Month: May 2016

Lou Brock Was Unlikely Hero of Busch Memorial Stadium Opener

You might remember Lou Brock as the good half of one of baseball’s most lopsided trades ever, when the Chicago Cubs gave up on their young outfielder and sent him to the St. Louis Cardinals on June 15, 1964. Baseball cards of the era seem to capture the general mood just about right. Brock’s 1964 Topps issue (#29) shows him pensive if not a little miffed, while his 1965 Topps card features a beaming young man ready to step into the spotlight of superstardom. A year after that first of Brock’s Cardinals pasteboards appeared in wax packs, St. Louis...

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The Tony Gwynn Baseball Card that Launched a Million Hobby Treasure Hunts

When the 1983 Topps Tony Gwynn baseball card first found its way into collectors’ hands that Spring, Mr. Padre and his mediocre team were low on our lists of hobby priorities. After all, the San Diego Padres had finished the 1982 season in fourth place in the NL West with an 81-81 record and would end up in exactly the same spot with exactly the same blah win tally in 1983. And Tony Gwynn was likely more of a known commodity to NBA fans than to baseball enthusiasts. After a standout hoops career at San Diego State University, Gwynn was...

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1979 Topps Ron Oester Rookie Card — and Happy Birthday!

When I was a kid, the 1979 Topps Ron Oester rookie card (#717) really bummed me out. Part of my issue with the card was a combination of timing and the other players depicted. By the time I fully embraced the Reds in 1983, they were God-awful terrible, surpassed in badness by perhaps only the 2016 edition of the club. *sigh* Mike LaCoss (waivered, claimed by the Houston Astros) and Harry Spilman (traded to Houston for Rafael Landestoy) were long gone. But Ron Oester was solid. Ron Oester was young (not really, at 27). Ron Oester gave us hope...

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