1966 Topps Baseball Wantlist

Friday, March 30, 2018

Land of Enchantment

OK, I am back-went with my better half to Albuquerque, NM for 4 days. Yep, it is opening day-or was yesterday. Cardinals started season with a whimper and I can say that this is the first year since 2008 that I am indifferent and unexcited. I don't have much hope for the Redbirds, even less now they signed, and wasted money, on Greg Holland,  and still have a terrible manager. I am out for now.
SO on to my other favorite B word, beer. We had a great trip visiting one of our wonderful friends and her adorable son. We love the ABQ and if we could retire tomorrow we would probably head there to live.  We hit two breweries directly from the Airport-Palmer Brewery & Cider House and Drafty Kilt. Palmer's house beers and cider were very solid and Drafty Kilt's beers were even better-at the DK we listened to a couple of musicians jamming some 70s folk rock, singer songwriter tunes-and they were off the hook good. Then we ended the night with a feast at Sadies of New Mexico-which if you haven't had NM food you are missing out-Red and Green Chile-or both-you can't really go wrong. Under the tons of stuff is a stuffed sopapilla with brisket.  Living in the People's Democratic Republic of California I forget how redunk prices are in the PDRC. What a bargain!
Before and after.

ABQ is 5,000 feet above sea level and dry, rule number one-hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. Water at breweries was provided without asking or was readily available to patrons. We met our friends at the Quarter Celtic Brewery and really enjoyed very well made beer. I had a conversation with the co-owner and that was nice. Then on to my favorite of the trip, and unfortunately the one we spent the least amount of time at-Boxing Bear-solid IPAs and Double Reds.
The following day we headed with our friends to the Acoma Pueblo which is about an hour outside the ABQ. It was an incredible visit but really brings home the poverty and hardships still faced by Native Americans. Not to go beerless for the day my wife and I hit Starr Brothers Brewing (beer and mountains and sunset) a punt away from the hotel-enjoyed some pozole  which with chile is the state's dishes. Enjoyed a wonderful purple sunset just a few miles from the Sandia Mountains. Opps I almost forgot that before then we hit two other breweries-Dialogue Brewing and Bow & Arrow Brewing (no picture)-cool vibe-Dialogue (second picture) more so. Beers were hit or miss, but I can see they are trying to be different.
Monday saw us hit the Nob Hill area of town next to the U of NM campus-home of the Lobos. Since we were waiting to meet with our friend who took half a day off to spend with us-I said she was wonderful.  The shops weren't open yet-so we "wasted" a few minutes till she got off at the satellite tap room for Bosque Brewing-every beer was spot on to style and stellar. After a crazy good lunch at Frontier which is a place that is an institution across from the university. I had the red and green chili double cheese burger-hey I WAS on vacation.
We finished the day beer strong-and I was frankly getting to the beered out stage but we still hit Rio Bravo Brewing-the least successful of the breweries we visited-nothing really interesting and no picture takin. A short drive toward our friend's parent's house we hit Pondarosa Brewing (first picture below) which was beautiful inside and beers were pretty solid-nothing off the wall exciting but very solid. Are we done yet? Not yet. We ended the day at Nexus Brewery (second picture) which is one of the few breweries owned by an African-American and the menu was a fusion of NM staples, Southern Comfort food, and burgers. Beer was good, but food was crazy good-fried catfish, greens, and dirty rice anyone?
OK,  the ABQ does have a brewery branded eatery in the airport-so I couldn't resist more beer and chile-so yes one more beer-a Rio Bravo Green Chile beer. Yes, that is a wrap. Ten breweries-I have a wonderful wife who loves great beer and is very accommodating.
The Rockies have their AAA team, the Isotopes-yes named after the Simpson's episode, in the ABQ-of course the season didn't start yet. The Memphis Redbirds will be visiting in June. I picked up a couple of pocket scheds. The Isotopes are the former Duke's who were the Dodger's AAA team for several years.
When we checked out we made reservations to return in October for the Ballon Festival! I will hit the few breweries not hit this time and/or exciting new ones. The beer scene in ABQ really rivals other places like Portland, San Diego, etc. Their beers aren't overall to that level but they are on their way. They have over 20 breweries in a metropolitan area of 750K.

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Sunday, March 18, 2018

One Card, OK Two Card Post

I came across this card when I was checking out Minor League cards-there isn't many cards that say 1970s like this one. This is from the 1976 Cramer Phoenix Giants set. The 1978 issue is on the right.
Who is Ethan Blackaby? Well he was a Major League Baseball outfielder who appeared in 15 games for the Milwaukee Braves during the 1962 and 1964 seasons. He managed to hit .120 with one RBI. He later became General Manager of the Phoenix Giants in the 1970s and early 1980s. Here is an article where he talks about managing a Minor League Team Read Here

State of the Bowman Redbird Collection

We owe Bowman a great debt as card collectors-Bowman pioneered how sports cards were made, distributed, and collected. I love the vintage Bowman cards, but so do many other folks. This is the Long March of our collecting goals. Picking up a few cards every year until we complete each Redbird team set. So how are we doing? Ah, so-so.
The inaugural 1948 Bowman team set is a hella of difficult one to complete. We have zero of the four Redbirds. These are big hitters, no pun intended-Enos Slaughter
Stan Musial, Red Schoendienst, and the most affordable of them all-Marty Marion. There is no challenger to the key card here-Stan the Man’s rookie card-a copy in excellent will be at least $600, at least.
We go from the black and white 1948 Bowman to the colorized 1949 Bowman.  Bowman left the players head shot as a photo and colorized their uniforms and hats. There are 12 Redbirds in the 1949 set and several variations around paper color and script or no script names. Again the Stan the Man is the key card missing from our collection. It is easier to show the 2 of the 3 cards of the 1949 set we have-Red Munger (white back), and Ron Northey.
The 1950 Bowman set remains small and instead of straight up portraits, we have a mix of action and portraits. These are essentially painted copies of photos. Cards are now longer/wider depending on the player orientation. Sixteen Redbirds were included in the set and we have 8. The key card missing is Red Schoendienst.
The 1951 Bowman set is the last before Topps really comes onto the scene in 1952. Again paintings based on photos-22 Cardinals were included which is a significant increase. We have 12 in our collection. Keys cards needed are Enos Slaughter, Joe Garagiola, and four challenging high-numbers.
In 1952 Bowman is often considered the forgotten set, as it is between the classic 1951 and 1953 Bowman issues and the 1952 Topps. Fourteen Redbirds appear in this “lost issue”. Bowman pretty well stuck the formula from the previous year’s set. We are 3/4s there with 8 Cardinals in our collection.
We have been no-hit when it comes to the iconic 1953 Bowman issue. With both black and white and color photographs it is very-very popular and we haven’t picked up a single of the 3 black and white Cardinals or any of the 10 color photo Bowmans. Key card missing is the color Stan Musial.
We are doing a bit better with the fourteen 1954 Bowman Cardinals. As we have completed this team set! Though we need three upgrades and one variation, Solly Hemus, to be done done. This is an interesting set as the size increased to that of the 1952 Topps and Bowman reverted to players being depicted by paintings.
The final “Bowman” set was issued in 1955-this set was issued AFTER Topps bought them out, so in reality this is a Topps issue. We have all 15 Cardinals and just need to upgrade the Red Schoendiest. Back to real photos but with faux wood grain TV borders which though not mine are favorites of collectors.

Great news is we are over the half way point for knocking out the vintage Bowman Redbirds. I have been trying to add a few every year, and at this pace I will be done when I am 75!

Bowman Cardinals 110
Bowman Cardinals in collection 60
Bowman needed 50