Tuesday, August 15, 2017

And In This Corner #2

Thanks to the deluge of old school footage recently uploaded on the WWE Network over the past few weeks, I've been binge watching a lot of it, from early 80s World Class to WWF house shows from the mid-1980s, there's been a lot to take in. Watching all that old footage though made me realize that it's been a while since I've dug through the old clippings I scanned in last fall. So I dove in and found a few more interesting scans that I think would be pretty fun to explore.

This particular card I believe was from 1960 as most of these clippings were in chronological order in the scrapbook. Previously, I talked about Magnificent Maurice but the person he's facing on this card, Oyama Kato, is someone I'm definitely not too familiar with. I was able to find some basic information on him but unfortunately my normal places where I dig info up from were little to no help. Kato was a former MWA Junior Heavyweight champion beating Frankie Talaber in January of 1954 and holding the title for only 27 days until Talaber beat him to reclaim the title. He also teamed with Danny McShain, winning the Ohio version of the American Tag Team titles and also won the San Francisco version of the NWA World Tag Team titles with Karl von Schober. Just under a year after this card occurred, Kato passed away at the age of 42.

Don Eagle was the son of wrestler Chief War Eagle and won a Golden Gloves title in the Cleveland area before getting into wrestling. Debuting in 1945 in the Indianapolis territory, by the time he wound up in Cincinnati, his career was nearing its end. During his career he fought the likes of Buddy Rogers, Antonino Rocca, Gorgeous George, and Hans Schmidt. During a match with Schmidt in 1953, he severely injured his back and went into semi-retirement and popped up in various territories until 1963 when he officially retired. During the course of his career, he held the Boston version of the AWA Heavyweight Title twice, was the last person to hold the MWA Heavyweight Title, and trained the likes of Billy Two Rivers and Chief Jay Strongbow. On March 17, 1963 it was reported that Eagle had committed suicide because of recent business failures and still dealing with the pain of the back injury ten years prior.

The Brunetti Brothers were a team I've never heard of but it turns out they were one of the top teams of the 1950s, holding the regional versions of the NWA World Tag Team titles in the Upper Midwest. Over the border, they also held titles in the Toronto and Vancouver areas and the Stampede International Tag Team titles. The caption of this clipping reads that on this particular card, they'll be facing the Shire Brothers, Roy and Ray. Roy Shire would later go on to open up the San Francisco territory and run cards at the legendary Cow Palace while Ray Shire would become Ray "The Crippler" Stevens and have a long run as a tag team wrestler with Pat Patterson and Nick Bockwinkle.

Judging by the caption, Gene Kiniski was facing Yukon Eric, most notable for having his ear ripped off in a match against Killer Kowalski, in a return match as their previous encounter ended in a draw. Kiniski was known as "Canada's Greatest Athlete" and after leaving the Cincinnati area, went on to capture titles in every major territory he competed in, including winning the AWA and NWA World Heavyweight titles.

This scan isn't the best but it's a picture of Dick the Bruiser, who at this time was involved in a feud in the Detroit region with Cowboy Bob Ellis. Before wrestling, Bruiser played 48 games over three seasons in the NFL as a guard for the Green Bay Packers. Bruiser would buy the Indianapolis region from Jim Barnett in 1964 and ran until 1989. His territory spawned many stars but most notably gave Bobby Heenan his start in pro wrestling. Newer fans may recognize Bruiser as the guest referee from the Starrcade 1990 main event between Sting and the Black Scorpion, in what would prove to be his final televised appearance.

Hope everyone enjoyed this dive through wrestling history, back to cards soon (I promise!) as things at work are finally starting to settle down.

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Back Packs: 2006 Topps Series 1

I don't remember much about 2006, actually I don't remember a thing about that year.

Some things that happened that I don't remember: the Cardinals won the World Series, Barry Bonds passed Babe Ruth for second on the all-time home run list, and the Reds finished 3.5 games out of first place. 

I also don't remember baseball cards that year, especially since I was 21, three years out of high school, and the last thing on my mind was baseball cards. So, here's a pack of cards I'm not familiar with from year I don't remember much of.

#188 Gary Matthews Jr.
#44 Carl Everett
#88 B.J. Surhoff

I'll admit, I was thrown off when I opened these. I though 2006 was the year with team name at the top of the cards with the letters in the little circles. I certainly wasn't expecting this. What we have here is some multi-colored craziness with team names and player names written in shiny foil which makes it incredibly hard to read, especially when scanning these in. In terms of things I don't remember, I certainly don't remember Carl Everett ever playing for the Mariners (and he appears to be in a White Sox uniform) nor do I remember long-time Brewer outfielder B.J. Surhoff suiting up for the Orioles.

Speaking of B.J. Surhoff, I felt compelled to show off the back of the card, mainly because it's pretty wild. You've got the full career stats (up to that point) on the back, along with what appears to be the secondary logo for the team, and then ... what's that in the top left? By cracky it's an old-school Topps cartoon! Well, that's certainly unexpected and makes that pretty cool. 

#198 Kevin Mench
#295 Frank Robinson (MGR)
#66 Shawn Estes

2006 was the second year for the Nationals and I thought it was pretty cool to get a Frank Robinson card. Shawn Estes would appear in only one game for the Padres in 2006. The year prior he was in 21 games for Arizona with a 7-8 record and a 4.80 ERA. I barely remember Kevin Mench but he split 2006 between Texas and Minnesota appearing in 127 games total hitting .269/.313/.419 with 13 HRs and 65 RBIs

#82 Huston Street
#MHR1 Mickey Mantle Home Run History
#315 Tom Gorzelanny

My lone insert card was the Mickey Mantle "home run history" card. This went directly into the Yankees trade pile. The other two cards, Huston Street and Tom Gorzelanny are staying in the collection. Gorzelanny just retired after last season where as Street is still active with the Angels.

#168 Julian Tavarez
#318 Brayan Pena
#227 Corey Koskie

My last batch here. I'd forgotten completely about Julian Tavarez and Corey Koskie. Brayan Pena was a welcome site, considering it's his rookie card (at least it claims to be) and I liked him with for the few years he spent as a Red. Something about that batting pose though just looks unnatural.

Well, there's a pack of cards from 2006. Was it interesting? Somewhat. Was it memorable? Nope, not really but it was still a fun rip and for 50 cents what more can you ask.

Sunday, July 30, 2017

The Football Shoebox Part 2: Cardinals to Eagles

Time to dive back into the lovely shoebox full of football cards. Six more teams this time, the Cardinals to the Eagles.

Phoenix/Arizona Cardinals

I only held onto three Cardinals cards, mainly because I never really followed them and therefore don't have much knowledge of their players from this time. I was hoping for a Boomer Esiason Cardinals card but it was not to be. Still, that Larry Fitzgerald card is pretty cool.

San Diego Chargers

Ah yes, the recently departed San Diego Chargers. There's two Junior Seau cards on the bottom. I had to keep the Ryan Leaf card mainly because it's laughable about how much of a bust he was in the NFL. 

Kansas City Chiefs

I'd forgotten that Marcus Allen ever played for the Chiefs so to find a lot of his cards here in a Chiefs uniform was pretty cool. The Warren Moon card up top there is pretty neat too with him in what looks like a Seahawks jersey but is labeled as a Chiefs card.

Dallas Cowboys

I'll admit I never was a big fan of the Cowboys. I always felt like they were overrated. However, I won't doubt the fact they had lots of good players like Troy Aikman, Michael Irvin, etc. Unfortunately, no Aikman cards were to be found but that's ok as I found some keepers anyway.

Miami Dolphins

Surprisingly there were some Dan Marino cards in the box, along with a few other nifty cards. Nothing too fancy but the 2000 Score Marino is a sunset card, which is pretty cool.

Philadelphia Eagles

Again, the Eagles are a team I never really followed, but there were some fun cards to be had here, including the Randall Cunningham die-cut and the William Perry card, of which I had no knowledge of him ever donning the green and white.

And that's another batch of cards from the football box done.