10 June 2016

Hobby Archaeology: 1978 Sports Photo Assoc(iates) 3-inch Pins

     Another area that is perhaps a bit neglected in the sports memorabilia hobby would be the various round, pin-backed badges produced by a variety of parties and issued though a multitude of avenues.  While some sets are very well documented, others just seem to coast along in an odd state of limbo.  One such set that is both very well known, yet very poorly documented would be the "1978" Sports Photo Associates pins.  I put 1978 in quotes because, while almost all of the pins issued feature a 1978 copyright notice along the outer edge, the set clearly extended well beyond 1978.

     In addition to the set being extended across several years, there are also multiple sets that seem to overlap in that time period.  I will try to break them down as well as I can, with the relatively limited information I have, and try to put some order to the chaos.

    In 1978, "Sports Photo Associates" began issuing two sets of numbered pins, three inches in diameter, full color, and based on uncut sheets found on eBay, they two sets were printed together for at least part of the run.  One set featured contemporary players and managers, mostly featuring the individuals name, a facsimile signature and a small number.  The other set had "Baseball Hall of Fame" arching across the top, in a sort of gothic calligraphy, and featured the players name and a number beginning with 'HF' and showed a copyright of either 1978 or 1981.  The Hall of Fame set seems to have included 40 players as follows:

HF1Babe Ruth (1978)
HF2Lou Gehrig (1978)
HF3Jackie Robinson (1978)
HF4Hank Greenberg (1978)
HF5Lou Bourdeau (1978)
HF6Al Kaline (1978)
HF7Hank Aaron (1978)
HF8Yogi Berra (1978)
HF9Ernie Banks (1978)
HF10Eddie Mathews (1978)
HF11Whitey Ford (1978)
HF12Bob Feller (1978)
HF13Monte Irvin (1978)
HF14Roy Campanella (1978)
HF15Roberto Clemente (1978)
HF16Bob Lemon (1978)
HF17Sandy Koufax (1978)
HF18Willie Mays
HF19Bob Gibson (1981)
HF20Duke Snider
HF21Robin Roberts
HF22Joe DiMaggio (1981)
HF23Ted Williams
HF24Mickey Mantle (1981)
HF25Brooks Robinson
HF26Frank Robinson
HF27Hank Aaron
HF28Juan Marichal
HF29George Kell
HF30Walter Alston
HF31Jack Brickhouse
HF32Harmon Killebrew
HF33Pee Wee Reese
HF34Luis Aparicio
HF35Don Drysdale
HF37Enos Slaughter
HF38John Mize
HF39Hoyt Wilhelm
HF40Lou Brock

     The other main set was numbered from '1' to at least '363'.  The last two pins I've seen were of Pete Rose, and the second highest numbered was '344' and featured him in his Montreal Expos uniform  (these can be seen over at 4192cards.com).  Several players were included multiple times.  In some cases, as with Dave Winfield and Pete Rose, with different teams.  In other cases, players were included on multiple pins for the same team, including Reggie Jackson, Fred Lynn, George Brett and Johnny Bench.  The Fleer Sticker Project features an interesting post about this set as the pins were available as part of a promotion on 1981 Fleer wax wrappers.  The Sports Photo Associates also seems to have beena resource for photos for Fleer for their inaugural sets.

1981 Fleer and Sports Photo Associates Buttons

     Below is the checklist I have assembled so far (which will be updated as new pins are uncovered). Thus far, it covers 242 of the known 400+ pins in the set:

1Ron Guidry (Yankees)
1Ron Guidry (ASCCA advertisement)
2Jim "Catfish" Hunter (Yankees)
3Rich Gossage (Yankees)
4Thurman Munson (Yankees)
5Ed Figueroa (Yankees)
6Willie Randolph (Yankees)
8Billy Martin (Yankees)
9Reggie Jackson (Yankees)
10Lou Piniella (Yankees)
11Graig Nettles (Yankees)
16Bucky Dent (Yankees)
18Greg Luzinski (Phillies)
21Larry Christianson (Phillies)
22Larry Bowa (Phillies)
24Ron Reed (Phillies)
25Steve Carlton (Phillies)
26Tug McGraw (Phillies)
31Mike Schmidt (Phillies)
36Jim Rice (Red Sox)
39Carlton Fisk (Red Sox)
45Fred Lynn (Red Sox)
47Carl Yastrzemski (Red Sox)
55Lee Mazzilli (Mets)
69Dave Parker (Pirates)
71Willie Stargell (Pirates)
81Rich Gossage (Yankees)
83George Brett (Royals)
84Bob Lemon (Yankees)
85Mike Flanagan (Orioles)
86Jim Palmer (Orioles)
87Eddie Murray (Orioles)
88Ken Singleton (Orioles)
89Frank Robinson (Orioles)
90Andre Thornton (Indians)
91Toby Harrah (Indians)
92Rick Manning (Indians)
93Rick Waits (Indians)
94Duane Kuiper (Indians)
96Dennis Leonard (Royals)
97Paul Splittorff (UER, Last Name Misspelled)
98Darrell Porter (Royals)
99Fred Patek (Royals)
100Amos Otis (Royals)
101Al Cowens (Royals0
102Al Hrabosky (Royals)
103Clint Hurdle (Royals)
104Sparky Lyle (Rangers)
105Jim Sundberg (Rangers)
106Bert Campaneris (Rangers)
107Richie Zisk (Rangers)
108Al Oliver (Rangers)
109Jim Kern (Rangers)
110Buddy Bell (Rangers)
111Chet Lemon (White Sox)
112Don Kessinger (White Sox)
113Lamar Johnson (White Sox)
114Jorge Orta (White Sox)
116Dwight Evans (Red Sox)
117Dennis Eckersley (Red Sox)
118Larry Hisle (Brewers)
119Mike Caldwell (Brewers)
120Robin Yount (Brewers)
121Gorman Thomas (Brewers)
122Sixto Lezcano (Brewers)
123Ron LeFlore (Tigers)
124Mark Fidrych (Tigers)
125Jason Thompson (Tigers)
126Dave Rozema (Tigers)
127Rusty Staub (Tigers)
130Rick Cerone (Blue Jays)
132Nolan Ryan (Angels)
133Frank Tanana (Angels)
134Bobby Grich (Angels)
135Don Baylor (Angels)
136Joe Rudi (Angels)
137Rod Carew (Angels)
138Matt Keough (Athletics)
140Dave Revering (Athletics)
141John Henry Johnson (Athletics)
142Butch Wynegar (Twins)
143Dave Goltz (Twins)
144Roy Smalley (Twins)
145Ruppert Jones UER (misspelled Ryppert, Mariners)
146Leon Roberts (Mariners)
147Bruce Bochte (Mariners)
148Dan Meyer (Mariners)
149Pete Rose (Phillies)
150Dave Kingman (Cubs)
151Bobby Murcer (Cubs)
153Bruce Sutter (Cubs)
154Ivan DeJesus (Cubs)
155Ted Simmons (Cardinals)
156Gary Templeton (Cardinals, no signature)
157Lou Brock (Cardinals)
158Bob Forsch (Cardinals)
159Ron Cey (Dodgers)
160Tom Lasorda (Dodgers)
161Davey Lopes (Dodgers)
162Reggie Smith (Dodgers)
163Don Sutton (Dodgers)
164Tom Seaver (Reds)
165Johnny Bench (Reds)
166Joe Morgan (Reds)
167Dave Concepcion (Reds)
168George Foster (Reds)
169Ken Griffey (Reds)
170Phil Niekro (Braves)
171Jeff Burroughs (Braves)
172Gary Matthews (Braves)
173Biff Pocoroba (Braves)
174Bob Horner (Braves)
175Ross Grimsley (Expos)
176Gary Carter (Expos)
178Ellis Valentine (Expos)
179Tony Perez (Expos)
180Vida Blue (Giants)
181Willie McCovey (Giants)
182Jack Clark (Giants)
183Gary Lavelle (Giants)
184Bill Madlock (Giants)
185Dave Winfield (Padres)
186Gaylord Perry (Padres)
187Rollie Fingers (Padres)
189J.R. Richard (Astros)
190Cesar Cedeno (Astros)
191Bob Watson (Astros)
192Enos Cabell (Astros)
193Yogi Berra (Yankees)
194Bill Buckner (Cubs)
196Doug DeCinces (Orioles)
197Tommy John (Yankees)
198Steve Kemp (Tigers)
199Darrell Evans (Giants)
200Thurman Munson (Yankees)
200Thurman Munson (Yankees)
"The Captain 1947-1979"
201Craig Reynolds (Astros)
202Joe Niekro (Astros)
203Paul Molitor (Brewers)
204Scott Thompson (Cubs)
205Jerry Martin (Cubs)
206Ray Knight (Reds)
209Keith Hernandez (Cardinals)
210Earl Weaver (Orioles)
211Brian Downing (Angels)
212Alan Bannister (White Sox)
213Ken Kravec (White Sox)
214Lance Parrish (Tigers)
215Willie Wilson (Royals)
217Jerry Koosman (Twins)
218Rick Bosetti (Blue Jays)
220Joe Sambito (Astros)
221Lee Mazzilli (Mets)
222Fred Lynn (Red Sox)
223Carl Yastrzemski (Red Sox)
224Bucky Dent (Yankees)
225Rick Cerone (Yankees)
226Bobby Murcer (Yankees)
227Oscar Gamble (Yankees)
229Dale Berra (Pirates)
229Phil Garner (Pirates)
230Bill Madlock (Pirates)
231Omar Moreno (Pirates)
232Dave Collins (Reds)
233Johnny Bench (Reds)
234Junior Kennedy (Reds)
235Billy Martin (Athletics)
236Nolan Ryan (Astros)
238Cecil Cooper Brewers)
239Ben Oglivie (Brewers)
240George Brett (Royals)
241Joe Lefebvre (Yankees)
242Ruppert Jones (Yankees)
243Bobby Brown (Yankees)
244Jim Spencer (Yankees)
245Bob Watson (Yankees)
246Rudy May (Yankees)
247Steve Stone (Orioles)
248Kiko Garcia (Orioles)
249Al Bumbry (Orioles)
250Rick Dempsey (Orioles)
251Maury Wills (Mariners)
252Bump Wills (Rangers)
253Mike Norris (A's)
254Rickey Henderson (A's)
256Steve Trout (White Sox)
257Jose Cruz (Astros)
258Jeff Reardon (Mets)
259Neil Allen (Mets)
260Alex Trevino (Mets)
261Len Barker (Indians)
262Lonnie Smith (Phillies)
265Bob Stanley (Red Sox)
266Dennis Eckersley (Red Sox)
267Jim Rice (Red Sox)
268Glenn Hoffman (Red Sox)
269Carlton Fisk (Red Sox)
270Manny Trillo (Phillies)
271Tug McGraw (Phillies)
273Bob Boone (Phillies)
274Larry Bowa (Phillies)
275Bake McBride (Phillies)
276Garry Maddox (Phillies)
277Dave Winfield (Yankees)
278Jerry Mumphrey (Yankees)
279Dave Kingman (Mets)
280Rusty Staub (Mets)
281Mookie Wilson (Mets)
282Hubie Brooks (Mets)
283Joe Charboneau (Indians)
284Steve Balboni (Yankees)
285Joel Youngblood (Mets)
287Reggie Jackson (Yankees)
289Dale Murphy (Braves)
291Reggie Jackson (Angels)
292Steve Sax (Dodgers)
295Fernando Valenzuela (Dodgers)
295Dave Righetti (Yankees)
296Dave Winfield (Yankees)
297Steve Kemp (Yankees)
298Tony Armas (Red Sox)
301Charlie Moore (Brewers)
304Cal Ripken Jr. (Orioles)
306Darryl Strawberry (Mets)
307Jody Davis (Cubs)
307Leon Durham (Cubs)
307Wade Boggs (Red Sox)
308Mel Hall (Cubs)
308Hal McRae (Royals)
309Ryne Sandberg (Cubs)
310Fergie Jenkins (Cubs)
311Ron Kittle (White Sox)
312Ted Simmons (Brewers)
314Greg Luzinski (White Sox)
315Keith Moreland (Cubs)
316Don Sutton (Brewers)
318Jerry Remy (Red Sox)
324Bo Diaz (Phillies)
327Gary Matthews (Phillies)
330John Denny (Phillies)
335Don Mattingly (Yankees)
340Dan Quisenberry (Royals)
341Steve Bedrosian (Braves)
343Glenn Hubbard (Braves)
344Pete Rose (Expos)
345Tom Seaver (White Sox)
347Julio Cruz (White Sox)
348Doug DeCinces (Angels)
349Fred Lynn (Angels)
350Bob Boone (Angels)
351Mike Boddicker (Orioles)
352George Foster (Mets)
355Bob Dernier (Cub)
356Scott Sanderson (Cubs)
357Gary Matthews (Cubs)
359Jack Morris (Tigers)
360Alan Trammell (Tigers)
361Kirk Gibson (Tigers)
362Lee Smith (Cubs)
363Pete Rose (Reds)
400Ron Cey (Cubs)
795Jody Davis (Cubs)
802Rick Sutcliffe (Cubs)
808Keith Moreland (Cubs)
818Davey Lopes (Cubs)
824Dennis Eckersley (Cubs)
826Leo Durham (Cubs)
868Ryne Sandberg (Cubs)
870Ryne Sandberg (Cubs)
?Bob Bailor (Blue Jays)
?Kevin Bell (White Sox)

     To help confuse matters, unnumbered pins were issued for the Yankees, Red Sox, Mets, Pirates and Phillies.  These often feature the same photograph, but merely lack the small number on the front.  There were also a set of 4-inch pins issued for teams featuring multiple players.  Also pins 795 and up may not actually be part of the larger set.

SPA-1New York Yankees (1979)
SPA-2Los Angeles Dodgers (1979)
SPA-3Philadelphia Phillies (1979)
SPA-4Boston Red Sox (1979)
SPA-9ABaltimore Orioles (1982?)
SPA-12Philadelphia Phillies (1982)
SPA-13Chicago Cubs (1982)
SPA-20Chicago White Sox (1983)
SPA-22Philadelphia Phillies (1983)
SPA-23Chicago Cubs (1984)

 Thanks to Cliff Bowman, from the Net54Baseball.com forum for the addition of the most recent 25+ pins.

08 June 2016

Hensley Meulens International League Hall of Fame Induction

     Hensley Meulens spent parts of six seasons in the International League as a player, most notably 1988-1993 with the Columbus Clippers, and 1997 with the Ottawa Lynx.  Once his playing days were over, he returned as a hitting coach for the Indianapolis Indians from 2005-2008.   I don't take much time off work, but this week I made an exception and drove up to Columbus, Ohio, to witness the induction of Sir Hensley "Bam Bam" Meulens into the International League Hall of Fame.  Below is my shaky cell phone video of the ceremony.

     It was a beautiful evening for baseball at Huntington Park, with a season-high crowd of 11,373 turning out for the event.  I guess some of them also showed up to see the Clippers face the Indians (not a good night for Ross Detwiler and the Clippers) or maybe for Sugardale Dime-A-Dog night (10 cent hot dogs!).  In any event, in honor of Sir Bam Bam, the team was giving away these canvas printed plaques covering his career with the Clippers:

     I had really hoped to get a chance to finally meet the man himself, but it just never happened, mostly because I got wrapped up in the game and didn't think to go hang out by the Hall of Fame plaque after the ceremony.  However, he did notice me!  I was sitting in the front row behind the plate, right by the Clippers dugout, wearing my Hensley Meulens San Francisco Giants 2010 World Series away jersey, and he saw me from the second level box where he was sitting with his family and sent this down to me:
     He did smile and wave to me when he came through the dugout onto the field.

     The I.L. Hall of Fame now occupies two of these plaques, so next year they will need to start on a third.  Out front of the stadium is a bronze statue of Harold Cooper, the business man who brought baseball back to Columbus after the Cardinals had moved the previous affiliate (the Columbus Red Birds) to Omaha following the 1954 season.  Cooper bought the International League team in Ottawa and relocated them to Columbus, establishing the Columbus Jets.  Fast Forward to 1970, and unable to work out a deal for improvements to their existing stadium the team was again sold and was moved to Charleston, West Virginia, and became the Charleston Charlies.  The Clippers began in Columbus in 1977, in the same stadium, and in 1984 it was officially renamed "Cooper Stadium".  Harold Cooper is in the upper left corner of the plaque below.  Hensley Meulens is in the lower right.

  Here is a closeup of 2016's inductees: