Wednesday, August 31, 2022

Ryan Express: Crocodile Station

I got a couple of packages from bloggers yesterday filling in some of the Nolan Ryan sets I accumulated cards from in that big Ryan lot I picked up for the '71.

Today's post has eight cards from the 1992 Donruss Coca-Cola set. I like sets with big Coke or Pepsi logos. The vintage Ryan photos are great also. These come from Crocodile Sports Cards

Tuesday, August 30, 2022

1986 Sportflics Decade Greats Roberto Clemente


The player: Considered the greatest Puerto Rican player in history, Roberto Clemente is one of the all-time great outfielders. An excellent fielder with a rocket arm, his diving catches in big games were legendary in Pittsburgh. He won 12 straight gold gloves from 1961-1972. One of the best hitters of his era, Clemente won four NL batting titles. From 1960 to 1972 he hit over .300 every year except the anomalous 1968 season, when he still hit an impressive .291.  Though he was a perennial contender for the batting championship, Clemente was not a big home run hitter, topping 20 HR only three times in his career. Perhaps that is part of why he was somewhat underrated until the early 21st century when there was a greater appreciation for all-around talents. A great clutch hitter, Clemente starred when it mattered most. He played in two World Series, both 7-game wins for the Pirates, and had a hit in all 14 games. He was MVP of the 1971 World Series, where he hit .414 with 2 HR.

The man: Clemente has been a hero for Puerto Rican baseball players since he became a star, and is a great role model for anyone, with his history of charitable actions and grace under pressure. During his playing career, he developed a reputation, largely undeserved, for having a thin skin and being a "hypochondriac". Much of this was based on stereotypes of Latin Americans. Clemente served in the US Marine Corps in the offseason from 1958 to 1964, and is a member of Marine Corps Sports Hall of Fame and Puerto Rican Veterans Hall of Fame. Clemente, who lost two stepsiblings at young ages, often thought he would die young, even saying so on-air in an interview during the 1971 All Star Game. On December 31, 1972, he died in a plane crash delivering emergency supplies to Nicaragua after an earthquake.

My collection: I have three of Clemente's Topps cards: 1969, 1972 and 1973.

Monday, August 29, 2022

A Year of Topps Designs: 1984

Topps followed up their popular 1983 baseball design, with an action photo and inset headshot, with a very similar look for 1984, squaring up the previous round design. Presumably without another action photography to pull of that look in football, Topps went with an angular design that was itself rather unique.

After a year off from hockey, Topps came back to the sport with another attempt to follow up on the popularity of the '83 baseball set.

1984 was a big year for non-sport sets at Topps. They always seemed to put more effort into the design of their music cards than they did for their movie cards. The Michael Jackson set had a typically busy design.

Among the movie/TV sets released that year, the Gremlins set probably had the most interesting design. The jagged design has been done a few times, but at least there was a logo in the design so you knew what movie this was a set for.

Topps didn't put logos on any other movie/TV sets in 1984. Such was the case with Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, with a design very similar to the previous year's Return of the Jedi.

No logo on the Masters of the Universe set either.

Finally, another logo-less set was the Supergirl sticker set. If Supergirl is not in costume, you'd have a hard time knowing what set this was. As it was a sticker set there wasn't much design consistency other than the yellow borders, and many of them look rather amateurish.

Sunday, August 28, 2022

Getting my Roof done on TCDB

As I slowly but surely input all my cards for trade onto TCDB, I haven't been actively seeking out trades, but occasionally have someone reach out to me. I find that junk-wax-era copyright variations have a definite appeal to that crowd. In a simple one-for-one trade, I was able to turn a 1987 Topps Glossy All Star Dave Winfield into a 1973 Topps high number need, because there were two asterisks on the back of the Winfield instead of one. Thank you Bldrprof for this one.

Worn and dirty, for $1.30

I was able to scoop up 13 vintage cards for a dime each. Needless to say there were a lot of condition issues, but it was an easy choice for me to pick up these cards so quickly. 

I needed eight of the cards in the lot. The best one is the '61 Konstanty, but I'm glad to add all of these to my various vintage setbuilds. The two Official Baseball Quiz cards were something I had not seen before. Apparently they came in packs of Fleer patches in the early 1970s. They have a 1968 copyright date on them, but that actually refers to the MLB logo, which was still pretty new at the time.

Five cards that are "trade bait". The two cards of Giants pitchers are actually in pretty good shape. Not so much for the other three, including the Frank Howard card, where the line out has become a home run, maybe due to some early instant replay.


Friday, August 26, 2022

More freebies from Johnny

The few of us bloggers who like getting free cards have been participating in the daily giveaways at Johnny's Trading Spot. I recently got my third freebee envelope from Johnny.

The Archive Mattingly is the reason I put in for this group. I already had the Donruss Mattingly. I really like the retro-futuristic Topps Fire design on the Max Scherzer card. It looks like it came out of Transformers. That Rogers Hornsby card is really cool - imagine if he was actually in the '53 set, that would be a popular, expensive card. Those two Conlon cards that say "Great Stories" are really just OK stories - Billy Herman played hard all the time, Goose Goslin once hit into four DPs in a game. That's basically it.

Thursday, August 25, 2022

Bubbling over with generosity

I got a fantastic surprise package from The Best Bubble. The package had cards and publications.

Each of these vintage cards is a high number or semi high number.

My first two cards from the 1994 Miller Lite Brewers set, and an autograph of Jay Tessmer, who was on the 1998 WS champion team.
On to the memorabilia. I'm not a stamp collector but I'll certainly hang onto this!
This was a 2004 advertisement for a Yankee Stadium painting. The advertisement is nice enough by itself.
1973 Old Timers Day Program! Here is the front . . .
. . . the middle . . .
. . . and the back.
Finally, a 1979 reprint of the 1947 World Series program. This was a limited edition reprint, #698/1000. This was the program sold at Ebbets Field so there is a lot more Dodger content than Yankee content. The cover has a variety of Brooklyn landmarks.
I haven't read the whole thing yet but I certainly enjoyed the vintage ads. I won't bore you with all of them, but I had to share a few. The Dodgers lineup had a Chesterfield ad with Perry Como, still pretty young at the time (35).
This is quite a risque ad for 1947. Remember what "park" meant at the time.
Here's the Yankees Chesterfield ad, with their current star Joe DiMaggio. He only had six hits in the Series but two were home runs.
"First World Series No-Hitter Yet to be Pitched". That's cool. It's funny how much information on the financials there was - this was actually one of two such charts in the program.
Wear a hat! Read the ad copy for some of the great health benefits to keeping your head covered.
Some of you might enjoy this bit about the Dodgers training academy.
Here are the text and the captions, as well as the bios of the teams' legendary announcers.

Wednesday, August 24, 2022

Gambling on '69s

I gambled on a couple of 1969 lots from a seller on eBay. They just showed a pile of cards so you couldn't really tell what was in them. There were several lots of baseball cards from 1969 and 1970, 50 for $10 shipped. There was also one lot like that for football. I got the football lot and one baseball lot.

I gambled on the baseball lot because I didn't have the card on the top of the pile, the '69 Willie Horton All Star. As it turns out, it wasn't a great gamble because I only needed two other of the 50 cards. However one of those was the '69 Bob Gibson so that salvages it.

Here are the '69s to trade. No biggies.

Some better cards available from 1970

I did quite a bit better on the football lot. Here are the commons.

Some big stars I pulled out (though not the biggest). Didn't realize at the time I took the photo that the Csonka is his rookie card, and worth quite a bit more than I would have thought.
I have some '69s already, plus there was some duplication. I ended up with 14 cards to trade - I think a blogger or two is working on this set? Some big names below available including two George Blandas.
I'm a Giants fan but this is the card I was most excited about. My first vintage Joe Namath! This card is a big deal, and to get it in a twenty-cent-a-card lot is pretty amazing, especially considering the other star power in this lot, definitely worth the gamble.

Tuesday, August 23, 2022

Highlights from 1991 Pacific Nolan Ryan

As promised a few days ago, here are some of my favorite cards from the 1991 Pacific Nolan Ryan cards I acquired the other day. There were plenty of duplicates so some of these are available for trade.

I think this was the only card in the set with a Yankee Stadium photo, and it's fantastic. It's a nice, somewhat unique angle.

Here's another interesting Angels card of Ryan. Nice perspective on the ball, and I always enjoy the very understated backgrounds in 1970s spring training shots, where it might as well be someone's backyard.
There were a lot of photos of Ryan with his horses, but this was the only one on a baseball field. I think the only thing Ryan liked better than being with his horses, was being photographed with his horses.
There were a few old black-and-white photos, including a baby photo and the same minor league photo that is in the 1992 Classic Best set. This one was my favorite, from 1973 when Alvin High School renamed their baseball field after Ryan's second no-hitter that season.
We don't get a lot of baseball cards with this angle, and we certainly don't get a lot with the outfield distance displayed in meters.
There were a few photos of Ryan working out. This was the best one, a unique look in the everyday life of a baseball team.
There were a few cards of Ryan hitting. This may be one of the best batting-cage cards of all time.
Finally, this goofy card. I have a few more Hollywood bit players on baseball cards to post. After that, maybe it's on to bankers on baseball cards? What do you think?

Monday, August 22, 2022

The mighty Casey sends some cards

I recently completed a trade with Casey - he doesn't have a blog but he is crh614 on TCDB and has been commenting on the blogs lately. I sent him some set and PC needs, and he responded with a lot of my set needs.

Nine cards from Ultra sets. How did I still need so many '91 Ultra commons? Even a Yankee had eluded me all this time. The four left I need are mostly commons as well (200 DeSheilds, 290 Lankford, 391 Bonds, 392 Fielder). The '95 Hawk leaves me needing just two more for that set, 133 and 331. Nice symmetry there. (Smoltz and A-Rod)

Chipping away at a few other sets here, mostly UD releases.
Most of the package was 2021 Topps. I like cards like that Zach Eflin where the player is in a 1980s uniform on a modern card, reminds me of my early days of collecting.

Sunday, August 21, 2022

Judge and old-timers

Are you checking out the daily giveaways at Johnny's Trading Spot? I'm trying no to comment every time but anytime I see even one card I'd particularly like, then I comment. In this case it was the Judge card. Every other card in this envelope was of a retired player (except for the Guidry Sportflics). Weird to see Jeff Bagwell fit that category. Fun stuff as always - thanks Johnny!


Saturday, August 20, 2022

Nine Pockets, Four Legends

As a longtime blog reader and trader, I've accumulated a fair amount of custom cards over the years, and even have a couple of Baseball Card Breakdown magnets on my metal card shelves. As much as I appreciate the creativity of custom card creators and enjoy seeing the images of the cards, as a set collector they don't really fit into my collection, so I don't seek them out. However, when Nine Pockets was giving away some of his recent rock 'n' roll customs, I had to claim a card of my favorite band of all time, Black Sabbath.

This card is really nice - in person it looks and feels exactly like a Topps card of the 1970s or 1980s. I believe this is a 1974 Topps basketball design.

The back is really impressive too. 

As you can see, Greg really nailed the look of the old Topps card, with his own metal twist! Hopefully someday there will be an Update Set with Ronnie James Dio.


Friday, August 19, 2022

Texas-sized Nolan Ryan lot

I bought a lot of 350 Nolan Ryan cards for a dime each. Ryan's a great player, generally has good cards, but normally I wouldn't buy that many of a player at once. But one of the dime cards was this one:

I've always loved this card from afar, particularly for the RC Cola ad in the background. I know $35 for this card alone is a good price, but I would never pay $35 for just one card. Throw in 350 more cards that I may or may not need, and I'm in. 

The vast majority of the lot was cards from the early '90's (mostly 1991) Nolan Ryan sets that Pacific put out. They are nice looking cards, a lot of fun photos. Later on I'll do another post with some of my favorites. There was a lot of duplication, but I am now at about 80-90% complete on the first two series (#s 1-220). The stack on the right is the cards that I am keeping; the stack on the left is duplicates for trade. The card in the middle is a silver-bordered insert; those go for $10 or so apiece online, so that's a cool card to get.

There were about 60 other cards in the lot. Of those, I needed five. All oddballs, including my first 1990 Woolworth.
That leaves me with a lot of Ryan's to trade. Mainly junk wax, but a few older cards, and a few oddballs like Coca-Cola and Kay-Bee. Oddly, he doesn't seem to have much of a following around the blogs as you might expect for a player of his stature, but if you've ever thought of starting a Nolan Ryan PC, I can certainly make a nice starter lot for you.
Personally, I still find it amazing that a guy who was all over early 90s junk wax is also one of the most expensive players in late 60s/early 70s sets. That '71 Ryan will probably always be my oldest; there's no way a 1970, 1969 or especially 1968 is going to fall into my lap so easily.