Sunday, December 1, 2013

Merry Christmas!!

Wow, another year has past.  I found some pictures of Christmas past.

The one on the left is my mom and dad from 1952.  They were not even married yet.  The one on the right is my brother from 1956.  He was 2 and I did not arrive on the scene for another week.

The following 2 pictures show my first Christmas, 1957 on the left with mom and my brother  and my second Christmas, 1958, on the right, with my dad and brother.

Here is a color picture of me, my brother and my mom from an early Christmas.  The bottom picture shows the gifts from Santa that awaited me and my brother in 1963.  Note the star at the top of the tree.

Here is my 2013 tree.

 Merry Christmas!!!!

Saturday, November 23, 2013

More Rub-Offs!!!

Picked up 6 more 1966 Topps Rub-Offs recently:  Max Alvis, Curt Blefary, Willie Horton, Jim Maloney, Pete Rose and the Washington Senators Pennant.

This brings me to 84 of the total of 120 in the set.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Two More Rub-Offs

Faithful followers will remember I'm trying to assemble a complete set of 1966 Topps Rub-Offs one at a time.

I just got 2 more, Bill Mazeroski and and Dick Farrell.

This brings me to 78 in total, only 42 more to go to complete the set!!

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Fox News

This morning at breakfast, I had a visitor.  I saw some thing walking around in the back yard and at first, I thought it was a cat.  As it got closer, it turned out to be a fox! 

I took some pictures before it ran away. 

It's hard to see him, he is to the right of the swing set.

Here is an enlargement.

I'll have to see if he comes back to join me again tomorrow.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Mickey Mantle Pencil Set

For Father's Day, my step-daughter Laura got me a gift certificate from ebay.  So, I've been looking for something special.

I have wanted a Mickey Mantle Pencil Set.  There is one in the local antique store but it is much too high priced for its condition.  The 2 pencil set is either from the late 1950's or early 1960's.  The original price was 25 cents.

I've been looking for one on ebay but they seem to be going for a very high price or not in very good condition.

About a week ago I saw one and put in my best bid and won!!  It looked like it was in nice condition and I could not wait for it to arrive.  When it did, I was not disappointed at all.

Here it is.

It is complete and does not show a lot of wear.  I still have some extra left on the gift certificate!

Thank you Laura!!!

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Dan Pfister - Kansas City Athletics

Dan Pfister played major league baseball with the Kansas City Athletics of the American League from 1961 through 1964.  His lifetime record ws 6 wins and 19 losses.  Dan grew up in Bound Brook, New Jersey.  This is 2 towns over from my hometown.  I went to grade school and high school with Dan's cousin, Doug.  Knowing someone who had a relative in the major leagues was a big thing

Dan appeared on 3 different baseball cards in 1962, 1963 and 1964.  Here is his 1962 Topps rookie card.

Here is his 1963 card.

Here is his last card from 1964.

Here is an interesting item. Topps pays the players for the right to use their image and in the 1960's allowed the players to choose a gift from a catalogue.  Here is Topps record of what Dan choose as his gift each year.

So, in his first 2 years, Dan choose a 19" RCA Portable TV and in his last year got a GE Electric Dishwasher!

After he left professional baseball, Dan was a firefighter in Hollywood, Florida.  He still lives in Hollywood.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Robert Maier

Robert Maier was born in my hometown of Dunellen, NJ, on September 5, 1915.

Bob was a professional baseball player who played only one year in the majors, 1945.  He was a third baseman for the Detroit tigers and helped them win the World Series that year.

He only batted one in the World Series, his last at bat ever, and got a single in game 6.

Here is a baseball card of him.

As a kid, I would see him around town and at church on Sundays.  I talked with him a few times and he was a great person.

He passed away in nearby South Plainfield on August 4, 1993.

Monday, May 27, 2013


My wife and I just got back from the Tour of Somerville bicycle races in nearby Somerville,, New Jersey.

The Tour of Somerville is an annual series of bicycle races in Somerville held over Memorial Day weekend, with the premiere race held on Monday. The series of races are called "tours" due to a New Jersey state law forbidding racing on highways for prizes.

2013 marked the 70th race.

The event, dubbed the "Kentucky Derby of Cycling," is considered the oldest major bicycle race in the nation. It culminates in the 50-mile Kugler-Anderson Memorial race.  That centerpiece race offers a $15,000 prize. 

It is very exciting watching the cyclists.  They race at about 25 to 30 miles per hour and the final sprints can be at 35 miles per hour.

Today there was a crash of maybe 6 cyclists in one of the races about 20 yards from me.  A very scary situation.  I do know that one of the competitors was taken to a local hospital for treatment.

Congratulations not only to the winners, but to all competitors.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Frank Umont

Frank Umont was an umpire in Major League Baseball's American League from 1954 to 1973.  Prior to that, he was a guard for 4 years for the New York Giants football team.

Though he was born in Staten Island, he grew up in my childhood home town of Dunellen, New Jersey.

Here is his baseball card from the 1955 set issued by Bowman.

In the late 1960s and early 1970s, I delivered the local weekly newspaper to the house he grew up in.  His sister lived on the same block as my Aunt Jo and my Aunt got me a baseball personally singed by him.

He umpired in All Star Games as well as World Series Games in addition to regular season games.  He was also the umpire in the last regular season game played at Yankee Stadium in 1973 before it was remodeled.

He was the first umpire to wear glasses.

Frank passed away from a heart attack in his Florida home on June 20, 1991. 

Friday, May 17, 2013


It's been a year since you left us but you are in our hearts everyday!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

1961 Topps #492 Ron Fairly

Fairly recently, a variation has been discovered on the reverse of the 1961 Topps baseball card of Ron Fairly of the Los Angeles Dodgers.

The baseball on the back can be in all white or have a portion, usually the bottom, in green.

Here is the green baseball version.

A closer look.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Help for a Tractor

I hope some of you can help out this couple.

They need to purchase a tractor for a farm they are starting up in Georgia.  I know Darby from where my wife's son went to college in Sterling Vermont. She has had some knock downs in her life but comes back even stronger.  She is a tireless worker and it is my hope to see her and her husband succeed in this endeavor! If they do not get a tractor, the plowing will have to be done by hard physical labor.

I know it is down to the wire, but if you can help please do. ANY AMOUNT WILL HELP!!  All of their produce is grown without chemicals, NO GMO seeds...just honest to goodness natural flavor grown the old fashion way. Thank!

Here is a link for donations:

This is not a gimmick, it is all done through a project called Kickstarter to give a hand to help someone find the path to make their dreams come true...

And here is a link to their website Sun Dog Farm

If you are in the Georgia area and see them selling their produce at the local market, stop in to say hi and bring home some tasty treats to try.

In the spirit, here are a couple of Matchbox Tractors.

Hopefully the wheels will stay on their tractor better than they do on mine.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

1981 Fleer Baseball Card Variations

Topps had a monopoly on producing baseball cards for many years.  The Fleer Corporation sued Topps and won.  They were awarded monetary damages that were tripled due to the nature of the case.  The amount they were award was $1.00 that was tripled to $3.00.  Ok, so 3 dollars was not a big deal but they also won the right to produce baseball cards in 1981.  Donruss also produced cards in 1981.

The first printing of Fleer cards were filled with errors and they corrected some of them in a second printing, creating many variations.  Some say the errors were caused by their rush to get cards to market, others say it was planned to promote sales.

I'm working on completing all the variations.  I have most and the good thing, as compared to the 1971 Topps variations I just completed, is that these cards are much more plentiful and hence are a lot less expensive.  Most can be found for 50 cents or less.

Here are some variations.  This first one involves Billy Travers and Jerry Augustine.

The first card is Billy's correct card.  The last one is Jerry's correct card.  The middle one has Billy's name and stats on the back but has Jerry's picture and card number on the back.

Here are 2 cards of Kurt Bevacoua.  The first card has a reversed photo and the second card is the corrected version.

Finally, here are two variations of the Graig Nettles Card.  The fronts are the same but in the first printing, Fleer incorrectly spelled his name as Craig on the back.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

1969Topps #77 - Ron Perranoski

Here is another baseball card variation I just acquired, the 1969 Topps card of Ron Perranoski, a pitcher for the Minnesota Twins.

You may have to enlarge the photo but the card on the left still has the "LA" for Los Angeles, the team he was traded from, slightly visible on his cap.  The card on the right has the emblem completely covered.

Ron was born in Paterson, New Jersey and grew up in Fair Lawn, NJ.  Ron pitched in the majors for 13 years, retiring as an active player in 1973.   He then was a coach for the Los Angeles Dodgers for 22 years and since 1995, has been involved in the San Francisco Giants organization.