Thursday, June 30, 2022


On the blog today, adding the great Detroit Tigers legend Al Kaline to my 1970 "In-Game Action" set, which for those of you who purchased Series One a couple months ago, will notice that THIS is the second version, which actually shows the correct player:

I had a little fun with Series One and used an image that I believe was actually Dick McAullife for the card, which will be corrected with THIS card here when Series Two ships next month.
Nevertheless, what a player. 
"Mr. Tiger" spent his entire career in the "Motor City", and went on to collect over 3000 hits, 399 home runs, 1583 runs batted in and 1622 runs scored.
Though he never took home a Most Valuable Player Award, he did finish in the top-10 in voting nine times, including a second-place finish in 1955 when he won the American League batting title at the age of 20!
As if that all wasn't enough, he also took home ten Gold Gloves and was named to 15 all-star teams!
Needless to say, as soon as he was eligible for the Hall of Fame in 1980, he was voted in, getting named on 340 of 385 ballots, capping off one of the greatest Detroit Tiger careers in the history of the storied franchise.
One of the most well-liked players of his day, Kaline did it all, and did it all with class.
I only wish I was old enough to have seen his work his magic at the plate, and out in the field.

Wednesday, June 29, 2022


Thought it'd be fun to revisit my "Nicknames of the 1970's" post from January 23rd, 2015, celebrating "Cobra", Dave Parker, who I feel belongs in the Hall of fame.


Let's dive right in!

Here's the post as written some seven years ago:

Next up in my "Nicknames of the 70's" thread is that monster of a player of the era: Dave Parker, aka "Cobra".
Check out my card design:

I used the 1978 format since he was at the prime of his career, winning two batting titles (1977 & 1978), an M.V.P. that very year, and a World Championship the following year.
He's often fond of saying (and I totally agree) that he and Dave Winfield changed the "face" of the athletic "big guy" outfielders when they both came up in the middle of the decade.
An all-around super-star, Parker hit for average, for power, had a cannon for an arm, and would even steal some bases if needed.
By the time he retired after the 1991 season, a nice 19-year career, he posted over 2700 hits, 1200 runs scored, 500 doubles, almost 1500 runs batted in, 339 home runs and over 150 stolen bases!
He was a seven-time all-star who also finished in the top-10 in M.V.P. voting six times, with three Gold Gloves thrown in for good measure.
The fact that Dave Parker never garnered more than 24.5% of the BBWA Hall of Fame vote (1998) before becoming ineligible in 2011 is just criminal in my eyes.
This man should be in the Hall of Fame. Plain and simple!

Tuesday, June 28, 2022


Today on the blog, a fun card to create, a 1969 career-capper for former slugger Rocky Colavito, from my "Whole Nine" custom set released last year:

In his last season as a Major League player, Colavito split the 1968 campaign between the Loa Angeles Dodgers and the New York Yankees, hitting .211 with eight homers and 24 runs batted in over 79 games and 204 official at-bats.
Between 1956 and 1966 there were few Major League batters who hit homers as frequently as he, hitting 358 home runs playing for the Indians, Detroit Tigers and Kansas City Athletics.
He topped 40+ homers three times, with a career-best 45 in 1961 while also leading the American League in 1959 with 42 blasts.
By the time he retired, he hit 374 homers with 1159 RBIs over 1841 games in 14-years, finishing Top-5 in MVP voting three times and making the All-Star team six times.

Monday, June 27, 2022


On the blog today, a fun dedicated manager card celebrating Pittsburgh Pirates skipper Danny Murtaugh, who led the team to two world championships over his 15-year managerial career:

Murtaugh passed away in December of 1976, after a season which saw him guide the Pirates to a second place, 92 win season after two straight first place finishes in the National League East in 1975 and 1975.
He began his managerial career in 1957, and would go on to lead the Pirates through 1976 with gaps in 1965-1966, 1968-1969, and 1972.
Overall he led the team to five first place finishes, with two championships, the first in 1960 when the Pirates stunned the favored New York Yankees, capped off by Bill Mazeroski's Game Seven ninth-inning walk-off, and the second when they beat the defending champion Baltimore Orioles.
His final numbers as a manager, he finished with a record of 1115 and 950, good for a .540 winning percentage.
Battling ailments including heart issues throughout his managerial career, he sadly suffered a stroke and passed away at the age of only 59, just two months after retiring.

Sunday, June 26, 2022


On the blog today, we move on to the top National League firemen of the 1974 season, represented on a 1975 “expanded league leader” card in my on-going thread:

Of course, we begin with the top reliever on EARTH for 1974, Mike Marshall of the Los Angeles Dodgers, who not only took home the N.L. Cy Young Award for his record-breaking season for the ages, but arguably could have been the MVP as well. 

All the man did in 1974 was appear in a record 106 games, collecting 21 saves to go along with his 15 wins, good for 36 points, while posting a 2.42 earned run average for the N.L. champion Dodgers.

He pitched an astounding 208.1 innings all out in relief, finishing 83 games, just over HALF the team’s games!

Behind him with 24 points in second place was Cincinnati Reds reliever Pedro Borbon, who saved 14 games while winning ten, with 73 appearances for the burgeoning “Big Red Machine”, finishing with an ERA at 3.24 over 139 innings, also all out of the bullpen.

Borbon really was an unheralded steady arm for the Cincinnati Reds through the 1970’s, at one point reeling off six straight seasons of over 120 innings pitched between 1972 and 1977.

In third place with 20 points, San Francisco Giants reliever Randy Moffitt, who saved 15 games while winning five, pitching to an ERA of 4.50 over 61 games and 102 innings.

Moffitt, brother of tennis legend Billie Jean King, would pitch for the Giants through the 1981 season, another unheralded arm out of the bullpen that served his team well for years.

Well, there you go!

Next week, the American League’s top relievers of 1974.

Saturday, June 25, 2022


Today on the blog I start a brief thread on a subject that quite frankly, I'm surprised took me so long to do, a highlight card for each All-Star game between 1969 and 1978, so I can create cards for all Topps sets between 1970 and 1979.

We begin with a 1970 "All-Star Highlights" celebrating the 1969 Midsummer Classic:

You can say that the game, which took place at RFK Stadium in Washington DC, was the "Willie McCovey Show", as the big man went 2-for-4 with two home runs and three runs batted in for the National League.
Two other N.L. starters also collected two hits apiece (Johnny Bench & Matty Alou), while Felix Milan of the Atlanta Braves went 1-for-4 with two RBIs, but "Stretch" was clearly the star of the show on this day, helping the Senior Circuit win 9-3, with Hall of Famer Steve Carlton picking up the win.
Hometown fan favorite Frank Howard did not disappoint, as he'd hit a homer in the second inning off of Carlton for the American League's first run of the game.
Blue Moon Odom of the Oakland A's got hit hard, allowing four earned runs and five hits in just a third of an inning, though starter Mel Stottlemyre of the New York Yankees took the loss, giving up the initial three runs (two earned) over the first two innings of the game.
Next up on the thread, the 1970 All-Star game and the unforgettable ending that of course made the front of the card...see you then!

Friday, June 24, 2022


The next 1963 "Lost" Fleer card from my custom set released a few months back to get the spotlight is my card for perhaps the MOST underappreciated player the game has ever had, St. Louis Cardinal legend Stan Musial:

For Musial, his MLB numbers are just absurd: seven batting titles, two R.B.I. titles, five triples titles and eight doubles titles, with career numbers of 475 home runs, 1951 runs batted in and a .331 career average. Throw in his 725 doubles, 177 triples and 3630 hits along with 1949 runs scored and the numbers are staggering. 
And don't forget that Musial also lost a year to military duty, easily putting him over 500 homers, close to 3900 hits and around 2100 runs batted in if he played in 1945.
Along with the great Frank Robinson I always felt Stan Musial was often overlooked in the decades since his playing days ended.
When talk of "Greatest Living Player" came up it was always Williams, DiMaggio, Mays or even Aaron that would come up. But Stan Musial would always kind of be that after-thought.
Three Most Valuable Player Awards, FOUR second-place finishes, including three in a row between 1949-1951, and twenty consecutive all-star appearances, Musial definitely is a member of that rarified stratosphere of baseball royalty along with the likes of Ruth, Cobb, Mays and Wagner, among others.

Thursday, June 23, 2022


On the blog today, a spotlight on one of the greatest baseball players and characters the game has ever seen, Satchel Paige, from my "Negro League Legends" custom set released about a year ago:

From his start as a 20-year old playing for the Birmingham Black Barons in 1927 to his final Major League appearance as a 58-year old for the Kansas City Athletics, Paige became an American icon not only for his on-field play but for his infectious personality.
Though his career Negro League record is listed as 100-50 over 18-seasons, he won countless other games along the way, as was the usual for the Negro Leagues as they played exhibition and non-league games during gaps in their schedule.
His stories are legend, enough so that by the time the Baseball Hall of Fame got off their ass and finally began electing Negro League all-time greats to Cooperstown, Paige was the very 1st to be so honored.
A 5x time Negro League all-star, 2x American League all-star, Negro League champ in 1942 with the Homestead Grays, and Major League World Champion with the 1948 Cleveland Indians, Paige left a baseball legacy that few could come close to.

Wednesday, June 22, 2022


Many moons ago here on the blog, I posted about the 1975 Topps set and how many of the St. Louis Cardinal players had hilarious airbrush jobs, including today's "do-over", pitcher Ray Sadecki.

Here's the original that I speak of:

Well let us re-do that card and show him with whom he suited up the prior season, the New York Mets:

Sadecki had a nice season in 1974 for the Mets, going 8-8 over 34 appearances, 10 of those starts, pitching to a 3.41 ERA with a shutouts over 103 innings of work.
He put together a nice 18-year career on a big league mound, both as a starter and a reliever between 1960 and 1977.
He was a 20-game winner in 1964 with the St Louis Cardinals, and three-times posted an earned run average under 3.00, with a low of 2.78 in 1967 with the San Francisco Giants.
He retired with a 135-131 record, with a 3.78 ERA and 20 shutouts along with 1614 strikeouts and seven saves over the course of 563 appearances, 328 of which were starts.

Tuesday, June 21, 2022


Today on the blog we go and add Detroit Tigers ace Mickey Lolich to my 1970 "In-Game Action" set, which is a two-part custom set released by yours truly, with the Second Series about to be released in about a month:

Lolich was the definition of a "workhorse" for the Tigers, reeling off 12 straight seasons of 200+ innings pitched, including a staggering four straight 300+ inning stretch between 1971 and 1974.
Along the way he posted two 20-win seasons, with a high of 25 in 1971 when he started an incredible 45 games, completing 29 and throwing a staggering 376 innings!
He also posted four shutouts that year as well as a league-leading 308 strikeouts, finishing second in the Cy Young Award behind Oakland pitcher Vida Blue.
After a 12-18 campaign in 1975, Lolich was traded to the New York Mets for Rusty Staub where he went 8-13 before missing the 1977 season.
In 1979 he was back in the Big Leagues, now with the San Diego Padres, where he went 2-1 over 20 appearances, posting a brilliant 1.56 ERA over 34.2 innings pitched.
After a final season of MLB ball in 1979 that saw him go 0-2 with a bloated 4.74 ERA in 27 appearances, Lolich retired, ending up with a 217-191 record along with 2832 strikeouts, at one point the Major League record for left-handed pitchers, as well as 41 shutouts and a 3.44 ERA in 586 appearances over 16-years.

Monday, June 20, 2022


On the blog today, we have a 1973 "not so missing" card for former pitcher Al Severinsen, who played the last of his Major League action the previous season with the San Diego Padres:

The Brooklyn-native appeared in 17 games for the Friars in 1972, going 0-1 with a very nice 2.53 earned run average over 21.1 innings.
The previous year he appeared in a career-high 59 games for the Padres, going 2-5 with a decent 3.47 ERA with eight saves in 70 innings of work.
He was originally up to the Big Leagues in 1969 as a member of the Baltimore Orioles, appearing in 12 games for the A.L. Champs and finishing with a record of 1-1 with a brilliant 2.29 ERA in 19.2 innings.
All told, Severinsen appeared in 88 games over his three year career, all out of the bullpen, finishing with a record of 3-7 with a very nice 3.08 ERA in 111 innings pitched, with nine saves and 53 strikeouts.

Sunday, June 19, 2022


On the blog today, we move on to the American League and their top three strikeout pitchers of 1974, proudly displayed on a 1975 “Expanded League Leader” card, and boy are they some heavy duty arms:



The first of the three Hall of Fame pitchers is the top K-man of 1974, legend Nolan Ryan of course, who topped the Junior Circuit with 367 strikeouts, following up his historic 1973 season when he set the (still) standing Major League record of 383 K’s.

I mean, the man did this EVEN with the introduction of the Designated Hitter! Can we theoretically add about 10-20 more strikeouts per season for the man had he also faced pitchers batting in the ninth spot? Could he have reached 400 strikeouts in 1973? Just staggering.

Almost 120 strikeouts behind Ryan for second place, another Hall of Famer, Bert Blyleven of the Minnesota twins, who STILL managed to whiff a very nice 249 batters in 1974.

It was his fourth straight season of 200+ K’s, on his way to eight such seasons before he was done in 1992, finishing up with 3701 strikeouts over his incredible career.

In third place, another legend, who had no problem adjusting to a new league, Hall of Famer Fergie Jenkins, who made the most of his first season with the Texas Rangers after coming over in a blockbuster trade from the Chicago Cubs, striking out 225 batters while also tying for the league lead with 25 wins, his seventh and final 20+ win season of his amazing career. It was also his last season with 200+ K’s, the sixth of his career, on his way to 3192 strikeouts, while also becoming the first pitcher to ever finish his career with 3000+ strikeouts with LESS than 1000 base on balls, in his case just under the mark with 997.

Three of the era’s best pitchers on one nifty “expanded league leader” card right here!

Saturday, June 18, 2022



Good day everyone!

Anyone out there a fan of the 1950 Drakes Baseball set?

Originally a 36 card set, the 2.5” x 2.5” set popular with vintage card collectors did NOT include some of the biggest stars of the game, and I am happy to say that I have fixed that with a 10-card extension.

True to size and thick card stock, the set includes the following:


  1. Joe DiMaggio
  2. Ted Williams
  3. Stan Musial
  4. Jackie Robinson
  5. Robin Roberts
  6. Ralph Kiner
  7. Larry Doby
  8. Bob Lemon
  9. Bob Feller
  10. Mickey Vernon


The card also have fully printed backs following the original set, including bio, persona information, etc.
I am proud to release this limited 10-card set in deluxe, snap-tight vacuum sealed frame for $10 plus $4.50 postage.

If you order more than one, postage stays the same.

Anyone interested in picking these up, please contact me as per the usual.

My Paypal:

Very happy with the result, as the set was unexpected and NOT on my radar for a WTHBALLS release, but some idle time between working on “regular” packs proved quite productive!

Thank you everyone!

Always appreciative for the interest and support!



On the blog today, a spotlight on a custom card I quite possibly wanted to create since I was a kid, a 1980 card for the great Thurman Munson, from my "Whole Nine" set released last year:

As an eleven year old ripping open packs back then, I genuinely thought there would be a card for the Yankee captain in my youthful ignorance.
As a matter of fact my friends and I were shocked when we realized there was no Munson card of any kind in the 1980 set.
Such a great career cut short by tragedy, though as I recall, Munson was seriously considering retirement by the end of the decade because of nagging injuries and missing his family because of the grind of a full-season.
Nevertheless, a Rookie of the Year in 1970, an MVP in 1976, and two straight championships in 1977 and 1978. A wonderful career for the New York Yankees legend.
Munson, who came out of Kent State in his native Ohio, became an instant Yankee favorite in 1970 while becoming the leader of the organization in transition on the field.
By 1976 he was a legitimate star, winning the American League Most Valuable Player Award while leading the Yanks to their first World Series since 1964, followed by consecutive championships in 1977 and 1978.
Of course, this was all shattered when he died while piloting a small plane in August of 1979, shocking everyone, including myself as a 10-year old Yankee fan who idolized the catcher on a team filled with big personalities, like Reggie Jackson, Rich Gossage and Sparky Lyle.
Such a loss.

Friday, June 17, 2022


The next card from my custom 1963 Fleer "Lost Second Series" set released last year is slugger Rocky Colavito, fellow New York City native:

Rocky was coming off another great slugging year in 1962 when this card would have seen the light of day, hitting 37 homer along with 112 runs batted in for the Detroit Tigers, his fifth straight season of 35+ homers.
Between 1956 and 1966 there were few Major League batters who hit homers as frequently as he, hitting 358 home runs playing for the Indians, Detroit Tigers and Kansas City Athletics.
He topped 40+ homers three times, with a career-best 45 in 1961 while also leading the American League in 1959 with 42 blasts.
By the time he retired, he hit 374 homers with 1159 RBIs over 1841 games in 14-years, finishing Top-5 in MVP voting three times and making the All-Star team six times.

Thursday, June 16, 2022


Thought it'd be fun today to revisit my blog post from April of 2014 celebrating the great Hoyt Wilhelm and his 1000th Major League appearance, the first pitcher ever to reach that lofty mark, with my 1971 "Highlights from the 1970's" card:

Growing up as a baseball fanatic when I did, I was always amazed at the ONE pitcher who appeared in over 1000 games at the time: legendary veteran of veteran's Hoyt Wilhelm.
Until Kent Tekulve came along in the mid-80's and finally joined the knuckle-baller, Wilhelm was the only guy atop that mountain.
And any time you can say that as far as Major League history goes for something "positive", that means something to me as a lifelong baseball geek!
On May 10th of 1970, Wilhelm took the mound for the Braves against the Cardinals, opening the door for future relievers and veterans such as Tekulve, Goose Gossage, Mariano Rivera, and the current all-time appearances leader Jesse Orosco to join him in this select company.
Can you imagine how many MORE games Wilhelm could have appeared in had he not made his Major League debut at the ripe "old" age of 29 for the New York Giants in 1952!?
All told, by the time he retired after the 1972 season he made 1070 appearances, now good for 6th place all-time.
The man was amazing. The only two seasons he pitched enough innings to qualify for an E.R.A. title, he won it both times!
For the DECADE of the 1960's, his earned run average was 2.18, six times posting an E.R.A. under 2.00!
Just awesome…

Wednesday, June 15, 2022


The next Negro League all-time great to focus on here on the blog from my "Negro League Legends" custom set released in 2021 is truly a legend of the game, former pitcher, manager and NBL builder Rube Foster:


Held in high-regard as the greatest pitcher during the early part of the 20th-Century in Black baseball, this man transcends “stats” and achieved his lofty place in baseball history for the influence he had in building the Negro National League, as well as teaching numerous young players who came along under his tutelage during his 20+ years as player and manager.
Numerous are the stories that follow this legend: his nickname “Rube”, apparently coined after he beat Rube Waddell in a game in the first few years of the 1900’s; Christy Mathewson’s “fadeaway” screwball, taught to him by none other than Foster after he was brought in by John McGraw to teach the young ace.
Of course with stat-keeping the way it was in these early days of baseball, especially the Negro Leagues, Foster’s numbers are left to history to uncover for sure, but we do know from personal accounts that he was one of the greats regardless of league, sad we didn’t get to see him compete against all players.
Nevertheless, although it took way too long, Foster was inducted to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1981, long overdue but definitely a worthy historical figure in the sports’ long history to have his place in Cooperstown forever.
As I state with all these Negro league Legends posts, please do yourself a favor and read up on these players, you’ll be happy you did with the anecdotes, classic match-ups and great players along the way that make for an amazing read.

Tuesday, June 14, 2022


The next player from my 1970 "In-Game Action" set to be spotlighted here on the blog is Hall of Fame pitcher Gaylord Perry, who was included in the 1st Series release a few months back:

Perry was on his way to his best Big League season at that time in 1970, finishing second in the N.L. Cy Young race by the end of the year with a record of 23-13 with a 3.20 ERA and 214 strikeouts, with five shutouts for the San Francisco Giants.
For me growing up in the late-70’s/early-80s, Perry was the stuff of legend since he was the first player I remember reaching 3000 strikeouts, which at the time made him only the THIRD player to do so behind Walter Johnson and Bob Gibson.
He was also (and I remember this vividly) the first pitcher to reach 300 wins since Early Wynn, which was a 20 year gap, the first pitcher to win a Cy Young Award in both leagues, which he did with the Indians in 1972 and the Padres in 1978.
That 1978 season saw him take home the award after a fantastic year that saw him go 21-6 with a 2.73 earned run average at the age of 39 after coming over from the Texas Rangers.
People may also forget that for a relatively brief moment he was the all-time strikeout king before a couple of guys by the name of Nolan Ryan and Steve Carlton caught up soon after.
He posted 5 20-win seasons, finished with 314 for his career, along with 53 shutouts and 3534 strikeouts over a 22-year Big League career, tossing 300+ innings six times.
Is it safe to say that he’s almost a forgotten all-time great?

Monday, June 13, 2022


On the blog today, a 1975 dedicated manager card for Bill Virdon, who came in and led the New York Yankees to a second place finish in 1974:

Virdon replaced Ralph Houk as manager of the Yankees and led them to a 89-73 record, just two games behind the Baltimore Orioles in the A.L. East.
Of course we all know now that this was the beginning of the Yankee resurgence, which would eventually lead to them taking home the championship in both 1977 and 1978, after a World Series berth in 1976 that saw them lose to the "Big Red Machine" Cincinnati Reds.
For Virdon, he would be let go in 1975 after 104 games with a record of 53-51, giving way to Billy Martin's first term as Yankee manager, while Virdon would be immediately hired by the Houston Astros, where he'd go 17-17 the rest of the way.
He'd manage the Astros another eight seasons before moving on to the Montreal Expos in 1983 and 1984, managing a total of 13 seasons, winning 995 games against 921 losses.
As a player he was equally as solid, winning the Rookie of the Year in 1955 when he hit .281 with 17 homers and 68 runs batted in for the St. Louis Cardinals, while picking up a Gold Glove in 1962 for his defensive work out in centerfield for the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Over his 12 year playing career spanning 1955 to 1968, Virdon hit .267 with 1596 hits in 5980 at-bats over 1583 games, scoring 735 runs while driving in 502.

Sunday, June 12, 2022


Next in my on-going "expanded league leaders" thread for the 1970's, we move on to the National League's top three strikeout artists for 1974, shown on a 1975 league-leader card:

We begin with one of the greatest, Hall of Fame lefty Steve Carlton, who led the N.L. with his 240 K's in 1974, his second of what would end up being five strikeout titles over his 24 year career.
Carlton would top 200 strikeouts in a season eight times in his career, with a high of 310 during his "all-world" campaign that saw him take home the first of his four Cy Young Awards.
By the time he was done with the Majors, he'd finish with 4136 strikeouts, behind only Nolan Ryan over baseball's long history.
In second place with 221 strikeouts, Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Andy Messersmith, who had a really great year in 1974 and would have been the Cy Young winner if not for teammate Mike marshall rewriting the relief pitcher record books.
For Messersmith, in addition to his 221 K's, he led the league with 20 wins and a 1.098 WHIP, also taking home the first of his two straight Gold Gloves to go along with a very nice 2.59 ERA.
In third place with "only" 201 strikeouts, quite possibly my favorite pitcher of all-time, Tom Seaver, who still managed to make it seven straight seasons of 200 or more K's.
In what was a down year for "Tom Terrific", he posted a record of 11-11 with a 3.20 ERA over 32 starts, tossing five shutouts while logging 236 innings of work.
He'd come right back in 1975, taking home his fourth strikeout title with 243 K's, following that up with yet another league-leading total in 1976 with 235.
I was in absolute awe of this man as a burgeoning baseball nut at that time, wishing beyond all that he was suiting up for my beloved Yankees instead of the cross-town Mets.
Anyway, there you have it! Next week, the American League's top strikeout pitchers.

Saturday, June 11, 2022


Today and the blog we take a look at "Hondo", Frank Howard, from my recently released 1963 Fleer "Lost Second Series" set from late last year:

The man was already on his way to a wonderful Major League career, taking home top Rookie honors in the National League for 1960, and having a great 1962 season when he slammed 31 homers with 119 runs batted in, earning a ninth-place finish in the MVP race by season's end.
Later in the decade, after finding himself playing for the Washington Senators, he won two home run titles, and ironically hitting a career high 48 in 1968 in between (falling one homer short, behind Harmon Killebrew), driving in over 100 runs each year.
Those efforts got him top-10 finishes in the league MVP voting each year, finishing 8th, 4th and 5th respectively between 1968 and 1970.
An absolute beast at the plate, he would be the last Big League player until Jay Buhner (1995-97) to hit 40+ homers three years in a row from 1968-1970, with a high of 48 in 1969, though leading the league in 1968 and 1970 with 44.
He was also one of the early players to join the 30-home runs in each league club, hitting 31 with the Dodgers in 1962 before reaching the plateau again in 1967 when he slammed 36 taters.
All told, he finished his career with 382 homers over 16 seasons, before moving on to a coaching and managerial career, making him somewhat of a baseball lifer.
I loved him when he was with the New York Yankees later in his coaching career! I mean, how often do you get to appreciate a guy who was so nasty as a player that he had THREE great nicknames: “The Capital Punisher”, "The Washington Monument" and “Hondo"!

Friday, June 10, 2022


Fun card to spotlight today on the blog, my 1968 "missing" Reggie Jackson card from my "Whole Nine" set released last year:

Topps really could have issued a card for him in 1968, after Reggie appeared in 35 games for the (then) Kansas City Athletics in 1967, hitting .178 with 21 hits in 113 at-bats, with a homer and six runs batted in.
Of course to keep true to the Topps method, I blacked out the cap to reflect the organization's move from K.C. to Oakland before the 1968 season, just as Topps did.
As for Reggie himself, truly one of the eternal icons of the game, the man was just destined for baseball greatness since his days at Cheltenham High School in Pennsylvania.
Recruited by pro teams and colleges alike, he went on to Arizona State where he was actually on a football scholarship.
Of course we all know the story of the 1966 amateur draft, where the New York Mets held the #1 pick, and opted for high school catcher Steve Chilcott instead of who many considered the true #1 overall amateur, Jackson.
With the second pick, the Kansas City Athletics (later Oakland) picked the slugger and the rest is history, as he would eventually lead the organization to three straight championships between 1972-1974 before being traded in a blockbuster to the Baltimore Orioles where he’d play for one season in 1976.
As a highly coveted free agent before the 1977 season, Jackson signed with the New York Yankees, and with Reggie in NYC, the legend exploded as he helped the Yankees to two championships in 1977-78.
With his larger than life persona, New York ate it up and before you knew it, he was known around the world, even getting his own candy-bar by the end of the decade.
For a kid like me growing up in Brooklyn in the ‘70’s, Reggie was like a God, larger than life, and before he finished up his career in 1987, putting in 21 seasons, he would put together a Hall of Fame career with 563 homers, 1702 runs batted in, an MVP Award in 1973, and five championships.
Add to that 14 all-star nods, four home run titles, a legendary homer in the 1971 All-Star Game against Dock Ellis, his 1977 World Series performance, and you can see why he goes down as one of the most well-known baseball personalities the game has ever seen!

Thursday, June 9, 2022


Good day all!

Came across this nice image of former pitcher Jim Bouton and his 1978 Major League comeback and even though I already created a 1979 "not really missing in action" card six years ago here on the blog, thought I'd go ahead and create a second version for the fun of it:

Once a young stud with the New York Yankees in the early 1960’s, posting a 21-win season at the age of 24, followed by an 18-win campaign the next season, he soon developed arm trouble and found himself out of baseball in 1970 at the young age of 31 after a season and a half with the Houston Astros.
Fast-forward eight years to 1978, most notably after writing the now legendary baseball book “Ball Four”, and Bouton made it all the way back as a 39-year old knuckleball pitcher, appearing in five games, all starts, going 1-3 with a 4.97 earned run average in 29 innings of work.
Though the comeback was short, it was definitely sweet as I remember it really brought Bouton back into the spotlight, giving his book new life, just enough for a ten year old kid from Brooklyn a cool book to read from the library!

Wednesday, June 8, 2022


Thought it would be fun on the blog to start going through some OPC to Topps variations through the decade, throwing a spotlight on some of the cards that were given different images or airbrushing treatments between releases of the two brands.

We'll start off with the 1977 card for Cincinnati Reds outfielder Ken Griffey (Sr.), who for some reason had two different images released:
OPC card

TOPPS card
No particular rhyme or reason to the different images shown here, though I am partial to the Topps image to be honest.
It is interesting to see that for the OPC image, it seems it was clearer, less saturated with also a lot less contrast, making for a "cleaner" card.
I wonder why this was, or what the differences were, if any, with the printed processes between the two.
As for Griffey, he put in a brilliant 19-year career that saw him hit .296 with 2143 hits in 7229 at-bats, with 1129 runs scored, 152 homers and 859 runs batted in.
He was named to three all-star games during his career, and was a member of the “Big Red Machine” Cincinnati Reds of the 1970’s, taking home two consecutive World Championships in 1975 and 1976.
Of course, we HAVE to mention something else he did, which was father a kid who would become one of the players of his generation, Ken Griffey Jr, recent Hall of Fame inductee and super-star extraordinaire.
I still think one of the coolest moments in baseball history was when Griffey Sr and Griffey Jr BOTH hit homers for the same team in the same game!  I just couldn’t believe it actually happened.

Tuesday, June 7, 2022


The next "Negro League Legend" card to be spotlighted from my custom set released last year is the great third baseman Ray Dandridge:

Dandridge put in over 20 years of ball both here in the States and abroad, playing almost ten years in Mexico in the 1940’s, and along the way was a three-time all-star who had a lifetime Negro League batting average of .355 according to some sources.
A part of what came to be named the “Million Dollar Infield”, he teamed up with other all-time greats Dick Seay, Mule Suttles and Willie Wells playing for the Newark Eagles during the 1930’s before leaving for Mexico, and was considered one of the greatest fielders at his position in Negro League history.
Sadly, by the time Major League baseball integrated in 1947, Dandridge, who could still play as evidenced by his great seasons in Minor League ball, including an MVP season in the American Association in 1950 and a batting title when he hit .362 the year before, he never received a shot at the “big time” because of his age.
Some say he easily could have been the player to integrate MLB since Bill Veeck of the Cleveland Indians contacted Dandridge to come play in the Indians’ organization. However, comfortable and well-paid playing in Mexico, he decided it was a better situation for his family at the time.
After his playing days ended in 1955, he did accept work in the Major Leagues as a scout, doing so for the New York Giants and was a mentor to a young Willie Mays, before running a recreational center in Newark for many years.
In 1987, he joined many former Negro League legends in Cooperstown when he was elected by the Veteran’s Committee, securing his baseball legacy.

Monday, June 6, 2022


Up on the blog today, we have a 1975 "not so missing" card for former infielder Tim Nordbrook, who made his Big League debut in 1974 as a September call-up for the Baltimore Orioles:

Nordbrook appeared in six games, hitting .267 with four hits over 15 official at-bats, scoring four while driving in a run.
He would appear in 41 games during the Bicentennial year, collecting four hits in 34 at-bats for a woeful .118 average, with six runs and seven walks.
In 1976 he appeared in 32 games split between the Orioles and California Angels, hitting .167 with 5 hits over 30 at-bats, scoring five runs with a stolen base.
Never a full-timer, he would go on to play in parts of six seasons through 1979, never playing more than 41 games in any year across five organizations, finishing with a .178 batting average with 30 hits in 169 at-bats over 129 games.


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