When I was researching the 1991 Line Drive set I wrote about last week, most of my Google hits came from the Line Drive minor league set, but a few others were for the “Collect-A-Books” they came out with that same year.
Over the weekend, I was searching for something when I ran across this Lenny Dykstra Collect-A-Book. These little booklets are the same size as a baseball card, but they open up to make a little 8-page booklet. Here’s the front cover:
Page 2 and 3 give you the basic details about Leonard Kyle Dykstra.
Page 4 and 5 make you turn the book on end.
…and the back cover shows a little cartoon of “Nails”.
Although I couldn’t find anything about how these were originally sold, I did find that 1990 Collect-A-Books, which were put out by CMC rather than Impel/Line Drive, had been issued in three box sets of 12 “books” each. Since the 1991 set is also 36 books, can we assume that they were sold in a similar way? Does anybody know about that?
Interestingly, there was a 1990 Pro Set Collect-A-Books, which were put out by Impel, “under license from JBC”. I couldn’t find anything definitive, but there were a couple of references — couched in qualifying phrases like “I think…” and “If I remember correctly…” — to Collect-A-Books being from a concept by Jim Bouton, former pitcher, Ball Four author and Big League Chew guy. “JBC” could stand for Jim Bouton Corporation, or it couldn’t… but there you are.