Saturday, May 31, 2008

Modesto A's Bobblehead

Back around 2000, when Rickey's playing days were pretty much over, I started collecting cards and oddball items of Tim Hudson, one of the A's "Big Three," and an up-and-coming superstar!

In 2002, the Modesto A's, who Hudson played for in the Minors, were holding a Tim Hudson bobblehead night, and I just had to have one. Just because I found them, I have included their 2002 Magnet and Pocket schedules.

I'd never been to a Modesto A's game before, as it took a few hours to get there from my house, but I was going to make it to this one.

I paid a whopping $4 for my general admission ticket, but I wasn't as interested in the game as I was in getting my coveted bobblehead. They were limited to only the first 1,000 fans, and this was at the pinnacle of bobblehead mania, where people would line up hours before the game to get the bobble, and then just leave. I did manage to get the bobblehead, and also stayed for almost all of the game.

But, you ask, what does this have to do with Rickey? Well, while walking around the stadium before the game (I had plenty of time to kill since we'd gotten there so early) I noticed a table with a non-Tim Hudson bobble on it. I went to investigate, and to my surprise, it was Rickey! They were holding a season ticket promotion, and anyone that bought a package (5 game minimum), would get the Rickey bobblehead for free. Well, as you might expect, it didn't take me long to become a season ticket holder!

Alas, the tickets all went unused, as it was just too far to drive to watch minor league baseball. I'm not sure who we saw play when we were there (it would be great if I could find a box score somewhere), but Bobby Crosby and Joe Blanton were both on the team in 2002. But, in the end, I was now a proud owner of my first Rickey bobblehead!

Rickey is depicted holding his "939" base and wearing a nice pair of shades. The back of the bobble says "Modesto A's 1977," the year that he played on the team. The bobble is actually one of the nicer ones that I have seen. Since it was sponsored by the team, and not a promotional giveaway, there are no large obtrusive advertisers logos present, such as the Taco Bell logo on the bobble I posted last week.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Framed and Autographed Cachet's

Just a quick post today to showcase something that I just recently rediscovered while cleaning out our spare bedroom. It's a set of autographed cachet's that I had custom framed and matted by my lovely wife (then girlfriend) who worked at a frame shop while going to college. I unfortunately picked out the frame, and would have been much better off if I'd let her choose one.

The first cachet is dated August 27, 1982 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. It was released to commemorate Rickey's 119th stolen base of the season, which broke Lou Brock's all-time single season record. The cache was autographed by both Rickey and Lou Brock, but the Brock signature was signed with a really horrible pen, and can barely be seen (it's much more legible if you click on the picture and enlarge it). As I've mentioned before, I really like these silk cachets, with the image printed on a small square of silk rather than directly on the envelope. The Jackie Robinson stamp is also a nice touch.

This second cachet was released in Kansas City , Missouri on October 2, 1982. It was on this date that Rickey stole three bases against the Royals, to make it 130 total for the season. This cachet was only signed by Rickey, but it is a nice bold and legible signature. The envelope once again includes a Robinson stamp, but also a bucking donkey cancellation mark, which I think is a nice touch. On a related note, an unused ticket for this game was recently featured on my most recent post.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Rickey for Sale on Ebay

Back in the height of my collecting period, there wasn't a day that went by that I didn't check eBay to see what new oddball Rickey items had surfaced. I haven't checked it out lately, but thought I'd see if any completed items caught my attention.

There were hundreds of game-used and limited edition parallels out there, none of which I have in my collection, but that's OK with me. I singled out some auctions featuring older, more interesting items, as well as newer items that still fit in the oddball category.

We'll start with what I think was the coolest find, a signed check from the Major League Baseball Players Association in 1980, for a total of $504, and endorsed by Rickey on the back. The check sold for almost $135, about 25% of the actual check amount. I also really like the fact that it's from the very beginning of his career. He made sure to cash this one, unlike the $1 million bonus check he received from the A's, which he never cashed, but just put up framed on his wall!

The second picture shows a close-up of Rickey's endorsement on the back.

While playing for the A's in 1982, only his third full year in the Majors, Rickey stole an unheard of 130 stolen bases. This still stands as the single season record today, with not much chance of being broken anytime soon. Michael Bourne of the Astros currently leads baseball with 21 stolen bases on the year, which would project out to only 75 for the season, barely half way to Rickey's all-time mark. This unused ticket from the game against the Royals on October 2, 1982, when he stole base number 130, recently sold for only $7.50, which I think is a pretty amazing deal!

This next item is an autographed 8"x10" featuring a vintage pose of Rickey in a classic early 80's A's jersey. Based on the holographic logos in the corner, it's obviously a new copy of an old picture (meaning the signature is fairly new as well), but it's still a great item, and not bad for only $45.00

The auction below is for a particularly rare Topps Rickey Henderson card. This is the 1983 Topps Sticker Boxes #8, and is one of only 3 cards of Rickey's that I still need from 1983. I've never actually scene on of these before, and definitely not one uncut from the box! This card was a great purchase with a final price of only $9.99.

Another early 80's Rickey collectible, this 560 KSFO Bumper Sticker features a nice profile of Rickey, along with the Billy Ball logo,. and actually went unsold with a starting bid of $9.99. I know I have a similar bumper sticker somewhere, but I have no idea where it might be.

Ever since compiling my Rickey list using Beckett's database, there have been a few listings that I have had no clue what card they were talking about, one being the 1991 San Francisco Examiner #6. I think I may have just solved this mystery. This 8 1/2" x 11" card (which went unsold at $3.00) was inserted in the San Francisco Examiner in 1991. The seller doesn't mention a number, but Beckett has been known to make up their own numbering system when they are so inclined, so I'm pretty confident they are one in the same.

I have a fairly large collection of Rickey pins and buttons (which I will get to posting eventually), but this 939 All-Time Base Bandit pin is one that I don't believe I've ever seen before. Following the trend of recent items, this one also went unsold at $7.00.

With these final items I'm shifting from the vintage, to something more contemporary. The first is a 2004 Modesto A's bobblehead, with an unfortunate Taco Bell logo on the front. I realize that they sponsored the promotion, but this is a little much for me. This sold for a Buy it Now price of $28.00.

Continuing on with the bobblehead theme is this 2005 San Diego Surf Dawggs bobble, which sold for a Buy it Now of $24.99. Aside from the weird looking lips, I like this bobble much better than the previous one. Also released by the Surf Dawggs in 2005 is this poster schedule (unsold at a starting bid of $4.99), as the Dawggs are naturally trying to capitalize on Rickey's star status.

Finally, although I mentioned in the beginning I ignored the vast array of game-used cards available, I couldn't help at stopping at the Rickey Henderson and Willie Mays combo jersey numbered 2 out of only 25 copies. Sold at a Buy it Now of $45 (a bit pricey for me), this is a card I wouldn't mind having, as it doesn't get any better than Rickey and Willie!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Unopened Rack and Cello Packs

I remember growing up that one of my favorite things to do was go down to the local mall, and check out what baseball cards they had at the Kay Bee toy store. I loved to browse through the box of Topps rack packs, looking for the "white all-star cards" that were always present on the top of the packs. If I couldn't find one that I needed, then there was always a fall back plan...just pick anything with Rickey on it! The packs below are actually ones that I've acquired more recently, as an unopened pack would never have lasted very long back then.

This first pack is from 1986 Topps and contains 48 cards plus the all important "all-star game commemorative card," for a total of 49 cards. I've actually never opened a pack of 1986 Topps (since I started collecting in 1987), and I don't plan on starting with this one. It contains a double-dose of Rickey, with both his regular and commemorative all star cards.

This pack from 1987 also contains 49 cards, with the Rickey "Turn Back the Clock" on the front. As an added bonus, his 1987 base card is on the back.

In 1988, the rack pack is reduced to 42 cards plus the insert, a reduction of 6 cards from earlier years. I'm not sure if I noticed this at the time, but I should have! Along with the Rickey commemorative all star card, this pack also features Carney Lansford on the front, a player admired by any fan of the A's in the late 80's.

The 1989 rack pack once again includes the reduced number of 43 cards. It's actually a pretty good pack, with a future Hall of Famer (Rickey), a potential Hall of Famer (Dale Murphy), and a 4-time all star (Jimmy Key).

In a venture away from Topps, this 1987 Fleer Cello pack showcases Rickey's base card on the front, and contains 31 cards and 2 stickers. Surprisingly, I don't remember opening any Fleer in 1987, I think it was Topps or nothing for me. But, I did receive a complete set of 1987 Topps, Donruss, and Fleer from my Grandpa for Christmas that year. They aren't worth much now monetarily, but for sentimental reasons, they are some of my most treasured cards.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Early 1990's Framed Posters

Today's post is a follow up to the wall posters blog from a few weeks ago. I knew I had a couple framed Rickey posters, but wasn't able to locate them as I was going through my collection. I found these by accident while searching for something completely different (a course description and syllabus for a college class, to be exact) at my parents house. Somehow, they get put in a box full of old school papers, and never made the move.

These posters are technically "framed," but it's really just a cheap plastic border that keeps the glass attached to the poster. I can't remember where I got any of these, but they are similar to the types of posters you could win playing carnival games at a state or county fair. Unfortunately (or maybe luckily for my wallet), I never did see a Rickey poster at a balloon dart or ring toss booth.

This first poster is approximately 16" x 20" and was produced by Starline in 1990. It came in this very expensive looking gold frame.

This next poster is only 8" x 10" and was also produced by Starline in 1990. You probably would have won this one during your first shot at game, and would have had to trade up to get the larger version.

This final poster was produced by Sports Illustrated / Marketcom, and is also 16" x 20". There is no copyright year listed, but it is probably in the 1990-1992 range. A nice "upgrade" with this one, in the fact that our frame is now a nice black, instead of the gaudy gold.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

A Few Collectible Plaques

I've never really been a fan of the collectible wooden plaque, but I have obtained a few over the years.

This first one was purchased at Kmart I believe, and included a card that I'd never seen before at the time, which is why I bought it. But, it turned out to just be a set of holographic cards released by Upper Deck (1993 Gallery Heroes #29), so I ended up with a copy of the individual card anyway. The "limited edition hologram" text on the plaque is a little misleading, but I guess it worked, since I now own one.

This next piece is a framed and matted Rickey card and pin, so I guess you can't really call it a plaque. I received this as a Christmas present (and a good one at that), and although I had the card, it was a cool one, and the pin I had also never seen before. The card is his base Upper Deck card (1992 #444), and the pin is a 1991 Ace MVP pin.

This final plaque features the top two all-time stolen base leaders, Rickey Henderson, and Lou Brock. The cards I actually put in myself, and aren't really anything special. I remember buying this off of eBay and really liking it at the time, but I'm not exactly sure why. I can kind of take it or leave it now. If the pictures were autographed, then it would be a totally different story.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

May 1, 1991: Rickey Steals #939

May 1 is an important date to any Rickey Henderson fan, it's the day that he stole his 939th base, and passed Lou Brock on the all-time list. Today's post will be a fairly picture heavy showcase of some of my items that commemorate that memorable day.

The first few pictures are some of the cards that were produced commemorating Rickey breaking the record. Most were produced in 1992, but some, such as the 1999 Upper Deck Epic Milestones in the second picture, came many years later.

The next two pictures depict a 1992 Starting Lineup Headline Collection. These collections contained a figure as well as a stand that contained a newspaper headline from a local paper commemorating the event, which in this case was the Oakland Tribune.

This picture of Rickey hugging Lou Brock was cut from the front page of my local paper (the Daily Republic) on May 2, and I have no idea what happened to the rest of the paper. The caption also mentions the other historic event that happened on that day (Nolan Ryan's 7th no-hitter).

There were quite a few pins produced depicting Rickey's 939th steal. The top one (I believe) was given away at the Oakland Coliseum on the day he broke the record. I'm pretty sure this was the case, as the dates that he reached all of his previous stolen base milestones are listed, but May 1st is not.

Finally, are these two cards that Pepsi produced during a promotion with Rickey. The top "card" was actually cut from the side of the 12 pack, while the bottom is actually an official baseball card.