Friday, April 9, 2021

Contest Winners

First of all, thank you to all that commented on my latest contest.  I decided to send all of you both cards.  I really appreciate the regular followers of this blog, even though my posting is spotty at best.  So if you were one of those who posted a comment on my contest post, email me your address (ctnwblog@gmail.com) and I'll mail them out.  Thanks again!


If you like the cards, you can support my addiction by purchasing a pack (the link is in the right margin).  I also have individual cards from both packs available on eBay.  My seller name is ctnwblog_8.   Once, I get close to my break even point, I'll make another pack.

I am also working on a project now that will mean plenty of posts to come.  I've hinted at these before.  I'm making a lot of Cards That Never Were.  Once they're done, I'll be posting a few times a
week.  

Thursday, April 1, 2021

Series 2 Packs

 I was hoping to have these done by opening day.  I just barely made it.  Here is the second pack of physical cards from this blog.  This group is split between my "Barrier-Breakers" series and some of the baseball legends we lost this past year. I am selling these through this site only for $10.00 per pack plus $4.50 shipping. Please use the link:

py.pl/3Yh5Aw7VL9s

You can also buy them individually on eBay. My seller's name there is ctnwblog_8.


So, what's in each pack?


12 Cards That Never Were plus a special insert.


The insert card is a 1969 Joe Morgan Deckle.


All cards are professionally printed.


Front and Back.


The backs are formatted in a style consistent with their year.


The front of the cards are glossy.


The backs are not.


These are similar in look and feel to the Topps Archives cards.


This pack is made up of cards from my "Barrier-Breaker" series, featuring the first Black player on each team.


It also includes some legendary players that we lost this past year.


For those that wish to buy the cards individually,


They are currently available on eBay. 


My user name on eBay is ctnwblog_8.


Don't forget to comment on my give-away post for a chance to win a 1968 Gibson, or Seaver or BOTH!




Wednesday, March 31, 2021

My Second Give-Away

 I've got the cards ready for my second pack of physical cards from this blog.  For this pack I've decided to go with half cards from my "Barrier-Breakers" series and have from players we lost this past year.  

To commemorate the new set I'll be giving away two cards.  In a bit of a twist, the cards I'll be giving away are NOT my design.  If you remember from some of my old posts, Tom Seaver and Bob Gibson both tried to pull the same prank back in 1968.  Both righties posed as lefties for the 1968 Topps set. Their cards made it onto the proof sheet but not into the actual release of the set.  I cleaned the cards up a bit, made my own back, and they'll be included in my second pack.  All the other cards in the pack ARE my design, I promise.


This time I'll pick 15 winners. The first five, will get BOTH cards, the next ten will get either Seaver or Gibson.  Just leave a comment below and tell me which card you prefer and I will try to honor it. 5 will get Seaver and 5 will get Gibson and 5 will get both.  I will be running the same contest on Twitter @CardsThatNever, so there will be a total of 30 chances to win.


I'll pick the winners next week.  The packs will be ready to order soon.  As before, the packs will be available to purchase through PayPal for $10 + $4.50 postage.  Individual cards will only be available through eBay under my seller name: ctnwblog_8.  Packs will be sold there as well, but for a slightly higher cost to cover the fees.


Good luck in the contest, don't forget to include "Seaver" or "Gibson" in your comment.  I can't promise but I will try to get the winners their preferred card.


Thursday, March 25, 2021

Series 1 Packs ****SOLD OUT****

***Look for Series 2 coming very soon.***

Individual cards are still available on eBay, my seller name is ctnwblog_8. 

As I said, set 2 is coming soon.  Cards are currently at the printer.  There will be 12 cards, half from my "Barrier-Breakers" series, half will be superstars that had recently passed away. Plus there will be another insert card. If you follow me on twitter, you may have seen a spoiler or two.

*****************************************************************


As promised, I now have packs of physical Cards That Never Were.  I am selling these through this site only for $10.00 per pack plus $4.00 shipping. Please use the link:

py.pl/3Yh5Aw7VL9s

You can also buy them individually on eBay. My seller's name there is ctnwblog_8.


So, what's in each pack?


12 Cards That Never Were plus an insert Card That Wasn't and of course, Bazooka bubble gum.


The insert card is a 1969 Nolan Ryan Deckle.


All cards are professionally printed.


Front and Back.


The backs are formatted in a style consistent with their year.


The front of the cards are glossy.


The backs are not.


These are similar in look and feel to the Topps Archives cards.


I hope you enjoy these cards,


As much as I did making them.


For those that wish to buy the cards individually,


They are currently available on eBay. 


My user name on eBay is ctnwblog_8.



Monday, March 15, 2021

Barrier Breakers: 1955 Elston Howard - New York Yankees

 


My final Barrier-Breaker card is a 1955 Topps Elston Howard of the Yankees.  He debuted in April of 1955 and played for the Yankees from 1955-1967 when he was traded to the Red Sox. He finished his career in Boston in 1968. He was a twelve-time all star and the 1963 AL MVP.  He did have a Bowman card in 1955 but not a Topps card.  Oddly, he also had a card in the 1994 Topps Archives set depicting him as a "1954 Prospect".  But to my knowledge, this is the only 1955 Topps card of Elston Howard.



He had been in the Yankees system since 1950 after they purchased him from the Kansas City Monarchs.  When he came up with the Yankees, he spent most of his time in the outfield.  Future Hall of Famer and three-time MVP, Yogi Berra caught most games with the Yanks until 1960. Howard took over and earned Gold Gloves behind the plate in 1963 and 1964.


Thursday, March 11, 2021

Barrier Breakers: 1951 Minnie Minoso - Chicago White Sox

 


Although Orestes "Minnie" Minoso broke the color line for the White Sox in 1951, he made his MLB debut on the Indians in April of 1949. He hit .188 in 20 plate appearances with 2 walks and 2 hit-by-pitch. He spent the rest of '49 and '50 in San Diego of the PCL hitting .297 and .339 respectively. That earned him a short-lived promotion to the Indians in 1951.  It was short-lived because he was dealt to the South-Siders in a six-player, three-team swap. Once on the Sox, he batted .324 with 10 homers and 74 RBIs.  He also led the league with 31 stolen bases and 14 triples, was 4th in MVP voting and second in Rookie of the Year voting.

Minnie is a favorite of mine and has been featured on this blog several times.  This 1951 Bowman first appeared here in August of 2011.  I also made a 1951 Topps card for him as an Indian.
I've made several cards of the Cuban Comet over the years, but wanted to find another to make for this post.  I settled on a 1965 "Career Capper".  I considered a 1963 Fleer card featuring him on the Senators because he doesn't have a card in a Washington uniform.  But decided that this post was about the White Sox.  That'll be a project for another day.





Monday, March 8, 2021

Barrier Breakers: 1958 Ozzie Virgil - Detroit Tigers

 


Ozzie Virgil Sr. was the first Dominican to play in the majors and the first black player on the Tigers.  But the Tigers were not his first team.  He played for the NY Giants in 1956 and 57.  A true utility player, he played every position in the majors except pitcher, first base and centerfield.  In addition to the Tigers and NY Giants, he played for the KC A's, Pirates, Orioles and the SF Giants.  His son, also named Ozzie Virgil, played portions of 11 seasons as a catcher in the majors. That included 2 all star seasons, one with the Phillies and one with the Braves.

Ozzie Sr. actually had Topps cards in 1957 and had a 1958 card too.  It had him airbrushed into a SF Giants cap even though he didn't make the move out west with the Giants.  He was traded to the Tigers in January of 1958. In all Ozzie Sr. appeared on 7 Topps cards (1957, 58, 59, 61, 62, 65 & 67).  He was "Ossie" on all but the 1959, 1962 and 1967 cards where he was "Ozzie". I'm not sure why Topps switched back and forth on his name, but I decided to keep him as "Ossie" on this fake card. It was his name on the 1958 airbrushed San Francisco card.

The Tigers were the second to last team to integrate.  The ownership of Walter Briggs and Walter Briggs Jr. from 1935-1956 steadfastly refused to hire black players.  Another name that keeps coming up is Bucky Harris.  In my last post, I mentioned him as the manager of the Senators who saw a "hitch in the swing" of Carlos Paula, their first black player.  He spent most of 1954 in the minors despite receiving rave reviews in spring training.  He went on to lead their farm team in Hits, Doubles and Triples before being called up in September.  When Harris left the club in 1955 Paula was a starter. Harris resurfaced in Detroit as manager in 1955-56, after being fired by the new ownership he became assistant GM for the Red Sox, the last team to integrate.



Saturday, March 6, 2021

Barrier Breakers: 1954 Carlos Paula - Washington Senators


Carlos Paula was the first Black player on the Senators.  Born in Cuba, he was signed by Washington and invited to spring training.  Although he was praised for his arm, his speed and his hitting, manager Bucky Harris thought he had a "hitch in his swing" and needed more time in the minors.  He batted .309 with 14 homers for the Charlette Hornets and the Senators promoted him on September 6th, 1954. In 1955 he was their everyday right fielder hitting .299. 

Although Paula was the first black player on the Senators, there were 24 other Cuban players on the team between 1935 and 1954. In 1955 three more black players joined the roster in DC. Two were Cubans, Juan Delis and Julio Becquer, and one was Panamanian, "Webbo" Clarke. It wasn't until 1957 when the Senators signed the 1952 Rookie of the Year, Joe Black, that a US born African American joined the team.  (I made this 1957 Joe Black card nearly ten years ago for this blog.)






Monday, March 1, 2021

Barrier Breakers: 1959 Pumpsie Green - Boston Red Sox

 


Twelve years, three months and six days after Jackie Robinson made his debut with the Dodgers, the Red Sox begrudgingly became the last MLB team to integrate.  Only under the ongoing investigation and charges of violating Massachusetts's Fair Employment Law, did the Sox relent. Pinky Higgins the Red Sox manager was quoted as saying "There’ll be no n* on this ball club as long as I have anything to say about it.”  He was replaced by Billy Jurges exactly 2 weeks before Green was called up.

Enough about Yawkey's  Red Sox and what was referred to at the time as "Aryan Acres" and more about Pumpsie Green.  He platooned as a middle infielder his whole  career.  He batted an adequate .246. He played pro ball from 1951-1965.  But his MLB career was just from 1959-1963.  He was named to Topps Rookie All-Star team in 1959. He appeared on Topps cards from 1960-1964.

I have chosen to depict him on a 1959 Rookie Stars card.  In 2008 Topps gave him a 1959 style insert as part of that season's Heritage issue.  Although his career stats don't bear it out, his accomplishments and sacrifices has endeared him to fans everywhere.



Thursday, February 25, 2021

Barrier Breakers: 1954 Nino Escalera - Cincinnati Redlegs


The Reds (or Redlegs as they were called at the time) were the second to last NL team to integrate.  On April 17, 1954 they debuted two black players.  Nino Escalera and Chuck Harmon,  Nino pinch hit to lead off the 7th inning with a single.  The very next batter was Chuck Harmon, also pinch hitting.  He popped out. 

Nino hit a meager .159 in 1954 then returned to the minors until retiring in 1962.  The player that was one at-bat later, and the second black player on the Reds, hit a mildly better .238. Chuck Harmon would play for the Redlegs, Cardinals and Phillies until 1957.  He never rose above a utility player but did have a somewhat better career than Escalera.  He also had Topps cards in 1954, 55, 56, 57 and 58. Nino never had a card.
Allegedly, it was manager Rogers Hornsby that didn't want black players on the team.  The Hall of Famer managed the Reds in 1952 and 53. I understand that Hornsby's views were not far from the norm of that era. But by 1952, he hadn't managed a team above a 6th place finish in 20 years.  I had always felt the front office in Cincinnati was cowardly for believing that keeping Reds moniker would somehow confuse people into thinking they communist sympathizers.  My opinion of that era's management is even lower for allowing their manager's racial bias cloud his decision making.

On a more positive note,  by 1956, Cincinnati had more African American players than any other Major League team with 8. 




 

Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Barrier Breakers: 1954 Curt Roberts - Pittsburgh Pirates

 


Curt Roberts played professional ball from 1947-1963.  He began as a shortstop for the Kansas City Monarchs. He was signed by the Braves in 1951. In 1952 he was signed by the Pirates General manager Branch Rickey. He was promoted to the Big Leagues at the beginning of the 1954 season and became their everyday second baseman and the first African American on the Bucs.  After struggling in 1955 he was sent down to the minors. He reclaimed his job in 1956 only to lose it to future Hall of Famer Bill Mazeroski.

In June of '56 he was traded to the A's as part of a three-player deal. Prior to the 1957 season he was dealt again to the Yankees as part of an eleven player swap. In all he played minor league ball for six different franchises; Braves, Pirates, A's, Yankees, Dodgers and White Sox, but he never made it back to the Majors after the 1956 season.