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Thursday, October 11, 2007

More Brooklyn Beaters

So Duke doesn't get lonely on the blog, here's a collection of some more Bums from a happier time.

1989 Bowman Jackie Robinson 1950 reprint and 1960 Fleer Branch Rickey

Jackie's reprint card is paired up with an old Branch Rickey card for obvious reasons. Branch is proudly posing for his card as commissioner of the Continental League.

I don't own an original Jackie Robinson card, but I came really close one time. My aunt gave me two cassette tapes for my 15th birthday: U2's Joshua Tree and an Elton John Greatest Hits compilation. I didn't really get into U2 until college and the Elton tape wasn't good Elton, it was "I Guess That's Why They Call It The Blues" pop drivel Elton. I went to return them for the cash and lo and behold the mall was having a card show that day. Newly rich with about 26 bucks in my hands I started checking out all the tables full of cards. While I was looking, some dude came up to me out of nowhere and offered me the deal of a lifetime, a 1953 Topps Jackie Robinson card for 25 bucks. I was pretty stunned, '53 Topps was one of my favorite sets even back then and seeing a legend like Jackie was a bit overwhelming. I remember the card as being perfect, but you've seen my idea of Gem Mint. It was probably G/VG grade most likely. He basically said it's yours for 25 bucks, take it or leave it.

There were a lot of variables that went into my final decision. First of all, 15 year olds don't always have the best judgment. 25 dollars was a good price for that card even back then (my late 80's price guide shows it booking at exactly $25 in good condition), but that would mean spending most of my money in one shot. The seller wasn't a dealer with a table, he was just some guy. The whole thing seemed kind of shady to me. For all I knew he nabbed the card off someone's table and once I bought it mall security would haul me away as a thief. In the end I couldn't pull the trigger on the deal and I passed it up. There was too much other really cool looking stuff everywhere and I didn't want to blow my wad on one card. If I had just had an extra ten stashed in my pocket I might have gotten it. If I could have looked around just a bit or if he had come up to me about 20 minutes later I probably would have bought it. That card looked really nice to me. I ended with a pretty good haul from the show anyway including the only Topps Venezuelan cards I've ever even seen, let alone own. I still think about that Robinson card though.

1956 Topps Walter Alston and 1955 Topps Billy Herman

Two Hall of Famers here coaching the Bums. Walter is in the Hall for leading the Dodgers to seven pennants and four World Series titles. I'm not sure what Billy Herman is in the Hall of Fame for, but he's in and that's all that counts. These cards show the pitfalls of horizontal card designs. Everyone has to stoop over to fit on the card.

1953 Topps Roy Campanella

I don't have Jackie, but I got Campy. This is his best card as far as I'm concerned and you just have to see it to appreciate how good it looks. The Archives card just doesn't do it justice.

1952 Bowman Don Newcombe

I like Newk and I have a few of his cards. This one is easily the ugliest one I have and thus, my favorite. There are a lot of things to love about this card. The slouch, the stare, the arms that reach to his kneecaps. I could see the pose if Don was on the mound looking in for the sign from the catcher, but the empty bleachers sure doesn't make it look like he's in a game situation. I've seen plenty of cards where someone has written the year on the card, but I have no clue why someone felt it necessary to write it on his crotch.

1956 Topps Johnny Podres

Pitch a great game on just the right day, and you'll be remembered forever.

1954 Topps Joe Black

Joe had an incredible 1952 season where he won 15 and saved 15 games in relief for the Dodgers, then started 3 World Series games. Joe won the Rookie of the Year award, but then got his mechanics screwed up when manager Chuck Dressen told him to add some pitches to his repertoire. An enterprising young proofreader has updated Joe's card to reflect his 1955 trade to Cincinnati.

1955 Bowman Jim Gilliam

Another Negro League vet who won the Rookie of the Year award, Gilliam is one of the best players no one knows about. It's easy for a team to go to 7 World Series when guys like Jim are on the roster doing all the little things to help a team win.

1948 Leaf Gene Hermanski

I only have a couple '48 Leaf cards, I may as well show one of 'em off. This card looks a hell of a lot better in person.

1950 Bowman Carl Furillo

Why, yes. All of my Brooklyn Dodgers cards have a heavy crease, or scribbles all over it, or have been glued to a scrapbook at one point, or was chewed on by a dog, or went through the wash a couple of times, or all of the above, why do you ask? Furillo was actually a pretty good outfielder, but got overshadowed by all the other stars on those Dodger teams. Think Bobby Abreu on the Yankees. Kind of like that.

1954 Bowman Billy Cox

I'll leave off with that dude from the flea market's favorite player. One of these days I should really ask the guy his name. Comic Book Guy has a nice ring to it. Flea Market Baseball Card and Porn Guy, not so much.

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