Tuesday, June 18, 2013

1974 Caruso Tacoma Twins Baseball #5, Eddie Bane

Eddie Bane, Minnesota's first round pick in spring 1973, leapt directly to the majors from college and debuted on July 4. Skipping the minors was rare then as now and the AP picked up Eddie's quick-moving story by mid-month, though it made some basic errors on his outing against the Yankees (balk scored the tying run, bases weren't loaded, etc.; box score).

In the AP article, Bane said his Twin teammates didn't show any resentment of the direct amateur-to-MLB. Perhaps it's because they knew he'd be paying dues in the minors sooner or later; Eddie broke camp with AAA Tacoma in 1974 and went on to spend most of his pro career there (minor league stats). Today, both he and his son Jaymie work in the Red Sox scouting organization.

Card front (blank back)

Like TCMA, Caruso was an early publisher in the minor league card market, but rarely added any corporate indicia, preferring this plain Jane (plain Bane?) design for mid-1970s sets. As TCMA began with midwestern teams, Caruso debuted on the Pacific coast, with all 1974 teams numbered sequentially, beginning with Tacoma (#1-27).
  1. Jim Obardovich
  2. Dale Soderholm
  3. Craig Kusick
  4. Cal Ermer, Manager
  5. Eddie Bane
  6. Dan Fife
  7. Jim Hughes
  8. Mike Pazik
  9. Frank Schuster
  10. Coley Smith
  11. Earl Stephenson
  12. Juan Veintidos
  13. Dan Vossler
  14. Mark Wiley
  15. Sam Ceci
  16. George Pena
  17. Sergio Ferrer
  18. Doug Howard
  19. Bill Ralston
  20. Rick Renick
  21. Jim VanWyck
  22. Mike Adams
  23. Lyman Bostock
  24. Jim Fairey
  25. Tom Kelly
  26. Ed Palat
  27. Danny Walton

Caruso's "complete set" includes the Spokane Indians (#28-45), Sacramento Solons (#46-63), Albuquerque Dukes (#64-79), Phoenix Giants (#80-90), SLC Angels (#91-100), and Hawaii Islanders (#101-108). It's full of familiar-but-not-famous names, so remains relatively affordable, if scarce.

Value: This #5 cost $3 at MinorLeagueSingles.com, my source for most of the Caruso type cards, and I've seen Caruso team sets on eBay list (but not necessarily sell) at $20-30.

Fakes / reprints: It'd be easy to fake this design, but hard to imagine someone making money off minor league cards of non-stars.

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