Get out old Joe’s binders
Dig out old Joe’s binders
Back to Nineteen Eighty-seven
Didn’t find this at the 7-Eleven
It’s TCMA, or is it CMC?
Not sure what the difference be
If young Joe could see this now
I know he’d be so proud
It’s fairly foolish to base a post – and potentially a series of posts – on a nearly 50 year old Gordon Lightfoot song that few of you would know… But it works for me, so I’m just going to go with it.
I don’t have to tell you that the last 18 months have been challenging in terms of collecting, and I know this blog has suffered as well. A fair amount of my writing was along the lines of “Look what I just got!”, but many of my card sources have dried up and there isn’t much issued this year that makes me excited enough to chase it down.
I’ve spent much of my hobby time organizing my collection and my hobby space, so I’m going to try shifting from “look what I just got!” to “Look what I have!”
I decided to start with a minor league team set that initially turned me off because it’s just a bit bigger than standard size, but when you spend some time with it, it’s actually a pretty nice set.
So the biggest issue with this set is that it’s slightly taller than standard-sized: roughly 3.75″ x 2.5″. Here’s a visual comparison…
The cards kinda sorta fit in 9-pocket sheets, but the top of the card sticks out enough that the top of the card isn’t protected. I put mine in 9-pocket sheets anyway just for organizing purposes, but it’s far from ideal.
Dwight Gooden, by the way, is in this set because he did some rehab starts with the Tides in 1987, and if you’re making a 1980s set ya GOTTA include Doctor K when you get the chance.
The back of the card has very basic information, but nobody really wants minor league cards for the backs.
So what I *do* like about this set is that it’s got some good photography in it. Nobody’s going to confuse it with Stadium Club, but it’s clear that care was taken to get some interesting photos rather than just setting up a tripod in front of the stands and have players take their turns in front of the camera, like in this 1988 Columbia Mets set
More than a couple of these cards feature these distinctive light towers…
…Which makes me think that many of these were taken in MacArthur Stadium in Syracuse, NY. If this is MacArthur, then I suspect that many of these photos were taken by Jeffrey W. Morey, who I learned about after he left a comment on my post about the 1978 TCMA Tidewater Tides set (he did the photography for that set). Jeffrey also publishes “The Autograph Review”, a publication that dates back to the late 1970s.
Tom Lombarski, by the way, played in the Phillies, Cubs and Mets organizations from 1977 to 1987.
This next card is technically of the “posing in front of empty stands” variety, but the chain-link fence and the angle make it visually interesting. Dave Wyatt spent his 6-year career in the Mets organization and, as was the case with Lombarski, 1987 was Wyatt’s last season
Terry Blocker is well-known to Mets fans of the 1980s. A first-round pick (4th overall) in the 1981 draft, he had a cup of coffee with the Mets in 1985 and made it back to the Majors with the Braves in 1988 and 1989 and appears in 1989 Topps, Score, Upper Deck and Fleer.
This shot of the scoreboard would certainly be a good clue about what stadium this is… if I had an idea of what the MacArthur scoreboard looked like. Andre David was a Twins draft pick and pops up in 1985 Topps and 1987 Donruss
I’m going to shift a bit from the aesthetically pleasing cards and shift over to some more recognizable names. Kevin Elster had a 13-year career in the Majors, primarily with the Mets and Rangers.
Mike Cubbage, shown here as the Tides’ manager, put in 8 years of Major League time with the Twins, Rangers and Mets. Cubby was briefly the interim manager of the Mets at the end of the 1991 season after Bud Harrelson was fired.
Speaking of managers, Toronto Blue Jays fans will appreciate this playing-days card of longtime manager John Gibbons
…and here we have former Rockies and Pirates manager and one-time über-prospect Clint Hurdle. The “high numbers” of this set were clearly added on towards the end of production, because most of them are overly-backlit mug shots like this one.
Before I wrap things up, I’ll bring up something I’ve never been 100% clear on. The back of the team bag refers to “Collector’s Marketing Corp.”, aka CMC…
…but the back of the card has the copyright as “TCMA/CMC”. I seem to remember that TCMA morphed into CMC, but I don’t know the specifics on how and why that happened. CMC created a 1990 minor league set that was nationally issued in packs.
So that’s everything I wanted to show you with this set. Stick around, I’ll dig out another binder sometime soon.