Saturday, January 9, 2021

Time to Waive Goodbye to This Blog

The time has come to retire this blog. Several things contributed to this decision:
1. Design-wise, the 1963 set my 3rd favorite (behind 1965 and 1967), but many of the players are outside my main interest period of 1967-69. 
2. I have run out of cards to post here (other than for players that I've already posted elsewhere), and I don't like to duplicate players across multiple blogs.
3. The new Blogger format is a pain in the butt to deal with. The constant hassle with paragraph vs. normal layouts, photos not appearing where you expect them, even commenting on other blogs is sketchy. (If I don't immediately sign out after posting a comment, my next navigation sends a duplicate comment to the blog.) 
4. I don't have as much time to blog as I used to. 
For these and other reasons, blogging has started to become a chore. A long time ago I set goals on which cards I wanted to blog for each set. I have come to that point on some of my blogs, and am near it on all others except 1969. I intended to push through to the end, but that is feeling like a self-imposed chore now. 
This 1963 blog is just the first domino to fall.  Others will follow sooner or later. 

I have also enabled comment moderation on all my blogs. This was done not to suppress legitimate comments, but to prevent the blogs from being overrun by spam comments since I will not be reading them as often as I do now. 
One only needs to look at the comments section of just about ANY post on this blog to see what happens when the blog owner doesn't keep up with the spammers.

Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Willie Kirkland (#187)

I previously posted Willie Kirkland's 1966 card, so I won't say too much about him this time. I just thought this was a good look at the early-1960s Indians' caps. 

Kirkland was the regular right fielder for the Giants from 1958-60, and for the Indians from 1961-63. After leaving Cleveland he was mostly a backup outfielder. 
He was traded to the Orioles after the 1963 season, but by the following August was playing for the Senators, where he was the 4th or 5th outfielder, until getting his release after the 1966 season. 
After a season with the AAA Hawaiian Islanders, he played in Japan from 1968-73. 

Monday, March 23, 2020

Bob Buhl (#175)

Hey, remember me? The 1963 Topps blog? 

I posted Bob Buhl's final card on my 1967 Topps blog back in 2009, but that was a capless photo, and a scary one at that.

By 1967, most Phillies fans (including me) were giving Buhl little attention, because of his participation in the early-1966 trade that sent prospect Ferguson Jenkins to the Cubs for a pair of aging starting pitchers.

By then, Bob's career was winding down just as Jenkins began an 8-year stretch where he won 20 games 7 times, 2 All-Star berths, 1 Cy Young Award, and led the league in wins twice, complete games 4 times, and strikeouts once. The Phillies had their own in-house Steve Carlton, and let him get away!

So here is a photo of Buhl from better times. It's still a little scary, but at least Topps has him in full uniform.

Thursday, September 26, 2019

3rd Series Checklist (#191)

Many of the checklist posts I see on peoples' blogs are accompanied by statements like "I hate checklists", "Checklists are a waste of a card", or even "When I got a checklist, I usually threw it out".

Not me! I loved getting checklists. Back in the day, before the internet, before factory set sales, (and even before baseball card magazines!) checklists were the only way to find out what cards were available to collect. Back then, I kept every double and triple of every checklist I would get. (You never knew who might need one, or if you would have to re-do yours because it became an ink-stained mess.)

The first 3 years I collected cards were 1967-1969. In those sets, the checklists included the floating head of whichever superstar had the "x00" (hero) number on that checklist. How cool was that, as a bonus?

On this 1963 checklist, there are many names of players who never made it to the 1967 set, so I had no idea who they were for decades. In the past few years, I have begun collecting 1963-66 cards, and have blogged the cards of these players previously unknown to me:

Bubba Phillips
Ron Piche
Albie Pearson
Willie Kirkland
Roger Craig
Lenny Green
Joe Amalfitano
Ken Hunt
Joe Christopher
Joe(y) Jay
Hobie Landrith
Pete Runnels
Eli Grba
Frank Malzone
Billy Smith
Leo Burke
Jim Gentile

I still have no idea who these players are, nor their teams or positions:

Sammy Esposito
Cecil Butler
Glen Hobbie
Gene Conley
Tiger Twirlers (nyuk nyuk)
Mike Roarke
Don Leppert (I know he was a coach for some teams)
Johnny Logan
Ellis Burton
Dave Stenhouse

So these last 10 (and the unknowns from the other series) are the 1963 cards I will probably get next.

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Tommie Aaron (#46)

I was looking at the "Labels" section in this blog's sidebar tonight, and realized that there were no Giants or Braves posted yet. When I went to my 1952-64 binder, I found out why: I have no Giants, and only 1 Braves card. Here is that Brave - 1/2 of the greatest brothers' home run tandem! 

I already posted Tommie Aaron's 1968 card, but didn't really elaborate on his career then.

Tommie joined the Milwaukee Braves in April 1962, after batting .295 and .299 in his previous 2 minor-league seasons. He played in 141 games as a rookie, mostly as a defensive replacement at 1st base for veteran Joe Adcock, although he did start 39 games there and another 35 starts in the outfield. However, his .231 batting average looks to have punched his ticket back to the minors for 1963.

In 1963 he played sporadically, only getting 135 at-bats in 72 games from April to July, and again in September. Aaron was in the minors for all of 1964-67, except for 8 games in the first 5 weeks of the 1965 season. Somehow, he managed to get Topps cards in the '64, '65, and '68 sets despite all that inactivity.

Tommie resurfaced with the Braves for all of 1968-70, and part of 1971. Although he played quite a bit in 1968 (probably because Rico Carty missed the entire season with tuberculosis), Aaron got less than 70 at-bats in each of his final 3 seasons.

He played for the Braves' AAA team from 1972-73 before retiring. After his playing career, he was a minor league manager (1973–78) and major league coach (1979–84) for the Braves.

Aaron passed away in 1984 at age 45.