25 May 2015

Hobby Archaeology: 1979-1983 Coral-Lee Postcards

     The semi-recognized nature of the 1979-83 Coral-Lee Postcard set has bugged me for awhile. Mainly what bothered me was the seemingly random ordering of the checklist by Beckett. Oddly, Beckett no longer includes this set in their database at Beckett.com.

Here is what the checklist looked like as of the 2004 Beckett Almanac:

1 Dave Lopes
2 Billy Martin MG
3 Willie Mays / Ronald Reagan PRES / Ed Stack
4 Pete Rose /issued in 1979
5 George Steinbrenner OWN / Billy Margin MG / Reggie Jackson / Thurman Munson
6 Fernando Valenzuela / Jose Lopes Portillo PRES / Nancy Reagan
7 Dave Winfield /UER Name spelled Windfield
8 Carl Yastrzemski / Jimmy Carter PRES
9 Bobby Grich /Card numbered as number 8 on back
10 Reggie Jackson
11 Joe Morgan /Phillies
17 Lou Piniella /Batting

     According to Beckett, they just listed the cards alphabetically, which is clearly not the case. After browsing around eBay for about 5 minutes, it also becomes clear that this is not a single set, but a mish-mash of multiple sets stuffed under a single heading. Coral-Lee Postcards were issued for a very wide variety of subjects, sports just being a minor component of that. However, judging from the backs of the cards above, all but three of them were part of a specific C/L Sports set that had their own numbering, while those three in question were from two other sets entirely. And it's odd that they actually numbered Piniella as #17 (the actual number on the card) instead of 12.

     The first Standard Catalog edition I own that recognizes the set is from 2005 and didn't make quite the hash of it as did Beckett. According to SCD, cards 14 and higher are all larger format 4"x 6" while all the rest measure 3.5"x 5.5". It could be the 'C' indicates the larger cards. The SCD checklist is missing cards 13 & 17, but still includes the two 'Reagan set' cards as #69 (Mays) and #81 (Valenzuela).

In an hour or so, I've reconstructed the C/L Sports checklist as follows:

1 Pete Rose (Phillies)
2 Davey Lopes (Dodgers)
3 Dave Winfield (Yankees)
4 Billy Martin (Oakland)
5 Billy Martin / George Steinbrenner / Thurman Munson / Reggie Jackson
6 Reggie Jackson (Angels)
7 Bruce Kison (Angels)
8 Bobby Grich (Angels)
9 Rod Carew (Angels)
10 Tommy John (Angels)
11 Dick Howser
12 George Brett
13 Brooks Robinson
14-C Cal Ripken Jr.
15-C Carl Yastrzemski
16-C Joe Morgan (Phillies)
17-C Lou Piniella (Yankees)
18-C Graig Nettles (Yankees)
19-C Lyle Alzado (Raiders)
20-C Dan Marino (Dolphins)
21-C Cliff Branch (Raiders)
22-C Don Shula / Dan Marino (Dolphins)
23-C Joe Theismann (Redskins)
24-C John Riggins (49ers)
25-C Jim Plunkett (Raiders)
26-C Marcus Allen (Raiders)
27-C Joe Montana (49ers)
28-C Joe Namath (Jets)

     I'm not sure if this is complete, but I have completely re-worked the baseball checklist in the Inventory Manager over at SportsCardForum.com. The presence of the later football cards makes it clear this was intended as a multi-sport set and not just baseball.

     Of the three oddball cards, the Willie Mays and Fernando Valenzuela cards actually belong to a larger set about Ronald Reagan. The Carl Yastrzemski postcard is listed as "CL-LTD. SER#100/57" and seems to come from a Jimmy Carter postcard set.

22 May 2015

Hobby Archaeology: 1980 Chicago Tribune Sox & Cubs Scrapbook

     As they did in 1977, in 1980 the Chicago Tribune again issued series of quarter-page sized photos of  players, along with a limited set of statistics for the players' entire career.  The series kicked off on 22 June and was set to run until 17 July, concluding with the teams' managers, but it actually didn't finish until 18 July.  Maybe they missed someone and inserted a new pair of players or simply miscounted the number of days.  In any case, the series ran for 27 days and covered 52 players and both managers.  The complete checklist is below.

22 June - Edward Farmer (Sox) / Bruce Sutter (Cubs)

23 June - Chet Lemon (Sox) / Jerry Martin (Cubs)

24 June - Michael Squires (Sox) / Bill Buckner (Cubs)

25 June - Bruce Kimm (Sox) / Barry Foote (Cubs)

26 June - Thad Bosley (Sox) / Scot Thompson (Cubs)

27 June - Lamar Johnson (Sox) / Dave Kingman (Cubs)

28 June - Robert Molinaro (Sox) / Mike Vail (Cubs)

29 June - Richard Dotson (Sox) / Dennis Lamp (Cubs)

30 June - Ken Kravec (Sox) / Doug Capilla (Cubs)

01 July - Kevin Bell (Sox) / Clifford Johnson (Cubs)

02 July - Wayne Nordhagen (Sox) / Ken Henderson (Cubs)

03 July - Richard Wortham (Sox) / Bill Caudill (Cubs)

04 July - Britt Burns (Sox) / Rick Reuschel (Cubs)

05 July - Steve Trout (Sox) / Mike Krukow (Cubs)

06 July - Greg Pryor (Sox) / Mike Tyson (Cubs)

07 July - Harold Baines (Sox) / Larry Biittner (Cubs)

08 July - Todd Cruz (Sox) / Mick Kelleher (Cubs)

09 July - Ross Baumgarten (Sox) / Lynn McGlothlen (Cubs)

10 July - Mike Proly (Sox) / Willie Hernandez (Cubs)

11 July - Lamarr Hoyt (Sox) / Steve Dillard (Cubs)

12 July - Ron Pruitt (Sox) / George Riley (Cubs)

13 July - Jim Morrison (Sox) / Ivan DeJesus (Cubs)

14 July - Guy Hoffman (Sox) / Dick Tidrow (Cubs)

15 July - Randy Johnson (Sox) / Tim Blackwell (Cubs)

16 July - Ricky Seilheimer (Sox) / Lenny Randle (Cubs)

17 July - Jesus Figueroa (Sox) / Preston (Mike) O'Berry (Cubs)

18 July - Tony LaRussa MGR (Sox) / Preston Gomez MGR (Cubs)

20 May 2015

Hobby Archaeology: 1963 Chicago Tribune Autograph Album

From the Chicago Tribune Archives

     In 1963, the Chicago Tribune ran a series of photo profiles on the Cubs and White Sox in the daily sports section which ran from 04 July to 04 August.  The series alternated Sox/Cubs players every other day and concluding with the teams' managers.  Each day a new player was presented with a facsimile autographed photo and a short biographical sketch of their accomplishments.   There was a small blurb on the front page of the July 4th issue announcing the series, saying they used the latest photos taken by Tribune cameramen.  Here is the checklist.

04 July Nelson Fox Chicago White Sox
05 July Ron Santo Chicago Cubs
06 July Floyd Robinson Chicago White Sox
07 July Ken Hubbs Chicago Cubs
08 July Juan Pizarro Chicago White Sox
09 July Larry Jackson Chicago Cubs
10 July Ray Herbert Chicago White Sox
11 July Dick Ellsworth Chicago Cubs
12 July Pete Ward Chicago White Sox
13 July Ernie Banks Chicago Cubs
14 July Ron Hansen Chicago White Sox
15 July Andy Rodgers Chicago Cubs
16 July Mike Hershberger Chicago White Sox
17 July Bob Buhl Chicago Cubs
18 July Camilo Carreon Chicago White Sox
19 July Richard Bertell Chicago Cubs
20 July Dave Nicholson Chicago White Sox
21 July Glen Hobbie Chicago Cubs
22 July Jim Landis Chicago White Sox
23 July Billy Williams Chicago Cubs
24 July Charlie Maxwell Chicago White Sox
25 July Lindy McDaniel Chicago Cubs
26 July J.C. Martin Chicago White Sox
27 July Lou Brock Chicago Cubs
28 July Hoyt Wilhelm Chicago White Sox
29 July Don Landrum Chicago Cubs
30 July Jim Brosnan Chicago White Sox
31 July Don Elston Chicago Cubs
01 August Gary Peters Chicago White Sox
02 August Paul Toth Chicago Cubs
03 August John Buzhardt Chicago White Sox
04 August Al Lopez / Bob Kennedy

15 May 2015

1986 Meadow Gold Dave Winfield

    One of the more frustrating aspects of being a player collector is chasing a card that, by all appearances, should be fairly easy to find yet ends up being one of the most elusive.  In 1986, Meadow Gold Dairy, a subsidiary of Beatrice Foods at the time, produced three series of baseball cards printed on the packaging of their various Double Play products.  The sets were produced in cooperation with MLBPA's main licensee, Michael Schecter Associates (MSA), so the logo-less photos are all familiar from other 1984-1986 MSA issues.  If you search eBay, you can usually find the boxes and wrappers for all of the 1986 Meadow Gold products.

     The first set issued came in packages of BubbleGum Coolers and Assorted Jr. Pops (basically popsicles and fudgesicles). The cards from this 20-card set came two cards to a box on a perforated strip, two cards folded around an offer card. These were what became known in the hobby as the "1986 Meadow Gold Stat Backs" because they feature biographical and statistical information on the backs of the cards.  These are by far the most common of the 1986 Meadow Gold issues.  Dave Winfield was paired with Pete Rose, but I haven't decided whether or not to pick up the intact cards, yet.


    The second set issued came printed on one of the end flaps of half gallon boxes of Double Play ice cream.  As anyone who grew up in the 1970s-1990s can tell you, those old rectangular boxes of ice cream were a real pain to scoop from, and when doing so, you almost always ended up getting ice cream all over the back of your scooping hand and all down the handle of the scoop.  Needless to say, the end flaps would be thoroughly coated in sticky, half-melted ice cream.  As a result, it should come as no surprise that this series is a little more difficult to find.  This 16-card set became most commonly known as the "1986 Meadow Gold Blank Back" set.  Not really surprising, given that the back of the card was part of the inside of an ice cream box.

    According to the 2004 Standard Catalog of Baseball Cards (I just don't feel like pulling a newer copy off the shelf at the moment), Willie McGee was reportedly the toughest player to find from the set, but it took me the better part of a decade to track down Winfield without having to purchase a complete set of boxes.  I was lucky enough to find two flat boxes, so I can cut the card off one, and keep the other intact.  Most of the cards in these two sets feature the same photos, but the Blank Back cards have the backgrounds replaced with an empty sky blue backdrop.  Most of the cards use the same photos for both sets, but the Winfield card uses the older image for the Stat Back (seen earliest on his 1983 Topps Glossy Send-In card) and the Blank Back uses a newer image (seen first on the 1985 General Mills MSA issue, and later on his All-Star card, #717 from the 1986 Topps base set).  This card effectively completes 1986 for my Dave Winfield collection.

    Winfield wasn't part of the third Meadow Gold set of 1986. It was printed as line art versions of the player photos from the other two sets, and was printed on the backs of milk cartons.  This set was limited to 11 cards and was less popular than the other two sets, being both messy and ugly.