Sunday, September 28, 2008

Good-bye to Shea Stadium

It would only be fitting to bid farewell to the other cross-town mecca in New York City - Shea Stadium. Its impact for the 1960's and 1970's may even eclipse the Yankee home.
Its hard to believe that its one of the oldest National League Stadiums since it has only been in use since 1964. But that year was great for the Flushing Meadows landmark.

The New York Mets became the first tenents as they moved in from the Polo Grounds. A youthful pitching staff that would include Tom Seaver, Nolan Ryan and Tug McGraw would set the standard.

In five short years the Amazin' Mets would be World Champions !

In the same time span the AFL's New York Titans became the New York Jets were just getting started with a young QB named Joe Namath. They would also win their NFL title in 1969 and spent 20 seasons at Shea.
The following year The Beatles made their memorable concert tour stop at the Stadium. Their appearance record stood until Led Zeppelin surpassed it in 1973.

The N.Y. Yankees even spent two seasons there (1974-75) as their stadium went through re-construction.

In 1965 West Ham United, led by Bobby Moore, played a summer season in the International Soccer League at Shea. One year later he and three of his West Ham teammates would win the FIFA World Cup with England.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Last game at Yankee Stadium

With the clock ticking away, the final out at Yankee Stadium approaches. There has been loads of media coverage; everything from ball collectors to the IRS investigating the financing of the new Yankee Stadium.

No tribute would be complete without the three kings of the Bronx: Ruth, DiMaggio and Mantle. These are arguably the most desired player cards of all time. (Admit it, even if you are
not a Yankee fan you would not turn down the chance to own one of their cards

So here are three from my own collection:

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Good-bye to Yankee Stadium

While garage sale(ing) this weekend I picked up a nice book called "Yankee Stadium: 75 Years of Drama, Glamour and Glory". I paid my maximum 50 cents (for hard cover books).

It was another reminder that its will be the final year of events in "the House that Ruth Built". And while most of us know that the New York Yankees play there, so many other memorable moments that took place including concerts, prize fights, football games and of course one season of soccer with PELE' and the New York Cosmos.

While Yankee Stadium is the backdrop to literally thousands of baseball cards its famous top facade is visible on the cards of Bert Blyleven, and soon to be Yankees Graig Nettles and Reggie Jackson.

Those of us who have spent way too much time looking at cards seem to find stuff that other people find ... well mundane. So while the facade of Yankee Stadium is as common as rookie prospects, there are a few other cards of the Bronx building.

One of my favorites is this 1971 Ken McMullen. It shows the Yankee monuments before they were moved to a separate courtyard outside the field of play. But lets not forget that for a period they were to be avoided by sprinting outfielders.
The only thing worse than dying for Ruth's monument is dying because of Ruth's monument. Ouch !

Chuck's Used Cards

Every card has a story ...

As the U.S. economic tempest looms like a hurricane swirling its way toward the mainland, the uncertainty for card collectors hovers in their minds.

The best advice I can give to anyone who is worries by these events is - collect things you like. If you have been doing this merely as an investment you will only be disappointed. For those of us that look at cards as a form of art, we have always known that art is subjective and measured in the eye of the beholder.

As art, these cards can hold memories of people, places and things that have touched us, however so briefly. From childhood memories to an escape from everyday grind, cards can be anything and everything - a keepsake, a conversation piece or a gift for someone special.

A historical figure who once wrote eloquently about savings, spending and regret of purchases, is the subject of my first card (1952 Topps Look-N-See: Ben Franklin). I purchased this card at a rummage sale for 50 cents. I love the Presidential-like portrait painting used for the card. Ben Franklin was never President and yet has reverence greater than many who have been President.

What I find most fascinating about Franklin is not his innovation as an inventor, his diplomatic swagger or even his ability to establish everyday entities like the Fire department, Library or Post Office.

Rather, I am awed by his presence as the very first American celebrity. While his contemporaries like Washington and Adams wore traditional British attire and Wigs, Franklin wore his own long hair and was fiercely independent. When he arrived in France as envoy, he was greeted with waves of fans and feted for his unusual manners usually frowned upon in the French Royal court. He was the first American with rock star status complete with groupies, photo ops (portraits) and public appearances.

I am also amazed when I think of all the time away from the United States while in England and France. How much of this great man's life was spent in months or years on ships that crossed the ocean long before transatlantic travel was speedy.

The proof of Franklin's endurance is his inclusion in a topps set even in 2008.

Ben Franklin was cool. Long live cool.