May Returns

As expected, a slow month with a very slow start. I didn’t even get my first returns until after a couple weeks.

The first return of the month was an 11 day return from Scott Cepicky who I should’ve googled before sending. I know a lot of the guys I’m sending to are pretty conservative but Cepicky is one who’s actively getting in the way of COVID vaccinations and writing anti-trans legislation. Sigh. So it goes. I google the older guys who I don’t know but the ones from my youth who I sort of remember? I often go with my memories.

Second return of the month is from former Pirate and current Pirates broadcaster John Wehner. Definitely one of those guys I remember from my youth in par because his name is very very close to the name of one of my childhood friends.  He sent this back in 18 days.

The last round of customs I printed had a few empty spaces. I asked around for suggestions and one of them was to make cards of good TTM guys who played in the 1950s. This made sense to me since I don’t really have cards, let alone duplicates, from those years.

One of the suggested names was Bobby Morgan who was a utility infielder in the 1950s for multiple teams including the Dodgers and Phillies. Dodgers photos were either more prevalent or I just liked that multiple-bat photo the most. rue to his rep he signed and returned one custom, keeping the rest, in only 9 days.

Charlie Maxwell was another good recommendation who returned all three cards in 9 days. I always feel a little guilty when this happens. Maxwell was an All-Star outfielder who was known for rarely committing an error. In this case I was able to get a pair of photos of him with the team he had his best years with.

A private signing brought a nice autograph from John “The Count” Montefusco back in 44 days. I did not request the inscription. I love that he added it anyway. Montefusco was a San Francisco legend in part because he was a bright spot in a pretty bad period of club history. I also knew him as the last Giants no hitter—a feat that seemed ancient in the late 1980s and which took another 20 years after that to finally happen again.

Montefusco is also one of those guys who’s got a really ugly section of his wikipedia page. Big yikes there which I’d somehow missed when it happened.

Danny Tartabull returned a great pair of cards in 16 days. His 1987 Rookie Cup card is a fun one but I really remember him as a masher and All Star with Kansas City. He fell off after leaving he Royals but in my mind he’ll always be that offensive threat from the early 1990s. This is also the first 1990 Leaf card to enter the album.

A 14-day return from Todd Zeile added another guy I remember from my youth. Zeile was a big prospect for a few years and, while he never became a star, put together a nice 15-year career which he finished with an above average OPS+ and over 250 home runs.

Wikipedia claims that he’s the only member of the “hit a home run for over ten MLB teams” club but a quick look through the Baseball Reference Octavio Dotel All Stars list shows that there are a half-dozen guys in that fraternity. Zeile and Matt Stairs are the only two who have hit a home run for eleven teams though and Zeile is the only guy to have hit over five home runs for each team. The other “homers for ten teams” guys are Henry Blanco, Russell Branyan, Marlon Byrd, José Guillen, and Kenny Lofton.

While I’ve sent to Turk Wendell before, I couldn’t not send again with this card. Wendell is a character and this 1994 Collector’s Choice card captures his habit of leaping over the foul line. H sent it back in 16 days. It looks great signed and features his standard blackened corner and card edges.

Bill Schroeder is one of the current Brewers announcers and, as a former catcher, ended up on a few very nice cards. I’ve long liked his 1986 Topps card but his 1991 is also very nice. I sent these care of the Brewers and he sent them back in 56 days.

And the last return of the month is from Ron LeFlore in 8 days. LeFlore is a great story as well as a total throwback to an era of baseball when the stolen base mattered. Very cool that he was the first guy to lead each league in stolen bases and  very impressive hat he averaged over 50 steals a season in his 9-year career.

Not a bad month all things considered. I’ve done a little better sending requests out too (LeFlore was the first of those to return) so hopefully next month picks up a little.

Author: Nick Vossbrink

Blogging about Photography, Museums, Printing, and Baseball Cards from both Princeton New Jersey and the San Francisco Bay Area. On Twitter as @vossbrink, WordPress at njwv.wordpress.com, and the web at vossbrink.net

4 thoughts on “May Returns”

  1. That 1987 Topps Rookie Cup card of Tartabull is awesome! Love his signature… even though I don’t really see Danny Tartabull when I look at it.

  2. Love the LeFlore signing, definitely a player from my childhood and his first 5 Topps cards were huge in my eyes.

    I was at a card show Montefusco was signing at several years ago (he was one of many signers). He was really playing up the Yankee connection, which kept me from even considering it, even though there was no line.

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