So I’ve had a long week… Nobody cares about the details, but it’s just been a drawn-out, tiring week on a number of fronts.
What does matter within the scope of this blog is that when I came home at the end of the longest day of the week, I found a PWE in my mailbox from Shoebox Legends. Finding a PWE in your mailbox is always a good thing.
Aside from the usual fun mix of baseball and hockey, the PWE also contained the first new additions to my new Dead Parrot Frankenset, which I’ll leave for the end of this post.
First off was a 2018 Heritage card of Noah Syndergaard… I don’t know where the Mets would be in 2018 without Thor and Jacob deGrom… well, other than looking up even further at the Braves, Phils and Nats.
But that’s still better than can be said of the Orioles, who are reportedly listening to offers for Manny Machado… Like I always say, we stink with you, we can stink without you.
…But it makes one long for the days of the Ripkens. Here’s a new addition to my semi-passive Cal Ripken collection which stands at… um… somewhere in the hundreds. Don’t really know.
This is from the 2005 Upper Deck All-Star Classics set, one I’m not sure I’m familiar with.
I, for one, miss having cards with photos like this one of Bill Ripken with a big freakin’ telephoto lens.
For all the talk of 1989 Upper Deck being a “classic” set, I really prefer 1992 and 1993 UD… especially 1993.
I didn’t become an O’s fan until the mid-to-late 1990’s, so Earl Weaver was before my time in an Orioles sense, but I’ve been a baseball fan long enough to be familiar with him as a manager. This is from last year’s Archives set, BTW.
I’m mildly intrigued by the funky-looking stands behind Earl. I wonder if that’s a Spring Training ballpark… does anybody recognize that?
Update: CommishBob informs me that this is the long-time spring home of the Orioles, Miami Stadium. Thanks, Bob!
I miss Melvin Mora and his walk-up music (Celia Cruz’ “La Vida Es Un Carnaval”) and his quintuplets.
“Derek Jeter says…” I’ll tell you what Derek Jeter says, he says “How the hell did Alex Rodriguez come to have a more positive image than I do?”
That does it for the baseball, but there’s a couple of hockey cards to feature before we get to the Dead Parrots…
Joe Juneau was on the only prior Capitals team to make the Stanley Cup finals in 1998… it’s a pity that they had those awful blue black and bronze uniforms at the time… and it’s unfortunate that Juneau’s face is covered by the text on the protective coating. Is it safe to remove that film 20 years later, or will it pull the rest of the card with it?
I find it interesting that the Capitals make it to the finals 20 years after the first time. For the record, 20 years before they were swept by the Red Wings in the 1998 finals, the Capitals were at home after a 17-49-14 season. They really sucked back then.
There was also a card for my casual chase of the 1978-79 Topps Hockey Set… Doug Jarvis is shown with Les Habitants, but he’ll always be a Capital in my heart.
The PWE also included several cards which are my first new additions to my Dead Parrot project; For those who missed the earlier posts, this is a FrankenSet numbered from 1 to 396 of cards featuring hockey teams which are no more, which have ceased to be.
First up in slot #27 is a 1972-73 Topps Keith McCreary card which takes over an empty slot.
McCreary is shown in an airbrushed Penguins uniform, but the card identifies him with the Atlanta Flames. He was taken from the Penguins in the expansion draft and would become the Flames’ first captain. Interestingly enough, the Penguins had drafted McCreary from the Canadiens in the 1967 expansion draft.
And, in a quirk of card numbering, slot #25 in my Frankenset is already taken by a very-well-loved 1972-73 O-Pee-Chee card of McCreary in his Flames uni.
With McCreary taking the bottom two corners on the third page, I’m tempted to keep them in place… well, I’m thinking I’ll have to upgrade that OPC card.
Next up for card #55 is this awesome 1977-78 O-Pee-Chee WHA card of New England Whaler Tom Webster
Webster is possibly best known these days for coaching the LA Kings for a couple of seasons, although he did also coach the Rangers briefly.
I have, on occasion, thought about completing the 1977-78 OPC WHA set because it’s small (66 cards) and largely affordable, but at this point I’m thinking I might just chase down most of the cards for this project… except, perhaps, for the Edmonton Oilers, the one WHA team which is *not* a ‘Dead Parrot’.
Webster did not go into the binder unopposed; the slot was previously occupied by this 1981-82 Topps North Stars leaders card featuring Minnesota scoring leader Bobby Smith.
The combined might of the various North Stars leaders were not enough to keep them from being evicted from slot #55.
This next card becomes the shiniest Dead Parrot in my binder as the Nordiques’ Rene Corbet takes over an empty slot #97
This is from 1994/95 Topps Finest, and 1994/95 was the last season for the Nords before they moved to Denver to become the Colorado Avalanche. Aside from the Nordiques and Avalanche, Corbet would also play for the Penguins and Calgary Flames.
Last up is #112, which features new addition Gordie Roberts from the 1980/81 O-Pee-Chee Hockey set. Unlike it’s Topps counterpart, OPC did not feature the asinine “scratch off” gimmick, so this card is unblemished by black scratch-off crap.
Gordie Roberts was born and raised in the Detroit area, so it’s not a surprise that he was named after Red Wings legend Gordie Howe. Roberts even got to play with Howe and his sons while all four of them were with the Whalers.
Gordie Roberts played a long time with the WHA Whalers and a number of NHL teams (including, obviously the NHL Hartford Whalers) and is in the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame. His brother Doug also played in the NHL for a number of years and also played with his brother on the New England Whalers… but unfortunately he was no longer on the team when the Howes came to New England. What a story that would’ve been, two families, five players on the same team!
So that wraps up this PWE… Thanks again to Shoebox Legends for the tremendous and well-timed PWE!
Oh, and before I leave I’m going to figure out where I stand on this Dead Parrot project — unofficial numbers because I rushed through counting cards as I was finishing this post. I’ve got 186 cards for 396 slots, which means I’m 46.9% of the way towards a full binder. Not too shabby considering I haven’t had a chance to actively seek out cards for this.