18 June 2014

Player Collecting: Team photos, remember those?

     On the rare occasion that a player collector gets to the end of the line when it comes to traditional baseball cards, having picked up a copy of every different card (documented or not) that exists for a particular player, the yearning to pick up something else persists.  In that situation, the mind wanders to other items featuring player photographs, be they magazines, game programs, pocket schedules or what have you.  Quite possibly the oldest, yet frequently neglected item available to the dedicated player collector is the team photo or team picture.
1869 Peck & Snyder Red Stockings
1869 Peck & Snyder Red Stockings

     Some of the earliest documented baseball cards are actually just team photos, usually tied to a sponsor or business of some sort.  While technology has improved in photography and printing, the same arrangement that existed between teams and sponsors in the 1880s is still alive and well today in the form of team pictures as stadium giveaways and newspaper premiums.  In fact, this is usually the only way team pictures are made available in the present.  And don't think it's just a baseball thing, pretty much every pro and college team sport issues team pictures in some format.

     As a collectible, they are often overlooked for reasons of storage.  In most cases over the last 30 years, team pictures are large.  Usually 11" x 14" or bigger.  In some cases, they are more posters than what one might think of a simply a "photo".  My collection of team photos is only about two years old, but quickly grew to include 20 or so items, ranging from large postcards to posters.  Below are what I have and what I'm hunting for each of my player collections.

Dave Winfield

    Naturally, having played the longest, Winfield has the most team pictures available, especially given that the San Diego Padres started issuing team photos, sponsored by the San Diego Union-Evening Tribube, back in their minor league days as far back as 1964, and continuing with various sponsors through 1995.  As a result, Winfield's entire time as a Padre is covered.  These were generally large photos, measuring 14"x11".

1973 San Diego Padres
(this should have the blue banner at the bottom, but it was trimmed off my copy)

1974 San Diego Padres

1975 San Diego Padres

1976 San Diego Padres

1977 San Diego Padres

1978 San Diego Padres
(I have this one, but it is in pieces, so I'm looking for an intact copy)

1979 San Diego Padres

1980 San Diego Padres
(pretty sure this was taken in front of the Hilton out on Harbor Island Dr.)

The only form I can find the 1980's & early 1990's New York Yankees team photos are in the form of these stadium giveaway mugs.  You can see several of them here:

New York Yankees Fan Day mug SGA Collection 1977 - 1995

1990 California Angels

1991 California Angels

1992 Toronto Blue Jays - sponsored by MCI

1992 Toronto Blue Jays - issued by The Postcard Factory

1992-93 Toronto Blue Jays /  Maxwell House 5" x 7"

1992 Norman James 1992 World Champions Toronto Blue Jays Poster

1995 Cleveland Indians Photo File
I don't know whether or not there was any kind of official team picture issued for the '95 Indians, but I did finally land this Photo File collage of the team.  I suppose it will have to do.

Hensley Meulens

    Given the Yankees lack of traditionally issued team pictures, most of what I've found for Bam Bam have been minor league team pictures.  These are typically stadium giveaway items from the first couple of months into a season.

1987 Prince William Yankees

In the case of the 1990 Columbus Clippers, the team photo was combined with one of their yearly baseball card sets.

In 1992, the Columbus Clippers issued several posters featuring the team in the throwback uniforms of previous teams to play in Columbus.  Each poster contained a photo of the 1992 team along with a few historical photos of players from the earlier team.

1992 Columbus Buckeyes poster

1992 Columbus Senators poster

1992 Columbus Red Birds poster

1992 Columbus Jets poster

1992 Columbus Clippers poster

1993 Columbus Clippers - sponsored by Nickles Bakery and Jolly Rancher
  Unfortunately, Hensley Meulens face is semi-obscured by a printing/ink issue.

2005 Indianapolis Indians - Team Picture Night, 29 April 2005

2006 Indianapolis Indians - Team Picture Night, 21 April 2006, sponsored by Pepsi & BAND-AID, first 4,000 fans.

2007 Indianapolis Indians - Team Picture Night, 20 April 2007, first 4,000 fans.

2008 Indianapolis Indians

2012 San Francisco Giants - 18" x 12"

Karl "Tuffy" Rhodes

   Despite playing pretty much the whole season with the Tucson Toros in 1990, Rhodes did not make the team picture that season.

1991 Tucson Toros - Sponsored by Hinckley & Schmitt.

1993 Omaha Royals

Roberto Kelly

1993 Cincinnati Reds - The Reds issued these team photos consistently (and with the same basic design) from at least 1967-1998.  The photos were usually given away with a sponsor's coupon attached.  The design changed in 2000.

1997 Seattle Mariners - Two posters were produced, one measured 11"x14" and  was sponsored by the Seattle Times & J.C. Penney.  The other was 9.5"x14" and was given away at Safeco Caravan stops in the offseason.

1999 Texas Rangers - This poster was sponsored by AT&T.

Dave Henderson

1982 Seattle Mariners - 8" x 10"

1983 Seattle Mariners - sponsored by Showbiz Pizza

1984 Seattle Mariners - 14" x 8.5" poster

1991 Oakland Athletics - poster sponsored by Kodak

2014 Oakland Athletics 1989 World Champions 25th Anniversary

Bernardo Brito

1990 Portland Beavers

1991 Portland Beavers

1992 Portland Beavers?

1993 Portland Beavers (Smoky Bear 50th)

Dann Howitt

1987 Modesto A's - 10.75" x 8.25"

Steve Howard

1985 Modesto A's

1987 Huntsville Stars
       The highlight is that Walt Weiss is making a face at the camera dead center in the second row.

14 June 2014

Checklist Translations: Smart '99 Chinese Pro-Baseball

     The primary set (issued in 2000) covering the 1999 CPBL season was issued by a new company, Sunrich Cards, Inc.  Each card had a foil logo featuring a pitcher and the word "SMART" written vertically, accompanied by "'99 CHINESE PRO-BASEBALL" sideways down the right side of each base card.  A special logo in the lower corner of each card marked the 10th anniversary of the CPBL.  The set was limited to 2000 copies (each card showing 1/2000 on the back), but only cards 183-226 were actually stamped with serial numbers.  While I haven't been able to tell for sure, based on the collections of like-numbered serial stamped cards I've seen on auction sites, I suspect this set may have only been issued in complete sets.

     The set contained 228 cards covering all of the teams (1-172), team logos (173-178), '99 post season (179-182), monthly MVP winners (183-196), the league's Best 9 (197-205), Glod Glove winners (206-214), '99 award winners and statistical leaders (215-226) and two unnumbered checklists.

The set is described in this blog post:

Cards 1-172 can be seen in this album:

The Award Winner subset is shown here:

The Gold Glove subset is shown here:

The standard base card front and back:

Chien-Fu Kuo Lee

03 June 2014

(As Yet) Unidentified Baseball Sets From Korea

The following are images I've picked up during my various research forays into the more Korean parts of the web.  Most of these I found on auction sites or blogs, but were accompanied with very little identifying information aside from perhaps year of issue.  I post them here in hopes that someone may be able to shed some light on their origins.  As a result of how I found the images, I know next to nothing about them, but if hard-pressed, could probably turn up the page where I found them.

As best I can tell, based on the blog I found these on, they are from 1980 and were inserted with Lotte Choco Pies.