A blog about baseball cards... and the Padres

Sunday, November 9, 2014

As Vintage As It Gets

I've mentioned that I am operating under a self imposed "no-card buying" November previously on the blog.  While I can't say that I enjoy the ban right now, I definitely finished the month of October with a bang, so the fireworks are still fresh in my mind.

Of the most note, however, was the largest monetary sum that I've ever spent on a single eBay purchase.  It was on a lot of vintage Mother's Cookies cards.  Normally I shy away from lots like this, but it's been a long time since I've seen any affordable cards from these sets, so I had to bite the bullet.

Worth it.

It was a four card lot, and this was the older of the four, from the '52 Mother's Cookies set.  The scan kinda cropped off the rounded corners that these have, especially on the bottom right.  This is the most red and blue that I've seen in any of the other PCL Padres cards I have.  We don't get to see all of Red Embree's left arm here, but still a solid looking card of the former major league hurler.

"Red" Embree's career in the majors stretched from 1941 to 1949.  He started off with the Cleveland Indians, where he went 23-32 with a 3.29 ERA in 86 games (21 complete games).  He then spent a year apiece with the Yankees (1948) and the St. Louis Browns (1949).  I got excited thinking that he might be a teammate of Jerry Coleman's, but the Colonel's rookie year was in '49, so they missed each other by a year.

I'm not sure why the back says that Embree has been "With Padres since 1939", since Baseball Reference has him only playing in San Diego from 1950-1952, but he grew up in southern California, so maybe there's something they're missing.  I particularly love the blurb about the exciting stamps that would normally cost $2.00, but can be had for two Mother's Cookies labels and 10 cents.  

These are from the next year's set, '53 Mother's Cookies.  I'm not sure why Al Federoff has his name in the fancy writing and the rest of them have their signatures printed on it.  Both pretty solid pictures of these guys, with a pretty close close-up of Federoff and an "action" shot of Buddy Peterson, though it looks like the ball is just sitting there.  I'm not a big fan of the Padres current hats, which are navy blue with solid white letters, but I don't mind them as much with the blue pinstripes on the uniforms.

Al Federoff spent half of the '52 season with the Detroit Tigers, after getting a two game stint with them the previous year.  That would be his last taste of the majors, as he came to the PCL Padres the next year.  Like Embree, Federoff's best days were behind him when he came to San Diego.  Conversely, Buddy Peterson had his glory days ahead of him, when he was in San Diego.  After spending four years in San Diego, he'd leave on a high note, hitting .306, and get a cup of coffee with the Chicago White Sox in 1955.  In six games, he hit .286, but he wouldn't get a chance to play in the majors after that until 1957, when he would get a five game stint with the Orioles.

While nine hits in thirteen games may not seem worth writing home about, well, it's a lot better than I did.  Gotta think that he had some pretty cool stories, whether its about going 2 for 4 against Bob Lemon or going 0 for 3 against Don Larsen.

Also looking at the backs, the stamps are gone and now there's a "trading card album".  That sounds pretty cool.

All in all the lot cost just under $10 a card for these three, though I didn't count the fourth card, since I already had another copy of it and decided to send it to a non-baseball card blogger who is a huge fan of anything that involves the PCL Padres.

Coolest part of the pickup is that now, I have a whole page of vintage PCL Padres cards.  Man, I love how it looks all on the same page.

Yeah, they're not all in "pristine" condition, but for cards that are over 60 years old, I think they're doing alright.  I like having the lone catcher in gear as the middle card, though it just happened that way, since I have them in order of year and then card number.  The top row are all from 1952, while the rest are from 1953.  Looks like there was a uniform change between seasons as well.  The '52 set features the solid red "S" on the hat, with red trim on the jersey and pants, while the next year they went to the white "SD" with blue pinstripes - the red is no longer.  All of them seem to be sporting the 

These aren't the oldest cards in my collection - that distinction would probably go to one of my Jerry Coleman cards.  But they are my oldest Padre cards.  For a team that didn't break into the majors until 1969, it's pretty cool to find these minor league cards to add to my collection.

By my count, there is only one Padres card left from the 1953 set that I need: #9 Lefty O'Doul.  The '52 set is a little further from completion, as I only have three out of the eight Padres cards in that set.  Really not anticipating finishing either one, because they're so hard to find, and when you find 'em, they can be pretty pricey.  But having a full page of them is pretty rad.


  1. Nice pick ups. The page looks great

  2. These cards are phenomenal! I wouldn't mind having one in my collection just to have one.

    Just a guess, but maybe they didn't have an Al Federoff signature to reproduce on the card.

  3. Not coincidentally, Embree started his pro career in 1939, so I think its just a typo or bad copywriting of some sort.

  4. Fantastic looking page Marcus. I especially like the catcher in the center throwing off his mask.