Saturday, April 20, 2013

18 Gene Oliver of the Atlanta Braves + my explaination

 I am sitting here trying to think of the reason why I've been avoiding this blog and the answer is right here on the lright side of the page. I never liked this card. The picture matches the lettering close enough to make the front look generic and bland (compare this to other cards where the lettering jumps off the card because of the color). I never held the Atlanta Braves in a high regard. I like their history in Boston and Milwaukee but Atlanta? Lastly, the Gene Oliver is not a name I was ever familiar with. This is, in baseball card parlance is a common. The Braves had their semi stars (Felipe Alou) and stars (Hank Aaron) in this set and they stand out. This card doesn't.

The picture is clearly taken in Shea Stadium. You can tell this from the left field stands. Looking at it now, the stadium looks to be loosely modeled after Old old Yankee Stadium. THat stadium also had an open left field as oppose to it being fully encased with stands like old Tigers Stadium or the original  Comiskey Park.

As for Gene Oliver himself, he was a utility player Oliver bounced around five teams throughout the 60's. He also bounced around the playing field, filling in at 1st, left field or even catcher. His batting  average was never very good but he must have been a reliable fielder to last as long as he did.

Oliver's first card was in 1959 where Topps featured him as one of the Rookie Stars for the season. As was often the case with Topps cards in the 60's, the high numbers are the most valuable because they were produced during the season and after a lot of the hardcore collectors of the time (I imagine mostly kids) tired of the hobby and started enjoying the summer. Oliver is featured in the '61 and '62 Topps sets in their high numbers making them pretty valuable. This '67 card, on the other hand, is about $3 with free shipping on Ebay.


  1. All you need to know is that Oliver was traded straight-up for Bob Uecker!

  2. The "high number:" scarcity has less to do with hkids' interest, and more to do with poor distribution. By late summer, small stores were already allocating their shelf space for football cards, and were not selling baseball cards after the 6th series. (At least that was the story in my neighborhood.)