Football Card For This Weekend: 1960 Fleer Harvey White

As I mentally prepare for this Sunday’s AFC Championship game, the Patriots’ record 8th in a row, I’m thinking about how amazing this run has been.

A lot of us Pats fans get accused of being bandwagoners, who never paid attention to the team pre-Brady era. Well, I’ve been watching & rooting for these guys since the days of Jim Plunkett, Steve Grogan & Sam “BAM” Cunningham. I watched as they’d break yer heart like a true Boston team year after year – first in the playoffs in the late ’70s, to an embarrassing Superbowl wipeout in ’86, and beyond.

When they went 1-15 in the 1990 season, I watched every game at a local sports bar with one other Pats fan. We’d watch them suck, commiserate, and eat the decent food. The one week they beat the Jeff George Colts was a cause for celebration.

Things looked up when horrible owner Victor Kiam sold the team, and thankfully the new owner who wanted to move the team to St. Louis got checkmated by stadium owner Robert Kraft, who then bought the team. He built a new stadium Continue reading “Football Card For This Weekend: 1960 Fleer Harvey White”

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This Seems A Tad Expensive

Click on image to enlarge

Really? 2.7 million for a 1978 Craig Reynolds card?

I mean, he was a decent player and all, but I don’t think his 1978 card is up there with a 1909 Honus Wagner, y’know?

Maybe I misread the listing. Maybe the card comes shipped in a fleet of Lamborghinis. Or, perhaps it’s for the ACTUAL Craig Reynolds, now a Baptist pastor in Houston. How much do retired shortstops/pastors in Houston go for these days, anyway?

I was curious enough to email the seller:

Hi

This turned up in my suggestions and caught my attention. The price seems slightly high. So I’m curious.

I really want this price not to be a typo. I’d like to think people have made you ridiculous offers for this card thinking it’s some sort of rare error or the like. If so, more power to you.

My other theory is that you ARE Craig Reynolds. If so, you were a pretty good SS for the Astros.

In any case, I’d love to hear the story behind this listing if you want to answer, thanks in advance! If not, I’ll enjoy the mystery.

I’ll update this post if I get an answer.

Maybe more wacky suggestions will turn up in my ebay feed since I bought a few old cards the other day. Who knows?

In the meantime, make those best offers. Craig’s not getting any younger.

At Long Last…. The Holy Grail Of Horse Betting Has Been Attained!

I don’t bet horse races as often as I used to. I’ve been a good boy and have spent more time trying to write & actually be productive in my off hours and especially over the summer.

It’d been a long while since I’d handicapped a race card and spent an afternoon watching Santa Anita. But the closing day of the fall meet came along Sunday, along with a mandatory pay-out of a rather large Rainbow Pick 6 jackpot.

I’ve come close to winning a Pick 6 jackpot a few times… got 5 out of 6 for the consolation pool three different times. One time I’d nailed the Pick 6 on paper in my handicapping but hadn’t bet it.

I’ve gotten trifectas, superfectas, pick 3s, pick 4s, and a couple of pick 5s…. but never a pick 6…

UNTIL SUNDAY!!!!

I got the Pick 6, which due to a large number of favorites and a twenty cent betting amount instead of the usual $2 paid less than most jackpots…

BUT I STILL GOT IT!

Felt great watching every race in the sequence, too… watching my picks either leading or coming from behind, even to beat other selections of mine. I tripled the opener since it had a lot of new runners, and doubled all the rest for a bet of $19.20. I threw in a matching pick 4 for $8.

So for $27.20, I won about $750!

HELL YEAH!

I’ll leave it in the account and use it to bet races for the next several years. There’s absolutely no reason to stop being cheap.

But picking 6 races in a row for essentially a 35-1 bet makes me feel like a genius. I’ll just kick back and savor that.

I Dream About The Wrong Things, Part Infinity

Last night, I dreamed that Terry Bradshaw was jealous of my hair. He shrugged and said he guessed he didn’t get the right genes since he went bald so young. I told him he certainly got the right football genes, but he didn’t seem to care and walked away with a a pout.

There was nothing I could do to cheer him up.

THE BURDENS I CARRY, PEOPLE!!!!

Some quick picks under the wire:

I’ll go with the Browns plus the 8 points against Bradshaw’s old Steelers, the Lions to cover 3 over the Seahawks, the Colts to cover 3 against the pathetic Raiders, and in the pick-o-the-week, I’ll take the Redskins to cover a mere 1 1/2 over the also pathetic Giants. Spreads like that one make me suspicious, like the oddsmakers know something I don’t – why are the Giants only 1 1/2 point underdogs?? Are they allowed to hand the ball to a Mack truck on 3rd down to even things up this week? Dunno, but it looks like easy money to me.

And I’ve got the hair to prove it.

Baseball Card Of The Day: 1952 Duke Snider

How ’bout a story?

When I was a kid collecting baseball cards, before the friggin’ boomers destroyed the hobby by bidding up the prices of various cards beyond belief by the 1980s, it was often possible to search out & find classic old cards of great stars and legends at affordable prices, or amazingly cheap prices.

One day at an antique show my mom got interested in at the ol’ Midland Mall in Rhode Island, turned out one guy had a small box of several dozen absolute MINT condition 1952 Topps baseball cards.

4 for a dollar.

Yeah, I know – where’s Biff Tannen to come back in a Delorean and tell 1972 me that I should buy the entire box? It’s the first real Topps set, amazingly in demand, where mint condition cards are extremely rare and pricey. The Mickey Mantle rookie in set sells for multiple thousands of dollars.

Believe me, I combed the box for Yankees. The only one was Hank Bauer, but it, along with more stellar names – Bob Feller, Gil Hodges and Duke Snider rounded out my dollar’s worth.

These were immediate status symbols amongst the neighborhood friends who collected and traded cards with me. They were older, I’d gotten lots of cards from them from before my time, mostly commons but some star players in there, here and there, depending on what I’d traded away for ’em.

I got repeatedly badgered by one guy for one of the 1952s… haggling went back and forth, and in what seemed like a good deal in 1972, I traded the Duke Snider for a ’64 Koufax, Drysdale, and Tony Kubek, to get a Yankee in there.

I like having the Drysdale and Koufax cards…. to this day, they’re the only cards of either of those guys in my collection, I think… but over the years, parting with that mint Duke Snider has always haunted me. And I did NOT want to pay anywhere from the $300 -$2000 I’d seen the near mint to mints go for to get it back in that condition.

BUT – we have a happy ending to this tale. Recently on ebay, I found one in decent enough condition, not mint, but an undergraded good to very good one – no creases or marks or pinholes, only some corner wear visible on the front and not quite-perfect centering. And it fit right into the “I think I’ll buy myself a birthday present a month early” category at fifty bucks.

I spent nearly as much on sushi the other night, I figured. (All you can eat, too!)

Should I fixate on my memory of leaving the Warren Spahn and Richie Ashburn cards behind to take the Bauer back in ’72 and spring for those on ebay? Well, maybe next birthday. By then, maybe I can skip enough sushi to save up, who knows?

And Now, Unemotional Post Season Baseball

My Yankees (yes, they belong to me) couldn’t stand up to the Red Sox this year, whether in the division race or in the division series. Their bats went dead and their pitchers got blasted.

They made nice comebacks in Game 1 and Game 4, but ultimately fell short by mere inches. That’s baseball.

So they’re done for 2018. They won 100 games, not too shabby. Whatever wheeling and dealing they do in the off season (Signing Harper? Trading Bird and maybe Sanchez for De Grom? Who knows?) remains to be seen, but in the meantime, they still look like the 1994-95 era Yankees, a young team solidly stacked with young star talent who will be contenders, if not champs, for many years to come.

Only a couple more pieces of the puzzle for that champion team to come together, I think… a starting pitcher, a hole filled in the formidable batting line up to get more hitting continuity & move away from the feast or famine of homerun versus strikeout that plagues the game right now.

Honestly, even if they had beaten the Sox, I think they’d have fallen to the Astros, who look unbeatable. I’d think the Astros beat the Sox and win it all again, to be honest.

But you never know.

At least now, I’ll watch as a fan of the sport – the pure analyst, accepting any result, not emotionally invested in rooting for any particular team.

“I always thought you were a bit of a pirate at heart,” as Kirk said.

Hmmm….. perhaps the Tantalus field might help the Yankees in 2019….

Aw crap. Wrong universe. Better just sign Harper and trade for a reliable starter.

October Baseball

I’ll watch more sports this month than any other month of the year. Between postseason baseball, NFL, college football, and now the start of both NHL and NBA seasons, well…. I guess there’s ALWAYS a game on.

Rooting for the Yankees, obviously. If they can get by their AL opponents, I’d think they could win the World Series over any of the NL ones. And I think I could say that for the Red Sox & Astros, too. Sorry, Indians fans.

Always love seeing Koufax in the stands, watching guys like Ryu or Kershaw annihilate a batting order the way he used to, since Sandy is still KING OF THE JEWS. Sorry, Seinfeld fans. And check out that serious Dodger-blue sweater action as well as his pal Billie Jean King alongside!

In the NL, I’d think it comes down to the Dodgers & Brewers, and I’d have to give the edge to the Brewers, though I think that series could easily go 6 or 7.

I want the Yankees in the AL in my heart, but my objective analyst brain sez it’ll be the Astros repeating. But who knows? Maybe I’ll be as happy to be wrong about the Yankees as I was with the Patriots.

In the meantime, check out the serious sweater action from the 1968 Cardinals. It’s time to dress for fall, gentlemen.

A Truly Historic Occasion

I was wrong.

About the Patriots. They did just fine today, in nearly every category of play.

Being wrong is a completely unknown and new sensation for me, however. I’ll need some time to absorb and process it.

But Go Pats, in the meantime…

As The Wheels Come Off

The Patriots have looked pretty horrible the past couple of weeks, after squeaking by a weak Houston team in week 1.

Between injuries (Burkhead, Flowers, Chung), stupid management decisions (Goodbye to Cooks, Amendola, Lewis, Solder) and Edelman’s 4 game suspension, they got nuthin’ for Brady to work with out there.

And while previous Patriot seasons would begin 2-2 or the like and wind up with Super Bowl appearances as the team made adjustments and people you never heard of would step up, this year feels different.

It’s a gut feeling on my part watching these first few games, and I hope I’m wrong, but I think this time, the Brady run they’ve been on since pretty much he stepped in as starting QB is over.

Brady looks like he’s lost a little edge out there – overthrowing an amazingly weak receiver core. He’s worked with motley assortments of receivers all his years, but now…. he’s got nuthin’.  It can’t all be on Gronk. And Brady’s 41. I don’t care about his training regimen or if he’s juicing with Underdog’s super energy pill – one serious injury and he’s done.

By the time I was 41, I needed an ambulance just to take me to the bathroom down the hall.

And they got nuthin’ to replace him.

I think even a returned Edelman and a sobered up Josh Gordon won’t be enough.

That’s right… I’m a total pessimist.

And their defense, at whose spikes can be laid the blame for losing a winnable Super Bowl last February still sucks. No pass rush. No pass defense to speak of. Linebackers who can’t tackle.

Miami is coming to Gillette this Sunday and are 7 point underdogs.

Take ’em and the points. Easy money. I think Miami will win the game outright, and there’ll be a lot of articles written that sound a lot like this blog post. Get ready next Monday for a lot of “The Patriots Are Over” hot-takes.

BUT I’M FIRST!!!!

I hope I’m wrong, but I think it’s over. It was great fun while it lasted, but I’m getting a very strong “2010 Yankees” vibe from these guys… when the Jeter/Rivera era had waned, they had a last hurrah in ’09, and the glory years of a decade earlier were a distant memory. It took some years to rebuild. The Pats are in the same place, alas.

I got the Thursday night game on. While writing this, I just watched Brandon Cooks catch a 47 yard TD pass from Jared Goff. Yeah, the Pats certainly got their draft pick’s worth out of THAT trade.

Although at least Cooks will probably win a Superbowl now.

Just remember…. you heard it first from MISTER KILL JOY, RIGHT HERE.

But I hope I’m wrong.

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