One of the things I enjoy about shopping on COMC… well, other than my often having available credit from cards I’ve sold… is that you sometimes find stuff that you may never have found otherwise. Today I’ve got a couple of those I’d like to share.
The first one doesn’t seem like a “discovery” at first glance.
Just a 1996 Upper Deck Collector’s Choice card of Mets shortstop Rey Ordonez, right?
The back looks like a Collector’s Choice card, with only the card numbering (44 / 48) providing a clue that this is something different.
It doesn’t look obviously “mini”, but when you hold it in your hand the size feels a bit off.
It’s not until it’s put next to the actual 1996 Collector’s Choice Rey Ordonez card (which is from the “Rookie Class” subset”) that you realize this is no mere pseudo-parallel…
I got more excited than I should when I discovered this, because now a very-familiar photo (I’ve had the card on the right since 1996) had a background to go with it, and I always prefer cards that have the background.
I didn’t scan the back of the “Rookie Class” Ordonez, but it’s an even bigger difference… Different layout, different photo, different text. I don’t know that you can tell from these photos, but the “mini” card is a couple of 16ths of an inch smaller in height and width.
So what is this mystery mini? According to COMC, it’s from an Upper Deck CardZillion/Folz set. From what I can tell after some research, they were sold out of vending machines at Toys R Us stores. Trading Card DB doesn’t have much more than a checklist and a scattering of images. My 2008 Standard Catalog has nothing about this set, not under Upper Deck, CardZillion or Folz (which, I discovered, is the name of the vending company)
I did find at least one other card like this one – there’s a Jason Kendall card that is also in the Rookie Class subset in the original CC set but not on the CardZillion card. I did find some cards (i.e. Frank Thomas, Barry Bonds) which, from the scans, looked like they were made with some sort of Chrome-y, Dufex-y process.
Oh, one more difference; the CardZillion cards appear to all be full-bleed, where many (but not all) of the Collector’s Choice cards have a white border.
OK, moving on to another discovery… Last year I was thinking about the New York Rangers TV broadcasts which were always on in my house growing up. The voices of the Rangers at that time were Jim Gordon and former referee Bill “The Big Whistle” Chadwick. Even though I never became a Rangers fan, I had fond memories of these two, and sometime last year I got the idea… “Hey, Bill Chadwick is in the HOF, maybe there’s a card of him.” So off to COMC I went…
This is from the 1983 Cartophilium Hockey Hall Of Fame set, and as you can tell, it’s quite a nice card. The set as a whole looks pretty nice; it doesn’t really fit into my hockey collection as it currently stands, but I’d encourage others to check the set out.
Here’s the back (not quite as nice):
As the back states, The Big Whistle was inducted into the Hockey HOF in 1964, was the first U.S. born ref in the NHL, and originated the system of hand signals associated with penalties.
Since I have another minute or two, I will share one other card which isn’t a “discovery”, but I did get it through COMC and it’s one of the more thoroughly uninteresting cards you’ll find.
I generally like 1970 Topps, but on this particular card you have the grey border, a black team name, the lack of a cap, a white jersey with no piping or pinstripes, the blank expression on Rich Nye’s face… it’s all quite amazingly dull. I’m surprised that someone at Topps didn’t say “Hey, that light tower in the background might catch someone’s interest, maybe we should airbrush that out”.
Incidentally, Rich Nye wasn’t “The Science Guy”, but he did become a practicing veterinarian after his baseball career was over.