A Walk Off … the Plank

Thank God it’s Friday!! Man, these short work weeks have been a pain in the behind work-wise. People off for school vacations, rush jobs coming in left and right, and somehow I have had a little time (granted it’s usually between 12–1 AM on the east coast) to write. That’s been pretty easy this week with all the trades coming in and on that note, let’s Walk the Plank.

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So a couple weeks ago, the great Mark Hoyle started a Twitter conversation with myself and Matt at Bob Walk the Plank, introducing us to each other and suggested we’d be good trading partners. Matt wanted to start small and said he’d find some stuff and shoot it my way so this is what came in the mail today. Okay, uhm Matt … the above card is not small. First off, it’s big, as in pretty damn thick big! Second, this card carries some value here. being a dual relic. The card above is from the 2012 Topps Five Star line featuring a dual auto on card/jersey relic of Adrian Gonzalez. This is a beautiful card Matt and I can’t thank you enough! I certainly wish I had a Pirate card of the same stature but I’ll see what I can come up to send your way.

AGon was one of those players that then GM Theo Epstein, had coveted for a couple of years. In December of 2010, the San Diego Padres traded Gonzalez  to the Red Sox for a player to be named later, Reymond Fuentes, Casey Kelly and Anthony Rizzo. Man, we could use a guy like Rizzo here in the Hub. While Adrian played well in he brief time in Boston, I wasn’t an overly big fan of his but I don’t know why. I didn’t dislike or hate him, but he wasn’t the dirt dog that a Dustin Pedroia or Kevin Youkilis was. He just seemed to lack persona or something. Any how, it’s a pretty sweet looking card I have to say.

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Also in the package were these 1976 Hostess cards. A couple of Sox in Fisk and Lynn I didn’t have along with two ex-Sox in Reggie Smith and Ted Sizemore.

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And to close out, more ’76 Hostess cards. The Johnny Bench is a real beauty as is the Lou Brock and you have to love the tequila sunrise that Big Bad Bob Watson is laying down. Thanks again Matt and I definitely will get a return package out to you soon!!! A shout out to Mark Hoyle for the introduction as well! Thank you for reading!

Sox Madness from Cardboard Hogs

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Today’s trade post comes from Ken over at Cardboard Hogs. This package was loaded with Sox cards and probably ranks in my top three Red Sox packages that I’ve received! With that, lets jump in (and into Spring as it’ll be 65 degrees in the metro Boston area today!)…

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Leading off, some Sox vintage including a 1966 buyback. The 1968 Topps George Scott will go into my ’68 Topps set album as I’m positive this was is in much better condition!

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Next up, some of my Sox favorites that I am putting pages together of. The 2017 Moncada card is perfect in that this card crosses his name off of my All-Time Red Sox collection. I absolutely love the shot of a diving Mookie on that Stadium Club!!

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Here’s another card to cross off for the All-Time Collection — Andrew Benintendi! Two needs right off the bat — thanks Ken!!! The rest of the grouping is some Heritage Chrome madness and a mini Bowman Chrome of the Rafeal Devers, the third baseman of the future. I haven’t bought a Bowman pack in probably six years so I had no idea they did minis — pretty sweet!

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Next up, Big Papi and LOOK!!! It’s a 2015 Topps Heritage Action variation card short print!!! This package just keeps getting better …

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Sox relics!!!! I thought people had sent all the cool stuff to Mark Hoyle, Shane at Shoebox Legends, and the Sox Fan in Nebraska. Thanks Ken!!! As I have mentioned in the past, I love the Heritage relics that it’s great to land three here. This is my first auto of Matt Barnes, so that’s pretty cool. The Gold Pedroia I have never seen before but it’s pretty damn cool — and heavy.

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Following all those awesome Red Sox cards was how this trade first came about. Ken was working on a couple of Heritage sets of his ow and I was able to fill a number of short prints and he was able to do the same.

Well boy did Ken do that! I have been working on the 2014 Topps Heritage set, but haven’t filled a need for this in easily a year. I have all the base (I believe) but of course it’s the short prints I need. With this trade, I was able to cross off 16 short prints. The really awesome thing is, the three above — Cabrera, Darvish, and Verlander (I love you Kate Upton) are of the action photo variations!!!

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Here is the rest of the 2014 Heritage short prints in the package. One of these days I ‘ll complete this. With the show I just attended, I was able to cross off another of these SPs in Nolan Arenado. Not bad, 17 SPs crossed off in a span of three days.

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And to wrap up all this awesomeness, I also received a partial set of 1988 Topps United Kingdom Mini set for my 1980s album. The UK Minis is an 88-card “American Baseball” set released exclusively to the British market. Each card measures 2 1/8″ X 3″, or about the size of a 1975 Topps mini.

Man, awesome, awesome trade package Ken — I hope you were just as happy with you as I was with this one — really hope we can do it again down the road! On that note, time to step outside and soak up some sun while it’s nice out. Thank you for reading kids!

Oddball Mania with Collating Cards

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Ahh it almost feels like Spring here in New England, and with that, the first Grapefruit games will be on TV and radio this coming weekend. Today’s post is one I received last week from Steve at Collating Cards! I had sent him a bunch of cards for his various set needs and the above is what came back my way. He is one of several great trade partners I have connected with via Twitter.

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Now I preface this post with I AM A RED SOX FAN, just want to be clear as many of these cards are Braves. And while they may be a bunch of Braves cards here in the package, they all hit my various wants right now which is fine with me! The above are a variety of Topps Heritage Relics. Plain and simple — I love the Heritage line for the look and feel, the photography, the inserts, box loader, sample panels … everything. And while the Heritage products are a bitch to put a set together, it’s not stopping me from putting together an album of my favorite cards from the line (2001 – present). My two favorites from this lot are the 1962 Carlos Santana as the only other relic from this year I have is Ichiro. The other is the Julio Teheran as that is from a retro flannel-like jersey.

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Next up, the first of many Topps archives inserts and one Topps Lineage Hank Aaron “1964 Stand Up.” I love the original Stand Up set and this is my first from the Lineage product. I like the Tall Ball of Otis Nixon as well, since that is my first of this insert too.

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Next up, more inserts from both the Archives and Lineage in the form of “1969 Deckle Edge.” I have a feeling the 1968 Topps Game card will get more run a couple weeks from now when the 2017 Topps Heritage (1968 burlaps) rolls out.

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The last group of Topps Archives inserts … “1977 Cloth Stickers.” I went from having a couple cards to now two pages worth.

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One item that Steve mention in our Twitter messages were these Nomar Garciaparra Twizzlers cards. Heck, they’re still in their wrappers! These cards were produced by Upper Deck in 2002 and somehow I never saw them in stores around here in Red Sox Nation. These are the two Nomah cards in the set, that also consists of other sports stars like Alonzo Mourning, Kevin Harvick, Donavan McNabb, and Garciaparra’s wife — Mia Hamm. Another great item for my Sox oddball album!

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Breakfast!!! Kellogg’s style with Bob Horner (1982, 1981, 1983). Only my second 1982 Kellogg’s card too.

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More 80s oddball goodies here! From the top, 1986 True Value cards of Seaver and Yount, 1989 MSA Weis Winners of Canseco and McGwire, and a 1981 MSA Peter Pan Sunbeam Bakery Horner disc. These three discs are my firsts for either series — great oddballs Steve!

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Other 80s cards included these 1985 Topps Send-Away Glossies …

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… and these 1988 Topps Glossy All-Stars found in rack packs …

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… and to close out, a near set of 1989 Topps Glossy Rookies that were found in jumbo cello packs.

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And to close out this great trade package, we have a handful of Topps the Magazine insert cards and a Ted Williams “1953 Topps” from a 1983 issue of Baseball Cards magazine. This is a card I had as a kid but along the way got lost, thrown out, or traded away. Now, I have a copy once again!

Thank you again Steve for a great traded package!! Let’s do it again down the road.

Well Worth the Wait

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So way, way back in the Summer of 2012, when I was busting a new box of Allen & Ginter, I was pretty happy to pull this relic card of a local celebrity of sorts. Keegan, a New England native, was the new, rising star on the PGA Tour and could hit it a ton. Since then he’s played well but hasn’t captured a Major since the 2011 PGA Championship.

Fast forward a couple of months and you can see from my writing on the card above, this relic was to have shipped that November. Nothing came. And so every couple of months, I would check back and the card was in a constant, some sort of “pending” state.

So recently, the Topps Twitter account had given someone a customer service number to call regarding an overdue redemption and armed with this information, I called them a couple weeks ago. They were great and taking my info and said they could send out a replacement. I did ask them, since it was almost FIVE YEARS overdue, if they could send something Red Sox or at the least baseball orientated. The rep put it in the redemption notes and would see what they could do.

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Fast-forward to yesterday and the above and below showed up in my mailbox!!! This awesome, tri-color patch relic of Big Papi is from the 2015 Topps Tribute line, numbered 23 of 25!!! Sweet Christmas in February!!!! This more than beats a Keegan Bradley swatch of spandex-like golf shirt. Looking at the swatch, I can tell it’s from the Sox road blue jerseys that carry the red numbers with white stitching.

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Here is a look at the back of the card. Even my son and wife were impressed when they saw the card! Along with this card, and a note apologizing for the lengthy delay, they also included this card below …

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… a game-used relic of Javier Baez, numbered 231 of 399, from the 2016 Topps Tier One line. I have a feeling I know where this card is going to ….

I gotta say, five years was worth the wait and kudos to the Topps Customer Service team for taking the time to listen to me and help out a loyal customer! Thanks Topps!

Trade with Kin Yields Completed Pages

So Kin over at I Feel Like a Collector Again sent this package in return with me helping him out on his 1986 Topps set. I gotta be honest, I wasn’t expecting these in return that’s for sure and they are beautiful condition! He said he got a heck a deal and I hoping he can find some others for another future trade.

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In the package was nine burlap beauties that you’ll see ended up completing FOUR pages in my 1968 Topps set album. Always love vintage leader cards, especially when they contain THREE HoFers on one card!!

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This batch here came in handy as you’ll see below.

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Also in the package, was four 1973 Topps that completed TWO pages towards my set and with the 1984 Topps Mike Krukow, I’m one more card closer to finishing that set. So with that, let’s see some completed pages …

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1968 Topps #91-99

Card that completed the page: Ed Kranepool (92)

Favorite card: Gary Sutherland (98), just a cool vintage bunting pose during spring training. The green grass, blue cloudless sky, and a brand new, bright red Phillies cap, lotta goodness here. Not gonna lie, I almost went with the Senators Rookie Stars because at first glance I though the guys name was Dick Hold, not Nold.

Best photograph: Gary Sutherland, see above.

Best career: Rocky Colavito (99). Rocky was six-time All-Star for three different teams (Cleveland, Detroit, Kansas City) and also finished in the top five voting for MVP four times. A fan favorite wherever he went, he slugged 374 homers and knocked in another 1,159 runs. Over the course of 14-year career, he batted .266. above he’s pictured as a White Sox, but would be purchased by the Dodgers in March of 1968, only to be released in July and finished out the season with the New York Yankees. The is Rocky’s last Topps card.

Number of Red Sox: Zero.

Past/Future Red Sox: Goose egg again.

Interesting fact: Tom Phoebus (97) became only the seventh pitcher since 1900 to pitch shutouts in his first two games. In his 1966 debut, he pitched a complete-game shutout, beating Dean Chance, 2-0. He struck out eight, walked two, and allowed only four hits. Five days later Phoebus got his second start and pitched his second shutout. Pitching against Catfish Hunter in Kansas City, he blanked the Athletics 4-0. Oh, he also threw a no-hitter during the 1968 season against the defending American League champion Boston Red Sox at Memorial Stadium on April 27.

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1968 Topps #118-126

Card that completed the page: Two this page; Mel Stottlemyre (120) and Jimmie Hall (121).

Favorite card: Mark Belanger (118), just love the camera angle, the vintage flannel Baltimore road jersey. Just a nice looking card.

Best photograph: Gene Mauch (122) photographed calling out for a beer, hot dog, or trying to get Dick Allen’s attention. Not sure but wished manager cards of today were as interesting as this one.

Best career: Toss up between Mark Belanger (118) and Mel Stottlemyer (120). Belanger was one of the best slick fielding shortstops of the 1970s, winning eight Gold Glove Awards. A career .228 hitter, he was named an American League All-Star in 1976 and played all but one of his entire 18-year career with the Baltimore Orioles. He finished with the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1982. Stottlemyer was a five-time A.L. All-Star selection and was the glue that held those New York Yankee rotations together during the middle 1960s thru the early 1970s. He donned the Bronx pinstripes for his entire 11-year career, going 164-139 along with a career earn run average of 2.97.

Number of Red Sox: One; Jose Santiago (123). After a trade with the Kansas City Athletics, Santiago was an integral part of the Sox pitching staff as the chief swingman. His best stretch came from 1966-1968. In his five years in the back bay, Jose went 33-23 with a ERA of 3.42

Past/Future Red Sox: One; Gene Mauch appears as a Red Sox in the 1957 Topps set at #342 — a card on my Sox want list.

Interesting fact: In writing up about this page, I learned that Jose Santiago was named to the American League All-Star team in 1968. Actually Stottlemyer was on the same All-Star team as well, but neither appeared in the the mid-Summer classic won by the N.L. 1-0.

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1968 Topps #190-198

Card that completed the page: Dan Frisella (191)

Best career: Carl Yastrzemski, just ask @Markhoyle4

Number of Red Sox: One; Carl Yastrzemski Checklist (192).

Past/Future Red Sox: Zero, but Don Buford’s son Damon played some for the Sox in the late 1990s and he was a heck of a fielder.

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1968 Topps #586-594

Card that completed the page: Dick Nen (591).

Favorite card: Really not one here that screams out to me. I do like the old Angels cap with the halo.

Best photograph: Not a lot to like with the high numbers. A number of “traded” guys without hats and in old team’s uniforms.

Best career: Tommy Harper (590)

Number of Red Sox: One; Lee Stange (593).

Past/Future Red Sox: Three; Jim Pagliaroni (586), Dick Schofield (588), and Tommy Harper.

Interesting fact: Dick “Ducky” Schofield is the father of former Major League Baseball player Dick Schofield and the grandfather of current MLB outfielder Jayson Werth. Ducky, Dick, and Jayson all played for the Los Angeles Dodgers at one point in their respective careers.

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1973 Topps #10-18

Card that completed the page: Fred Gladding (17)

Favorite card: George Hendrick (13) in a page of blue and gray uniforms, the classic Oakland A’s uniform keeps pulling me in.

Best photograph: Maybe the Leroy Stanton (18)? Reminds me of the classic Topps photographs from the 1957 and 1959 Topps sets.

Best career: I’ll go with Don Sutton (10) in that he is Cooperstown.

Number of Red Sox: One; Sonny Siebert (14).

Past/Future Red Sox: One; Don Zimmer was a manager and coach for the Sox.

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1973 Topps #127-135

Card that completed the page: Milwaukee Brewers team card (127).

Favorite card: Pete Rose (130). It’s not the best image of Pete Rose as he looks like he’s watching a pop-up go foul, but it is the Hit King.

Best photograph: Dave Roberts (133). Can’t beat the yellow mustard Padres unis on a sunny afternoon in Wrigley, right?

Best career: Pete Rose. All-time MLB hit leader. A shame he’s not in the Hall of Fame.

Number of Red Sox: One; Eddie Kasko, manager … and look who else is on the coaches card … one Lee Stange from the 1968 Topps pages.

Past/Future Red Sox: One; Ted Sizemore (128).

Interesting fact: I’ve met Pete Rose’s then, long-time friend Tommy Gioiosa. So back when I was a kid, this guy would periodically come into the baseball card store where I worked over the years. Both owners knew him and the guy would always bring in autographed Pete Rose balls, 8×10 photos, and occasionally autographed, game used bats, batting gloves, even cleats I believe for us to sell. Gioiosa would be the one to tell the world that the All-Time Hit King had bet on baseball.

“I’ve sat in his office and watched him bet on baseball games, including the Reds and many other baseball teams…”

— Gioiosa in a televised interview conducted by ESPN, 1990.

And on that interesting note, I thank you for reading and thank God the sounds of Spring Training are in the air.

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Also of note, looking to find trading partners who collect New York Yankee, Oakland A’s, St. Louis Cardinals, and Texas Rangers … would like to streamline my collection while helping out other collectors. Hit me up on Twitter, email me, or leave a comment.

Digging Out, Catching Up

So Winter finally decided to arrive here in New England, almost another foot and we have 40-50 mph winds/gusts today. So before I dig out yet again, I thought I’d catch up on posting some LCS goodies from the last haul … and all a nickel a pop.

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First up, a bunch of Roger Clemens, all are Fleer inserts except for the 1992 Post Cereal and the 1989 Donruss Opening Day.

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… Some Wade Boggs, I love the 1986 Topps Wax Box Bottom Card and the 1991 Score Cooperstown Card.

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Some miscellaneous Red Sox from the Swell Baseball Greats Series (1989-91) and a couple of Upper Deck Decade Series that I didn’t have but will find a spot for.

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Next up is this batch of 1983 Donruss Hall of Fame Heroes. This 44-card set showcased the artwork of Dick Perez, he of Diamond Kings fame, and were available in wax packs. Each pack came with eight cards and a Mickey Mantle puzzle piece card. This was a set my brother had but for whatever reason, I never picked one up until coming across these in one of the shop’s monster boxes. This and the over-sized Action All-Stars, were Donruss’ first explorations of producing sets outside of their flagship issue.

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Next up, some of my favorite oddballs from the 1980s—Drake’s cards!!! I cannot tell you how many box of Ring Dings, Yodels, and Devil Dogs I consumed as a kid, yet never completed any of the sets. To this day, I still will stop by the Drake’s section in a supermarket just to see if one of these days, they bring back baseball cards to products. I also loved these Quaker cards and they carried the MLB logos and names … I always thought some of these photos where better than the flagship cards.

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Some Topps Glossy All-Stars from rack packs of the 1980’s and a 1989 Glossy Rookies that could be found in jumbo cello packs.

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… and speaking of glossy, a handful of those Topps Send-Aways that I used get as a kid!

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How about some Topps Junk Wax Era box set singles. Love the young, normal looking Barry Bonds here adorning the classic pillbox hat of the 80’s. Nice Bob Boone cameo on the George Brett Boardwalk of Baseball card. Whatever happened to that place??

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And we can’t talk about box sets without mentioning Fleer! A nice selection of young Hall of Famers here. I’ve always like these 1987 Fleer Star Stickers (Darryl Strawberry) … I wish Fleer could have used this design for a flagship set, maybe with a white border instead of green?

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Here is a collection of Baseball Immortals that was originally issued in 1980 and later updated in 1984, 1986 and 1987. The Baseball Immortals set was the first to depict every member of the Baseball Hall of Fame.

The cards themselves do not mention a manufacturer, but it has been commonly referred to as an SSPC issue, although it was distributed mainly by TCMA and another top card dealer of the era, Renata Galasso. The original 1980 issue had a 173-card checklist that included every Hall of Fame member from the original 1936 class of Babe Ruth, Ty Cobb, Walter Johnson, Christy Mathewson and Honus Wagner through 1980 inductees Duke Snider, Al Kaline, Chuck Klein and former Red Sox owner Tom Yawkey.

They carry a similar design to the 1975 Topps design on the front, while the card backs bear a strong resemblance to 1954 Bowman, albeit using yellow ink not red. I remember getting a couple of these through my Scholastic Book Club as a kid in elementary school. There always seemed to be a baseball card or football card kit in the monthly flyer.

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And the last issues today from the 1980s, and probably the last food issue I tried to find as kid … 1989 J.J. Nissen Super Stars. This 20-card set was distributed in bakery products and can remember looking for the Red Sox cards in loaves of bread when my mom went grocery shopping. Why some many Red Sox in the set? It was a New England Company and I have to think Teddy Ballgame was a spokesman for their brand. There is actually a variation in this set, as some of the Mark Grace cards carry an image of Vance Law, not Grace.

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And to close the loop on this LCS haul (and I didn’t even scan half the stuff for time sake), we have some modern inserts from in the Topps Opening Day products. I really like these Kellogg’s type cards and always on the lookout for more. I also love the “Topps Supers” that Topps inserted into the 2016 Topps Archives packs, nice shot of Lindor here.

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And with that, I should have a busy week posting, and the plan is to write a bunch while the wife watches her Bachelor show tonight. I’ve got a couple of packages out the door tomorrow and received a couple great ones from Kin at I Feel Like a Collector Again and Steve at Collating Cards, and Shane at Shoebox Legends who gave me a jump start on a new set. PLUS, I have I finally received a Topps redemption that was well worth the weight. Stay tuned and thanks for reading!

Latest LCS Nets Three Completed Pages

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As part of a recent LCS haul, the owner had a small album of 1968 and 1969 Topps cards and I was able to grab the four cards above towards my 1968 set I am building. All four in turned help me complete three pages! Lets take a closer look …

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1968 Topps #208-216

Card that completed the page: Long-time Dodger, Willie Davis (208)

Favorite card: Dave Morehead (212), just a classic spring training pose in Winter Haven. His best career moment came in 1965, throwing a no-hitter against the Cleveland Indians. After the ’68, he would be drafted by the expansion Kansas City Royals.

Best photograph: Toss up between Willie Davis sporting a classic pose at Shea or Morehead.

Best career: Jim Bunning (215). Hall of Famer, author of two no-hitters, seven All-Star selections, and oh yah … United States Congressman

Number of Red Sox: One; Dave Morehead.

Past/Future Red Sox: One; Gary Peters (210) was traded to the Sox in December of ’69 for a couple of warm bodies. He would pitch for the Sox through the 1972 season compiling a 33-25 record and an earn run average of 4.23.

Interesting fact: In 1976, Bunning tried to become a part-owner of the Houston Astros.

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1968 Topps #298-306

Card that completed the page: Rusty Staub (300).

Favorite card: Minnie Rojas (303). I love those old California Angels uniforms, especially the caps that had the silver halo stitching around the top.

Best photograph: Dick Green (303) and the A’s player patting him on the shoulder after another excellent fielding play.

Best career: Rusty Staub, a six-time All-Star, enjoyed a 23-year career playing for the Houston Colt 45’s/Astros, Montreal Expos (twice), New York Mets (twice), Detroit Tigers, and Texas Rangers. He would among over 2,700 hits, nearly 300 dingers, drove in 1,400-plus runs and hit .279.

Number of Red Sox: Zero.

Past/Future Red Sox: One; Mike Ryan (306) who had been a .201 hitter with the Sox from 1964-1967. After the ’67 season he was traded with cash to the Philadelphia Phillies for Dick Ellsworth and Gene Oliver.

Gene Michael almost appeared with the Sox. He signed as a free agent in February of 1976 but was released a couple months later.

Interesting fact: Minnie Rojas’ career last only three years (he was 32 as a rookie in ’66), but in 1967 he led the A.L. in saves with 27 and games finished with 53.

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1968 Topps #379-387

Card that completed the page: Two here; Boog Powell (381) and Jim “Catfish” Hunter (385)

Favorite card: I’ll go with Boog Powell here set against the backdrop of old Yankee Stadium but I’m also a sucker for All-Star cards.

Best photograph: Joe Foy (387), I just love these vintage, classic fielding shots … really wish Topps would bring this style back to todays flagship issue. I feel there’s too many action shots and would like to see some classic poses and candid imagery.

Best career: Catfish as he’s in Cooperstown and was one of the American League’s best pitchers during the 1970’s with the Oakland A’s and New York Yankees. He grabbed one Cy Young Award in 1974 but easily could have grabbed another in either 1973 or 1975. He also was selected to eight All-Star teams during his career.

Number of Red Sox: One; Joe Foy who had flashes but will be one of many, many on the list of “what might have beens” for the Red Sox. While a good teammate, had some off the field issues as well as conditioning question marks. After three years, Foy would be exposed to the expansion draft in the Winter of ’68 where the Royals would select him in the 4th round.

Past/Future Red Sox: Two; Gary Peters (379) yet again and Ramon Hernandez (382). Ramon wrapped up a nine-year career in Boston after the Cubs traded him for Bobby Darwin in May of 1977. After 12 appearances the Sox had seen enough and released him in August that Summer.

Interesting fact: Foy was named the 1965 Minor League Player of the Year by The Sporting News, won the International League batting title, was chosen to the International League All-Star team as a third baseman, and was named the league’s rookie of the year and Most Valuable Player.

And with that, four more crossed off my 1968 Topps Set quest. Thank you for reading!