Tuesday, March 30, 2010

518 - Bob Veale

About This Player
Bob Veale played 13 seasons in the Major Leagues.  Veale was best known for his days with the Pittsburgh Pirates with which he was selected twice as an All-Star and pitched once in the 1971 World Series.  Veale came to Boston in 1972 when the Red Sox purchased his contract.  Veale would finish the last three seasons of his career as a member of the Red Sox.

About This Card
There's always something about posed pitching shots, but I'm not sure what it is.  Of course, the posed pitching shot is very common in vintage Topps sets, as well as today's sets.  I guess it is that the pose itself is never natural.  If you were to look at film of a pitcher's delivery and look at each frame, you would not find one shot that looks similar to this photo.  When you have a photographer asking you to pose like you're pitching, this is what you come up with.

UPDATE: Even though Bob Veale played in 1973 and 1974, this card would be his final regular issue card.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

247 - Del Unser

About This Player
Del Unser played 15 seasons in the Major Leagues.  Unser made his major league debut in 1968 for the Washington Senators.  In that year, he came in second place for Rookie of the Year.  Unser played only one year for the Indians in 1972 where he started in center field and right field.  Unser would later be traded to the Phillies before the 1973 season.

Del's father, Al Unser,  played four seasons from 1942 through 1945 with the Tigers and Reds.

About This Card
Whenever I look at any Cleveland Indians cards from the set, I always think of the Cincinnati Reds.  The "C" logo looks just like the Reds "C" except in blue.  The "INDIANS" font on the jersey looks very similar to the "CINCINNATI" font on the Reds' away jerseys.

I believe this card came in one of the two lots I bought to start the set.  Whenever I've built a set from the 70's, I have started off with a lot or two of cards from each set.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

464 - Chicago Cubs TC

About This Team
The Chicago Cubs are one of the original National League teams established in 1876.  In 1972, the Cubs finished the season in 2nd place in the National League East.  In 1973, the Cubs would finish in 5th place.

About This Card
I enjoy the stats on the backs of cards and I enjoy especially the team stats on the back of the team cards.  In the case of 1973, the team cards show each team's all-time stat leaders and the records for each of the pennant winning teams.  Topps quit printing team cards in 1990 and brought back the team cards in 2001.  The team stats are finally appearing again in 2010.

Monday, March 22, 2010

315 - John Odom

About This Player
John "Blue Moon" Odom pitched in the Major Leagues for 13 seasons; 12 of those seasons he pitched with the Kansas City and Oakland A's.   Odom was selected as an All-Star in 1968 and 1969 and pitched on three Oakland A's World Series teams.  An excellent athlete, Odom was also used frequently as a pinch-runner.

Odom has given his nickname "Blue Moon" by a high-school friend who thought his round face resembled a moon.

About This Card
Despite being known throughout baseball as "Blue Moon," all of his Topps cards scribe him as John.  However, in his 1975 Topps card which used facsimile autographs, Odom had written his name as "Blue Moon."

This card was one of a number of cards I had purchased from GinAgain Cards during their sale just before Christmas.  I do not remember how much I paid, but it is a good place to find singles at a good price.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

658 - Elliott Maddox

About This Player
Elliott Maddox, a first round draft pick for the Tigers, made his Major League debut in 1970. Maddox was later traded to the Senators along with Denny McLain, Norm McRae and Don Wert to the Washington Senators for Ed Brinkman, Joe Coleman, Jim Hannan and Aurelio Rodriguez. He arrived in Texas when the Senators moved to become the Rangers. During his time with the Texas Rangers, Maddox played all three outfield positions and third base.  However, Maddox would have better seasons with the Yankees, with whom he ranked 8th in the American League MVP vote in 1974.  Maddox would later play for the Orioles and Mets.

About This Card
Elliott Maddox is one of the high numbered cards in the 1973 Topps baseball set.  1973 was the last year that Topps distributed their flagship cards in separate series.  In the case of this set, 1973 Topps consisted of five series of 132 card each.  The high numbered cards are unique because they were printed in much lower productions numbers than the rest of the set.  With the 5th series being produced late in the season, interest in baseball wanes toward the end kids are less interested in baseball by the time this series is released.  As such, Topps produced them in lower number.

What this means for a collector looking to build the 1973 set today is that the high numbered cards demand a premium in price.  A high numbered common, such as Elliott Maddox, sells for about $1-3 dollars each with star cards demanding more.  Fortunately, I had acquired this card, along with about 40 other high numbered cards, at the Valley West card show earlier this month for $22.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

50 - Roberto Clemente

About This Player
Roberto Clemente, born in Puerto Rico, played made his debut with the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1955.  Clemente played 18 seasons as the Pirates' right fielder.  Clemente was a multiple All-Star selection, a multiple Gold Glove Award winner and the National League MVP in 1966.  He currently ranks 27th on the all-time hit list with 3,000.

In addition to his baseball career, Clemente was also well known for his humanitarian work.  Clemente died in a plane crash on December 31, 1972 in an attempt to send emergency relief to Nicaragua.

Today, Major League Baseball presents the Roberto Clemente Award every year to the player who best follows Clemente's example with humanitarian work.

About This Card
The last regular issue card for Robert Clemente makes this card one of the feature cards in the 1973 Topps Baseball set.  As I build this set, I have tried to avoid overspending for a card I need for the set.  However, the Roberto Clemente card has been difficult to come by at a decent price.  Clemente is one of my most recent cards in this set.  I bought this card for $20 at a local card shop.