Thursday, 22 July 2010

Thinking about a new collection. Welsh Major leaguers

Jimmy Austin, Ted Lewis and Peter Morris all played baseball. They also have another thing in common. These three players all came from Wales and are the only Welsh men to play in the major leagues. I'll highlight all three of these guys in future posts and I'll start with Jimmy Austin.
All the information I have gotten for these players have come from Wikipedia so don't hold it against me if there are any discrepancies!

Jimmy Austin (1879 - 1965) was born in Swansea and went to the States in 1887. He eventually started to play baseball around the mid 1890's and made his professional MLB debut in 1909 for the New York Highlanders, now the Yankees. He was 28, which by today's standards would probably be to old to begin a major league career. He spent only one year in New York before being traded to the St Louis Browns, now the Orioles. He spent the rest of his career there playing until 1921 and also making a brief appearance in 1929. He also coached and briefly managed the Browns during this time. You can find his stats here.

There is a very famous picture of Jimmy Austin and Ty Cobb.

That's Jimmy avoiding the spikes of Ty Cobb.

Now back to the title of this post. I thought it would be cool to have a card of each Welsh player that played in the Majors. I have tracked down a few of Jimmy's cards on the bay and some of the prices are just within my budget. Actually they stretch my budget but I might get lucky.

Ideally this is the card I'm aiming for.

I'm not looking for one in this condition as it sells for over a $1000 but cards in a more 'played with' condition are around $60. He does have other cards out there including some more modern ones from the Conlon collection. He is also featured on pins and chips, which I'm not familiar with so I don't really want to go down that road.

This is something I'm going to give serious consideration and it will probably take a long time to track down the card in a relatively good condition with a price to match. There are a few other obstacles in my way in obtaining this card. The card is fairly rare in raw form, most cards from the early 1900's have been slabbed. Also the ones that I have found for sale on Ebay come from sellers that use my favorite term in an auction 'Will not ship internationally'. Sarcasm does not translate well written down but trust me that was sarcasm. Its a shame that a lot of people wont ship overseas but I understand why. There are extra costs to sellers, it will take more time to send the card due to waiting in line at the post office and having to fill out customs declarations and also some buyers from overseas are less than honest and will claim they never received the item which means the seller loses the card and has to refund the cash. Buyers who do that make it harder for honest buyers, like me, to buy rarer cards. Lets not forget the possible extra shipping charges and Her Majesty will probably want a cut too, I love import taxes! That was more sarcasm.

This is going to be a challenge and I may have to settle for the 1992 Conlon card rather than one of the vintage cards. We shall wait and see.

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