossage is one of only five firemen to make it to the Hall of Fame. Whose NOT going to pay $2 for a HOF rookie? C’mon, man. I don’t care if it is off-center.

1977 Topps Bruce Sutter rookie

And another HOF closer rookie card, Bruce Sutter. Oddly enough I paid the most for this card, but the extra couple bucks was not going to deter me. It’s not every day you get to add yet another Hall of Fame rookie card for about the price of two packs of 2010 Topps baseball. Price: $5

1975 Topps Robin Yount rookie

Since I’m on a roll of Hall of Fame rookie, might as well show this one off. This has some water damage, but presents pretty damn nicely. This will theoretically replace the Mini version I have in my collection. Seriously, whose NOT a buyer of this card at $5“FIVE DOLLARS, WHOSE GOT ‘EM?!” /Don West voice.

1970 Topps Larry Bowa

If there is one thing I love other than rookies of mediocre pitchers, it’s rookie cards of mediocre team managers and coaches who can’t seem to fade away. Here’s a Larry Bowa rookie for which I paid $2.

1968 Topps Hal McRae rookie

And one of Hal McRae. Because of the Nolan Ryan/Jerry Koosman from this 1968 Topps set, I tend to me over-fascinated with the other rookies from this set. Price $2

1963 Topps Johnny Pesky

And while we’re on the topic of managers, might as well show off this Johnny Pesky card, which I thought was a neat, cheap addition to my Red Sox collection. Pesky is a manager here. Price: $1

When I’m not working on my rookie card collection, I like to turn my attention to my Topps Number Ones project, which is moving along quite nicely. One of the cards I was missing is this 1965 League Leaders card, which I’ve bid a few times on eBay but have lost. This was one of four copies this card shop had, and it was the cheapest. Price: $5

1966 Topps Harmon Killebrew

When I look through my collection, one of the things I look for are vintage star cards. I have thousands of rookies from all eras, but I tend to gravitate toward simple base cards of Ted Williams, Pete Rose, Willie Mays, etc. Killebrew isn’t exactly in the same class, but I really like seeing his cards in my collection. Adding this one, even with some creases, was a no-brainer for the $1 price tag.

1965 Topps Willie Stargell

Much like Killebrew, there is a certain mystic when it comes to Willie Stargell. I still don’t have his rookie card — need to get it by the way — but for now this third-year issue will suite me fine, especially since it had a $3 price tag.

1963 Topps Roger Maris

And lastly we’ve got a sharp vintage Roger Maris card. There is one obvious problem with this card, part of it is pink. But when you factor in that the corners are pretty sharp, centering is pretty solid and there isn’t a single crease, it becomes a must have. Especially when the price tag reads $5.

4 Responses to “Vintage Bargain Bin Finds: HOF Rookies, Stars”

  1. Wow… 5 bucks for a first-ballot, 3000-hit Hall of Famer? What a find! Also gotta love the Goose rookie for $2. Excellent work. Clearly, I am missing out on a lot here in small-town central Illinois.

  2. Play at the Plate Says:

    WoW! I wish the card shop near me had deals like that. All of his stuff is way overpriced. Great pickups.

    • Well, it helps that this shop deals in lots of great condition vintage. Anything that does not make it to PSA gets placed into the vintage bargain boxes. Price is determined by Beckett and actual condition — I just choose stuff that works well with my budget and collection. GREAT place to go if working on a vintage set though. Thousands of old cards.

  3. […] dual autograph card. If you’re so inclined, you can read my initial post on that topic here. Well, in April I was unaware that the shop had these boxes. As it turns out, they had SEVEN Wieand […]

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