Nashville Part II: Other Vintage Dimes

The other day I showed off some of the Astros I grabbed in Nashville. While I made some nice progress on the team collection, I also made additions to some other collections as well – and decided to start up a few new ones in the process.

Believe it or not, all of these cards that you are about to see come from the land of dime box glory. Now I know what Nick feels like as he flips through boxes on boxes of cards.

Pops here is raring to go, so let’s get down to it. I just love that he’s wearing the great gold-ringed cap in this shot, too. Grabbing this 1982 Stargell for just a dime was a no-brainer if I ever saw one. Aside from my Mazeroski project, I tend to keep an eye out for Clemente, Stargell, and most of the other 60’s and 70’s Pirates. Mazeroski’s the only one I’m really trying to hunt down a complete collection of cards issued when he was active, though, as I don’t want to overlap too terribly with my father’s collection.

Speaking of 70’s Pirates, I snagged both of these with the intent of trying to pick up a couple autographs. Well, I have several Tekulve’s that are options for TTM hunting, but I just couldn’t pass up these glasses. 
Rennie Stennett’s 7-for-7 game has become one of my favorite little oddities since I discovered his 1979 Topps card in the garage sale boxes I bought this spring. I’m hoping to get his autograph as well. I have no affinity or aversion to Bill Buckner whatsoever, but I just couldn’t pass up that ‘stache for a dime. 
I think we can all agree that it’s all the weird and wacky things that we come across in baseball (and card collecting) that give the game that extra appeal that we all love. I first heard about Herb Washington via the great literary journal Hobart, who leads off each April with a baseball-centric issue.

That piece is a wonderful blur of creative fiction, but when you read actual accounts of Washington’s baseball experience, it is just begging to be fact. As a result, I’d been looking out for Herb’s famous “pinch runner” card for a while.

As far as I can tell, this seems to be the only card Herb was ever issued – certainly the only Topps card. Given his status as one of the cult legends of baseball, I figured he’d have been in someone’s set of oddities. If you know any other Washington cards, please tell me.

I’ve decided to go for the trifecta here, though I expect to pay more than a dime for the O-Pee-Chee and the mini. Of course the holy grail of a Herb Washington collection would include his autograph as well.

One of my favorite baseball personalities as a kid was Mitch “Wild Thing” Williams. I mean, come on – his nickname was Wild Thing, what more does a kid need? It didn’t hurt that he had a short stint with my beloved Astros, either.

Sure, he gave up the homer to Joe Carter that gave Canada back-to-back World Series titles. Sure, he said some dumb stuff at his kid’s little league game and told a kid to plunk another one (ok, not cool). There was just something about watching him fling his entire self wildly off the rubber that was entrancing.

Now, on to some more eccentric pitchers. Everyone knows the stories behind Bill “Spaceman” Lee and Dock Ellis and the LSD No-No – or at least they should. (Go do some reading! It won’t hurt, I promise). I’d already started a fledgling collection of Dock Ellis cards, and a few Bill Lee’s have fluttered my way lately, so when I dug up a couple more at the shop I figured it was time to officially start collections for both of them. The only problem is that means buying cards of Dock in those dreaded Yankee pinstripes. Ugh.
After getting back into collecting last year, one set that really underwhelmed me was 1976 Topps. I’m convinced now that was due to some poor color selections on the Astros cards – pink and orange bars at the bottom made for some, well, less than appealing options. Since flipping through a few stacks of these, I’ve really come around on this set, and these two cards of Don Baylor and ol’ Scrap Iron are testaments to how great it can look. Check out those stirrups and Adidas cleats on Garner.
Here are two more that I just had to pick up from the ’76 set. Bochte looks like a straight up ladykiller on this card, and seeing as he’s a former Astro whose autograph I’ll be hunting down, I thought I’d grab this as a second card to get signed. Dave Duncan is known to be one of those legendary pitching gurus, a man who turned good pitchers into dominators, and a (recently retired I believe) coach whose autograph I’d also like to get – especially seeing as how I pulled his ’64 rookie from that garage sale purchase. Two more dimes well spent.

We started the post off with a Hall of Famer, how’s about we end with a pair of HoF managers? It should be a crime to be able to pick up a Sparky for just ten cents – but I’m not complaining. The expression on Tony’s face is just cracking me up, too. I really like the layout of the 1983 Topps cards, even the managers.

All in all, one hell of a pickup from Cards-R-Fun. I’ve got one more Nashville post on the way, but that one will focus on a game and not cards – a little something different that I think you’ll all enjoy seeing.

 – Bru

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