Saturday, September 16, 2017

1961 Fleer Autograph Project - Part 8

Life is hectic around here.  I'm trying to get ready to go on our now-annual fall pilgrimage back to Ohio to visit family and spend a weekend at Cedar Point. Additionally, one of our horses foundered seriously a couple weeks ago and it has been a bit of a struggle, with multiple visits from the vet and the farrier, to get her stabilized.  So, I am going to knock one more out before I likely go back on radio silence for a few weeks.

Here is the 8th autographed 1961 Fleer I have added to my collection.  It cost me the crazy low price of $23.49 delivered.

Charlie Gehringer was the stalwart second baseman for the Detroit Tigers for a 16 year period from 1926 through 1941.   Over a 19 year career, he put up a .320/.404/.480 slash line with 2839 hits, an MVP win in 1937 (when he barely edged out Joe Dimaggio), and a World Series win in 1935.

In reading his SABR biography, I found an interesting tidbit about his later life. Apparently, as one of the oldest living ballplayers (at the time) he was overwhelmed with autograph requests.  Since many of those requests were from folks who intended to resell them, Gehringer began to charge for autographs. His friend, baseball writer Jim Hawkins, said “Ninety-five percent of the requests were from people planning to resell Charlie's autograph......That was when and why Charlie began charging for autographs and requesting that all such mail be sent to me. We did so until the end of his life. But believe me, he didn't do it for the money. He did it for his quality of life and peace of mind.”

What I am listening to: Factory Girl by The Chieftans with Sinead O'Connor.

Saturday, September 9, 2017

1961 Fleer Autograph Project - Part 7

It is time to move on to the 1961s.  I thought I had a couple of additional 1960s on the way, but that didn't work out. I went against my better judgement and deviated from my plan to only add 1960 and 1961 cards if the autograph had been authenticated by a reputable organization.  The two I won were in raw condition. My intent was to have them authenticated.  However, before I spent a tidy sum on authentication, I submitted them online to PSA for a Quick Opinion, which only costs $10 each. Both came back as "Likely not Genuine," so they are being returned for a refund.  Lesson learned: stick with the plan.

Anyways, on to the seventh autographed 1961 Fleer card I acquired:

It cost me $28.27 delivered.  Lloyd Waner was born in Oklahoma a year before statehood in Harrah, a rural community on the east side of Oklahoma City and a 30-40 minute drive from where I live.  In fact, our farrier lives in Harrah. Interestingly, one of Harrah’s rivals was Meeker High School, which is about 20 miles further away. The star player for that school was pitcher Carl Hubbell.

Lloyd, like his brother Paul, is in the Hall of Fame.  Although, modern statistics don't really favor Lloyd. He has a career WAR of 24.1 and an OPS+ of 111. Clearly, a better than replacement level player, but not what modern observers would consider a lock for HOF admission.  If you wish to read more about Lloyd, here is his SABR biography.

What I am listening to:  Low Rider by War

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

1960 Fleer Autograph Project - Part 7

Since I can't remember the order in which I acquired these signed cards, I figure I'll just get caught up on 1960 with the card below.  I have another two 1960s in transit, but they were bought raw and I am going to send them out for authentication.  That process will hopefully give me time to catch up on the 6 autographed 1961 cards I have in my draft files.

So, without further ado, The Heater from Van Meter:

Everyone knows about Bob Feller. There isn't much I can add. 18 year Hall of Fame career, all with the Cleveland Indians.  A 266-162 career record, despite missing nearly four full seasons due to military service during World War II.  This card cost me $32 delivered.  Feller autographs have always been affordable, as he was a prolific signer (and consequently a fan favorite) after his career/

What I am listening to: Heal Me by Sarah Shook and the Disarmers.

Saturday, September 2, 2017

1960 Fleer Autograph Project - Part 6

So, I have not been making much progress on posting.  My life has been busy and there just hasn't been enough time to sit down and write blog posts.  It has gotten to the point that I don't even remember the order that I acquired the cards on this project. Life doesn't look like it is going to get calmer in the near future.  The farm keeps me busy most evenings and weekends. My wife and I have our annual trip back to Ohio to visit family and go to  Cedar Point on one of the Halloweekend events coming up.

Honestly, I don't see much relief until winter.  I have been making some progress on this quest and have a couple nice potential additions to share later this month. So, I am going to just try and push these posts out in a half-assed manner just to get them out there and get caught up.

Nice of Waite to wish me luck on getting caught up.  Waite Hoyt is the sixth autographed 1960 Fleer card I have acquired. It only cost me $21.95 delivered.

Hoyt spent 21 years in the majors with 7 different teams. He played in 7 World Series and was on 3 World Champions in his career.  6 of the WS and all three wins came with the Yankees, including the all time great 1927 Bombers. He was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1969.

That's it.  Phoned it in, to be sure.  Expect more weak efforts coming up.

What I am listening to: Not Dark Yet by Shelby Lynne and Allison Moorer

Saturday, July 22, 2017

1960 Fleer Autograph Project - Part 5

Goodness. It has been well over a month since I last posted. I have been active in the hobby area, but I have been bad about writing blog posts.  I have made some progress on my 1970 and 1972 Topps sets. I am down to needing 195 cards to complete the 720 card 1970 set and 105 to complete the 787 card 1972 set. Additionally, I actually have 7 posts (including this one) in the draft folder regarding my Fleer autograph project, and 3 more cards in the mail, so I need to start cranking them out.  Life has been busy. But, that is the way of this modern era, so I just need suck it up and get these done.

Here is the 5th signed 1960 Fleer card I have added to my collection.

This Lefty Gomez was the second most expensive acquisition on this project at the time, at $32.50 delivered.  As things go, I am sure it will get worse as I get further along.  It already has. But, I'm not going to worry about that now.

I am not a writer, and I can't really do justice to any of these posts when there are fabulous resources on line.  But, I am not a fan of the "look at what I bought kthxbai" posts, so I need to add some color. so, I try to throw in some observations about the players career and life.  If you really want to read more about Lefty Gomez, I strongly encourage you to read his SABR biography, which some of what follows is derived from.

Yes, I ended that sentence with a preposition.  I told you, I am not a writer.

Lefty Gomez had a 14 year MLB career from 1930 to 1943. The first 13 of those years were with the Yankees and the last was a partial season with the Washington Senators. He compiled a 189-102 career W-L record, with a 3.34 ERA. For the more modern stat-head, he had a career 125 ERA+.  During his career, he had four twenty win seasons, including a 26-5 in 1934 when he finished 3rd in the MVP voting behind winner Mickey Cochrane and Charlie Gehringer, but ahead of season WAR leader Lou Gehrig. Interestingly, as measured by both ERA+ and WAR, his finest season was 1937, when he compiled a 21-11 record while racking up 193 and 9.4 on the two sabrmetrics, respectively. He was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1972, by the Veteran's Committee. He passed away in 1989 at the age of 80.

Gomez had something of a reputation as a wit. Indeed, after the 1932 World Series, won by his Yankees, Lefty did a 12 week stint as a vaudevillian for the princely sum of $3000 per week.  Much of his humor was at his own expense.   My favorite story was his reaction to NASA being confused about a white object Neil Armstrong found on the moon.  His reaction was “I knew immediately what it was. It was a home run ball hit off me in 1937 by Jimmie Foxx.” Indeed, Gomez faced Foxx more than any other player in his pitching career and Foxx was clearly the winner. Jimmie Fox's slash line, in 172 plate appearances against Gomez was .341/.471/.739 with 13 home runs. Ouch.

What I am listening to: Symphony of Destruction by Megadeth

Monday, July 3, 2017

Alternate Collection Update

I've got like 5 posts in my draft folder that I can't get around to completing, but I can knock this on out all quick like.  Some time ago, San Jose Fuji asked if the various card bloggers collected anything other than cards.  I responded at the time and have updated as we went along.

Original Post
Update 1
Update 2
Update 3

So, here is the fourth update:

Introducing Raymond Purr!

My wife and I were sitting on our back patio Sunday night looking over the barn yard and having an adult beverage, when we say something moving out by the barn.  We were a bit surprised when we realized it was a cat, because our barn cats had already bunked down for the night in the garage.  So, we went out to see what was up and quickly realized it was a kitten.  It was pretty scared and we had to herd it into the barn and trap it in the tack room to catch it.  He was wily prey, but we finally managed to capture him.

He is tiny, only 6 or 7 weeks old. He looks a lot like our first (long departed) cat Boxcar, who was a Maine Coon.  Maine Coons are the gentle giants of the cat world. Very chill. Raymond has big old ears and paws and the vet thinks he may get up to 15-18 pounds. So, we are hoping we have another Maine Coon We get what lands on our doorstep, so to speak. So, this may be a little bit of serendipity.

Monday, May 29, 2017

Ten Favorites

It's been a while since I posted.   I've been pretty busy at work and it is that magical time of the year when the grass just won't stop growing.  There has been some hobby activity and I have the skeletons of 4 posts in my drafts folder.  But, what drew me back out was this contest over at Collecting Cutch, where you show your 10 favorite cards of your favorite player.  It gave me a chance to revisit my player collection.

Of course, I chose Paul Blair, a player from my childhood.  I had a Paul Blair model baseball glove and his cards were my entry back into the hobby.  As it currently stands, I have 112 unique Paul Blair cards in my PC.  Here are my favorites in no particular order.

This 1993 Nabisco All Star Legends is probably the most valuable card in my Blair PC.  It was not issued through the mail, like the more common cards from this set.  It was only issued in person and regional card shows.  It rarely comes up for sale on EBay, but when it does it often sells for over $100.  I actually have two, neither of which cost me more than $25.

This 1965 Rookie Stars card is, as you may have surmised, Paul Blair's rookie card.

I'm not trying to troll Night Owl here, though I have to admit it is a nice side benefit. No, I like this 1967 Topps World Series card because it captures a key moment in his career, which many cards of the time never did, what with all the spring training posed and head shots.

1978 Topps.  This was during the period when I followed the Yankees religiously. I even cut out box scores, taped them in a notebook and kept running statistics, game by game.

This Pro-Cards card appeals to me on several levels. It is an oddball, I like the design, and it features my favorite player as a coach of my hometown Rochester Red Wings

2000 Upper Deck Legendary Lumber. It's a nicely designed card that features Blair and, for some reason, Lou Pinella. There is a Gold version of this card where the cutout is the NY letters and is surrounded by the bat relic chip.

This 1999 SI Fleer Greats of the Game auto card is it. The very first card I got when I decided to get back into collecting.

1993 Upper Deck Baseball Assistance Team three panel card, based on the T202 Hassan triple fold cad from 1912. This is part of a 165 card set that might be fun to collect. In fact, I think I will.  a 24 pack box (with 12 cards per pack) is going for around $30 on EBay.  Of course, I'll need to find an appropriate Ultra Pro sheet for them.

My favorite modern era set is the 2004 Fleer Greats of the Game set.  It was the best of the several GOTG set, with thick embossed cards and a great checklist. 

1981 The Franchise, a regional issue set featuring members of the 1966 Baltimore Orioles.

So, there they are. Now I am off to do some yard work before it gets too hot.