Thursday, June 30, 2016

1959 Topps, Russ Kemmerer

#191 Russ Kemmerer

This is the final card from the '50s that I have to show on here and it is of Russ Kemmerer. I originally mailed out a card to Russ in either late 2012 or early 2013 and it came back "return to sender". I had no idea why it came back as the address matched the address on SCN. So, I sat on the card for a while until I saw more successes coming from that address. I then mailed the card back to the same address I had used earlier and I got some signed cards back a week later.

The only problem was that I did not get the card back that I sent Russ. I sent him his '64 Topps card just because he was playing for the Colt .45s on it and you can never have enough signed Colt .45 cards. But instead of getting that card back, I got this one, his '60 Topps, and two different signed postcards. While it would have been nice to add a second .45 card to my collection, I think I still came out alright.

Here are the two postcards he included.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

1959 Topps, Jerry Walker

#144 Jerry Walker

This is not my final card from the '59 set, but it is the last one from the Sporting News Rookies subset. This one features the former Oriole, Athletic, and Indian, Jerry Walker. Like the rest of the '59s, I sent this card to him in 2013 and I got it back two weeks later.

Jerry pitched in the Majors for eight seasons and, like the previous post of Dick Stigman, he bounced back and forth from the rotation to the 'pen his entire career. He finished his career with a 37-44 record with 13 saves and a 4.36 ERA.

Jerry's best season came with the Orioles in 1959. That season, he went 11-10 with 4 saves and a 2.92 ERA while striking out 100 batters. He made the American League All Star team that season and picked up the win in the Mid-Summer Classic.

This is the fifth card from the subset that I posted on here. Three of them featured close-ups like this one and the other two had posed action shots. Personally, I think that the close-ups work a lot better with the striped background.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

College World Series Contest Final Standings

The College World Series is not over, but this contest is. Nobody picked Arizona to reach the finals and only one person picked Coastal Carolina, but did not pick them to win. So, there is no point in dragging this out any longer.

Here are the final standings: Total (phase 1, phase 2)

The Lost Collector: 10 (7, 3)
Greg Z: 8 (5, 3)
Wilson: 8 (4, 4)
Superduperman: 7 (3, 4)
Need More Cardboard : 7 (2, 5)
Brandon: 7 (3, 4)
Joey: 5 (1, 4)
Play at the Plate: 5 (3, 2)
John: 2 (2, 0)
Jimmy: 2 (2, 0)

So AJ, send me your address when you get a chance and I will get your winnings out to you.

Thanks to all that participated. I am already looking forward to next year.

1959 Topps, Dick Stigman

#142 Dick Stigman

Here is the next card in the line of 1959 Topps Sporting News rookies and it features Dick Stigman. Like the previous three cards from the subset, I sent this card to Dick at the beginning of 2013 and I had it back about a month later.

Dick pitched in the Majors for seven seasons with the Indians, Twins, and Red Sox. He bounced back and fourth from the rotation to the bullpen his entire career, never settling in one spot for too long. In 1962, he lead the American League in winning percentage when he went 12-5 (.706). That year, he started the season in the pen and was 3-2 with 3 saves over the first three months of the season. He was then moved to the rotation and he went 9-3 over 15 starts to finish off the year. His strong finish landed him a starting spot the next season and he stayed in that role the entire season, going 15-15 with 193 strikeouts with a 3.25 ERA.

For Dick's career, he was 46-54 with 16 saves and a 4.03 ERA.

The College World Series Contest results will be up shortly.

Friday, June 24, 2016

1959 Topps, Joe Shipley

#141 Joe Shipley

It has been over a week since I have posted an actual card, so here is the next one in the more recent line of '59 Topps I got signed. This one was signed through the mail in 2013 and it took about nine days to get back to me. It is pretty sad that I consider cards that I got signed in 2013 as recent.

Joe had a short Major League career that spanned parts of four seasons, but just twenty-nine games. All of those games came with the Giants except for three outings with the White Sox in 1963. Over that span, Joe had a 0-1 record with a 5.93 ERA with 35 walks to 23 strikeouts.

Sadly, Joe's only decision came in game twenty-seven for him when he pitched one inning and gave up four unearned runs. Instead of walking one and striking out two in the fourth inning in a game against the Red Sox, strike three for the second out ended up as a passed ball and the runner made it to first. After the second strikeout, which should have been the third out, the next four batters each single driving in the four runs. The White Sox went from a 2-1 lead to a 5-2 deficit en route to a 6-2 loss.

On the college baseball front, Oklahoma State lost today and will play against Arizona again tomorrow. If they lose, The Lost Collector wins the CWS Contest. If they win, it is a three-way tie and we will have to wait for the conclusion of the tournament for the winner. Personally, I hope OSU and TCU win tomorrow to set up an all Big 12 final. But, that is just the Midwesterner in me.

CWS Contest Update

The final four teams are set for the CWS, so the contest is about wrapped up. With Miami and Florida both bowing out in two games, the brackets got busted pretty quickly. Right now, The Lost Collector has the lead. He only obtained three points from the bracket, but the seven phase one points have done him well. If Oklahoma State loses the next two games, he will be the winner. But, if OSU wins games six or seven, we will have an unprecedented three way tie between Need More Cardboard, Superduperman, and anonymous Brandon. If that happens, we will have to wait for the conclusion of the finals to see how many runs are scored, as that is the tie breaker.

Friday, June 17, 2016

College World Series Contest reminder

Just a heads-up, but the College World Series gets under way in twenty-four hours. So, if you have not filled out your bracket, you had better get on it as you are running out of time. As of right now, only four out of the original ten have their bracket completed. And all four of them have Florida advancing to the finals.

1959 Topps, Dan Dobbek

#124 Dan Dobbek

The next card from the '59 Sporting News Rookie subset is that of Senators outfielder, Dan Dobbek. I sent this card to Dan in 2013 and I had it back ten days later.

Dan's Major League career was much shorter then Bennie Daniels from my previous post. Dan career lasted just three seasons and 198 games, all played with the same Senators/Twins franchise. Over those three seasons, he hit .208 with 15 home runs and 49 RBI.

Most of those numbers came during his 1960 season. That year he clubbed 10 dingers and drove in 30. The one down side was that he hit just .218. He did walk 33 times to give him a respectful .316 on-base percentage, though. He followed that season with a .168 average over 125 at-bats the next year in Minnesota and that was the last time he played in the Major Leagues.

Remember- you still have about twenty-four hours to get in on the College World Series contest.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

College World Series Contest, Phase 2

In case you haven't noticed, I've been running a little contest here for the past two weeks that revolves around the College World Series. Ten people have already entered and have a tiny head start. But, it is not too late to get in on the action. There are plenty more points to be earned and no one is even close to locking this thing up yet. So here is all you have to do- fill out a College World Series bracket.

Keep in mind that this bracket is nothing like filling out a March Madness bracket. The reason for that is because of the loser's bracket. But, I am going to try to make this as simple as I can. Here is my homemade bracket. Click on it to hopefully see a bigger view.

Here is a how the bracket breaks down. There are two groups in the bracket- A and B. Each group has six games in it. All you have to do is guess who is going to win each of the games as they advance towards the championship round.

For instance, group A has UC Santa Barbara and Oklahoma St. squaring off in game 1 and Arizona and Miaimi going in game 2. Pick who is going to win each of those games and then those two teams will square off in game 3. The losers of games 1 and 2 will then square off in game 4. Then, the loser in game 3 plays the winner of game 4 in game 5.

At that point, there will be one team left in the group that is 2-0 (winner of game 3) and one that is 2-1 (winner of game 5). Those two teams play in game 6, which is an elimination game. If the 2-0 team loses, they play a game 7 and the winner advances to the championship. If the 2-0 team wins game 6, they go straight to the championship without game 7. BUT, for the sake of this bracket, I am going to count games 6 and 7 as one game. Just pick who you think is going to advance. It doesn't matter how they do it. I call it game 6/7.

After that, you should have a team advancing out of group A. Do the same for group B. Those two teams are your final teams. In the CWS, they play a best of three series for the championship. Pick who you think will win it all and if they will win it in two games or three. Then, for a tie breaker, guess how many runs will be scored in the championship series (the final two or three games).

It might be easier for you to fill it out on paper first. But to enter the contest, leave a comment looking something similar to this.

A2 Miami
A5 Miami
A6/7 Miami

B2 Coastal Carolina
B4 Texas Tech
B5 Texas Tech
B6/7 TCU

TCU over Miami
2 games
9 runs

For the sake of the tie breaker, DO NOT pick a number already chosen by someone else. Even if your teams do not make it to the finals, the tiebreaker will still apply to you in the event of a tie.

If you guess every game right, including how many games will be played in the finals, you can come out with 22 points.

The CWS begins at 3:00 PM, eastern, on Saturday, June 18. So, all entries must be in by that point. If you have any questions at all, feel free to email me at zman40 at hotmail dot com. Or, just ask in the comments.

Here are the standings through Phase 1

The Lost Collector: 7 (correctly picked two #2 seeds)
Superduperman: 3
John Sharp: 2
Joey Dean: 1
Greg Z: 5
Play at the Plate: 3
Jimmy: 2
Need More Cardboard: 2
Wilson: 4
Anonymous Brandon: 3

This thing is anybody's to win. Good luck!

If you think I might have made an error in the scoring, just let me know. I will be happy to look into it.

Monday, June 13, 2016

1959 Topps, Bennie Daniels

#122 Bennie Daniels

Here is the first of the newer '59s that I have. This one, like the next three, comes from the Sporting News Rookies subset. I always liked the look of this set and they were my favorites out of the 2008 Topps Heritage set. I have a couple of the Heritage cards signed and was really happy to add a few originals to my collection, as well. I mailed this card to Bennie in April of 2013 and I had it back two and a half weeks later. He misspelled my name in the inscription, but it is the thought that counts.

Bennie played for nine seasons with the Pirates and Senators. He started over half of the games he pitched in and went 45-76 for his career with 5 saves and a 4.44 ERA. During his career, he had reached double digits in losses five times and had a winning record once. That one time was a career year for him in 1961, his first season in D.C. That year, he pitched over 200 innings for the first and only time and went 12-11 with 110 strikeouts and a 3.44 ERA.

Two more teams have advanced to Omaha- TCU and Coastal Carolina. Two people picked up points with TCU's win while nobody picked Coastal Carolina to advance. There is one final game going on now and Florida has a nice lead in the seventh inning. By this time tomorrow night, I hope to have final tallies from phase one of the contest as well as having phase two open. So, make sure you keep checking back for phase two.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

1958 Topps, Jim Davenport

#413 Jim Davenport

This is the last card from the '58 set that I have to post. After this one, I have about a half dozen cards from the '59 set.

I got this card signed by Jim Davenport through the mail in 2014. It was about a ten day wait to get it back. Unfortunately, Jim passed away earlier this year.

Jim played in the Majors for thirteen seasons and he played every single one of them with the Giants. He was their regular third baseman early in his career before transitioning into their infield utility player. Jim was a .258 hitter for his career and he had 77 home runs and 456 RBI.

Jim's best season was in 1962. That year he had career-highs for average (.297) and home runs (14). To top it off, he made his lone All Star team, won his only Gold Glove, and played in his first, and last, World Series.

As of right now, their are five teams that have punched their ticket to Omaha. They are UC Santa Barbara, Miami, Arizona, Oklahoma State, and Texas Tech. So far, The Lost Collector has picked three teams to advance with one of them being a two seed. Four other people have two teams picked thus far. We should know at least two more teams tonight with the last one possibly being decided tomorrow.

Thursday, June 9, 2016

1958 Topps, John Goryl

#384 John Goryl

This is the second card of John Goryl that I have posted on here. The first one, his '81 Donruss manager card, was posted about three years ago and it can be seen here. I had been planning on sending that card to him when I ran across this one at the local card show and I figured that I might as well send this one along with it. For as much as I love getting '81 Donruss cards signed, I must say that this one came out looking much better than the '81D. The sig on this one stands out better than the blue on blue of the Donruss.

John had a relatively short Major League playing career, but not nearly as short as his managerial career. He played for the Cubs and Twins for parts of six seasons as a second and third baseman. Over those six seasons, he only got into 276 games and he hit .225 with 16 dingers and 48 RBI. His best season was with the Twins in 1963 when he played in 64 games and hit .287 with 9 homers and 24 RBI. Unfortunately, he regressed a ton the next season when he hit just .140 with two extra base hits, both triples, and one lonely RBI over 114 at-bats. That ended up being the last season John played in the Majors.

The Super Regionals start tomorrow. That means that I am almost a week away from heading to Omaha for some College World Series action!

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

1958 Topps, Ray Herbert

#379 Ray Herbert

Here is the first of two cards that I got signed by Ray Herbert through the mail. The funny thing about the two cards, though, is that they were sent at two different times. I sent the first card because it was from a set that I did not have a signed card from. Then, about a year later, I came across this card at a card show and I bought it to get signed just because it was a Kansas City A's card. I sent this one out early in 2014 and I had it back about eight days later.

Ray pitched for fourteen seasons with the Tigers, A's, White Sox, and Phillies. He began his career as a reliever in Detroit and did not do that great early in his career. He pitched for the Tigers for parts of four seasons and was 12-14 with 7 saves and a 5.09 ERA through 207 big league innings. Early in the 1955 season, he was purchased by the A's, ending a four year run with Detroit.

With Kansas City, Ray was slowly transformed into a starter and did alright on some bad A's teams. He reached double-digit wins twice as an Athletic, notching 11 wins in '59 and 14 in '60. He also reached double-digit losses in each of those seasons, but did sport a 3.28 ERA in '60 when he logged a career-high 252.2 innings.

As an A, Ray was 37-48 with 5 saves and a 4.25 ERA. He was traded to the White Sox mid-season in 1961, but I will go into that more when I get around to the next Ray herbert card.

I, like most people, think of green when I think of the A's. Because of that, I think it is great that this card has a greenish backdrop, even though the team was still a wearing navy and red in 1958.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

1958 Topps, Red Wilson

#213 Red Wilson

Here is the next card in the long line of TTMs I got back in 2013. I sent this card to Red in February and I had it back about five weeks later.

Red played in the Majors for ten seasons with the White Sox, Tigers, and Indians. Like most of the vintage catchers I have been posting recently, Red was also a back-up throughout his career. He spent the majority of his time with the Tigers and was a .258 hitter for his career with 24 home runs and 189 RBI. His best season was probably with Detroit in 1956 when he hit .289 with a career high in home runs (7) and RBI (38).

In 1960, Red was traded from the Tigers to the Indians for Hank Foiles. I posted a card of Hank two weeks ago.

After a rainy regional weekend, the super regionals are now set. There were a few upsets with Virginia, Vanderbilt, and Clemson failing to advance off of their home turf. Some surprises to make it out of the regionals were Boston College and East Carolina, both three seeds.

As of right now, both Wilson and anonymous Brandon have all eight of their teams in the super regionals. Everyone else has between three and six teams remaining. Most people only have one seeds left. The Lost Collector has five teams left with two of them being two seeds. Greg also has five teams, with one two seed and a three seed. If all of his teams win, he could go into phase two with a nice lead with nine points.

On a side note, this summer will be my tenth straight year of going to the College World Series. I have gone with my dad every year and every year he picks a California team to root for. He has t-shirts for UC Irvine, Cal, Fresno State, Fullerton, and UCLA. Right now, there is only one California team left- UC Santa Barbara. The odds are stacked against them as they take on Louisville. Will they be able to pull off the upset or will my dad go to his first Californialess CWS?

Thursday, June 2, 2016

1958 Topps, Daryl Spencer

#68 Daryl Spencer

Here is the next '58 Topps card that I got signed through the mail in 2013. This one took me all of five days to get back as I only had to send it down the road to Wichita.

Daryl played in the Majors for ten seasons with the Giants, Cardinals, Dodgers, and Reds. He played second, third, and short, but spent most of his time at shortstop. He had some decent pop for a shortstop in the '50s, hitting double digit home runs in each of his first six seasons. The most he ever hit was 20 and that came during his rookie campaign in 1953. 14 of those 20 came at the Polo Grounds, so I am sure he was taking advantage of the short porch in left field (280 feet). Nonetheless, 20 dingers by a shortstop in 1953 sounds pretty good.

For his career, Daryl was a .244 hitter with 105 home runs and 428 RBI. All of his best seasons came with the Giants, though none really stand out more than any other. He had those 20 home runs in '53, had 31 doubles in '57, 74 RBI in '58, and a .265 average in '59. It is too bad he missed the '54-55 seasons for serving in the military. Those might have been the seasons where everything came together for him.

1958 was the first year the Giants were in San Francisco. That is why Daryl is sporting the spiffy-looking airbrushed hat.

Daryl is a Wichita native and will sometimes appear at the local card show there. Unfortunately, he has not been there when I have attended.

On a side note, there is about fourteen hour left to get in the on the College World Series contest. Get those picks in as time is ticking.