Monday, November 26, 2007

Trade #1: Spahn, Irvin, and Chipper Jones for AL ERA Leaders, McCool, and Cline

As promised, here's my first trade, and it's a 3-for-3 blockbuster! This trade comes to us from Dave, the pride of Acworth, Georgia. You may know him better as dayf, the Cardboard Junkie. If for some reason you've never checked out his blog, do it now! He might be the most prolific card blogger out there, and he's one of the most entertaining as well. Enough cheap shilling; let's get to the trade!

Giving: 1993 Ted Williams #48 Warren Spahn, #136 Monte Irvin Barrier Breakers; 1998 Upper Deck Collector's Choice #306 Chipper Jones

Getting: 1965 Topps #7 Dean Chance and Joel Horlen - 1964 American League ERA Leaders, #18 Bill McCool All-Star Rookie, #63 Ty Cline
We've got some good stuff coming and going here. When I was in the early years of my card obsession, I bought some packs of Ted Williams. For those who don't know, the Splendid Splinter lent his name and likeness to a brand of baseball cards that lasted two whole years. It was a neat idea, though; not many companies were putting out cards of retired players at the time. They also came with Pogs, so I've got some obsolete milkcaps with throwback Kansas City Athletics and Cleveland Indians logos on them, and that ain't bad.Dave just couldn't turn down an old Brave in Spahn, who might be the greatest lefty pitcher of all time. He also gets another Hall-of-Famer in Monte Irvin, who very easily could have been the first black player in the major leagues. To close the deal, we have Chipper Jones, who is still climbing the ladder of Atlanta greats. Last year Larry Wayne had an amazing season, his best since he turned thirty. The back of his 1998 UDCC card indicates that he was the runner-up to Hideo Nomo in the 1995 NL Rookie of the Year voting. Hindsight is 20/20 and all that.Check out the sweet "LA" insignia on Dean Chance's hat, back in the days when the Angels actually played in Los Angeles instead of just pretending they did. A quick check of the card back shows that he led the league with an absurd 1.65 ERA. Chance was originally signed by my Orioles in 1959, but they let him get away in the 1960 expansion draft. As it was, the O's had three pitchers with sub-3.00 ERAs in 1964: rookie Wally Bunker, Milt Pappas, and future Hall of Famer Robin Roberts. With Chance in that rotation, maybe they would have caught the Yankees; instead they finished two games back. Ah, what could have been.Bill McCool is aptly named; he's looking back at you with a steely calm gaze that says, "I am a bad MFer. I have a massive rookie trophy, not that dinky little round cup that today's 'All-Star Rookies" get. Oh yeah, and I know Frank Robinson." Bill has a point - not about the Frank thing, although if I were him, I'd be name dropping like crazy. I'm talking about that rookie's a masterpiece in its own right. They don't make 'em like that any more.Dave also parts with one of his hometown Braves, young Ty Cline. This is my first Milwaukee Braves card, which is pretty cool. (The oldest Braves card I had previously was a thoroughly Wilkerized 1971 Topps Orlando Cepeda that I plucked from a dollar bin at one of my favorite shops over the summer.) Interestingly enough, Ty joined the Cubs via the Rule 5 draft in November 1965, just before the Braves debuted in Atlanta. In July 1966, however, the Braves bought him back from Chicago. Of course, changing cities wasn't a rare thing for Ty; he played for six different teams in seven cities in his twelve-year career.

But wait, there's more! In a completely awesome and unexpected move, Dave threw in an assortment of about 30 Orioles cards and stickers, ranging from a 1973 Topps Paul Blair to a 2004 Bowman Miguel Tejada. I have to make special mention of the two 1994 Leaf cards he included. Each card in that set featured a photo of the player's home stadium on the back. I got the Mike Devereaux card, which has a great shot of right field in Camden Yards with the B & O Warehouse looming behind it. The second card, Lee Smith, shows the right-center field scoreboard close up. I can read just enough of the text on the Diamond Vision screen to see that it's promoting the Orioles' annual winter cruise. In early 1995, some lucky fans were apparently going to have the chance to sail the seas with utility outfielder Jack Voigt, legendary manager Earl Weaver, longtime player and coach Elrod Hendricks, and rotund play-by-play man Jon Miller. Now there's a detail you don't get on every card. So kudos to you, Dave!

Want to read more of my ramblings on cards? Let's make a trade!

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