12 April 2017

Hobby Archaeology: 1938 Anniston Star Anniston Rams

      I ran across this 'set' while doing research for another project of mine that involved wading through years of sports pages of local newspapers.  In 1938, the Anniston Rams, of Anniston, Alabama, were the B-level, Southeastern League affiliate of the Chicago White Sox.  As the Rams were in their inaugural season, the local Anniston Hardware Company sponsored a series of profiles to introduce the team to the city.  The newspaper didn't announce the series, or mention how many there would be or what the frequency of release would be, but I think this is the whole set (15 entries), as I couldn't find any more for the rest of 1938.

20 May 1938
Lena Styles
22 May 1938
Dick Adair
24 May 1938
Elmer Johnson
26 May 1938
Bennett Needham
29 May 1938
Eddie Roetz
08 June 1938
Vincent Svilich
10 June 1938
French White
12 June 1938
Arthur Rebel
14 June 1938
Collin Lancaster
16 June 1938
Dot Pittman
19 June 1938
Charles Parker
22 June 1938
C.J. (Bill) Finucane
24 June 1938
Everett Grossman
03 July 1938
Foster "Cowboy" Thornton
07 July 1938
Ray "Pepper" Adamski

28 January 2017

2002 Mizuno All Star Super Dream Cup Premium Cards

     I happened across this set of playing cards scouring Yahoo! Auctions Japan for Tuffy Rhodes cards, and managed to snag it for the minimum bid of ¥2000 (~$18USD).   From what I can gather, this set was a promotional give away with the purchase of Mizuno golf clubs in Japan sometime in 2002.  Presumably all of the players represented are well known Mizuno customers from a variety of sports.  Each athlete has two cards, with the Diamonds and Clubs featuring the same people, and the Hearts and Spades featuring the same people.  As it is a deck of playing cards, all of the backs are the same, as seen below beside the Joker.

The checklist is as follows:

AS Akiko Fukushima
KS Rivaldo
QS Ayako Okamoto
JS Taichi Teshima
10S Kimiyasu Kudo
9S Takenori Hiraishi
8S Hiroaki Morishima
7S Shinjiro Hiyama
6S Shuzo Matsuoka
5S Tuffy Rhodes
4S Tsuyoshi Yoneyama
3S Koji Akiyama
2S Satoru Komiyama

AH Akiko Fukushima
KH Rivaldo
QH Ayako Okamoto
JH Taichi Teshima
10H Kimiyasu Kudo
9H Takenori Hiraishi
8H Hiroaki Morishima
7H Shinjiro Hiyama
6H Shuzo Matsuoka
5H Tuffy Rhodes
4H Tsuyoshi Yoneyama
3H Koji Akiyama
2H Satoru Komiyama

AC Ichiro Suzuki
KC Hideki Matsui
QC Nobuhito Sato
JC Koji Murofushi
10C Yoshinobu Takahashi
9C Kasumi Fujii
8C Toshihisa Nishi
7C Atsushi Yanagisawa
6C Shingo Takatsu
5C Katsunori Kuwabara
4C Hideharu Miyahira
3C Toru Suzuki
2C Mikino Kubo

AD Ichiro Suzuki
KD Hideki Matsui
QD Nobuhito Sato
JD Koji Murofushi
10D Yoshinobu Takahashi
9D Kasumi Fujii
8D Toshihisa Nishi
7D Atsushi Yanagisawa
6D Shingo Takatsu
5D Katsunori Kuwabara
4D Hideharu Miyahira
3D Toru Suzuki
2D Mikino Kubo

JOKER Mizuno Logo
JOKER Mizuno Logo

The complete checklist with images is here: 2002 Mizuno All Star Super Dream Cup Premium Cards

20 January 2017

1992 - 1995 Sportsprint New York Yankees postcard set (update)

UPDATE - 20 January 2017

A Bernie Williams postcard has surfaced featuring Bernie at the bat, wearing a jersey featuring the "7" on the sleeve, memorializing Mickey Mantle who had died in August 1995.   That means the "1993" list is probably a mix of postcards from 1993, 1994 and 1995 (or even 1996 given how the #7 was only used late in the season).  Thanks to eagle-eyed Kid4hof03 on FreedomCardboard who pointed this out.

UPDATE - 31 December 2015

    Thanks to Michael over at New York Yankees baseball cards, we now have solid information for splitting these postcards into individual 1992 & 1993 sets.  The list below has been updated accordingly.

UPDATE - 25 June 2015

     I'm now thinking this is actually two or three separate sets, or the set was issued continuously over two or three years.  This morning on eBay I caught an auction with previously unseen cards of Danny Tartabull in a portrait shot, another Kevin Maas with a different photo and a Roberto Kelly.  Kelly wasn't even on my radar for some reason, even though he was an All-Star for the Yankees in 1992, so I don't know why I was surprised.  Checking the same seller's completed auctions turned up another lot that included Buck Showalter, Mark Conner and new-to-me cards of Clete Boyer and Yankee Stadium.

UPDATE - 15 January 2013

I saw the Maas postcard on eBay, so the set is now up to 26.  I'm going to start posting images of each postcard as I find them so collectors might have a slightly better chance of recognizing them.  I suspect the black & white cards are copies of the originals, but until I find color versions, these are all I have to work with.
UPDATE - 09 December 2011

     A couple more of these showed up on eBay recently, but they are no help in narrowing the set down to a single year as all six individuals were with the team from 1992-93.

UPDATE - 04 December 2012

A much larger assortment of these has hit eBay, bring the checklist up to 25.  I finally have verification of most of the starters of the team.


     The postcard arrived today, all the way from Los Angeles. It was interesting to see that as soon as I got my shipping notice, the seller immediately had a second one posted for sale. Considering he said he was given these as a gift, and he only had the Meulens, Showalter and Howe, he probably has a stack of them from an in-person signing from way back when. I have to revise my date estimate to either 1992 or 1993 as those were the only years Meulens and Howe were on the team together with Showalter at the helm. By 1994, Meulens would be playing in Japan and out of the Yankees system altogether.

Here are the front and back together:


     No joy on Googling SPORTSPRINT/ATLANTA aside from more references to that 1994 Greenville Braves set. Ditto for the photographers and what was presumably the outfit that provided the photos.

17 December 2016

1981 Baseball Cards Magazine Index [in-progress]

Baseball Cards, Spring 1981, Issue #1, Volume 1, No. 1

Cover: Honus Wagner, 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle, 1974 Topps Dave Winfield
"Errors Discovered in '81 Fleer"by Larry Fritsch, p14. Detailing the errors/corrections in the 1981 Fleer set.
"In'the Beginning..." by Vivian Barning, p18.  Collecting strategies to fit a budget.
"Is PVC Destroying Your Cards?" by Bob Lemke, pp28-30, 79.  A detailed explanation about the dangers of storing cards in PVC pages.
"Players in Plastic" by Bob Parker, pp32, 64.  Hartland Statues from the 1940s-1960s.
"An Investor's View of Baseball Cards" by Tony Galovich, pp37-40, 80-83.  An in-depth look at the finer points of various factors to account for when viewing baseball cards as investments.
"Collecting Your Favorite Team" by Doug Watson, pp42-48, 84-85.  St. Louis Cardinals collectibles.
"Before the Surgeon General's Report" by Lew Lipset, pp52-57, 78.  19th Century tobacco cards.
"The Cards That Go 'Clink' " by Jim Nicewander, pp58-63.  Baseball coins by Armour, Salada, Topps, Old London and Citgo.

Baseball Cards, Autumn 1981, Issue #2, Volume 1, No. 2
Cover: 1953 Topps Andy Pafko, tobacco cards

06 December 2016

Clyde's Stale News II

     For the first time ever, Panini is FINALLY issuing a baseball sticker set for a country other than the US or Venezuela.  Panini will be producing a sticker set and album for Liga de Beisbol Dominicano (LIDOM) this season.

18 November 2016

More Team Photos (with Bernie!)

     In a major score, a seller on eBay recently posted a ton of old team photos, and luckily for me, those included four previously unknown (to me) that included one Bernardo Brito!  The 1981 and 1983 photos are all folded three ways which leads me to believe they were mailed out on request, rather than handed out out at the ball park, the 1983 photo even having a Batavia business card attached.
     Bernie played the better part of four seasons in Batavia, New York, with the Trojans, who were the low A affiliate of the Cleveland Indians at the time. In this first picture, we have Bernie in his first professional season, standing on the left end of the back row.  Bernie didn't have a very structured introduction to baseball in the Dominican Republic, so 1981 would have been a major adjustment for him, speaking little to no English and really only knowing how to crush a baseball against teenage pitching.  That he is even in this photo at all is something of a surprise as he only played 12 games for Batavia in 1981.

     Despite his unimpressive initial showing, Bernardo returned to Batavia for the 1982 season, this time appearing in 41 of the team's 75 games that season.  He improved a bit, showed some of that pop he was signed for with four home runs, and actually stole a base, which is impressive as he only stole 24 in his entire minor league career.  Here, Bernie is in the third row, four down from the man in the suit.  I had to adjust the exposure on the scan as a black & white photo of all of those dark jerseys didn't make for a very good photo.  In any case, looks like Mr. Brito blinked at exactly the wrong time.

     1983 saw Bernardo Brito returning for his third season in Batavia.  This time around, he appeared in 60 games, and had improved enough that he was promoted to High A Waterloo for part of the season.  He didn't stick, though, his batting average dropping 40 points with the change of scenery and he was back in Batavia for the 1984 season.  Another case of the photographer apparently not using a fill light.  Had to adjust the levels again just to make out Bernardo's face.  This time he's on the back row, third from the right.

     The sellers that listed these apparently did not have a 1984 photo of either Waterloo or Batavia, but I did land this 1985 Waterloo Indians photo.  In 1984, Brito finally started to put the pieces together in his hitting game and finished with 19 home runs and a .300 batting average.  That was enough to earn him a promotion (again) to Waterloo for the '85 season.  This time around he did not disappoint and racked up  29 home runs, to lead the Midwest League.  Accordingly, Bernie would not spend another season in A ball and would be play the 1986 season with the Indians AA affiliate Waterbury Indians.

    After five years in A ball, Bernie finally made the jump to AA, in 1986, to play with the Waterbury Indians, and it took a bit of adjustment.  I've heard it said that the jump from A to AA is almost the same difference in level of competition as the jump from AA to the majors.  His average and power numbers dropped a bit, but not an an alarming amount.  He would recover all of that when the team moved to Williamsport in 1987.

    Skipping ahead to 1987, Bernardo made what at first glance appears to be a lateral move, but in fact was just him repeating a grade.  After the 1986 season, Cleveland moved their AA Eastern League affiliate from Waterbury to re-establish baseball in Williamsport, Pennsylvania (which had been without baseball since the Williamsport Tomahawks closed up shop in 1976) with the creation of the Williamsport Bills.  Bernie put up another good year at AA, batting .277 and clobbering 24 home runs, tops in the Eastern League.  1987 would be the final year for Brito in the Indians organization as he would be released the following spring, to be signed as a free agent by the Twins the following week.