Posts Tagged ‘Topps’

make something grrrrrrrreat!

December 8, 2010

What’s this… back to back posts featuring superb defensive outfielders from the 1970s? Excuse me for attempting to finish 2010 strong. Obviously Mickey Stanley is on board with the notion that the best way for a player to get his baseball card featured on “Cards in the Attic” is to sign and return it after receiving it in the mail with a nice letter. Ol’ number 24 scores bonus points in my ledger for employing a blue Sharpie when autographing his 1975 Topps baseball card thru the mail.

Mickey Stanley – 1975 Topps no. 141

Apparently a fan of Yogi Berra, Stanley was quoted as saying, “Those were the best pitches I ever heard” when asked about having been struck out by Nolan Ryan.

One of my favorite things about vintage baseball cards is when you flip them over and see only a single team name in their stats. I guess that officially makes me a curmudgeon or something.

Say, don’t forget to check out the wise Night Owl for more about Mickey Stanley’s 1975 Topps baseball card.

– Kris

only the shadow knows…

October 9, 2010

I remember the 1970s. However, I do not claim to actually understand how many of the things from the 70s came to be. A perfect example would be Jerry Terrell’s 1974 Topps baseball card.

Jerry Terrell (1974 Topps – no. 481)

I remember having Terrell’s 74 Topps card in my collection as clearly as I recall eating jelly beans and drinking Shasta root beer in the back seat of my father’s 65 Chevy Impala while our family enjoyed a “Herby Rides Again”/”My Name is Nobody” double feature at the drive-in. Who knows… I may have even first seen this card while opening a pack during the 15-minute drive to the theater.

Interestingly, I didn’t think anything was strange about the card until I reacquired it for my collection earlier this year. I sort of wonder if anyone else has written about the odd “shadow” cast on the ground next to Jerry, but I find that I’m not so interested as to actually take the time to scour the interwebs to answer my own question. The bottom line is that I picked up a few blaster boxes of 2010 Allen & Ginter baseball cards during the baseball season when I didn’t have any spare time to open them, and have decided that I can only open a box after I post some sort of offering on this blog. Thus, you get this.

Although the shadow not only seems unnatural in that it is not varied from the dirt warning track to the raised grass surface, but also the shape of the shadow seems unlikely to have been cast from the same light source as is the shadow across Terrell’s face from his ballcap. Even with that in mind, I doubt I would have bothered to call attention to this card if not for the fact that Terrell’s shadow is cast in different direction from that of his teammate’s in the background. Here is a quickie Photoshopped version that illustrates a “truer” shadow that would have been cast off Terrell in keeping with the same light source as his teammate.

MODIFIED Jerry Terrell (1974 Topps – no. 481)

Without having access to the original negative, I can only speculate that this photo has been doctored. Even then I am left scratching my head as to WHY would anyone have bothered to do so in the first place.

– Kris

the fifth dementia

December 27, 2009

When the fifty-two is signed in blue
It rises above all other cards
As Alberto takes the mound
six-four-three’s fill scorecards

This is the blogging of the card of A. Arias
The card of A. Arias
A. Arias!
A. Arias!

Alberto Arias (2007 Topps 52 Rookies – no. 82)

– Kris

krismas day triple play

December 25, 2009

One of the neatest aspects of immersing oneself in minor league baseball is that doing so affords the opportunity to follow your favorite players for a longer period of time than if you had waited to “discover” them once they become an everyday player in the majors. Of course, this argument makes the assumption that your favorite minor league players not only make that leap, but also make it stick when they do.

Josh Wilson (2006 Topps 52 Rookies – no. 45)

Born within a Bill Mazeroski moonshot of Honus Wagner’s birthplace, shortstop Josh Wilson was destined to play ball. I first met Josh during the 2004 season when he joined the Albuquerque Isotopes. A completely likable fellow, Wilson approached both games and practices with determination to perform to the best of his abilities and to improve at every opportunity, making him one of my favorite players for the two seasons he was in town. The thing I like best about Josh’s character is that he even takes his clowning around seriously. Wilson would be a positive influence in any professional baseball clubhouse.

Josh Wilson (2006 Topps 52 Rookies – chrome no. TCRC12 1752/1952)

With that having been typed, the man himself has probably been involved in as many trades as have his baseball cards. Over a span of only five years, Wilson has donned major and/or minor league uniforms for the Marlins, Rockies, Nationals, (then Devil) Rays, Pirates, Red Sox, Diamondbacks, Padres and Mariners.

Josh Wilson (2006 Topps 52 Rookies – chrome refractor no. TCRC12 305/552)

I hit the trifecta when Josh autographed all three versions of his 2006 Topps 52 Rookie card for me this past summer while back in the Duke City playing for the Tacoma Rainiers. If all goes well, he will return again in early April when the Seattle Mariners play a two-game Spring Training series against the Colorado Rockies at Isotopes Park. It will be a pleasure to watch him running, diving and making dazzling plays while wearing a Seattle uniform.

– Kris

mr. jones and me look into the future

December 24, 2009

Mitch Jones autographed his 2006 Topps 52 Rookie card for my collection during the first few days of his only season with the Albuquerque Isotopes. Over the course of the 2009 season, Jones launched 35 homers to capture the coveted Joe Baughman award and earned a $7,000 bonus in the process. You can bet that bonus was well spent on shelving to house all of the hardware Jones earned during the 2009 season including being named the Isotopes MVP, PNM Power Hitter of the Year, PCL All-Star and being added to the Topps Triple-A All-Star team. I probably forgot a few awards, but you get the idea…

Mitch Jones (2006 Topps 52 Rookies – no. 260)

In spite of the fact that Jones had a card in the 2006 Topps 52 Rookie set, he actually didn’t make his Major League debut until being called up to the Los Angeles Dodgers during June of the 2009 season. If Jones can heat up in the Florida sun this spring, chances are he will hit his first of many Major League bombs playing for the Atlanta Braves.

–  Kris

let me count the ways (2007 topps heritage)

May 15, 2009

How do you pass the time while the home team is on the road? I usually get tangled up in all sorts of strange activities, but things that must be done include watching the Isotopes play on MiLB.TV (where available) and pulling cards to be autographed during the next homestand(s). This week I also managed to get caught up on my weeding and planted several rows of popcorn in the garden, but that is a topic for a different blog altogether.

While sifting through cards in preparation for the upcoming series against Salt Lake City and Colorado Springs, I realized that I may not get an opportunity to have Jeff Weaver sign his 2007 Topps Heritage baseball card. Not long after that, I caught myself wondering how many cards from that set I have managed to get autographed in person to date. Before I knew it, I was pulling those cards and thinking of the best way to include them in a blog article. I decided to include them all, but since there are 27, I think it makes sense to break it up into a small three-part series.

For those of you born in the past couple of years, the 2007 Topps Heritage design is based on the 1958 Topps baseball series. The 1958 Topps card represented in my “baseball card type collection” features Dodger pitching sensation Sandy Koufax (no. 187). The card numbered 187 in the 2007 Topps Heritage set features Randy Johnson. Did you realize that, as of this posting, Koufax hit twice as many career homers as has Johnson? Of course Sandy had nearly 200 more at bats than Randy has.


Since they are both pitchers, I will continue with that theme today and post scans of all of the cards of twirlers I have gotten autographed from the 2007 Topps Heritage set. If I’ve said it once, I’ve probably said it five times or more, a baseball card isn’t complete until it has been autographed by the player(s) it depicts.


Jose Capellan – 2007 Topps Heritage no. 407



Jose Diaz – 2007 Topps Heritage no. 367



Philip Humber – 2007 Topps Heritage no. 449



Eric Milton – 2007 Topps Heritage no. 172



Patrick Misch – 2007 Topps Heritage no. 211



Chris Narveson – 2007 Topps Heritage no. 65



Ricky Nolasco – 2007 Topps Heritage no. 399



Ervin Santana – 2007 Topps Heritage no. 264



Taylor Tankersley – 2007 Topps Heritage no. 472



Derrick Turnbow – 2007 Topps Heritage no. 124

I will be posting scans of the rest of the cards from this set that I have gotten signed over the next couple of days, so be sure to check back if you want to see which ones they are. Heck, even if you don’t care you might as well check back in to see if I actually manage another post in less than a month.

– Kris

high on heritage (2008)

April 25, 2009

You either love 2008 Topps Heritage baseball cards, or you haven’t seen them. In spite of the oft-reported short print issues surrounding this set, I believe this is an absolutely fabulous product. Perhaps setting themselves up for the strangest copyright lawsuit of all time, Topps lifted the design for these cards directly from their own vaults- dusting off a set of their 1959 product for inspiration. I just happen to have a 1959 Topps card in my ever expanding “baseball card type collection.”


Obviously Nellie Fox was photographed while pondering whether or not people would enjoy looking at his trading card as time marched forward. As you can see from the scan, it has been handled many times over. I think it is safe to assume that Fox’s card has been appreciated by adoring fans.


The card number 30 counterpart in the 2008 Topps Heritage set belongs to Paul Konerko. It is entirely possible that these two cards have already been compared and contrasted by Steve at White Sox Cards, so I’m not going to go into any of that here.

I may very well be odd collector out in that I preferred the 2008 Topps Heritage High Number Series to the initial release. Yes, even with the ill-advised inclusion of the yawntastic 2008 Topps Updates & Highlights cards in each pack. The more you hear of collectors complaining that a set contains too many players they’ve never heard of, the more you can be sure that it is a product that I will be interested in. That was especially true since Topps pulled the awesome 52 Rookies product out from under our feet.

I pulled three “hits” from a High Number series hobby box in late winter, and figure they are worth a scan.


This Frank Thomas “game-used bat” card, numbered HCC-FT is pretty kool. Even so, I would imagine that there exists a more appreciative home for this card than in my collection. (Check my want lists kids!)


A “certified” on-card autograph by Geovany Soto, the 2007-2008 poster child for MultiAd Sports trading cards, is numbered ROA-GS. It certainly blows the door off some black back variation duplicate of a card that I already had.

The next card wasn’t actually included in the hobby box, but rather was represented by a nasty redemption card. I was rewarded with this card after a two-month waiting period. I think it arrived about three days after I stopped checking the mailbox specifically for it.


I thought that an Al Kaline autographed card that might wake you from your slumber. As long as I have your attention, I may just as well reward you with scans (sans commentary) of the 2008 Topps Heritage baseball cards I have gotten autographed in person so far this season as the Omaha Royals and Iowa Cubs visited Isotopes Park in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Enjoy….


Blake DeWitt – 2008 Topps Heritage High Number Series no. 619 (black back)


Sam Fuld – 2008 Topps Heritage no. 123


Luke Hochevar – 2008 Topps Heritage no. 129


Chin-Lung Hu – 2008 Topps Heritage no. 130 (black back)


Erick Threets – 2008 Topps Heritage no. 143


Jeff Weaver – 2008 Topps Heritage no. 175

I have a feeling that I probably will never collect all of the short printed 2008 Topps Heritage baseball cards. I do keep my want lists updated in the event that someone has extras for trade, but I won’t be purchasing single short printed cards unless I am sure I will have an opportunity to get them signed one day. Collectors working on the shiny parallel versions will definitely want to check out my trade lists!

– Kris

today’s word?… the BIRD

February 13, 2009

One of the things that I enjoy most about writing for this blog is the fact that it is absolutely adored by the smartest and most sophisticated people surfing the internet today. I’m not sure why that is. Perhaps it is your fascination with the methods I employ in the stringing together the simplest of words. Beyond that, who doesn’t enjoy a good train wreck?

Being so smart, I’m sure that you figured out from the title that this blog entry is dedicated to Mark Fidrych. Easily named the American League Rookie of the Year in 1976, while just missing out on the Cy Young award that was awarded to Jim Palmer, “The Bird” was out of major league baseball by 1980. I wonder if his short career had anything to do with his pitching back-to-back, complete 11-inning games his rookie season, beating the Brewers and Rangers in succession. The Bird twirled two-dozen complete games in 1976, and a total of 34 complete games in 54 career starts. Even Andy Warhol must have been impressed by the young man’s work ethic.

Although Fidrych’s stats are impressive, it was his character that sealed his spot in the Aardvark Attic of Appreciation. I am pleased to announce that Mark was gracious enough to autograph two cardboard plaques to be placed on permanent display in his honor.


This 2001 Topps Archives card (no. 302 of 450) celebrates The Bird having beaten Vida Blue by a mere percentage point to be named the American League ERA leader in 1976.

As serious of a business that baseball is, it is refreshing when a player appears on the scene and reminds fans that it is also okay to enjoy what you do. If you just relocated here from the moon and haven’t seen clips of Mark talking to a baseball while on the mound, do yourself a favor and seek them out online. There is an interesting Mark Fidrych interview available on YouTube worth watching if you don’t have too many issues with Steve Stone.


Another 2001 Topps Archives card (no. 379 of 450) featuring Mark Fidrych depicts him at the end of his career in the bigs. TTM graphers should note that Mark prefers to sign autographs using a ballpoint pen.

It has been reported that rookie sensation Mark Fidrych once pondered out loud whether or not he could reply to all of his fan mail since he only earned $16,500, the league minimum. So keep that in mind if you decide to request an autograph from Mark thru the mail. Be sure to include a self-addressed stamped envelope!

One of my favorite quotes attributed to Mark Fidrych is “Sometimes I get lazy and let the dishes stack up, but they don’t stack too high. I’ve only got four dishes.” Mark’s autobiography, No Big Deal, is available online and probably through your local library’s interlibrary loan program.

– Kris

seventy million dollar man

January 14, 2009

Growing up in west-central Illinois, in the rich watershed drained by the river that had helped make Edgar Lee Masters famous, it was expected that a baseball fan root for either the Cubs or the Cardinals. Given those options, I chose to follow the Orioles.

With few exceptions, my personal heroes can easily be classified as underdogs. Born eleven days after me, and a few hundred miles to the south, Steve Finley’s path was predetermined to cross with mine more than once as the years passed. While Steve’s future in baseball would be taking off with a bang, mine would be borfed with a wiffle.

After breaking into the majors with the Orioles at the age of 24, Steve went on to play for the Astros, Padres, Diamondbacks, Dodgers, Angels, Giants and Rockies. Steve Finley played hard, solid baseball for each of the eight different teams he suited up for throughout his career.


It isn’t a simple task to explain WHY Steve Finley was a unanimous, first-ballot inductee into my personal Wall of Fame given that typical baseball stats do not account for qualities such as spirit, ethics, enthusiasm, effort, dedication and charm. It seems as unnecessary to attempt to justify my fondness for the man, as it would be to try to describe why I enjoy listening to DEVO. Perhaps it all boils down to the fact that his on field attitude was capable of inspiring any fan that had the desire to see a player lay everything on the line day in and day out without getting caught up in the madness that was taking place along the sidelines.

A lifetime .271 hitter over 10,460 at bats, Finley probably won as many games with his glove as he did with his bat. Given an opportunity to pitch during the Arizona Diamondbacks magical season of 2001, Finley maintained a perfect ERA while walking only one batter and plunking another. Sure it was only for a single inning, but clearly Steve had the opposing batters mystified.

In spite of the fact that I saw Steve Finley play in hundreds of baseball games in Phoenix, and even lived next door to his teammate Travis Lee during the entire 1999 season, I wouldn’t actually get to meet Steve until the spring of 2006. While seemingly everyone in Scottsdale was shoving and elbowing in order to be the first person ignored by Barry Bonds, I was hanging out in the calm. Ultimately, I was rewarded by the opportunity to meet Steve in person as he was walking into the stadium from the parking lot. He did not “big league” me when I asked him to sign a card for my collection, but instead thanked me for coming out to the park. Class!


Steve Finley’s signature has always been suspect at best!

I’ve recently been trading for Steve’s baseball cards with readers and other bloggers, without setting any unrealistic goals such as trying to accumulate one of each of his different cards. It has been quite entertaining to receive these cards in the mail, and easily more enjoyable than buying them online. That isn’t to say that I won’t pick up one here and there, but I think trading is the approach I will strive to employ for this particular aspect of my collection.

Here is a scan of Steve’s 1989 Bowman card (no. 15). Most noticeable is the complete lack of stats on the back. I received this card absolutely FREE under the condition that I give it a good home.


One of my long time favorite Steve Finley baseball cards is his 1990 Topps card (no. 349). Given my strong attraction to the 75 and 72 Topps sets, it should come as no surprise to anyone that I am a big fan of the 1990 Topps product.


I wasn’t collecting baseball cards in 1995. If I had been, I suspect that I may have been all over this Fleer issue. I believe that I like everything about it, except the foil. I am of the opinion that foil should be used only to wrap potatoes before baking, and possibly to cover rabbit-ear style antennae of portable television sets (although even that will prove to be an annoyance following the national conversion to digital only).


This is one of the cards I got for FREE this Krismas from one of the more generous trading card bloggers on the circuit. I’m not naming names because I don’t want Santa Claus to have any reason to put out a contract on the guy. With that out of the way, I really like this card. This 2000 Upper Deck Black Diamond Gold (no. 59) card is probably one I would have to put at the top of my pile in the event that I ever have the chance to get Steve to sign another autograph. The scan does not do the card justice.


The 2002 Upper Deck Vintage set was easily my favorite product of the past decade until I stumbled over my first pack of Topps Allen & Ginter cards. Finley’s card in this set is number 275. The blurb on the card back attests to the fact that like the best racehorses, Steve has always been a strong finisher.


Finally, another Steve Finley card from an absolutely fantastic team set issued by Mother’s and given away to fans entering Bank One Ballpark before a game in 2001.


I’m not sure exactly how much money Steve Finley earned during his 19 years of service in Major League Baseball, but I do know that the $70 million figure is a conservative estimate. At some point I will get around to providing a list of Steve Finley cards that I either have or need, depending on what makes the most sense at that time. In the meanwhile, feel free to contact me if you have duplicate or unique cards that you think I might be interested in. I probably will be!

– Kris

march of the “cey hay” kid

December 8, 2008

Are you going to sit there at your computer and tell me that you’ve never attended a minor league All Star game? If so, I’m going to fire back that you really should make an effort to do so. You never know who(m) you might bump into…


Actually, now that I think about it, you probably should contact the media director of the team hosting the event to find out if they are going to be having any special autograph sessions as part of their festivities so you can pack accordingly.


I obtained these Ron Cey autographs in person during the summer of 2007 during the “Fanfest” portion of the Triple-A All Star Fiesta that was hosted by the Albuquerque Isotopes.


Although I appreciate them all, the 1975 Topps is without question my favorite of the group. It was a shame that I didn’t also have the mini parallel to get signed.


Luckily I did have the 1987 Topps mini with me! People constantly give me a difficult time because I like these cards with the wood grain background. Their tauntings fail to bother me, but rather I shrug them off like water off a duck’s back (or in this case, a penguin).


I think the world would be a boring place if we all liked exactly the same things. What would be the fun if every baseball card collection were identical?


I expect my collection of old time Dodgers autographs will begin to grow this summer since the Dodgers have relocated their Triple-A franchise back in the Duke City. So you can expect more posts like this one in the future.

– Kris