Eight #8’s For My 8th

Today is the 8th Anniversary of The Shlabotnik Report and I want to take this opportunity to thank ALL OF YOU for reading and commenting and making this blog fun to keep up on… Because if it weren’t fun, I wouldn’t have made it to the first anniversary.

I don’t generally do anniversary posts, partly because I almost never remember in time to write something, and also because I don’t want to do a post that amounts to nothing more than “Yay, me!”

So pretty early on (i.e. this past Tuesday) I hit on this idea, and interestingly enough when I was done picking out cards I realized I had a nice little cross-section of my collecting interests.

And so, we start with…

1968 Topps “Game” Insert #8 – Willie Mays
I completed the Game set a couple of years ago, and it was one of the most satisfying set builds I’ve done in recent years. Fun and affordable, I recommend it to anyone who likes these cards, or who just wants to chase a vintage set without fear of missing a car payment.

1964 Topps “Giants” #8 – Roy McMillan
This card single-handedly let me know I was on the right track with the idea for this post; one of my favorite oddball sets, and card #8 is from my Mets. It’s kismet, I tell ya!

Here’s the back, which apparently shows Nellie Fox rather than Roy McMillan.

1966 Topps Batman “Black Bat” #8 – Into The Batmobile
A couple of years ago I chased down the “Batman vs. The Joker” subset from the Black Bat set, and lately I’ve been feeling the urge to get back to it.  Hmmm, maybe I should check out the “Batman vs. The Penguin” cards…

1979 Kellogg’s #8 – Pat Zachry
It’s funny to look back at it now, but when I was a kid in the 1970’s, I dismissed Kellogg’s cards as mere tchotchkes and Hostess cards as Topps wannabes.  Now I am making up for those missed opportunities.

2015 Upper Deck Dinosaurs #8 – Allosaurus
This is such a great-looking card that I wanted to include it when I searched my database for cards numbered 8.

I only have a few cards from this set, but if it had come out when I was a kid, I probably would be writing a card-by-card blog about it today.

1979 TCMA Japanese Baseball #8 – Koji Yamamoto
This was my first set featuring Japanese baseball players. This set contributed to my lifelong interest in baseball across the Pacific, and these cards indirectly lead me to read books like “You Gotta Have Wa” by Robert Whiting.

Koji Yamamoto is a Japanese HOFer, helped the Hiroshima Carp win 3 championships, hit 40 homers in five straight seasons, is among the career HR leaders in NPB, and I came to find out that he wore #8 for the Carp.

1980 Topps “Super” (5×7) #8 – Lee Mazzilli
This set was my first exposure to oversized cards, my favorite type of oddball. This Lee Mazzilli card has been featured in this blog a number of times.

1999 Fleer Tradition #8 – Cal Ripken
It seems appropriate to wrap things up with card #8 for Number 8 himself, Cal Ripken, especially when it’s a nice card like this. I miss Fleer, and if this card and this design came out tomorrow as a sample from 2020 Stadium Club, don’t tell me you wouldn’t all be gushing over it.

ADDENDUM

These cards were “runners-up” in this post, but I wanted to feature them anyway.

I have a number of hobby regrets, but one purchase that always falls into my “Boy, am I glad I got that!” category is the 1974-75 O-Pee-Chee WHA set. This is one of my favorite hockey sets – I really need to write a post or three about it – but card #8 turned out to be one of the less-interesting cards. Oh, well.

1974 Topps #8 – George Theodore
This was the first set I collected, and George “The Stork” Theodore was one of those players that 9-year-old me latched on to… little did I know that his Major League career was nearly over.

FWIW, in taking this card out to scan I realized it badly needs upgrading.

1976 Topps #8 – Tito Fuentes
Tito always seemed to have appealing cards when I was a kid. The headband didn’t hurt. I’m thinking I might have to chase after the two Tito cards I don’t already have…

…And so, in a post which is supposed to be about the number eight, I overreached and ended up with eleven. That’s pretty much par for the course.


OH!  At the last minute I remembered that I wanted to include a Sesame Street “Eight” video. I was shooting for “Eight! Eight! Eight! Eight! Let’s sing a song of eight!”, but couldn’t find it.

However, Paul Benedict’s “Mad Painter” is not at all a bad substitute. FYI, these shorts were made before Benedict gained some fame as Mr. Bentley on “The Jeffersons”.

15 thoughts on “Eight #8’s For My 8th

  1. Congrats on 8 years! I feel exactly the same way you do about that Upper Deck Dinosaurs set. In fact, I’ve been chasing the 42-card 3-D insert set from that release for a few years now, think I’m past the halfway point.

  2. Ha, I don’t think I ever made the Sesame Street-Mr. Bentley connection.

    You almost had all oddballs until the Ripken Fleer Tradition card. Happy 8th!

  3. cool post. Congratulations on your Blogaversary. I have always loved the “Mad Painter” sketches. “I’m going to paint the number 8”. I’m sure I had seen this particular sketch many times when I was a kid. I mistakenly thought the Mad Painter was an Electric Company thing, Oh Well old age. My first thought when the painter appears from the water was, How is he going to paint with that drenched paint can o paint? Also like Night Owl I didn’t make the Mr. Bentley (The Jeffersons) connection either.

    • I think when I started watching Sesame Street I was a little too old for it in the sense that I already knew my ABC’s and such… but I watched it anyway because it was entertaining. I still laugh when I see “Mr. Bentley” painting numbers on things.

      …And the fact that he comes out of the water with an open bucket of “paint” is part of what I find so amusing (along with him reaching into the water to get his bowler).

  4. Happy (belated) 8th, my friend! I never realized it, but we started blogging right around the same time. My 8th is coming up next month.

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