Posts Tagged ‘ttm’

peaches and herb

January 5, 2011

Five out of four dentists agree that this 1975 Topps baseball card of Herb Washington is so sweet that it will likely cause cavities. In my opinion, if you can’t agree that this is one of THE finest baseball cards ever produced, you are in the wrong hobby. (Yes present day Topps staff members, I am suggesting that it is time for you to take a break from your calculated hijinx in order to shake your groove things.)

Herb Washington (1975 Topps no. 407)

Also in my opinion, the only thing that could possibly improve “Hurricane” Herb’s baseball card was to get it autographed… which I did… thru the mail. It took a while to get back, but eventually the card and I were “Reunited.” It was so worth the wait.

Washington is such a nice guy! It appears that he offered to show up early before the fans got to the ballpark to have his photo taken for his baseball card. When he noticed the photographer backing up to squeeze his entire body into the frame, Herb obviously stopped him, saying, “It’s cool… I’ll just lean forward like I’m thinking about making a break for second base.” Fun time!

–  Kris

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silent moves

December 31, 2010

Having just returned from San Francisco, California, the birthplace of former Major League Baseball player and manager Jim Fregosi, I thought I might as well feature his 1975 Topps baseball card that I recently got autographed thru the mail. Isn’t it nice?

Jim Fregosi (1975 Topps no. 339)

Fregosi is listed as the Rangers’ third baseman on his 75 Topps card in spite of the fact that he played 101 games at first and only 36 at the hot corner during the 1974 and 1975 seasons. Ah heck, what’s in a title anyway?

While scouring the interwebs in search of a better nickname for Jim than “Skip,” I ran across Chris Berman’s reference of “Jim Bela Fregosi.” That’s funny in my book.

I always loved Jim’s sideburns on this card as it appears he has been growing them out for this photo for the better part of a decade. That reminds me that I need to upgrade my 1965 Fregosi so I can send that one to him to autograph as well. I better get to it as this year isn’t getting any younger.

–  Kris

the cardinal

December 29, 2010

Q: What began as a giant undertaking, sprouted a halo, slapped on some war paint, learned to sing like a bird, showed promise as a brewmeister before developing a fondness for hibernating, became the final number one in Philadelphia and moved into a giant apple before retiring as a king? Oh yeah, and is also cousin of Bert Campaneris?

A: Jose Cardenal

The fleet-footed outfielder moved so fast that he managed to play with nine different major league clubs over a period of eighteen years. Following his retirement as a player, Cardenal went on to coach first base for approximately half as many major league clubs as he played for. Fortunately, Jose has slowed down enough to respond to my request for an autograph thru the mail.

Jose Cardenal (1975 Topps no. 15)

While reading about Cardenal online, you are bound to stumble over the fact that his contract was once sold by the Phillies to the Mets between games of a doubleheader. While that is all fine, well and good, it is worth pointing out that although Jose wore the winning uniform for both games of that split on August 2, 1979, he did not appear in either game. Sometimes life is funny like that.

Also of interest is that Cardenal is credited for having developed the cupped bat.

– Kris

sixty-four candles

December 24, 2010

There is no question that former major leaguer Bill Lee enjoys a laid-back lifestyle. But did you know that while expected to be born in 1946, Lee nearly put off his arrival until the following year?

Lee turns 64 years old this Tuesday, December 28, 2010, tying the mark set by another Bill Lee, the singing voice of a number of Disney characters including Shere Kahn from The Jungle Book (1967), who did so in 1980 just before passing away. The Spaceman shows no sign of giving up the ghost any time soon however, after becoming the oldest player to pitch in a professional baseball game by winning a contest for the independent Can-Am League Brockton Rox on September 10th of this year. (The Rox made headlines in 2009 when they hired Justine Siegal as the first female coach in professional baseball.)

Bill Lee (1975 Topps no. 128)

Bill Lee is wonderful about answering requests for autographs thru the mail and he has a fabulous signature that sometimes includes the name of the planet he is on when he signs. If you’ve been thinking about dropping Lee a letter, why not make it a birthday card and get it in the mail immediately?

Are you aware that Bill Lee owns a bat company? It is called The Old Bat Company. Obviously, he needs a new website designer…

–    Kris

ol’ reliable

December 22, 2010

I never ask a player to personalize an autograph, but I certainly enjoy it when they choose to do so. I suppose the act implies that the player takes an interest in fans who take the time to write them a letter. Ken McMullen has to have one of the most consistent signatures in the modern era.

Ken McMullen – 1975 Topps no. 473

I enjoy that the cartoon on the back of McMullen’s card asks what a “portsider” is- especially since the man who hit right handed, threw right handed and signs autographs with his right hand never hurled a single pitch throughout his entire professional baseball career. If that isn’t irony, it is something else. Perhaps this is what Ken was pondering in his photo as he appears to have been posing for either a coin or a bust in the Oxnard, California Hall of Fame.

For those readers who find themselves mired in difficult financial times, let me suggest employing Ken’s jersey numbers while filling out your next multistate lottery card. Tossing out number 35 for McMullen’s dismal 1976 tour with the Oakland A’s, we are left with 14, 11, 7, 4, 5 and 17- the numbers sewn onto his jerseys when he played for the Los Angeles Dodgers, California Angels, Dodgers (again) and the Milwaukee Brewers. For the “power” or “mega” ball, I recommend employing the number 2- McMullen’s number from the period in his career when he flashed the majority of his power with the Washington Senators (1965-1970).

If I happen to hit the Mega Millions or Powerball jackpot with McMullen’s jersey numbers, you can rest assured that I will invest a portion of my winnings to purchase his 1963 Topps rookie card in mint condition send it to him for a TTM autograph.

–   Kris

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

the bandit

December 6, 2010

You may be wondering why I selected a 1975 Citroën for the background of my image of Ken Berry’s autographed 1975 Topps baseball card. Then again, you may not. Regardless of whichever it may be, the car’s antennae reminded me more or less of how Berry held his bat in this photo. Actually, the logo of his brainchild, the Ken Berry League Southwest Youth Athletic Association, Inc. is also quite similar.

Ken Berry – 1975 Topps no. 432

Allen Kent Berry, no relation to Franken Berry, was kind enough to autograph his card for my collection honoring my thru the mail request. I am a huge fan of baseball cards that feature players in front of empty sections of ballparks. I’d like to imagine that someone asked the photographer if they should move the bat on the ground out of view, and he (or she) replied, “Nah… someone at Topps will simply airbrush it out later.”

Working as a technical advisor on the film “Eight Men Out,” Berry got into the movie near the end playing the fan that heckles Shoeless Joe Jackson during a minor league game. There’s your fun fact for the day.

– Kris

will work for baseball cards: 1965 topps edition

August 4, 2009

Though fraught with risk, freelance work often offers serious advantages over the ol’ nine to five grind. Besides being able to complete the work around your schedule, contracting out your skills also allows for a creative compensation plan. For instance, I recently designed a website for a client in exchange for a healthy stack of beautiful 1965 Topps baseball cards that I needed for my set that I am building. I would be willing to trade html code all day long for vintage baseball cards that I need, so naturally I was elated to discover that I also was going to receive a half-baker’s dozen of autographed 1965 Topps cards as a tip.

Now that I have the cards in hand, I’ve decided to share scans of the autographed ones with you fine folks.

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Wayne Causey – 1965 Topps no. 425

Picking up this card was quite interesting since I had just written Wayne a few weeks ago- when this card was still on my 1965 Topps baseball want list. Also, I had just gotten this embossed card back TTM this past week, so they make for a super combination.

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Wayne Causey – 1965 Topps embossed no. 21

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Ed Charles – 1965 Topps no. 35

Ed Charles has some absolutely fantastic baseball cards. This is but one of them. Possibly better known as being a member of the Miracle Mets, I believe I prefer Ed in his colorful Athletics uniforms. No stranger to writing instruments, “The Glider” was writing poetry long before fans began asking for his autograph.

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Mike Hershberger – 1965 Topps no. 89

The comic on the back of Hershberger’s 1965 Topps baseball card includes a sketch of a player sliding head first into third base with nary a defender in sight. Given that he hit 21 triples in the minors in 1959, I have to believe that he wouldn’t have been sliding into a base unless a play was being made. Mike was traded to the Athletics in January of 1965 with Jim Landis. These cards provide an interesting mini study of the mid-60s baseball card manufacturing process as Hershberger is still shown as being with the White Sox, while Landis is depicted with the Athletics in a later series- though still wearing a White Sox uniform.

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Jim Landis – 1965 Topps no. 376

One of the things I enjoy most about autographed baseball cards is where the player chooses to place his (or her) signature. While many just slap it on haphazardly, most appear to give it some thought. Some players (current and retired) sign every card in more or less the exact same spot. While I tend to use a blue Sharpie for the majority of my autographs, I have to admit that the use of the black Sharpie by Landis really works well with this card.

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Bill Monbouquette – 1965 Topps no. 142

The surface of this Bill Monbouquette card suffers from either wax or gum residue. It also appears that Bill used some random blue marker instead of a Sharpie, resulting in an autograph that has either faded, or has bled into the card to some degree. Nevertheless, the card is a welcome addition to my collection- especially considering that Monbouquette reportedly charges to sign memorabilia sent to his house. Regardless of that, I probably would not be sending him any autograph requests, as I understand that he suffers from leukemia and probably has better things to be doing.

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Tommie Reynolds – 1965 Topps no. 333

Well-wishers should make note that former Major League outfielder/pinch hitter Tommie Reynolds has a birthday coming up on August 15th.

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Pete Ward – 1965 Topps no. 215

Named The Sporting News Rookie of the Year in 1963, Pete Ward seems to be the type of guy who would be a blast to have a beer with, eh? This is a beauty of a baseball card! Aren’t they all?

– Kris

unsung heroes: 1965 topps

June 16, 2009

Well crime fighters, I believe the last time we met I was discussing 1965 Topps baseball cards and sharing scans of the cards I have gotten autographed through the mail (TTM). Obviously excited by the prospect of having their mugs posted on Cards in the Attic, a number of retired players have been taking the time out of their busy schedules to autograph the vintage baseball cards I’ve sent them and drop them back into the mail. Not one to disappoint, here we go once again- this time listed in order of height.

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Larry Brown – 1965 Topps no. 468

I swear, I am listing these cards in order of player height (least tall to tallest), then alphabetically for ties. It is a simple coincidence that the first player, Larry Brown, shares my birthday. I really like this card with the interesting background and the label clearly visible on the bat. Either this photo was posed, or the Topps photographer following him around while he was trying to take some batting practice irritated Brown.

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Joe Azcue – 1965 Topps no. 514

Back to back Indians! Interestingly, like Brown, Azcue chose to sign his card at a 45-degree angle, and in approximately the same location on his card. I wonder if all 1965 Indians autograph their cards in this manner. I rather enjoy imagining Joe warming up to answer his fan mail by swinging two ballpoint pens before settling on the black one.

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John Kennedy – 1965 Topps no. 119

No, John Kennedy did not add the “NY” at the bottom of the card. The original owner of this card performed that documentation- probably early in 1967. Kennedy didn’t seem to mind the extra writing, or if he did, he didn’t cross it out. John Kennedy is one of those baseball players who launched a homer in his first at bat in the major leagues. His came off Minnesota Twins hurler Dick Stigman. Um… you MAY want to file that little bit of information away somewhere nearby. Another interesting factoid about John Kennedy is that he was born on JFK’s 24th birthday. Finally, I had to write Kennedy after learning that he was the person who allegedly branded Red Sox pitcher Bill Lee as the “Spaceman.”

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Joe Cunningham – 1965 Topps no. 496

Joe Cunningham spent 12 seasons in the major leagues. More than half of those years were bonus after Joe just missed being killed by a tornado that destroyed his St. Louis apartment in February of 1959. Like many retired players, Cunningham’s preferred writing instrument is a ballpoint pen.

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Dalton Jones – 1965 Topps no. 178

Best known for a base running blunder in which he was called out after bashing a grand slam, it should be pointed out the Dalton Jones remains the Boston Red Sox all-time pinch hits leader. Jones appears to be a fan of Sharpie pens.

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Al Weis – 1965 Topps no. 516

Interweb sources suggest that Al Weis was born on April 2, 1938. I’m not sure how they can justify their shoddy research attempts since Al’s April 1, 1940 birthday is clearly noted on the back of his 1965 Topps baseball card. A career light-hitting infielder, Weis elevated his offensive game in helping the Mets top the Orioles during the 1969 World Series. Weis’ weapon of choice appears to be some wide-tip black marker. It should be interesting to see how this autograph stands up over time.

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Hal Woodeshick – 1965 Topps no. 179

I just learned while writing this post that Hal Woodeshick passed away this past Sunday. I honestly had no idea that Hal was ill when I sent the card to him a couple of weeks ago. If I had, I certainly wouldn’t have bothered him for an autograph. That said, I am extremely grateful that he took the time to honor my request in spite of his poor health.

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Dick Stigman – 1965 Topps no. 548

Enter Dick Stigman… I’ve already mentioned his name once in this post. I obtained this card in trade not long ago from a fellow blogger. Somewhat poorly aligned and miscut, I felt that the best thing to do was to send it off and ask for an autograph. Stigman was happy to oblige, and now his card is perfect for my collection and I don’t need to find a better specimen to fill my set.

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Jim Lonborg – 2001 Topps Archives no. 272

(1965 Topps reprint no. 573)

Okay sure, technically speaking, this card is not from the 1965 Topps set. But I am a huge fan of cards like these from 2001 Topps Archives set, and decided to include it with the cards that it represents in spirit. My only complaint is the glossy finish that negates the extra thick card stock used in this product. This was the first time that I have written to Gentleman Jim. He has an amazingly quick turnaround of his fan mail.

Be sure to tune in next time for another exciting adventure in this signature series!

– Kris

the improbable dream: 1965 topps

May 29, 2009

Like many of you, I was born in 1965. I don’t remember the first time that I saw a baseball card that was issued in my birth year, but I can tell you that many years passed before I owned one. And that is really interesting considering what a great looking set of cards the sixty-fives are.

At some point after I picked up my copy of Frank Slocum’s Topps Baseball Cards: The Complete Picture Collection (A 35 Year History, 1951-1985), I studied the sixty-fives and developed a “wish list” of cards that I would like to pick up at least one of as a representative sample of the set. A couple of weeks later I commented to a buddy that I had been getting outbid on each of the single sixty-fives I had been trying to pick up on eBay. Frustrated, and obviously outgunned, I tabled that project for “another time.”

Not long after that, my pal Marty hooked me up with my first 1965 Topps baseball card. It wasn’t just any random card, but a sweet autographed Luis Aparicio card. Check it out!

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Luis Aparicio – 1965 Topps no. 410

Although I haven’t featured this card before, it has appeared here partially as I utilized it in part in a post about Steve Finley since he was also born in 1965. At any rate, I had pretty much come to terms with the notion that this was going to be THE card in my collection to represent the 1965 Topps set. At least I had one!

Then a strange and mysterious thing happened….

While conducting research for a blog article about the roots of my baseball collecting habits, I stumbled into a deal that resulted in the acquisition of a boatload of vintage cards the likes of which I never seriously thought possible. Long story short, I was able to add the goal of building a set of 1965 Topps baseball cards to my list of vintage cards to collect in addition to my other favorites– 1975 and 1972.

Don’t worry; I have no intention on discussing every single card in the 1965 set. I believe that Kevin of the Great 1965 Topps Project is doing a fantastic job of documenting this set. However, I will be posting scans of the cards that I end up getting autographed. Unless I mention otherwise, it is safe for you to assume that I am getting these cards signed through the mail, or “TTM.” I mailed the following four cards with short letters to players just over a week ago.

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Ty Cline – 1965 Topps no. 63

Ty Cline leads off since he will be celebrating a birthday on June 15th. If you happen to be planning on asking Tyrone to sign TTM, this would be a great opportunity as you could also send him a birthday card. Playing for Cincinnati, Cline was the first player to record an official at bat at Three Rivers Stadium during the summer of 1970. At the end of that same season, Ty scored the winning runs in the first and third games of the National League Championship Series as the Reds sent the Pirates migrating to the golf courses for the winter.

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Dal Maxvill – 1965 Topps no. 78

What can I say about Dal Maxvill that hasn’t already been written? Appropriately featured with his leather rather than a piece of lumber, Dal’s 1965 Topps card has it all. Noting that Maxvill supplemented his income by working as an electrical engineer during the off season, the Topps artist in charge of rendering his comic for the back went so far as to depicting Dal in the process of electrocuting himself.

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Max Alvis – 1965 Topps no. 185

Alvis was selected to the American League All-Star team in 1965 and 1967. The comic on the back of Alvis’ 1965 card indicates that the Jasper, Texas native tried his hand at pitching in the minors in 1959. Always searching for a hidden story, I decided to check into that. Yes, Max did pitch for the Alabama-Florida League Selma Cloverleafs- a single inning in which he walked one batter and struck out none. Of course, his lifetime ERA of 0.00 is nothing to sneeze at!

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Max Alvis – 1965 Topps Embossed no. 3

Never a fan of the foil slapped onto cards these days, I have to admit that these embossed 1965 Topps All-Star cards are extremely nifty. Even niftier when artfully autographed!

Again, I am actively seeking trades, and am interested in establishing long-term trading relationships with other collectors working on the 1965 Topps baseball card set (or any of the other vintage sets found in my online want lists). Don’t be shy!

– Kris