21 October 2017

1998 Tucson Sidewinders Jones Photo - Hensley Meulens


     Pursuing a player collection of a lesser known, yet widely traveled slugger can be a challenge.  What makes that pursuit all the more satisfying is when something like this turns up out of the blue.  Not only was I not looking for this photo, I had no idea it even existed as none of the main hobby resources have any record of this set.  A little research reveals that in 1998 (and presumably all the other years these were produced), these photos were given away at Sidewinders games, at Hi Corbett Field in Tucson, in packs of five photos.  The photos I received came in these envelopes:

     Given that there are sixteen photos here , I'm going to assume there are at least four more to the set, possibly eight (previous sets contained 24-25 photos).  These are the photos from the lot I received:

Bryan Corey
Nelson Figueroa
Tim Florez
Ben Ford
Hanley Frias
Karim Garcia
Ron Hartman
Danny Klassen
Peter Kolb (Trainer)
Garry Maddox
Barry Manuel
Hensley Meulens
Chris Michalak
Vladimir Nunez
Stephen Randolph
Mike Robertson
Rob Ryan
Jeff Suppan
Ephrain Valdez
Neil Weber
Bob Wolcott

     The same seller also had another lot of Tucson Toros photos.  After receiving everything, based on when the various players coincided on Toros rosters, there were 17 photos from 1993 (another undocumented set) and 5 from 1997.  The 2000 (and final) edition of the Standard Catalog of Minor League Baseball Cards only listed 5 photos from the 1997 set (presumably a single game's giveaway), so those, plus the photos in this lot make at least 10 in the set.  Here are the players in each:

1993    1997
Mike Brumley
Jim Bruske
Mike Capel
Steve Carter
Fred Costello
Ed Dixon
Dave Engle
Tony Eusebio
John Hudek
Jim Lindeman
Terry Mathews
Joe Mikulik
James Moulton
Luis Quinones
Jeff Robinson
Donne Wall
Bruce Walton
Rodney Windes
     Brian Banks
Mark Davis
Matt Grott
Ron Belliard
Jeff Huber
Bobby Hughes
Frank Kellner
Travis Lee
Sig Roberson
Jack Voigt

     I've added checklists for all three to the SportsCardForum.com Inventory Manager.  The photos are unnumbered, so I alphabetized and numbered based on that, so if I find more photos in the future, the "card numbers" will be adjusted.  As usual, these are all available for trade or sale, except for the Karim Garcia which has already been claimed.  All photos have now been sold.

-----UPDATE (14 December 2011)-----

     I have now found references to Toros sets from 1995 and 1996 (given away to the first 500 lucky fans) and a second Sidewinders set from 1999.  This helps lend a little credence to sets having been issued each year from 1987 to 1999.  Now I just need to find evidence of sets from the missing years and begin the extremely slow process of building checklists.

-----UPDATE (19 January 2017)-----

     According to the 28 July 1998 Arizona Daily Star, at the Sidewinders game that night, the first 500 fans would receive photos of Edwin Diaz, Tim Florez, Danny Klassen, Neil Weber and Bob Wolcott, which combined with the list above brings the set total to 21.

-----UPDATE (21 October 2017)-----

     Another batch of Sidewinders hit eBay recently, confirming the previously reported five names to the checklist: Chris Michalak, Neil Weber, Bob Wolcott, Tim Florez and Danny Klassen.

28 August 2017

2006 Columbus Clippers 30th Anniversary Program Cards

    In 2006, the Columbus Clippers celebrated their 30th anniversary as a team. One of the ways they chose to commemorate that occasion was through the issuance of a series of collector cards distributed with each Clippers game program over the course of the 2006 season. I think this was the third of four times they would issue cards this way, resulting in a very difficult to find set. A checklist had popped up for this set several years ago including Hensley Meulens in the set. However, when Beckett finally added the set to their system, Meulens was nowhere to be found. Instead, there were several cards listed generically as 'team card' or 'stadium card'. So did he have a card or not?

    This week, thanks to waiting on an eBay saved search for about 6 years, I finally found my answer. A seller listed several 2006 Clippers programs, including images of the cards inside, and one of the cards was this:


     The program, from May 9, 2006, (the seller included the game's line-up sheet and a ticket stub) contained the cards for 1989 (Hal Morris), 1990 (Deion Sanders), 1991 (Bernie Williams) & 1992.  One of those 'team card' entries in Beckett's listing was for Columbus' record setting eight selections to the 1992 International League All-Star team, including Hensley Meulens.

12 April 2017

Hobby Archaeology: 1938 Anniston Star Anniston Rams

      I ran across this 'set' while doing research for another project of mine that involved wading through years of sports pages of local newspapers.  In 1938, the Anniston Rams, of Anniston, Alabama, were the B-level, Southeastern League affiliate of the Chicago White Sox.  As the Rams were in their inaugural season, the local Anniston Hardware Company sponsored a series of profiles to introduce the team to the city.  The newspaper didn't announce the series, or mention how many there would be or what the frequency of release would be, but I think this is the whole set (15 entries), as I couldn't find any more for the rest of 1938.

20 May 1938
Lena Styles
22 May 1938
Dick Adair
24 May 1938
Elmer Johnson
26 May 1938
Bennett Needham
29 May 1938
Eddie Roetz
08 June 1938
Vincent Svilich
10 June 1938
French White
12 June 1938
Arthur Rebel
14 June 1938
Collin Lancaster
16 June 1938
Dot Pittman
19 June 1938
Charles Parker
22 June 1938
C.J. (Bill) Finucane
24 June 1938
Everett Grossman
03 July 1938
Foster "Cowboy" Thornton
07 July 1938
Ray "Pepper" Adamski

Profile of Anniston Rams player, Collin Lancaster.Profile of Anniston Rams player, Collin Lancaster. 14 Jun 1938, Tue The Anniston Star (Anniston, Alabama) Newspapers.com

28 January 2017

2002 Mizuno All Star Super Dream Cup Premium Cards

     I happened across this set of playing cards scouring Yahoo! Auctions Japan for Tuffy Rhodes cards, and managed to snag it for the minimum bid of ¥2000 (~$18USD).   From what I can gather, this set was a promotional give away with the purchase of Mizuno golf clubs in Japan sometime in 2002.  Presumably all of the players represented are well known Mizuno customers from a variety of sports.  Each athlete has two cards, with the Diamonds and Clubs featuring the same people, and the Hearts and Spades featuring the same people.  As it is a deck of playing cards, all of the backs are the same, as seen below beside the Joker.

The checklist is as follows:

AS Akiko Fukushima
KS Rivaldo
QS Ayako Okamoto
JS Taichi Teshima
10S Kimiyasu Kudo
9S Takenori Hiraishi
8S Hiroaki Morishima
7S Shinjiro Hiyama
6S Shuzo Matsuoka
5S Tuffy Rhodes
4S Tsuyoshi Yoneyama
3S Koji Akiyama
2S Satoru Komiyama

AH Akiko Fukushima
KH Rivaldo
QH Ayako Okamoto
JH Taichi Teshima
10H Kimiyasu Kudo
9H Takenori Hiraishi
8H Hiroaki Morishima
7H Shinjiro Hiyama
6H Shuzo Matsuoka
5H Tuffy Rhodes
4H Tsuyoshi Yoneyama
3H Koji Akiyama
2H Satoru Komiyama

AC Ichiro Suzuki
KC Hideki Matsui
QC Nobuhito Sato
JC Koji Murofushi
10C Yoshinobu Takahashi
9C Kasumi Fujii
8C Toshihisa Nishi
7C Atsushi Yanagisawa
6C Shingo Takatsu
5C Katsunori Kuwabara
4C Hideharu Miyahira
3C Toru Suzuki
2C Mikino Kubo

AD Ichiro Suzuki
KD Hideki Matsui
QD Nobuhito Sato
JD Koji Murofushi
10D Yoshinobu Takahashi
9D Kasumi Fujii
8D Toshihisa Nishi
7D Atsushi Yanagisawa
6D Shingo Takatsu
5D Katsunori Kuwabara
4D Hideharu Miyahira
3D Toru Suzuki
2D Mikino Kubo

JOKER Mizuno Logo
JOKER Mizuno Logo

The complete checklist with images is here: 2002 Mizuno All Star Super Dream Cup Premium Cards

20 January 2017

1992 - 1995 Sportsprint New York Yankees postcard set (update)

UPDATE - 20 January 2017

A Bernie Williams postcard has surfaced featuring Bernie at the bat, wearing a jersey featuring the "7" on the sleeve, memorializing Mickey Mantle who had died in August 1995.   That means the "1993" list is probably a mix of postcards from 1993, 1994 and 1995 (or even 1996 given how the #7 was only used late in the season).  Thanks to eagle-eyed Kid4hof03 on FreedomCardboard who pointed this out.

UPDATE - 31 December 2015

    Thanks to Michael over at New York Yankees baseball cards, we now have solid information for splitting these postcards into individual 1992 & 1993 sets.  The list below has been updated accordingly.

UPDATE - 25 June 2015

     I'm now thinking this is actually two or three separate sets, or the set was issued continuously over two or three years.  This morning on eBay I caught an auction with previously unseen cards of Danny Tartabull in a portrait shot, another Kevin Maas with a different photo and a Roberto Kelly.  Kelly wasn't even on my radar for some reason, even though he was an All-Star for the Yankees in 1992, so I don't know why I was surprised.  Checking the same seller's completed auctions turned up another lot that included Buck Showalter, Mark Conner and new-to-me cards of Clete Boyer and Yankee Stadium.

UPDATE - 15 January 2013

I saw the Maas postcard on eBay, so the set is now up to 26.  I'm going to start posting images of each postcard as I find them so collectors might have a slightly better chance of recognizing them.  I suspect the black & white cards are copies of the originals, but until I find color versions, these are all I have to work with.
UPDATE - 09 December 2011

     A couple more of these showed up on eBay recently, but they are no help in narrowing the set down to a single year as all six individuals were with the team from 1992-93.

UPDATE - 04 December 2012

A much larger assortment of these has hit eBay, bring the checklist up to 25.  I finally have verification of most of the starters of the team.


     The postcard arrived today, all the way from Los Angeles. It was interesting to see that as soon as I got my shipping notice, the seller immediately had a second one posted for sale. Considering he said he was given these as a gift, and he only had the Meulens, Showalter and Howe, he probably has a stack of them from an in-person signing from way back when. I have to revise my date estimate to either 1992 or 1993 as those were the only years Meulens and Howe were on the team together with Showalter at the helm. By 1994, Meulens would be playing in Japan and out of the Yankees system altogether.

Here are the front and back together:


     No joy on Googling SPORTSPRINT/ATLANTA aside from more references to that 1994 Greenville Braves set. Ditto for the photographers and what was presumably the outfit that provided the photos.