1966 Topps Baseball Wantlist

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Better than a Blaster 1974/75 Topps Hockey Edition

Back when I was just a few months old the Blue Note AKA St. Louis Blues participated in its first Stanley Cup Finals 1967/68. The Blues were one of 6 expansion teams in 1967-MN North Stars, LA Kings, Philly Flyers, Penguins, and the California Seals.  According to Wiki, St. Louis was chosen over Baltimore for the 6th city. The owner of the Blackhawks owned the St. Louis Arena and he wanted a team in the Arena.

Well the Blues did make the Stanley Cup finals the first three years of their existence, 1967/68, 1968/69, and 1969/70. Hold your amazement for a few minutes. The Stanley Cup Finals were REQUIRED to have one of the 6 expansion teams. Yep, what nonsense-as a result and to no ones great shock the Blues were swept by the Canadians in the first two, and the Bruins in the last one. This was the last time the Blue Note even sniffed the finals, well almost the last time-they choke and choke often, which is really the reason I don’t get too excited when they make the playoffs because I have zero expectations.
Up until I was about the age of 11-roughly 1978-my dad was a construction foreman that had a very generous boss who gave us tickets to games through out the season. So I have some memories of those early teams. I was an avid fan until the late 90s when I moved to Michigan.  While in Michigan I watched a lot of Don Cherry and Hockey Night in Canada as well as minor league games on CBC. After the move I lost track of the Blues. Now living in the Bay area I hear a lot of Sharks talk (IMO no snow, no hockey). But I wasn’t interested much in hockey. I would keep my eyes on the end of year standings to see how well the Blues did-then would watch them get knocked out of the play offs. Lo and behold last year we discovered we have NHL TV, which I love!
Couple this with a passion for cardboard, graphic design, and pop culture and bam! You have a potent combination, which has resulted in adding the Blues to my team collection. However, there is a limit to this-only cards until 1987-88. I am not interested in picking up every Blues card ever (my wife has a sigh of relief). In my youth

I remember watching Gar Unger, and the Plager boys play.
Recently for a decent price-I picked up the 1974/75 Topps team set-cards were in great condition with the exception of one very miss-cut card.

Who were the 1974/75 Blues?

They had a record of 35-31-14 for a total of 84 points which landed them in 2nd place in the NHL's Smythe Division. But as is the pattern of the Blue Note in the playoffs they were knocked out in the first round by the Penguins in a sweep.

1 Garry Unger C (Both T/OPC)
2 Pierre Plante RW (T, OPC)
3 Wayne Merrick C (T, OPC)
6 Ace Bailey LW (OPC)
8 Bill Collins RW (OPC)
9 Floyd Thomson LW (OPC)
12 Barclay Plager D (T, OPC)
16 Bob Plager D (T, OPC)
21 Don Awrey D (T, OPC)
22 Rick Wilson D (OPC)
27 John Davidson G (T, OPC)
28 Dave Gardner C (T, OPC)
29 Phil Roberto RW (T, OPC)
34 Eddie Johnston G (OPC)

Greg Polis not on roster-but has Topps and OPC card
Wayne Stephenson not on roster-but has Topps and OPC card

As a flip on the Topps/OPC baseball set size, the Topps Hockey sets (264) are much smaller than the OPC (396) version. Topps are not bilingual English-French and were generally printed in a better quality-OPC is very well known for being mis-cut, having print flaws, rough cuts, and off for being off-centered. Otherwise the only difference as with the baseball sets is the color and type of paper used. Because of the large check list-OPC of course included many more players than Topps. As the list above illustrates-I noted which players had both a Topps and an OPC card, and those that just had an OPC card.
The fronts of the 74/75 Topps featured a partial hockey stick border with a team specific box at the bottom-in this case the Blues are blue.  The players are either featured as a portrait or in posed action shot.
The reverse reminds me of the Topps football cards of the same period-grey stock with boxes in a nice reddish color with blue print and borders. Of course there is a cartoon and player bio and stats. You can see the difference between the OPC and Topps cards here. I am not sure if there are different shots of the players in the Topps and OPC sets. I thought may be I would try to do the season by season series like I did with football-but in case anyone noticed-I fizzled on that desired. So instead when I complete a team set I post about it then.
Topps 1974/75 team set 13 of 13, OPC 3 of 19

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Serramonte, Non-Redbird Game Used

The same couple of dealers I had picked up the autos and Redbird game used cards had some interesting non-Redbird ones as well.

Since we "discovered" that we have NHL network I have rekindled a lost love for hockey which will be a subject an upcoming post.
2015-16 Vladmir Tarasenko Ultimate Hockey Collection Jumbo Materials #d 24 out of 40

"William" is off to a good start for the Blue Notes-8 games played he has 5 goals and 4 assists.
How could I pass on a Slammin' for $1? 2003 Donruss Studio Sammy All Star Game Chicago Cubs 4  vs Reds 5 4/1/2002.

Perhaps I have a man crush on Mark Mulder? Not sure but I picked this up.
2003 Topps Finest Mark Mulder

As I wrote about recently I love the Leaf Certified cards-I nabbed three more for a $1 per.
2003 Mirror Blue Jersey Brad Radke (Twins) #d 12/100

Mirror Blue Jersey Brad Penny (Marlins) #d 53/100. Mr. Penny a former member of the Redbirds in 2010. Let us say it was not a good experience for fans. (image from the Bay)

I grabbed a 2004 Mirror Red Bat Luis Gonzalez (D Backs) #d 27/150 as well but I filed its away and can't find an image to borrow.

Saturday, October 21, 2017

I am Winner, In Something

I was the lucky winner of this year's Gift-A-Cuffs-the box I picked up for the contest had two extra hits and was a foil hot box as well. I can tell you I ripped this box in about 15 minutes. I was wishing it was another foil hot box so I could go further in building it out. No need to have any suspense regarding this-it wasn't. Below I boiled down the break down of the Price box versus the Contest box which is the number in the parentheses. I can say had I paid $120 bucks for this I would have been ticked off. I think better to buy a retail box at $50.

Box Loader 4, (7)


Favorite Team 6 (7)
Yanks -8
Penalty -1
Bonus +4 (-5 for bonus/penalty/yanks)
Other favorite Player 6 (5)
Full Size SP  22.5 (11)

Full Size Base Cards Totals

Prize Box 29, Contest Box 18

Full Size Inserts

What a Day 25 (25)
Revolutionary Battles 6 (4)
Sports Fish and Lures 10 (10)
World’s Fair 8 (10)

Rediscover Topps 4 (4) Again the same because of odds-

Full Size Insert Totals

Prize Box 49, Contest Box 49 (No surprise since the odds are exactly the same)

Mini Non Inserts

SP 3
Black Mini 8
Black SP 6
A&G Backs 8

Above total 25 (37) Big difference here was the first box’s Bazooka Back

Mini Inserts

Worlds Dudes 6
Required Reading 2
Constellations 2
Magicians 2

Above total 12 (10)


Full Size Game Used

FSRB-GY Christian Yelich 5

FSRA-AG Adrian Gonzales 5

Mini Framed Auto
Paul Finebaum  +7

Hits total 17, (33.38) Favorite Team Printing Plate in first box the difference

Prize Box total 140.5, Contest Box (not including Foil Hot Box Bonus) 158.38

The big difference other than the Foil Hot box was the two extra hits-the Dexter Fowler printing plate and the Bazooka back mini. It was interesting that the Prize box had more base card SPs. I liked pulling the auto but honestly I had to look him up, as I am not really much in to football-except for University of Michigan. Funny thing is that when I opened the pack with the auto I could see the brown of the frame peeking out and was so excited to see who it was. The last two GAC I pulled two women I really wanted and I was hopeful this too would be the case, alas no.

I don’t know about you all but I could use more parallels versus game used from less the exciting people.

I big thank you to Mark AKA the Comish and to Topps for the prize-

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

The Ripper

Younger Cardinals' fans-those under 55-when the nickname Ripper is heard Jack Clark comes to mind. However, if you were much much older, or a fan of the Redbirds in the early to mid 1930s when you heard Ripper-you knew this Ripper to be Ripper Collins.

According to Wiki, James Anthony "Ripper" Collins was born March 30, 1904 in Altoona,  PA and died in New Haven, NY on April 15, 1970. Ripper played First for the Redbirds, Cubs, and Pirates.
He was part of the Dizzy and Dizzy Dean Gashouse Gang team and had a really incredible 1934 season during which he batted in 128 runs, had a league leading 35 home runs, and a batting average of .333 batting average and he hit .367 in the 1934 World Series which the Redbirds won in seven games.

Wiki also tells us he is the only first baseman ever to record no put outs in 2 nine inning games-I am not sure how this is even possible.  Ripper won two World Series with the Birds in 1931 and 1934. In 1936 Johnny Size came on the scene and Ripper's days with the Redbirds were numbered.  He went on to play with the Cubs and the Pirates with two years between these stints with the LA Angels of the PCL. By 1942 his Major League career was over and he would back to the PCL and the Eastern league.In 1969, while scouting for the Redbirds he suffered a massive heart attack and another fatal one in April 1970.

Some time ago I picked up a National Chicle 1934-1936 Batter Up Ripper Collins #78. It is smaller than I thought it would be, about the same size a standard modern card. There were three series of the Batter Up cards and this one is part of the first series. The first series was issued in 1934 and is available in several colors-red, brown, blue, purple and green versions, as well as the standard Black tint-the one I picked up, is the Brown Version. Also, below is an example of the pink version. The first series was longer and the size of the cards different at 2-3/8" by 3-1/2".  The cards were to be folded-with the center popped out so they could stand up which makes it a challenge to find with out the center being punched out.

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Seramonte Relics/Game Used Redbird Edition

I think like many of us, the shine of game used/relics has kind of worn off-though I enjoy pulling them from packs and will pick up Redbirds and others at a good price-the Serramonte Show was no exception. $2 per? I had to check them out (all images taken from the Bay).
2001 SPx - Winning Materials Update Trios DEA Drew / Edmonds / Abreu
2006 Fleer Ultra- Ultra Fine Fabrics Scott Rollen
2014 Panini Immaculate Collection Grey Jersey Kolten Wong #50/99
2017 Panini Immaculate Collection IM-SP Stephen Piscotty #90/99
2016 Donruss Elite Extra Edition Quad Jersey Gold QA-AR Alex Reyes #41/99
2016 Donruss Elite Extra Edition Future Threads FTSD-GR Tyler Glasnow/Alex Reyes #22/49

2017 Panini Father's Day Alex Reyes

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Oldest Card-in Our Collection

I am little behind-since I wrote this back in August. Also,  I hope this guy's nickname isn't because of some racist crap. The image below is from the listing I won.

As a way to make the 1/2 century more memorable than it already was, with a week in Portland, week with my Parents here in CA-and all the time I get to spend with my wife-I thought I would buy a few vintage cards instead of my usual buying a box of cards and busting them. Here is the oldest one in our collection, a T-206 White Border Sweet Caparol Back Jap Barbeau. Who the heck was William Joseph "Jap" Barbeau? Well he was an average player at best that was born in NYC in 1882 and died in Wisconsin in 1969. He played four seasons with the Majors-Cleveland Naps (1905-1906), Pirates (1909), and Cardinals (1909-1910). He would also spend much of his career in the American Association, Pacific Coast League, and Western League. In total he played 17 years between the minors and the majors. May 10, 1910 he played his last Major League Game-with the Redbirds.  The image  below is from Clipping on the Borchert Field Website. "Jap" is watching a foul ball in the bottom left.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Serramonte Autos and an Odd Question

So, I am flipping through one of the regular vendor's cards-when a guy walks up to the vendor and says "Do you have any Harrison Bader Autos?"-so of course my ears perk up, and the natural question I asked him, "You a Cards's fan?", his answer "No, I am just buying his autos." OK, the odds of finding these at a Bay Area show are pretty slim. On to another vendor-a new one for me-had autos for $5, and others for $2. The only $5 auto I picked up was 2013 Panini Hometown Heroes-Hometown Signatures Jack Clark-yes the Ripper. I thought I had this but my master list says no.
I forgot which cards I bought from which vendor. So here we go-2016 Bowman Chrome Daniel Poncedeleon (probably the coolest last name in baseball). Daniel was hit by a batted ball in the head May 2017. At the End of September he was finally activated off the disabled list-so who knows what his future holds-he was doing well before getting hit.
Though not pictured as a Redbird, for $2 I couldn't resist this 2015 Donruss Signature Series Ron Gant-not a real successful player with the Redbirds-but he was fun to watch.

I really have a soft spot for the Leaf Certified Materials sets-I mean if I could buy cases of this product and bust them I would. So for no other reason than that I picked up these autos-2003 Felix Sanchez (Cubs) Numbered #322 out of 400. Felix had one season (2003) in Majors-in true Cubs' fashion he stunk with an ERA of 10.80 in three games started.

Todd Wellemeyer had an 8 year career in the Majors-he was with the Redbirds in 2007, 2008, and 2009. With the Redbirds he went 23 and 21, an ERA of 4.31 and 263 Ks. after the Birds he went to the Giants for his final year-released in 2010 before the World Series-signed with the Cubs but retired soon after. Here is a 2003 Leaf Certified Materials Mirror Blue #28 out of 50. Dang two Cubs-but love the cards.

Last one up is 2013 Topps Heritage Minor League Brandon Meredith-I picked this up (dealer through it in as a freebie) simply because it is one the best autographs ever-well written and easy to read.  He was with the Astros but was released in 2015 and I can't find any other mention go his being in professional baseball.

Saturday, October 7, 2017

I have Surfaced

So I am no longer incog. I went to Houston last Wednesday and came back Sunday afternoon. My agency was having our national gathering there and I was helping with a presentation. The TV in my room didn't work which was OK because I wasn't really in my room much and good thing not to watch the Deadbirds go out in a whimper.

I knew it was going to be a bien trip when Bein TV was available to watch on the flight-score, or Goaaaaalllll!

After arriving in to the humid and hot place Houston is-my mother is from down the road along the coast and I grew up in heat and humidity but nothing prepared me for the Fall humidity. No wonder my mom go out of Dodge! Hit a couple of breweries on the way to the hotel and a Yucatan restaurant which was pretty good. If you visit Town in City Brewing, please park on the street, you will thank me later-or at least your car will. Beer pretty good and drinkable, a place I could have lingered. Next up Holler Brewing (no picture) a couple of fine 1/2 pints and good conversation with Christine an employee who suggested I hit another one I was thinking of-so, sold. A stop at Merida for some Yucatan meal. The platter was delicious but the Queso so so.

The view from room is the BBV Compass Stadium where the once San Jose Earthquakes play-now renamed the Dynamo. The original Quakes moved soon after we moved to the area. Minute Maid Field from near a conference room-too bad the Astros weren't in town, and their legendary Texas shaped pool, too bad no swim trunks!
So after my last session on one of the days I jumped in my rental and hit Sigma Brewing (Christin's suggestion) and 8th Wonder Brewing. Sigma had an interesting industrial vibe-with a wrestling rink! Beer was good but I really couldn't tell the difference between the Red Ale and the American Pale Ale. 8th Wonder (the Astrodome of course) is an interesting place-you can only use credit cards, you have to buy tokens to buy beer-these are bottle caps. So you can get three tokens and a glass for $15. Interesting place-big outside area-but way too hot to out there this trip. Interesting crowd-I could see visiting here often-especially if I was a young gun-good, solid beer, if not messed up system. Every town and city should have a street with this name.

The last night of the gathering I attended a Dynamo game-I figured why not since I couldn't get a good flight out. After a pre game stop at aforementioned 8th Wonder-which is a 8 minuet walk from the stadium, and the stadium a 12-15 minuet walk from my hotel. After a few more drinks and so-so food off to my seat I went. I got pretty nice seats-so much so I was the only one in the row-actually I couldn't have been any closer. I gotta little mascot love.

I left in the 72 minuet with Alex scoring the lone goal-I would have stuck it out but I had to be up way early the next day. So after I left two more goals were scored, and the Dynamo won 2-1. A good trip, a valuable experience, and a little fun.