I’ve been struggling a bit lately to find topics to write about, but I also know that I’ve got a bunch of post ideas that got to a certain point and then I (most likely) got distracted from them and ultimately forgot about them. Sometimes I only get as far as scanning cards before I end up inadvertently going in another direction.
In looking for images like that, I stumbled on a folder called “Next Post” from March 29th and it had five images in it. I think these might’ve been just a random selection of “Cards I got in the past year”, but six months later, I’m not sure. I guess it doesn’t matter.
I’m in a weird place when it comes to collecting the Steelers, my NFL team of choice… But before I get into that, since I was a kid there’s a part of me that wants to write “Jack Sprat” verses about Jack Ham… Stuff like “Jack Ham would eat no Spam, his wife would eat Sizzlean…” (For those who don’t remember Sizzlean, it was a supposedly healthier – or less unhealthy – bacon substitute)
I didn’t grow up a Steelers fan but became one in the 1980s when I roomed with a die-hard fan of the Black and Gold (and who owned the TV we shared). With the exception of 1975 when I went nuts with that year’s football cards… which was just as much about “I’ve already finished the 1975 baseball set” as it was about the NFL… I’ve never been a huge football collector. However I did have a general, open-ended plan to collect all of the Topps base cards for the Steeler teams I watched, from the 1980s forward.
A funny thing happened over the past few years, though… The desire to chase vintage has dominated what little football I buy, so while I have few football cards since 2015, I’ve been buying vintage Steelers who came before I followed the team. Jack Ham, at the very least, was a player I remember from when I was a kid, even if the Steelers were just another NFL team to me at the time. The Steelers cards I’ve been buying from the 1950s and 1960s, however mean little to me in terms of nostalgia, but serve more as a case of “I want vintage football, so I might as well chase the Steelers… except when I’m looking at AFL or CFL cards, then all bets are off”.
Anyway… I’m not really going anywhere with that, it’s just that the card made me stop and reflect on how readily and unwittingly I abandoned what had been an established plan. To be honest, I think the current card market took a lot of wind out of my sales. When Topps stopped making NFL cards, it wasn’t really clear which “flagship” set to focus on, and I ended up mentally wandering off.
Wow, that turned out to be more of a topic that I’d had in mind.
I think I got this 1977 Hostess Johnny Bench card from a bin of loose $1 cards at a show last fall. Can’t go wrong with Johnny B!
“Johnny B., how much there is to see… Just open your eyes and listen to me”. Do you think The Hooters were singing about Johnny Bench when they recorded that song that you probably don’t know even though it reached #61 on the Billboard Hot 10 in 1987? I have the single around here somewhere because the B-side was a live version of “Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds”.’
But I digress.
I have nebulous plans to complete all five Hostess sets, but I think I need some kind of game plan if I’m going to get serious about it.
Al “Rube” Walker was a Mets coach when I was a kid, and because of that he’s someone I collect… But even without that reason, how could I resist this 1957 Topps card?
The card only looks miscut… my scanner’s software didn’t like the left edge.
Bill Virdon was the Yankees manager during the fairly brief period when I liked the Yankees as well as the Mets. This 1960 Leaf is one of 7 cards I have of Virdon from his playing days.
1960 Leaf is a set I didn’t look at twice for much of my collecting life, but it’s grown on me over the past 5-10 years. (Again, miscut by the scanner, not in real life)
Wrapping up, appropriately enough, with Tom Terrific from 1974 Kellogg’s. Remember, these cards were selected by me in March, before Seaver’s passing.
1944 – 2020