Hello, Dum-Dums… (A “Show & Tell” Post)

For those who weren’t aware, there were Flintstones cards back in the 1990’s. This is card #100 from the 1993 Cardz Flintstones set… and yes, it’s “Gazoo”, not “Kazoo” or “Gadzoo”.

If you’re wondering why I suddenly got belligerent and started calling my readers juvenile names, “Hello, Dum-Dums” was sort of Gazoo’s catch phrase.

…And for those who may not have known this, Gazoo was voiced by the late, great Harvey Korman.

Y’know what?  As long as we’re discussing the Flintstones, I’ll throw another scan in here.  This card features The Way-Outs, who were a pop band posing as aliens… which probably fit right in with a general “What planet did these Beatles come from?” vibe of the times.

The character on the right was clearly a celebrity guest since he’s drawn realistically, but I can’t remember (nor Google) who he was.

Gonna go way out
That’s where the fun is, way out

I don’t remember how I came to own this 1996/97 Pinnacle McDonald’s Hockey card of Keith Tkachuk… but it’s 3-D! Gotta love 3-D!

I also really liked those “Peyote Coyote” uniforms, especially compared to the boring unis they wear now.

I ran across this card a couple of weeks ago while shopping on COMC. It’s a checklist card from 1991 Topps Micro.
1991 Topps Micro - [Base] #131 - Checklist - Courtesy of COMC.com
…And I ask you… Is there anything in this great hobby of ours which is so completely and utterly pointless as a ‘Micro’ checklist?

I’ve got a backlog of these 2018 scans comparing flagship to Opening Day or Chrome, so I feel I should get another one in here… That’s Series 2 on the left, Chrome on the right.

I’m going to wrap up by teasing two upcoming posts…

Tease #1

I found this MLB Showdown card in a dime box two years ago, and now that Roy Halladay is a HOFer, this card might be worth TEN TIMES THAT! Woooo!

…but that’s not why I’m posting this here.

One of the reasons I’m taking the easy way out with this post is because I’m working on a post about MLB Showdown, and I will be diving in a little deeper than “Fun oddballs I love to pull from dime boxes” (as true as that statement may be).

Tease #2

I completed my 1977 Topps baseball set decades ago, but I recently made an impulse buy of this O-Pee-Chee Dave Kingman card. I normally don’t buy OPC cards which are little more than French-language parallels to Topps cards, but because O-Pee-Chee didn’t include the “N.L. All-Stars” banner on the bottom of this card, you can see Dave Kingman’s knees.  Ooooh…

The reason this is a tease is because I’m finishing work on a belated “Looking back at 2018 and looking forward to 2019” post, and one of the things I’ll be wandering in circles muttering about is whether I need to give more thought to which cards I acquire, as well as which cards I should give a pass. This card might just fall into the “take a pass” category, but that doesn’t mean I’m going to get rid of it.

One project I’m working on that is likely to survive the upcoming “Great Prioritization” is the 1957 Topps Orioles team set. Even if I didn’t have this project, this next card would be a target of mine just because I enjoy cards which feature the original Yankee Stadium.

Don Ferrarese was a journeyman swingman who pitched for five teams over an eight-year career. On his final three Topps cards (1960 – 1962) he went capless, airbrushed and capless.

…And that concludes another meandering “Show & Tell” post!


Dead Parrot FrankenSet: Shoebox Legends Edition, Part 2

This is the second post about the contributions that Shoebox Legends has made to my “Dead Parrot” Frankenset, a project featuring NHL and WHA teams which are no more, which have ceased to be (as in the line from the Monty Python “Dead Parrot” sketch).

My most profound apologies to “Shoebox Legends Shane” on this;  the prior post was over two months ago, and I got sidetracked by the holidays and other things… but mainly by my own lack of planning and poor time management skills (both of which I’m working on improving in 2019).

I’m going to run through the challengers in Chronological order…

The challenger for card # 36, representing the Indianapolis Racers (logo) and the New England Whalers (photo), as well as 1977-78 O-Pee-Chee WHA Hockey… Rosaire Paiement

This card is from one of my favorite WHA sets, and is an excellent “Double Parrot”, as Paiement is listed as being with the Racers, but shown with the Whalers.

Currently in slot #36, another “Double Parrot” representing 1974-75 Topps, the Kansas City Scouts (logo) and the California Golden Seals (photo)… Gary Croteau

The verdict: Croteau was once a challenger, beating one of the “Muppets Take The Ice” cards… but an NHL headshot simply cannot beat a WHA action shot.


Next… The challenger for card #71, representing the original Winnepeg Jets and 1990-91 O-Pee-Chee… Pat Elynuik.

Currently in slot #71, representing the original Winnepeg Jets and 1990-91 Topps… Hey, wait a minute!

The Verdict: Yep, the challenger and the current card are identical cards from Topps and O-Pee-Chee.  While it’s somewhat neat to have a bi-lingual OPC card in the binder, it’s not cool enough to unseat its twin and I like the placement of the “Topps” logo better than the placement of the “O-Pee-Chee” logo.


Third… the challenger for card #438… representing the Quebec Nordiques and 1993-94 Parkhurst… Valeri Kamensky!

There’s a whistle on the play!

This card would be an excellent addition, but right now the FrankenSet goes only up to card #396, so there’s no place for a card numbered 438. This one will get revisited if the Dead Parrot binder is ever expanded.

The fourth challenger, going for card #87, representing the Hartford Whalers and 1994-95 Fleer Ultra… Sean Burke!

There is no card in slot #87, so Burke goes in unopposed.

Quick note before I leave this card… This is the first card I have from this set, and every time I look at it, I think that the horizontal front looks like it should be the back. Just my two cents.

Today’s final challenger, going for slot #188 and representing 2010-11 Pinnacle and the Atlanta Thrashers… Ondrej Pavelec!

There current is no card in slot #188, so the Thrashers are now represented in my Dead Parrot binder! In case you didn’t know, the Thrashers moved to Winnipeg and are the current Jets.

I now have every “Dead Parrot” NHL team from the 1960’s forward represented. The WHA is an entirely different story, but I hope to get as many of those represented as I can.

Once again, a big thank you to Shoebox Legends for providing today’s challengers! Because I live in “The Land That Hockey Forgot”, I don’t get to add to my binder as often as I’d like… as a result, I appreciate the heck out of these cards.

Show And Tell For January 10th, 2019

Today’s post continues in a “modular” theme I’ve been working with lately; in other words, it’s a series of small posts put together with no attempt to tie them together. I’m making some decent progress in attacking my collection’s disorganization, but that takes “hobby time” away from blogging so it’s either “go modular or go home”.

And with that, let’s launch into some cards.

I’ve been meaning to feature this card for over a year. It’s from the 1992 Studio “Heritage Series” insert, which highlighted 1992 star players in throwback uniforms… in this case, they threw waaaaay back to the St. Louis Browns, a team which pulled up its tent stakes in 1953 to become the Baltimore Orioles.

I’ve got a lot of Cal Ripken cards, but this is one of my favorites.  I’ve actually got a beaten-up replica St. Louis Browns cap somewhere… I wore it a fair amount in college just because it was cool and retro.  The funny thing was, I wasn’t an Orioles fan until 15 years later.

Back in November I shared a few Bowling cards I’d picked up on COMC.  I wasn’t necessarily looking to add more bowling cards, but I found out about these Japanese sets put out by BBM called “Fairies On The Lanes” and I just had to get one.  This card, for Miki Nishimura, is from the 2014 “Fairies” set and… well, OK, it was the most appealing card among the the cheapest ones out on COMC. No offense intended, Miki.

There are videos on YouTube of Nishimura bowling, and she’s notable in that she has a very large backswing.

Here’s the back; about all I can make of it was that one happy moment involved a DVD somehow.

So… Um, I don’t know what else to say about this card. Fun addition.

I finished the 1968 Topps “Game” set a year or two ago, but I ran across this errant scan of HOFer Al Kaline and I figured I’d throw it in because… Well, because Al Kaline. And HOFer.

If anybody is currently considering chasing after this set, I’d encourage you to go for it. The cards are affordable – even this cheapskate found Mantle, Clemente, Mays and Aaron cards that didn’t make me wince – and it’s just a fun set to chase after.

I recently acquired a bunch of commons online, and one of the cards I got was a 2012 Topps Opening Day card of Nick Markakis… by itself not terribly interesting to anyone who’s not an Orioles or Mar-Kick-Ass fan…. but check it out when compared to the corresponding card from Series 2:

Opening Day shows the O’s cap that the team wore in 2011, while the Series 2 card has been “photoshopped” to reflect the new-for-2012 caps with the updated “Cartoon Bird”.  I understand why it happened, but it seems an odd little change to make.  And is it me, or does the photoshopped cap make his face look fat?

One of these days I’m going to do a post ranking the color combinations of 1960 Topps. I find that many of the combinations work nicely, like the colors on this Hobie Landrith card, while other combinations are a disaster.

Hobie Landrith was the first player taken by the Mets in the 1961 expansion draft, causing Mets manager Casey Stengel to famously say “You have to have a catcher or you’ll have a lot of passed balls.” What’s interesting about this quote is that you’ll find a lot of differently-worded versions of this quote out there, so I’m not sure which is entirely accurate. I got this quote from Casey’s SABR Bio page, so I’ll put a bit of faith in it.

Here’s the cartoon from the back of Landrith’s card, which I include because it’s by Jack Davis and he is a god among cartoonists.

So last night I was in our local Target buying shampoo and light bulbs and other essentials of suburban life, and I stopped at the card aisle just to see if they had anything repack-y of interest. I was caught off-guard because they had a 10-packs-for-$12 hockey repack there.

Now to understand how much this threw me, you have to know that hockey cards rarely show up in stores here in Shlabotsylvania. NASCAR and soccer get a lot more play around here than hockey does. I’m not a fan of the current NHL but I do collect hockey cards and I would love to have the chance to pick up cards for my “Dead Parrot” project which features hockey teams which no longer exist… but that’s the catch right there. For a hockey pack to feature a team which no longer exists, it has to be at least eight years old (the Atlanta Thrashers left for Winnipeg in 2011). That means that, in Dead Parrot terms, I would *want* this repack to feature a bunch of “junky” packs from the 1990’s, which is largely the opposite of what people normally want from repacks, but is what people often get.

I hemmed and hawed and ultimately bought the repack, if only to tell the fine people with the card distributors that hockey cards will sell in these parts. Of course, seven of the ten packs were recent Upper Deck packs, but I did get 3 packs from the early 1990’s… and the one pack I opened featured two second-year cards of Auston Matthews, so we’re off to a decent start. You’ll be hearing more about this repack in the future, I’m sure.

And that’s all I have time for today. Stay safe out there.

Let’s Face It… Everything Above The Neck Is Kaput!

As I sit down to write this post, there’s a part of me that is saying “Just say you had the flu”.  The truth is that everything around me… work, the Holidays, the weather… has combined to drain me of all energy.  I’ll start the night expecting to watch a little TV and then get things done, and the next thing I know James Corden is in a car singing along with some musical celebrity and I know that the only thing I’m accomplishing is hauling my tired butt off to bed.

…But I haven’t posted yet this week and I don’t want to let it go any further, so I’ll see how many cards I can write about in the 15-20 minutes I can write without being excessively late for work.

“Marvelous Marv” Throneberry is one of those guys who I don’t exactly collect, but I also can’t pass his cards by when I run across one that easily falls within my budget.

I’m not a fan of 1960 Topps, but certain color combinations work much better with the design than others.  This green/yellow combo works quite nicely, and in this case sort of foreshadows the sartorial curveball that Athletics owner Charles O. Finley would throw a few years later.

I remember HOFer Jean Ratelle from those Sunday and Wednesday nights in the 1970’s where the one TV in the house was tuned to the Rangers and if you didn’t like it you could go read a book.

The back of this card is even more interesting because of the cartoon illustrating Ratelle’s offseason occupation…

I wonder how many boys saw this and immediately aspired to be a golf pro when they grew up.

How awesome is Wayne Stephenson’s goalie mask?

The 1977 MLB expansion that added the Mariners and Blue Jays was the first baseball expansion that happened after I was old enough to know what was going on, and the whole process intrigued the heck out of 11-year-old me.  Lately I’ve come to realize that I love oddballs of those two teams from their first few years of existence.

If I were to purchase the Mariners tomorrow – maybe I can finance it by selling off my rookie cards of Kevin Maas and Todd Van Poppel – the first course of action would be to return the M’s to wearing blue and gold full time… and powder blue on the road, thank you very much.

OK, one more and then I need to run.

I got this card over the summer out of a nickel box.  I had no idea who the player was, but I liked the skillful way that the graphic artists “adapted” the 1976 Topps football design.

Jake Roh (and you KNOW that someone has at least tried to call him “Ruh Roh”) played for Boise State and was signed by the Falcons as an undrafted free agent, but he was cut this past June.

OK, I really need to go to work now.  I’ll have some fully-formed ideas next week, I promise!

Dead Parrot FrankenSet: Shoebox Lengends Edition, Part 1

Thanks to a pair of PWEs from Shoebox Legends, I was able to make some progress with a relatively new project of mine: the “Dead Parrot” Frankenset, a project featuring NHL and WHA teams which are no more, which have ceased to be (as in the line from the Monty Python “Dead Parrot” sketch).

I’ll run through the challengers in Chronological order…

The challenger for card # 138, representing the Atlanta Flames and 1972-73 Topps… Ron Harris (in an airbrushed Red Wings sweater).

Currently in slot #138, from 1976-77 Topps… The Kansas City Scouts’ team card

The verdict: Sorry, Ron Harris, but an airbrushed Flame doesn’t stand up to a team full of Scouts.


The challenger for Card #148, representing The Quebec Nordiques and 1992-93 Pro Set… Valeri Kamensky!

I wasn’t much of a hockey collector in the 1990’s, so this is the first 1992-93 Pro Set card I’ve ever held in my hand. It’s pretty nice, too bad things didn’t end well for Pro Set.

Currently in slot #148, representing the Hartford Whalers and 1983-84 O-Pee-Chee… Doug Sulliman

The verdict: This is a tough one; new card set vs. a Whaler shown wearing full-length hockey pants. Even though Whalers would normally defeat the Nords, all things being equal, I think I have to go with the Pro Set card for now, and revisit this down the road.


The challenger for card #359, representing the Hartford Whalers and 1993-94 Parkhurst… Andrew Cassels!

Like with the previous challenger, this is the first card from this set I’ve ever owned… and it’s a nice set, from what I can see. Just a side note, the Whalers should never strayed from green as their primary color.

Slot #359 is currently unoccupied, so Cassels enters the FrankenSet unopposed.

The challenger for card #437…

Hold on, there’s a whistle from one of the linesmen, we’re going to have a stoppage of play…

Unfortunately my Dead Parrot Frankenset currently goes only to 396, so Claude Lapointe and this great goal celebration shot will have to wait and see if I ever expand the Dead Parrot binder.

In the meantime, this card will go into my general Hockey binder;  given that the goal was against the rival Canadiens, I can just hear the roar echoing around Le Colisee…

The final card for today, challenging for slot #187, representing 2010-11 Pinnacle and…

…drum roll please…

THE ATLANTA THRASHERS, a team which is not represented in my Dead Parrot binder!  The Thrashers played from 1999 to 2011, well after I stopped collecting hockey cards.

The challenger is Tobias “Toby” Enstrom, who played with the Thrashers/Jets franchise until last season, and went home to play in Sweden for this season.

Currently in slot #187, representing 1974-75 Topps and the Kansas City Scouts… Simon Nolet!

The Verdict: I was tempted to “Let the wookiee win” and replace an airbrushed Flyer with the first Thrasher to come my way… but there was another Thrasher card in the PWEs (and it’s numbered #188 so it would be this card’s “neighbor”), so for now I’m going to keep Nolet in the spot and revisit this later if the second Thrasher card doesn’t make it.


Thank you, Shane! This is the first of three posts on cards sent by the owner/operator of Shoebox Legends, and I will thank Shane each and every time.

Assorted Cards From A Show To Celebrate A Box Of Cards From COMC

Last night I went to my mailbox and found my latest shipment from COMC.

Unfortunately I didn’t have time to scan any of the cool cards I got.

Fortunately, I still have plenty of cards from my last card show.

Even if I weren’t a Mets fan, I couldn’t pass up this First Pitch card of 50 Cent.

Hard to believe that was 4 years ago.  For those of you who want to relive that moment again, here’s a video.

Speaking of cards capturing unfortunate moments, check out this 1973/74 Topps Hockey card; you just gotta love the New York Ranger shown about to sprawl out on the ice.

In the Stanly Cup Semi-Final series depicted, the Chicago Black Hawks beat the Rangers in 5 games, but would lose the Finals to the Montreal Canadiens in 6 games.

Back 10 years ago, Upper Deck had an insert set that “paid tribute to 1969 O-Pee-Chee baseball”.  UD owns the copyright to “O-Pee-Chee”, and of course, 1969 O-Pee-Chee was based on 1969 Topps.  At the time, I saw images of these cards and said “Dude, that is so lame”.  I never actually held one in my hand until I ran across this card in a nickel box (The card has a major ding in one corner, plus David Wright futures have recently taken a dive)

Much to my surprise, this is a pretty nice card, and the player’s name in silver foil looks better in person than in scans.

The back is pretty unimpressive, though.

I couldn’t walk away from this 2016 Donruss card of the San Diego Chicken.

I’m not even 100% sure that I understand why I’m drawn to The Chicken… I guess I watched a little too much of “The Baseball Bunch” on TV (even though I was in my teens at the time).  I do appreciate that recent Donruss sets have included cards of The Chicken just like they did in the early 1980’s.

I may be drawn to The Chicken, but like any child of the 1970’s, I’m nuts for The Bird.

I never like to play the “Ya had to be there” card, but to appreciate what Mark Fidrych meant to baseball you had to have been around in 1976. The guy was just a national phenomenon in ways that I can’t properly describe.  At any rate, it’s nice to be able to add this 1977 Kellogg’s card to my collection, it’s been missing for too long.

I’m not chasing the 1967 Topps set, nor Oakland A’s nor Alvin Dark, but I grabbed this card just because it so prominently features the white cap that the Athletics manager and coaches wore during the day.

Back then the idea was to point out that “These guys in uniform are coaches, not players”. These days, with so many coaches and managers wearing hoodies and such, we’d almost need something to indicate “These guys are coaches, not random guys out of the stands”. If it’s not apparent enough by now, I don’t like the coaching staff going the hoodie route. I want to be able to distinguish the manager from the pitching coach while sitting in the stands, and the best way for that to happen is for the manager and coaches to have numbers on their backs.


OK, I’m running out of time before I run off to work, so I’ll feature one last card… Let’s see… Hmmmm…

Let’s go with the hockey card of the Pittsburgh Penguins’ Ken Schinkel. I got this because it provided such a good shot of a Penguins sweater which I really like, even if it came before my time.

I’m old enough to remember the Penguins before they went Pittsburgh black and gold, but not old enough to remember these unis. These would be cool for a throwback game… And maybe that’s already happened, I may have missed it because I’m no longer on speaking terms with the NHL.

As for Ken Schinkel, he played 12 seasons split evenly between the Rangers and Penguins… he was taken by the Penguins in the 1967 expansion draft.  Schinkel can proudly say that he finished higher in the Calder (rookie of the year) voting than did HOFer Stan Mikita. Of course, Schinkel was 27 years old and Mikita 19, but that’s all academic. The winner of the Calder Trophy was Mikita’s teammate Bill Hay.

Is There Such A Thing As Vintage Head Coach Cards?

I couldn’t tell you what made me think of this the other day, but it got me wondering…

As a kid in the 1970’s, I mainly collected baseball cards, and to this day I remember many of the managers who worked back in the day because they got their own baseball cards…

…or because they got a little thumbnail photo on a team card…

I may not be a fan of the teams in question, but I know that in the 1970’s Bobby Winkles managed the Angels and the A’s, and Jim Marshall managed the Cubs (when he wasn’t playing for the Vikings… what’s that?  Different Jim Marshall?  OK).

But do fans of other sports have the same kind of associations?  I thought about it, and although I collected hockey for a number of years, the only hockey set I could think of with coaches is the 1974/75 set (with exhibit A being Bep Guidolin and his very 1970’s jacket)

Having collected NASCAR cards in the 1990’s, I know that everybody from the Crew Chief on down to the Front Tire Changer and Gas Man got a card… but other sports?

But I don’t recall ever seeing Chuck Noll on a football card, even if he did guide the Steelers to four Super Bowls.  I don’t know if Tommy Heinsohn got cardboard recognition for his two NBA championships with the Celtics.

Maybe one of you know better than I do… were head coaches ever on football, hockey or basketball cards? How is anybody supposed to remember who coached the Sixers, Bengals or Canucks back in the day?

Since I don’t have answers for you, I’ll share some cards I got of the managers of my youth, but as players instead of managers.

I know I’ve shared cards of Del Crandall before. I knew him as the Brewers’ manager…

But I’ve since found out that Crandall was a damn fine player in his time. As a 19-year old in 1949, he finished second to Don Newcombe in Rookie Of The Year voting… Sure, it was a distant second, but nobody but Newcombe and Crandall got votes. Crandall was an 8-time All-Star and a four-time Gold Glove winner.

If nothing else, I love his 1957 Topps card for a different look at the Milwaukee Braves uniform of the day.

Check out the piping on the belt loops and back pocket, not to mention the very large sleeve patch (or is it chain stitching?). It’s also interesting to compare the fit of the flannels to anything that came afterwards.

His 1961 Post card points out he’d set a Braves team record for RBI’s by a catcher (72).

I couldn’t find anything that limited the RBI’s to those made while the player was catching, but I can see that the list of Braves who were predominately catchers and who have blown past Del Crandall include Eddie Williams, Brian McCann, Joe Torre and Javy Lopez.

Like Del Crandall, Dick Howser was an All-Star as a player and finished second in Rookie Of The Year voting (to the Red Sox’ Don Schwall who won 15 games in a career year).  Howser would manage the Yankees and Royals in the 1980’s.  Here’s his 1962 Post card:

Howser didn’t maintain his accolades past his rookie season, although he did have a fine season with 101 runs scored in 1964.

Darrell Johnson was the Red Sox manager in 1975 when the Bosox won the A.L. Pennant but lost the World Series in 7 games to the Cincinnati Reds.  He was also the first manager of the Seattle Mariners and was at the helm of the Rangers for half a season.

As a catcher, Johnson never played in more than 51 games in a season, but he did suit up for seven different teams (if you count the Baltimore Orioles and St. Louis Browns as two teams rather than one franchise).