Wednesday, January 29, 2020

In the Good Old Summertime: OKC 89ERS

Thanks to those of you who took time to read and comment on my last post regarding the Oklahoma City Thunder and the bombing in April 1995.  This post will be featured on the right side of the blog for the remainder of the year as a tribute to survivors and the 168 lost.

I received a thoughtful email from a friend who preferred comment privately. He mentioned for him, it would be hard for me to top that post. With that said, I'm retiring the blog. Why try?  It's been a good run.  I wrote from my heart regarding a personal experience which was a little different for me.  Normally I just make up stuff, throw in a lot of sarcasm and add images stolen from the internet.

Sometimes I am a little homesick for Oklahoma. It's sad to think there are so many things I didn't find time for while I was there.  Like attend multitudinous ball games. Years of opportunity slipped by because I was oblivious to baseball. 

I would have spent more time at All Sports Stadium which was home to the 89ers. Built in 1961, it was host to the team until 1997 when the 89ers moved into the new Bricktown Ballpark and became the Oklahoma Redhawks - who are now the OKC Dodgers.  I went to a few games in the late 80s but hadn't fallen in love with baseball. That didn't happen until 1993. I blame parenting.

A B C D E...G F?

Located on the State Fairgrounds, All Sports seated about 15,000 fans. It was also a fun concert venue.  I attended more concerts than games {she said shamefully.} A few I recall: The Beach Boys, Monkees, Herman's Hermits, Lilith Fair, Grass Roots, Gary Puckett, and - The Oak Ridge Boys, unintentionally. On this occasion, I'd actually gone to the game when a country music festival broke out. ...  Giddy up, oom, papa oom, papa mow mow.  Yessiree. These here 'Elvira' lyrics took them Boys all the way to number one in 1981.  There I was, already missing the 70s.

Where did this picture come from and who put it here!

Over the years, our 89ers showcased some major league talent and a few future HOF members. One of my main PC guys, Ryne Sandberg spent some time in OKC when the 89ers were part of the Phillies organization.  Sadly, I never saw him play. I lived right there in town and never gave thought to a baseball game. Such an idiot. Me - not Ryno.


In 1989, Fergie Jenkins was pitching coach. Uhm, yeah. I missed him too. I did however, meet Fergie a few years ago in an OKC card shop. Friendly and tall, very tall. With large hands.



Abner 89er.  How dumb. He probably had a nosy wife named Agnes. Abner is a great-looking mascot! His face is quite 1889 but those arms are too small and and lacking the follicles necessary to compliment his 'stache.  I wish this shot was in color.


Goose Gossage is another HOFer who passed briefly through the rusty gates of All Sports Stadium for two games in 1991.  There were no images of him in 89er gear. He was with the Rangers at the time and would only play three more years.

1972 Puerto Rican League sticker

Many summers have passed since I enjoyed a game in this eyesore stadium. It's gone now, demolished in 2005 for additional parking at the fairgrounds. I don't have too much in the way of memorabilia other than an old foam seat cushion, packed away in the shed, likely cracked and dry-rotted by now. I have a few minor league cards like these from Joe Shlabotnik:

1990 TCMA 

I'm still looking for cards 1989 or older, especially those featuring any advertising on the outfield walls, or the humble downtown skyline past the far right field wall.  Check out the hot dog on the right:


If you find yourself sorting through old minor league cards, put those 89ers aside for me, would you? I'm always chasing my younger days. I guess that's part of being a collector. Mostly, I live in the now. If vacations to the 70s were available though, I'd buy a timeshare.

Sunday, January 12, 2020

Hobby Hideaway

My little corner of the world

FLAKEY.  It’s that time of year - when the snow falls at will, and the sun makes limited appearances. With my lengthy disappearance from all things bloggy and twitty, it may seem that I too, am flakey. I won’t go into detail right now, except to say that part of this time away was personal. My life is simple, uncomplicated.  It’s unusual for me to have a case of the blues. Coming back, I’ve found a few fellow bloggers who've struggled with losses far greater than any I’ve experienced in sometime. Parents and children passing, jobs lost. These major life events are more than any situation I’ve dealt with these past few months.  While this doesn't invalidate anything I’ve been working through, it certainly puts some perspective on life.

Billy, Ernie and a vintage 60s cake topper.

I've shied away from Twitter. Initially I found it to be a great way for keeping in touch with the hobby during the busier summer days of 2018. No matter how clean I kept my feed - arguments, politics and half-naked women seemed to find their way in.  I gave up trying to hide it all.  This world is in turmoil: on fire, at war, far left, far right, no room for the gray. It's either/or, right/wrong.  My heart just can't take it all in. Twitter hasn't seen me since June. 

Babe, Mickey and the Long Ball!

During this outage of sorts, the hobby was still close at hand. I holed-up in the hobby room. Music, lava lamps, toys, cards - all serve to take me back to a childhood that's been missing most of my life. It's never to late to have one! The time available was spent quietly entering my collection into THE database which was quite therapeutic. All PCs were entered, leaving me quite surprised to find Mike Piazza is the number one player in my collection! I expected Altuve or Mr. Ty Cobb to hold this position! At this moment, I rank as the number one Altuve collector on TCDB. That's fun! Naturally as soon as all PCs were entered, another crop found its way into the house and waits to be entered and filed.

Jose and Buster

Trading Card Database may not be for everyone but I suggest checking it out if you're looking for a way to catalog. There are countless methods to track our collections. Using this system has given me 'control' over mine.  I still need to add team sets, mini-collections and small insert sets. And oh, do I have them! I also spend a little each month to support TCDB. This also keeps the half-naked women off my screen. Ad free! {What is it with these bimbos and their insatiable need for attention???} My up-to-date wantlists can be found there too.  A user profile is not required to view it and the list is searchable via player name, set or team. So no matter how you sort trade bait, finding a little something to send a pal is easy as cake - or pie or ice cream.  

I'm still interested in trading with pals but it's PWE style for now. I've found it easier to send 18-24 pocketed cards inside a heavy-duty envelope. So far there have been no issues with damage - and mailing costs less than $1.40!  The downside for trading is the lack of new product in my house. The new stuff just isn't doing much for me. I completed a GQ set this year and picked up a few stray packs of Prizm, Gallery, Archives and Stadium Club.  My last card show was in March or April. Having less to spend keeps me focused on inexpensive vintage, Tigers, Cobb and Altuve.

Patrick Kane and Tony Esposito

If you've made it this far, then it's time for a small reward. Pick Pockets has been updated with 153 new cards to choose from. Read the PP introduction for instructions and pick your nine cards!  I hope to add additional pages in the near future with a few stray football cards.

Thank you for the warm welcome back. There's always something to learn from you , a new discovery - and always, always - one more card out there I never knew I needed. NEEDED. Until next time, I've got my eyes on you.