Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Ebay Treats (Part 2)

Cost: $1.00
Details:  1976 Topps #270
Card Comment:  I like the front design of this set but the back with black writing on a dark green background makes it difficult to read.

Stargell used a sledgehammer to warm up in the on-deck circle.  At one point in his career he held the record for the longest homers hit in almost half of the ballparks in the NL.

Don Sutton once said of Stargell: "I never saw anything like it.  He doesn't just hit pitchers, he takes away their dignity."

Cost:  $1.00
Details: 2007 Topps Chrome #162 (Red Refractor, s/n: #94/99).

Cost: $2.00
Details:  2007 UD Masterpieces #SG-HS (auto)
Card Comment:  All Stroke of Genius autos from this set are welcome in my collection.

Cost: $2.00
Details:  2007 UD Masterpieces #SG-JB (auto)

Cost: $2.00
Details: 2007 UD Masterpieces #SG-HI (auto)

Early in 2009 I watched Rich Hill of the Orioles dominate the Seattle Mariners lineup.  He pitched seven innings, giving up just three hits and no runs.  His curve ball and high fastball made the Mariners look silly.  We were all very hopeful and excited on the Orioles Boards that night.

Unfortunately, in Hill's remaining ten starts his era rose from 4.15 to 7.80.

Cost: $1.00
Details: 1964 Topps #109
Card Comments:  Love the giant trophy and Staub's hat.

In 1963 Staub was just 19 years old.  He played 150 games in the majors that year (585 plate appearances).  He hit just .224 with 6 home runs (.617 OPS).  Ouch.  In 1964 he had nearly identical stats (.216 ba, .618 OPS) .

But by age 21 he straightened things out and put up many years of solid stats (including a 30 home run season).  He finished his career with 2716 hits, 292 hr, and a lifetime .279 batting average.

Cost:  $1.00
Details:  1974 Topps #215
Card Comment:  A legend who had just one more season left at the time of this photo.

Kaline would collect his 3007th career hit in 1974.  He fell one home run shy of 400.  Interestingly, Kaline's final season (age 39) was not one that came with much rest.  To find a season in which he had as many at bats, you'd have to go all the way back to 1961 (Age 26).  And he needed just about every one of them to reach that 3000 hit mark.

Kaline is the youngest player to ever win a batting title (.340 ba, age 20).

Some may be surprised to learn that Kaline never hit as many as 30 home runs in a season.  However, he won 10 gold gloves, made 15 all-star teams, and finished in the top 10 for MVP voting nine times.

Cost:  $1.25
Details:  2009 Topps Heritage Chrome Refractors #C16 (s/n: #173/560)

Cost: $1.25
Details: 2009 Topps Heritage Chrome Refractors #C73 (s/n: #407/560)

Davis had a whopping 150 strikeouts in just 391 at bats in 2009.  He struggled so mightily that he was demoted to AAA to work on the holes in his swing.

Right before his demotion I watched Davis hit a tapper to an infielder.  He hustled like mad down the line, diving head first into the base.  The announcers and everyone watching felt sorry for the kid.  He clearly has heart and wants to please the fans and teammates.  But he was hitting under .200; the writing was on the wall.

Davis didn't sulk when demoted to AAA.  He worked hard.  He stopped swinging for the fences and focused on contact.  In AAA he hit just six home runs (165 ab) but managed a .327 batting average.

When he was called back to the majors his strikeout ratio dropped from around 50% to about 35%.  Yes that is still too high and may be what costs him a major league career ultimately, but I am rooting for Chris Davis.

Cost:  $1.00
Details: 1963 Topps #123
Card Comments:  I have very few 1963 Topps cards.  Great pick up for a buck.

Of Big Frank's 382 lifetime home runs, he hit 172 of them (45%) in a four year stretch (1967-1970).  

Cost: $2.00
Details:  2000 Team Best Rookies (auto)
Card Comments:  An unpopular set but a nice way to get reasonably priced autos.

Cost: $1.00
Details:  1979 Topps #330
Card Comments:  Off-center, otherwise perfect.

Cost:  $1.25
Details:  1969 Topps Deckle #31
Card Comments:  This may be just my second Deckle card.  Not sure.  I think I will start collecting these when the price is right.  Vintage stuff, cool look, reasonable prices.

One of the more amazing things about McCovey's career is that he managed to win the Rookie of the Year award despite having only 192 at bats (1959, .354 batting average, 13 hr).  And he did so with a unanimous vote.  Although I did not confirm on a year by year search, I assume there is not a hitter with fewer at bats to claim the ROY award.

Overall Review:

Card prices, condition, and safe packaging make this seller a winner.  The variety is nice as well.  It's not too easy to find a good seller that has both vintage 60's cards alongside shiny '09 stuff and autos.  The only negative is that the shipping isn't capped.  So while the prices are great, at .25 cents extra a card, shipping starts to add up.

Overall Rating:  8.5


  1. I love that Sutton quote about Mr. Stargell. Looks like you did well.

  2. Nice haul!

    I was optimistic about Rich Hill as well. The dude has all the physical tools you need, but he seems like a bit of a head case. Hopefully he's back next season. I think he still deserves another shot.

  3. The 1976 Topps set color spectrum worked with the Pittsburgh Pirate Cards. In 1981, Carl Yasztremski hit his 400th HR to go with 3000 hits to become the first American League Player to do so. Al Kaline was fuming because of the big deal that was made of it. He said if he knew it was going to be such a big deal he would have come back to play in 1975. I hope Chris Davis becomes a star, for some reason he is one of those guys I like and constantly check the box scores to see how he did.