Friday, February 24, 2017
Two Steady Eddie fans
Today is Eddie Murray's 61st birthday, and for that occasion I have now trotted out this 1985 Topps card of Murray on two social media sites. It really is the greatest Eddie Murray card.
Even though I am a Dodger fan, I identify Murray with the Orioles, of course. He played for Baltimore for the first decade of his career and only a handful of years with the Dodgers. For 10 years, there was nothing but Murray Orioles cards in my collection.
Murray almost never talked to the press, which is a reason for me to dislike him. But I can't help it. I still like him. Someone who I know also likes him is Commish Bob. He just happened to showcase a bunch of Murray cards on his blog yesterday, Murray's birthday eve.
And I just happened to receive some cards from Commish Bob recently. None of them are Eddie Murray cards, but they sure are great. I'll lay the most spectacular on you first.
Those are a bunch of 1956 Topps off my want list. Not many names I know -- although I owned Frank Baumholtz's 1955 Topps card as young teenager after pulling it out of one of those baseball card bubble gum machines.
But I'm not done showing the '56s.
Lots more goodies. As usual, '56 lots like this make me want to get cracking on grabbing some of the more famous items in the set, just so I'm not scrounging for the likes of Williams and Clemente and Mays all at once at the end.
Commish Bob mentioned that some of these may be fillers until I can upgrade. But the vast majority I'll throw in the '56 binder without any thought of finding a replacement.
OK, this one I might upgrade.
I'm sure this card fools no one. It's not a '56, but one of those 2017 Topps ads. Now that I own the '56 Robinson, I shrug my shoulders every Topps produces another remake. But I must collect it.
I also received the only Dodger first-pitch entrant in 2017 Series 1. I didn't know who Keegan-Michael Key was when I first came across the First Pitch list for this year. You TV watchers know he's a comedian, from Comedy Central and Parks and Rec and a few other places. I use TV for baseball, weather and local news, these days, so another shoulder shrug from me.
Now I get to open one of the Jackie Robinson "patch" cards that are in blasters this year!
Let's see what's inside:
Altuve. This card traveled all the way from the Houston area so somebody in the Northeast could open it. So far I've opened two of these and pulled an Oriole and an Astro. I should open all of these for you, Commish.
There was one other group of cards in this package that when I saw the card on top, my heart skipped a beat.
I know this card means nothing to anyone who didn't grow up in the '70s/isn't a Dodger fan. But there is nothing that gets to the center of my collecting core than cards from the mid-'70s, particularly if they're Dodgers. Lance Rautzhan was a prospect that I rooted for back then, although he received just one solo card, in the 1979 Topps set.
This card is from the 1975 TCMA set for the Waterbury Dodgers, a Double A Eastern League team that was a Dodgers affiliate from 1973-76. It's odd that the Dodgers would have an affiliate so far east, in Connecticut.
I received 11 cards from the set. That's not the whole set, there are players like Rafael Landestoy and Glenn Burke in this set. Future manager Jim Riggleman, too.
I didn't receive any of those, but I did receive this one:
I now own a Badcock.
You can BIN one of these for $12.99 if you like. Mine came much more cheaply. What a fantastic card.
Tom Badcock toiled in the Cubs organization for the first half of the '70s, getting to Triple A, before moving over to the Dodgers for two years. He pitched for Waterbury in 1975 and 1976, then ended up in the Indians and Royals organizations but never made the majors.
I will treasure this card, like I treasure all minor league cards from the '70s (one day, when I have a lot of money to blow, I'm going to buy every 1970s minor league set ever made).
These TCMAs were the highlight of the package for me, better than any "patch" card (it's not a patch!) and even better than the '56s.
It's all about where you're coming from.
And I'm always coming from the '70s.