Thursday, June 16, 2016

A Bunch of eBay Wins

Someone working on a signed 1953 set must have given up, because recently someone listed most of the cards (I counted ~210) in the set on eBay.  Based on the condition of most of them (creases, dinged corners, paper loss, writing on the back, etc) I'm guessing that they started this collection as a kid when the cards first came out.  I feel bad for the seller; for the most part, they brought in very weak prices.  In particular, the Sid Gordon he auctioned off for $60 is the same one that sold as an eBay BIN for $125 a couple years ago.  The only cards that seem immune from this trend are Dodgers, Yankees, and some Hall of Famers.  Most of them I either already had or didn't want to get in to bidding wars over, but there were 10 I chased after.  I picked up 9 of them, with Dave Madison being the only one to get away.
Clem Koshorek was the starting shortstop for the 1952 Pittsburgh Pirates, who went 42-112.  No that's not a misprint; they actually were that bad.
Clyde Vollmer was turning in to one of my white whale cards.  I was seriously starting to think he didn't like his portrait, or had a feud with artist Gerry Dvorak.  This was the first Vollmer I've seen.
Bill Kennedy died in 1983 from stomach cancer.  I couldn't find a whole lot about him, other than he lead the American League in games pitched in 1952.
Ted Wilks is another tough one; he died in 1989.  He was a member of the 1944 and 1946 St. Louis Cardinals, who beat the Browns and the Red Sox, respectively, in the World Series.
Mike Clark played 17 seasons of professional baseball, but only spent parts of two of those seasons in the Majors; 1953 was his last.  His Wikipedia entry notes that he toiled in the Cardinal's farm system from 1940 to 1959, with time out for World War II.
Like Koshorek, Woody Main also survived the 1952 Pirates.  He pitched better than his 2-12 record indicated.  He threw a complete game against the New York Giants and won 6-2, and his ERA was two tenths of a point lower than the staff average of 4.65.  He served with the Marines in World War II, though I couldn't find any more details than that.
Johnny Lindell was a reserve outfielder for the 1949 New York Yankees.  A generation before there was Bucky F***ing Dent, there was Johnny F***ing Lindell.
Sid Hudson, like Vollmer, was deceptively difficult, though at least in Hudson's case I can kind of understand, since he was a high number.  The only other Hudson I've seen on eBay has a very faint signature and is horrendously overpriced.  Hudson had the misfortune to spend his career with lousy teams: first with the Washington Senators, from 1940-52, then the Red Sox, by then a second division team, from 1952-54.
In the run up to the 1957 All Star game, Roy McMillan was caught up in a ballot stuffing campaign by Cincinnati Reds fans.  They managed to get seven Reds in to the starting lineup, prompting Commissioner Ford Frick to remove two of them and appoint Willie Mays and Hank Aaron as starters instead.  

I picked up #39 Eddie Miksis yesterday.  When he gets here, that will bring me up to 168 / 274 (61.31 %).  There are a few others I'm watching, and I'm weighing whether or not to pull the trigger on them.  My goal of getting 200 by the end of the year is looking iffy, so I came up with a secondary goal of finishing off the Red Sox in the set.  There are 21, and with these recent purchases I have 17 of them.  The four I still need are #44 Ellis Kinder, #49 Faye Throneberry, #63 Gus Niarhos, and #169 Dizzy Trout.  Niarhos comes up every now and then, Throneberry is very scarce for someone who died in 1999, and Kinder (d. 1968) and Trout (d. 1972) are scarcer than hen's teeth.

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