OBC Newsletter, Volume 1, Issue 1 (July 1998)

Volume 1, Issue 1, Page 1, July 1998

Tale of the Trivia

by Bill Ebbing

Baseball – what makes it great? Is it the thrill of October, the anticipation of spring, the excitement of a home run chase? I don't think it's any of these. I believe what makes baseball timeless and ever present in our hearts and minds are the memories. The day Hank Aaron hit 714 or the day Nolan pitched his last no-no. A very special memory for me was when Greg Maddux won his fourth straight Cy Young award. Whatever the memory that most stands out in your mind, it is these very memories that bind us to this great game called Baseball.

In tribute to this issue on Feb. 12 of this year I began what has become a daily ritual to many. "Today's Trivia" has endured travel, server problems, e-mail problems and my own ineptness. There has been controversy, commissioner rulings and disputes. Yet through it all, we have completed more than 125 straight days of "Today's Trivia." The questions asked, hopefully have spawned thought and reflection and even brought back some of these endearing memories.

We have our league leaders, our iron men, even our Mendoza line batters. Pinch hitters, batting 1.000 and power hitters batting over .800. We've had some really obscure questions, "Who did the Yankees acquire when they traded Roger Maris to the St. Louis Cardinals after the 1966 season?" and some really obvious ones, "Which hit is popularly called a "gopher ball"?" We've had hitters day's (day's when everyone got the answer right) and pitcher's day's (day's when almost no one got the answer). And even batters battling to gain just a few more points on their average to catch that guy in front of them. All in all, we've had a great season.

"Today's Trivia," has been all I'd hope it would be and a lot more. I never dreamed that it would be as widely accepted or anticipated as it has become. What started out has a way to fill the gap until the season started has become a very large and real part of my everyday life. I look forward to sending out the new question each day, and getting all the responses back. It's a real pleasure to me to see how many of you have vivid memories of "The Game" and even the games. Some of the guys even expound on the issues that went into the question, explaining exactly what happened in a particular event. Just recently someone answered the question about the first DH and went on to explain that Ron Blomberg had drawn a bases-loaded walk on the first appearance of a DH. Great stuff!

I've written this for those not participating in "Today's Trivia," not as a way of making you wish you had, but as a means of sharing with everyone in OBC the great fun we in the OBC have each and every day. Thanks "Batters" for what has been and continues to be a great trivia season.

The Commissioner

OBC Helps Complete a Special Set

by Rick Ellison

I have been lucky enough to be a part of OBC since 1991 or 1992 when the group first moved to America Online. Since that time I have many fond memories of cards sent and sets completed by many people in this group, including me!

On June 19, 1998, I was contacted on-line by Steve Rittenberg and he informed me that he was sending the last card I needed for the 1975 Topps set! Every set completed is special and this is no exception. I am sure many of you can remember reading special e-mails of thanks when a member of this group reported with excitement the completion of a set!

The 1975 set holds special meaning to me and I am sure others in this group. A few years ago, longtime member Kevin Loshe (now deceased) informed us of his serious health problems with cancer and his desire to collect the 1975 Topps set with his son before his health prevented him from doing so. Once we received Kevin's message, this amazing group went into action and his wantlist for the set was attacked! Without letting Kevin know what we were doing we completed the set for him in a weekend! The truly amazing part of this story is the fact that we all mailed the cards from all over the country and they arrived on the very same day! Kevin's e-mail describing his excitement of him, his father and son opening the packages at the post office was something very special and will live in my memory for years to come.

Every time I look at my now complete 1975 Topps set I will think about a special time and a true "Random Act of Kindness" from this group! I thank you all for this gift of helping me complete this special set that has a very special meaning to me!

VEGAS 98.5

by Mike Hair

The V series continues with V98.5 during the first weekend in June. In keeping with the tradition(s) continue:

TRADITION 1: Variations on the ever popular game of "Where's Phil." Joel (Glk) Glickman and (unk) Phil were staying at the Flamingo, and George (Ghay) was at the Mirage. I got a call from Joel (who was taking directions from Phil) and arranged (I thought) to meet them at the Flamingo, where the shuttle buses come. I told

Volume 1, Issue 1, Page 2, July 1998

Joel I would be there in 20 minutes and used every shortcut known to (this) man to get there on time. I played "where's Phil and Joel and George" until I found Joel. Joel and I then played "Where's Phil" until Joel's hunch proved to be right in finding Phil. Phil, Joel and I played "where's George," while George was playing "Where the hell is Mike?" Finally we somehow all got together, and it was on to the next tradition. …

TRADITION 2: The Card Shop. With the group united, it was off to Playball, the ever-popular OBC friendly card shop here in Vegas. Rick, the owner, was his usual self and was happy to see another OBC tour. The old stuff was brought out, and the wantlists unfolded and our group got down to business. In the end, we all came away with the great deals that have become traditional at Playball.

I personally got some 25 62T cards, including a group of high-number All-Star cards including Drysdale and Kaline for $50.

TRADITION 3: Holy Cow!! A new tradition, but one that is destined to live on, as we visited the Holy Cow brew pub for a little lunch and a few beers. Although I'm not a big beer drinker, I have taken a liking to the lighter beers at Holy Cow, including a lemon creme ale that goes down very smooth. As has become a tradition, Phil disappeared on the way into the brewery, and that started a whole new game of "Where's Phil," which in fact was a reverse game of "where's Phil" as Phil took an undercover position and watched as Joel played "where's Phil."

TRADITION 4: Take me out to the ballgame. Seats on the first-base line, close enough that Rick could have kept the first-base umpire honest if he would have been there. As Joel and I went to fetch refreshments a foul ball came toward my seat. George reached out to try and field it, but came away with only a nasty bruise for his effort. George was not the only one to get a nasty bruise. The hometown Stars pitchers were severely bruised by the visiting Fresno team that seemed to lead off each inning with a double.

TRADITION 5: Captain Craps returns. Next it was off to Railroad Pass for a little game of craps. Not learning from our past experience, we again overloaded one side of the table, causing the money to flow toward the center. Spotting the error of our ways, I went to the opposite end, and our luck changed. Phil stayed put for once and held the dice for a long roll that got us all healthy.

TRADITION 6: Golf, of course. After a good night's sleep, it was off to the links on a somewhat windy day. The front nine was quite a struggle for all of us, and we were all looking for something to change our luck. For one of us, it was only a shot away. We went to the 10th tee, a par-4 with the 18th green to the right of us. Joel chose a driver and hit perhaps his best shot of the day. Unfortunately, it went straight right.

As unfortunate as it was for Joel, it was more unfortunate for the poor soul who was lining up a tricky shot on 18. Let's just say that Joel's shot hit him 36 inches up on a 34-inch inseam. The (now) soprano golfer was left speechless at Joel's tee shot, and will think next time about wearing a protective cup when going to the golf course. The good shots out of the way, the back nine was anticlimactic and mercifully came to an end.

TRADITION 7: Having fun. As always when OBCers get together, a fun time was had by all. It was good to see old friends and to enjoy the camaraderie that always accompanies these events!

It's not too early to start making plans for VEGAS 99, the last chance at a V series before V2000, the reunion. …

1975 Topps – It was a very good year

By Carlos Alcazar

As this is the first issue of the new OBC News I thought that it would be appropriate in this premiere issue to write about what is arguably one of the most colorful sets of all time.

The 1975 Topps set – 660 cards in length – was only the second set that Topps had released all at once. Despite this, collectors have found that the first 132 cards (the first printing sheet) was slightly short printed.

This set boasts one of the best crop of rookies Topps ever released, with rookie cards of HOF candidates George Brett and Robin Yount. It also contained rookie cards of Gary Carter, Fred Lynn and Jim Rice. Starting at card #189 and ending at #212, Topps included a subset of 24 cards depicting all American and National League MVP's since 1951.

All this information made me wonder, with all these great subsets and rookies, what would be the most common final card to nail down a set? With this question in mind, I posted to the ramblings newsgroup. Several replies later the results were very interesting. The final card would range from the most expected (George Brett RC) to some of the least expected, including a couple of commons.

The card that appeared the most though was card #5 – Nolan Ryan highlights.

All this means is that no matter when you start the set you will never cease to be surprised. From the first card to the last, this set truly deserves to be part of this premiere issue.

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