Talented Bair built solid 15-year career in Bigs

Doug Bair wore seven uniforms during his 15-year career in the majors, accumulating two Wrold Series rings to his credit.
Bair was drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the second round out of Bowling Green State University in 1971. However, he didn’t reach the major leagues until Sept. 13, 1976, when he pitched two innings against the New York Mets. Read More

Teaching young hitters now a priority for Harrah

Toby Harrah was involved with two of the most unusual feats in Major League Baseball history – one offensive, one defensive and both happening about a year apart.

On June 25, 1976, while playing for the Texas Rangers, Harrah played an entire doubleheader without taking one fielding chance. And, amazingly, he was the Rangers’ shortstop that day. Read More

Matlack kicked off his career serving up a milestone

Jon Matlack was finishing up his Rookie of the Year campaign in 1972 when he took the mound for the New York Mets against the Pittsburgh Pirates. The left-handed starting pitcher looked to the plate and saw right-handed hitter Roberto Clemente.
A future Hall of Famer, Clemente was perched on 2,999 career hits. However, Matlack had no idea.

“I was 22 years old, just trying to win a ball game and I was not having a very good day,” Matlack said. “I ended up walking five guys that day, and I think we lost 5-0 or maybe 5-2. Read More

‘Serious’ Carew shows a different side at shows

Rod Carew has a Hall of Fame attitude toward the sports memorabilia industry, especially card shows, putting him on par with Harmon Killebrew and Brooks Robinson. Seriously.

Despite the serious game face he wore through his big league career, Carew has morphed into a hobby hero.

Take, for instance, his baseball cards, which date back to his 1967 Topps rookie card (No. 569). Carew has all of his cards and enjoys looking at them. He said the cards makers did a good job with his cards. Read More

Strong guest lineup fuels Tristar Winter show

Bobby Mintz has been trying to get Eddie LeBaron to appear at a Tristar Productions’ show for years. Mintz has called LeBaron every few months, always hoping the first quarterback in Dallas Cowboys history would finally relent.
And he did.

LeBaron signed autographs Feb. 22 at the Cow Palace in San Francisco on the first day of the 12th annual Winter Collectors Show.

“He enjoyed it and was great to the fans,” Mintz said. “I really believe I’ll be successful getting him to appear at a future show, likely in Houston.” Read More

Hobby veteran’s son loses bout with cancer

Bryan Paynter, who truly was born into the hobby, died Feb. 11 after a three-year battle with bone cancer. He was 21.

Paynter was the son of Bruce and Bonita Paynter, hobby veterans from suburban Chicago and charter members of the National Sports Collectors Hall of Fame. Bruce started collecting in 1974 and was the President of the Chicagoland Sports Collectors Association (CSCA) from 1976-85.

Bruce and Bonita run Windy City Sport Shows, though they stopped promoting card shows in the early-1990s. Still, they were the promoters for the 1983 and 1989 National, both held in Chicago, and have sold their wares at all but two Nationals. Read More

Houston has no problems hosting Tristar show

A strong autograph lineup, strategic signing times and some great memorabilia brought out a good crowd for the 22nd annual Tristar Collectors Show, held Jan. 18-20 at the George R. Brown Convention Center (Hall A3) in Houston.

“I was pleasantly surprised, as were a lot of other dealers, that there was good traffic and people actually spent money at the show,” said veteran card dealer Rich Gove of Houston. Read More

Stan Bahnsen reflects on pitching, his playing days

Stan Bahnsen made his major league debut in 1966, collecting a 1-1 pitching record in four games (three starts) for the New York Yankees. He pitched in the minors in 1967, and then returned to the Yankees – and the majors – for good in 1968.

“It was great coming up through that organization, being around all of those huge names in spring training, like Mickey,” said Bahnsen, a right-handed pitcher. “It was an exciting time, and Yankee Stadium was an exciting place to play. I was glad I was there, even though there was a lot of pressure on you in New York. That’s why coming to Chicago in 1972 was more relaxed, more laid-back. Read More