Sunday, February 22, 2015

Tony Bartirome and John O'Brien Purchases, Gene Conley Return

I haven't posted in a while; I've been really busy with school, and when I've been home I haven't gotten around to scanning my stuff.  It hasn't helped that the past few weeks have been fairly quiet on the autograph front.  I won several eBay auctions over the past few days, but those items haven't arrived here yet.

What I do have are three more 1953 Topps to plug various holes in my set.  I won #71 Tony Bartirome and #223 Johnny O'Brien in auctions, and finally got Gene Conley to sign my card, which was #215 in the set.  He also wrote a very nice note on my letter of request.

Conley is the last living man who played for the Boston Braves and the Boston Red Sox, and also one of two men to have won championships in two major sports: the 1957 World Series, with the Milwaukee Braves, and then a few NBA championships with the Boston Celtics.  He charges a $5 fee for cards.  Bartirome and O'Brien were part of a youth movement that Branch Rickey tried while he was with the Pirates.  That rebuilding effort also included Dick Groat, Bob Friend and Roy Face. Those three went on to help Pittsburgh win the 1960 World Series, but Bartirome and O'Brien never panned out.  Bartirome's MLB career was actually over by the time this card was printed; the 1952 season was his only.  O'Brien hung around for a few years, but never became an everyday player. 

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Warren Spahn Purchase

Another eBay purchase arrived today for my 1953 Topps project: #147 Warren Spahn.  What makes this one even better is he's on a Boston Braves card.  Spahn is currently sixth on the all time wins list, and would probably be higher if he hadn't lost three years due to World War II.  I read somewhere that he was present when the Ludendorff Bridge collapsed towards the end of the war.  This one isn't slabbed, but it passed PSA's Quick Opinion service.
This brings me to 83/274 (30.29%) completion.  Also, it is the second of four Hall of Famers that I had wanted to add this year, and the first of two new  Boston Braves.

Neil Berry Return

Picked up another signed 1949 Bowman, this one is #180 Neil Berry.  For some reason, he is listed as Connie Berry on this card.  He signed it in about 2-3 weeks.  Berry was the Tiger's starting second baseman in 1949, but lost the job the following year to Jerry Priddy.  He bounced around the American League for a few years, spending time with St. Louis, Chicago and Baltimore, before retiring in 1954.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

January Update

With one month gone, I figured I'd post an update on my collecting goals for 2015.  They are:

  • Get to at least 100 signed 1953 Topps.  I'm at 82/100 right now, after starting the year with 68.  This goal is probably a bit modest.  I'll wind up updating it to a higher figure at some point; I just want to see how long it takes me to get to 100, and how expensive that is before I set the new goal.
  • Add at least four new Hall of Famers to the set.  The return I got from Whitey Ford was the first HOF'er I added this year, and I won a Warren Spahn on eBay a couple days ago that should arrive next week.  I think adding six new HOF'ers is an achievable goal.  It will require a bit of balancing with my first goal though; even a cheap HOF'er costs enough for a few scrubs, so working on this goal hinders my sheer numbers goal.
  • Add at least two new Red Sox to the set.  Already met this one, thanks to my purchases of #40 Johnny Lipon and #149 Dom DiMaggio.  There are a few on eBay that I may bring on board at some point in the not-too-distant future, but my new goal is to add two from the other Boston team, the old Boston Braves.  After the second series, the cards were corrected to reflect the move to Milwaukee, but there are plenty of Boston Braves to go around.  The Spahn is one, and I have an Eddie Mathews out at PSA right now that I ordered last year.  
  • Get at least two more 1949 Bowmans signed.  Exceeded this one.  I have three in so far, and a request out right now with a fourth.  I'd love to pick up #211 Dave Ferriss, but he was in the high numbers, so his cards are really expensive and I haven't yet seen one within my price range.

That's where everything stands right now.