I recently received a padded envelope from Shane over at Shoebox Legends… Many of the cards were candidates for my “Dead Parrot” series and will show up there before long; however Shane also included some great cards that I wanted to share as well.
2009 Upper Deck was the last licensed baseball set they made, and it was a nice one. I’ve always liked this understated design, and seeing Brian Roberts turn two while Raul Ibanez slides into second certainly doesn’t hurt the appeal of this card.
While idly pondering this card, I had a idea for a custom card design… Basically a mash-up of 2009 UD, 1961 Topps and 1959 Bazooka. You’ll be seeing more of this idea whenever there’s enough baseball going on for me to make 2020 custom cards.
Here’s another nice design in the “less is more” school, it’s an insert into 1992 Score: “90’s Impact Players”.
This makes me a little sad in a way, because it reminds me that there was a time when I enjoyed insert cards. Now there are so many uninspired inserts that most of it seems like clutter.
Here’s another fun insert – I think this was an insert, anyway. 1994 Upper Deck Collector’s Choice “Home Run All-Stars” complete with hologram (which scanned pretty well).
This 1995 Studio card of Jeffrey Hammonds reminds me of a line from the TV show M*A*S*H.
In whatever episode it was, Hawkeye hands a wine glass to a woman who takes a sip and says “I love wine… What is this?” That was kind of the reaction I had in 1995 to the new Studio set. I’d enjoyed Studio from 1991 to 1994, and then this credit card set came out. I know a lot of you love this set, but I look at it and see a card where two-thirds of the front is design with the player pushed off to the side. It’s a clever idea and would’ve been a fun insert, but a bit much as a base set.
But you know what? I was pissed-off in 1995 after the lost 1994 World Series and the only new cards I bought that year was a hand-collated set of 1995 Topps… So appreciated or not, I do need this card for my Orioles collection. Besides, it’s not my favorite, but it’s not 1995 Fleer either (insert obligatory shudder here).
Quick hockey break… My vintage hockey chases don’t gain much traction these days because vintage hockey is in short supply where I live (even at the big regional show I go to). Then I see two cards I need from 1978 Topps and I say “Oh, that’s right… I am working on that set, aren’t I?”
These cards are not objectively great, but they’re from a set I ripped packs of back in the day, so they make me smile.
Gotta tell you, there are days when I think I should get rid of most of my cards from around 1990 and forward and just chase after 1970’s cards of any sport (or non-sport). Those impulses don’t last long, however (just in case someone was thinking that they finally found a trading partner for that vending case of 1973 Donruss “The Osmonds” cards they have).
By the way, if anybody finds out that I’m collecting Osmonds cards, please interpret that as a cry for help. “Someone help me! Help me! Help me pleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeease!” (A little Osmond Brothers joke there… )
Here’s a 1996 Fleer insert I don’t remember: “Tomorrow’s Legends” featuring a Mets pitcher who, sadly, didn’t become a legend due to injuries: Jason Isringhausen. Izzy wasn’t the HOFer that Mets fans dreamed on, but he did have a good career as a reliever.
There’s a lot going on here, isn’t there?
Who remembers 1997 Pacific Crown Collection? Who remembers Rocky Coppinger?
Rocky had a decent season in 1996, going 10-6 in 23 games. He finished a distant fourth in Rookie of the Year voting to (mentally switch my voice over to a sneer now) Jeter.
I didn’t notice until just now that the ornate and gaudy Crown Collection design includes the year “1997” in the lower left corner. These cards are kinda much, but I like them because they’re Pacific. To me, Pacific has that sort of 1984 Donruss “You don’t see them much” appeal.
2001 Topps Stars! Delino Deshields! Delino Deshields SENIOR!
Even though I was actively following the O’s at the time, I never think of the Orioles when I think of Delino Deshields. Funny, that.
Another forward-looking insert, 2006 Upper Deck “World Future Stars” card of Shlabotnik favorite Koji Uehara.
Because of my teenaged fascination with Japanese baseball, I at one point collected any Japanese player who came over to play in the Majors… but then there were just too many of them (and too many cards), so I abandoned that theme. I’ve always been a fan of Koji, though.
Another quick hockey break… Shane sent a bunch of cards from 1995-96 Leaf Hockey, most of which were Dead Parrots but there were also some Capitals from back when I used to follow the Caps, including defenseman Sergei Gonchar.
This is a pretty nice looking card, and thankfully it features the original Capitals uniform and not those blue, black and bronze monstrosities they started wearing in 1995. Looking back, 1995 was not a good year aesthetically.
As sort of a palate-cleanser before I get to the two biggies, I had to share something. I would guess that Shane probably did what a lot of people do, which is to maintain a stack of cards (literal or otherwise) and just add to it as he comes across cards that might be of interest to his trading partners. Well, these were scattered through the cards he sent, but Shane – inadvertently, I’m sure – “Bipped” me!
All three of these are from the “Rookie Sensations” insert to 1997 Fleer.
To make it absolutely clear, I thought this was really funny. Maybe I’ll become an Ochoa power collector.
OK, now on to the highlights… First up is a card from the 1960/61 A&BC English Footballers set, which has a design you’ll recognize. I think this makes for an even dozen cards I have from this set, which puts me at about 14% of a complete 84-card set. I have no illusions of chasing the set, but I like these cards.
Peter Broadbent played in the 1958 World Cup and is a member of the Wolverhampton Wanderers Hall Of Fame.
I love the team listings on the bottom… “Wolves & England” sounds like it could be the follow-up to Joe Cocker’s “Mad Dogs And Englishmen” live album. In reality, it references his professional team, Wolverhampton Wanderers, and his international team, England. Obligatory Monty Python reference: Unlike several football-ignorant historical Communist figures, any Python fan worth a lick will know that Wolverhampton Wanderers won the Cup Final in 1949 (beating Leicester, 3-1).
And now it’s time for the headline attraction… There’s a particular hockey set I’ve long wanted a card from, but have never pulled the trigger (partially because, as I said, vintage hockey cards are hard to find in Shlabotsylvania). Shane picked up on my longings and sent me this beauty from 1964/65 Topps Hockey:
I don’t have any strong feelings one way or the other for Les Canadiens (other than loving their uniform and logo), and I was only vaguely aware of who Gilles Tremblay was before receiving this card, but I don’t care, I love this card in all it’s colorful ‘Tall Boy’ glory. Look at those leather gloves!!!!
Here’s the back. I’m not sure I understand the cartoon (caption = ‘Gilles was married in the off-season’)
Tremblay spent his entire career with the Habs, got his name on the Stanley Cup four times, scored 168 goals with 162 assists.
For my hockey collection I would like to have at least one card from each vintage Topps, O-Pee-Chee and Parkhurst set. This checks one off the list, but I honestly don’t know what’s left. I’ll have to get on that.
Thank you very much, Shane! I appreciate the hell out of these cards, and will continue to in future Dead Parrot posts!