Friday, February 23, 2018

Like Charley with a String-They Too Served Part 1

Sometimes I am like a cat with a string. Our previous cat was a fantastic kitty, but sometimes he would play with a toyless string that hung from a door jam that he destroyed. He could sit there for a hour or so endlessly playing with that string. We would say to eatch other when we do something obsessive and seemingly pointless we are "like Charley playing with a string", well I was like Charley playing with a string when I found myself scanning through the massive  1989 ProCards Minor League set that contains 2188 cards! Thank you The Trading Card Database! Yep, every card. I pulled some of my favorites-I have tried to categorize them. Today's batch are those who also served-trainers, GMs, assistant GMs, Equipment Managers, Ball/Bat Boys (there were no girls), Announcers etc. Nothing but images as they don't need my two cents.











Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Rest in Peace

As I did for former Baseball Cardinals who left the field for the last time I think it best to also look back at the Football Cardinals, Blues, and Spirits we lost in 2017 and early 2018.
Bill Fischer March 10, 1927-January 20, 2017 (89 years old). Chicago native, Fischer played his entire five-year career 1949-1953 with the Chicago Cardinals.

Ralph Guglielmi June 26, 1933-January 23, 2017 (83 years old). A quarterback, Ralph played eight seasons in the NFL but only one, 1961, with the St. Louis Cardinals.
Chuck Weber March 25, 1930-October 22, 2017 (87 years old). Chuck played three seasons 1956, 1957, 1958 with the Chicago Cardinals.
Sonny Randle January 6, 1936-May 23, 2017 (81 years old). Sonny was a legend and four time Pro-Bowler with the football Cardinals and spent the vast majority of his next eleven NFL seasons-eight-with them starting in 1959 with the old Chicago Cardinals.
Ken Gray March 10, 1936-November 25, 2017 (81 years old). Ken was nearly a lifer with the Cardinals having started in 1958 with the Chicago Cardinals and spending the  next eleven seasons with the Cardinals. He would spend one more year in the NFL with the Houston Oilers in 1970. He played in six Pro-Bowles during his career.
Bill Sutherland November 10, 1934-April 9, 2017 (82 years old). Bill started his NHL career with the Expansion Fliers in 1967. He played two seasons, 1970-71 and 1971-72, with the Blue Note.
Noel Picard December 25, 1938-September 6, 2017 (78 years old). Noel played six seasons with the Blues 1967-68 through 1972-73. Noel was a member of the inaugural St. Louis team in 1967-78.
Steve Jones October 17, 1942-November 25, 2017 (75 years old). Nickname the “Snapper”. The Snapper played almost all of his pro-career in the ABA-he played with the St. Louis Spirits 1974-75. This was the first year of the Spirits existence. After the 1974-75 season he switched leagues and played with his hometown Trailblazers 1975-76.

Monday, February 19, 2018

State of Topps Redbird Collection the 1960s

Next, the State of the 1960s Topps Redbirds and there is no surprise that the number of Redbird cards increase in the 1960s with the massive expansion of base cards in sets and the success of the Birds in 1964, 1967, and 1968.
The 1960 Topps set is among my favorites-period. The horizontal orientation works well-the photos and colors pop and there are reasonable variations to pick up.  There are two pricey cards needed to complete the 38 Redbird team set. The #160 Boyer/Mantle “ Rival All-Stars”, and #250 Musial. The Boyer/Mantle card is the one to target in less than top condition.
We go from one of my all-time favorite sets to the first of two consecutive way less than favorite ones. The 1961 Topps is just OK to me-though I appreciate the backs. The challenge with this set apart from the obvious Musial, are the high numbers. Of the 36 cards in this year’s issue we are down to 5 to complete. We have the Musial but this could use an upgrade. Needed are #s 11, 47, 211 (Bob Gibson), 535 (hi-number), and 573 Ken Boyer (hi-number and Sporting News All-Star).
The 1962 issue is one that many collectors like but I am not one of them-the faux wood grain fronts and the less than sharp pictures-yuk! How does the photography get worse the more modern Topps went? The monstrosity has 38 Redbirds on the checklist.  Number 50 Stan Musial, #530 Bob Gibson, and high #s 531 and 590 Curt Flood are all that are standing in the way of completing the Cardinals.
What can you say about 1963 Topps?  Better photography, for simple clean fronts that contain alien baby heads. There are 35 Redbirds in 1963’s set. We are left with 5 of the 35. Are you waiting for the cards needed? Yep, If you guessed correctly it would #5 and 9 both Gibbies, #250 Stan the Man, #394 Tim Carver, and #544 Duke Carmel 1964 Rookie Stars-this is a harder than average one needed. It is both a high #s and he shares the card with Rusty Staub.
Now we are on to two consecutive sets I really like and if I could I grab a NM set of each-we can dream can’t we?  Thirty-one beautiful Cardinals, yes I need Gibby. The challenging cards in general are the high #s in the set -Lew Burdette, Bob Uecker, Dal Maxvill, and Phil Gagliano. I am still kicking my self for not picking up these for a song-why didn’t I pull the trigger? God Knows. Apart from the usual suspects the Bib Uecker is a very popular card with collectors. We are just 8 away from putting this set to bed.
Nineteen sixty five-can anyone say something bad about this set? Nope, which of course makes it hard to pick up solid cards for a decent price. The are an astounding 46 Cardinals in the 1965 set-a good part of the Redbird cards are part of the World Series subset, 8 of them, noting the Redbirds title. Fifteen precious Redbird cards are needed-and Ken Boyer, Ray Sadecki, and Gibby league leader cards, Steve Carlton’s rookie card and Bob Uecker.
Back to another set that is just blah for me, 1966.  There are 32 Cardinals and we are in need of just one card, yep one card and it is a very challenging and key card. Is the rookie card of Joe Hoerner, George Kernek, and Jimy Williams. Who? Why? There is no who but there is a why-the why is because it is a very high high numbered card that has the dubious distinction of being a short printed one at that.
Ah, now to my birth year-1967. Beginning in 1967, Topps closes out the decade with solid sets. There are 30 Cardinals in the 1967 set and there are 11 to complete team set.  This set is always very popular and I missing some obvious key cards-I really need the big hitters in the set. These include Roger Maris, Steve Carlton, Bob Gibson X 2, Curt Flood, Tim McCarver, Mike Shannon, and Red Schoendienst.

Though I am not a fan of the 1968 set-again a weird frame, this time of burlap. Why burlap? I don’t get it. However, there are 39 Cardinals in the set, which includes another World Series subset to mark their 1967 victory over the Red Sox. The Redbird team set will be complete after we land 7 -Gibby, Orlando Cepeda, Roger Maris’ last regular issue card, Steve Carlton, and Lou Brock.
The biggest fish to land is the Maris card.
The last year of the decade, 1969, was a solid year for Topps. Forty-three Redbirds, which include another World Series subset to mark their remarkable loss to the Tigers, eleven cards to finish the team set. The World Series cards are popular, Brock, Shannon, Gibby X2, Carlton, Red, and Tim McCarver are needed.


Stats-
1950s Topps Cardinals in the base set 199
1960s Topps Cardinals in the base set 368
         
1950s Topps Cardinals in collection 127
1960s Topps Cardinals in collection 299
             
1950s needed 72
1960s needed  69