Tuesday, December 21, 2010

1973 TCMA Baseball Autographs #5, Pie Traynor

Card collector and publisher Mike Aronstein designed and printed several hand-drawn baseball sets between 1968 and 1977, using two companies, Sports Card for Collectors (SCFC) and The Card Memorabilia Associates (TCMA). "Art cards" represent a small part of TCMA's total output, but the huge 1970s growth in direct-to-collector issues and other "oddballs" trace back--at least in part--to Mike's success selling both fans and minor league teams on small-run, local-interest subjects. (UPDATE: TCMA's also a combo of both founders' initials, Tom Collier and Mike Aronstein, details in this interview.)

Card front

Card artist John Anderson drew today's 12-card set in a smoother style than Mike's uncle Myron used on earlier efforts like 1968 SCFC Sports Stuff (#5 profile here), and added a look-alike signature. Some collector catalogs call this the "Drawings and Autographs" set.

Card back

Many consider Pie Traynor history's greatest third baseman and SABR placed him at #70 on their all-time top 100. He recently reappeared on the US Post Office's baseball series as part of their All-Century Team.

USPS All-Century Baseball Stamps

Given their matching pose and uniform details, I assume both artists (TCMA and post office) used the same source image.

Value: I picked up this TCMA #5 for $6 on eBay. All 12 cards in the set feature HOFers, but demand and prices remain low.

Fakes / reprints: Doubt anyone faked this set--just make sure not to confuse the drawn autograph for a real one.


night owl said...

I've always read that TCMA stood for the two owners of the company, Tom Collier and Mike Aronstein.

Matthew Glidden said...

Yeah, it's a combo of both their names and The Card Memorabilia Associates. A detailed interview with Mike from 2009 led with the question of their company name and went into a lot of detail about TCMA's history.

Interview with Mike Aronstein