That, however, hasn't changed my conviction that the hobby benefits when heretofore "uncataloged" baseball cards and player memorabilia are presented for the record.
A recent correspondence with a very dedicated Baltimore Orioles collector, Alan Strout of Maine, allows me to share in this space some updates to existing O's regionals checklists and some issues that have not yet been recorded for hobby posterity.
When I was editing the "Big Book" I always found it gratifying when specialist collectors like Alan were willing to make the effort to share their finds, rather than selfishly hoarding the information.
to kick off this short series, I'm going to present additions to checklists that have been included in the Standard Catalog of Vintage Baseball Cards and which were subsequently expanded upon on this blog.
English's Chicken Lids
The first topic is the 1976 English's fried chicken bucket lids. Earlier blog updates on these were published July 31, 2009 and March 1, 2011.
In its heyday 30-40 years ago, English's Family Restaurants dotted the Eastern Shore of Maryland with their iconic chrome railroad car-style diners. The chain's claim to fame was fried chicken that devotees swore was the finest to be had anywhere.
They're all gone now, and if I'm reading the internet correctly, English's famous fried chicken is now available in just one location, in Salisbury, Md., at a restaurant called Bay Country Meals.
Like that other famous chicken chain, English's offered its bird by the bucket. In 1976, the lids to those buckets featured black-and-white portrait photos of popular Baltimore Orioles players.
As with other cards and collectibles from Mike Schechter Associates in the 1970s and 1980s, the player photos were licensed by the MLB Players' Association, but not Major League Baseball, so team logos were airbrushed off the caps.
Two sizes of bucket lids were made, in 8-1/2" and 7" diameter. They are printed on heavy waxed cardboard stock and are typically found with minor nicks and dings around the edge, and maybe even a bit of grease from contact with the chicken.
According to Strout, the large-format set is compete at three: Mike Cuellar, Ken Holtzman and Jim Palmer.
There are 10 players known in the smaller format: Mark Belanger, Paul Blair, Al Bumbry, Dave Duncan, Bob Grich, Ross Grimsley, Elrod Hendricks, Lee May, Brooks Robinson and Ken Singleton.
If I was pricing the set today, I'd value the large Cuellar and Holtzman lids at $20/10/6 in NM/EX/VG, respectively, with Palmer at $50/25/15. The small-size lids are considerably scarcer. I'd suggest current market for the Brooks Robinson is around $250/125/75, with the others about $30/15/9.
English's, by the way, followed up its 1976 bucket-lid set with a 13-piece issue in 1983 honoring the World's Champion Orioles.
Check in tomorrow for an updated checklist of the 1959 Kiwanis Club of Baltimore Baseball Clinic card set.
If you wish to contact Strout about the Orioles regionals you'll see in this series or exchange information about other O's issues, you can email him. I'm going to give his email address here in "coded" form so the robo-scanners don't add it to their spam lists. You can reach Alan Strout of Maine at (his first name)_(his last name)(at symbol)umit.(his state).edu Strout can also be reached by mail at P.O. Box 84, Kenduskeag, ME 04450.
Seeking O's minor league programs
By way of thanking Alan for sharing his Orioles checklists, scans, etc., I'm publishing his current want list of Orioles minor league programs.
One of Strout's very ambitious collecting goals is to acquire a program from every Orioles minor league team for each year they were in the Baltimore organization.
Here's his list . . .
Aberdeen Pheasants 1962, 1965
Ada Herefords/Cementers 1954
Anderson Rebels 1954
Ardmore Rosebuds 1961
Batavia Trojans 1966
Bluefield Orioles 1987, 2001, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2009
Cordele Orioles 1955
Dublin Orioles 1958
Fitzgerald Orioles 1957
Fox Cities Foxes 1965
Kingsport Orioles 1957
Lubbock Hubbers 1956
Marion Marauders 1954
Meridian Millers 1955
Miami Marlins 1968
Miami Orioles 1975
Ottawa Lynx 2004, 2005
Paris Orioles 1955, 1956, 1957
Pensacola Dons 1958, 1959
Phoenix Stars 1955, 1956, 1957
Pine Bluff Judges 1955
Pulaski Phillies 1977
San Antonio Missions 1954, 1956
Stockton Ports 1959 - 1966, 1968 - 1971
Texas City Texans 1956
Thetford Mines Miners 1954, 1955
Thomson Orioles 1956
Tri-City Atoms 1965
Tri-City Braves 1960
Victoria Rosebuds 1961
Wilson Tobs 1958
Wytheville Statesmen 1954