November Returns

Okay so November was a lot better than I was expecting. Both more returns than I hoped for but also a couple really good ones.

The first return of the month was Clay Carroll in 23 days. He was one of the top relief pitchers for the Big Red Machine in the first half of the 1970s but I sent his capless first-year Braves card instead. Outside of baseball, Carroll’s stepson shot him (also killing his wife) in 1985 which was definitely not something I expected to read about when I was writing about this return.

I definitely enjoy that I’m still receiving Spring Training returns. This pair came back from Jake McGee in 236 days. McGee was not great in 2022 but he had his moments in 2021—including winning the July Reliever of the Month award—so is someone who I should remember fondly as part of that 107 win team.

Dave McKay was the A’s First Base coach when I was a kid in the late 1980s and as such is one of those names which brings me back to that age. Whil I didn’t have any A’s cards of him I did have a 1979 card of him with the Blue Jays, that he returned in 16 days.

A 16-day return from Jackie Brandt brought another New York Giant to the collection. Brand had a good rookie season in New York in 1956 before taking entering the military and missing, essentially, two full seasons. His only other full year with the Giants was 1959 in which he won a Gold Glove. He was a solid player for Baltimore so it’s nice that I have a card that works as both an Orioles and Giants card here.

Probably the best return of the month was this 162-day return from Tony Oliva. He’s usually a bit hit and miss but I took the chance with a “congratulations on the Hall of Fame” letter and I couldn’t be happier with the result. I’m very happy that Topps did these Turn Back the Clock cards when I was a kid since this is the only Oliva card I actually have.*

*Same thing happened with Maury Wills.

I don’t have a lot of 1976 SSPC cards let alone enough to send out requests but the photos are too great for me to not try every once in a while. Brnie Carbo’s is one of the photos I really like and it was a lot of fun to get it back in 23 days.

It’s nice that I’m still able to hit my 1988 Topps duplicates. Jimy Williams was the Blue Jays manager during my first couple years as a baseball fan so it was great to add another of those names to the big stack of signed 1988 Topps. He sent this back in just 10 days.

I’ve been meaning to send to Al Bumbry for a while. I really like his 1978 Topps card but elected to go with his 1983 instead. I don’t have many cards from that set signed and this one looks great. Bumbry won the Rookie of the Year award in 1973 and put together a very goo 14-year career (13 of which were spent with Baltimore).

He included an extra Orioles-produced autograph card. From what I gather, they produce these for events at the stadium and, presumably, give the players a big stack for themselves as well. It’s a nice simple design and, at 3.5″×5″ in size, allows for a nice big signature as well.

December on the other hand looks to be pretty dry. I don’t send out much during the holidays since it always feels a bit weird to me to bug people but there are a lot of stragglers out there so who knows what will show up.

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, and the web at

One thought on “November Returns”

  1. Good selection. I remember McKay as an original Blue Jay and Bumbry is one of the few 1975 Topps cards I have signed. (I mentioned that horrible Carroll fact in one of my set blogs).

What do you think?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: