I’ve been collecting for over 40 years now and blogging for over five years, and one thing I’ve been thinking increasingly more often over the past year or two is that I need to make more of an effort to showcase some of the more offbeat cards and sets I own. A few days ago, it occurred to me that I should make that something of a goal for 2017, perhaps a New Year’s Resolution if you go for that type of thing. I never really did, but what the heck, let’s give it a whirl.
Shortly after getting the idea, I had an idea of what to call the series… And once I got that idea, I knew that a series called “2017: An Oddball Odyssey” needed to have a particular graphic to accompany it.
For what its worth, I feel the same way about “2001: A Space Odyssey” that I do about “The Natural”; As a movie it’s pretty good, but as cinematography it is abso-freakin’-lutely unbelievable.
The original concept behind this series was to dig into my binders and boxes and featuring some of my older cards, but for this post we’re going to look at three cards I got from COMC during the Black Friday promotion.
We’ll start with a 1986 Sports Design Products J.D. McCarthy card of Casey Stengel. I’ll admit, I’m not 100% certain what the deal is with these cards. I’d have to think they’re unlicensed “Broders”, but I have seen these pop up in places where one wouldn’t expect unlicensed cards to pop up… so whatever. Casey Stengel! On an ersatz 1969 card! Yay!
I first started to learn about oddballs back in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s, when my knowledge of cards started to spread beyond what was available in my town. Aside from the ads I saw in Baseball Digest and Street & Smith’s Baseball Yearbook for companies like Renata Galasso, Inc., I also discovered publications like Baseball Hobby News and later Tuff Stuff. It was through such channels that I first learned about the Perma-Graphics sets of the early 1980’s. These were relatively high-end for the time, and were made out of plastic like a credit card… rounded corners and everything. I think I may have seen some at shows and such, but I never actually owned one or even held one in my hand… Until I got this 1981 Perma-Graphics Dave Kingman card! Feast your eyes on this… um… well…
OK, back when these were new I wanted then because they were exotic and somewhat rare. Now… Well, now I have to say that they’re gimmicky and kinda ugly. But that’s just me.
Here’s the back; I’d have to think that someone got these autographed in the little credit-card-y box on the back.
I was amused when I read the text, because it states that Kingman is named “King King”. Someone on the proofreading team dropped the ball that day. I’m guessing they were going for King Kong, but he really was only referred to as Kong.
Another set… or in this case, couple of sets… that I was chagrined that I didn’t own some cards from were the Squirt sets of 1981 and 1982. Not only was this set elusive for a Long Island boy, but I didn’t even know what Squirt was. To this day I have never tried the soda, but I finally got a 1982 Squirt card, and I have to say I was mildly surprised when I got it in my hands.
I didn’t expect the cardboard to be thin and white, and I didn’t expect the cards to be slightly smaller than standard size. The back design is the same as 1982 Topps, except it’s yellow and black ink on white cardboard instead of blue and green ink on grey cardboard.
In 1982, Foster was the big off-season acquisition for the Mets, having been acquired via trade for Greg Harris, Alex Trevino and Jim Kern. For those who don’t remember Jim Kern being with the Mets, he’d been acquired from the Rangers two months earlier and never actually suited up in royal blue pinstripes.
The 1982 Squirt set was complete at 22 cards, and this one card makes up the Mets team set.
So that’s all I have to say about today’s oddballs. The latter two aren’t the most exciting cards, but now there’s no longer need to hang my head in shame on missing some prominent cards of my youth.
I’m sure many of you have cards from these sets… What are your general takes on them? I know there are plenty who like the Perma-Graphics cards a lot more than I do.