Monday, August 23, 2010

1980 Cramer Phoenix Giants Baseball #5, Larry Prewitt

Phoenix's own PCL franchise played as the Giants from 1958 to 1985. The latter date's about when MLB Properties started enforcing licensing fees for its trademarked team names and logos, probably triggering a switch to "Phoenix Firebirds" until their demise in 1997. Given the bland, yellow hue of today's card, how about "Saltines" or "Nilla Wafers"...?

Card front

Cramer Sportcards produced full-color sets for other teams earlier in the 1970s, so Phoenix likely used this 2-color design to save money. They did offer an additional premium (the team picture), but made young collectors mail away 5 card tabs and 75 cents for it.

Card back

Check out this History of Phoenix Minor League Baseball 1958-1980, which mixes player profiles, year-to-year stadium pricing, and local history into an epic of "Page Down" proportions.

Larry Prewitt shows up near the bottom of that history page and his balloon-like 9+ ERA and 2+ WHIP reflected the Giants' own tough 1980 season. How bad did things get?
"At the end of the miserable season, the Giants were short of players so they activated first baseman Gerry Jestadt...official scorer for home games and a radio color commentator. In addition, a Phoenix television sports director, Bill Denney, started the final game of the year. Denney, who was 48 years old, had pitched as a pro from 1950-58, but never higher than AA."
No wonder minor league scorekeeping can be a nightmare to sort out. The guy in charge of official records might be on the field himself!

Check out a full 1980 team profile (with card scans) at A Giant Blog!

Value: $2 netted this creamy vanilla card from MinorLeagueSingles.com.

Fakes / reprints: Haven't seen any fakes from this set and pity the fool who'd try to sell them!

6 comments:

MattR said...

I bought this set at a game in 1980 when I was 13 years old. I still have the set. It would be nice if I had the poster.

Thanks for the link about Phoenix minor league baseball. Interesting stuff! My dad took me to about half a dozen games a year in the 70s and early 80s. Once I was old enough to drive I went to even more games. :)

Matthew Glidden said...

Wow, cool! Great to hear that a hometown set is with you from youthful collecting days. Makes me think of those Mother's Cookies Seattle sets that we scrambled for back in the Kingdome era...

AdamE said...

I came across this auction from my favorite ebay seller and automatically thought of you...

http://cgi.ebay.com/1948-49-R346-5-YANKEES-JOHN-LINDELL-OFF-COND-ONLY-1-/260655512397?pt=US_Baseball

Matthew Glidden said...

Thanks sir, that's a good one! Not many cards that old can start for $1 these days...

AdamE said...

That seller starts them all at 1 reguardless of age. Just don't bid on Red Sox please. (actually you can bid on those 55 Bowman cause I already have them)

Matthew Glidden said...

OK, promise to give the BoSox a miss. :-)