Skip to main content

Ugh, now I have to find pages (a '56 of the month post)

This is Bob Nelson.

He was one of the bonus babies of the 1950s, signed for a big bunch of money and then forced onto a major league roster before he was ready.

His high school career was legendary. He so dominated pitchers that he was nicknamed "the Babe Ruth of Texas." He apparently was so good of a high school player, in fact, that he gets two nicknames. His baseball-reference page says Nelson's nickname is "Babe," but you can't find Nelson by searching for "Bob Nelson," because he's listed under "Tex Nelson."

That's a man with 25 career major league hits and two nicknames.

Nelson was hardly a man, though, when he played with the Orioles in 1955. Teammates noticed that the 18-year-old was overmatched. In a book detailing the mistakes made during the bonus baby era, former teammates like Chuck Diering and Wayne Causey said Nelson was a nice kid, who hit the crap out of the ball in batting practice, but just didn't have it in him to succeed at the major league level. He didn't have the toughness, he didn't have the head for it.

All of those high school accolades didn't matter a wit anymore. Babe/Tex Nelson eventually did find the minor leagues two years later in 1957. And he never made it back to the majors, playing in the minor leagues until 1961.

Twenty years later, I saw this card for the first time when it was one of the cards selected out of the grocery bag of '50s cards gifted to me and my brothers by my dad's co-worker.

I didn't know Nelson's background at all. Never heard of him. And there wasn't much to his stats. I remember being alarmed by Nelson's pock-marked face. As a teenager, it was a sore subject. I had no idea that who I was looking at was a teenager himself.

I'm showing this card because it's one of the 1956 Topps cards sent to me recently by Commish Bob of The Five Tool Collector. Of course, he's an Orioles fan, so I have to show an Orioles card.

Here are some of the other '56s he sent:

And here are a couple more that didn't fit with the others:

Most of these fit just fine in my '56 set quest. A couple I will probably upgrade.

But right now, the main mission -- the overriding feeling I have while writing this post -- is I really, really, really, really, really have to find some pages for these things.

As you know, '56s don't fit in customary 9-pocket pages. You have to find 8-pocket pages. They're not rare or anything, they're just not available at your friendly neighborhood big-box store. You have to order them online. And if you know anything about me and ordering things online, I prefer all of my online hobby purchases to be CARDS.

As I've said many times, shopping for pages and binders is like shopping for socks and underwear -- necessities but a complete party-pooper of an activity. I can't get myself to buy them (the pages, not the underwear) for anything. I'm currently wrapping up two weeks of vacation and do you think I could've spent 20 minutes of that vacation ordering some 8-pocket pages?


I also don't like seeing '56 cards stacked out in the open. These aren't regular cards you know.

So in a few days I'll resign myself to ordering a few more 8-pocket pages.

The sacrifices we set-collectors make.


Stealing Home said…
I feel the pain of your '56's. Mine reside in a shoebox.
Stack22 said…
I've found that the 8 pocket pages are't deep enough, which leaves the top row a little exposed. But they're still the best (only) option.
i know what what you mean with the top loaded 8 pocket pages, the sideloaded(middle) work a little better.
night owl said…
I prefer the top-loaded kind only because I've ruined a few cards adding them to side-loaded pages.
Commishbob said…
For months now I've been pulling cards and other photo type memorabilia out of my old binder sheets because they were the 80s vintage PVC-based pages. I've been lucky that only a couple of things, mostly glossy pics, have had issues. So I'm in the market for good 8 pockets too. I much prefer the side-loaders. Right now though all my stuff is biding time in boxes.
I had side-loaded pages in the 1980s, and found that the cards tended to slide out of them when you turn the pages. I remember having pages with blue, red, or clear strips where the holes are. (As I recall, the red pages were very brittle and broke vertically when flexed to turn the page).

Now, it's only 9-pocket top-load Ultra Pro pages for me. (Oh yes, I have a few 8-pocket pages for my '55s and '56s, but I don't remember which brand they are.)
AdamE said…
Fyi. If you ever find a card stuck in an old page or case don't force it out and potentially lose some paper, put it in the freezer for a bit. I know out sounds crazy but it works.

Popular posts from this blog

This guy was everywhere

It's interesting how athletes from the past are remembered and whether they remain in the public conscious or not.

Hall of Fame players usually survive in baseball conversations long after they've played because they've been immortalized in Cooperstown. Then there are players who didn't reach the Hall but were still very good and somehow, some way, are still remembered.

Players like Dick Allen, Rusty Staub, Vida Blue and Mickey Rivers live on decades later as younger generations pick up on their legacies. Then there are all-stars like Bert Campaneris, who almost never get discussed anymore.

There is just one memory of Campaneris that younger fans most assuredly know. I don't even need to mention it. You know what's coming, even if Lerrin LaGrow didn't.

But there was much more to Campaneris than one momentary loss of reason.

A couple of months ago, when watching old baseball games on youtube hadn't gotten old yet, I was watching a World Series game from…

Some of you have wandered into a giveaway

Thanks to all who voted in the comments for their favorite 1970s Topps card of Bert Campaneris.

I didn't know how this little project would go, since I wasn't installing a poll and, let's face it, the whole theme of the post is how Campaneris these days doesn't get the respect he once did. (Also, I was stunned by the amount of folks who never heard about the bat-throwing moment. Where am I hanging out that I see that mentioned at least every other month?)

A surprising 31 people voted for their favorite Campy and the one with the most votes was the one I saw first, the '75 Topps Campy card above.

The voting totals:

'75 Campy - 11 votes
'70 Campy - 4
'72 Campy - 4
'73 Campy - 4
'76 Campy - 4
'74 Campy - 3
'78 Campy - 1

My thanks to the readers who indulged me with their votes, or even if they didn't vote, their comments on that post. To show my appreciation -- for reading, for commenting, for joining in my card talk even if it might …

Return of the king

(If you haven't voted for your favorite Bert Campaneris '70s card in the last post, I invite you to do so).

So you've been away for a few years and want everyone to know that you're back.

How do you do that?

Do what The Diamond King did when he returned to card blogging last month: Bombard readers with contests and giveaways! Well, you've certainly gotten MY attention, sir!

I'll start with the giveaways first. Since he returned, the Diamond King has issued multiple "Diamond King 9" giveaways, straight out of the chute and rapid fire in the last month-plus. As I've said before, I am very slow to get to these "first come, first serve" giveaways. I used to think "I spend too much time on the computer" and now I realize "I don't spend enough time on the computer at all!"

But I was able to nab two cards out of the many giveaways.

I won this key 1981 Fleer Star Sticker of The Hawk. I have since acquired several more &#…