Sunday, April 23, 2017

1961 Essex Meats St. Louis Hawks

Not sure how many readers know that the Atlanta Hawks were relocated from St. Louis and before then relocated from Milwaukee. I haven’t picked up any Hawks cards simply because they are not cheap-and/or I have started trying. Recently I picked up three cards from the 1961 Essex Meats set. There are 14 standard sized white stock cards in the set with a posed shot on the front and player bio and stats on the back-pretty straight forward. These are unnumbered and the key cards are Cliff Hagen and Bob Pettit. However, the most expensive is the very short printed Sihugo Green. Beckett doesn’t indicate why it was short printed. Sihugo was number one overall in he 1956 NBA draft-ahead of Bill Russell! Only one of the 1961 Essex Meats’ Green has been submitted to PSA.  Beckett also doesn’t indicate how distributed. I assume either with packages of some meat products or as a mail in offer. They were however distributed by Bonnie Brands. A simple Google search failed to turn up anything on either of the two.

The three cards I picked up were Fred LaCour, John McCarthy, and Bobby Sims.

Fred LaCour was drafted by the Hawks in the 1960 NBA Draft and his carrier spanned 1960-1964 (Hawks and San Francisco Warriors). He averaged 6.5 points, 3.3 rebounds, and 1.9 assists per game for his career.

John McCarthy was an All-American at Canisius College. Drafted by the Rochester Royals in the 1956 NBA draft. He ended up playing six seasons between the Royals (two), Hawks (three), and the Celtics (one).

Bobby Sims played in both the NBA and ABA. Drafted by the Hawks in the 1960 NBA Draft. He averaged 7.7 points, 2.7 rebounds and 2.3 assists per game for his career.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

“Who knew he was a Redbird!”

I thought the first blog post after my refocus would be “Who knew he was a Redbird!” Diehard Redbird fans of a certain age will probably recall-but admittedly I forgot that Orioles great (inducted in to their Hall of Fame in 2006) Doug DeCinces was a Cardinal, though for only four games at the end of 1987.

In 1988 Doug left the Majors and headed to Japan where he played for the Yakult Swallows though he was out because of a back injury for the last two months-this would be Doug’s last professional ball. There are two regular Doug Cardinals' cards. 1988 Fleer (regular and glossy), 1988 OPC, and 1988 Topps. Only the Fleer has him in a Redbird uniform.

Unfortunately Doug got himself in a little insider trading trouble a few years ago-sad way to be remembered. Here’s to you Doug-a Cardinal oh so briefly. On a side note this is El Classico weekend. Hala Madrid 

Refocus, AKA Lost in the Fog of Blog

Time to refocus-I think I have gotten lost in the fog of blog. What the heck do you mean? Well, when I first began blogging it was to discuss Cardinal baseball cards AND baseball players. However, it then became a vehicle to show off purchases and it was when this shift occurred that I last focus. So henceforth, I am refocusing the blog to focus on a balance of these two interests. 

However, I will from time to time have postings of St. Louis Hawks and Spirits basketball, Cardinals football and even some St. Louis Blues cards and players. In spite of my $$ going towards cards I do not purchase a huge number of cards-though recently I picked up a lot that turned out to be uninspiring to write about here. I have been picking up vintage cards to fill in team sets. I even picked up a few discount blaster boxes which yielded some autos which was nice. I want to go back to having thematic posts “Better than a Blaster”, “Where are they now”, “Get a load of that name”, “Major Leaguer from the STL”, and a new theme “Who knew (players that played for the Cardinals that I forgot about or didn’t know)?” an example would be Fernando Valenzuela and I may continue the football Cardinals series-since that is finite in its length. I enjoy blogging, as currently it is the only outlet that I have to express any type of creativity. I have also appreciated “meeting” some new folks, even a few in person. Having said all of that, look for whatever I pick up at the annual Cow Palace TriStar show the weekend of the 28th. Cheers and thank you for reading!

Friday, March 31, 2017

Show me the Money

I have been a little on the down low lately. My mental energy has been zapped by work, however, I would be remiss as a Redbirds and Yadi fan not to address his very recent announced contract with the Birds that makes him the most highly paid catcher in MLB. Yadi and the Cardinals reportedly agreed to a three year deal that is between 55 and 65 million. Yadi really helped himself with his performance in the WBC. SO yes I am very happy. I am not sure I could take him in another uniform which may be the case in three years but then again he will be 37-and not sure that it is realistic to expect him to have much market demand after that. SO smile Yadi you deserve it!

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Better than a Blaster John Tudor Edition

I have had the 2005 Topps Fan Favorite John Tudor auto on my radar for some time-most going for BIN prices on the Bay of $20. So, when one popped up for less than that or best offer-I shot a good price, for me, and he or she accepted.

I think I am not alone among Redbird fans of a certain generation in our fond memory of Cardinals’ left-handed pitcher John Tudor.  The 1985 Season was huge for John who was kept from the Cy Young by Dwight Gooden-hard to believe a record of 21-1 and a 1.93 ERA could have been topped.  John was a product of his hometown Red Sox for whom he made his debut on August 16th, 1979.
After spending 1979-1983 seasons with the Red Sox he was traded to the Bucos for Mike Easler.  With the Bucs he went  12-11 with an ERA of 3.27. He spent only one year with Pittsburgh before being traded to the Redbirds for fan favorite “Silent George” Hendricks in 1985.
In 1985 he was fantastic-not only for the aforementioned win loss record and ERA but for the fat he had double digit (10) complete game shutouts-the most since Jim Palmer did it in 1975. No one has had that success since then.
This season would be the 4th trip for the Birds to the WS since my birth in 1967. Having lost the first game of the NLCS against the Dodgers he picked up the victory for the 4th Game.
Though outstanding in two starts against the Royals in the World Series the wheels came off in Game 7 which went terribly bad. Of course, the Royals “won” the World Series-though some of us refuse to recognize this.

Fast forward to 1987 and he got another chance in the WS-this time against the Twins. As we all know the Redbirds didn’t win the series. After some injuries-freakish or otherwise he was traded to the Dodgers in 1988 with whom he won a WS in 1988.
John would end his career with the Cardinals in 1990-September 13th to be exact. Injuries really took a toll on him and his career-he finished with a record of 117-72, ERA of 3.12 and 988 strike outs.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

1970 Cardinals' Football Cards-Dawn of a New Decade

I thought I would go to a two-season combo on the cards of the defunct Football Cardinals-since first, nothing changes for the most part from season to season for the Big Red, second, I didn’t realize how long this would take, and lastly it is about the cards. Perhaps next time. Boston Patriots linebacker John Bramlett (57) tackles St. Louis Cardinals running back MacArthur Lane (36) for a 2-yard gain during a game in St. Louis on Nov. 8, 1970. (AP PHOTO). Love the Falstaff add-Falstaff out sold Bud in the STL till the Mid-70s when the brewery closed.

1970 Big Red another season not reaching the post season-their record was 8-5-1. This team had no rookies of note.

Topps remained the only real player in football cards with 1970 seeing the debut of one of the most popular oddball sets-Kellogg. The 1970 Topps issue was put out in two series with the second being a little more expensive. Each series had a distinct insert. The fronts had a round photo of the said player in a posed action shot. The photo was framed in brown with a pennant with the player’s name and team and the player’s position in a football.

The reverse was in an attractive horizontal layout with a pinkish/orange color and three purple boxes with card number, mini-player bio, and cartoon about the player. This issue contained 10 Cardinals plus inserts.  This issue contained rookie cards of Rolf Krueger (DT/DE), and Chuck Walker (DE).

Series 1 packs contained a poster (Larry Wilson) as an insert. Series 2 packs included the highly collected Super Glossy (Jackie Smith) inserts. While the posters are blah the Super Glossy cards are very nice. The fronts were very colorful in late ‘60s trippy colors, a large player picture, with name, team, and position on front.

Topps also issued a separate Super set that were very much like their baseball Supers. Nice full bleed photography, player photo and facsimile auto.

Nineteen-seventy was a good year for oddballs-for 1970 brought us the first Kellogg’s cards-Larry Wilson and Johnny Roland represented the Big Red.

Not sure how these were issued but Chiquita issued football Team Logo Stickers in 1970-yeah I guess not technically a card.

Score card- 9 of 10 Topps Cardinals, 0 inserts or Topps Super, 1 of 2 Kellogs, and no Chiquita.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

This time of the year Red is my favorite color

This time of the year with the start of the season just a few weeks away and thoughts turn from soccer to baseball. Red becomes my favorite color again. The start of another season of seeing another Red, Red Schoendienst, who will return to the Cardinals for what will be his 72nd consecutive year of his being in an MLB uniform! Of which, only 5 years not being with the Redbirds-NY Giants and Milwaukee Braves being the other teams. 
Besides being a player he managed the Redbirds for 13 seasons and in 1980 he took over and managed until Whitey took the reigns and again in 1990 when it was needed to do so again.
Which brings me to the most recent Topps Archive/Heritage Auto pick up. A 2012 Topps Heritage Red Shoendienst-the 2012 design is based on the 1963 Topps release-not sure why Topps never matched up the years better-2012 based on 1962 etc. Doesn't make a lick of sense-1963 would be the last year Red wore the uniform as a player-July 7th would be he last game.
Sweet signature! Better than most younger players-here is to another full season wearing the Birds on the Bats!