Bo recently got himself into the pre-1978 card collecting game, finally, with a pretty big vintage purchase, so I was finally able to trade him some old stuff, and he did the same for me.
Got some ’67-’69 cards, so we’ll go in order. I cannot get over Don Sutton ever being this young. He looks like he’s 12 here.
Damn, I love this McCovey.
Onto ’68s, where I’m across the 400 mark on the set now (of course, the last 191 cards have something like 30 Hall of Famers, including Mantle and the Ryan and Bench rookies, so I probably won’t finish that soon). Never have a problem with getting a Hank Aaron card I need, though. (The other guys don’t suck, neither.) Keep ’em coming!
Billy Williams, with some artistic embellishment.
I’ve been buying cards for 38 years, and have owned hundreds of thousands of cards over those years. This is, amazingly, my first ever and only playing-era flagship Eddie Mathews card.
Pops cards seem to come to me late in set-building, too, so this is welcome.
Elston Howard looks thrilled both to be a member of the Red Sox and taking this picture.
Bill White looks cool, like he usually does.
This card of Pete is almost in condition as bad as my Munson rookie. Fine with it. Upgrading intentionally would be money I don’t wanna spend on this guy anymore.
Ken Boyer and Superman both go to the same barber.
I also crossed the 400 mark on ’69! (I never would’ve guessed that I’d ever be anywhere near that.)
I have at least 2 Joe Niekro on the Cubs cards now, and it’s still not something I’m used to yet. Looks like some alternate universe shit.
World Series cards, lookin’ awesome.
GREAT card of Odom. He’s got that “Don’t even try it” look in his eyes.
…and Sutton, still looking way too young, to close it out. I went through his cards after I scanned these, and figured out that the back of the ’71 card is when Don looks like he went through puberty.
I’m working on mine, too, and with this trade, I’m at 77 cards from being complete, since someone sent the Owl the same card I sent him, only in rougher condition, and it arrived the same day the one I sent him did. How rough?
TIM FOLI IS IN CREASED RIGHT ABOVE THE KNEES ACTION kinda rough. That crease could explain while Tim Foli’s version of “In Action” looks more like inaction, too. I mean, that’s gotta hurt. It actually doesn’t look that bad in the scan (Also, I cleaned my scanner bed! Nice, right?), but in person, it’s pretty harsh. Thing is, when we’re talking 1972 Topps “commons” in the 700s, you take what you can get, so I was happy to get this back in the mail.
Also, I am not 100% sure (I think there may have been one other instance of this), but this may have been the first time I’ve ever traded with someone and had the same card in both the outgoing and incoming package. So, yeah, remarkable in a few ways already, and that’s before we revisit something fun I noticed about this pretty creased up card later in this post.
This wasn’t the only card in the trade, though. Hell, this was the last card thrown in the box, right at the end (it was right on top when I opened the box). Let’s take a look at what else I got!
HAY IT’S THAT GUY ALL THE KIDS LOVE
Now, I’m not collecting Bryant cards, but it is good to get them, in the same way it’s good to get Trout, Jeter, Griffey, and Bip Roberts cards. People tend to hoard them and/or ask for a bunch of money/cards for ’em, so when one shows up, especially one you weren’t expecting, it’s a relief. Why’d I get a ’16 flagship Kris Bryant if I’m not collecting him?
Well, because I’m a compulsive completist, and while I plan on continuing to put very little effort into it, I am accepting 2016 Topps flagship cards in trades (and, along the same lines, 2014 flagship; this strategy’s also worked out pretty well for 2012 Heritage), despite the fact that I think both sets are pretty uninspiring, designwise. Set collecting is rough, man. I’ll also confess, it felt a *little* like a Bip, getting them, even though I knew they were coming, but at the end of the day, this is an example of someone doing me a highly valued service by low-level addressing my inability to leave things incomplete without my brain screaming at me, so ultimately, I’m…relieved…to have this big stack in front of me (especially the Bryant on top), and I’m even gonna post a few more of ’em, even though I’m pretty sure that most people never want to see pictures of 2016 Topps again!
Somehow, I hadn’t seen this card until today. Great shot of the ivy. Awkward shot of everything else. This is basically the opposite of the super chill feet-first sliding catch Bernie Williams used to do with astounding regularity, that, for some reason, I’ve never seen on a Bernie Williams card (if any of you know of one where they caught him doing it, let me know). In Cameron Maybin’s case, I’m sure one of you have looked this up, but he almost had to have gotten hurt on this landing. Not exactly the kinda thing you want immortalized on a card, kinda like that Classic card of Andre Dawson where he’s gettin’ beaned, but obviously, not as bad.
I mean, come on.
“Future Star”? Come on, Topps! I mean, I don’t wanna get all “Logan’s Run” on poor Carlos (he is a former BlueClaw, after all), but he turned 30 a month ago, his first big league appearance was in 2009, and he’s been a professional ballplayer since 2004. He got to his first spring training around the same time Millie Bobby Brown was born! I found a card of Carrasco over the weekend from ’07 Bowman Draft. Almost a decade old, and Bush was still in office! I hope that this bodes well for Carlos, and his “Future Star” status leads to him pitching well into his 60s, but couldn’t they have done a “Late Bloomer” subset for him or something?
Now, Domingo Santana (another former BlueClaw), there’s a guy who still qualifies for the Future Stars label! He’s still only 24, despite seemingly being around forever (Wow, he broke in with the Phils’ farm teams when he was 16), and I think he could still do great things well before it’s time to RENEW.
Heh, King Felix likes my “Logan’s Run” references. I like King Felix, too. He’s a high number. (Don’t panic about the bottom left corner of the card. There was a smudge on the scanner that I found late. All better now. No, I’m not rescanning the bloody card. What do you think I do, write letters all day?)
Heh, and he’s laughing at the reference in the blurb for the last card. (Points to anyone who gets it.) Strasburg looks kinda like Steve Buscemi in this picture. Bless the both of them, and best wishes to Stephen Strasburg and his wife, who are expecting a kid this week!
NOOOOOOOO NOT MORE ’16 oh wait it’s Chrome. Less like Buscemi in this picture, but kinda like Jim Breuer, or someone equally stoned looking.
Now, Sandy, he’s got things under control. That darned smudge on the scanner aside.
Yay, Straw! Yay, Bunt cards I needed! (There were a few.)
There were a few Stadium Clubs I needed in here, too, from ’15 (Kiermaier’s about as exciting as it got, namewise)…
…and from ’16. Man, that’s a card.
For those of you who have stashes of ’14-16 Stadium Club doubles, and are also planning on buying too many ’17 Stadium Club, I’m happy to take those off your hands if I need ’em for any of those sets, and I won’t even make a comment about being Bipped, unless you send me ’15 Stadium Club Bip, which I already have 3 of, but I’ll always take more of.
Jumping back a ways, here’s Andre Dawson lookin’ MEAN on his ’96 Score card, probably because I posted that Classic Update earlier. This is another great card, and one I’d never seen. There was a small handful of ’96 Score in the box, too…
…but I can tell that Dutch wants me to get to the main event, and those of you reading this probably do as well, so here it is!
The deal was with Trevor of Supporting The Minnow, who’s something of an O-Pee-Chee supercollector. I had some lower grade ’71-’72 hockey, and some late ’70s baseball he was interested in, and he had some stuff I could use, so we bit the bullet on the shipping (not as insane as I was expecting, but still not cheap), and got a deal done.
Here are some of the fun things I got…
First, Trevor put a hurting (heh) into my ’90 Score Rookie & Traded wants.
Then, he chipped away at the remainder of my ’92 Stadium Club wants. Down to 5 cards needed out of 900, which, when I get those last 5, would make it the biggest set I’ve built, unless you count Topps flagship and Traded/Update as one set.
…and here’s why I went through all that trouble. Great photography, especially for the time. My favorite of the ’90s Stadium Club sets.
Then, some Islanders showed up! Man, I miss Frans Nielsen. A lot of the Isles he sent over have already flown the coop, even though they were pretty recent cards. I’m trying to figure out if it was ownership, management, the arena, money, some mix of it all, or something else entirely. Anyway, this is a cool retro parallel from one of the recent OPC sets.
Here’s an Isle that’s still around, though! This is actually a Tim Hortons card! It’s also very shiny, though the scanner made it look cooler than it already did.
Speaking of food issues, here’s some Canadian Post from ’91! He sent along most of this set (and a nice scattering of food issue stuff, including some other Canadian Posts and some ’87 Coke Tigers), so it’s in my wants now. For being cards with no logos, they look pretty great, though the NL design with the red is definitely better than the AL design with the blue borders.
Always fun to get bilingual Expos cards!
Another fun oddball and a great picture. Somehow, I’ve ended up with none of the Boardwalk & Baseball box set before this deal (I got Lance Parrish along with Rickey). I should work on that some more.
Hey, Ichiro! With the 5 Biography cards I got from Trevor, I’m officially a third of the way through this insert set I’ll never finish from 2010 Upper Deck. 200 days of cleverly sorta avoiding team logos in the pictures!
Trevor finished off the AW Sports boxing set for me! I’d gotten a bunch from Stubby a while back, and it’s a fun set. Nice mix of guys who were current in ’91, who I used to watch on MSG boxing cards, and the old-timers.
Here’s Jake, swell picture…
Here’s Abe Attell, who was my first Topps Ringside card, and who was also accused of being the messenger in the Black Sox Scandal, though he was acquitted.
Boom Boom, just to show that they had the more recent fighters in the set. Nice mullet, Ray!
…and then you come across one of those pictures that makes you question why you have an interest in something. Amazing photograph, but, to put it mildly, being hit like that by Rocky Marciano could not have been good for Jersey Joe Walcott. I mean, I grew up watching fights, so it’s one of those things that I didn’t really have a choice about being familiar with, and, being a human (inherently flawed as we are), I have marvelled at the athleticism and the drama of boxing on and off for most of my life, but when it comes down to it, it’s still two people beating the holy hell out of one another, sometimes just one person beating the holy hell out of the other, and it does lasting damage, particularly to the brains of the competitors, which, as someone who’s had a number of brain injuries himself, is kind of a sensitive subject. Boxing, like a bunch of sports I’ve got cards of, is a bloodsport, and it wrecks people. It’s a part of our shared history, of course, and a fascinating one (which makes me grateful for the cards, certainly), but I spend some time these days wondering if we’re really doing ourselves many favors by following and financially supporting bloodsports. Yeah, I know, a bit of a tangent in the middle of a fun trade post, but that’s what y’all pay me for. I believe in looking at the things I enjoy, and have enjoyed, with a critical eye, and with a goal of eliminating cognitive dissonance when and where I can. I think it’s important to do. Helps us understand stuff, or try to understand it, anyway.
To switch subjects, though, since I went on about this a bit, let’s move onto “the main event” of this post…
Hey, it’s an Eddie Murray rookie! But, wait! Didn’t I finish the ’78 Topps set a few years ago, back when I was on my old site? Yeah, I did. So, why would I trade for another one of…oh, wait…
Yup, it’s an O-Pee-Chee Murray rookie! Super cool.
Yup, it stands to reason that an O-Pee-Chee collector would have some decent doubles laying around, and I got a few fun ’78s along with the Murray, including this very “classic OPC miscut” Hawk here!
Yay, more bilingual Expos cards!
Pete’s hangin’ to the right here, too, but he got a hero number in OPC, so it’s all good!
Last card coming up…
Look, you guys!
It’s an O-Pee-Cey!
Thanks again for the deal, Trevor! Lotsa fun stuff in it!
(Sorry. Needed to scratch that itch. I love Sparks.)
Back to the card trade post, though. Shane from Off The Wall and I have had a trade in gestation forever, and this week, we finally got ‘er done! Well over 1000 cards involved between our two sides, stuff all over the place in terms of years and types of cards and so forth, and something like a one-day turnaround on shipping because we live in the same general area now. It was a good time! Here are some highlights!
w0000000, Gilliam! Love adding to my Bums collection! Also: I have even fewer ’55s (at 11, they’re the cards I have the least of out of any flagship Topps set), so it’s good to see any.
’57s are always nice to look at! Did you know that Gene Stephens, on June 18th, 1953, became the first player in the post-1900 era to have 3 hits in a single inning (a feat only matched by Johnny Damon in 2003), or that he played for the Chunichi Dragons in 1966? I sure as hell didn’t! Thanks, Wikipedia!
A nice lookin’ Clem Labine card, from the “I’m not L.A., not still in Brooklyn” year!
All in all, Shane sent over a solid pile of older cards in this ‘un…
I mean, look at this respectable stack of ’59s!
That’s a team set or so!
Of course, just to frustrate all of you who want to see the array of ’59-’70 mostly commons (all of which I needed), I’ll now skip to 1968…
…because I needed this, too! With Tony Gonzalez in the mix, I’m now 2/3 of the way through this set! (Still need the Mantle, but that’s not a tough card to get.)
And now, we’ll jump even further forward, to 1984, and a Darryl Strawberry rookie I didn’t have until now!
Also from ’84, this is a great Jim Rice card. Candid.
Bip! Only need 2 more of his flagship/Traded cards now.
Solid Jimmy Key card, too. Love this guy.
Funny story about this one: when I first started buying cards again after the strike, it was 2001, and the two players that kinda drew me into picking up handfuls of cards here and there were Ichiro and Alfonso Soriano. I wanted cards of both of these guys. (For whatever reason, Pujols wasn’t even on my radar that year.) Then, I saw that Soriano’s actual rookie card was in ’99 Traded, a set with a ton of rookies, and I was like “Man, I’m never gonna get that!”. Never say never! It ended up taking me 16 years, but I got it. It took me something like 14 or 15 years to get the Topps Ichiro from ’01, too, but I got it.
This was the last flagship/Traded Topps Eric Davis I needed. I really like seeing him on 2000s card designs, considering how much he went through in order to get there. Had he stayed healthy, I’m pretty firmly convinced that he’d have been talked about in the same breath as Willie Mays, but he still ended up having a fine career.
There were a bunch of ’01 Tradeds in the package (I still need a lot of Topps Traded and Update from the first half of the 2000s, so keep ’em coming, people), so let’s take a look at a few more…
Esix Snead! Another terrific sports name, really underrated. Always liked the ring of it. Esix Snead.
Cheer up, Juan Uribe! You’ve got your whole life ahead of you.
2015 Topps Baseball
My last 2 cards to get were Mookie Betts (thanks, Thorzul) and this one. I really though the Mookie was gonna give me more trouble than David Lough. Set building is weird sometimes.
Onto some stuff from other companies!
My word, is this a terrific looking card. And man, Kenny Lofton was a helluva ballplayer. Now that Raines is in, Lofton’s HOF case should really be re-examined. They’re comparable (a lot closer than you’d think, considering the near-200 stolen base jumpstart Raines has on him), and Kenny had great numbers. He also made the postseason 11 out of 13 years between ’95 and ’07 (only missed in 2000 and 2005). Never won a Series, which hurts him, but yeah, Kenny Lofton was a great ballplayer.
I still don’t know how a human being does this. El Duque was awesome.
Rickey in his last year! As I was going through these cards, I found Rickey in the ’80s in the Drake’s stuff, Rickey in the ’90s, and Rickey in the ’00s (this is from ’04), and on every card, he looks like he could outrun you. Like, even now, I think most people would have a really hard time outrunning Rickey Henderson in a straight sprint.
Another one with a super cool wind-up. I’m glad to see Dontrelle’s caught on as a TV analyst. He seems like a good guy. Would it have killed Upper Deck to actually use a picture of D-Train from the game they named as a highlight, though? No way that’s Pro Player Stadium, and that’s where the game mentioned here was played.
OH HELL YEAH
(I’m never, ever going to finish the 2006 Upper Deck set.)
And Mo! I love getting new cards of guys I have a ton of cards of, from flagship sets. I am admittedly running out of real estate there (it’s mostly Upper Deck and ’00s Donruss), but it still makes me happy when it happens.
Donruss really made the best of both Mark Prior and this design (which was pretty hit and miss) on this card.
So, I quietly added Jeter to the list of players I’m actively collecting recently, which makes this another nice add (again, ’00s Donruss can be tough). If you’re wondering how I was once a Yankee fan who watched his entire career (he even gave me the cool guy nod from short at the old Stadium once when I threw the horns at him) and wasn’t collecting his cards, it’s because 1. there are too many of them (and I’ve no illusions about getting even an impressive fraction of them) 2. there was way too much competition for Jeter cards in the New York metro area and 3. because of that competition, even base cards were expensive there. When I did my most recent audit of my star cards, though, I noticed that I had (by my standards of star cards that aren’t part of a set I’m building) a pretty good pile of his cards for a guy I don’t collect (I keep pretty much all of them because he’s one of the tougher gets when you’re set building, and because he’s Jeter), so that motivated me a little, but if you wanna know what put me over the top here? It was The Players’ Tribune. People didn’t know what to expect when Derek announced he’d be publishing it upon retiring, and I think a lot of people were thinking it was gonna be all puff pieces, all the time, but it is a consistently fantastic read, with a journalistic bent that really gets the word out on some important issues (first-hand accounts of the effects of head injuries and mental illness among them). I’m proud of Derek and his team for putting the Tribune together, they’re doing great work, and it was a strong factor in my decision to go after his cards a little more seriously than I have in the past. There is also the small matter of him, um, not being quite as popular in the part of the country that I live in now, too.
Now, for some other sports!
I have wanted this card since it came out. I think I had one pretty crappy copy of it once (I may still have it, but I don’t think I do), and this one’s lived a little, too, but I’m glad to have it.
HOOPS! I’m 11 cards away from finishing the “first set” of panels (which means I’ll have one of every card, if you’re not familiar). Unfortunately, I think a couple of them have Bird on them, but I’ll get there. I got Bird/Magic/Dr. J out of the way, that’s the big ‘un.
If you’re curious and/or have a stash of doubles, these are my needs:
LOVE these Globetrotters cards. Glad I’m actually running into them more nowadays, too. Pro tip for finding them: look in areas of the country where Cumberland Farms stores were popular. This is true of all Fleer products (I got my first ’86-’87 Jordan at one, after all, and at times when you couldn’t find Fleer baseball at any of the card shops in the mid-’80s, you could usually walk into a Cumberland Farms and buy them by the box), because Cumbies moved a LOT of Fleer products (gum, cards, etc.), but it seems especially true of the Globetrotters stuff. Call it coincidence if you will, but I’ve never found one of these cards in person in a town that didn’t have a Cumberland Farms store in it. They came out way before card stores were really a thing, and my guess is, unless you got the Cocoa Puffs ones (a shorter version of the set was released in boxes of Cocoa Puffs), you got them at Cumberland Farms.
So, that’s a pretty good cross-section of what I got from Shane! Thanks again for the deal, Shane, and I hope you enjoy the stuff I sent you, too!