Thursday, March 31, 2011

1955 Topps #183 - Tony Jacobs

Tony Jacobs (b. 1925 - d. 1980) played in the majors for two games, one in 1948 (for the Cubs) and one in 1955 (for the Cardinals). He had no decisions in the two games, striking out 3 with an ERA of 11.25. According to the back of his card, it sounds like he was a pretty decent minor league pitcher.


Wednesday, March 30, 2011

In the Mail - 2010 Tribute Nick Markakis

I got a pleasant surprise yesterday when I checked my mail. I finally got my 2010 Topps Tribute Nick Markakis Relic/Auto that I redeemed way back in September. It was a birthday gift from the former owner of the card shop. I guess this isn't a bad birthday present/severance package for 4 and 1/2 years of keeping the shop running.

1955 Topps #182 - Humberto Robinson

Humberto Robinson (b. 1930 - d. 2009) was the first Panamanian player to play in the majors. He played from 1955-1956 and 1958-1960 for the Braves, Indians and Phillies. He retired with a record of 8-13, 114 strikeouts and an ERA of 3.25.


Tuesday, March 29, 2011

1955 Topps #181 - Roy McMillan

Roy McMillan (b. 1929 - d. 1997) played in the majors from 1951 to 1966 for the Reds, Braves and Mets. He retired with 1,639 hits, 68 home runs and a .243 batting average. He was an All Star in 1956 and 1957. Also, he won a Gold Glove in 1957, 1958 and 1959. Following his playing career, he managed the Brewers in 1972 and the Mets in 1975 (taking over the team after Yogi Berra).


Monday, March 28, 2011

Nolan Reimold Optioned To Norfolk

I knew it was coming, but it still made sad. Nolan Reimold was optioned to AAA Norfolk after posting a line of .315, 3 doubles, 3 home runs, 10 RBI, .448 OBP and a .537 slugging percentage. Reimold was nowhere near healthy last spring (physically or mentally). He had undergone achilles surgery that offseason and also had a multitude of personal issues that weighed on him throughout the season. In 2009, Reimold enjoyed a breakout season after toiling in the minors and battling various injuries. He had 100 hits, 15 home runs, 45 RBI and a .279 batting average that season vs. 24 hits, 3 home runs, 14 RBI and a .207 batting average for the '10 season. It looks like he emerged from his funk this spring. Unfortunately, he had an option remaining while Felix Pie did not.

Pie will be the O's 4th outfielder off of the bench to start the season while Reimold will get regular at bats in left field for the Norfolk Tides. I like this approach, really, because Reimold needs to continue to show that last season's troubles are behind him and that he is ready to contribute on a daily basis. I think that he will be fine and will be back in Baltimore sooner than later. It is a good problem to have when you send a player with as much potential as Reimold has to the minors to start the season. It has been a long time since the O's have had depth of this kind, so maybe this is a sign that they are closer to contending than in years past.

1955 Topps #180 - Clem Labine

Clem Labine (b. 1926 - d. 2007) played in the majors from 1950 to 1962 for the Dodgers, Tigers, Pirates and Mets. He was a very good relief pitcher who was a member of the 1955 and 1959 World Champion Dodgers and the 1960 World Champion Pirates. He had a career record of 77-56, 551 strikeouts, an ERA of 3.63 and 96 saves. He led the league in saves in 1956 (19) and 1957 (17).


Sunday, March 27, 2011

Picked Up a Couple Cards From My Brother

I decided to take a trip to see my family yesterday, since I hadn't been up there since the card shop closed at the end of January. I had some 2011 Topps Heritage Red Sox cards for my brother, John, and here is what he traded me for them:I got this really cool-looking 2011 Topps Wal Mart Black Variation Nick Markakis. I like these cards, even though there isn't really much to them. I think blacking out the background makes the player kind of pop off of the page.

He also traded me this 2011 Topps 60 reprint of the classic 1968 Topps card featuring Frank and Brooks Robinson. Woo hoo! Another Brooks card to add to my collection. I really love the 1968 set. One day, I may try to tackle this set, but in order to do that, I will need to find a legit Nolan Ryan RC. Good luck with that!

Not bad stuff at all, that's for sure. My brother kind of over values his stuff at times, but he is usually pretty easy to trade with, that is, if you have Red Sox cards.

1955 Topps #179 - Jim Bolger

Jim Bolger (b. 1932) played in the majors from 1950-1951, 1954-1955 and 1957-1959 for the Reds, Cubs, Indians and Phillies. He retired with 140 hits, 6 home runs and a batting average of .229.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

1955 Topps #178 - Bobby Adams

Bobby Adams (b. 1921 - d. 1997) played in the majors from 1946 to 1959 for the Reds, White Sox, Orioles and Cubs. He retired with 1,082 hits, 37 home runs and a .269 batting average. When he played for the Orioles in 1956, he wore the number 5. The number 5 would end up being retired by the Orioles, but that was after a certain 3rd baseman took that number over in 1957, Brooks Robinson. I thought that was kind of interesting trivia.


Friday, March 25, 2011

TTM Success - Bobby Shantz

I mailed to Bobby Shantz on February 26, 2011 and received this signed ball on March 24, 2011 - about a month TAT. I was afraid that this one wasn't coming back, but it did. This was also one of the last balls that I sent out before I suspended TTMs (ok, just so you all know, we are in the process of closing on a house and moving, so that's why I suspended them). I still have several TTMs outstanding, but I don't plan on sending any out until after we close on the house (April 5th).

Shantz (b. 1925) played in the majors from 1949 to 1964 for the A's, Yankees, Pirates, Colt .45s, Cardinals, Cubs and Phillies. He went 24-7 in 1952 to become the AL MVP. I now have signed baseballs from the 1952 and 1953 AL MVPs. Wooooo for me!

Shantz retired in 1964 at the age of 38 with a record of 119-99, 1,072 strikeouts and a 3.38 ERA.

1955 Topps #177 - Jim Robertson

Jim Robertson (b.1928) played in the majors from 1954 and 1955 for the Philadelphia/Kansas City A's. He left the majors with 29 hits, 0 home runs and a .187 batting average.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Hall of Fame Baseball Ebay Success - Warren Spahn

I picked up this awesome looking Warren Spahn signed baseball off of Ebay the other day at a very good price. The ball is PSA authenticated, so it definitely should have been more expensive than what I paid. According to the spreadsheet I have been working on, an autographed ball from Spahn averages around $91.20 and I got this ball for almost half that.

I discussed Spahn's career when I posted his 1955 Topps card here. I will remind you that he had a career record of 363-245, won the World Series in 1957 with the Braves and was the Cy Young Award winner in 1957. Spahn ranks 6th all-time in wins. That is amazing to me. I have wanted an autographed baseball of Spahn for a long time, and I finally got one. It is definitely a shame that he is no longer with us, though. I really have gotten to where I really appreciate the great pitchers of the past, and I can proudly display this ball beside the one I have of another pitching legend, Bob Feller.

1955 Topps #176 - Norm Zauchin

Norm Zauchin (b. 1929 - d. 1999) played in the majors from 1951 and 1955-1959 for the Red Sox and Senators. He retired with 242 hits, 50 home runs and a .233 batting average.

Zauchin hit a home run on State of Maine Day and was given a caged black bear named Homer. Not knowing what to do with it, the bear was eventually sent to the City Zoo in Birmingham Alabama.


As you can see, we jumped from card number 174 to 176. Card number 175 was supposedly reserved for Stan Musial, but due to contract issues with their main rival Bowman at the time, Musial was one of the players left out of the set. There are another 3 cards missing from this set.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Hidden in my Collection - Phil Rizzuto Autographed Baseball

I posted this ball on my other (now dormant) blog way back on May 27, 2010. I picked the ball up from Ebay after I got word that I passed the first half of my geology licensing exam. Since I am really going hard after Hall of Fame autographed baseballs, I was really happy to add this Rizzuto to my collection. I feel like it got missed by everyone because the other blog didn't take off like I wanted it to. Oh well. Here it is now!

This Rizzuto baseball was the first signed ball I had gotten of a deceased Hall of Famer (I now have Feller, Kell and Snider) and I was surprised at how cheap I was able to get it, especially since he is a Yankee. The ball looks great in person and his signature definitely looks unique, the Z's definitely don't look like R's. Rirruto?

What do you guys think? Anyone get the movie reference?

1955 Topps #174 - Rudy Minarcin

Rudy Minarcin (b. 1930) played in the majors from 1955 to 1957 for the Reds and Red Sox. He had a career record of 6-9, 70 strikeouts and an ERA of 4.66.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Hall of Fame Spotlight - Hoyt Wilhelm

Plaque photo borrowed from

Hoyt Wilhelm (b. 1922 - d. 2002) was one of the first great relief pitchers. He played in the majors from 1952 to 1972 for the Giants, Cardinals, Indians, Orioles, White Sox, Angels, Braves, Cubs and Dodgers. I have been working on a spreadsheet of Hall of Famers lately and what I liked the most about Wilhelm was that he was born in Huntersville, NC. I lived in Huntersville myself from 2001 to 2003 before we bought our house in Cornelius (which is where Wilhelm went to high school). We sold our house in Cornelius in December of 2009. Anyway, Wilhelm was considered a great knuckleball pitcher, which is why he was able to pitch as long as he did. He made his final appearance in the majors just 16 days prior to his 50th birthday. He was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1985 on his 8th ballot with 83.8% of the vote. He retired after 21 seasons with a record of 143-122, 1,610 strikeouts and an ERA of 2.52.

What makes him a Hall of Famer?
  • Led the league in ERA in 1952 (2.43) and 1959 (2.19)
  • His 2.52 ERA ranks 45th all-time
  • Recognized as the first pitcher to save 200 games
  • First pitcher to appear in 1,000 games
  • His 651 games finished ranks 10th all-time
  • His 1,050 games pitched ranks 5th all-time
  • Threw a no hitter against the soon-to-be World Champion Yankees in 1958
  • All Star in 1953, 1959, 1961, 1962 and 1970
Should he be a Hall of Famer?
  • Never won a MVP or Cy Young award
  • Played until he was 49; 16 days prior to turning 50
  • A major influence on how the relief pitcher is used today
  • Appeared on 8 Hall of Fame ballots (elected on 8th ballot) averaging 59% of the vote
The Verdict?
Being a player who sets the tone for how other players in your position are used definitely puts one in the running for the Hall. Wilhelm's numbers may not stack up with the greatest pitchers of all time, but I believe he definitely should be in. YES Hoyt Wilhelm is a Hall of Famer.

On average, a Hoyt Wilhelm autographed baseball can be had for $70.60 or a signed card can be found for around $39.99.

1955 Topps #173 - Bob Kline

Bobby Kline (b. 1929) played in the majors for only the 1955 season with the Washington Senators. He had 31 hits, 0 home runs and a .221 batting average.

Monday, March 21, 2011

1955 Topps #172 - Frank Baumholtz

Frank Baumholtz (b. 1918 - d. 1997) played in the majors from 1947 to 1949 and 1951 to 1957 for the Reds, Cubs and Phillies. He was also a standout basketball player for the University of Ohio where his jersey number was the first one retired at that school.


Sunday, March 20, 2011

Thoughts on 2011 Topps Heritage

I picked up a box of 2011 Topps Heritage from my local hobby shop today mainly because I was totally bored out of my mind. Anyway, I busted the box and here is a little bit of what I pulled:

Here is the best Oriole I got, a Nick Markakis base card. I love the design, the 1962 design is one of the best out there and I was really looking forward to Heritage this year for that reason.

Here is my one hit from the box, a Francisco Liriano relic. I was a bit underwhelmed with this pull, but it will be a little something to put in my display case at the next card show.

Here is a great pairing on the Then and Now insert. Usually Topps throws anything at the wall to see what sticks with their duos cards, but in this case, Spahn and Halladay is a great matchup. I like this card, for sure.

I was able to pull a card of one of my favorite Orioles' prospects, Brandon Snyder. I've met Snyder several times and each time, he has been really awesome to talk to. I hope to see him in the majors more this year.

One of the cool things in Heritage is seeing players in their new uniforms. I think that Topps Flagshhip comes out so early, you don't always get to see a player in the new uniform, so you have to wait til heritage comes out. You can see how strange Manny looks in the Rays uniform above. I also pulled new Orioles Derrick Lee and Mark Reynolds.

I'm always happy when I get a new Brooks Robinson card. I think pulling this card is what ended up satisfying me with this box break. It doesn't take much, haha.

I really thought this was a cool card. I keep forgetting that Babe Ruth coached for the Dodgers for a time. It is kind of weird seeing the Bambino with a number other than 3 on the back of his jersey, and seeing Dodger blue makes it even weirder.

Overall, I really like the design of this year's offering of Topps Heritage. I didn't have any great pulls (the Koufax auto would have made me pee myself), but in all, I was happy. I'm not sure if he is in the set, but pulling a Brian Roberts would have definitely made my day, but in the end, I got a good bit of trade bait and some stuff to sell at the next show.

1955 Topps #171 - Dick Brodowski

Dick Brodowski (b. 1932) played in the majors from 1952, 1955-1959 for the Red Sox, Senators and Indians. He retired with a record of 9-11, 85 strikeouts and an ERA of 4.76.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Hall of Fame Spotlight Recap

As I wait patiently was mail to arrive, or some money to come along for cards, I thought I'd make it a little easier for you to see all of the Hall of Fame Spotlight posts that I have done so far. I really enjoy this feature of my blog, as I have learned a lit about some players who I didn't know much about, or learned more about players who I thought I did know of. I hope you all enjoy this feature, as I plan on keeping it around. I am also creating a spreadsheet for myself about Hall of Famers, so I can keep track of which autos I have, which autos I can afford and which I can keep dreaming about. So, check the links below and get caught up on who I have written about so far. I plan on adding them to my sidebar soon (might take a couple elements off of it as well) so you all can continue to keep track. Here are the players I have written on so far:

Joe Sewell

Travis Jackson

Hal Newhouser

Ernie Lombardi

Joe Medwick

Jimmie Foxx

Luke Appling

Stan Musial

I pick the players who I write about pretty randomly. I'm not sure who I will write about next, but I'm sure I will enjoy it. I wish I had enough money to get more autographed baseballs, but things are tight right now. I have seen a couple authenticated baseballs of some Hall of Famers for under $50, so I may be able to allocate some funds toward that soon. Here's to hoping. In the meantime, check out the links above, leave me some comments. If there is someone who you would like to see me post, let me know and I'll try to get on it.

1955 Topps #170 - Jim Pearce

Jim Pearce (b. 1925 - d. 2005) played in the majors from 1949 to 1950 and 1953 to 1955 for the Senators and Reds. He retired with a record of 3-4, 22 strikeouts and an ERA of 5.78. He was from Zebulon, NC, the current home of the Carolina Mudcats.


Friday, March 18, 2011

1955 Topps #169 - Bob Oldis

Bob Oldis (b. 1928) played in the majors from 1953 to 1955 and 1960 to 1963 for the Senators, Pirates and Phillies. He retired with 56 hits, 1 home run and a batting average of .237. He was a member of the 1960 World Series Champion Pittsburgh Pirates. He now serves as a scout for the Florida Marlins.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Hidden in my Collection - 1934 Chicle Bill Hallahan

It occurred to me that it has been a while since I dug out a 'Hidden' card to talk about on here. I've been really busy lately with life stuff that I will reveal shortly. I will tell you, however, that what I have going on is a good thing, but it has ground my collecting to a halt. I have also suspended my TTM requests until after I have this event taken care of. No, we aren't having more kids. Don't even think about that.

Now, I was looking around on my laptop and saw that I had scanned the above 1934 Chicle Bill Hallahan card a while back. I remember getting this card at a card show. It was on one of those discount tables, and I had to have it. This is the only vintage Chicle card that I have. I'd like to add more to my collection at some point, but like I said above, it will be a little bit before I can make any significant additions to the collection.

I believe that I got this card for a couple dollars. I think I was at a show with Max and he was able to get a pretty beat up Steve Garvey rookie card from the same table. I'd say head over to his blog and look for it, but he hasn't posted in so long, there's probably cobwebs in the corner.

Bill Hallahan (b. 1902 - d. 1981) played in the majors from 1925-1926 and 1929-1938 for the Cardinals, Reds and Phillies. He retired with a record of 102-94, 856 strikeouts and an ERA of 4.03. He led the NL in strikeouts in 1930 and 1931 and led the NL in wins with 19 in 1931.

1955 Topps #168 - Duane Pillette

Duane Pillette (b. 1922) played in the majors from 1949 to 1956 for the Yankees, Browns, Orioles and Phillies. He retired with a record of 38-66, 305 strikeouts and an ERA of 4.40. We was a member of the World Series Champion New York Yankees in 1949 and 1950. Pillette won the final game for the St. Louis Browns in 1953 and then recorded the first win in Baltimore Orioles franchise history.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Marty Marion Has Passed Away

I got a text message a couple hours ago from my good buddy Drew informing me that former MLB player and manager Marty Marion had passed away. Apparently, Mr. Marion died last night from a heart attack. He was 93. I got a TTM success from Mr. Marion on January 30. I'm sad that a lot of the older players are passing away, but that is part of life. Mr. Marion lived a full life, for sure, but one still can be sad because another part of the game's history has faded back into the annals of time. Check out Drew's post for his tribute to Mr. Marion's passing.

1955 Topps #167 - Tom Casagrande

Tom Casagrande (b. 1930) was a minor league pitcher in the Phillies system. Casagrande never got a call to the majors, but he can take comfort in the fact that he has his own card.