Tuesday, June 12, 2012

1977 TCMA Cedar Rapids Giants Baseball #5, Ken Feinburg (Feinberg)

This young Kenneth Feinberg ("e," not "u") spent three years in Iowa and California pursuing his dream of pro ball, collecting 252 hits and 34 minor league homers along the way (career stats at B-R.com). Ken hit well as an everyday player at 22, but made few appearances thereafter and might've struggled with injuries or set off-the-field goals that eclipsed a long-term baseball career, like so many before and after him.

TCMA kicked off their minor league sets with Cedar Rapids in 1972, so today's Creamsicle color combo marks the sixth straight year that fans from Iowa's second-largest city could take home local baseball heroes, starting with the players below.

Minor league affiliations change rapidly, but Cedar Rapids kept its team alive, as they have since the Canaries took their positions in 1890; find more franchise history at Wikipedia. (This is the same city Rob Deer and John Rabb shared time on in 1979 and current LA phenom Mike Trout tore up in 2010.)

Two local McDonald's signed on as co-sponsors for TCMA's set, but are they still operating at 3916 First Ave N.E. and 2615 Williams Blvd S.W. in Cedar Rapids? The latter location is, despite that buzz-killing NO NOISE sign Google Street View spotted at its entrance.

1977's checklist includes 24 numbered players and one unnumbered, late-season addition (John Laubhan).
  1. Rich Murray
  2. Bob Brenly
  3. Dave Anderson
  4. John Sylvester
  5. Ken Feinburg
  6. Brian Moulton
  7. Phil Nastu
  8. Henry Macias
  9. Gary Ledbetter
  10. Ken Barton
  11. Jack Mull MGR
  12. Drew Nickerson
  13. Jim Pryor
  14. Mike Wardlow
  15. Dave Myers
  16. Bart Bass
  17. Steve Sherman
  18. Jon Harper
  19. Don "Bucky" Buchhiester GM
  20. Mark Kuecker
  21. Dan Hartwig
  22. Chris Bourjos
  23. Jeff Shourds
  24. Steve Pearce

Many online sellers call Laubhan's card "rare," but I'll believe something's hard-to-find when Google can't spit out online images on the first try.

Value: Fulls sets cost about $20 (with Laubhan's card adding a premium) and singles cost a few dollars.

Fakes / reprints: Haven't seen any in the marketplace. If Laubhan really is rare, it's likely someone tried to fake the card for the sake of scarcity.

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