Friday, May 26, 2017

Day Twenty Nine - 1919-1921 W514 Gavvy "Cactus" Cravath

Day 29: A Favorite Card From Before 1950

Taking the lead from Tony at Off-Hiatus Baseball Cards this will be the twenty-ninth of 30 posts, using the prompts provided. I won't necessarily post one every day, but I will do one for each card, toss in a few "insights" (as insightful as I can be, anyway), and usually include an honorable mention or two, just because I'm like that.

Here's my pick! Gavvy Cravath was the premier power hitter of the 1910s. People bring up "Home Run" Baker, but his nickname came from a single World Series homer, not from terrorizing pitchers all season long like Cactus Cravath. Cravath's first name is actually Clifford - he got the name Gavvy as a shortened version of Gaviota, a graceful Pacific Coast bird that he either resembled in the outfield, or that he killed with a hard hit ball. The "Cactus" nickname is also due to his origins in the Southwest United States. He led the league in homers 6 times in the 1910s, including an at the time unheard of 24 homers in 1915. He has a great quote about the joys of being a power hitter in an era of "Small Ball" -- he declared "I steal bases with my bat."
Since these are one card posts, why not share the backs? Maybe when there's nothing on the back, it's less interesting. The W514 set were originally sold in strips of 10 cards at a time, and features 7 of the "Eight Men Out," including Shoeless Joe Jackson. There are 120 cards total in the set, Cactus Cravath is the only one I have. He's listed as a member of the Philadelphia Quakers, which was another name for the Phillies franchise at the time. I've shared it before, but I recommend reading his SABR biography - written by Bill Swank.

Some Honorable Mentions-
It's like I'm a Gavvy Cravath supercollector! Here's his T206 card.

Gabby Street was a Catcher for the Washington Senators from 1908-1911. This is a 1911 S74 Silk "card" - his claim to fame (beyond being an accomplished defender behind the plate) was catching a ball dropped from the top of the Washington Monument on the National Mall in DC.

Barely making the pre-1950 cut is this 1948 Leaf card of Johnny Vandermeer - the Cincinnati Reds hurler tossed two no-hitters in a row, a feat which I doubt will be matched. Pete Rose often said that it was this record that would never be broken, even safer than his hit record. He rightly points out the difficulty in matching it, but surpassing it would mean tossing three  no-hitters in a row in the major leagues. There's a High School pitcher in New Hampshire that has a streak of 4 no-hitters  going right now. The all-time record in High School is 6. Two different pitchers threw 6 consecutive no-hitters in High School. That's insane.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Day Twenty Eight - 2002 Upper Deck SP Legendary Cuts Minnie Minoso #S-MMi

Day 28: A Favorite Relic / Manufactured Relic Card

Taking the lead from Tony at Off-Hiatus Baseball Cards this will be the twenty-eighth of 30 posts, using the prompts provided. I won't necessarily post one every day, but I will do one for each card, toss in a few "insights" (as insightful as I can be, anyway), and usually include an honorable mention or two, just because I'm like that.

Here's my pick- in my opinion, a "relic" should be from a bygone era. The older, the more relic-y it is. Minoso played his last MLB game (the first time) back in 1964. Then in 1977. Then in 1980. He even suited up for the Minor League Saint Paul Saints as recently as 2003. He's the only player to play in the 21st Century that also played in the Negro Leagues. This card isn't a "sick patch" or laundry tag or a book with buttons or anything like that - just a simple design that features a relic of an all-time great.

Since these are basically one card posts, why not share the backs? If the back of the card is accurate, the relic is at least from 1959, if not older. Cleveland was the first team Minoso played for in the big leagues, back in 1949, and he returned for two more seasons in the late 50s. I miss Upper Deck baseball, I hope they get another chance to make some cards in the future.


Honorable mentions!
I like a clean design most of the time, but a little craziness can be welcome as well. I like to pretend that the relic on the Kirby Puckett card is from the bat he hit the home run with in Game 6.

Topps Lineage was fun as well- every pack had a fun insert- there were some pretty heavy hitters in there as well as relics. Kennys Vargas is an example of how Panini is able to stay competitive - if you can't show the logo, might as well have a swatch that features as much as you can get away with. Murray, Jackson, and Oliva are all cards that meet my personal criteria for a good relic. A retired player, an interesting design, and the relic itself is featured without overwhelming the card.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Day Twenty Seven - 2013 MCPA Joe Mauer #3 of 9

Day 27: A Favorite Oddball From the 1990s or later

Taking the lead from Tony at Off-Hiatus Baseball Cards this will be the twenty-seventh of 30 posts, using the prompts provided. I won't necessarily post one every day, but I will do one for each card, toss in a few "insights" (as insightful as I can be, anyway), and usually include an honorable mention or two, just because I'm like that.

Here's my pick - The Minnesota Crime Prevention Association has a set that they release each year. In 2013, they decided to rip off the 1972 Topps design, and I think they did a very nice job of it! The set has varied in size over the years, but they always have a different tip on each card for kids to avoid a life of crime. There apparently wasn't a card about intellectual property / copyright in this year's set. There was a certain wry humor in having Mauer associated with medication safety, as this was the season that altered his career forever when he suffered a concussion that ended his catching career.

Since these are basically one card posts, why not share the backs? Fun Facts! Medication is not candy!

Some honorable mentions:
I'm a big fan of holograms, the minor leagues, and multi-sport athletes. These four cards fill in all those requirements.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Day Twenty Six - 1987 Mother's Cookies Chili Davis #3

Day 26: A Favorite Oddball From the 1980s

Taking the lead from Tony at Off-Hiatus Baseball Cards this will be the twenty-sixth of 30 posts, using the prompts provided. I won't necessarily post one every day, but I will do one for each card, toss in a few "insights" (as insightful as I can be, anyway), and usually include an honorable mention or two, just because I'm like that.

Here's my pick - Mother's Cookies are a mostly West Coast phenomenon. I don't think I've ever had one of the cookies, and other than some Chuck Knoblauch Rookie of the Year inserts, I didn't see any of these cards in person as a kid. I found this awesome Chili Davis card while looking for cards to go in my "At the Bat Rack" mini collection. Chili brings the bat rack with him.  
Since these are basically one card posts, why not share the backs as well? I would love to get this card signed at some point - Davis might make a Twinsfest appearance some day, but he's the Red Sox hitting coach right now.

How about some honorable mentions?
Not really an oddball, but I am a fan of the All-Star inserts from 80s Rack Packs, as well as the Glossy Send-in All-Star set. The "Eight Men Out" set was a fun diversion, and I've shared my love of Box Bottom cards before (Dwight Gooden from 1985 Donruss), and this Eric Davis card is no exception.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Out of the Blue

Imagine my surprise to find a small mailer from Canada in my mailbox this week.


Douglas from Sportscards from the Dollarstore, sent a mix of new and recent Twins.


I opened a whole box Gypsy Queen, but I still needed the Dozier and Kepler cards.


Some 2013 Topps Pro Debut - All 6 of these guys have made it to the show - 4 of them are on the Twins roster today.

Big fan of these framed Gypsy Queen cards.


Kennys Vargas! He had a game tying 9th inning pinch hit homer.  The Harmon Killebrew Coin/Card was really heavy - probably bumped up the shipping fees a bit on its own! Thanks very much Douglas.