Archive for Willie McCovey

The ugliest Hall of Famer rookie card has come home

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

 

1960 Topps Willie McCovey rookie

Nothing against Willie McCovey, but is there another Hall of Famer whose rookie card looks worse that this 1960 Topps issue? I realize that the images used on baseball cards in the 50s and 60s weren’t as strong as those used today. In fact, many of the images were drawings or some sort of art. McCovey on this card looks like some sort of timid deer, not an up-and-coming fearsome left-handed slugger who ultimately would be considered one of the greatest. The mere fact that this card was so ugly was the reason I waited so many years to pull the trigger despite its relatively affordable price tag — think about the price of a 2010 Bowman Chrome retail blaster. Now that it is in my collection, I can stop searching eBay for Bambi, err, McCovey’s rookie. Thank goodness.

 

The Wonder Years: The Episode with the baseball cards

Posted in Newspaperman with tags , , , , , , , on April 7, 2010 by Cardboard Icons

When I was a kid, there was one television show that was my universe: The Wonder Years. True, there were many shows I enjoyed. But there was only one that I felt was a must-watch for me. The Wonder Years captivated me from start to finish. There was just something about the time in which the show took place, the music, the relationship between Paul and Kevin, and then the constant chasing of Winnie Cooper that drew me in.

But of all the episodes, the one that always sticks out to me has just one mention of Winnie Cooper, it’s Episode 29, “Odd Man Out.”

In this episode, Paul and Kevin engage pretty early on in a discussion about baseball cards. Paul owns a Willie McCovey card that Kevin is just dying to have. Kevin offers him a Luis Tiant and Juan Marichal in exchange, but Paul won’t budge.  Paul wants Kevin’s Ted Williams, which Kevin believes is an insult.

The fall out from these trade talks alters their relationship — well, for the length of one episode anyway — and causes the two to seek friends in other classmates. It’s just a classic episode filled with lots of pop culture references and some discussions about baseball cards.

If you’re a card collector and have yet to see this episode, or have simply forgotten it, you must find it.  {editors note: I had the episode embedded here via YouTube but the links have since been disabled. 9/18/16}

The Wonder Years has not been released on DVD and won’t be any time soon because of costs associated with paying for the music that was played on the series. Much of the score is composed of classic rock songs played or written by artists who simply charge an arm and a leg for the rights to play it.

A few years ago, I found on eBay a seller who managed to put the entire series on DVDs. Obviously he taped the reruns from television and compiled them, but fact is the entire series could be mine. And it was. I bought the bootlegs for $50. (*note: they no longer appear on eBay because they are illegal copies.) But within a month of owning them, I lent them to a friend and he lost the first of the seven discs — which equates to the first 13 episodes. Epic fail.

But thanks to YouTube, we all can still enjoy the greatness of The Wonder Years.

{editors note 2: a version of seasons 1 and 2 has been released on DVD since this piece was originally published. The show also apparently is now available on Netflix. 9/18/16}

Sometimes Less Is More (2009 Topps Heritage)

Posted in Newspaperman with tags , , , , , , , on March 15, 2009 by Cardboard Icons

2009toppsheritagemikeavilesI love retro sets, but honestly, sometimes they just don’t work. That is not the case with 2009 Topps Heritage. The cards are simple, beautiful and pretty authentic. As has been the case since 2001, Topps Heritage has given modern collectors a peak into what collecting was like in the 1950s (and now 1960). This years set features all of the same subsets that were in the original release 50 years ago. Among them are the all-star rookie cup cards like this Mike Aviles. Continue reading

Baseball Cards On Television

Posted in Newspaperman with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on February 15, 2009 by Cardboard Icons

gehrigrc2Since I started collecting in the late 1980s, I’ve always been intrigued whenever baseball cards are discussed or shown on television. One of my fondest memories was watching Kevin and Paul on “The Wonder Years” try to hash out a trade for a Willie McCovey rookie card, something that eventually turns ugly and ultimately causes a temporary rift in their friendship — what’s new, right? This episode is great for many reasons — I wish I could find this on You Tube but the entire episode is not there — but the baseball cards makes it a classic for any collector. And for the record, neither character is actually seen handling a 1960 Topps McCovey rookie card, both are seen with common cards from 1989 Topps.

But that episode also reminded me of an episode of MacGyver I watched about a decade and a half ago. I remember distinctly there was tie-in with counterfeit baseball cards and Pete Rose. Well, after some simple searching this morning, I found the MacGyver episode on YouTube. Continue reading