30 September 2010

"Tickets...please." (Player photos on game tickets)

      One of the lesser known rarities that the middling player collector must pursue is the mostly uncatalogued season ticket depicting the player with whom the collector is obsessed.  While a few of these have made their way into the Standard Catalog of Baseball Cards, most of them are still just floating out there, sitting in junk drawers, shoe boxes or the pockets of coats and jackets sitting in the back of closets.  The lucky stubs turn up on eBay and end up in the collection of some loving family.

       Yeah.  Even minor league teams issued season tickets featuring players.  Good luck in the hunt!

26 September 2010

How far down the rabbit hole for a player collector?

       When building a collection based around players with relatively few actual cards, one quickly nears the point of completion, leaving only the very obscure and rare items unobtained.  Then the eye begins to wander to other bits and bobs floating around radiating the names of those cardboard heroes.  The results are mixed, sometimes delving (both accidentally and not) into custom creations, promotional materials and anything else that hints at being interesting.  I've reached that point with my collections of Dave Henderson, Hensley Meulens and Bernardo Brito.  The only remaining cards to collect are those that never see the light of day, so my attention has turned more to photos (team and individual), postcards, magazines, ticket stubs and anything else that might include pictures of these guys.  I don't think I'll go as far as collecting items that simply mention them, though (checkists, other card backs, etc.)

       This past week's bounty included this postcard of Hendu:

       On eBay, it was tough to determine if this was part of a legitimate team issued card or just a photo.  The same seller had several similar cards of other Red Sox players, but the players spanned three decades.  I asked the seller if this was an actual post card or just a blank-backed 4"x6", and he said it was an actual postcard, with place for stamp, address and message.  Well, when it arrived, the grainy quality of the photo, and the inkjet quality of the postcard markings on the back revealed it to be a postcard, just one that was obviously homemade:

       However, it was a photo I'd not seen before (probably scanned from a Red Sox game program given the low quality) and it was autographed by the man himself, so all in all, not too bad a fate for my $3.94.

       On the more positive side, I did manage to snag this beauty from Team Photo Day at the Kingdome in 1982:

       I also picked up the 1981 team photo, thinking Dave was also in the shot, but it turned out to be "COACH: Tommy Davis".  Can't win 'em all.

       On the Hensley Meulens front, I recently picked up this crystal clear publicity photo, produced by "R&R Sports Group" of Staten Island, NY:

       On the topic of photos, especially 8x10's, is there some master catalog or clearing house that still has stocks of old 8x10's of players from the 1980s & 1990s?  I see photos of Brito and Meulens and Hendu turn up from time to time, but, aside from collections like the TV Sports Mailbag or those issued in 1990-91 by T&M Sports, where do these photos come from, and where did they go?  I know right now Photo File is the primary licensed producer of MLB photographs, but what about all those that came before?

22 September 2010

Going Postal on Induction Day 2001

       I caught these late last week on eBay, and fortunately, no other Winfield collectors were looking (or cared, is more likely the case) and managed to knock something off my cachet want list as well as pick up one I didn't even know existed.   I didn't expect them to be full size #10 envelopes (does anyone know of somewhere that makes 2-pocket sheets that are split vertically?), but it definitely allows for better detail.  These feature the complete Hall of Fame Class of 2001, Dave Winfield, Kirby Puckett, veterans committee selection Bill Mazeroski and great Negro League pitcher Hilton Smith.

       The first fits with the other Photo File cachets, and I think completes the set.  The second is on heavier, glossy paper and features beautiful work by Kendal Bevil, a fairly prolific artist of first day covers, and even includes a certificate of authenticity.

       Last week, I was stretching my eBay queries a bit, trying to find different stuff than the usual and came across a lot of four 4x6 photos including photos of Thurman Munson, Reggie Jackson, Billy Martin (with Oakland) and Dave Winfield (with San Diego).  The Munson & Jackson pics looked like copies of their photos from the 1977 Yankees Photo Album, but the Winfield was a photo I'd not seen before, so I figured the lot was worth the $4 or so (incl. s&h).  Smile for the camera, Dave!

18 September 2010

2007 All-Star Futures Game

Score of the week!

While it's not somewhere I often search for Meulens loot, I picked up this beauty on Amazon for $9.95, discounted from $15.  I'm not usually one for buying autographs, but how could I possibly pass up a signed photo with Bam Bam (World hitting coach), Dave Winfield (the USA manager) and Juan Marichal (the World manager)?    I'll have to see if I can somehow get this signed by the other two.  Anyone know of any pending Marichal/Winfield signings coming up?

Last I checked, the USA was a part of the World, so I think Dave probably got the short end of the stick.  In any case, the World team won the 2007 Futures Game 7-2, home runs by Justin Upton and Johnny Whittleman providing the only runs for the USA team.

10 September 2010

1982 Topps Seattle Mariners Future Stars #711

Despite the somewhat lackluster numbers put up by these three youngsters during 1981, in an organization such as Seattle at the beginning of the 1980s, there really weren't a lot of bright spots to fit the "Future Stars" category. Of the three, after an absolutely blistering Spring Training, Henderson got to spend the most time with the big club as their regular center fielder. Despite winning the starting spot, young Hendu would not fare well, hitting below the Mendoza line through the first 50 games of the season, returning to Spokane in June.

Flash forward three or four years, and Henderson likely would have had his first card in the Topps Traded set rather than the following year as part of a three man Future Stars card. And even in 1982, with Dave batting over .300 through mid-July, you would have thought he might warrant inclusion in the 1982 Traded set, but I suppose his status as a member of the poster child of expansion teams kept him from the checklist. Maybe had he come up in the Orioles system....

Of the three, only Mr. Henderson would survive in organized baseball beyond 1983.

05 September 2010

Yahoo! Auction Japan/KuboTEN Tuffy Rhodes mailday

Despite the lack of activity on the KuboTEN website, Craig is apparently still in operation.  I took a stab at a couple of auctions and brought in a lot of three more boxes of 2000 Epoch Pro-Baseball stickers (90 packs, 900 more stickers) plus sticker album, as well as a couple of lots of Tuffy Rhodes cards from joecool0314

Among the three boxes of stickers, the first box gave me pretty much every base set sticker I was missing from my previous box, including the elusive:

And apparently Ichiro and Hideki Matsui were collated into the same packs. I got them both in two packs.  The remaining two boxes were spent chasing the Tuffy Rhodes Leading Star insert sticker (and failing miserably).  Looks like that might be another Bernie Brito Diamond Star adventure.

From joecool0314, I picked up a lot of Calbee signature parallels, including these two I needed:

And also 7 new Tuffy cards in one of his lots of 18:

1999 BBM All-Star
2004 BBM Yomiuri Giants Shinnosuke Abe/Tuffy Rhodes

2004 Konami Prime Nine VS Edition

2004 BBM Yomiuri Giants 70th Anniversary Edition

2008 Calbee 2007 Team Stats

2008 BBM Orix Buffaloes Heart of the Order

2009 BBM Orix 20th Anniversary