My Dad has taken up as a hobby to take a look at my needs list and go eBay hunting for deals. A man has to fill his free time somehow now that he is retired! So when my parents take the trip down to Central Illinois for a visit he will bring a stack of cards along with him and the most recent group included numerous new Niekros for me to enjoy.
Without a doubt the highlight is personalized autograph of Joe Niekro. Some jabroni named Matt had it personally signed by Niekro and then sold it on eBay. There loss is my gain and it has taken its place as one of my favorite autographs. Now I just need to find an Andy Pafko autograph inscribed "To Matt" as well.
"Okay Mr. Niekro, we're ready for your Topps baseball card photo. Please come over and stand directly into the sun Mr. Niekro. Okay, go ahead and squint those eyes. The more squinty the better as far as we're concerned! A little more please, I can still see one pupil. Okay great, say cheese!"
Phil Niekro pitched for the Braves from 1964 to 1983 and here is his 1976 Topps card. His home is listed as Decatur, Georgia on the back of card which is a sort of "brother city" to my home here in Decatur, Illinois as both cities were named after War of 1812 hero Stephen Decatur.
Recently, the King of the Baseball Card Blogs, Night Owl, tweeted on the supremacy of red-bordered team cards. I think that extents to all cards, including one of my favorites from the 1988 Topps set which features Phil and Joe winning their combined 530th game which broke Gaylord and Jim Perry's brotherly record.
Now this is a heavy metal card, literally. The No-Hitter Pin cards from 2016 Topps Series One are some of the heaviest cards ever made as that is big and made of metal. Phil's card honors his no-hitter from 1973 against the San Diego Padres and he threw nothing but knuckleballs from the 7th inning on.