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!

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A Far Out Mail Day

It’s been a crazy week since I last posted. No chance to play as I had freelance on top of work. Heck, even today — working from home for a dentist cleaning — work was too busy to escape to a different LCS I hadn’t been to in maybe 10 months. But alas, it was a good day because these goodies arrived in the mail.

I am putting together a vintage 70’s album with all the Topps I had in a shoebox and top loaders, plus my recent Hostess, Kelloggs pick ups, as well as a couple of other items. I realized while thumbing through some of the years there were a number of cards I wanted to add to this collection. This is the first batch of several coming to me this week and next.

Today’s haul includes two Hall of Famers, four MVP Awards, a collected 49 All-Star Game selections, sixteen Gold Gloves, and 10 Silver Slugger Awards — and a guy who was traded WITH a Hall of Famer.

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1972 Topps Rookie Stars A.L.–N.L. #761

First up, this beauty of a high number! Ron Cey and Ben Oglivie’s rookie card. The Red Sox actually had three high number rookie cards in the 1972 Topps set, a tough one for team set collectors. This Oglivie, Rick Miller (#741), and John Curtis (#724). This will look nice alongside some of the other Rookie Stars I have from this set. Oh, and the guy who was traded WITH a Hall of Famer … Bernie Williams along with Willie McCovey, was sent to San Diego for Mike Caldwell after the 1973 season.

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1973 Topps Rookie Third Basemen #615

Mike Schmidt’s rookie card and some guy Cey is crashing the party again. This is a card I already own in my 1973 Topps Set, but wanted another for the 70’s album. Price was a steal as it has a couple of soft corners and typical of the 1973 and 1974 Topps issues, is miscut. This cut is actually a smidge better than the one in my set yet cost me $65 less! Great coloring and no black printing marks to boot. We all know how Schmidt’s and Cey’s careers turned out but in reading about John Hilton I learned the following:

  • Was the 1971 #1 over all pick in the January Draft (they had two drafts back then) by the Padres. The only player worth mentioning in this January Phase that had any sort of a career was John Wathan taken third picks later by Kansas City.
  • Following his freshman year at Rice, played on a semi-pro ball team that had former Yankees OFer Bob Cerv as its manager along with future big leaguers Ron Guidry, Steve Rogers, and Phil Garner.
  • His first home run was against the Cubs’ Fergie Jenkins.
  • Hilton spent two-plus seasons in Japan, winning a championship with Yakult.

Seems Hilton was a solid defender as he won a couple minor league gold gloves as he bounced through the Blue Jays, Japan, Pirates organizations, and a Mexican League club. He now runs the Arizona School of Baseball.

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1974 Topps Dave Parker #252

Next up, this rookie card of the Cobra. Two bucks got me one of the best right field arms in baseball history. If for some reason you have never seen it, I present you the Cobra Cannon. Gary Carter makes a wonderful play on the ball, but he had to in part because he looked shocked that Parker was even able to make a play a possibility. It’s the All-Star Game, so sure, he wasn’t used to that sort of thing first-hand out of Parker, but it sticks out. You look at Parker’s stats from the 1970’s and it’s easy to see why many thought he was one of the best, if not the best all-around player in the game. He played incredible defense, he could hit period, hit for power, stole double-digits, and had an OBA close just under .400. Just two bad drugs got in the way for a short while.

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1974 Topps Hank Aaron #1

And we close with a card touting the NEW all-time home run king even though he wasn’t yet. Yep that’s right, going into the 1974 season Hank Aaron’s homer count stood at 713. Of course, everyone knew he would break Babe Ruth’s mark, and Topps decided to dedicate it’s flagship issue with Aaron leading off as the number one card.

Hank Aaron’s notable home runs:

  • #1 … April 23rd, 1954 — Vic Raschi (St. Louis)
  • #714 … April 4, 1974 — Jack Billingham (Cincinnati)
  • #715 … April 8, 1974 — Al Downing (Los Angeles)
  • last and #755 … July 20, 1976 — Dick Drago (California)

And with that, off to round up some trade bait to post this week. If there are any Don Mattingly fans, ping me as I have some oddball stuff I will be posting.

Thanks for reading!