Hell, who’s up for a metaphor?
We’re up for a metaphor!
(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!
We start with a ’53! I still don’t have a lot of these! Great name! So great, the painter (possibly my old cartooning teacher Gerry Dvorak, rest his soul), snuck it into the painting!
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:
1 (3/181/258), 10 (47/177/196), 15 (22/63/256), 24 (57/90/254), 39 (65/83/121), 44 (79/135/216), 48 (30/143/232), 49 (31/146/198), 51 (62/149/262), 62 (42/169/218), 78 (4/33/230)
IT’S A MEADOWLARK SANDWICH!
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!