Saturday, July 9, 2016

A Brewers Lot on eBay, Part One

I haven't gone to as many card shows this year as in years past. I chalk that up to the fact that there just aren't that many Brewers in the current year's sets, which means that the likelihood of me finding cards I actually need is relative low. Instead, I've been trolling on eBay a fair amount. 

One of the most interesting searches I've started using is just "Brewers Lot." Man, does some random stuff show up. Without removing the extraneous categories outside of baseball cards, this search turns up everything from beer bottle label lots of old Indiana beers to four copies of the "Teresa Brewer Hit" of "Anymore/That Piano Man" to coffee for Keurigs.  

A few weeks ago, though, and thanks to looking at items that the same seller in North Carolina had, I happened across three different lots that I could not turn down. In total, the three lots cost me about $200 but I totally think it's worth it.

Lot number one contained four total O-Pee-Chee team sets from the mid-1980s -- 2 from 1984 and one each from 1985 and 1987. Y'all know how I have to have two cards of everything, pretty much, to satisfy my nearly insatiable desire for completeness within both my player collections and my team collections. So, here we go O-Pee-Chee!

Aren't they loverly? 

And no, I'm not sure why my brain went all Cockney/Audrey-Hepburn-in-My-Fair-Lady there. Maybe it's the O-Pee-Chee.

The second lot is actually what led me to this seller in the first place. I've been trying to find a reasonably priced set of 1983 Gardner's Bakery Milwaukee Brewers cards. The only one that's been on eBay lately has been priced at about $35 for one set. That's too high, in my opinion, so I've been holding out. Then, I saw this one, with three 1983 sets, 13 1984 sets, and 2 1985 sets for nearly the same price -- $35.95. 

That's the photo from the auction.

While I don't need 13 sets from 1984 (I needed one to finish off my team collection and upgrade a bunch of them), and I didn't need the 1985 sets, I couldn't turn down the opportunity to close out the Topps versions of the Gardner's cards. Now, all I need are a couple of 1989 sets and I'll be done with that oddball.

The big purchase, though, was this huge lot containing a bunch of programs, yearbooks, and pinback buttons. Let's start with the buttons.

This one is a bit of a mystery to me. It is Paul Molitor, of course, and the pin is not large -- perhaps an inch or a little bit more in diameter. It has a blank back. And, the photo had to be taken some time between 1978 and 1985, because that's the time that Molitor would have been on the team wearing the powder blue away uniforms.

That's all I've got, though. Anyone else have anything to help here?

Ah, Beer Barrel Man. This was the Brewers' main logo from 1970 through 1977. Beer Barrel Man got his start as a mascot named Owgust for the 1940s minor league Milwaukee Brewers. Owgust was redder and bluer, which matched the team's colors at that point. 

I wish I had this -- I found this photo on an Angelfire site. Seriously. Angelfire.
When the Brewers were reincarnated as a major league team in 1970, he got yellowed up to match the new yellow and blue colors the team inherited from the Pilots.

Beer Barrel Man made a return as Barrel Man in 2015 as a full-fledged anthropomorphic mascot.

As if the team needed more mascots, what with the sausages, Bernie Brewer, and a Hank-the-Dog mascot, among others.

Finally, there was this button -- the officially licensed World Series button from 1982. I swear I had one of these already, but I couldn't find it. I want to say that I remember these damn things costing like $5 during the 1982 World Series -- about $12.50 today.

And those were just the little things. Then there were all the scorecards and yearbooks and magazines. Let's close today's post with one that had been elusive to me for quite a while -- the Dell Today's 1971 Milwaukee Brewers.

With little rhyme or reason as to whose stickers went where or even who was included, there's a lot of randomness in these Dell Today's stickers. For instance, why did Floyd Wicker's Montreal logo get removed from his hat while Ellie Rodriguez is in full Royals regalia? For that matter, Wicker hadn't appeared in a game for Montreal since 1969. Add to that the fact that Wicker appeared in a total of 26 games for Milwaukee over 1970 and 1971 (hitting .184/.231/.265) and it becomes even more questionable.

The most questionable inclusion might be Bob Tillman being in this set. Tillman came to the Brewers on December 2, 1970 in exchange for two minor leaguers and Hank Allen. After that trade, the Brewers fired GM Marvin Milkes and replaced him with Frank Lane. One of Lane's first actions as GM was to place Tillman on waivers, leading to Tillman's release on February 10, 1971. So, Tillman never even made it to spring training with the Brewers -- but here he is in this Dell sticker book. Tillman returned to his native Nashville after that, where he passed away at the age of just 63 in 2000.

I have not taken this book apart, and I probably won't. But, I have a question for you other team collectors: do you guys try to find these individual stickers for your team collection? For instance, Night Owl and GCRL and ATBATT -- do you guys try to find that Kosco for your Dodgers' collections? Mark Hoyle -- do you try to find that Tillman for your 1967 Impossible Dream Sox collection? Or that Ellsworth for the general Red Sox collection? 

I know I would try to find Brewers in other team sets if I could.

Thanks for stopping.


  1. Nice haul and great post. I'm not sure what I'd say about those stickers. Seems kind of a shame to break them up but I understand the reasons to do so.

  2. I may need to start looking on ebay.. Haven't used it in quite a few years though

  3. I'd leave the Dell's intact... You said yourself that you're OK with having two copies of cards, so just go after the individual ones if you must.

    I was going to guess that Wicker's hat was for a minor league team that shared the Expos color scheme, but then I looked him up and he never played in the minors with the Expos. Hmmm. Just a guess, but maybe someone thought that the kiddies would be confused by a Montreal "M" in the middle of all those Milwaukee "M's"

  4. Yes the Tillman is included in my 67 Redsox set. I have the Redsox Dell set still in the booklet. I also have two additional Dell Sox sets that are dipsperesed through out my collection. When the stamp books came out in 71 I purchased the complete set in booklet form but as an 8 year old kid I cut them all out and put them in an album. Still gave the complete set of stamps but no remnants of the booklets.

    1. Ellsworth is also included with the Sox.

  5. I've found myself flocking more to online purchases lately as well because I haven't been able to make it to many card shows (and probably won't be able to for a while). I've received a couple of those Dell Stickers in trades and I think they're terrific. Nice pickups!