Archive for Carl Yastrzemski

He finally said yes to the Mays… and Mantle … and Hank

Posted in Dad Life, Misc. with tags , , , , , , , , on August 12, 2019 by Cardboard Icons

I was sitting at my desk sorting cards and labeling items yesterday when I came across a four 1969 Topps checklists featuring Mickey Mantle.

I grabbed these at a card shop a few years back and they’ve just been sitting around. They are well-love cards, most of the check boxes on the checklist marked. I pulled one out and asked my son: “Hey, you don’t have a Mickey Mantle in your Collection do you?”

Of course the boy responds that he does not.

“Well, would you like one?” I ask.

He smiles and says, “sure!”

I explained what the card is, and then asked about the 1963 Topps Willie Mays I had offered him in the last. This time he agreed to add it to his collection.

But before I handed them to him, I told him I had one more thing to find for him. I figured I had to round this collecting moment with the other major cardboard icon from that generation — Hank Aaron.

So I found the extra 1974 Topps Hank Aaron #1 I had and set it aside as well. We had discussed Hank earlier this week in context of Barry Bonds while we were at the Phillies-Giants game on Thursday night.

Funny thing happened though. As soon as I located the Aaron, I found a 1969 Topps Carl Yastrzemski behind it. That card also felt like it needed to be in my kid’s collection since we talked about him at the game while watching grandson Mike Yastrzemski round the bases after a homer.

These are the father-son collector moments I absolutely love. I’m sure these won’t be the last legends to head his way.

Rookie Card Upgrade: 1960 Topps Carl Yastrzemski

Posted in Rookie Card Upgrade, Uncategorized with tags , , , , on February 23, 2016 by Cardboard Icons

There’s something about Carl Yastrzemski that had always been appealing to me.  Maybe it’s the fact that he’s a legend. Maybe it’s because he played for my favorite team. Maybe it’s because I learned at an early age how to spell his last name and pronounce it. 

Whatever the reason, the 1960 Topps Yastrzemski rookie card has always been high on my want list.  As about a decade ago I acquire a raw copy that I later had slabbed and shown here. 
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I was happy with what I owned … Until recently when I started doing some upgrading of rookie cards. The Yaz in its 3.5 condition wasn’t bad …it just could be a whole lot better.  The corners were soft, the edges were too.  But this example always had decent centering which made it appealing.

Fast forward to about 10 days ago.  I acquired a 1965 Topps Mickey Mantle card from a seller on eBay who also had a nice BVG 7 Yaz rookie in his inventory.  

So we negotiated a bit and I struck a deal for this gorgeous Yaz. The card an obvious ink defect on the bottom border but centering is nice and the corners are fairly sharp.  And after selling the 3.5 Yaz to one of my Twitter followers, the cost of the upgrade was palatable. 
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One of the aspects of the Yaz rookie that I love is that he is listed as a second baseman. 

“Live” reveal of 1992 Score Ser. 2 pack with a “Franchise” (auto) insert.

Posted in Box / Pack Break with tags , , , , , , , , , on February 21, 2013 by Cardboard Icons

On Wednesday I made a quick run to my local card shop and picked up another 1992 Score Ser. 2 box in search of the super rare ‘Franchise” insert cards, hopefully one that is signed.  Well, as the title of this post suggests … I got one!  Check out the “live” reveal …

In case you missed the other one I pulled, check out this one I pulled five months ago …

And here are what the autographs look like, I own all three single-signed cards:



Finding that Loving Feeling in a 20-year-old pack of baseball cards

Posted in Box / Pack Break with tags , , , , , on September 13, 2012 by Cardboard Icons

Junk Wax — the stuff many of us grew up on.

I recently “discovered” that one of my local shops, South Bay Sports Cards had some of the 1992 Score Series 2 boxes — from the so-called junk wax era — sitting around for $9.99 a box.

A bargain? Not really.

But a fun gamble considering there is a long shot — and I mean looooooooooooooooooooooooooooong — shot at pulling inked cards of Baseball Hall of Famers Carl Yastrzemski, Stan Musial and Yankee legens Mickey Mantle. Heck, there’s even a triple-signed cards of all three guys.

The autographs were part of “The Franchise” insert set.  There are basic inserts that are reportedly limited to some 150,000 copies.  No, that’s not a typo. My”zero key didn’t get stuck.  That’s one hundred fifty THOUSAND.  But they are tough, probably harder than one per case.

The single-signed autographs are limited to 2,000; and only 500 of the triple autos exist.

Not scarce by today’s standards, but super-, mega-short printed for 1992 relatively speaking.

Anyhow, I bought a box last week, and lo and behold, the green greatness that is “The Franchise” was in my box.  But who was it?  Was it signed? Watch the video to find out.

The Vintage Bargain Bin Challenge

Posted in Newspaperman with tags , , , , , on July 10, 2010 by Cardboard Icons

I kind of wish I could take credit for this, but the idea is not mine. The concept was a simplistic one: oldest card at the lowest price wins. Wins what you ask? Nothing, just bragging rights for about 5 minutes. It was a spur-of-the-moment challenge thrown at me by Beckett Baseball editor Chris Olds via Twitter. I mentioned on Twitter that I wanted to make a quick run to the card shop to pour through the “price-friendly” vintage boxes and next thing you know we’re both heading to the shops to win the challenge.

Well, I’m not sure if Chris plans to show off his piece on the Beckett Blog, but apparently he unearthed an original 1909-1911 T206 common White Sox player for $9.50. The best I could do was buy a trimmed 1952 Bowman Eddie Robinson (also White Sox) for a buck. I think he won.

But as I mentioned, I had other reasons to be there: I wanted to find something worth owning at a cheap price. And as usual I did — I purchased nine cards for a total of $20.50. The lot includes five Hall of Famers.

I’ll start with this 1960 Topps World Series celebration card of the Los Angeles Dodgers. I always run across these cards when I go digging through these vintage boxes, but I recently received some cards from Night Owl and owe him some cards. I hope he does not have this one already. Cost: $1

While we’re on the $1 price point, I might as well show off this 1966 Topps Harmon Killebrew that is in brutal condition. When I saw it was Killebrew I knew I had to have it. And then right before I sat down to write this piece I realized that this card seemed really familiar to me. Reason? Last time I hit this card shop’s boxes in April I bought the same card in better condition for the same price. Doh!

All Star cards really have lost their luster over the years, but the AS singles from the 50s are still awesome to me. In this case, even more so because this 1959 Topps card features former Red Sox slugger Jackie Jensen. Not going to set the hobby on fire with this card, but it’ll look good in my Red Sox collection, right next to the signed 1954 Bowman Jensen I own. Cost: $1

And now the Hall of Famers …

For the last two years, I’d been wondering if there had ever been a card made of Branch Rickey, the baseball executive who facilitated the Major League Debut of Jackie Robinson. Sure enough this 1960 Fleer Baseball Greats was sitting in the bin with an incredible price tag of two bits … 50 cents. C’mon, now.

Sparky Anderson has been one of my favorite baseball personalities. I had a chance to get his signature in person in 1991 at a Tiger-A’s game in Oakland and have since re-acquired his signature through the mail to replace the in-person one which has been lost over the years. It was always my intention to get his rookie card for my on-again, off-again rookie card project. Finally, I acquired one at a price I was comfortable with. Cost: $4

As was the case with Sparky, I had the opportunity to meet Orlando Cepeda during a free signing session at a local Piazza Hut. I forget if I told this story before, but Cepeda showed up like two hours late, but arrived nonetheless and signed everything in sight … at least until he got annoyed with some of my friends who had collected probably a half dozen signatures that day. At the time I thought he was an asshole. At the time I was 9. At the time none of us really appreciate when a Hall of Famer is signing autographs for free. Anyway, here we have a second-year card of Cepeda. Figured it was a must-add to my collection since I have yet to purchase his rookie. Cost: $2

I have had a penchant for finding vintage Carl Yastrzemski cards for almost nothing. I once purchased at thrift store a copy of his 1968 Topps card for a dime. Yes, a dime, as in the cost of two mini Tootsie Rolls. And somewhere else I purchased his 1965 Topps card for $5. Might not be a steal like the ’68 was, but $5 is solid nonetheless. And alas we have this 1969 Topps All-Star card for what I think was a good price: Cost $2

And what better way to close out a post about vintage cards than to show off yet another reasonably priced Mickey Mantle card. It may not be one of the nicest looking Mantles, or one that is even worth a ton, but this 1965 card commemorating a game-winning and record-setting home run he hit during the 1964 World Series seemed like a bargain.  Interesting to note that the image shown here doesn’t look like Mantle is connecting for a home run. In fact, it looks like he is striking out on a ball picked out of the dirt by St. Louis Cardinals catcher Tim McCarver. Cost: $8