Saturday, April 26, 2014

Braves A to Z - Starting With The Best

I decided to organize my Braves collection by player since scanning and posting by year makes me try to come up with different things to say about the same player.

I have literally do have cards from A and Z (Zuvella) to post about.  Some posts will be dedicated to one player if I have enough of their cards and they merit their own post.

David Aardsma is the first major league player alphabetically but the first hitter listed is Henry Aaron. 

Braves fans still consider Aaron the true Home Run King.  Turner Field is located at 755 Hank Aaron Blvd. That is until they move to Cobb County in a couple of years and I stop watching them.  (Yes, I feel that strongly about it.)

I picked up most of my early Aaron cards by trade at my favorite card show and have gotten some in trades from other bloggers.  The condition of most is far from perfect but considering my budget and desire to complete years I'll worry about condition later on.  All of the cards on this post are from when Hank was an active player.  It does not include the 1975 or 1976 Topps cards as he was a Brewer by then.

1962 Topps 320

Only 34 HR in 1961 but 120 RBI and .327 BA.

1963 Topps 1 - 1962 NL Batting Leaders

Hank was 5th with a .323 average.  Tommy Davis had by far his best year in 1962.  Nice card with 3 HOF players (Aaron, Musial, Robinson).

1964 Topps 11 - 1963 NL RBI Leaders

Hank won the RBI title by 19 over Boyer.  As proven by this card and the previous, Bill White had some really good years.

1968 Topps 370 - All Star

1969 Topps 100

Hank only hit 29 HR with 85 RBI and a .287 BA in 1968 but that was the year that the whole league hit .243 and Bob Gibson had a 1.12 ERA.

1970 Topps 462 - All Star

1972 Topps 87 - 1971 NL RBI Leaders

Three HOFer's on one card.  (OK, Torre is getting in as a manager but he was a good player.)

1972 Topps 89 - 1971 NL Home Run Leaders

At the age of 37. Hank hit the most HR of his career in 1971 with 47.

1972 Topps 299

In 1979 or 1980 one of the youth directors at my church gave me a box of cards.  These 1972 were included.  I think it was all of his doubles.  As you can see, this card got a lot of love from me over the years.

1973 Topps 100

1974 Topps 1

This card was printed before Hank broke the home run record.  Topps was very confident that he would hit at least two dingers in 1974.

1974 Topps 2 - 6 Hank Aaron Specials

I finally completed this subset at the last show I went to.  As part of its tribute to Aaron Topps shows all of his regular issue cards from 1954 to 1973.

I have other Aaron cards that I will post next.

Can anyone guess the next player after Hank that I will be posting about?

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Still here

My apartment is being renovated so I have almost everything packed up, including my scanner.  I hope to post something this weekend.

Meanwhile I'm trying to settle the heart palpitations that the Braves just gave me by trying to blow a 9th inning lead.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Braves Collection - Early Topps

I'm not a big fan of the larger cards that Topps produced from 1952 to 1956 so I haven't started actively pursuing Braves cards from those years.  I will eventually get around to it if I can find some good deals.  I don't have a Braves card from 1952 Topps. 

1951 Topps Blue Back - Topps first baseball issue was two series of game cards.  One with red backs and one with blue backs.  They are smaller than the picture below.

12 Sam Jethroe - Sam was the Braves first African-American player and won the NL Rookie of the Year award in 1950 after leading the league in stolen bases at age 33.

The back is blue.  Go figure.

1953 - I like the artwork of these cards but I think the black bar should have extended across the entire card.

197 Del Crandall - The artist gives Del a light unibrow.  Del has no stats for 1952 as he was in the military.

The signature over the biographical info makes it hard to read and was is "Strike Outs" in quotes in the trivia question.  This back design is way too busy.

1954 - Why two pictures?

79 Andy Pafko - Is that Angel Andy or Devil Andy floating over his shoulder?

I like the backs of these cards.  The variety of colors makes it interesting and the stats are easy to read.

1955 - Topps goes landscape.  Still not a fan of two pictures but I like these better than the 1954.

117 Mel Roach - Mel was actually in the military in 1955 and 1956 so I'm not sure why Topps felt compelled to make a card of him, especially since he was 0 for 6 in his career at this point.

Topps went with a more muted color scheme than the previous year and it makes the back kind of drab.

1956 - The last year of the oversize cards brings us another landscape design.  I like this one a lot better than the 1955.

219 Lew Burdette - The Braves top right-handed starter for several years.  I'm not sure why they show a pitcher base running.  Was he safe or out?

Seems like they muted the color scheme a bit more with the change to the grey cardboard.

Starting with 1957 I have many more cards for each year so I'll scan my favorites but not every one.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Braves Collection - 1953 to 1955 Bowman

I only have 4 Bowman cards from 1953 - 1955.  The cards are much bigger than the previous years.  They are as tall as the Topps cards of the era but slightly narrower.

The images are smaller than the actual cards.

1953 - A "pure" card design.  This was the first year Bowman used photos. This is from the color set.  I do not have any cards from the black & white set.

83 Jack Daniels - Played only one year in the majors in 1952 and hit .187.  The Braves moved to Milwaukee right before the beginning of the 1953 season so Jack is shown as a Boston Brave.

One of my favorite card back designs from the 1950's.  Good information and finally some stat lines from Bowman.

1954 - The colored box for the faux signature detracts from the design.

16 Jim Wilson - Jim played for the Braves for 4 seasons.  Two with Boston and two with Milwaukee.  He won 12 games in 1952.

I like the bat and ball motif for the name and card number and a trivia question is always welcome.

32 Del Crandall - Del returned from two years of military duty to post a .272-15-51 season and earn his first All-Star game trip.

1955 - Bowman decided that Color TV was the latest fad to take advantage of and gave us this classic wood grain design.  The white box with the block name detracts from the beauty of the card.

11 Bill Bruton - Bill led the league in stolen based each year from 1953 to 1955.

This card back seems kind of thrown together to me.

Topps bought Bowman out in 1956.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Braves Collection - 1952 Bowman

1952 was the Braves last season in Boston before moving to Milwaukee.

I got 4 of these cards at the last show but already forgot which one. (Brain getting old.)

Once again the pictures are pretty much actual size.

12 Max Surkont - Max won 12 games as a starter in both 1951 and 1952.

72 Earl Torgeson - After the duplicate artwork of 1950 and 1951 Bowman finally gave us a new look for Earl.

97 Willard Marshall - Was sent to the Reds during the 1952 season.  "Reds" is written in ink on the top right corner of the card back.

100 Sibby Sisti - Spent his entire 13 year career with the Braves.  He led the league in errors as a third baseman with 41 in 1941.

132 Dave Cole - Dave had a six year career as a reliever and spot starter, four of which he spent with the Braves.

192 John Cusick - Also known as Jack.  Hit .174 in his two year major league career.  I do remember that this is one of the cards I got at the last show.  From what I can tell this was his only mainstream baseball cards.

208 Walker Cooper - After two years over .300 is batting average dipped to .235 in 1952.

215 Sheldon Jones - Had a record of one win and four losses in his only year as a Brave in 1952.

When actually holding a card all of the text appears to be black.  Because of the baseball cap offer at the bottom there is less room for the biographical information than there was on the 1951 cards.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Braves Collection - 1951 Bowman

For those of you that don't know, the Braves started in Boston in 1870 as part of the start of the National League.   They moved to Milwaukee in 1953 and Atlanta in 1966.

These images are pretty much the exact size of the cards.

20 Del Crandell - Del was in the military in 1951 and 1952 before returning to the club in Milwaukee.

66 Bob Elliott - Had three 100 RBI seasons in five seasons with the Braves before being traded to the Giants.

The backs feature easy to read blue text with biographical information and statistical highlights.

98 Willard Marshall -  Willard had the worst season of his career in 1950 but was in the top 10 in triples in 1951.

99 Earl Torgeson - Bowman used the same art from 1950 for this card.

135 Walker Cooper - 1951 was the second consecutive season with a .313 for the Braves main backstop.

207 Billy Southworth - Billy led the Braves to the pennant in 1948 but did not last through the 1951 season.  He would not manage in the Major Leagues again.  Was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2008 by the veteran's committee mostly on his work with Cardinals in the early 1940's.  He lead the Cardinals to World Series titles in 1942 and 1944.

I like the 1951 design because of the nice, clear name box on the front and the increase in size from the 1950 version.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Braves Collection - 1950 Bowman

I got all of my 1950 Bowman for $3 a piece at the monthly card show I went to a couple of weekends ago.  I usually attend this show about 6 times a year depending on how it falls with my pay schedule.  I dealt with the dealers I normally deal with that had some 1976 Topps that I needed to get toward set completion and then spotted this box that had 1949 - 1954 Bowman and even some 1952 Topps for $3 a piece.  I only had $30 to spend so I got 6 1950 and 4 1952 Bowman I needed for my collection.

The pictures are larger than the actual cards.

73 Willard Marshall - Received in a trade with the Giants after the 1949 season.

110 Tommy Holmes - The 1945 NL Batting Champion.  This card has an X drawn in blue pen on the back.

111 Walker Cooper - The netting in the background looks like someone drew on it in pen but it is part of the picture.

163 Earl Torgeson - Was injured most of the 1949 season.

The back of the 1950 Bowman is landscape with biographical information including some basic stats.  Born in Snohomish.  Awesome!

164 Sibby Sisti - One of the best baseball names ever.

192 Bob Chipman - Received in trade from the Cubs before the 1950 season.

I'm hoping that this vendor is at one of the future shows as I will make sure I have a pocketful of cash.  These cards were a great bargain.

Cards I Ain't Got No More - Non-Sport Autographs

Back in 2010 there were repacks of Donruss Americana and Popcardz that came with one guaranteed hit per repack.  They were pretty cheap and ...