October 28th, 2008
Tuff Stuff magazine has a nice article on the Roger Maris museum in my hometown of Fargo, North Dakota. It was a pleasant surprise to find this piece of my childhood memories on the Tuff Stuff site.
The Roger Maris “museum” is really more of a display than a formal museum. When I first started collecting baseball cards in about 1986, the display was right across from a now long gone sports card and coin shop in the West Acres mall. The display featured quite a number of Roger Maris’s baseball cards from his 1959 Topps rookie card onward. It also has numerous homerun balls, gloves, uniforms, penants, and other great items from Roger’s career.
Anyone who is from the tiny town of Fargo will tell you the importance of Maris to that community. Each year, the town hosts a celebrity golf tournament and an auction to raise money for cancer research and care. I remember going to the golf tournaments each year to get autographs of former Yankee teammates of Maris, including Don Larsen, Bobby Richardson, and the recently deceased Tom Tresh.
It is nice to see a piece of my hobby memories still going strong!
October 22nd, 2008
The Bristol Herald Courier has a nice article about one card shop that seems to be thriving. Click the link below to read about Ronnie Houser’s path to card-shop ownership, starting with his first wax pack of cards in 1966.
Bristol Herald Courier: It’s All In The Cards At Southern Cards
October 22nd, 2008
Gone are the days that the card collector living in any major metro area of the U.S. could count on a nearly weekly sports card show to pass the time. In the late 80’ss/early 90’s card boom era, I lived in a town of about 70,000 (at that time) in North Dakota. There was at least one card show per month, and many times there were two or more. I lived a good part of my early teen life around the schedules for such show, often times spending the better part of the weekend at the larger ones.
During the card boom, even a small town such as the one I grew up in, could support a 70+ table show. By contrast, in the current collecting climate, the shows around my present location of Boston routinely have under 40 tables.
But, alas, for the patient who can wait a few months in between quality collector shows, there are good options in most larger metro areas. On the east coast, there are yearly shows in the Boston area and in the New York area that are worth the wait. Below are some good resources to find shows in your area:
November 1st, 2007
Collectors have discovered that there appears to be a very rare variation in the 2007 Topps Update product with respect to Jacoby Ellsbury. In particular, a rare version of Ellsbury’s card (pictured to the right) had made its way into circulation. The number on the card is 100, which the Topps checklist designates as belonging to Abraham Nunez. The card comes as Ellsbury has just finished a phenomenal post season with the World Champion Boston Red Sox, and features the official “Rookie Card” designation of Major League Baseball. Initial auctions data from eBay hint that the card will be very highly sought after, with auctions ending as high as $200 and buy it now prices reaching over twice as much.
July 30th, 2007
Collectors of sports cards from the eighties may find the face to the left very familiar. This week, the Mystery Man has slightly more significance, but only minimally so. As the astute of you may have guessed, Jeff Schneider is one of a legion of former ball players who have appeared on the multi-player rookie cards of more noteworthy stars. Schneider’s mug graces the 1982 Topps rookie card of recently inducted Hall of Famer, Cal Ripken, who played every game of his career with the Baltimore Orioles.
Jeff Schneider made his Major League debut on August 12, 1981. That year would be his one and only in the big leagues. Schneider was originally drafted by the Philadelphia Phillies as an amateur free agent in 1974. He had been drafted two earlier times, once by the Cubs in 1970, and then by the Rangers in 1973, both times out of the amateur draft (18th round and 2nd round, respectively), but did not sign.
Schneider’s career ended on October 2, 1981, when he had thrown in only 11 games, with a 4.88 ERA, no wins, and one save. I think frequently of players like Schneider — there are thousands of them who came through the majors for short stints in the 70s and 80s, only to be dealt a swift Darwinian hand of meritocracy. In that time period, salaries for beginning ballplayers were, by today’s standards, paltry. Even when not compared to today’s ballplayer salaries, the amounts paid to players before or shortly after the introduction of free agency, were low. All across the country, there are stories like Schneider’s to be told — of a brief flash in the MLB pan, to be followed by the ordinary career challenges that every other American faces out of high school or college.
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