Saturday, March 17, 2018

Blog Bat-Around - Card-collecting Projects

I just came across this Blog Bat-Around (started by Night Owl) when I clicked on the Fleer Sticker Project blog. This is my first participation in any kind of bat-around, so here goes...

I have been collecting baseball cards since 1967. That's not to say I've collected every year since then, because I have an extreme aversion to modern sets issued by Topps and others. I detailed my collection some years ago on this blog, so I won't go into all that again, but I currently have most or all cards from 1965 to 1970, and 1972.

When I started blogging in 2009, many of my cards were still in boxes, but after seeing the occasional posts by Wrigley Wax about his World Headquarters, I decided to shape up and get them all into binders:

On the top shelf are my Phillies' team sets (1952-69, 70-79, 80-84, 85-89, 90-94, 00-present), with the blue binder all the way on the right containing my Eagles' cards from 1960-79. I have all the Phillies cards from 1964 through 1993 (except Mike Schmidt's rookie card), all the low numbers from 1960-63, and a few dozen from 1952-59 and 2008-10.

The middle shelf is my bread-and-butter for these blogs: one binder for 1960-64, then a binder for each year from 1965 to 1970 (except the Phillies cards, which are in the top row of binders).

The bottom shelf is a mixed bag:
1. the few dozen baseball cards that I have from 1971 and 73-80
2. the complete set from 1972
3. my moment-of-weakness purchase of the 2010 Topps 1st series cards
4. 1964-66 football cards
5. 1967-69 football cards
6. 1970-72 football cards
7. the 1993 Beatles card set
8 and 9. Miscellaneous other non-sports sets like the early-1960s' World War II and Combat TV show cards

What's missing?
1) I can't find my 1973 football card binder for about 2 years now!

2) In 1981 and again from about 1987 to 1992, I bought factory sets of Topps, Fleer, and Donruss cards. Where are they? I don't have enough interest in them to put them in binders, so they are still in their factory boxes, here in my closet:

So what am I currently collecting? 
I have already completed the '68, '69, and '72 sets, and I am 3 cards short of completing the '67 set. I haven't been buying any cards lately, but when I do it is to complete the '66 and '70 sets (which are about 85% and 95% complete) and the 1965 set (about 45% complete). I also like the 1963 set because it's very colorful, but many of the players are unfamiliar to me, so there's a lesser interest in completing that set.

One of my other collecting interests is diecast cars. Here's my Matchbox display case, about 2 feet above the card binder shelf:

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Paul Casanova (#115)

Paul Casanova played 7 seasons with the Senators (1965-71) and 3 with the Braves (1972-74).

Casanova’s career had a rocky start. He was signed by the Indians in 1960 but released in June of that year. They signed him again in December but was released AGAIN in April 1961. (To prove it wasn’t just the Indians, the Cubs signed him in September 1961 and also release him the following April.)

For a while in 1961, he played for the Indianapolis Clowns, an independent team that was formerly in the Negro Leagues.

FINALLY, Paul hooked on with the Senators just after the 1962 season, AND THEY DIDN’T RELEASE HIM MONTHS LATER! In fact, he went on to be their starting catcher for several seasons.

After 3 seasons in their farm system, Casanova made his major-league debut with the Senators in September 1965 (5 games).
Paul was the team’s primary starting catcher from 1966 to 1970. He caught the lion’s share of games in ’66, ’67, and ’69, and just over half the games in ’68 and ’70 (with Jim French the #2 backstop in both seasons). Casanova also made his only All-Star team in 1967.

1971 was Paul’s last season in Washington. He started 81 games behind the plate, but rookie Dick Billings was gradually taking over, starting 61 games (mostly in the second half).

After the ’71 season, Casanova was traded to the Braves for catcher Hal King. Paul backed up Earl Williams in 1972, then split the starting assignments with Johnny Oates in 1973. In his final season (1974) Casanova was the #3 catcher behind Oates and rookie Vic Correll, and did not make a start after August 9th, as Correll assumes the bulk of the catching over the season’s final months.

He was released by the Braves in March 1975, ending his 10-year career.

Casanova passed away in August 2017 at age 75.