Archive for Ted Williams

Breaking a lonely 2017 TSC Baseball Value Pack

Posted in Box / Pack Break with tags , , , , , , , on July 22, 2017 by Cardboard Icons

I’ve always been a fan of Topps Stadium Club.  You can count me among the collectors who paid through the nose for singles of our favorite players from the original release in 1991. True story, I once road my bike three miles to drop $5 on a single Roger Clemens card from this set. Yes, that’s how it went when I was 11.

I digress, this year’s Stadium Club has been nearly impossible to find at retail. And I have not had time to hit my Local Card Shop to buy a hobby box.  Like most 2017 products that contain Aaron Judge, TSC has flown off the shelves.

But while shopping at WalMart with my son I managed to find a lonely Value Pack hanging on a peg hook. I had to snatch it up as it could be the one and only TSC pack I break this year.

And so, here are my results.

I did not pull any Aaron Judge cards, BUT I did pull a Andrew Benintendi rookie card, which features a cool photo of him robbing a homerun.

Other rookies in the pack included ones of Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher Tyler Glasnow and Renato Nunez of the Oakland Athletics.

Baseball legend Ted Williams always manages to find himself in this set, which is great because I love me some Teddy Ballgame. That said, the image used on his card this year made me stop immediately. It’s fantastic. Ted seemingly is doing push-ups in the outfield and there is a building in the background, making him seem larger than life. Great photo choice.

My lone insert in the pack is a “Scoreless Streak” Justin Verlander. Ho-hum, in my opinion. The reverse of the card mentions several dominant streaks by Verlander but doesn’t touch at all on anything from 2016. Go figure.

The remainder of the pack features a random mix of players, including Salvador Perez, Joe Panik, Trayce Thompson, Albert Almora, Adam Conley, a random appearance by Derrek Lee and a gold parallel of JJ Hardy.

It’s probably a good thing there was only one pack on the shelf. I have a tendency to mark out for TSC and likely would have bought more.  If I see some in the wild, I’ll probably consider purchasing more, but it’s not exactly something I’m going to go way out of my way for right now.

If anyone has any Clayton Kershaw cards from this set or any others, I’m openly trading for them — just don’t ask for any autos or hits in exchange.

Honus Wagner Leads The Pack Of Latest BVG Order

Posted in Mail Day with tags , , , , , , , on April 25, 2016 by Cardboard Icons

Some of you who know me on a personal level know that I’ve been dealing with some  stuff at home, which inevitavlely has affected my time to blog.  That said, thank you for sticking around and reading this regardless of who you are. I’m hoping to write more as time permits.

 photo 68BD5E58-4FC6-4208-8607-6FD87204A013_zps8xrv8xhg.jpgOn Friday I received my latest Beckett Grading order of seven newly slabbed cards and because of the headliner I had to share.

About 6-8 weeks ago I wrote about acquiring a collecting goal, a tobacco-era Honus Wagner. My acquisition of a 1909-11 Colgan’s Chips Wagner was really a highlight of my collecting career.

I began collecting cards in 1987, right about the same time THE 1909-11 T-206 Honus Wagner started to hit mainstream.  Much has been written about said card. And despite the controversy surrounding the grade PSA issued the card — it’s been learned that the card is in fact altered — it is still a significant part of our hobby’s history. The drama has kept the Wagner name synonymous with cardboard icon status.

I digress. Owning a tobacco-era Wagner has always been a goal of mine. And I achieved it in the form of this Colgan’s Chips bubble gum card.
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The card was previously a SGC “Authentic” and once in the hands of Beckett Grading I learned that my Wagner was also altered, not unlike THE Wagner. As it turns out, someone had traced some of the words on the back of my Wagner — which likely were damaged/lost when the card was removed from some sort of album — thus earning the “Authentic/Alrered” slab.  I’m fine with this as the goal all along has been to own an authentic Wagner. 
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There were six other cards in my BGS order, some of which were crossed over from PSA or SGC, and others that were previously raw. I like to have my cards in BGS/BVG holders for continuity.

1948 Bowman Stan Musial rookie, 2.5:
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1922 Nielson’s Chocolate George Sisler, 1.5
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1922 American Caramels Leon “Goose” Goslin, 1
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1957 Topps Jim Bunning rookie, 5:
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1958 Topps Roger Maris rookie, 3:
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1954 Topps Ted Williams, 1.5:
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Icon-O-Clasm: A trio of 56 Topps HOFers “Names on Back”

Posted in Card Art, Icon-O-Clasm with tags , , , , , on January 29, 2015 by Cardboard Icons


Vindicated: The story of a vintage rookie and a fake signature.

Posted in Newspaperman with tags , , , , on January 8, 2011 by Cardboard Icons

So about a year and a half ago, I sent an order to Beckett Grading to have a bunch of rookie cards slabbed solely for authentication.  Among the group was a 1948 Bowman Yogi Berra which bore a wanna-be signature on the front.  It was clear that the hand-written addition to the card was not a true autograph. Hell, it may not have even been an attempt at an autograph.  It could have been some kid just writing Berra’s name on the front of the card.

I digress.  So when I got my order back from BGS, I noticed that the Berra was not encased.  Some grader decided that the card needed to be sent to JSA for authentication purposes. I was confused.  I was pissed. I wrote this piece.

For a while I forgot about the Berra and moved on.  That is until I was confronted with a similar situation earlier this year when I acquired this Bob Feller Rookie and then this Ted Williams Rookie.

Both of these cards bore hand-written names of the players on front.  The Feller was a child-like writing, almost like the Berra.  But the Williams could be mistaken for his autograph.  Knowing what I dealt with on the Berra card, I decided to e-mail Beckett Grading to see if they could just slab the Williams as authentic and add a line about the signature not being real.  I got no answer.  I waited nearly two months and got nothing. Crickets.

So I decided to send in the Williams anyway with a grouping of other cards I wanted crossed over from other grading companies to a BGS/BVG slab.  I was going to write a note asking only for authentication on the card only … I forgot to add it before sealing the package.

Well, lo and behold, BGS graded my Williams as a 2, which is awesome.  The card has crisp edges, corners and a smooth surface, save for the obvious.  But when the BGS order at my house on Saturday, I saw that BGS added a note to the slab’s label: “Not Williams’ Signature.”

Thank you.  That is all I wanted in the first place.  Knowing what they’ve done for the Williams slab, I’ll be re-submitting the Berra (and the Feller) so they can do the same.  I better not get referred to JSA.

60 years of Topps’ firsts to start 2011

Posted in Newspaperman with tags , , , , , , on January 1, 2011 by Cardboard Icons

When Topps’ baseball products hit shelves in about two months, the cardboard giant will be celebrating its 60th anniversary making baseball cards.

About two years ago I acquired what is considered the first baseball card produced by Topps for mainstream consumption — 1952 Topps Andy Pafko.

From a historical point, the Pafko is easily one of the most desirable cards of its era. This is one reason why the card costs a pretty penny.  Another factor is that its tough to find in good condition.

Being the first card in the set, the Pafko is real hard to find with sharp corners and edges, and a smooth surface.  For years collectors were stacking their cards in numerical order and then using a rubber band to keep them together.   Because of the lack of advanced card storage options, the card that was on top of the stack usually took the brunt of the damage.  Even in bad condition the Pafko card will set you back at least triple figures.

I digress.  After obtaining the Pafko I embarked on a project to obtain the first card in each of the mainstream base Topps baseball sets.  I am happy to report that just a week ago I received the very last card for the project … at least until the 2011 product hits shelves.

Throughout the life of the project, there was ample opportunity to acquire the best condition cards possible.  But I don’t operate that way.  Some of these cards literally would have costs me hundreds of dollars, if not thousands, in great condition.  Not only did I not have the money for that, but I also felt that there was an authentic feel to the well-loved cards.

Take for instance my 1954 Topps Ted Williams.  The card is graded PSA 1 but has great eye appeal.  The back however has some paper loss due to the fact that the card was glued to a binder page in its former life.

Or this 1962 Topps Roger Maris card that looks like it got run over by two Mack trucks and then was used as sandpaper.  Condition aside, one cannot forget that this is the first card on which Maris’ record-breaking season of 1961 is documented.

*  *  *

In recent years, the first card in the Topps set has been reserved for a star, most notably Alex Rodriguez who was placed in the first position in 2003, 2005, 2006, 2008 and 2009.  But many decades ago, the first card in the set was held for record breakers …

… statistical leaders …

… and even world champions.

*  *  *

While compiling the cards, here are a couple of observations I’ve made:

* Hank Aaron was featured on the first card four straight years, from 1973 through 1976.  He was shown on five Number Ones if you include his cameo on the 1964 League Leader card.

* Alex Rodriguez graced the front of five Number Ones from 2003-2009; interesting considering that A-Rod had not been featured on any basic Topps card until 1998.  He’s tied with Aaron for the most appearances.

* The oddest highlight featured? Tony Armas’ record setting 11 put outs in right field in one game.

*Former Commissioner Ford Frick makes more appearances (1) than Topps Poster Boy Mickey Mantle (0)

*Oddest player featured on a Number One? John Lackey, 2007.  He came within one out of a perfect game on July 7, but does that mean he’s worthy of the top spot? Meh …

It is without further adieu that I turn your attention to the “Topps Number Ones Gallery: 1952-2010.”

Which one is your favorite?