The name of this blog is dedicated to my mother. Back in little league, my mother used to stand back behind home plate and give me that one, simple batting instruction: "get the bat off of your shoulder!"

Thursday, July 5, 2012

May need to re-dedicate this blog...

When I grew up in Orange County, California, we watched many, many Angels' games. We held season tickets from '73 to '76 - back when they cost about $500 for 4 field level seats for all 81 games.
We suffered through many a lousy season, but always enjoyed ourselves.

Tanana and Ryan and three days of cryin',,,

I really can't say that there was much of a rivalry between the Angels and anyone else - I mean, they really weren't that good in the early seventies. The one rivalry that we always enjoyed though was against the Rangers. A lot of my family is from Texas, and I live here now. But even with all that, I could not and would not ever cheer the Rangers. I don't hate them the way Red Sox and Yankees fans hate each other, or say Dodgers and Giants fans do. No, I don't hate Rangers at all. I root against them every game they're playing, but more in a friendly competitive way.

But I fear this is about to change.

And we have my mother to blame. My mother has always been my fellow Angels rooter. Heck, I even dedicated the site to her for the love of baseball she instilled in me as a kid. But a few months ago, my parents moved out to Texas so they could be near family seeing as how hardly any of our family is left in California. For the 4th of July, they had the first party in their new house.

She mentioned that she had some new keys made for the house, and wanted to show them to me.
Then she tossed them down on the table in front of me.

I didn't have any words for it. I looked up at her, my jaw dropped and she screamed Go Rangers! I think she thought it was funny.

My own mother.

She is definitely not going with us next trip to Arlington when Angels are in town.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

1969 Deckle Edge inserts, now and then

Topps cards have had inserts for as long as I can remember collecting.

As a kid, I don't recall coming across too many, but I had enough to make them special. There's the story booklets and posters from the '70 set, the scratch offs and metal coins from the '71 set. I have a few of each of these, but the oldest insert cards I have that I actually pulled myself from packs, are a pair of what is called "deckle edge" cards from the '69 set.

I have had them forever. For many years I didn't even keep them with my regular baseball card collection. They got to go in the special wooden chest full of odd trinkets such as a huge Bolivian coin that I was convinced was pirate treasure and a bright red plastic apple I stole from the Snow White ride at Disneyland on a dare. 

For many years, I really thought that the autographs were real. No one could convince me otherwise. I used to take the card out and stare at it and wonder where was Jim Fregosi sitting when he signed my card?
Did Don Kessinger know that it was *me* that had this one and only card that he signed?
Probably because of the blue ink, I was convinced they were real.
There have been many baseball card sets over the years that have had printed signature on them, but I am pretty sure they were all black and, to me at least, pretty obviously pre-printed.

Recently I bought a handful of 2012 Topps Archive. I pulled this Ichiro Suzuki deckle edged card from a pack and nearly dropped my shorts! A signed Ichiro Suzuki card! Wow! Look at that! It's right there in the blue ink! How did I get so lucky!.

It was a fun 10 minutes as I rushed over to look at eBay to see if this was really a signature, and how much these were going for. It didn't take long to realize that the printed ones had the blue ink signature too.
I cracked open the binder I have with all the odd-ball cards in it, and sure enough there were Jim Fregosi and Don Kessinger, signed names with blue ink, smiling at me, almost laughing, "You're still just a big kid, aren't you?"

Friday, June 8, 2012

Why can't cereal boxes be like this now?

This last weekend was a big "sports collectibles" show here in Houston. It's about as big a card show as we get here. More aimed toward football than baseball, only one of the dozen athletes doing signatures was a baseball player; Billy Williams. Interestingly, his autograph, and picture with him if you wanted, was only $55 - lowest of all the people at the show.

But what was great about attending this show was that I was with my dad! I have not been to a card show with my dad since... boy, maybe mid-80's, so this was a treat. 

There were some great framed photos, one in particular was Koufax winding up and delivering at Dodger Stadium. I think it was from his September 1965 no hitter. I was mesmerized by the photo. It was big, maybe foot-and-a-half by two feet, and Koufax took up whole picture, batter, ump and catcher just a blur in the foreground. Behind Koufax, in the distance, you could make out the scoreboard. It was framed, autographed and over $300. Which is not a lot of money considering, but I passed on it.

I only really brought lists for a couple sets I'm trying to finish, primarily the 1970 Topps. After looking around for an hour, I had sort of given up hope when the best price I could find for the 7th series no-name high-number guys was like $7.
Not gonna happen.
Rick Reichardt? $7?
$6.75 for Duffy Dyer?
I'll pass.
I bought Hank Aaron and Roberto Clemente in this set for $7 and $4.50, respectively. No way am I paying $7 for a common, I don't care how rare someone thinks it's "high" number is.
Unfortunately for the guys selling this stuff - I've seen Sportslots. 

I'm just about to leave empty handed when the last table on the way out has a dollar box and the tab dividers are all 60's and 50's. Jackpot!
I found a handful of these 1962 Post cards. They were so worn and loved and beautiful that I knew I had to have them. Of the 10 Angels in the Post set, here were 4 of them at a buck each. One great thing about collecting the Angels is that other than Nolan Ryan, (and apparently 1970 Topps Rick Reichardt!), there aren't too many high dollar cards.


I like these, and the poorly cut edges only make them more fun for me. I am reminded of a time when getting a treat from the morning cereal box was a huge part of a kid's life!

My dad even bought me a card! How about that? He ponied up the dollar for Steve Bilko! Thanks pop!
Steve Bilko was a big part of my dad's childhood baseball. He grew up in Los Angeles, which back in the 1700's when he was a kid, had no Major League teams.
But they did have the Pacific Coast League, which meant Los Angeles Angels and Hollywood Stars.
Dad's favorite player with the Angels was Bilko, because the guy used to rip the cover off the ball and send many a kid home with a souvenir. Here's a pic of Bilko that I "borrowed" from the LA Times archives.

Thanks dad!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

I lost out on Dock Ellis over a nickel?!?

I lost out on this beautiful card over a mere five cents. 

To be fair, I was distracted. I was watching Jered Weaver's no-hitter in progress and seriously regretting that second helping of garlic mashed potatoes.

But still... When I came across this card of Dock Ellis, I just knew I needed it. Not wanted it. Needed it.

And it was $0.99 with $0.99 shipping and no bids on it and due to end in an hour! I put my $0.99 bid down and I was sure it was mine because, well, I don't know, but I was just sure it was mine and that no one else would show up and bid on it. I went back to loosening my belt and watching Weaver and the Angels beat up on one of only other teams in the league, playing worse than they are. 

I know better! Down inside I knew better, but beer, veal and mashed potatoes were piled up on top of my inner voice and I couldn't hear it! I know that if I want a card, I need to put in the highest amount I'm willing to pay, not just the next amount up! But no... too distracted by the potential of seeing Weaver throw a no-hitter.

So an hour or so later, after the Angels get the last out and the stadium erupts in to excitement and everyone is hugging and I'm still trying to loosen my belt enough to be comfortable - I remember Dock Ellis, and that I need to go and pay for my card. His card is not up there on the main screen, so I look for the " you have to pay for 1 auction" link, but not seeing it... I go to the Didn't Win page and there's Dock. He's very disappointed in me. I look at that mesmerizing psychedelic design, and right next to it, it says $1.04 in red letters. I cried a little. 

The guy selling this card is just down the road from me. (Note: in Texas, 97 miles is just down the road). I know this because I've bought some other cards from him. I briefly consider driving down there tonight, offer him a $1.05 and see if he'd go for it. Hell, I was ready to offer $1.10.

But enough of my whining, I at least have a picture of the card to admire. I do not know why but I have always been fascinated with the idea that Dock Ellis could pitch a game, much less throw a no-hitter on acid. I am also mesmerized by that design.

Oh well, probably another one will come up eventually. Let's hope. 

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Trade with Jeff @ Cardboard Catastrophe

Jeff at Cardboard Catastrophe sent me a big pile of 2011 Update, some Heritage and some Lineage. A trio of the Heritage Chrome. I did not even realize these were numbered #/1962.

The stack of 2011 Lineage included some current Hall of Famers members, some definite future Hall members and some guys, who like me, will only ever get to Cooperstown on a tour bus.

Thanks a ton Jeff, I do hope you are eventually able to use the database I sent you.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Trade with Michael @ Nomo's Sushi Platter

Michael sent me a big pile of cards off my lists, just out of the blue! He sent along some Lineage, some 2012 '87 minis, some 2011 update even a sticker!

Very cool, I appreciate it very much. I was looking through his want lists and I don't have too much from his lists, so I had to really dig through the boxes to find some goodies to send him. Hope you enjoy them, and thanks very much for the trade!

Trade with Matt @ 26 Cent Summer

After a short business trip, I arrive back home to find a fat envelope from Matt over at 26 Cent Summer - I am back home and catching up on mail!

Matt sent a ton of 2011 Heritage, Series 1, Series 2 and Update.

Also in there are the last 4 pieces to the 1992 Topps puzzle. Set is wrapped up now! Thanks very much Matt! I look forward to trading again!