Quarter Bin Madness
April 20th, 2011 by slangon

Sometimes I find it sort of humorous how, as a card collector, if I haven’t gotten any cards in a while, I get a jones for it. I mean like a real physical jones. A few weeks ago I had one of those jones’ and swung on over the local card shop to scratch that itch with some quarter bin scrounging. Turned out that the owner of the shop had headed up to the White Plains show and taken all the bargain bins with him, since he apparently does pretty well with them at card shows. Needless to say I was a little disappointed but I figured there was also a good chance he would end up picking up some stuff to restock the quarter bin with. So I sucked it up and left the shop with only a few pages that I needed for some oversized 50’s cards that needed filing.

Last week, I happened to swing by the shop after work due to one of the Mets games against the Rockies being (mercifully) rained out. When I started to thumb through the box I saw a few new cards, but not a whole lot of new stuff. In talking to the owner, it turned out that he did pick up a bunch of stuff at the show, but he hadn’t gone through it yet to sort out what would be going into the quarter bin. I guess that means I’ll have to go back and look through it again. Dangit..

Anyway, here’s what I got in exchange for a $5 bill.

1966 Topps #56 Sandy Valdespino

Normally, I’m not a huge fan of ’66 Topps, but something about Sandy’s pleading look and slumped shoulders convinced me to take him home. By the way, Sandy’s real first name is Hilario. That’s Spanish for “funny guy.”

1966 Topps #15 Vern Law

I don’t know about you, but when I rummage through card boxes, I usually pull out cards that I’m slightly interested in and make a pile. Then, I go back through that pile and decide which cards are keepers and which cards are going back into the box. I must’ve inadvertently put this card in the pile and then missed it when I was relooking through it because: 1) As I said before, I don’t really like the ’66 set, 2) I don’t have any particular affinity for Vern Law, and 3) I knew for a fact that I already had this card because I picked it up in some bargain bin somewhere and specifically remember regretting the fact that I spent a quarter or $0.20 or whatever for it because I don’t particularly like it. Now I have 2.

1959 Topps #501 Bobby Tiefenauer

I just got done explaining (twice) how I don’t like the 1966 Topps set. I don’t think that would surprise too many folks since it seems like a lot of people don’t like that set. Let’s face it, it’s a boring looking set. What is there to like? I’m also not a big fan of the ’59 set, which might surprise people considering how much folks fawn over it. I also really like the 1958 set, too. What can I say, I march to the beat of my own drum. Anyway, if I hate the ’59 set so much, why did I get this card? First of all, it’s not very often that there’s 1950’s cards in the quarter box so I’ll usually snatch them up when I see them regardless of what year they’re from. Secondly, this is card #501 which I was convinced was a high number. I thought I was getting over by picking up a ’59 high number for 25¢. Of course the 1959 high series start with card #507. That’s what I get for trying to get one over.

1960 Fleer #46 Eddie Plank

As surprised as I was to see the 1959 Bobby Tiefenauer in the quarter box, I was down right shocked to see this one. I don’t remember even seeing any Topps inserts in the quarter box, nevermind a non-Topps issue. It may not be pretty, but it’s a cool card of a Hall of Famer that you don’t see too often. Of course I’m going to grab it for a quarter.

1967 Topps #128 Ed Spiezo

I can’t look at this card without thinking of Scott Spiezio’s ratty, stupid looking, red soul patch. Is that weird? Apparently, there’s an error version of this card. Actually, I’m not sure if it’s technically an error or a variation. I guess it doesn’t matter. Either way, there’s a different version of this card where Ed’s bat looks like it’s in front of his name, thus blocking out half of the “S” and all of the “PI” in his last name. It would’ve been far better for me if that were the version I found since it seems to be pretty rare and pricey. Aside from being a Cardinal, Ed was also an original Padre. He actually has the first hit, home run and RBI ion Padres history thanks to one swing of the bat. In the Padres first game, he hit a 5th inning homer off of Astros pitcher Don Wilson. The Padres won that game 1-0, so I guess he also had the teams first Game Winning RBI.

1967 Topps #79 Bubba Morton

This past Christmas, some kind soul who I can’t remember the exact identity of had given me a Barnes & Noble gift card. One of the books that I got with that was a used copy of The Great American Baseball Card Flipping, Trading and Bubble Gum Book by Fred Harris and Brendan Boyd. If you’re unfamiliar with this book, aside from containing a pretty damn interesting interview with Sy Berger, it’s pretty much the precursor to baseball card blogs. The entire second half of the book consists of the 2 authors picking various cards from their youth and doing write ups on them. Sound familiar? It’s a pretty entertaining book and I would suggest it to anyone with an interest in baseball cards. Anyway, There’s probably between 75 and 100 cards that they highlight and I kind of thought that would make an interesting, if slightly obscure collecting goal: to collect all the cards written about in The Great American Baseball Card Flipping, Trading and Bubble Gum Book. This 1967 Bubba Morton is featured on a page that has nothing but cards of guys named Bubba.

1967 Topps #120 Floyd Robinson

Floyd Robinson was never an All-Star, but he was one of only 35 people in the history of the Majors to collect 6 hits in 6 at-bats within a 9 inning game. That’s pretty cool, too.

1967 Topps #37 Rick Wise

Rick Wise did make it onto the All-Star team twice in his 18 year career, but like Floyd Robinson, that couldn’t be considered the highlight of his career. That would come on June 23, 1971 when he had arguably the best game of anyone who ever played baseball. On that day, as a member of the Phillies, he threw a no-hitter AND hit 2 home runs. That doesn’t happen outside of Little League.

1969 Topps #45 Maury Wills

Often times I expound on how certain players have really cool nick names. It’s not very often that I’m impressed with a players given name. In this case, I am. Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you Maurice Morning Wills. I really had no idea that Maury Wills played for the Expos, but it turns out that he stole the first base in their history.

1969 Topps #91 Al Dark

It’s an obvious airbrush card, right? The weird thing to me is that Al Dark had been the manager of the Indians since the start of the 1968 season, so why wouldn’t they have a real picture of him in a Tribe uniform by the time the 1969 set came out? What’s even stranger is that he seems to me to be in a Giants uniform, but he hadn’t managed the Giants since 1964. As a matter of fact, he spent 2 years with the A’s in between the Giants and the Indians. So rather than send a photographer to snap a photo of the Swamp Fox with Chief Wahoo on his hat, Topps chose to use a 5 year old photo. Makes sense.

1967 Topps #49 Roy Face

If you were a Pirates fan in the mid 60’s, do you think you would be mad at Topps for always using colors like pink and purple for your team’s cards? Also, does anyone else think it’s funny that a guy named Roy Face has a kind of funny looking face? I kid. I Kid. You know I love you, Roy.

1967 Topps #258 Lee Maye

Lee Maye played in the Majors from 1959 to 1971. Interestingly, he also had a recording career during the off-seasons, performing with his doo-wop group Arthur Lee Maye and the Crowns. He had some marginal hits such as “Truly” and “Love Me Always.”

1970 Topps #123 Don Gutteridge

Don Gutteridge was a former member of the Gas House Gang. As a matter of fact, before he passed away in 2008, he was the last surviving member of the Gas House Gang. He was also at the time one of ten oldest living major league baseball players, baseball’s oldest living former manager or coach, and the last living St. Louis Brown to play in the World Series.

1970 Topps #16 Charlie Metro

Charlie Metro was born Charles Moreskonich. His father, a Ukrainian immigrant, was named Metro Moreskonich. Charlie’s nick name growing up was “Little Metro”. When he began playing baseball, he was listed as Charlie Metro because it would fit better into the box scores. Funny how things like that happen. It would’ve been awesome if he was manager of the Mets. Charlie Metro of the New York Metropolitans.

1970 Topps #70 A.L. Pitching Leaders

Although I have a few league leader cards that have more than the standard 3 players pictured on the front, this one certainly takes the cake for being the most crowded. As jam packed as the front of this card is, I always enjoyed the backs of these earlier leader cards.

I love how you can end up on a Pitching Leaders card by winning 8 games. I think somewhere I have an R.B.I. leader card where a guy with 48 runs driven in was on it.

1968 Topps #416 Bill Rigney

One of the things I enjoy about the Baseball-Reference website is that they usually list a player or managers nick name. One of the things that I can’t decide if I enjoy or not is that a lot of times they don’t explain how or why the person got that nick name. For example, Bill Rigney was apparently known as “Specs” or “The Cricket”. Doing a Google Images search for Bill Rigney does not come up with any pictures of him wearing glasses, and I can’t even begin to guess as to ehy he was called “The Cricket”. Mysterious.

1969 Topps #369 Bob Skinner

Are you starting to notice a trend here? I guess this particular 25¢ bin is a perfect match for someone who likes to collect manager cards. Bob Skinner here is the father of Joel Skinner, who managed the Cleveland Indians in 2002. That makes them, along with George and Dick Sisler, one of only 2 father/son tandems that managed in the Big Leagues. Interestingly, Steve Carlton played with both Bob and Joel.

1974 Topps #236 Red Schendienst

Is it just me, or did managers and coaches look older and crustier back in the day? By the way, you know how I’m trying to collect the 1960 Topps set? In hind sight, I feel like I should’ve started with a set like the 1974 set. I think it still looks really cool and there’s still a lot of great cards to had from it, but there’s no annoying high numbered cards and although there are some cool rookies (Dave parker, Gorman Thomas, Bucky Dent, Ken Griffey Sr.), outside of the Dave Winfield rookie, there’s not really any big money cards. Taking a quick look at eBay, it seems even the Winfield card can be had without busting the bank. It also happens to be the year I was born, so that’s cool. Hmm. I think I might’ve just talked myself into collecting the 1974 set. Damn.

1979 Topps #411 All Time Hit Leaders

I think out of all the sub-sets that Topps included in their main sets, this might be my favorite. I’m a huge fan of baseball history so I always find it interesting to see guys who hold various records. Too bad neither of these guys still holds those records. It seems like Topps should redo this set every now and again just to keep it updated. Like maybe every 5 years or so, or maybe just re-release it whenever one of the records is broken. If they did do that, I personally think it would be pretty awesome if they stuck to the same design just to keep some sort of continuity.

1979 Topps #414 All-Time Batting Average Leaders

Unlike the All-Time Hits leaders card that has had both the single season and all-time records broken, I think it’s fair to say that this card is pretty safe. I can’t envision anyone ever even coming close to The Rajah’s .424 single season batting average or The Peach’s lifetime .366 average. I always thought it was.367, which is what is listed on the back of this card, but apparently some sort of mistake was discovered in the numbers so .366 is the accepted number nowadays. Still, .366 or .367, I don’t think anyone is ever going to come close.

So that, my friends, is what $5 looks like to someone who likes cards that cost $0.25. A pretty nice haul if I say so myself.

2 Responses to “Quarter Bin Madness”

  1. That 1970 AL Pitching Leaders card is interesting. It doesn’t say anywhere that those are the wins leaders. Obviously that is the stat that was used, but funny not to mention it.

  2. Reefer Madness tribute for April 20, tres bon! I’d pick the 1970 pitching leaders as my fave, although those 1974 “floating heads” coach cards also stand out..

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