Friday, July 02, 2010

Collection: N28 1887 Allen & Ginter- A Couple of Billiard Players

With the Allen & Ginter frenzy in full swing I thought I would add to the madness by sharing some of my vintage N28's here. This is a set I have been working on for many years- longer than I can remember. In total, it consist of 50 cards and features everything from Baseball players to oarsman, boxers and even billiard players. My own, yet to be completed set, is missing just 7 cards. Unfortunately, they are the most expensive ones- the Baseball players. On the plus side, I really don't worry about condition. So, I can keep the overall cost of my endeavor down. Still, some of the cards are fairly sharp, especially those considered commons.

Above are two cards in my set. They are billiard players William Sexton and Maurice Vignaux. These two masters knew each other well. In 1875 Frenchman Vignaux won the Collender Challenge Cup in America. As was expected at the time, the trophy would stay stateside, but Maurice had other plans. He left for France with the trophy in tow. Expectedly, this caused quite a stir. So, William Sexton was tapped to head to Europe to reclaim it. In 1876 they finally faced off, and under some controversy, Sexton lost. Till his final days he always believed he was robbed. In fact, American expatriates in France thought the same thing and made up a purse to reward him for his efforts. Only after being convinced that no Frenchman contributed did he accept the prize.

T206 Brooklyn Dodgers: Zack Wheat

This is the last card left from my feature on T206 Brooklyn players. So, I decided to leave the best player for last. Zach Wheat was elected into the Hall of Fame in 1959. He spent 18 of his 19 Major League seasons with the Brooklyn Superbas and is noted for being a consistent hitter and a graceful fielder. Over his career he batted over .300 14 times, recorded a lifetime batting average of .317, 2884 hits (a Dodger franchise record), and 4996 putouts as an outfielder (good enough for 18th all-time). He walked a total of 650 times, but only struck out 559 times. In 1925 he batted an astounding .375, but lost the batting title to Roger Hornsby who batted .424.

Zach Wheat currently hold the Dodger franchise record for games played, at-bats, hits, doubles, triples, and total bases. He is second behind Duke Snider in RBI's. His defense, though, was what he was really known for.
"What Lajoie was to infielders, Zach Wheat is to outfielders, the finest mechanical craftsman of them all," Baseball Magazine crowed in 1917. "Wheat is the easiest, most graceful of outfielders with no close rivals."
Check out SABR's great biography written by Eric Enders. The best line in Eric's story is the last one.
Shortly before his death he was asked if he had any advice for youngsters with ballplaying aspirations. "Yes," he said. "Tell them to learn to chew tobacco."

2010 Allen & Ginters: More Dodger Inserts

Here are a whole bunch more Dodger insert cards from the Allen & Ginter set; including the gawd awful Andre Ethier sketch card I wrote previously about here.

2010 Baseball Highlight Sketches card. Andre is the only Dodger in this subset. Damn this is ugly!

Andre Ethier, #11

RIP cards have become a very scarce and popular insert within Allen & Ginter. They literally have a mini card hidden inside of them. All you have to do is pull the tab on the back of the card to break the seal in order to pull out a limited edition mini card. 6 Dodgers have their own RIP card with 2 possible mini Dodgers available.

James Loney, #RC35
Manny Ramirez, #RC41
Unfortunately I have yet to see one as of this posting.

Russell Martin, #RC43
Chad Billingsley, #RC54
Clayton Kershaw, #68

Jonathon Broxton, #RC92

Here are the two Dodgers available as short printed mini RIP cards. They are Andre Ethier and Matt Kemp.

Andre Ethier, #369

Matt Kemp, #400