Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Topps Cards That Never Were - 1985 Jim Palmer

It's been a long time since I have done one of these, or at least posted about one.  I have slipped a few non-posted Topps Cards That Never Were into my "gallery," such as a 1964 Stan Musial and 1980 Catfish Hunter.  The Musial card came out nice, so it should deserve its own post, but not this one.

This post goes to "Cakes" aka Jim Palmer.  By the time I was realizing the greatness of baseball in 1984 (Pads vs Tigers), which was far after I started collecting cards (circa 1979), I was unaware of Jim Palmer.  I missed all the hype about him in his underwear (Thank God) and knew little of him because his star was fading by 1984.

In fact, in 1984, the Orioles had felt his star had collapsed into a white dwarf, and released Palmer after he went 0-3 with an over 9 ERA at the beginning of the 1984 season.  The Orioles did give Mr. Palmer the option of going on the voluntary retirement list, to which Cakes declined, so the O's released him.  Unlike Baltimore's move, Jim was classy and decided to retire.

While I didn't know much about Cakes while he played because he was excluded from the 1975 release of Superstar Baseball tabletop game (which I still play) in favor of Mike Cuellar, I did learn about him in 1991.  During this spring training, seven years after his retirement and AFTER he had already been inducted into the Hall of Fame, Palmer decided to make a comeback.

This time the Orioles were open arms because of the publicity and dollar signs (Stay classy, Baltimore), but Palmer's comeback was ended after a poor spring training showing with an 80 MPH fastball.  However, I give him credit for trying, and given the fact he is/was in fantastic physical shape.  Must of been the tighty-whities.

Anyways, a story from the 1991 spring training goes like this: "While working out at the University of Miami during his comeback attempt, Palmer was approached by Hurricanes assistant coach Lazaro Collazo. Collazo, presumably not recognizing Palmer, reportedly told him, "You'll never get into the Hall of Fame with those mechanics." "I'm already in the Hall of Fame," Palmer replied."

Here are Cakes' stats from 1984 at the age of 38:

1984Orioles517.2 0319184179.17

Trade #2 - GCRL: Dodgers4Gold

After fruitlessly checking the mail non-stop over the past few days, I finally got a text message yesterday from my wife that unenthusiastically exclaimed, "You got baseball cards in the mail...", I knew that my trade with GCRL was complete.  This trade is my first venture in trading for vintage cards, and I was not disappointed.  To trade 30 dodgers for 5 vintage Topps seems like a deal to me, and based on how trades work, I'm sure it seemed like a deal to GCRL.

I came through the side door, crept to the kitchen and found the package on the bar.  Like a kid in a five and dime, I tore into the padded envelope, which to me looked like a 5 card, 5 cent pack of Topps, and found the following gold.

First up is a 1962 Dick Donovan (#15), who oozes that 1950s suburbian charm.  Short haircut, check, bland stoic look, check, no trace of uniform, logo, etc., check.  Mr. Donovan looks like he'd be more comfortable in an accounting firm, than a ballfield because he's Dick Donovan, CPA.  Methinks he his whistfully thinking about sitting in his barka-lounger sipping on a Manhattan without vermouth because that is for sissies, while listening to Bing Crosby on the phonograph.  I do dig the blurry palm tree and the way his collar flips like the "peeling" picture off the wood laminate.

Donovan was the 61 AL ERA leader for what appears to be the Senators based on the huge W on the cartoon ballcap, yet the front has him down as a Cleve. Indian.  At least he's not airbrushed.
Next up is a sweet 1964 Don McMahon (#122) that is another logo-less, cap-less wonder that pitches for the Cleve. Indians.  At least Mr. McMahon looks like he eats barbwire and shits napalm, instead of filling out 1040s.
Again, he is an offseason castoff from Houston to the Indians, which explains the uniform-less front.  My favorite part of 64 Topps is the quiz, which has long been eradicated by an exuberant child, which leads me to this quote "Rub edge of nickel or dime over blank box for magic answer."  So, sorry little Johnny, you cannot use a penny, two-bit piece or that shiny new 50 cent piece to find your magic answer.  I wonder if kids actually did only use dimes and nickels to rub off the answer?
Next is a 1968 Jerry McNertney (#14), which begs the question, Does Jerry have corneas or the largest irises in the world?  Added bonus is the burlap sack print that some of the 68 cards were blessed with.

The fourth card is a 68 Topps Jim Nash (#324) who is sporting the lovely black domed A's hat.  This must have been during the move from Kansas City to Oakland.  I guess Topps must have thought the logo was going to chance.  Also, dig those sliding AAAAs.
Finally, a 1968 Topps Bill Singer (#249). Really, a Dodger fan sending a Padres fan a Do-ho.  I can only surmise that this is a subversive attempt at a Dodger-Blue blood transfusion.  It won't work GCRL, but the card is awesome, especially the ratty, moth eaten sleeve.  The Dodger Nation should be ashamed of his tattered garb.

Thank you so much for the great cards, and one final blurb.  While I was washing dishes last night, I apparently did not put the cards up high enough because while I was with soapy hands, my 2 year old son walked in to kitchen holding the 1962 Topps, to which he proclaimed, "Mine!"  I sense this kid has a future!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Need Addresses - Update!

I am sending out packages today to Captain Canuck, Wicked Ortega, Dan and Play at the Plate.  I am looking for in return (in no particular order and quantity) any Tony Gwynn cards and cards prior to 1971 Topps.  I do not have my want lists up and ready, so it is a blind shoot for you.  Also, if that is a no go, I'm always interested in Padres and Carolina Hurricanes.  

I am leaving tomorrow to go to Florida to see the parents and hopefully some spring training baseball.  We'll be in Sarasota, so we'll be close to the Rays and Pirates training facilities.  I'll be sure to be looking for the one guy in the crowd who looks like he announces Roller Derby races...

A run down on needed addresses:

WSC – Have it and will try to mail 3/2.
MattR – Need it.
Fan of Reds - Need it.

Cpt. Canuck – Have it and mailed it (3/1).
Dan – Have it and mailed it (3/1).
Wicked Ortega – Have it and mailed it (3/1).
Play at the Plate - Have it and mailed it (3/1).
Troll – Have it, but need more ammo.
GCRL – Have it and mailed it (2/17).
Night Owl – Have it and mailed it (2/22).

Email me at uncle_docs_closet(at)yahoo(dot)com.

PS - I am hoping this much needed and quiet vacation will bring back my standard of sub par blogging, which greatly outshines the latest output. 

PPS - Anyone collect Star Wars, Legos or GI Joe (1980s) toys?  If so, let me know because I'd love not to hassle with The Bay.
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