Bargain Bin Finds—Vintage Football Card Gallery

Who does not enjoy rifling through a bargain bin of sporting collectibles? As you stroll through sports collectibles shows and conventions, you will stumble across many boxes and containers brimming with inexpensive and desirable bargain collectibles. Make the journey to Cleveland in early August to the National Sports Collectors Convention and you will find hundreds of such bins.

The Citifield based soap opera I usually follow is on hiatus today, so I thought I would share some of my favorite bargain bin football card pickups of the past year. These cards were three dollars (many $1) or less except for the Marion Motley card. I paid a bit more for that. For a dollar or two you can grasp and gaze into the past. You can certainly feel the chasm of time between long ago eras and the present age when you ogle one of these time-worn and beaten up beauties. The equipment, poses, and styles of the cards show the passage of generations. Find the card with the white football used during the 40’s and 50’s for night games.

(You can see I lean toward Rams and Placekickers….strange.)

Bargain Bin Finds

Football Cards

Art Donovan-1957 Topps-No. 65

Tobin Rote-1953 Bowman-No. 28

Football Cards

Eddie LeBaron-1955 Bowman-No. 26

Jim Otto-1970 Topps-No. 116

John Morrow-1959 Topps-No. 164

Ray Berry-1964 Phila-No.1

Fred Naumetz-1950 Bowman-No. 85

Marion Motley-1953 Bowman No.9

Bruce Gossett-1966 Phila-No. 95

Bob Boyd- 1958 Topps-No. 21

Lamar Lundy-1968 Topps-No. 80

Dick Bass-1969 Topps-No. 81

Lindon Crow-1963 Topps-No. 45

Roman Gabriel-1969 Topps-No. 125

Paul Younger-1955 Bowman-No. 38

Lou Groza-1959 Topps-No. 60

Frank Gifford-1960 Topps-No. 74

Joseph Sulaitis-1948 Bowman-No. 64

L.A. Rams Team Card-1956 Topps-No. 114. Original “Color Rush”

Bob Waterfield-1952 Bowman-No. 137

Jim Martin-1964 Phila-No. 5

Football Highlights-1961 Topps-No. 77

Y.A. Tittle-1960 Topps-No. 113

Alan Ameche-1960 Topps-No. 2

Lenny Moore-1963 Topps-No. 2

Bargain Bin

Ollie Matson-1960 Topps-No. 63

Del Shofner-1960 Topps-No. 65

Fran Rogel-1960 Fleer-No. 43

Hope to see you at The National Sports Collectors Convention August 1-5 in Cleveland, Ohio.

Here is a prior post to a Gallery of Vintage Football Helmets. Photos take at the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio.

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Twilight Zone and Tim Tebow? Found in Binghampton NY

You’re traveling through another dimension

Why would you not find Tim Tebow and the Twilight Zone in the same city? If you travel to Binghamton, NY, you will find both. The Binghamton Rumble Ponies are a minor-league affiliate of the New York Mets. Tim Tebow, among others, are assigned to this team. Binghampton, NY is the birthplace of Twilight Zone creator, Rod Serling. It seems appropriate that the Mets have a Minor League team in the cradle of the Twilight Zone.

Carousel and Bandstand (in the distance) in Recreation Park, Binghampton. Rod Serling’s inspiration for “Walking Distance

Twilight Zone

Rod Serling’s dictaphone.

Carousel in Recreation Park in Binghampton NY. Rod Serling’s inspiration for “Walking Distance”

I’m Talking Tina

Twilight Zone

Twilight Zone props

You can spend the morning and afternoon wandering the neighborhood and park where Rod Serling, creator of the Twilight Zone, spent his summers as a youth. There is a museum on Main St. that offers Twilight Zone/Rod Serling exhibits. Binghampton has many TZ attractions worth tracking down. If you wish to continue the Twilight Zone theme in a Metsian way, travel west a couple of miles to NYSEG Stadium. Home of the Binghamton Rumble Ponies. Mrs. V was very engaged in all aspects of the day. The Twilight Zone/Rod Serling attractions and the ball game seemed to, genuinely, give her enjoyment. (Proof of the existence of the Twilight Zone).

Peter Alonso and Tim Tebow

The player that drew me to the game was Peter Alonso. He is a very promising, highly regarded, first base prospect. They also have a hard throwing right handed pitcher named Gerson Bautista.

Peter Alonso—Binghampton RumblePonies—Just a matter of time before he is in Queens with the Big Club

Gerson Bautista—Seen time already this year with the Mets

Frank Viola—Pitching Coach—Binghampton RumblePonies

Peter Alonso and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. Both are strong prospects.

But, assuredly, you can’t help but notice Tim Tebow is there as well. Tim Tebow is an athlete I admire. I harbor no thoughts that he will one day be at CitiField. Just glad I had the opportunity to see him play. Tim had a great day with two hits including a opposite field homerun off of a left handed pitcher… (cue the Twilight Zone music). His strength was impressive. Peter Alonso just missed a grand slam with a laser beam that was just foul. He will be in New York in the near future. He can certainly hit and he has a pro demeanor.

“The Road to Queens Runs Through Rumbletown”
Binghampton Rumble Ponies Indoor Training Facility

The Mets minor-league team gave up the lead in the last inning and lost. Their bullpen let them down. In a touch of Twilight Zone cosmic irony….the Mets are very familiar with this method of corporate disappointment. Regardless of the loss, the MVP’s of the day were Tim Tebow and Rod Serling.

Banished to the Twilight Zone of the stadium. “There’s time now….Time enough at last”.

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Wilmer

Wilmer is usually the last one “Home”

Twilight Zone and Wilmer

My DVR contains two constants. Twilight Zone episodes and “Five Days in Flushing”. (Link is to a promo). One could reasonably suggest that Five Days in Flushing IS a Twilight Zone episode. For those of us who lived those “Five Days”, the experience seemed otherworldly. Those few days, without question, are embedded in every Mets fans psyche. We saw the impossible turn possible.  Central to the plot of “Five Days in Flushing”, is our protagonist, Wilmer Flores. After Wilmer’s heroics on July 31, 2015, game one against the Nationals, we heard Ron Darling say “this is one of the greatest things I have ever seen happen”.

We love this young man because he showed us why we watch baseball. Specifically, New York Mets baseball. From utter and complete despair 48 hours earlier to joyous redemption and glorious victory. I still love the moment when Daniel Murphy hugged Wilmer after his blast into the Flushing night. The story is Twilight Zone esque.

Wilmer

2016 Topps Gypsy Queen–Wilmer’s walkoff against the Nats on July 31, 2105. Cardboard memory.

Wilmer

Back of 2016 Topps Gypsy Queen

Resume of heroics

He has been in our consciousness since 2011 or so. He was called up in 2013 as a highly touted 21-year-old. We have watched him grow up and mature in a number of ways. Hard to believe he is still only 26. He is likable and seems approachable. When he launched his game-winning home run on Sunday, April 15 against the Brewers, it was extremely cold, bitter, and windy. When interviewed after the home run, he told SNY’s Steve Gelbs that it was so cold, he thought it was time to go home. That was Wilmer’s third walk off home run in his career. He has had other walk off hits as well. This ballplayer is one of the fellows you want up when the game is on the line. He is a bulldog and he is a winner. If this team is destined to play into deep October, as they appear to be, Wilmer will be prominent contributor.

Walkoff Homers

Below are links to Wilmer’s three walk-off homers. He is a special Met and an exceptional man. We are blessed that we get to watch him play for the New York Mets….but you already knew that.

July 31, 2015 against the Washinton Nationals. If you are having a bad day….watch this.

July 22, 2017 against the Oakland Athletics.

April 15, 2018 against the Milwaukee Brewers. His most recent walk-off.

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