Wednesday, February 27, 2019

HOF Binder: Page 7

This week's page is one of the smallest in the binder in terms of the number of cards. That'll happen I suppose when one uses markers to note the election years. Personally, I don't mind the markers as they make it much easier to find a player's card.

Overall, I'm fairly content with what you see below. Four different decades are represented within the page and what really makes me smile is that none of the designs are used twice. 

2017 Panini Diamond Kings, #13 - Herb Pennock
 The modern day Diamond Kings brand has been very helpful with this project. I have five cards in the binder from either the 2017 or 2018 sets and they are some of the lesser known members of Cooperstown. Herb Pennock, start his career in Philadelphia and played in Boston for awhile, but he he is probably best known for being a fixture in the Yankees rotation during the 1920's. He won three World Series titles during his career, but I don't that he was ever considered the ace pitcher. He pitched with two other stellar pitchers, Sad Sam Jones and Waite Hoyt, for much of his career. 

1976 Topps - TSN All-Time All-Stars, #343 - Pie Traynor
 At age 34, Pie Traynor was elected to the first of his two All-Star Games. That may not seem impressive, but consider the fact that he played in the inaugural All-Star Game in 1933. The lifetime Pirate was a career 0.320 hitter, he garnered MVP votes during eight different seasons, and he averaged only twenty-three strikeouts per season. That takes ridiculous bat control and quite the eye! He was the second player to play exclusively at the hot corner to enter the Hall of Fame.

1980 TCMA Baseball Immortals, #56 - Mordecai Brown
 Three Finger Brown is one of my favorite Chicago Cubs. He anchored the Cubs' staff in 1907 and 1908 when they won back-to-back championships. Brown also had a run of five consecutive years where his ERA was below 2. Unreal. His career ERA was 2.06 and he did all of this while pitching with a hand that was mangled as a kid during an accident on a local farm.
swiped from:
1983 Donruss - Hall of Fame Heroes, #28 - Charlie Gehringer
 Yankee's pitcher Lefty Gomez once called Charlie Gehringer the Mechanical Man, because "you can wind him up on Opening Day and then forget about him." A model of consistency, Gehringer was a career 0.320 hitter and topped 200 hits in seven different seasons. Gehringer played for the Tigers his entire career and was known to be one the top defenders at second base. He earned MVP consideration during eleven different seasons, and he may have even won the award in 1929, a season in which he led the league in runs, doubles, triples and stolen bases. Unfortunately, the American League wasn't doing well financially and cancelled the award to avoid giving out the traditional bronze medal and cash award to the winner. Ugh.

1961 Fleer, #129 - Kid Nichols
 Charles Augustus Nichols logged 424 innings his rookie year during his age 20 season. Kid would average 30 wins and 400 innings during the first tens years of his career. Pitching mostly for the Boston Beaneaters, he finished his career seventh on the wins list and eleventh in innings pitched. What a workhorse!

2012 Panini Golden Age, #34 - Jimmie Foxx
Jimmie Fox, nicknamed Double X, played over 1900 games at first base and only 108 at catcher, but somehow the only card I have of him is wearing the tools of ignorance. #facepalm Foxx is a member of the 500 homer club, a three time MVP, a two time batting champ, and the winner of a Triple Crown. The man was a beast. Actually, Beast was his other nickname!

The Pie Traynor card, from 1976 Topps, is my favorite on this page. 1961 Fleer is a fun set and I like Kid Nichols' flavor saver, but I appreciate the black and white action photos of The Sporting News All-Time All-Stars subset.

The one card I'd like to replace most is the Jimmie Foxx card. I'm sure Panini went with the catcher photo because of its uniqueness, but I'd like something that better represents Jimmie Foxx' body of work. If I can find something will full career stats on the back that would be a plus, too.

That's it for this week. Thanks for stopping to by!

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

HOF Binder: Page 6

Page 6 contains the remaining four players from the Veterans Committee's eleven player class from 1946. The Baseball Writer's elected four more in 1947 and they were all fairly well-known names.
Take a look at this page! Eight cards from eight different sets spanning six consecutive decades, with the oldest being from 1961. This page makes me smile.

1992 Conlon, #463 - Eddie Plank
 Eddie Plank is probably the lesser known of the eight on today's page. Plank is a 300 game winner and had a career ERA of 2.35. He pitched fourteen years for the Philadelphia Athletics and then for the St. Louis Terrier and Browns his last three season. Twenty-five days before his 42nd birthday he pitched the last game of his career: 10.1 innings while giving up only 5 hits . . . in a losing effort. Wow.

2003 Upper Deck - SP Legendary Cuts, #66 - Joe Tinker
 A comment was made on the previous HOF Binder post by Brett about how he would have grouped Tinker, Evers and Chance together, even if it meant going out of alphabetical order. Honestly, I thought about that, but then I remembered that Evers and Tinker hated each other. Evers and Tinker once fought on the field and then the two did not speak to one another for the next 33 years. So, I thought it better to split those two guys up. In my opinion, Baseball's Sad Lexicon should probably be given credit for Joe Tinker making the Hall of Fame after a fairly average career.

1961 Fleer, #149 - Rube Wadell
 Man, do I love this card. Rounded corners, huge centering issue and a couple of nice creases. Rube Waddell, a lefty, was the best strikeout pitcher during the first decade of the 20th century. He led the league in strikeouts six times. He also didn't give up one home run in 285.2 innings during the 1908 season. Crazy!

1987 Hygrade - Baseball's All-time Greats, No # - Ed Walsh
 Big Ed Walsh pitched for fourteen years, thirteen of which were for the Chicago White Sox. He is baseball's all-time leader for ERA in a career, as a starting pitcher, with a sparkling number of 1.82. 

2012 Panini Cooperstown (Green Cracked Ice), #38 - Mickey Cochrane
 I have the base version of this card, but for some reason I chose the cracked ice parallel. I do love that picture though!. Mickey Cochrane, a lefty swinging backstop for the Athletics and Tigers, finished with a 0.320 career average, two MVP awards and he won three World Series. Arguably, he is one of the best hitting catchers of all-time.

1985 Topps - Woolworths, #13 - Frankie Frisch
Frankie Frisch was a fleet of foot second baseman who hit for a high average (0.316). He won an MVP and four World Series championships. He played eight years with the Giants and eleven years with Cardinals, where he was a part of the Gashouse Gang.

1972 Kellogg's All-Time Baseball Greats, #7 - Lefty Grove
 Lefty Grove was a stud pitcher. He won the ERA crown nine times, 300 games, and even captured an MVP award away from Lou Gehrig and Babe Ruth in 1931. During that season he started 30 games, finished 27 of then, had an ERA of 2.06 and a win-loss record of 31-4. Click on the link and prepare to be amazed by what he accomplished during his career.
Oh, Kellogg's. So beautiful! How 'bout that signature at the bottom? Most excellent!

1983 Donruss - Hall of Fame Heroes, #33 - Carl Hubbell
Carl Hubbell won two MVP awards, three ERA titles and was a nine time All-Star. In 1934 he started 34 games, won 21, and led the league with 8 saves. Talk about being a stopper!

Overall, I'm quite content with this page. I'd like to replace the Walsh, Frisch and Cochrane cards at some point in time, but there's no rush.

My favorite card on the page is a tough selection between the Rube Waddell and Lefty Grove offerings. I think I'd have to go with the the 1961 Fleer card with fuzzy corners if I was forced to make a decision. How about you?

Monday, February 18, 2019

Ogle That Vogel: 100 Year Anniversary Stamp

I haven't been checking Ebay on a daily basis for Dan Vogelbach during the last couple months, but I still run my usual searches a few times each week. I'm still missing some of the low numbered parallels from many of the 2017 offerings, but that market seems to really have dried up. Most of the 800+ auctions listed are of cards I already have, are overpriced, and they are automatically being relisted. Every thirty days or so I'm all like, "Look, here's these overpriced Topps Chrome autos . . . again."

Unfortunately, Vogelbach didn't have much cardboard produced of him during the 2018 card season. In fact, I only have 25 cards and the only major Topps set, in which he was given a base card, was Heritage. Heritage is known for some unique parallels like differently colored backs, flipping the colors on the front, flipping the card stock finish and gum stains. Sometimes the parallels are retail only and those seem to be very difficult to find on the secondary market.

Just as this year Topps is celebrating the 150th year of baseball, Topps recognized the 100th year mark with Heritage as it paid homage to the 1969 design.  Cards were stamped with a gold foil "100th Anniversary" stamp which are supposed to be limited to 25 copies.

I hadn't seen one copy until about two weeks ago.

Yes, I give you permission to Ogle that Vogel!
I was the second bidder on this item, which had free shipping, and I won it for a scant $1.52.

Easily my best Ebay bargain of the year to date!

It's not shiny or serial numbered and it doesn't have an autograph or contain a relic, but it's a low print at a great price. Plus . . . VOGELMONSTER!

Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, February 15, 2019

Coup de Circuit dans un PWE

I'm not sure how good my French in the title is, but hopefully it provides a smidgen of foreshadowing for this quick Cubs mojo PWE post from Dimebox Nick
Nick, all is well! The winter has been a little chaotic and I don't like how it's messing with my school schedule. But, on the flip side, pitchers and catchers reported this week!  Woo-Hoo!
 Yes, I'm still adding Cubs cards from 2018 to my collection that are new to me. I have the Bryant Ministers of Mash, but it's in my master set build of Topps Big League.
 I didn't even know Schwarber has a Future Stars card from last year. How did I miss that?  Oh, and that Rizzo! Because he's wearing the gold numbered uniform, this one will probably wind up in the World Series binder rather than the Rizzo binder.

Javy is a beast.
 The fantasy baseball industry is predicting Javy will regress back to the mean in all the typical Roto categories.  Fine. Whatever.  He'll still lead the league in unbelievable tags at second, steals of home, and elusive slides. My fantasy leagues play with those stat categories anyways! (Um, no, that's not true, but it would make for an interesting league.)

Willson Contreras and the statistical mean... hmmm... What's the opposite of regressing back to the mean? Exploding away from it? Whatever it is... well, I predict Willson to do that in 2019. 

Send me all of your 2019 Topps! My base set is not complete yet!

Mmmmm.... Schwarber. If it wasn't for Willson, Carl Edwards, Zobrist, and Rizzo, then I think Schwarber would be my favorite.
Honestly though, there isn't as big a gap from Schwarber to the top of the list as one might think. But, it is pretty crowded at the top. 

Brooks Kieschnick mojo of him pitching and hitting? How 'bout that, folks!?!
 I'm up to 88 different Kieschnick cards!  Nice!

Ready for a math lesson?
Wrigley Field Ivy + Fu Manchu facial hair + Rod Beck = Perfection. 

Ernie looks so young.
Did these Chrome throwbacks with the blue tint go over well with collectors? Normally, with a Cubs card I'm all for the blue, but I'm not really sure what to think about it here. 

Here we have a 4-in-1 special from Upper Deck's 2009 Goudey set.
That's a pretty nice looking card! It's also the 925th unique Ryne Sandberg in my collection.


Here's the back of the 1970 Billy, which Nick referred to in his note.
Le Francais! It's an O-Pee-Chee vintage Billy Williams card. Now, that's something you don't see everyday!

Nick, thanks for the great selection of Cubs cards. Some might say it was a Coup de Circuit! By the way, that was 18 cards in one business envelope with a single Forever stamp applied to it. That has to be some kind of record.

Nick, I'll be sure to send something back up I-55 before too long, but spring has to get here first. I wouldn't want what I'm going to ship to freeze on the way. 😇

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

HOF Binder, Page 5

The Veterans Committee, which elected all nine players in 1945, chose to enshrine the second largest class ever in 1946 with the selection of eleven players. With only nine cards per pages you'll have to be patient for the other four players from the class of '46.

1980 TCMA Baseball Immortals, #37 - James O'Rourke
 Jim O'Rourke's career started in 1872 and finished in 1904, when he went 1-for-4 and caught eight innings as a fifty-three year old. It was a different game back then, as is shown by his league leading twenty base-on-balls in 1877.  He was mostly an outfielder, but like many of the players during the time he filled in where he was needed. He was a career 0.310 hitter and on this card he is shown with an epic mustache. Bonus points for such a fine flavor saver.

1980 TCMA Baseball Immortals, #39 - Jesse Burkett
Jesse Burkett was a career 0.338 hitter and won three batting titles, twice hitting over 0.400. Burkett was arguably the best hitter on the Cleveland Spiders, a team which also rostered one of the greatest pitchers ever, Cy Young. 

2012 Panini Cooperstown, #35 - Frank Chance
Frank Chance, a player-manager for much of his career, was a 0.296 career hitter. He twice topped the circuit in stolen bases as a first baseman. As a manager he won 4 NL Pennants, 2 World Series, and had a winning percentage of 0.664 in eight seasons with the Cubs. Even so, he is probably most known for being part of Baseball's Sad Lexicon.

1985 Woolworths, #7 - Jack Chesbro
 Jack Chesbro, not known by many, was introduced to me by Zippy Zappy through his blog. He played for the New York Highlanders, which later became the Yankees, and was one of the top pitchers at the turn of the century. He twice led the league in wins and once threw 454.2 innings in one season. My arm hurts just thinking about that!

2012 Panini Cooperstown, #34 - Johnny Evers
Johnny Evers never topped the league in any offensive categories, but he did win the MVP in 1914. Both of his two previous seasons with the Cubs were better statistical seasons, but his Brookyln Dodgers team won it all in 1914. During his MVP season he hit 0.279 with one homer, twenty doubles, 81 runs scored and 40 RBIs. Keep in mind this was in the Dead-Ball Era, but I still claim #EastCoastBias. Personally, I would have given the MVP honors to Zack Wheat or Sherry McGee. Yes, yes, I would be remiss if I didn't mention Evers was also highlighted in Baseball's Sad Lexicon.

1980 TCMA Baseball Immortals, #43 - Clark Griffith
Clark Griffith, another player-manager, was quite the rubber-armed pitcher in his day. He once led the league in ERA and had five consecutive years where he topped the 300 innings pitched mark. He won 237 games, mostly as a starter, but he also led the league in games finished three times. This struck me odd, because most of the starting pitchers back then liked to finish what they started.

1980 TCMA Baseball Immortals, #44 - Thomas McCarthy
Tommy McCarthy has a 14.6 career WAR according to, which places him about 12 points outside of the top 1,000 players in WAR. He had a few really good years, in particular his 1890 season where he stole 83 bases and hit 0.350, but I'm not exactly sure why/how a guy with a career 102 OPS+ was elected to the Hall of Fame.

1980 TCMA Baseball Immortals, #45 - Joe McGinnity
Joe McGinnity was a horse. Actually, his nickname was Iron Man. In August of 1903 he pitched both ends of a double header three times . . . and he won all six games! Five times he led the league in wins, six times in games pitched, and he pitched over 300 innings in a season nine times.

That wraps up the player bios for this page. I wasn't planning on briefly summarizing the careers of the players as I went through the pages, but I almost feel the need to when the players are kind of off my baseball radar. When we get to more of the familiar names I'm not sure I'll keep with this trend.

Something I will continue to do is comment on the cards. As far as this page goes, all I can say is thank goodness for TCMA and their Baseball Immortals set. The O'Rourke and McGinninty are my favorite, but again, one of my "rules" is not to have two cards with the same design on any given page. And wow, I have five from the same set and three in a row to close out Page 5. Queue the sad trombone noise. I'll keep working those upgrades!

Thanks for all the feedback I've received within the comments for this series. And, thanks for stopping by!

Monday, February 11, 2019

Giving Credit Where It's Due

My Hall of Fame Binder posts have been quite entertaining for me to write about. They also seem to fairly well viewed and I appreciate the comments you, the reader, have been leaving. It's a rare day when I come up with a good idea on my own. For the record, the amount of joy I've had from putting the HOF binder together makes it a great idea, but it wasn't my idea.

AJ, The Lost Collector, was collecting cards of Hall of Fame players for his son a couple of years before I decided to stop being jealous of a newborn and do something about it. Not only did AJ help to inspire my favorite new project, but he just sent me a PWE of Cubs.

Let's take a look at what a fifty-five cent stamp can deliver.
 First up is a Sammy Sosa card from 1997 Fleer Ultra. At first glance I thought it was the base, because I'm not all that familiar with Fleer Ultra from the late 1990s, but the number on the back tells me this is a gold parallel. That's quite a nice start!

I bought one pack of 2019 Topps Series 1 and that will probably be my last. I was lucky enough to find two Cubs in that hobby pack. AJ is helping me build my team set.
 Zobrist is my favorite Cub and Strop is definitely in the top five.
 I'm hoping Lester can keep his ERA under 4.00 this year. I look at his secondary pitching stats and keep wondering when the wheels are going to fall off. The Crackin' Jokes card is a checklist card and I'm okay with that. I love candid photos.

I, like many collectors, could do without the Topps Now advertisements. It is what it is. 

How about this card? Sweet action shot of a flying Albert Almora and it's all foiled up!

This card is my favorite base card from 2019 Series 1 so far. I haven't seen all the photos that were used yet, but this is a unique shot and one that speaks to Baez' defensive skill set.

We started with a Sammy card and we'll finish with a Kraft Singles SuperStars card of Sammy.
Food issue cards are the best oddballs in my opinion.

AJ, thank you for the Cubs cards. Also, again, thanks for the HOF binder idea. It's been a lot of fun so far!

Saturday, February 9, 2019

New Additions to the HOF Binder

Commish Bob, the ever-popular Five Tool Collector, reached out late last month and offered up some most epic cards of Hall of Fame players for my HOF project. I initially passed on accepting his cards, because I didn't have anything in my collection to send back his direction. Bob replied with, "I just want the cards to find a good home. No need to send anything back." He drives a hard bargain.

For the record, I have to send something back. It's the way I'm wired. So I meandered out to the LCS on the other side of the river and found as many 1976 Topps from his want list as possible. In retrospect, I don't think a team bag of '76 Topps was probably enough to balance the scales. Something to remedy next time I'm at a card show!

Woo-Hoo!  Set help! This wasn't part of the original conversation with Bob, but I'll always take set help.
How about Don Stanhouse's hair? That's something else!

On to the Hall of Fame cardboard!
This one will replace a 2003 Upper Deck card for the time being, but I really want this one for my Cubs binder. Personally, I think of Richie Ashburn as a Phillie and eventually I'll find a vintage card of him donning the white and red.

The next card in the PWE is an upgrade over a modern day Topps card and this 1962 beauty joins the not-so-short list of my favorite cards in my collection.
 The story on the back speaks to Babes health and how he "only" hit 0.290 with 25 home runs in 1925. Apparently, when Babe was right the Yankees were as tough as nails, but when he was ill during the '25 season they fell to 7th place.

I have a few cards from the 1977 TCMA sets already in my binder and these two will soon join them.
I've been searching for upgrades for George Kell and Ralph Kiner at the last couple of card shows I've attended, but I haven't found the deal I've been looking for. These will serve as excellent place holders until I can track down a card from their playing days. Then the Kell will go to a Red Sox team collector and the Kiner card can go in a Cubs binder! Woo-Hoo!

The previous Early Wynn card in my binder was from the 1988 Pacific Legends set, which is a nice enough card, but this under-sized piece of cardboard is the type vintage piece I crave.
This is the first 1951 Red Back in my collection and the main reason I feel the need to send a secondary package to The Five Tool Collector. This card is in better shape than many of the cards in my binder, yet it'll also be the oldest once it finds its page. Wow!

Commish Bob, thank you very much for reaching out and also for your persistence in sending me such wonderful cards. All five of these Hall of Fame cards will find a home in my binder and two of them are legit keepers! Most excellent.

Thanks for stopping by and enjoy your weekend, everyone!