Archive for Pittsburgh Pirates

Rookie Card Showcase: 1981 Topps Tony Pena

Posted in Rookie Card Showcase with tags , , , , , , on November 1, 2009 by Cardboard Icons



These three played a combined 40 years in the Major Leagues, that's pretty solid.

This post is kind of out of the blue, right? Not really. Recently, the MLB Network showed the classic 1995 ALDS Game One between the Boston Red Sox and the Cleveland Indians. The game ended in the 13th inning on a homer by guess who, Tony Pena.


I realize that there probably will be five people who read this, myself included since now one seems to give a crap about Tony Pena. But Pena has always been one of my favorites, even if he did hand the Red Sox — his former team — a loss during that playoff game.

When I was a Little League catcher, I liked to imitate Pena’s one-leg crouch stance, and once tried that funky deke move he used on base runners. Sometimes when a ball was thrown in the dirt, he’d pick it but then make a move toward the backstop as if he missed it. Sometimes it worked, other times it didn’t. When I tried it, the base runner didn’t fall for it, so I guess my intuitiveness went unseen. Did I mention I was 11 years old.

Anyhow, Pena’s sole rookie card is this 1981 Topps card, which he shares with two other players you probably remember: Vance Law and Pascual Perez. Not exactly the kind of card someone usually admits to owning, but I’m proud to say it is in my personal collection. That’s just how I roll.

This is the part 10 of an ongoing series. To see other parts in this series, click here.

Card of the Day: 1970 Topps Roberto Clemente

Posted in Card of the Day with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 5, 2008 by Cardboard Icons

At first glance, this looks like one of the nastiest cut Clemente cards even produced. It is off-center 99/1 right and left. But as is the case with many of my vintage cards, the value is more about the player and what the cards is, and not so much about the condition. I ran into this card during a visit to a local thrift shop. Sitting among the stacks of baggies containing 1989 Topps and 1990 Donruss commons was this sealed bag of about 50 cards, all of which appeared to be 1970 Topps. They appeared to be all commons, but even at the price of $2.95, I was not going to let them sit there. I’m a sucker for “vintage” cards, even commons because their condition tell a story. Nothing beats the feeling and smell of old cardboard featuring players of the era. Anyway, back to this card … so as I sat in my car I opened the bag and was thrilled to find Tom Seaver and Rod Carew within the first dozen cards or so. Then about 20 cards later, there was this beautiful Clemente. The centering sucks, but this is the first regular vintage Clemente card I’ve owned. I’d had a few subset ones, but none exclusively dedicated to him. What makes this card the card of the day is the fact that I am reading “Clemente: The Passion and Grace of Baseball’s Last Hero.” It’s a biography, something as a baseball fan I absolutely needed to read. I’ll follow up later when the book is done. Hopefully by then I will own the holy grail, the 1955 Topps Clemente rookie, which I hunt for every day. The price and timing just has not been right.