Fashionably Late COMC Black Friday #1: Baseball And Non-Sport

Now that everybody else has posted the cards they got from COMC during the Black Friday promotion, it’s my turn.  I just wanted to, you know, be polite and let everybody else go first.

Circumstances worked towards limiting my purchasing this time around.  I was a bit short on credit and a lot short on enthusiasm… You see, the promotion came right at the beginning of my bout of despair over the bloatedness and disorganization of my collection.  When you’re anguished over the state of your collection, it takes a lot of the wind out of “WTF” purchases.

…Which is not to say I didn’t get some cool stuff, just that I didn’t get as much stuff as usual.

Anyway, we’ll start and finish with a pair of non-sports cards I was particularly happy to get, and fill the middle in with baseball cards from 1970 and 2016.

First off is a card I’ve been meaning to get for quite a while; this card is from the 1953 Topps License Plates set.
1953-topps-license-plates-new-york
These cards are smaller than standard, but they’re less small than I, for some reason, thought they were. They’re the standard 3.5″ wide, but only about 1.75″ high. I don’t see myself getting more than one or two of these, but I figured I should at least get a card representing the state in which my first three cars were registered.  I’m over 50 years old, but Black and orange NY plates like this are well before my time… They were blue with orange characters when I was a wee small child, orange with blue in the 1970’s into the 1980’s and then went through a number of changes after that involving white, blue and the Statue Of Liberty.

Here’s the back.  As everybody knows, the capital of New York State is ynablA.
1953-topps-license-plates-new-york-back

I got a little curious about how much some of the stats on the back have changed over the past 63 years.  According to a US Census Bureau article I found from 2 years ago, NY State’s population was 19.7 million and fell to 4th in the list of most-populous states (behind California, Texas and Florida).  From a NYS DMV report from 2015, I found that the number of non-commercial vehicles for just New York City and Long Island is close to 4 million.  Statewide totals are close to 9.4 million.

Isn’t that fun?

OK, enough blathering about the license plate.  You’re looking for baseball, right?  I’ll start off with two 1970 cards… advance warning:  I don’t have much to say about these  two.

Blue Moon Odom, water towers and the sleeveless 1968 Oakland Athletics uniform… Although this is possibly the A’s wearing the previous year’s uniforms in 1969 spring training.

1970-topps-john-odom

Matty Alou, a batting cage and that weird Pirates cap where the “P” is part a patch instead of embroidered directly on to the cap.

1970-topps-matty-alou

If you compare to “Alou” here with “Albany” on the license plate card back, you’ll see that they’re both the same font:  “Koffee”, for those keeping score at home.

One of my objectives on Black Friday was to get at least one card from the online exclusive 2016 Topps Archives Snapshots set. These cards intrigued me, I wasn’t quite sure what was going on with them. Like the regular Archives set, the photos are a mix of current and retired players. Unlike regular archives, these are meant to look sort of like a hand-labeled photo. I found this Michael Conforto for 44 cents, a price I couldn’t say ‘no’ to.
2016-topps-archives-snapshots-michael-conforto
The photo is very high-res, but there’s not a whole lot about the card that is extraordinary. I think the retired players might be a lot more appealing to me… I’ve got an eye on the Oscar Gamble card which appears to feature the same photo used on his 1974 card.

The back is…largely superfluous. Well, that might be harsh. The back is the back. That’s a better way to put it.
2016-topps-archives-snapshots-michael-conforto-back
Better than Panini but not winning any awards.

Another “dip my toe in the water” card was this 2016 Bowman “Turn Two” insert.  On the front of this card is Orioles pitching prospect Hunter Harvey, who’s also the son of former pitcher Bryan Harvey.
2016-bowman-turn-two-hunter-harvey
Here’s the side that’s technically the back; you can tell because it’s got the card number and legalese.  D.J. Stewart was the O’s 1st round pick from 2015.
2016-bowman-turn-two-dj-stewart

D.J. stands for Demetrius Jerome.

Wrapping things up with the second non-sports card…

Topps issued a Star Trek set in 1976. During that year, I loved cards, I loved Star Trek, and it’s very clear to me that I never saw a single pack of these cards because there is absolutely no way I wouldn’t have bought at least one pack.

1976-topps-star-trek-the-phaser-tomorrows-weapon

C’mon, I bought a couple of packs of “Welcome Back, Kotter” cards that same year. I wouldn’t spurn Spock for Arnold Horshack. (But I am amusing myself by picturing Spock holding his arm up and going “Ooh! Ooh! Mistah Kottah!  Mistah Kottah!”)

Yes, the Phaser is not yesterday’s weapon, it’s not today’s weapon, it’s tomorrow’s weapon. Make sure you’ve got that memorized, there’s a quiz on Friday.
1976-topps-star-trek-the-phaser-tomorrows-weapon-back

I’m somewhat intrigued by the text at the bottom:  “Be sure to watch for the new Star Trek full length motion picture”.  In 1976, that motion picture was still 3 years away… and wasn’t worth waiting 3 years for.  Don’t get me wrong, I loved the holy hell out of it on opening night, but quickly realized that this excitement was almost completely fulfilled anticipation and very little having to do with the movie itself.  I saw it again a couple of months later in a second-run theater, and realized that it really was not a good movie.

So, that’s the first of three batches from COMC;  the other two are not what you’d normally expect from a baseball card blog written by someone in the U.S., and I’ll leave it at that for now.

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10 thoughts on “Fashionably Late COMC Black Friday #1: Baseball And Non-Sport

  1. I recently bought a few of the license plate cards but they were for European countries not US states. I don’t think they made one for Ohio so I guess I passed on any other states.

    I’m working on finishing the 1970 Topps set and recently came across the Odom card as the water towers caught my eye too. One of my favorite aspects of the set is that many of the players are sporting the 1969 Baseball Centennial patch on their uniform. For me it’s an easy way to tell if it’s a photo taken in 1969 or from years earlier. After the multitude of head shots and the four new teams in the 1969 set, I get the feeling that Topps tried to show players in full body shots and in their new team uniforms as much as possible in 1970.

    For teams with the vest-style jersey, the patch was normally somewhere on the chest as compared to the sleeve for that type of jersey. The A’s displayed the patch on the lower left side just under the large A’s logo (see 1970 Campaneris or Fingers). Can’t tell with Mr. Odom since is arm is covering that area of the uniform.

  2. Great post. Never knew about the licence plate cards. Yea, same as me, blue & orange when I was a kid. You knew I’d drool over the Conforto and I’m a big fan of Trek and those cards. I did buy a few packs of those but not to collect, just to check out for fun. Who knows what I did with em. ST:TMP came out that late, in ’79? I thought it was earlier. I had waited so long reading issue after issue of Starlog Magazine for the latest scoop. Yep, the movie itself had a plodding plot and the scenes seemed so antiseptic. The “climax” (is that a pun there?) was anticlimactic, we all saw it coming. Still, I loved it.

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