Archive for New York Yankees

Cardboard Porn: 1954 Topps Billy Martin

Posted in Cardboard Porn with tags , , , , , , , on July 14, 2010 by Cardboard Icons

Cardboard Porn: Because sometimes words just get in the way.

This is the fifth in an on-going series of card images titled “Cardboard Porn.”

Cardboard Porn: 1951 Bowman Mickey Mantle Rookie

Posted in Cardboard Porn with tags , , , , on July 11, 2010 by Cardboard Icons

Cardboard Porn: Because sometimes words just get in the way.

1951 Bowman Mickey Mantle Rookie

This is the first in an on-going series of card images titled “Cardboard Porn.”

RIP Bob Sheppard, voice of the New York Yankees

Posted in Newspaperman with tags , , , on July 11, 2010 by Cardboard Icons

Bob Sheppard's plaque at Memorial Park at Yankee Stadium. - May 17, 2010.

I never got a chance to hear Bob Sheppard announce a name live, but during my visit to New York in May, I got to hear his voice via a recording. The Yankees still play an old recording of him announcing Derek Jeter’s name before his at-bats. I’d heard the recording played on television, but there was something majestic about hearing it at the Stadium. I took video/audio of it, but have yet to upload it. Perhaps I’ll upload and share it later.

The perversion of Mickey Mantle

Posted in Newspaperman with tags , , , , , , on May 12, 2010 by Cardboard Icons

Yesterday in the mail I received this Clean Sweep Auctions catalog and the first thing that I noticed was the YooHoo advertisement at the bottom. Needless to say this is a poor image choice for The Mick. (click image for larger version.)

A 1958 Topps Mickey Mantle for $5? Whaaaat

Posted in Newspaperman with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on March 11, 2010 by Cardboard Icons

For weeks, I’d been itching to get back to one of my local card shops to dig through their vintage bargain bins. The Topps Million Giveaway promotion has rejuvenated my love for the old, smelly cards. So instead of paying inflated prices for a cardboard lottery ticket hoping to get something made before 1970, I decided to call the shots — I was going to chose what I wanted. And so I did. In the end I came away with five cards for $14.

The first  is a 1954 Bowman rookie of St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Memo Luna. Luna is a Mexican Baseball Hall of Famer. Born Guillermo Romero Luna, the lefty played in all of one game in his major league career. On April 20, 1954, Memo pitched just two-thirds of an inning, giving up six hits and two earned runs. And then poof, it was over; his Major League Dreams snuffed out. While his MLB numbers aren’t anything to gawk at, Luna actually played professional ball for 20 years What I have not figured out is how he got the nickname “Memo.”

I actually wish that I had gone to this card shop a week earlier. Nine days ago I paid $1 for a 1955 Topps Harvey Haddix card just to say I owned one of the guy who threw 12 perfect innings in a losing effort. And then lo and behold I found this 1961 Topps card yesterday commemorating that occasion. It still boggles my mind that Haddix tossed the equivalent of 1 1/4 of a perfect game and still came out on the losing end. This card is awesome, by the way. Very timely considering it is a “Baseball Thrills” subset, just like the ones that are in the 2010 Topps Heritage set.

I thought I bought a Milt Pappas rookie before, but a quick check of my blog via my cell phone was showing no signs of it. I would have posted it in my Rookie Card Showcase.  Anyhow, for $2 I was not going to pass on this 1958 Topps card. Pappas tossed a no-hitter (almost a perfect game) with the Cubs late in his career. And although he was not a HOFer, he remains one of the best pitchers of his era, tallying more than 200 wins and 1,700-plus strikeouts. Solid career.

And from one Oriole to another who had a slightly more decorated career. OK,  who am I kidding, this guy had a much more accomplished career. Brooks Robinson is one of the best third basemen to ever play the game and there was no way I was going to pass on a third-year card of a guy like that for $5. Yes, the card has some issues. There is a crease down the middle, but it’s really not as bad as it looks. And for the price, there was nothing to quibble about.

And lastly, the 1958 Topps Mickey Mantle card to which the headline alludes. Yes, this is a Yankee team checklist card, but it does feature some of legendary names: Mickey Mantle, Yogi Berra, Casey Stengel, Whitey Ford, Sal Maglie, Tony Kubek, Elston Howard, Hank Bauer and more. Want to guess where Mantle is? He’s the shortest guy on the top row. Awesome, right? Oh, and don’t harass me about the card’s condition. If it looked any better than this, I wouldn’t own it because it would have cost me more than the $5 I paid.

Shameless Plug: Don’t miss your chance to win a 1958 Topps Mickey Mantle / Hank Aaron card.

Upper Deck Follows Through With 2010 Series One … literally

Posted in Newspaperman with tags , , , , , , on February 5, 2010 by Cardboard Icons

Heading into 2010, I’d venture to guess that 99 percent of baseball card collectors knew that there would be only one official producer of Major League Baseball cards. And we all knew that Upper Deck was going to go ahead with products of their own, even without the blessing of The Man. It was something we as a collecting community were anxious to see. What would these cards look like? Would they look like many of the other unlicensed cards with logos and team names Photoshopped out? Would Upper Deck find a new way to do things? Well, Upper Deck certainly didn’t help the collecting world when it decided to release product information WITHOUT images. And so we were left in the dark. If we wanted to know what the cards would look like, we were going to have to buy some to figure it out.

And so there I was on Tuesday after having received an e-mail from my local card shop about the Upper Deck Series One arrival. I made it there before they even opened the first box. I didn’t want to go overboard, I knew the packs would run somewhere between $5 and $6 because of the number of cards per pack, so I decided before hand that I would buy three packs figuring that would get me 60 cards with a shot at one of the three hits in the box.

I’ll say this up front, my packs sucked. I am a Red Sox collector and there was not a single BoSox card to find in the packs. There also were no hits and the best cards, in my opinion, were base cards of Evan Longoria, Matt Weiters and cards of Yankee Stadium and Oakland-Alameda Coliseum, where I have attended more than 30 games during my life.

Check out the small picture of Longoria. Curious George?

I digress. What I did notice though is the photographs that Upper Deck used on these unlicensed cards — it seems like the majority of them were of the player following through on their throw, swing or pitch. See for yourself.

I initially liked the photos, but after thumbing through 60 cards and noticing that many of them look alike, it started to piss me off a bit.

Speaking of pissing me off, what the eff is up with this Biography insert set? Are we REALLY seeing a redux of Documents? And these Portrait cards are an uglier version of an already ugly design we saw in 2005 Origins. Gah!

And lastly, I will say I was quite amused with Upper Deck Star Rookie Cards. Check out the Rookie Card Logo. Seems like a big Eff You to MLBP.

Living a fantasy

Posted in Newspaperman with tags , , , , , , , , on January 26, 2010 by Cardboard Icons

Tomorrow marks the 40th day since I last opened a pack of baseball cards. It’s pretty big milestone for a guy who at times can be addicted to ripping packs and thumbing through new baseball cards. But I know that tough times are ahead as 2010 Topps baseball has already started to hit the market.

But what has made this 40-day journey easy on me is a bit of fantasy and reality. You see, about two weeks ago I bought my first 2010 fantasy baseball magazine, and just yesterday I purchased a second one just to give me a few different views on things. I’m currently involved in a pair of long-term keeper leagues with some friends, and over the last week I’ve managed to make some trades that have netted me Prince Fielder, Felix Hernandez and Jon Lester. Needless to say I am super excited about the 2010 season, even though my early start is going to make the next three months agonizing.

In terms of reality, my wife and I have booked a trip to the east coast in May which will lead us to two major destinations: New York and Boston.

The trip is to celebrate our fifth wedding anniversary as well as our 30th birthdays, all of which fall within a month of each other. This will be my first time to both cities. During our seven-day trip, we’re also making two stops that any baseball fan must make: Yankee Stadium and Fenway Park.

As a Red Sox fan, this is a dream come true. As it turns out we will watch the Red Sox at Yankee Stadium on May 17, and then two days later we’ll have the fortune of watching the Sox at home against the Minnesota Twins. For those counting, that is two games in three days at two of the most storied ball parks — well sort of. I kind of wish the Sox-Yankee game was at the old/original Yankee Stadium, but beggars can’t be choosers. I’m just happy to have the experience and to share it with my wife, who has been nothing but supportive in my desire to visit these parks, particularly Fenway.

These two items — fantasy baseball and our east cost trip — have left little time for me deal with baseball cards. I’ve not made any additions to my collection over the last month with the exception of my 1954 Topps Ted Williams. I’m actually trying to decrease the amount of stuff I have in the garage and reclaiming whatever money I can. (See eBay items here)

But as I noted earlier, tough times are ahead. Over the weekend I checked eBay to view some of the 2010 Topps cards and some of them are appealing to me, particularly the Red Sox stuff. So what am I to do?

If history has taught me anything it’s that the new base Topps set of every year sends collectors into a feeding frenzy for about three weeks for two major reasons. First off, it’s NEW baseball cards, not stuff we’ve been looking at for months or years. And secondly, we’re all feeling baseball withdrawal right now so in some way the release of the new Topps set is our way of welcoming in the new season, even if the players don’t start to report to spring training for another three weeks.

As these packs start to trickle into retail stores — where I do most of my shopping — I just need to remember that this urge to buy every pack on the shelf is temporary. It won’t hurt to buy a couple packs to celebrate the 2010 season, but there is no need to buy more than just a few. I think I am done with the idea of trying to build sets, and the abundance of 2007 Topps inserts sitting in my garage serve as a reminder as to what can happen when you buy way too much of a product that offers very little in return.