Odds And Ends

As part of a quest to add to this blog more than once a week, I’m going to write off the cuff about a few oddball cards I’m very happy to add to my collection.

First up is a Laughlin card of the 1973 World Series; this is the back to a 1980 Fleer Team Logo sticker.  Even though the Mets lost this series in 7, I had to have it… and I love how the little Mets guy has a Charlie Brown look about him.

A new addition to my largly passive and somewhat modest Cal Ripken collection. I’ve lost track of how many Cals I have, but it’s easily 200… plus this pop up insert from the 1989 Donruss All Stars set. It’s interesting how big of a die-cut they made for the bill of Cal’s cap.

This is a Mazda RX-4 from the Topps “Autos of 1977” set which was issued in 1976, I presume it was issued at the beginning of the car model year. Every now and then I toy with the idea of chasing this set, but until I commit I’m happy to pick up cards here and there.

My current car is also my second consecutive Mazda, which is what kinda sorta inspired me to get this card when I ran across it. Here’s the back:

I’ve not seen this said anywhere in particular, but this set strikes me as being made from photos and text obtained from the various car companies of the day… Well, except for them misspelling Volkswagen as “Volkswagon”, I’m sure they didn’t get that from VW.

Here’s a fun one I got from Dime Box Nick a little while ago…  Justin Turner’s 2010 Upper Deck rookie card showing his brief stint with the Orioles (and showing him with glasses and no beard).  He was originally a 7th round pick of the Reds, was sent to the O’s as part of a 2008 trade for catcher Ramón Hernández, was claimed on waivers by the Mets in 2010, signed as a free agent with the Dodgers in 2014… and the rest is history.

For those who aren’t familiar with 2010 Upper Deck, they had lost their MLB license but still had the players union license, so they made a half-assed attempt at an unlicensed card, but it was done by selecting photos where you can’t completely see the logos rather than photoshopping logos and colors out as Panini does. The 1st series is all that was issued before lawyers told them to cease and desist, kind of like 1963 Fleer in that respect.

This next card has some special significance for me, even if it doesn’t seem terribly exciting to a neutral observer…

Believe it or not, this card – obtained in the summer of 2022 – is my very first Topps NOW card. I recognize that it’s not your typical Topps NOW card that commemorates something that happens in a game, but it’s still my first NOW of any kind. I decided a while ago that I didn’t want to go crazy chasing these cards, and I would only pay Topps prices for an event-based Topps NOW card if I was actually in attendance for that game… and as I’ve been to only 1 or 2 Major League games over the past 5 years, that hasn’t happened. Surprisingly enough, “Orioles get their butts kicked” did not result in a Topps now card in 2019.

Oh, Charlie Culberson is a player I semi-collect in case you were wondering. This card was mainly a case of “it was there and the price was right”.

I’ll wrap up with a Japanese card that’s from a concept that I love.  The set is 2019 BBM “Time Travel 1979” and it’s a 21st century set that’s made as if the set that was issued in 1979… retro design (sort of a mash-up of 1973, 1974 and 1975 Topps to my eyes) and players who were active in 1979.  I’d like to think the photos were from the neighborhood of 1979, but I can’t say.  This card of Toru Sugiura was on COMC and affordable so I went ahead and grabbed it just because.

Sugiura played 22 years for the Yakult Swallows and in 1979 he was an All-Star for the first time.

Here’s the back… The stats are through the 1979 season even though Sugiura played until 1993.  Nice touch.

If Topps or some other company that Fanatics absorbs were to do a Major League “Time Travel” set from any year from the 1970s or 1980s, I would completely lose it… Well, I should qualify that and say that it has to be reasonably well done for me to lose it.  Certain retro sets have made me realize that it’s not enough to have stars of the day in a set, it also has to have non-crappy images for me to throw my time and money at it.

And as I’m writing this and thinking of 1979, it suddenly occurred to me:  Is Toru Sugiura in the 1979 TCMA Japanese Baseball set that I own?

The answer is, yes…. yes, he is!  Bonus oddball!

And with that, I will bid you all a good night (which it is at the moment, even while I schedule this post to publish in the morning).

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1 thought on “Odds And Ends

  1. The design doesn’t appeal to me, but I think that UD did do pretty good job of trying to make an unlicensed set without the hideous airbrushing that Panini has become so famous for in recent years.

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