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,