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Sunday, June 29, 2014

No Baseball on Sunday?

The Cubs had a scheduled day off today-- on SUNDAY.  The last time that happened this guy was the one who pitched the second game of a double-header the day before, June 18, 1932  He beat the Giants 3-0:

Here's Lon before game 4 of the 1932 World series.  For you youngsters that's comedian Joe E. Brown on the left.

A Basketball Post

A few days ago Joe Schlabotnik showed his entire basketball collection in one post.  He asked the question, "Does anybody else have a similarly “exclusive” collection?"  Well, I can't say that I do.  I have more baseball cards than anything but I do have a fair amount of cards from the other three major sports.  My childhood collection of basketball cards was pretty much confined to a couple of years, 1971-72 and 1972-73.  It was at this time that I fortunately started to take care of my cards so these are close to pack fresh.  Here's a baker's dozen of my favorites, starting with my home team.


Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Man Does Not Live By Cards Alone

 I'll admit that I don't really want to be "challenged" by art and literature.  I do want to be moved or at the very least entertained by it.  

I came across Billy Collins' poetry more or less by accident.  This was the very first of his poems that I ever read. 

Questions About Angels


Of all the questions you might want to ask
about angels, the only one you ever hear
is how many can dance on the head of a pin.

No curiosity about how they pass the eternal time
besides circling the Throne chanting in Latin
or delivering a crust of bread to a hermit on earth
or guiding a boy and girl across a rickety wooden bridge.

Do they fly through God's body and come out singing?
Do they swing like children from the hinges
of the spirit world saying their names backwards and forwards?
Do they sit alone in little gardens changing colors?

What about their sleeping habits, the fabric of their robes,
their diet of unfiltered divine light?
What goes on inside their luminous heads? Is there a wall
these tall presences can look over and see hell?

If an angel fell off a cloud, would he leave a hole
in a river and would the hole float along endlessly
filled with the silent letters of every angelic word?

If an angel delivered the mail, would he arrive
in a blinding rush of wings or would he just assume
the appearance of the regular mailman and
whistle up the driveway reading the postcards?

No, the medieval theologians control the court.
The only question you ever hear is about
the little dance floor on the head of a pin
where halos are meant to converge and drift invisibly.

It is designed to make us think in millions,
billions, to make us run out of numbers and collapse
into infinity, but perhaps the answer is simply one:
one female angel dancing alone in her stocking feet,
a small jazz combo working in the background.

She sways like a branch in the wind, her beautiful
eyes closed, and the tall thin bassist leans over
to glance at his watch because she has been dancing
forever, and now it is very late, even for musicians.

The author reading:

Billy Collins, “Questions About Angels” from Questions about Angels. Copyright © 1991 by Billy Collins. All rights are controlled by the University of Pittsburgh Press. Reprinted with the permission of the University of Pittsburgh Press,

Monday, June 23, 2014

I Did Not Know That -- Ken Holtzman

I know that Ken Holtzman played for the Cubs and was a big part of the beloved 1969 squad.  He threw his first of two career no-hitters on August 19,1969 against the Braves.  

I also know that after the 1971 season Kenny was dealt to Charlie O. Finley's Swingin'A's.  During the A's three Championship seasons he went 59-41 with a 2.85 ERA.  He also went 4-1 in the 3 World Series.

I know that Kenny played for the New York Yankees before coming back to finish his career where it began.
What I didn't know (and thanks for scrolling down this far) was that Holtzman once wore the cartoon bird.  In the Spring of 1976 he was a member of the Baltimore Orioles.  On April 2 he was acquired by the Orioles along with Reggie Jackson in the deal that sent Don Baylor and Mike Torrez to the A's. On June 15, after just 13 appearances and a 5-4 record Ken was traded again, this time to the New York Yankees in a ten player mega-deal.
As far as I know there are no baseball cards of Holtzman with the Orioles nor many photos.  Here are the ones I've found.

Well, this is a sort of card.  It was part of a large set available in perforated sheets at either Crown gas stations or at Memorial Stadium in 1991.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Legends of the Summer -- Billy Williams

Here's proof that I do collect Cubs legends other than my favorite, Ron Santo.  I have no story about these two cards other than that I like them because, as the card states, they have "notations".  There are goo-gobs of variations of this card with and without signatures and with varying serial numbers and other silly differences. These are the "century" version #'d to 100.  Billy just celebrated his 76th birthday a week ago.  Here's my birthday post from last year if you're interested.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Like Father, Like Son

I was thinking about my Dad yesterday.  His favorite player growing up was Cubs third baseman, Stan Hack.  He acquired the autographed card below as an adult but I'd like to think he had a copy as a kid.
Here's Dad in front of his school.

My favorite player growing up was also the Cubs third baseman, in my case Ron Santo. The coincidence of our both choosing third baseman only occurred to me yesterday.  I miss my Dad and I miss Ronnie.  Both Hall of Famers in my book.
I got this card signed TTM right after Ron retired.

Friday, June 13, 2014

My First 1/1

I'm probably the last one in our blog family to own a 1/1.   Ron Santo 1/1's are very rare.  I'm not even sure if I've ever seen one before on Ebay.  Hard to believe but this one cost me a measly $.99 +shipping.  I was the only bidder.  The scan is misleading.  What appears gray is really silver as the whole border is foil.  This was apparently given out as a promotion at the Kit Young Hawaii Trade Conference in 2003.  See the detail for the embossed stamp.  I've included a base card below for comparison.  I'm not sure where the "Statline" on the upper left comes in.  It seems to be on all the serial numbered version of theses cards.

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