I mentioned on the last post of 2018 that I received a large box of cards on the last day of 2018.
It was a box from reader Jonathan, who won one of my contests last year. I sent him a '75 Topps Nolan Ryan card for his winnings and what I got back dwarfed that Ryan card. Hell, I think it might even dwarf a Nolan Ryan rookie card.
It is so full of goodies that I've had trouble figuring out how to approach it for the blog. There's no doubt I will need to break it up into separate posts. There's no way I can cover everything in one post. But how to start? Where do I start? There are Dodgers and oddballs and vintage and Sabres and nonsports ... I need a road map for this thing.
Earlier today I was looking through the box in hopes of finding inspiration. I found it.
Tucked into the side next to one of the rows of cards was a toploader with the above 1954 Bowman Carl Erskine card inside. I had gone through the box when it arrived at my house. I never saw the Erskine card. It was sitting in my house for a week without my knowledge.
I immediately started scanning the other hiding places in the box.
I pulled out a 1956 Wally Moon:
Then I pulled out a 1956 Joe Black:
Both were surprises that I didn't come across during my first tour of the box. And it gave me the idea I needed. "That's it," I said to no one but the dog. "I'll start from the beginning!"
For this box, the beginning is the 1950s cards contained within. You've seen three of them already. That is not all.
This 1954 Topps Bob Milliken card is tied with the 1954 Bowman Erskine as the oldest in the box. With this card I need just three Dodgers to complete the '54 Topps team set. Two of those are named Lasorda and Robinson. Yep, that want list will be up for awhile.
This Jim Hughes card was one of the two 1955 Bowmans in the box.
This was the other one:
Pee Wee himself. This card made me so happy. Every Pee Wee Reese card is sheer joy. There are few players that can produce that kind of feeling with just their card. I just love this to death.
The other 1950s cards were a bunch of off-condition 1956 Topps. I am not very picky about my 1950s cards. They can be off-center and have worn corners and even a few creases. So, many of these cards crossed numbers off my '56 want list and it's not every day that you can knock off '56 wants by the dozen.
Since I'm starting from the beginning, I'll show you all the '56 cards (besides Moon and Black) from the start of the set.
#18 - Dick Donovan
OK, Dickie is staying on the want list. I commend his card for surviving whatever battle or battles it went through many decades ago, but the back is even more loved than the front.
#36 - Rudy Minarcin
#47 - Art Fowler
Billy Martin's pitching coach and drinking buddy.
#54 - Bob Keegan
#57 - Duke Maas
#61 - Bill Skowron
Moose's creases are more apparent on the scan than in person. Knowing how much '50s Yankees go for, this is a likely keeper.
#88 - Johnny Kucks
#89 - Norm Zauchin
#90 - Cincinnati Reds team card
Those '56 team cards are a bitch, but I think I'll look for one that hasn't been gnawed.
#92 - Red Wilson
#115 - Jackie Jensen
The 1958 AL MVP. Awesome.
#139 - Tommy Carroll
#148 - Alvin Dark
Some creases won't keep me from keeping this card. Not for awhile anyway.
#160 - Billy Pierce
You know the scribble in the corner is off-set (some would say "enhanced") by the wonderful action photo on the opposite side.
#165 - Red Schoendienst
Holy smokes. I don't even mind the lightly scrawled correction in pen. Schoendienst was traded to the Milwaukee Braves in 1957 so it's a vintage correction!
#217 - Billy Klaus
#225 - Gil McDougald
Gil is kind of missing his left side. Not too bad, though.
#227 - Russ Meyer
#236 - Kansas City Athletics team card
Someone finds team cards very tasty.
#263 - Bob Miller
Collecting 1950s cards makes you realize how many times the same 50 or 60 baseball names from the 1950s are repeated. There were a whole bunch of '50s players that hardly anyone seems to know.
#271 - Foster Castleman
#276 - George Zuverink
#281 - Art Houtteman
#286 - Bill Wight
#287 - Bobby Adams
#297 - Bob Skinner
This card was folded at one point. Excellent action photo.
#307 - Hoyt Wilhelm
Hoyt! With another vintage correction!
#314 - Hobie Landrith
What a card.
#320 - Joe Adcock
Joe got caught in the rain a time or two. Then was stuffed in a pants pocket.
#322 - Karl Olson
#331 - Dick Hall
#340 - Mickey McDermott
Last card in the set!
And that's the end of the beginning.
I can't wait to learn about a lot of these guys and to turn the cards over to read the best cartoons to ever appear on cardboard.
Probably the most impressive part of the box. But there is so much more to come.