Wednesday, July 26, 2017

ISSUE #13 "WTHBALLS" MAGAZINE: "THEN AND NOW" AVAILABLE FOR ORDERS

 


 
 
Hello everyone!
Hope all is well.
I’m happy to announce that the next issue of “WTHBALLS”, issue #13, is now available, and it features my “Then & Now / Super Veterans” series!
Featuring 24 color-pages of all the greats who received a custom “Then & Now” card creation on my blog: Hank Aaron, Willie Mays, Al Kaline, Frank Robinson, and many many more Hall of Famers and all-stars, the magazine also comes with a bonus Ernie Banks “Then & Now” custom postcard-sized insert. 
Just cut the card along the die lines included and drop into a top-loader, and it looks like you pulled it right out of a wax pack!
Anyone who would like to order a copy can do the usual, paypal me $7 ($5 plus $2 shipping) at: john@slogun.com and I will get it out to you asap.
Anyone looking to order back issues please email me your want list and I will combine postage as well. I have stock on all previous issues at the moment.
Thanks! This one really came out nice!
***Please keep in mind my next Post Office trip is Saturday due to work schedules, so expect the issues to arrive early next week.
Take Care
Gio/wthballs

NEGATIVE SPOTLIGHT- 1974 NELSON BRILES "TRADED" CARD

I love coming across the original painted negatives Topps used on cards in the 1970’s, and this one is no different: Nelson Briles’ “traded” photo used in the 1974 sub-set:


After three very nice seasons with the Pittsburgh Pirates between 1971 and 1973, Briles was traded over to the Kansas City Royals along with Fernando Gonzalez for Ed Kirkpatrick and Kurt Bevacqua in December.
He’d pitch there for a couple of years before moving on to the Texas Rangers in 1976 (which gave us an awesome airbrush job for him in that set!), before winding down his MLB career in 1978 with the Baltimore Orioles.
He pitched for 14-years in the big leagues, ending up at 129-112 with a nice 3.44 earned run average over 342 games and 2111.2 innings pitched, including two excellent seasons back-to-back in 1967 and 1968 when he posted win totals of 14 and 19 respectively with sub-3.00 E.R.A.’s, including a sparkling 2.43 in ‘67 as part of the World Champion squad that also had Bob Gibson anchoring the pitching staff.
I like how Topps used the GIANT “traded” banner to help in the airbrushing endeavors, only modifying what was needed to get the card done.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

NEGRO BASEBALL LEGENDS- JOHN "POP" LLOYD

If anyone is going to produce a card set dedicated to the greats of the Negro Leagues, you know this guy will be featured, perhaps the greatest shortstop to ever play the game, John “Pop” Lloyd:


Lloyd, who played in organized Negro League play between 1906 and 1923, was widely considered the greatest to play his position, and that opinion was shared by none other than Babe Ruth himself!
On top of that, he was often referred to as the “Black Honus Wagner”, to which Wagner himself is quoted as stating “It’s an honor to be compared to him”.
Coming up he played for none other than Negro League icon Sol White, before moving on to play for yet another legend, Rube Foster, where he led a team some consider the greatest of all-time, the Chicago Leland Giants.
Depending on what research you believe, Lloyd batted between .337 and .343 in league play before moving on to playing semi-professional ball in Atlantic City, New Jersey up until 1942.
Of course, once the greats of the Negro Leagues were considered for the Baseball Hall of Fame in the 1970’s, Lloyd eventually given his rightful place in Cooperstown, getting elected by special committee in 1977.

Monday, July 24, 2017

NOT REALLY MISSING IN ACTION- 1978 MIKE BUSKEY

Here was a fun card to make, a “not so missing” 1978 card for former shortstop Mike Buskey of the Philadelphia Phillies:


Buskey’s entire Major League career were the six games he played between September 5th through October 1st of the 1977 season, and he had a very respectable showing, batting .286 with two hits over seven at-bats including a triple.
Sadly for him it wasn’t enough for the Phillies to give him more of a shot the following year, as he spent it in the Minor Leagues, where he found himself sold to the Houston Astros in September, playing for the Oklahoma City 89ers before finding himself out of baseball for good.
I love creating cards for players who truly has a brief “cup-of-coffee” in the Majors, especially late-season call-ups who tend to be forgotten years later.
In my mind, even ONE appearance in a Major League game is something to be celebrated!

Sunday, July 23, 2017

MISSING IN ACTION-"IN ACTION" 1972 DAVE GIUSTI

Here’s a “missing” 1972 “In-Action” card for Dave Giusti of the Pittsburgh Pirates, the National League saves leader the previous year with 30, helping the Bucs take home the World Championship:


Giusti originally came up with the Houston Colt .45’s as a 22-year old starter out of Syracuse University in 1962, their inaugural season in the National League.
He appeared in 22 games and posted a 2-3 record with a bloated 5.62 earned run average before spending the entire 1963 season in the Minor Leagues.
After some brief MLB action in 1964, Giusti was a big leaguer for good in 1965, going 8-7 with a 4.32 E.R.A. Along with a shutout as well as three saves for the newly tabbed “Astros”.
After a few more decent seasons as a starter, he found himself in St. Louis for the 1969 season, and thus began his transition to the bullpen, where he’d become a very effective reliever for another eight years, seven of which were with the Pirates.
Between 1970 and 1973 he topped 20 saves each year and posted solid E.R.A.’s, including a career-low of 1.93 in 1972 over 54 appearances and 74.2 innings pitched.
By the time he retired after the 1977 season he appeared in 668 games, 133 of them starts, finishing with a 100-93 record and 3.60 E.R.A., along with the aforementioned 145 saves.
BTW- I am desperately trying to find a nice color image of Giusti suited up for his last MLB stint, the Chicago Cubs for the second half of the 1977 season, so I can make up a 1978 “career-capper”! If anyone can steer me in the right direction I’d be most appreciative!

Saturday, July 22, 2017

TURN BACK THE CLOCK- 1968: HANK AARON SLAMS HIS 500TH HOME RUN

Next up on my “Turn Back the Clock” series is a 10th Anniversary 1978 card celebrating “Hammerin’” Hank Aaron and his 500th career home run, on his way to 255 more to end up as the Major League’s all-time home run champ with 755:


On July 14th of ‘68, Aaron came into the game against the San Francisco Giants with 499, until he connected off of reigning National League Cy Young winner Mike McCormick in the third-inning for a three-run shot.
Of course, playing for the other team was Willie Mays, who was (at the time) one of only six players with 500+ homers in MLB history, along with Aaron’s former teammate Eddie Mathews, who reached the milestone the previous season while with the Houston Astros.
Of course, even though Aaron was already 34 years old, he wasn’t nearly done, as he’d go one to post five consecutive 30+ homer seasons, with three of them more than 40, including what would end up being a career-high 47 in 1971 at the age of 37!
The man was not just about homers however, as evidenced by his 3771 hits, 2174 runs scored, 624 doubles and 2297 runs batted in along with a .305 career average.
All...Time...Great!

Friday, July 21, 2017

MISSING IN ACTION- 1979 DENNIS KINNEY

Here’s a “missing” 1979 card for former lefty-pitcher Dennis Kinney, who’d actually get his true rookie card a couple of years later in 1981:


Kinney had his first taste of the Majors in 1978, splitting the season between the Cleveland Indians, and then the San Diego Padres, for whom he’d pitch the following couple of seasons.
In all during his rookie season Kinney finished 0-3 over 25 games with a 4.73 earned run average over 45.2 innings pitched. I would think that’s enough action to warrant a card in the ‘79 set don’t you?
He would go on to pitch another four years in the big leagues, ending up 4-9 with a 4.55 E.R.A., 75 strikeouts and five saves over 97 games, all of them out of the bullpen for the Padres, Indians, A’s and Tigers.

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