Stepping Away From Baseball For A Bit

Baseball-wise, and from a strictly personal point of view, 2019 has not been a memorable or enjoyable year so far.

My Mets were expected to contend, but they hover just below the .500 mark. I don’t think I need to tell you how much fun the Orioles are to watch (hint:  not much). Minor league games I’ve been to haven’t involved well-played games and have largely been exercises in chilling in the stands with a hot dog and a Dr. Pepper. This year’s baseball sets have not delivered anything truly awful, but nothing has gotten me more excited than “Hey, that’s pretty nice”.

Lately I’ve been having trouble getting myself to sit down and write some blog posts, and I decided that maybe a little vacation from baseball cards is in order… So this post is a mish-mash of other sports, and for the next couple of posts I’m going to attempt to focus on some long-delayed non-sport sets.

I went to a card show in April and one dealer had a bin full of loose dollar cards, which made for a fun half hour or so of sorting through the cards. I ran across this 1984 Topps Terry Bradshaw card, and I couldn’t remember if I needed this Bradshaw, but I was tight on time so I just threw it in the stack. This card, by the way, is Bradshaw’s final Topps card.

It was a couple of weeks before I got to this card in my “inbox”, but I was surprised and pleased to find out that I did need the card… and for about 2 months I also thought that I had completed my 1984 Topps Steelers team set. I even went as far as taking photos of the completed pages and such.

…But then I did something I’ve done before and never quite learn from… I say “Hey, just to make sure, I should check the PSA team set listings to see how many cards they say is a team set”. So I looked. I have 16 cards. PSA says 17 cards. Damn.  Turns out I’m missing the 1983 Scoring Leaders card which features Gary Anderson and Mark Moseley. Oops. This does not impact my life greatly as football is very much on the backburner behind a number of other projects, but I’ll keep it in mind for my next show (hopefully in July).

Another card I got out of that Dollar bin is this 1971 Fleer Harlem Globetrotters card of Bobby Joe Mason. I wasn’t looking for Harlem Globetrotter cards, I don’t have a wantlist or any thoughts of ever chasing the set… but it’s a Globetrotter, it’s in nice shape and it’s a buck.

One of my ongoing open-ended projects is collecting hockey cards where there’s a “Photobombing Capital”, like on this 1984/85 O-Pee-Chee Barry Beck card.  On this particular card, Beck is more the photobomber than the Capital (who, I’m pretty sure, is left wing Bob Carpenter).

I collected hockey cards from 1977 to 1982 and took a couple of years off in the early 1980’s.  As it turns out, this was the first set I missed, which is kind of a shame because it’s a really nice design.

I’m not exactly a fan of figure skating, but I’ve been known to sit down and watch it with Mrs. Shlabotnik and I’ve picked up a few things in the process.  Along the lines of “just because”, I pick up a figure skater card here and there, and the latest such card is this 1996 Upper Deck Olympicard of Gold Medalist Scott Hamilton.

I came along too late to see Scott win Gold, but I have seen him skate none-competitively in person and I appreciate his TV commentary… Plus this card was cheap (always a key factor for something which isn’t something I really collect).

Here’s the back:

I got exposed to a lot of New York Rangers hockey in my youth, since my father never missed a game on TV, so this next card has the double appeal of featuring the Rangers’ Vezina Trophy-winning goalie Gilles Villemure, as well as being a cool shot of a goalie wearing an old-school mask.

Here’s some vintage football, the 1958 Topps rookie card of Gary “My name sounds like I should be an accountant” Glick.

The back of the card starts off with “The Steelers surprised everyone when they made Gary their No. 1 draft choice a couple of years ago”. I got curious about how high a draft pick Gary was, figuring it had to be pretty high because the Steelers were perennial doormats in the 1950’s and 1960’s. Turns out Gary was the first player taken overall in 1956. The Steelers passed on future HOFers Lenny Moore, Forrest Gregg and Sam Huff, but the same can be said of a number of other teams.

Before I move on from Gary Glick, I was also amused by another sentence on the back, one I misread at first: “He’s seldom faked out by the shifty NFL pass catchers…” and then I realized that the fourth letter is an ‘F’… SHIFTY, not… um… something else.

While I was poking through various folders full of scans, I found a forgotten three-year-old scan of a card from an impulse-buy pack of 2016 Panini Classics football…

And I said “I had a Carson Wentz rookie card?!?”  To be honest, I didn’t know Carson Wentz from Gary Glick at the time, so I scanned it as part of the pack, didn’t post it and then it was gone from my consciousness.  Now ask me if I still have it.  Honestly, I don’t know.  Maybe.  Probably not.

6 thoughts on “Stepping Away From Baseball For A Bit

  1. I kinda understand how you feel about baseball this year. The A’s haven’t been as competitive as I thought they might be… and neither have the Padres for that matter. Plus Ichiro is no longer around… and Altuve has been hurt. However… I picked up some graded rookie cards of a few different guys and have been tracking and monitoring their progress, which has been a nice distraction.

  2. Lots to like here…first of all the ’58 Topps FB set is awesome. I love that Gary Glick card. I’d like to make the set a project but that high dollar Jim Brown rookie gives me pause.

    Gilles Villemure was stuck behind Eddie Giacomin in the Rangers’ goalie depth chart for many years. He was the guy whose name always came up if Eddie had a bad streak. I named my first (and only, thank god) fantasy hockey team after one of the teams he played for…the Guelph Biltmore Mad Hatters.

    And, finally…”Shoot the puck, Barry!”

  3. I for one am all for more of your non-baseball posts, especially when this kind of variety are their replacements! And I too have that Bradshaw, but never knew that it was his last year, or as Nick would call it, his sunset card.

  4. Wow, that Villemure photo. Did you ever wonder what did goaltenders back then expected a mask like that to do? It was certainly better than nothing, but not by a whole lot.

  5. Love the variety pack! Scott Hamilton has to be one of all-around best people in sports as well as a great champion. It’s a funny thing, this virtual world of ours. Once you scan a card, like your Wentz, it almost doesn’t matter if you can find the actual card (unless of course you want to sell it).

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