Blaster Schmaster: The Old Stuff
April 2nd, 2011 by slangon

I was hoping to finish this series of posts up before I went on that mini-hiatus for the birth of my daughter, but I didn’t quite make it. Just to refresh your memory, since it’s been a spell, a while back I had spent about what I would’ve on a modern day blaster box at Sportlots and got a gaggle of cards running the gamut of modern to vintage. I worked my way from modern cards and junk wax to the mid to late 1970’s to the early 70’s to the second half of the 60’s and finally the early 60’s and late 50’s.

First up is a few 1957 Topps. This is definitely my least favorite of the 1950’s Topps sets, but for some reason I always feel compelled to grab them when I see them cheap. Also, although I’m not crazy about the design, I do appreciate that Topps was trying to do something different with this set.

Bob Kennedy had a surprising long career for a player who I’ve never really heard of. He played 16 seasons for 5 different teams. Like many players who had a long career but I never heard of, he went on to have an equally long career as a manager and front office guy.

With a name like Warren Hack, you would think he would be an all or nothing slugger in the Dave Kingman mold. Instead, he’s the proud owner of a 62-89 pitching record.

The Cuban born Sanchez sparked off a wild brawl on May 15, 1960 when the Redlegs were playing the Phillies in the first game of a double header. After Raul hit Ted Lepcio, Cal Neeman and Gene Conley with pitches in the 8th inning, Phillies manager Gene Mauch charges the mound, sparking a benches clearing brawl. After about 10 minutes, the umpires restored calm until seconds later Frank Robinson and Robin Roberts started to fight again over by first base. Roberts took the blame, saying that the fight started because of an “uncalled-for remark by me.” Hmm. I wonder what he said. Apparently the only real casualty was Billy Martin, who left the game and went to the hospital for x-rays after getting punched in the eye by Gene Conley. The Phils won the first game 14-3 and the Reds took the second game 5-1.

Now we move into the really cool stuff, at least as far as I’m concerned.

I’ve always maintained that the 1953 set was my favorite Topps set of the 50’s, but the ’56 set is quickly gaining ground in that race. I love the background action shots that always seem to involve clouds of dirt and someone laid out on the ground.

I scored a couple of ’54 Bowman cards as well, which are the first 2 of that particular set in my collection.

I’ve always had it in my head that this was a kind of lame set, I think mostly because the design is not as cool looking as the 1950-51-52 Bowman sets and it’s not as weird and kitschy as the 1955 Bowman set. I have to say, though, seeing these in person, the hand colored photographs are really beautiful, especially on the Evers card.

Finally I was able to get another 1954 Topps card.

It’s funny how things like this happen. A month or 2 ago, I didn’t own any 1954 Topps, but I think I own about 10 of them now. I feel like that also happened to me with the 1965 set, where I had very few of them for the longest time, but then out of nowhere I found myself owning a bunch of them. Weird.

So anyway, we’re finally through all the cards. The final tally was $19.45 for 53 cards, including 2 from 2010, 1 from 2007, 1 from 1988, 2 from 1984, 1 from 1979, 1 from 1978, 1 from 1977, 3 from 1974, 4 from 1973, 8 from 1972, 1 from 1971, 4 from 1970, 5 from 1969, 1 from 1968, 1 from 1965, 1 from 1964, 1 from 1962, 1 from 1960, 4 from 1959, 3 from 1957, 1 from 1956 and 3 from 1954. I’d rather have all that creased, stained, rounded corner cardboard than a cheesy blaster any day.

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