Cards From “The Unholy Mess”, Part 1: Random Bits Of Joy

A couple of weeks ago I made a purchase that I’ve come to think of as “The Unholy Mess”.  If you took thousands of baseball and football cards, dumped them loose into a large box, put the box into one of those paint-can-shaker machines, and then shipped the box to Kamchatka and back via the most careless and disreputable freight company you can find…

OK, fine, it wasn’t that bad…  But it took a long time to go through all of the cards because I’d have to grab a handful, get them all aligned, then get them all facing the same direction, then…

It’s not hyperbole to say that 98% of The Unholy Mess was made up of Topps baseball and football commons from 1976 to 1984, but scattered through the countless cards of Bucky Dilts and Kurt Bevacqua…
Unholy Mess_0001
…were a few surprises, which is what I’m featuring today.

First off, what red-blooded American boy or girl grew up in the 1970’s without buying these?
1979 Topps Wacky Packages Gyppy Pop
This is from the 1979 Wacky Packages reissue, and the “Gyppy Pop” artwork apparently dates back to 1973.

The Unholy Mess actually had a fair number of Wacky Pack checklist cards, but this was the one and only actual Wacky Pack… I don’t doubt that the rest were put to their intended sticker-y use. Even though it was just the one, I was very excited to find it, and it’ll hold an honored spot in my “Miscellaneous” binder along with 6 other original (or nearly so) Wacky Packs.

Speaking of stickers, I got a few late 1970’s Fleer Grand Slam stickers… For some reason, I’d never seen these in person, much less owned one before. I have no idea how that happened;  at the time I would buy at least one pack of pretty much anything that came in a wax pack and was related to baseball.
1978 Fleer Grand Slam Sticker Phillies
I always thought of this as a Bicentennial Phillies logo, but it was used from 1970 to 1983.

This Tigers sticker has a kinda interesting contrast between old-school logo and 1970’s graphics.
1978 Fleer Grand Slam Sticker Tigers

Even though the vast majority of the box was baseball and football, there were a couple of basketball cards, including this trippy 1974/75 Dwight Lamar.
1974-75 Topps Basketball Dwight Lamar
The San Diego Conquistadors! Red, White & Blue basketball! Tiny 1970’s shorts! Gotta love the ABA.

Bo Lamar was a three-time All-American during his days at Southwestern Louisiana, and played a few years in the ABA & NBA.  With the addition of this card, my basketball collection very nearly fills a 9-pocket sheet.

This last card doesn’t really fit the “surprise” theme of the rest of the post, being that it’s very much like hundreds of other cards in the box. It’s just that I’ve become fascinated with cards which are so badly miscut that they show the printer’s marks at the edges of the sheets.
1983 Topps Gary Woods Miscut
There were a few other cards like this, but you get the idea.

There’s more from the “Unholy Mess” box to come, I’ve got a COMC shipment due any day now, and I recently purchased another large box of cards that I’ve yet to go through… So be prepared for a lot of “Show And Tell” from me in the coming weeks.


3 thoughts on “Cards From “The Unholy Mess”, Part 1: Random Bits Of Joy

  1. Life is like a box of cards. You never know what you’re gonna get. BTW Winston Groom, author of the book Forrest Gump didn’t write that line. It was only in the movie. And though you didn’t ask and it really has nothing to do with cards, Groom went back to his respectable career as a historian.

  2. There used to be mentions in SCD over time of some collectors who have an interest in offcut / miscut cards of which TOPPS is the all-time leader while many O-PEE-CHEE cards here in Canada were horribly lopsided and messy due to ragged sides as their printers never sharpened the guillotines enough … Must admit I ‘ cleaned up ‘ thousands of these with X-actos …

    Some trivia – GARY WOODS was initial Opening Day CF for Blue Jays on 7 April 1977 at old Exhibition Stadium in Toronto.

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