Monday, March 31, 2008

Updated Rickey Card Collection

After going through the 1,000 card Rickey oddball binder, I was able to add a total of 131 cards to my Rickey collection. Of those, 46 were Beckett classified cards, with all of them coming from 1981-1994.

Below is an updated list of the annual Becket card that I now have. I now have at least 90% of the cards from every year from 1980-1995, except 1987 and 1991. I plan on posting a list soon of the specific cards I'm missing from those years, for quick reference without having to scroll through my entire checklist.

Year Have/Total Percent

1977-1980 2/3 66.7%

1981 14/15 93.3%

1982 20/22 90.9%

1983 39/42 92.9%

1984 37/39 94.9%

1985 25/26 96.2%

1986 33/35 94.3%

1987 51/57 89.5%

1988 42/45 93.3%

1989 46/51 90.2%

1990 74/79 93.7%

1991 101/119 84.9%

1992 67/74 90.5%

1993 47/52 90.4%

1994 61/67 91.0%

1995 63/70 90.0%

1996 70/91 76.9%

1997 54/78 69.2%

1998 69/112 61.6%

1999 59/124 47.6%

2000 52/116 44.8%

2001 49/143 34.3%

2002 19/272 7.0%

2003 19/538 3.5%

2004 4/846 0.5%

2005 1/1,055 0.1%

2006 0/250 0.0%

2007 0/36 0.0%

1977-1998 915/1,077 85.0%

1977-2007 1,118/4,457 25.1%

Total Non-Beckett Cards 319

Total Rickey Cards 1,437

Friday, March 28, 2008

A Taste of What's to Come

I recently received the collection of Rickey oddball cards in the mail that I had alluded to in my last post, and I couldn't be happier! While compiling my list of Rickey cards, which I posted recently, I came across an e-mail with a list of oddball cards from an eBay dealer that I used to buy cards from (which was dated June 14, 1999). I was amazingly able to track the dealer down, and found out that he was not selling cards anymore, but that he still had them all in his basement. So, after a few e-mails back and forth, I was able to purchase a binder containing his entire Rickey oddball card collection!

After what seemed like ages (it was actually only 2 days after he shipped it), I received that above binder. It contains about 80 pages and probably around 1,000 Rickey cards. But, the amazing thing, is that probably only 20 or so were actual base cards. It is almost entirely made up of the cards that I enjoy collecting the most, the odd ones that aren't seen very often. I've created a few collages of some of the cards and other items that I received, with more detailed posts to come at a later time.

This first picture includes, among other things, an April 1996 Baseball Weekly, a 1991 Starshots button, the top from a 1987 Topps Sticker box, an uncut panel of 1992 Mr. Turkey cards, and a 1990 Bandai collectors coin.

The next picture shows a 1983 Fleer Star Stickers box top, a complete box from 1989 OPC, the wrapper from the 1990 Topps coins set, a 1987 General Mills booklet and a 1984 Topps 10 sticker test strip.

The final picture includes a page from a 1991 Little Simon Record Breaker book, an uncut sheet of cards from a 1991 BB Card Price Guide Magazine, a panel of 4 1988 Chef Boyardee cards, a 1987 Indiana Blue Sox card, and an uncut square from the 1994 Sucker Saver set.

Because I purchased such a large collection, I now have a ton of oddball cards available to trade for Rickey's that I still need. I'll try and get a list up shortly, but if anyone needs any particular cards, please send me a list, and I can let you know what I have.

I'm going to be unable to post anything more this week, but I'll start up next week with more of the new additions to my collection.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

939 Stolen Bases FotoBall

I know that there must have been at least a handful of different Rickey Fotoball's made over the years, but I somehow only ended up with one of them. This ball features Rickey preparing to steal one of his 939 bases.

This FotoBall was probably released in late 1991, after Rickey broke Lou Brock' all-time stolen base record on May 1, 1991 against the Yankees.

The third side of the ball features a little description of the "Man of Steal," and how he came to break the record.

I apologize for the short post today, but make sure to check back in later in the week. I should have gotten my new purchase of Rickey cards by then, and I can't wait to show them off!

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Framed Print with Japanese Card

I have to apologize for the lack of posts recently, but life has been keeping me away from the blog. I've also been working on acquiring a fairly large collection of oddball Rickey items, which I will hopefully be able to start sharing next week. It's like Christmas waiting for them to arrive!

Today's post features a card that I've never seen the back of, as it's currently framed, and I've never run across another one! In honor of the A's upcoming games in Japan against the Red Sox, I present this framed Rickey print and card combination.

I don't remember exactly where I got this, but I'm pretty sure that it was either a Wal-Mart or a Kmart. I'm usually not a fan of the random framed prints, but because it had an actual card that I'd never seen before, I had to get it.

Here's a close-up of the card, including the Japanese characters. It's not clear why this particular card was chosen to accompany the print, but it is a pretty nice looking card, with an unusual picture of Rickey. If anyone can translate it, and let me know what it says, I'd really appreciate it. Also, if anyone knows anything about where this card came from, I'd love to know some more about it.

Finally, the frame also includes a little paragraph with the title of the litho, "Catch Me...If You Can," and the number 278 in the bottom corner, which I guess is supposed to represent some sort of limited edition. I was actually a little surprised that it was sanctioned by both the MLB and the MLBPA, since it is a pretty random print and card combination.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Salvino's Bammers Mets Bear

Believe it or not, I actually have two stuffed Rickey Henderson bears in my collection. I discussed the Cooperstown Bear in a previous post, and now today's post features another Rickey bear in a Mets uniform. This one is slightly larger than the first, and is more the size of a beanie baby when they were all the craze.

Produced by Salvino's, this 7th Inning Stretch Salvino's Bammers bear was released in 1999 (on exactly July 12th, according to the hangtag). The hangtag also features a little caricature of Rickey, and it's surprisingly one of the better ones that I have seen over the years, as it actually looks a little bit like him.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

1980 Oakland A's Media Guide

Today's post will mark the last of the items I picked up at the San Francisco Tri-Star convention a few weeks ago. I got this media guide (for Rickey's first full year with the A's) from the same dealer that sold me the 1980 Spring Training guide.

Rickey was only 21 years old in 1980, and still had quite a few games left to play in his career. According to his bio, Rickey was signed in 1976 by Jim Guinn, and I hope that guy got a bonus!

Rickey was recalled by the A's from the Ogden club on June 23, 1979, and made his major league debut the next day. According to the media guide, the A's lost both games of a doubleheader to Texas 5-1 and 7-2. A total of 4,752 fans were there for Rickey's debut, which was surprisingly good for a home game at the time. The A's played a home game on September 18, also against Texas, where only 750 fans showed up!

The A's were pretty bad in 1979 (they had a final record of 54-108), but not nearly as bad as they made themselves out to be in the media guide!

During the 1979 season Rickey played in 89 games, which I believe was every game the A's played after he was called up. Even playing only half a season, Rickey led the team in stolen bases (with 33),and was second on the team with a .274 average.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

1990 Topps Doubleheaders

Prior to producing the Tripleheaders balls in 1991, Topps produced a set called Doubleheaders in 1990. This set consisted of two 2.0" x 2.5" cards encased back-to-back in a plastic stand. On one side was the players rookie card (in Rickey's case 1980 Topps), and on the other side was the current years Topps card (1990 Topps #450).

These came one to a pack, and Rickey's "card" was actually featured on the front of the pack, which is always a nice added bonus! There was actually a "test" issue released in 1989, featuring 1989 Topps cards. I don't have this "test" card, but if anyone out there has one, I'd love to get ahold of it!

These were apparently divided up into three sets, with Rickey's card part of Checklist B. Also included in this portion of the sets were cards of Ken Griffey Jr. (in only his second year), Bo Jackson (imagine what he could have done if he'd stuck to baseball, and not gotten hurt), and Greg Maddux.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Porcelain 1980 Topps Rookie Card

The R&N China Company must have had a deal with Topps in the early 1990's to reproduce classic rookie cards in a variety of interesting ways. In one of my earlier posts was a coffee mug featuring Rickey's rookie card on the front.

Today's post is of a porcelain version of that same classic card (1980 Topps #482), advertised as the "world's thinnest porcelain baseball card." This is probably a pretty safe assumption, as I don't know of too many different types of porcelain baseball cards out there.

This porcelain card is about the same size as an actual baseball card, but with rounded corners, and comes complete with a "solid wood display base." It was probably produced around the same time as the coffee mug (1992), although I'm not actually sure. At the bottom of the porcelain, below the picture of the actual card, it says "R&N China Co, 'Sports Nostalgia,' Carrolton, Ohio." The back of the card looks just like the back of his normal rookie card, but is numbered in gold lettering (my card is limited edition #1,114, out of who know how many).

The card came packaged in a corrugated cardboard sleeve, with the card placed in the middle. Luckily it has stood up to its "thin yet very durable" claim, as the packaging didn't provide much protection for a piece of porcelain.

On the back of the package is the certificate of authenticity, also numbered to 1,114. It says that the card is an officially certified edition, limited to only 30 firing days. Which, really doesn't say too much about how many of them there actually are out there. Either way, I enjoy the graphic that accompanies the certificate.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Yankees TCMA Postcards

Continuing on with the items I got from the TriStar show (only one more post left after this), are these pair of postcards from the 1985 and 1986 Yankees TCMA sets.

The postcard on the left is from the 1985 set, and is number 35 in the collection (numbered NYY85-35 below the place for the stamp). The 1986 postcard on the right is number 33 in the set.

The 1986 postcard is shown on the top, while the 1985 postcard is on the bottom of the above scan. I was actually pretty excited that I was able to cross these off of my checklist, as I don't have too many cards from the 1980's that I still need, and I love it when I get to check of some of the few that are remaining. I knew that they existed (thanks to Beckett's checklist), but being on the West Coast, I'd never actually seen any in person.

I came across a dealer with a binder full of Yankees postcards, priced at $0.50 each or 3/$1.00. Even though I'd never seen them before, I knew right away that they must be the TCMA postcards. But, based on past experience, when a dealer has a set of old oddball cards, 99% of the time the stars (i.e. Rickey) have already been picked through, leaving only the commons behind. But, much to my amazement, there was the Rickey in the 1985 set, and the 1986 postcard was only a few pages later.

Even more amazing, was that since the cards were 3/$1.00, I could now get something else for free! It's the little things in life that really make you happy. So, I found this 1991 King B disc, which I added to my pile. I already have one, but you can't pass up free cards.