Monday, March 30, 2015

Baseball Fathers and Sons: Part III, Topps 1962

Acquiring Topps 1962 cards for my Fathers and Sons set.

Some of the cards that I acquired to add to my father and son set came from ebay purchases.  Ebay was used as the local card shop and fellow collectors didn't have the cards I needed.  Two of the cards would have been difficult finds at any card shop.  In my research in identifying cards for Jim McKnight, father of Jeff McKnight, and Ed Olivares, father of Omar Olivares, Jim's and Ed's only cards were in the Topps 1962 set.  Their cards were in the 7th series, part of the Rookie Parade cards that finish the set.  Collectors of the Topps 1962 set know cards from the 7th series are short print cards.

The decision I wrestled with was it worth paying the price to add the Jim McKnight and Ed Olivares cards to my collection.  With the understanding that these Topps 1962 cards were the only cards for both players, I needed to make a decision if I wanted to pay a premium price for these cards. I decided to go for it.  My feeling was that if I was going to collect father and son sets, I would need these cards.

I went to ebay and found auctions for both the Jim McKnight and Ed Olivares cards.  I can't remember  what I paid for the cards, but current auctions on ebay for these cards have a bid of $10.50 for the McKnight card and a $11.50 for the Olivares card, with three days left in each auction.  The lowest Buy it Now prices on ebay for these cards is currently $35 for the McKnight card and $32.25 for the Olivares card.  If I remember correctly I paid closer to the Buy it Now price for these cards.

For the sons, Jeff McKnight and Omar Olivares, it was easier to find their cards as I already had them in my collection. McKnight had 13 cards issued beginning with four cards from 1990.  His cards from that year were in the Topps Debut '89 and Upper Deck sets and minor league cards from CMC and Pro Cards AAA.  Olivares first cards were in the 1990 minor league CMC and Pro Cards AAA sets.  He has had over 45 cards issued with his first major league cards found in 1991 Donruss, Score, Topps, Topps Debut '90, Ultra Update, & Upper Deck sets.

I started to wonder why Jim McKnight and Ed Olivares only cards were in the Topps 1962 set.  McKnight and Olivares played in the 60s when Topps was the only regular issued set.  I'd never heard of either of them and found out that part of the reason their only cards were in the Topps 1962 set was that they each played in the major leagues for part of two seasons in the early 60s.

The Fathers
Jim McKnight

Topps 1962 Rookie Parade Card # 597 
Jim McKnight was born on June 1, 1936 in Bee Branch, Arkansas.  He was signed in 1955 by the Cardinals and in June 1960, was traded to the Cubs for outfielder, Walt Moryn.  He made his big league debut on September 22 of that year, in the second game of a doubleheader in the Cubs 6-1 loss to the Pirates.  In the top of the 5th inning McKnight pinch hit for pitcher Joe Schaffernoth and fouled out to third baseman Don Hoak.  He appeared in two more games during the 1960 season, including a start in right field on September 23, in the second game of a doubleheader, a 5-1 loss to the Cardinals.  Hitting 8th in the lineup, McKnight batted three times against Cardinals pitcher, Ray Sadecki, and got his first major league hit, a single in the 5th inning. 

McKnight returned to the Cubs in the 1962 season, playing in 60 games, batting .224.  McKnight's only multiple RBI game of his career came on May 18, 1962, in the Cubs 11-8 victory over the Phillies.  He entered the game at third base in the bottom of the eighth inning, and his ninth inning single, off reliever Jack Baldschun, plated Ernie Banks and George Altman, the final runs scored that day.

In December 1962, he was traded to the Milwaukee Braves for Ken Aspromonte.  McKnight never appeared in another major league game.  However, between 1963 and 1971, he played for the AAA affiliates of the Braves, Giants, and Phillies.  In 1964, McKnight play on the Toronto Maple Leafs of the Intentional League, who were managed by Hall of Famer Sparky Anderson. 

1972 was McKnight's final year as a player, as he was player-manager for the Decatur Commodores, the single A affiliate of the Giants.   McKnight played in seven games that year ending the season with a .125 batting average (three hits in 24 at bats).  The Commodores overall record for the year was 48-79, finishing in fourth place (out of five teams) during both the first and second half of the season, in the South Division of the Midwest League.  All told, McKnight appeared in 1,954 minor league games and finished his major league career playing in 63 games with a .231 batting average (21 hits in 93 at bats) with no home runs and six RBI. 
Ed Olivares

Topps 1962 Rookie Parade Card # 598 

Ed Olivares was born November 5, 1938 in Mayaguez, Puerto Rico.  He signed with the Phillies in 1957 and in 1958, he was sent to the Cardinals .  Olivares major league debut was on September 16, 1960 in the Cardinals 6-2 loss to the Giants.  In the 7th inning, he entered the game as a pinch hitter for pitcher Bob Grim.  Giants' reliever Stu Miller struck him out.  Olivares appeared in two more games in 1960 and ended the season with a .000 batting average in five at bats, striking out three times.

Olivares returned to the Cardinals during the 1961 season.  His first appearance during the year was on July 28, in a Cardinal 6-2 victory over the Braves.  He started in right field, hitting eighth in the lineup.  In the eighth inning Olivares got his first major league hit, a single off Braves reliever Don McMahan.  After getting on base, Curt Flood run for him, and Olivares finished the game with one hit in four at bats. 

Two days later, in the first game of a doubleheader against the Braves, Olivares entered the game in the 8th inning, pitch hitting for Cardinals reliever, Lindy McDaniel.  The Cardinals started the inning trailing the Braves 3-1.  Olivares reached base on a fielder choice when Red Schoendienst was forced at second base.  Later in the inning, he scored the Cardinals second run, his first career run, on Julian Javier's single.  The Cardinals took a 5-3 lead during the inning, thanks to Bill White's three run home run, and ended up winning the game 5-3.

On that same day, in the second game of the doubleheader against the Braves, Olivares started in right field, batting seventh, in a 3-2 extra inning loss.  During the game, off Braves starter Warren Spahn, he got his first and only career RBI, when his sixth inning sacrifice fly plated Bill White, which tie the game at 2.  The Braves won the game in the tenth inning when Hank Aaron single scored Lee Maye.
In October 1961, Olivares was the Houston Colt 45s' 33rd selection in the 1961 National League expansion draft.  The Topps 1962 baseball card pictures him as a Colt 45 even though he never appeared in any games for them.  After the 1961 season with the Cardinals he did not played another game in the major leagues.  He finished his career in the minor leagues playing from 1963 to 1966 with affiliates of the Colt 45s, Twins, and Tigers.  In two major league seasons, Olivares appeared in 24 games, ending with a .143 career batting average (5 hits in 35 at bats) with no home runs and one RBI.
The Sons
Jeff McKnight 

1990 Upper Deck Jeff McKnight Card # 162

Jeff McKnight was born on February  18, 1963 in Conway, Arkansas.  He played in the major leagues from 1989 to 1994 for the Mets and Orioles.  He made his major league debut with the Mets on June 6, 1989 in a 8-4 loss to the Cubs.  In the top of the 5th inning, he pinch hit for Mets reliever, Roger McDowell, and singled off Calvin Schiraldi.  McKnight appeared in six games that season. Then in December 1989, he signed a contract with the Orioles and played the next two seasons in Baltimore.  On September 12, 1990, McKnight hit his first career home run, leading off the 8th inning against Tigers starter, Jack Morris.  The homer was a game winner as it gave the Orioles a 2-1lead, the final score of the game.  In December 1991, McKnight signed a contract returning to the Mets.  He played the 1992, 1993, and 1994 seasons in New York.  His best season was in 1993 when he appeared in 105 games, batting .256 (42 hits in 156 at bats) with two homers and 13 RBI.  McKnight ended his career with a .233 career batting average (94 in 404 at bats) with five homer runs and 34 RBI.  During his career, he played every position except centerfield and pitcher.  Recently, on March 1, 2015, McKnight passed away after battling leukemia for 10 years.

Omar Olivares

1991 Score Omar Olivares Card #748
Omar Olivares was born July 6, 1967 in Mayaguez, Puerto Rico.  Olivares pitched in the major leagues from 1990 to 2001.  He made his major league debut on August 18, 1990, pitching 8 innings as the starting pitcher for the Cardinals, getting a no decision in the 3-2 11 inning loss to the Astros.  That year, he got his first major league win on September 13, pitching six innings as the Cardinals starter in the 6-4 victory over the Expos.  For his career, Olivares appeared in 349 games, starting 229 games, while playing for eight teams: the Cardinals, A's, Phillies, Pirates, Angels, Tigers, Rockies, and Mariners.  He finished his career with a record of 77 wins and 86 losses, 16 complete games, two shutouts, and four saves.  His best season was in 1999, when he spent time with the Angels and A's.  He finished the 1999 season with 15 wins and 11 losses and four complete games.  After the July 29 trade from the Angels, Olivares recorded seven wins and 2 losses for the A's. 
Jeff McKnight and Omar Olivares faced each other once, in a September 23, 1992 game between the Mets and the Cardinals.  McKnight, started at 2nd base and batting 5th, went 1 for 3 against Olivares, the Cardinals starting pitcher.  McKnight singled off Olivares in the first inning.  Olivares retired McKnight in the fourth and seventh innings and pitched eight innings and left the game with the scored tied at one.  In the top of the ninth inning, the Mets scored twice, with the second run coming in on McKnight's second single of the game, off Cardinal reliever Lee Smith, that plated Daryl Boston with the Mets third and final run.  The Cardinals scored a run in the bottom of the ninth inning, but Mets starter Dwight Gooden finished with a complete game, retiring Tracy Goodson for the last out, while stranding Ray Lankford at third base and Rod Brewer at first base.

Fathers, Jim McKnight and Ed Olivares careers crossed paths in the minor leagues while playing in the Texas League for the Tulsa Drillers, the Cardinals AA affiliate.  They spent time playing together during the 1959 season.  McKnight played the entire season in Tulsa, appearing in 103 games, batting .332 with 6 home runs and 69 RBI.  Olivares spent part of the 1959 season playing for the Drillers, appearing in 15 games, batting .182 with 1 home run and 9 RBI.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Baseball Fathers and Sons: Part II, Finding the cards

Fathers and Sons Baseball Card Collecting.  Part II:  Finding the cards

To add cards to my collection of baseball fathers and sons, I use different methods to gather information about debuts of major league sons.  Like last year, while watching an A's game, I found out that Cameron Bedrosian, son of Steve, had made his major league debut during the previous week.  I added a copy of the 2011 Bowman Chrome Prospect card of Cameron Bedrosian to my set.

Steve Bedrosian 1991 Stadium Club #531 & Cameron Bedrosian 2011 Bowman Chrome Prospect #BCP159

I also periodically review the Baseball Almanac's Family Tree website that lists baseball fathers and sons.
Sometimes I am not aware when a son makes his debut and only find out on the Baseball Almanac's website. 

It wasn't until during the 2014 season that I found that Jim Adduci, son of Jim, made his major league debut in September 2013.  I was able to find a 2014 Topps Heritage card for son, Jim Adduci.

Jim Adduci 1988 Fleer #176 & Rangers Rookie Stars 2014 Topps Heritage #104 with Jim Adduci

When I first started to put this collection together I used the Baseball Almanac to identify sets of fathers and sons.  Some were more obvious like the Bonds and the Boones, but others were unknown to me, like Fred (father) and Gary (son) Green and Dave (father) and Mike (son) Stenhouse.

Fred Green 1960 Topps #272 & Gary Green 1991 Stadium Club #323

Dave Stenhouse Topps 1963 #263 & Mike Stenhouse 1985 Fleer #411
To begin the search for the cards of these father and son pairs, I looked to see if I had their cards in my collection.  If the player's card was in a set from sometime after 1960, I reviewed my collection to see if I had the card.  If I had the father's card, from a 60s or 70s set, then I probably also had a card of the son from a 80s, 90s, or 00s set.  Examples would be Tito (father) and Terry (son) Francona and Clyde (father) and Jaret (son) Wright.

Tito Francona Topps 1964 #583 & Terry Francona Topps 1986 Traded #38T 
Clyde Wright Topps 1971 #240 & Jaret Wright 2007 Upper Deck First Edition #125

Here is a link to the Baseball Almanac website.
When trying to find cards of players who played in the 20s, 30s, or 40s, I was able to find some cards in the Conlon Collection sets.  If I hadn't found these cards in a Conlon set, I might not have been able to add these fathers for my set.  I found Conlon Collection cards for Fred Brickell, father of Fritz, and for Dick Siebert, father of Paul.

Fred Bricknell 1993 Conlon Collection #808 & Fritz Brickell Topps 1961 #333

Dick Siebert 1993 Conlon Collection #926 & Topps 1975 Rookie Pitchers #614 with Paul Siebert

Some of the players had very short major league careers and the only player card that could be found for them was from a 1977 - 83 Ted Fritsch "One Year Winner" set. 
I found Ross Grimsley Senior's card, father of Ross Grimsley, Junior, in one of these sets.   Ross Sr. appear in seven games for the White Sox in 1951. 

Ross Grimsley Sr. 1977 Ted Fritsch "One Year Winner" #4 & Ross Grimsley Jr.  1972 Topps #99

Also, I found a card for Ron Stillwell, father of Kurt, in a "One Year Winner" set.  Ron appeared in 14 games for the Senators during 1961 and 1962. 

Ron Stillwell 1983 Ted Fritsch "One Year Winner" #114 & Kurt Stillwell 1992 Bowman #135

These are the only cards that I could find of Ross Grimsley, Sr. and Ron Stillwell.
For the father and son set of the Troskeys, I found a 1961 Fleer Baseball Great card of Hal Troskey Sr., a first baseman for the Indians in the 30s, and his son, Hal, Jr., whose only card was in a Ted Fritsch "One Year Winner" set.  Hal Jr. appeared in two games in 1958 for the White Sox.
Hal Troskey Sr. 1961 Fleer Baseball Greats #145 & Hal Troskey Jr. 1977 Ted Fritsch "One Year Winner" #15

For some players, the only card that I was able to find was a minor league player card.  One of these minor league player card was for the Mardie Cornejos, father of Nate.  The only card for Mardie that I could find was a 1978 TCMA International League Tidewater Tides card.   Mardie pitched in 25 games for the Mets in 1978 as Nate pitched in 56 games for the Tigers between 2001 and 2004.

Mardie Cornejo 1978 TCMA International League & Nate Cornejo 1999 Topps Traded #60 

Current Dodgers prospect, Joc Pederson's father, Stu appeared in 8 games for the Dodgers in 1985.  Stu had a card issued in the 1991 Line Drive Pre-Rookie set.  
Stu Pederson  1991 Line Drive AAA #512 and Joc Pederson 2015 Topps #192  

Some of these cards were purchased on ebay as they were not a part of my collection.  In a future post, I'll share some of the deals that I made to acquire other cards for my father and son set.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Baseball Fathers and Sons: Part I

The great thing about collecting baseball cards is that you can choose to collect the cards that interest you and there are infinite choices.  You can select your favorite team, favorite player, favorite year or set.  About ten years ago, I got the idea of collecting a card of each father and son combination in baseball history.  It is a great way to collect as the collection continues to grows with each season as another son makes his major league debut.  I have been able to collect about 140 different sets of fathers and sons.

Some maybe be familiar to baseballs fans, as they include Hall of Fame members:
Roberto Alomar, son of Sandy Alomar, 
Earl Averill, and his son, Earl Jr.,
Yogi Berra, father to Dale,
Eddie Collins, father to Eddie Jr.,
Tony Gwynn, and his son Tony Jr.,
Connie Mack, (not necessarily voted into the Hall of Fame for his exploits as a player although he did appear in 723 games with a .245 batting average), and his son Earle, and
George Sisler, and his sons, Dave and Dick.

Roberto Alomar is currently the only son who is a member of the Hall of Fame, but that will be changing, possibly as earlier as the Induction Ceremony on July 24, 2016.

Pairs that maybe be more identifiable to baseball fans are the Griffeys, Ken and his son Ken Jr., who is on the Hall of Fame ballot for 2016, and the Bonds, Bobby and his son, the All-Time Home Run leader, Barry, who has yet to get the call from the Hall of Fame. 

Did you know that Peter Rose's son, Pete Rose Jr., played for the Reds during 1997? 

Pete Junior recorded two career hits.  His first hit was a single in his major league debut on September 1 during the Reds 7-4 loss to the Royals.  While playing 3rd base, on his second career at bat in the 4th inning, Pete singled off Royals starter Kevin Appier.  Pete's second career hit come on September 5 during Reds 8-6 victory over the Pirates.  As a pinch hitter, in the 6th inning, Pete singled to right field off Pirate starter Jason Schmidt, lifting his batting average to .400.  

Pete finished the year with the Reds, his only season in the major leagues, ending with a lifetime batting average of .143.
Then there are some not so familiar names.

Consider Charlie Beamon and his son, Charlie, Jr.  These are the only cards that I could find for each Beamon.

Charlie Senior (his name appears to be misspelled on his Topps 1959 card), pitched in the major leagues for the Baltimore Orioles from 1956 through 1958.  As a 21 year-old, he made his major league debut on September 26, 1956, pitching a 4-hit shutout against the Yankees, winning 4-0.  Four days later, on September 30, Charlie pitched 4 innings in relief of starter Don Ferrarese, gaining his second victory of the season in the Orioles 6-3 win over the Senators.  In the top of the 9th inning, Charlie's ground out against Senator starting pitcher, Ted Abernathy, which scored left fielder Tex Nelson for the Orioles final run, thus recording the only run batted in of his career.   This was the second game of a doubleheader, and the final game of the 1956 regular season. These were Charlie's only two appearances during the 1956 season.
Charlie returned to the Orioles in 1957 and pitched in four games with no decisions.  During his final season, in 1958, he appeared in 21 games finishing the year with one win and three losses.  His final victory came in the Orioles August 21 7-6 win over the Tigers. The Orioles took the lead on Gus Triandos' 7th inning two-run homer, pegging the loss on Tigers reliever George Susce.
Charlie's final career appearance come on September 21 when he pitched six innings in the Orioles 13-2 loss to the Tigers.  He finished his career appearing in 27 games, with 3 wins and 3 losses, and one complete game, the 1956 shutout against the Yankees.
Charlie attended McClymonds High School in Oakland, the same school that outfielders Curt Flood, Vada Pinson, and Frank Robinson attended as did Hall of Fame catcher Ernie Lombardi.
Charlie Junior, made his major league debut on September 11, 1978 for the Mariners.  Charlie's appearance in the game was as a pinch hitter leading off the top of the 9th inning as he grounded out.  During the 1978 season, Charlie appeared in 10 games, and he got his first major league hit on October 1 during the Mariners 9-4 loss to the Rangers.  The hit came in the second inning off Hall of Fame pitcher Ferguson Jenkins.  Later in the same game, during the 6th inning, Charlie got his second hit of the game, another single off of Jenkins.  He finished the season with 2 hits in 11 at bats and a .182 batting average.
In the 1979 season, Charlie returned to the Mariners.  He appeared in 27 games, and batted .200 (5 hits in 25 at bats).  Charlie's first career extra base hit came on July 1 in County Stadium against the Brewers.  Leading off the 4th inning, against Brewer starting pitcher Jim Slaton, he doubled to right field.
Charlie returned to the major leagues in 1981 for his final season, playing with the Blue Jays.  On September 9, in his Blue Jay debut, playing against the Twins, Charlie had his second two-hit game of his career.  He also recorded his second career double, the final extra base hit of his career, during the second inning, off of Twins starter Fernando Arroyo.  Charlie's last major league game was on September 22, 1981 and he finished the 1981 season appearing in 8 games, batting .200 with 3 hits in 15 at bats.
For his career, Charlie Junior appeared in 45 games, batting .196 with ten hits in 51 at bats. He scored 8 runs but did not have any runs batted in.  Charlie Senior ended his career with more RBI (one) than his son (none).

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Dime cards can be the best deals

A couple of days ago I posted my first entry on my blog.  I'm not sure if anybody has read it, but I thought that I will try it again.

Recently, I went to the card shop in town and I was able to purchase a stack of cards for a dime each.  I am always willing to purchase a card I like for a dime.  At times I think that I have too many baseball cards, but I always like to look through a box of baseball cards to see if there any dime cards that I like that I'll buy to add it to my collection.

Here are a few of the cards I bought.

I was able to get a Topps 1984 Ozzie Smith All-Star card.  I think I already had this one, but it is one of Ozzie's first cards as a Cardinal, and was happy to add it to my collection.

I grabbed this 1993 Stadium Club Mike Piazza.  It is an early Piazza card and he is pictured in a Dodger uniform wearing number 25, not the more familiar number, 31, that he wore throughout his career.  Pretty cool card of a future Hall of Famer.

I was able to get a Topps 2010 Ken Griffey, Jr.  I think this is Griffey's last player card. It has his career stats on the back.

I always wonder what Griffey's final stats would have been if he hadn't been injured as a Red in the early 2000's.

Here are a couple 2007 UD Masterpiece cards.  One is of Chris Chambliss' homer from the 1976 ALCS that defeated the Royals and returned the Yankees to the World Series.  The second is Bucky Dent's home run from the 1978 one-game playoff against the Red Sox in Fenway Park.  By the mid to late seventies the Yankees, for a short time, had returned to the top of the baseball world.  I am not a Yankee fan, but these are nice cards of a couple iconic Yankee home runs.  Pretty nice cards that share baseball history that younger fans may not be aware of.     

I got a Topps 2007 Hunter Pence rookie card.  I know that collectors don't think that the Topps 2007 is the most appealing card.  With Pence now going on to greater fame as a Giant, it was nice to acquire one of his cards with him pictured as an Astro.

Not a bad haul for 50 cents.

I always wonder what the owner of the card shop here thinks when I walk out of his shop spending just a few dollars.  Does it really make a difference?  I've seen other people spend hundreds of dollars on cards and then here I come with a couple dollar transaction.

Well it is raining here today, and not much to do, maybe I'll drive across town to see if there are any new dime cards for sale.

Friday, March 13, 2015

I'm new at this

I am new to blogging.  I have been reading some other blogs about baseball cards and thought that it would be cool to start my own blog about my baseball card collecting.  I have been collecting baseball cards since the late 60s.  Well except for a short time as a teenager when I started to think more about girls.  Big mistake as I missed out on late series Topps 1972 baseball.  But I was only gone for a year and then resumed collecting, and have been collecting ever since.  I thought that with my blog I could share some of my baseball card collecting experiences with fellow collectors.
I live in North California about a five hour drive from San Francisco so I don't ever get the chance to go to many major league games.  Occasionally, I will take in a minor league game.  In my home town there is only one card shop which I visit every week.  I am really lucky because the owner is a nice guy and understands that I am into the hobby because I enjoy collecting baseball cards.  I am not really into collecting any one team or player or set, but I would say that the A's are my favorite team.  (In Beane we trust, like there's any choice).  Anytime I see I card I like I will add it to my collection.
I selected the name for my blog because one of my best friends is a huge Chipper Jones fan and I got her to start collecting his cards just before he retired.  In the last couple of years she has acquired between 300 to 400 Chipper cards.
This morning, my friend and I visited the card shop and she was able to score a pile of about 30 new Chipper cards, all for $4.  I got to come home with a 1996 Leaf Preferred Steel Chipper.  I didn't have this card.  These are cool as I think it's neat that you can put a magnet on a baseball card.
She was also able to get was one of these 1996 Leaf Preferred Steel Chippers.  I would say that's a pretty good day.