Saturday, May 12, 2018

Apparently they called this guy 'Earache'

Well, I'm pleased to announce that my C46 collection has doubled in size! I haven't been aggressively pursuing this set (there are some pretty high grade C46 Toronto players on eBay right now, but at $100 a pop, I'm not interested), but I do look now and again to see if any reasonably-priced C46s are up. I got lucky last week -- as I managed to score my second C46 for a reasonable price, and, from a Canadian seller. It's not very often that it works out that way for me.

The new addition is utility player Benny Meyer, though his C46 lists is name as Benny 'Meyers'. I've known of Benny Meyers for years, but to be honest, I'm only now learning about Benny Meyer. My awareness of the player stems from just knowing about the C46 set, but until researching him right now, I didn't even know his name was *really*, Meyer. Sorry about that, Benny.

Now I know a whole lot more. Bernard Meyer was born in Hematite, Missouri in 1885, and had a pretty lengthy playing career. It spans 21 years, though there are a couple of years in there he wasn't playing. Between 1904-1912 he played in the Iowa League of Professional Baseball Clubs, the Texas League, the American Association, the Eastern League, and then, in 1912, the International League, with Toronto, which is the feature of this card. Benny appeared in 134 games in Toronto that year, and batted an impressive 0.343, according to Baseball Reference. Meyers played with Toronto again in 1913, but that was the year he finally broke through to the big leagues, where he played 38 games with the Brooklyn Nationals. His timing worked out well in a baseball card sense, because he was around at just the right time to be included in the T200 set. In 1914 and 1915 he played in the Federal League (Baltimore in 1914, and then Baltimore and Buffalo in 1915). Though he appears to have played the entirety of both seasons, he didn't land on a Cracker Jack, unfortunately. He did, however, manage to score a place in the 1914 Baltimore News set. If you're not familiar with that set, you should check it out. It contains a fairly significant minor league card of a guy named George Herman Ruth.

From 1917-1919, Meyers bounced around between the Southern Association, the Western League, and the Southwestern League, before playing his last games in 1925 with the Philadelphia Nationals.

After his playing days ended, he coached briefly, first with the Philadelphia Nationals, then in 1929, the Detroit Tigers. It is here, it seems, where he scored himself the nickname 'Earache." According to the June 6, 1929 edition of the Sporting News, Meyers joined the Tigers at the request of Bucky Harris to help bring the energy level up at Tigers games like Hughie Jennings used to. Describing Meyer's loudness and energy, the article states: "Benny carries his own hookup and has a range of up to and exceeding 1,000 cycles." It further notes that some of the cruel gentleman that have heard him have nicknamed him the "earache".  "It doesn't matter what the situation or out look may be, Benny stays with 'em. He raves, rants and hollers. Then he hollers some more."

In 1945 he managed the Grand Rapids Chicks of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League.

And all that, learned from buying a baseball card. Man I love this hobby.

Thanks for reading,


Monday, February 19, 2018

How about a prewar Toronto card?

In my last post, I mentioned getting a PWE from Jon in the mail and assuming it was something I had won on eBay. I didn't open it right away, and only after my real eBay winnings arrived did I realize my mistake. Fortunately, Jon was very understanding, but he did ask to see the eBay winning.

Well, here it is. This is a 1912 C46 Imperial Tobacco card. I believe, it's the only Canadian tobacco issue of baseball cards.The set contains 90 cards featuring players from the International League. The entire set is has a brown wood-grain finish, over a beveled edge. The player's photo is in an oval surrounded by baseball equipment, and below all of that, a name plate.

74 of the 90 players in this set have major league experience. The key card has to be Chick Gandil, featured with Montreal. Other notable cards include Dummy Taylor (Montreal). There are also manager cards of Joe Kelley (Toronto), Joe McGinnity (Newark) and Jack Dunn (Baltimore).

For Canadian content, the set has Bill O'Hara (with Toronto) and Rube Vickers (with Baltimore).

So what about Tony Smith? It's probably obvious that I bought this card because it features a Toronto player. If not, well, I bought this card because it features a Toronto player. I never posted about it, but I completed my 1977 O-Pee-Chee Blue Jays team set, and wanted to dabble at something else. So this is me, dabbling. There are 13 Toronto players in this set, including the aforementioned Bill O'Hara and Joe Kelley. I hope to be able to assemble all 13.

Back to Tony. According to the back of he card, he was acquired by Toronto during the 1911 season. He played in 55 games, and was sold to Wilkesbarre, of the New York State League, at the end of the season. I find that amusing. Why print this card, then? Why not include somebody actually on the roster in 1912? Oh well.

Most of Smith's 15-seasons were spent in the minor leagues, but he is among the 74 players in the set with major league experience. He spent parts of the 1907 season with Washington, as well as 1910 and part of 1911 with Brooklyn. He does have a T205.

According to baseball-reference, Smith never actually played with Wilkesbarre. It only shows him playing with Sioux City of the Western League. After two years with Sioux City, he played for Galveston in the Texas League, spent two seasons with Lincon in the Texas League, and then returned to Sioux City. It appears he didn't play again after the 1918 season.

So there you have it. One down, twelve to go. Maybe, if I get ambitious, I'll put up a separate page to track this team set build.

Thanks for reading.


Saturday, February 10, 2018

Gold Monday, brought to you by Black Friday (and Jon)

About two weeks ago, I won an auction on eBay. It was for a 1912 C46 of Tony Smith. This past Monday, I received a PWE in the mail, assumed it was that card, and set it aside for the weekend (it was a busy week). Then on Thursday, I received a second PWE in the mail. Cards twice in the same week is a rarity for me, so of course I was confused.

And of course, I wasn't waiting until the weekend to solve this mystery. I made a point of finding some time to open both envelopes to see what was going on. As soon as I picked up the "Monday envelope", I was embarrassed. Clear as day on that envelope was the name, and address, of none other than Jon over at A Penny Sleeve for your Thoughts. I've talked before about his Jonerousity, so maybe I shouldn't have been surprised, but I absolutely was.

The first thing I did was email Jon to thank him, and fully admit my guilt.
He was totally cool about it. He's good people.

So what gives, right? Well, according to the note with the cards, Jon was doing some COMC Black Friday shopping, and saw a few 1994 CC Golds that I didn't have in my set, so he scooped 'em up, and sent them along to me. His note claims that these cards are "Nothing overly spectacular", but he's totally wrong. Check these out...

I grew up collecting in the 80s and 90s. Jeff Bagwell was a big deal. Plus, he's a hall-of-famer, now, so really, he still *is* a big deal. These team checklists are so great, but in gold? Even better.

Next up, Pat Listach. Another checklist, which is awesome, and a card that was super elusive in base and silver for me. Listach played with Milwaukee from 1991-1996, and then just to make sure this post had a complete Houston theme, he joined the Astros in 1997. 500 big league games in 6 years seems like a solid career. According to wikipedia, he now manages the Tacoma Raniers.

Rounding out the trifecta is Scott Servias. After 11 seasons in the bigs, Servais now manages in Washington state, but it's for the Mariners. I honestly didn't know that. He's only been in that position since like October of 2016, though, so I mean that's still pretty fresh news, right?

Thanks to Jon, I've now got 303 of the 670 cards needed to complete the gold set. With 367 still needed, I have a ways to go, but this is still a blast.

Thanks again, Jon. This was a sweet surprise!

Thanks for reading,


Sunday, June 4, 2017

A PWE adds 1 and 3

A few weeks ago, I put some Jays cards in the mail for Kevin (The Card Papoy). He's a Blue Jays collector among other things, and though he collects modern Jays cards, I'm pretty sure all of it is a giant front. What he truly covets is 1980s mustaches. You know the ones. Lloyd Moseby, Ernie Whitt, Rance Mulliniks. There are some late '70s and early 90s ones too. Pretty convenient that the Jays first season just *happens* to be in the late '70s.

Anyway, Kevin's particular collecting niche works well for me, because I usually don't have trouble finding surplus mustaches for his wantlist.

The cards I sent him got us talking, and 1994 Collector's Choice came up. He went through some of his extra stuff (aka. non-mustaches), and managed to dig out a few cards to help me chip away at my Gold and Silver parallel sets.

Truthfully, these arrived over a week ago. I'm sorry they're only being shared now. But trust me, this extra help is hugely appreciated. Thanks Kevin!

Starting off with the gold, we've got Brett Butler with the Dodgers. Butler, making what appears to be a throw from the outfield of Wrigley, is card 291 in my quest. So close to half-way. Total aside: I did a stadium tour at Wrigley a few years ago. Why don't they let you take your picture with the ivy in the backdrop?! Just makes no sense to me. I even told them I'd pay extra to do it. I would. Oh well, back to cardboard.

The three silver cards Kevin sent bring me to 622 in that quest. Only 48 more! First up, Dave Hollins with the Phillies. This card is particularly amusing to me. Or maybe the right word is confusing. He's wearing a batting helmet, and looks to be running counter-clockwise. Maybe first-to-second, given the angle of the photo and where the wall is? I mean, he could be going second to third, too. Either way, if that is what he's doing, then the next thing you'd figure is that he's looking into the outfield to watch the play unfold. In fact, his eyes might suggest he's watching a fly ball. So after all of that, now let's look at his left wrist. Or rather, the ball. By his left wrist. So what the Hollins is actually going on in this photo?!

The last pair of cards to look at are Ryan Klesko and Turk Wendell. I remember Klesko being a big deal in the early 90's, but what I really remember is reading an article in SI about him tagging along with the cops in his spare time on a drug bust. Thanks to the power of the Internet, you can find that article here.

Rounding out the PWE, we have Turk Wendell. I'm sure the Upper Deck folks were as intrigued with his quirkiness as I was am. His is my favourite card in the 1992 Upper Deck set, because it shows him brushing his teeth between innings and speaks of his other superstitions on the back -- never stepping on the foul lines being one of them. I went looking to see if he has a 1993 Upper Deck card to see what craziness it captures, but it seems he doesn't have one. What I did learn, though, is that this exact photo appears on the back of his 1994 Donruss card, and that the photo of the back of his 1994 CC card (sorry, too lazy to scan) appears on the back of his 1994 Pinnacle card.

Anyway, there you go. Four cards closer to the summit.

Thanks Kevin!



Sunday, April 30, 2017

Penny Sleeve Contest Win!

If you read this blog, then you probably also read Jon's "A Penny Sleeve for your Thoughts" blog. If you don't read it, well, you really should head over there and add it to your blog roll.

A few weeks ago, Jon had a contest to celebrate his 168th post. It sounds funny when I type it out, but that's the truth. You can read more about the contest here. You have probably figured out by now that I won the contest. The prize for the contest was $15 in COMC credit, which is damn generous. Actually, as Jon and I started to exchange emails, I realized he's just an all around nice guy, and just seems to be naturally generous. The blogsophere should probably just start calling him Jonerous.

Now, cards.I put a lot of thought into how to spend the winning credits over at COMC. Initially, I felt a bit of pressure to try to do something epic with it. Like I owed it to the rest of the contest entrants to make sure I did everyone proud. I spent a good while on COMC trying to figure out how much epic you can do with $15. It turns out, you can actually get quite a bit of mileage out of it. But, every time I felt I found something that would do y'all proud, it occurred to me that it wasn't something that fit into my fairly narrow collecting focus. As a guy that's decided to pursue the 1994 Collector's Choice set in base, silver and gold, it ultimately made the most sense to try to further those endeavours. The thing is, I'm trying to collect that gold series on a budget, so really, those credits were a way to stretch that budget some.

Wanna see some cards?

This whole idea to build the set started as I neared completion of my gold Toronto Blue Jays team set. I think I knew all along that I'd go after the Expos next, and any time I can add to that team set, I'm gonna. So Alou and DeShields were no-brainers.

Bobby Bonilla was an easy pick. I know almost nothing about him, never followed him, nothing. But his 1988 Topps card was one of the first cards I ever busted from a pack, so his name always jumps out. Plus, that dive just looks so awkward, how do you pass on it?

Really don't know what to tell you about this card. Lance Johnson is another name that always jumps out at me, though I have no idea why. This one looks like Johnson just slid in at home on a dry day at the ballpark.

The name. Like Cornelius Alexander McGillicuddy, it's just one of those names you don't forget.

The last two I don't have much of a story for. They just happened to be a pair of golds that I need for my set and were available at a price that I could sneak them both in for under the $15 cap. So I did. And then an interesting thing happened.

I emailed Jon my list, and he came back a few days later saying he'd gone the 'best offer' route and managed to get all of the cards and leave me with some money left to spend. So I bounced around the site one more time, didn't see any golds I needed for that price, didn't see any silvers I needed for that price, and then went to my checklist to see if there were any base cards I needed that were preventing me from completing the frankenset (ie. where I didn't have the base, silver or gold for a given player). There was one player: Oresetes Destrade.

So I shot Jon an email and asked for that guy. Jon went me one better ... he had a duplicate in his collection and would throw it in. And then things got really interesting. After a bit of looking, it turned out Jon had all eleven 1994 base cards I was missing! And guess what? And yep, he's Jonerous, remember? He included 'em all. And as sweet as Destrade's glasses are in his card, the other cards just happen to be even cooler. Check out a few of the highlights:

Right?! Just some extras thrown in there because I didn't spend the last little bit of the credit HE GAVE ME. I mean, by now, it shouldn't be surprising. There's no other word for it. The guy is flat out Jonerous.

And we're not even done yet. I was perusing his site at one point and noticed he had a few 1994 golds listed. I asked if he'd let me swap some of my dupes and a few extra Joe Carter cards that were on his want list to add another pair of golds to my set. He agreed, but passed on the gold duplicates. So I sent him a few Carter cards, and he came back with this beauties:

I don't even know what to say anymore. He offers up the contest, he offers up the sweet prize, he throws in the 11 missing base cards to complete my 1994 Collector's Choice base set, and is still interested in working out a trade to send me these extra cards.

An extreme contest win in my books.

Thank you SO MUCH Jon!

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Trading my way to a mini-milestone...

Just a quick post, today, mostly to send a shout out to Chris (aka. casejonz).

Chris and I met through Zistle and have swapped Carter cards in the past. He's a solid dude, and has amassed one heck of a Carter collection. As I've been re-focusing my Carter collection, I reached out to him to see if there was a snowball's chance that some of my "discards", might fill a hole in his wantlist. Admittedly, I was surprised to be able to send him some cards he didn't already have, but he wasted no time in reciprocating, as he'd been setting aside some 1994 CC silver for me. And not just your run of the mill 1994 CC but some serious HOFers.

He also happened to have available the one remaining 'Team vs Team' card I needed, so he gets the distinct honour of being "that guy" that helped put that set to rest of me. To date, that means I've completed the Home Run All-Stars, and now, the Team vs. Team. Still have work to do on the other sets, but it's nice to reach a mini-milestone. And Chris' help didn't stop there.

He'd set aside a pair of Big Hurt cards for me. One I needed, and the other, I didn't *technically* need, but in turns out the one he sent was actually a solid upgrade to the one I had. A while back I bought a lot of 1994 Silver and quite a few of them were very scratched and even kind of dirty. Was quite happy to swap out for a cleaner/crisper card, and actually replaced a Clemens card the same way. And it's only now, as I'm typing this, that I see that Thomas is about to lay a tag on a diving Rickey Henderson. Cool.

The other Thomas card Chris sent along was the team card. The 1994 Collector's Choice has some excellent subsets. The full-bleed team checklists are as good as it gets. Awesome player selection, awesome images. Differentiating the gold and silver signatures on this subset can be tough. Still a really sweet set of photos.

Saving the best for last, The Captain. I couldn't agree to a trade fast enough when Chris mentioned that he had a Silver Jeter set aside for me. I managed to pull the base Jeter from the only Series 2 box that I opened, but not the silver. The gold definitely still eludes me, and will for a while, but I'm thrilled to have the silver in the mix. I read today that he's going to try to buy the Marlins along with a group of investors. No idea if it'll work out; it sounds like there are some other wealthy groups in competition for the team, but I'll certainly be watching that story unfold.

But there you have it. Was definitely thrilled to open this trade package. I'm now 48 cards away from completing the 1994 Collector's Choice Silver set.

Thanks for the trade Chris, and for including all of the extras!

Thanks for reading.