Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Cut, Copy, (Re) Print!

With it being a gloomy Wednesday afternoon and a particularly boring day at work, I decided I needed a pick-me-up.  What's the best way to brighten a day? A trip to the local cardboard merchant of course!

The LCS by my workplace is pretty good. More Fun Sports Cards has all your typical relics, autographs, shiny things, etc. in cases up front. But, for a guy like me, the best part is the table in the middle of the room with casts amounts of unsorted cards, ripe for the picking.

While some find this sort of sorting daunting, I relish it. It honestly makes me feel like I've earned my reward, a feeling I don't get when I simply point and click my order.

By golly, my day became brighter than a 70's Padres jersey after this trip!  I found enough new additions for my All-Time Roster Collection that I'm going to have to divide it into 2 separate posts.  So, let us commence Episode I: The Phantom Men.... Aaaaand I've just been sued for copyright infringement.

The title for this post stems from my love of re-prints. At this stage in my collection, most players that I need are from the 60's and earlier.  Seeing as I'm not made of money, re-prints allow me to satiate my need to collect without having to shell out for Tobacco cards, like these 1910 Plowboys:

This sepia set was originally printed 104 years ago, but this edition only dates back to 1992; slightly newer.  The full group features Cubs and White Sox players of the day, but the dealer was kind enough to let me break the set and cherry pick; he finds my collection goal fascinating.

Johnny Kling is probably the biggest new name that I acquired.  He was the Cubs starting catcher for much of their early 20th century dominance, including their last two World Series titles, excepting 1909.  That year he decided to pull a Michael Jordan and jumped into a different pro sport: billiards. Was it worth it? Well he did win the World Championship, so...

Francis "Big Jeff" Pfeffer was a workhorse pitcher who had two tours of duty with the Cubs, 1905 and then again in 1910. He even pitched a no-hitter, but of course that came in a Boston uniform in 1907. His younger brother Jeff also pitched during the same era, mostly for the Dodgers and Cardinals, thus "Big Jeff."

Fred Luderus came up with the Cubs in 1909 and played sparingly for the club through 1910. As a first baseman on a club with Frank Chance, he was superfluous. Therefore, he was traded to the Phillies where he became their, mostly adequate, starting first baseman all the way through 1920. Fun fact: he was the very first Phillie to hit a home run in World Series play, coming in 1914.

Ginger Beaumont was not a silent movie star or 19th century southern belle, despite what imagery his name conjures.  The longtime Pirate won the batting title in 1902 with a .357 avg and
was the first player to ever come to bat in World Series play. But his 1910 season with the Cubs would be his last, as recurring leg problems finally got the best of him. I believe he was signed by Jim Hendry to a mega-deal going into that year (sarcasm alert).

Al Carson's entire MLB career lasted only 6.2 innings.  He made two relief appearances for the Cubs in May of 1910 and then rode off into the sunset, never to be seen again.  That's about all I can find on the guy. I legitimately thought that this guy would never make it into my collection, seeing as his career was so very short and so very long ago. I'm amazed he ever had a card; but, I love surprises!

Rube Kroh was brought in for the stretch drive of the 1908 season, where he started 2 games late. His lasting contribution in Cubs lore though, is that he is allegedly the player who got the ball to Johnny Evers in the famed "Merkle's Boner" game.  He hung around until 1910 and then finished up his career with the Boston NL club  in 1912.

Finally we have the Jason Marquis of his time, Harry McIntire, although this card incorrectly uses a "y" to spell his surname.  Harry was an innings eater and not much else.  The season which best exemplifies this is 1905, where for Brooklyn he led the National League in Hits Allowed (340), Earned Runs Allowed (127) and Hit Batsmen (20). He also led the league in Hits Batsmen in 1908 (20) and 1909 (21).  His career win/loss record is a horrid 77-117. Remember, this is the Deadball era, where pitching was king.

Even if those were the only cards I pulled today, it wouldn't be bad for a days work. In fact, I'd call it stupendous considering the amount located and the fact that the players are ancient.  But, that wasn't all I found today and I'll detail the rest tomorrow. Meanwhile, it's time to watch the Cubs vs. Rockies Cactus League game.


  1. These are really cool. I picked up a few as part of a reprint lot I bought at my local flea market a few years ago.

  2. Reprints are my best friends and the stuff you find at flea markets always amazes me. I really can't wait until the weather warms up so I can go to the local outdoor market.