Monday, August 11, 2008

Rickey Henderson Pins & Buttons: Part II

Update 8/12: Thanks to Neil (RickeyFanatic on The Bench), I've added a button variation that I didn't even know existed. It seems that the 1986 Baseball Button comes in both a 3" and 1 1/2" version.

Now that I've completed the pins section of this post, it's time for the buttons! I don't have nearly as many buttons as I do pins, so this post will be considerably shorter.

We'll start with what I believe to be the oldest of the buttons in my collection. The front of the button features a young Rickey in a classic A's jersey. It includes his name in black block letters, as well as a facsimile signature and the number 254. It seems odd to me to include a number right next to the players face, but that's where they put it. On the edge of the button it reads "Sports Photo Assoc., Hawthorne, N.J. c 1978." I'm not sure if the button was actually produced in 1978, since Rickey first played for the A's in 1979, but it's definitely from one of his earlier seasons.

Continuing along chronologically, this mini button (it's only about 1" across) was produced in 1984 by Fun Foods. This button is actually officially recognized by Beckett, and is listed as "Fun Foods Pins 17."

Along with the button, I also have a paper "proof" of the Rickey Fun Foods pin. It's basically an uncut square of the buttons image before it was actually applied to the button itself.

The four pins above are the remaining members of the A's (Dwayne Murphy, Dave Kingman, Carney Lansford, and Joe Morgan) that were included in the 1984 Fun Foods set. Although not Rickey-related, I had the buttons in the same box as the Rickey ones, so figured I might as well include them.

The next "Vincentown" buttons I've actually blogged about before, but I wanted to post them all in one place, so I've included them here as well. The button is about 3" round and features a head shot of Rickey, along with his name in all black capital letters. On the side of the button it says "M.L.B.P.A. Baseball Buttons, Vincentown NJ 08088." Beckett categorizes this button as "1986 Baseball Star Buttons 55," which as I mentioned in the previous post, was an item off of their list that I had and didn't even know it!

EDIT: Thanks again to reader Neil for providing the picture of the 1 1/2" 1986 Baseball Star Button. I've included a picture of my button (also with a dollar as reference), so that the two are able to be compared side by side. Based on discussions with other collectors, it seems that the 1/ 1/2" (or officially 1 7/16") size is the "correct" one. I have no idea where my 3" button came from, but now I need to find the smaller version as well.

Included above are three other Vincentown buttons that I have, which unlike the earlier 1986 button, are not included in Beckett's master checklist. The button on the left is another 3" button that says "Baseball Buttons, Vincentown, NJ, O8088, 1990 MLB MLBPA."

The two buttons on the right are only about 1 1/2" in size. The top button says on the front that it's from 1991, but the copyright on the side says "Baseball Buttons, 1990 MLB MLBPA." The bottom button, from 1992 and number 111 of 120 in the set, is marked "MLBPA Baseball Buttons, Vincentown NJ, 1991 MLB." Like the one before, the copyright year is one year before the year on the button. Also, note that these buttons all feature the same picture of Rickey, only cropped slightly different.

This final button is one that I only recently acquired. It was produced in 1991 an is a Starhots Official Celebrity Badge. The button comes in a plastic case on a cardboard "easel" which also includes his stats from the past few years. Unlike the past few buttons, Beckett does recognize this one, and lists it as "1991 Starshots Pinback Badges 24."

I know that there has to be at least a few Rickey buttons out there that I don't have. As with the pins before, if any readers have any that I have not posted, I would love to get a scan and add them to the collection. My goal with this blog is not to showcase only my collection, but to be a "Rickey Encyclopedia" of everything that is out there.


Jason Presley said...

I'm trying to work out the checklist for the "1978" Sports Photo Assoc. pinback button set from eBay listings. The highest number I've see so far is 296, which is a Dave Winfield in Yankee duds, so they issued them at least through 1981. Winfield had at least three in the set, #185 (SD), #277 (NY) & the aforementioned #296.

ManOfSteal said...


That sounds like a fairly difficult, but intriguing endeavor! I didn't realize that they used consecutive numbering, keeping it consistent from year to year. I have always wondered what year the Rickey pin was actually released (I always figured it was 1980-1981), since it definitely wasn't 1978. Maybe you'll be able to decipher it based on the teams of the players in the set around him. Good luck!

Jason Presley said...

I have now found a Cal Ripken #304, so the set extended at least from 1978-1982.

There was also a Baseball Hall of Fame set issued in 1978 numbered HF1-HF24.