Card Set: 2015 Sport Kings
Subject: Allie Reynolds
Card Number: SK-AR
Cards in the set so far: 8
Baseball-Reference Page: Allie Reynolds
Wikipedia Page: Allie Reynolds
I want to preface this post by saying that Allie Reynolds deserves to be in the Hall of Fame. What’s sad is that most players that played with him are now dead and he has little or no chance of getting in through the Veteran’s Committee. He is a six time All Star, became only the second pitcher in MLB history to throw two no hitters in a single season, recorded 11 or more wins in 12 straight seasons, owns a career 182-107 record, and a 7-2 record in the World Series. The most important aspect of his career though, he became the ace on the Yankees rotation, that they sorely needed to start winning World Series. In fact, he was on SIX World Series Championship teams! Including five straight from 1945-1953. Oh and to make it even sweeter, most of this was done AFTER he turned 30. When I told my dad that I was able to get Allie Reynold’s autograph, he told me straight out, don’t fuck that one up! In fact I’m starting to believe that Reynolds may have been one of his favorite players from his early years as a baseball fan. I think I know what he’s getting this year for father’s day!
The issue I had while making this card was simple, Reynolds has a big ass autograph! I actually did very little trimming on the sides to fit his entire signature in. I have the same problem with a Charlie Gheringer autograph that at some point I have to turn into a card. I actually had to clip the end of the “s” in Reynolds and came very close to clipping the “A” in Allie, but was able to avoid that by tilting it a little. So glad I didn’t “fuck this one up”.
Player’s certified autograph:
Player’s card debut:
Raise your hand if you know who Tommy Holmes is. I feel like a teacher sometimes on this site. It’s more of a history lesson, sports history that is. The older I get the more in tune with history I want to become. Maybe it’s a way to connect better with my father who grew up as a child in the 1940s or maybe it’s because at this age, I have just become more interested in history even if it is done at a rate of one player at a time. Either way, I know that it’s keeping me busy and entertained so I will continue to do it even if no one reads my blog.
Class, today’s subject is Tommy Holmes. Holmes played in the major leagues from 1942 – 1952. Seriously love the story behind him. He grew up in Brooklyn, and went to Brooklyn Tech. For those of you who don’t know this school, it is one of the premiere math and science high schools in the country. Meaning, Tommy was very smart. Also he was very gifted in athletics as well. The guy did one thing amazingly well, he could hit. Signed by (who else) the New York Yankees, he raked in nearly 1000 hits in the minors before finally being traded to a team that could actually use him. The Yanks at the time had an outfield of DiMaggio, Henrich, and Keller. All were All Stars, none would be moved to bring up Holmes, so he stewed in the minors way longer than he should have.
He was traded to the Boston Braves in 1942 where he became an immediate fixture in the outfield. His best years were from 1942 – 1948 where he hit on average 186 hits a season for a total of 1301 hits and a batting average of 0.308, leading the league twice in hits. In 1945 he batted 0.352 with 224 hits and 28 home runs and 47 doubles (all league leading) and finished second in NL MVP voting. He only played in one All Star game, however looking back at his career he was going up against Hall of Famers at the position he played. He would go on to manage for a few years in the minors, before stepping away from the game for a few years. He was lured back by the New York Mets in the early 70s as Director of Amateur Baseball Relations and would remain with the Mets for three decades.
Card No: VC-TH
Number of cards in the set: 8
Baseball Reference Stats: Tommy Holmes
Wikipedia page: Tommy Holmes
1950 Bowman Card:
Spahn and Sain and Pray For Rain
By: Gerald V. Hern
First we’ll use Spahn
then we’ll use Sain
Then an off day
followed by rain
Back will come Spahn
followed by Sain
by two days of rain.
That poem was written by Boston Post’s Sports editor Gerald Hern in 1948. I found it while doing some research for this post. Part of the fun of making these cards is finding some of what I like to call the hidden gems of baseball history. Some of you who love baseball as much as I do, know who Johnny Sain is, but for the rest of you who have no idea, I’ll try and fill you in.
He was just one of those dominant pitchers of the mid fifties, but thanks to his participation in World War II, the world never really got to see just how good he could have been. He made it to the majors in 1942, then lost three seasons to just military service from 1943-45. He would have been 25-27 during those seasons. As many of you know, that’s when pitchers usually start to peak. Instead his career really started in 1946 when he went 20-14 with a 2.21 ERA with the Boston Braves. He would end up with a career 139 wins over 11 seasons. He even switched to a reliever later in his career and led the league in saves one season as a Yankee. He remained on the Hall of Fame ballot until 1975 but never got more than 34% of the vote.
After his playing career, he became one of the most successful pitching coaches in baseball history. He coached the A’s, Yankees, Twins, Tigers, White Sox and Braves from 1959-1986. He finished with six World Series rings, three as a player and three as a coach. Three All Star appearances and the 1948 The Sporting News NL Player of the Year award. I feel as though if he had those military years back, he would have been a Hall of Fame player.
Card Number: SK-JS
Number of cards in the set: 8
Player’s Wikipedia page: Johnny Sain
Player’s Baseball Reference page: Johnny Sain
Player’s certified autograph:
Player’s Rookie Card:
Through The Mail Failure – Mark Howe
I knew I would hook you with that title. I mean who can pass up something for nothing? I sure can’t and I’m hoping neither can you. The reason for this freebie can be chalked up to this note I got back from Mark Howe:
While I don’t begrudge players from charging for their autograph, I don’t feel as though $15+$5 for inscription is fair. If people are indeed going to eBay and reselling his TTM autographs, they are getting on average $3 including shipping. After fees we are talking about $2 (again on average). Now I do understand the money is going to charity. I get that and I am not about dismissing it, but why not sign the card and ask to donate. I bet you’d not only get more people donating, but you’d get more money. I’ve actually donated to the Howe Foundation before, I did it out of admiration to the Howe family. I didn’t want or expect an autograph in return.
Now clearly this is a card that was made by someone. It’s for a personal collection and if it does get resold, I will be long gone from this world. Because it’s a card made by someone it has little to no value (which is why I am giving it away). So all you have to do is subscribe to my blog so that you get my posts as an email, and leave a quick comment. In return, if you are the one selected, I will send you the card and the note that Mark sent me so you know where to send it and how much to donate to get the autograph.
Again, I have no problem with athletes asking for a suggested donation, or flat out asking for money. However if this isn’t an in person event, make the donation a suggested amount and sign the card regardless of the donation. That’s all I ask. In the end if he had signed it and asked for the donation, I would have donated again. Now I’m completely turned off by it and don’t even want it in my collection which is why someone else has a chance to get his signature on his terms.
Let me know where you stand on this, I’m very curious if I’m out of line or not. Either way good luck winning the card, I will hold the drawing tomorrow night at 7pm (entries after that will be ignored, but thanks in advance to subscribing and leaving a comment).
Card – SK-ER
Player – Edd Roush
Getting this signature was bad-ass! No way did I ever think I was getting a Roush autograph for south of 10 bucks. I got this for $9.95 including shipping. Probably because it was a magic marker autograph with some slight bleeding, but I’m good with that. We are talking about a player who actually started in the 1919 Black Sox World Series. Not only that but he was 26 years old at that point in his career.
He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1962 by the Vetren’s Committee. He was a two time NL Batting champ, and during an 18 year career, he had a career batting average of 0.323, good for 44th all time in baseball history. Here are the coolest facts about Roush:
- He never struck out more than 25 times in a season.
- He had 30 inside-the-park home runs.
- He was invited to throw out the first ball at the last game at Crosley Field on June 24, 1970.
- He used a massive 48-ounce Louisville Slugger (the heaviest bat used in baseball), claims that he never broke a bat in his big league career.
- He died at the age of 94, still insisting that even if the White Sox had played the 1919 World Series on the level, the Reds would have won.
- Edd Roush was the last surviving Federal League participant.
That’s some crazy stuff. Finally, during the making of this card, I was watching Walking Dead. Got completely caught up in it and ended up making a sticker out of his autograph. With some creative quick thinking, I took a penny sleeve, split it in half, and applied it to the autograph, so the card now has a protective seal over the autograph. Lesson learned: Never make cards while watching Walking Dead!
Original signature card:
Card Number: SK-RR
Card Subject: Robin Roberts
Baseball Reference Link: BR Link
Player information: I got this one at the same time as the Sutter autograph. I am so happy to finally get one. This one was gotten for $5 shipped. Usually it’s much more for his autograph so I was happy to find it cheaper. Roberts was a 19 year vet, and spent the most of his career in Philadelphia. He had a career record of 286-245 which puts him at 28th for career wins. He was a seven time All Star and was a big part in that Phillies rotation for years. The interesting thing about his career was that it very closely mimics Jim Kaat’s and unpon close look, Kaat needs to be in the Hall. Maybe someday the veteran’s committee will right that wrong.
What the original signature looked like:
Image of a certified autograph:
Image of one of his cards:
I got this back mid week in the mail. It’s the second of the new through
the mail mini cards I recently sent out. It’s so awesome getting these back. Everytime I go out to the mail box, my mailman seems more excited than I am. Today when I got back to he said, you got some great ones back. I will post them later in the week. This is one that is my mini Heritage autographs. I saw that Charlie Trippi was signing and I had to have it. I do have a cut signature from him, but it’s pretty small, this one is just amazing looking.
He fits under my Hall of Fame or All Star Collection. He had a 9 year career the spanned 1947 – 1955. He was a two time Pro Bowler and one time All Pro. He was the first overall pick in the 1945 draft. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1968. He is 93 years old and is one of the oldest living members of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
So how did this TTM break down?
Address sent to:
125 Riverhill Court
Athens, GA 30606
Turnaround time: 11 days
Set for: 2015 Bad Wax Heritage Mini Cut Autographs
Running Number of signed cards in set: 1
Remaining cards from the set still out for signature: 3
Picture of Trippi certified autograph: