Spanning The Globe…

Between my July card show and my July COMC order, I got cards from a number of different countries… but it’s not like I was looking to replicate the Wide World Of Sports in a binder, it just worked out that way.  I’ve got a couple today, and a few more for a future post or two.

The first card is one I saw lying on top of one of the dime boxes I was going through.

When I saw it, I said “…The heck is that?”, which was quickly followed by “DON’T CARE;  WANT IT!“, and it went into my stack.

I didn’t know what I had until I got home and did some research.  This is a 1978 Scanlens Victorian Football League card featuring Mervyn Keane of the Richmond Tigers.  The “football” in question is Australian Rules Football.  I’m not going to go into detail into the sport because I know almost nothing about it and will get something wrong if I try to research it on the fly.

Here’s the back of Mervyn’s card:

Scanlens was (or is) an Australian card company which operated under a license from Topps.  Some of the other Scanlens sets used card designs which were similar to Topps designs of various years and sports.  This particular set had 156 cards plus 12 checklists.

Speaking of football… but a different kind of football… Let’s go half a world a way over to England, and check out this 1975-76 Topps English Footballer card.

I don’t know if they use the term “journeyman” in the UK, but Bob Hatton fits the description.  From 1964 to 1983 he played for nine different teams, but he put the most time in with Birmingham City (as pictured here).

Here’s the back of the card:

The curse of the Anglophile who’s learned most of what he knows about England through TV — I see “Bolton” mentioned on this card and my brain immediately goes into Monty Python’s Dead Parrot sketch. “It’s not a bloody palindrome! A palindrome of ‘Bolton’ would be ‘Notlob’! It don’t work!”

Moving on to hockey… All I knew about this last card when I bought it was that COMC listed the set as “1995 Semic Globe”.  Beyond that, not a clue… other than it featured former Capital Michal Pivonka.

Turns out that Semic is a Swedish publishing company and this card set was to commemorate the 1995 World Championship, which was held in Stockholm that year.  According to Beckett, the “VM ’95” is the logo of the championship (presumably a Swedish language abbreviation, and a pretty boring logo if that’s true).  Beckett also says that “it’s believed that there are fewer than 2,000 of these cards in circulation”.  If that’s true then I have a relatively rare card here.

Here’s the back.  “TJECKIEN” is Swedish for “Czech”.

According to the tradingcarddb.com checklist (which lists the set as “1995 Swedish Globe World Championship”), there are a number of other players in the set I wouldn’t mind having, so hopefully Beckett is wrong about the print run on these.

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Dollar Tree Very Pretty And The Dollar Flower Is Sweet…

…But the cards from the poor Dollar stink like Roger Clemens’ feet!

OK, that’s admittedly a little harsh.  While I was somewhat disappointed in the cards I got in a recent Dollar Tree excursion, it was largely my own fault.  Caveat Emptor and all that.

So here’s the deal.  There was recently a post over at The Five Tool Collector detailing the somewhat surprising success he had with cards from Dollar Tree.  I was inspired to check out the Dollar Tree near where I work, but they have no cards at all.  A few days later I was driving in another direction during my lunchbreak and I passed a Dollar Tree that I’d forgotten about because it’s only been open for a year or so.  Because I had other errands to run, I rushed through the purchase and neglected make sure that the repacks I wanted were from a company called Presstine.  The two repacks I bought were from another company and featured the kind of crap we all fear in a repack.

It wasn’t a complete waste, because I did get a couple of junk-waxy needs,  a couple of filler cards for some outgoing packages, plus a Tim Wallach card that goes in the “Someday I’ll send a PWE to the Tim Wallach guy” stack.

I also bought some unopened packs which were a lot more fun.

Before I get into the cards I got, I’m curious about something…  Is there anybody younger than I am – I’ll be 52 in the fall – who gets the reference made in the subject line?

I’ll start with the repacks.  I was relatively excited to pull a 1984 Donruss Oriole.  It’s funny, 1984 was all about Fleer for me, and I was largely “meh” about 84D, but now it’s like “The champagne of junk wax”.

Sadly, I already had this card.  Quelle dommage.

Speaking of Orioles, one of my favorite all-time O’s is Jeff Conine.  This card features him with the Marlins (pauses to spit on the ground), but it’s still a cool card of “Niner”.

A nice action shot of Mike Cameron, who was always fun to watch in the outfield.

This card is from the 1998 Score Rookie And Traded set… despite the fact that Cameron had not changed teams and this is not remotely close to being Cameron’s rookie card – he’d actually been in the 1997 and 1998 Score flagship sets.  Maybe the set should’ve been called “Rookie And Traded And Other Photos We Want To Get In A Set”.

This next card falls into the “audience participation” category.  From the back of the card, I could tell this wasn’t your run-of-the-mill 1989 Donruss card.

I went to COMC to see which 1989 Donruss set it’s from, and discovered it’s from the “Baseball’s Best” set.  I also discovered that the sole copy of it on COMC is from a seller who is notorious for selling commons for outrageous prices (although this one was priced at a low-for-him $1).  My question to you, my readers, is this:  Should I send this card in to COMC solely for the purpose of undercutting this disreputable seller?  It’s certainly not a high-demand card and I would price it solely to get my processing fee back, but I’ll admit I would take a not-insignificant amount of satisfaction if I were to stick it to this guy even just a little bit.  Whaddaya think?

Moving on to the packs.  I bought a single pack of 2015 Panini Americana just because.  I like the design of this set, but the checklist largely leaves me cold and the photos used aren’t always the greatest.  I got two cards of note, however.

I had a minor crush on Julie Gonzalo when she was on the now-forgotten TV show “Eli Stone”.  She’s better known for her roles in “Veronica Mars” and the rebooted “Dallas”.

Her Wikipedia page has a photo from the “2013 Monte Carlo Television Festival” which, judging from her outfit, was taken at the same time as this photo (and it’s a somewhat better photo).

I also got a die-cast jockey insert… three-time Kentucky Derby winner Calvin Borel (FYI, I scanned this with the scanner lid open in an attempt to bring out the die-cuttedness of it).

I saw Die-Cut Jockey when they opened for Barenaked Ladies in the mid-1990’s (Cue the Foghorn Leghorn audio clip – that’s a joke, I say, that’s a joke, son!).

The Dollar Tree also had some unopened packs which sold for a buck for each bag of two.  I bought two of these two-pack repacks.  Each bag contained a pack of 1994 Upper Deck World Cup Cards (English/Italian version), which were pretty cool.  One pack’s cards were so stuck together that I couldn’t separate them without significant card damage (and they ended up in the trash), but the other pack came out OK.  Here’s a card of Brazilian footballer Palhinha.

I didn’t know any of the players, but the photos were more interesting than in many of the more current soccer sets.

Another 2/$1 pack I got was 1992 ProSet Guinness Book Of Records, which is a neat concept but a lot of the cards didn’t translate well to 2.5″ x 3.5″.  Here’s the best of my pack.

“The world’s longest snake is the reticulated python of Southeast Asia, Indonesia and the Philppines, which regularly exceeds 20 feet, 6 inches in length”.

The last pack I got was from the 1994 Cardz “Jim Henson’s Muppets Take The Ice” mashup of everyone’s favorite Muppets and the NHL.  These are actually pretty fun cards, here’s my favorite from the pack:

The next time I pass this Dollar Tree, I’m going to see if they have any more of the Muppets and World Cup packs.  The rest I can do without (unless they get some of those Presstine repacks in).

In case you’re curious about the “Dollar Tree Very Pretty” reference, or if you just like Trini Lopez…  Full Disclosure:  Trini Lopez isn’t the original artist and may not have had the biggest hit version, but I think of Lemon Tree as being “his song”.

Pack Animal: 2017 Topps Major League Soccer

Last week I was in Target looking for 2017 Bowman. I didn’t find it during that trip (and when I did find it, it proved just a bit too uninteresting to bother posting about), but did find packs of 2017 Topps Major League Soccer.

The pack is only 6 cards, but it’s also only $1.99, so I pulled the trigger. I don’t follow MLS, so this will be a one-and-done situation.

Before I get to the cards… Is it wrong that I feel bad for MLS?  I think the American mindset is to want the best of the best, but in the case of soccer, that’s the English Premier League, the German Bundesliga, etc. And honestly, if you’re watching the game on a TV or other electronic device, does it make a huge difference if the game is in a nearby city or on another continent?

MLS would like for you to not answer that question.

Anyway, on to the pack.

First card:  Jelle Van Damme, Los Angeles Galaxy

Not a bad design, but I’d like to see more of the background in an unblurred, uncloudy state. In other words, less of the typical recent Topps behavior.

Next up Juan Gaudelo, New England Revolution.

Because of the different border with numbers running down the side, I’d wondered if this might be a parallel, but it’s actually a subset:  “24 under 24”, which is an annual ranking of the top MLS players who are 23 years old and younger. Mr. Gaudelo is #17 on the current ranking.

Atiba Harris, FC Dallas

Chris Pontius, Back Of The Net insert.

Graham Zusi, Sporting Kansas City

I’m going to play the Grumpy Old Man card… specifically my 1992 Star Pics Saturday Night Live Grumpy Old Man card…

…And say that “Sporting Kansas City” is a dumb-ass name for a team.

In my day, teams had names like Expos, SuperSonics and Barons! That’s the way it was, and we liked it!

Finally, David Villa, NYC FC

David Villa recently threw out the first pitch at a Yankees game. NYC FC is part-owned by the Yankees, so it follows that they cross-promote.

I have to say, I’m glad I’m not a soccer fan in NYC: One team has Yankee ownership, the other is named for an energy drink.

I’m of the opinion that NYC FC is another stupid (and awkward) team name, but given the ownership situation, I suppose we should be happy that they’re not called “Yankee United”.

Another Fantastic 1975/76 Topps English Footballer Card

Just a quick post today to show off a soccer card I got from COMC recently. It’s a card of Norwich City’s Dave Stringer, which has nothing to do with why I got it. As you can guess from looking at it, I bought it because I’m fascinated by the 1975/76 Topps Footballers set which shares the front design with one of my favorite baseball sets, 1975 Topps.
1974-75-topps-english-football-david-stringer
Norwich City is called the Canaries, and are currently in the English Football League Chamionship, which is one level below the Premier League.

Dave Stringer was a long-time player for the Canaries, and later managed the team.

As you can see, the backs are nothing like the 1975 Topps Baseball backs.
1974-75-topps-english-football-david-stringer-back

This is the second card I have from this red-backed English set;  I also have four from the blue-backed Scottish set.

Catch-Up Week, Pt. 1: A PWE From Shoebox Legends

About a month ago I had cards coming at me like (Geezer alert) ping-pong balls falling on Captain Kangaroo.  I bought a blaster and a repack from Target, returned from a show with hundreds more cards, and then early the following week I got two PWE’s in the mail.

In this week’s posts, I’m going to share a number of these cards from October, starting with a PWE from Shane of Shoebox Legends.

It’s become almost a tradition to get Hometown Heroes cards from Shane… One of the things I did over the past month was find a checklist and load it into my database so I could know how close I am to having team sets of the Mets and Orioles.
2013-panini-hometown-heroes-adam-jones
Unfortunately, the checklist I found doesn’t list teams, so I still don’t know how close I am… but I think I still have a little ways to go.

The PWE had a plethora of Bunt cards. I still like these cards a couple of months after their release, and many others seem to like them as well, so I’m keeping fingers crossed that this comes back in 2017.
2016-topps-bunt-cal-ripken
I’m kind of ambivalent about having retired players mixed in to current sets… unless that retired player is someone I collect, like Cal, then I’m cool with it.  Kinda goofy the way they “decapitated” the Oriole logo, though.

Nothing against Chris Davis, but I’m hoping that the Orioles offense is less “Homer Happy” than it was in 2016. Would it kill you to manufacture a run now and then?
2016-topps-bunt-chris-davis

Manny manny bo-banny, banana fanna fo-fanny, fee-fi-fo-anny… Manny!
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I clearly have nothing to say about Manny Machado at the moment… and as long as I’m referencing Captain Kangaroo, I might as well reference “The Name Game”.

Thor did a guest appearance on “Kevin Can Wait”, which stars Kevin James, who’s a huge Mets fan.
2016-topps-bunt-noah-syndergaard
I saw it; it was fun, but Thor should not give up his day job.

Wrapping up the Bunt with Steven Matz, who also draws a blank from me at this moment. I won’t repeat The Name Game.
2016-topps-bunt-steven-matz

Here’s a lovely black parallel of the Heritage High Number Joey Rickard. For those who don’t know… which is pretty much everybody who’s not an Orioles fan… Rickard was a Rule V guy plucked from the Rays’ minor league system. He was playing pretty well  and becoming something of a fan favorite before a July injury knocked him out for the rest of the season.
2016-topps-heritage-hi-black-joey-rickard
I just found out that this card has “action” and “color swap” variations… For Joey Rickard!?! Why does Topps hate Orioles fans?

…The Action variation is pretty nice-looking, though.

Thar’s gold in them thar PWE’s! 1993 Topps Gold of Rick Sutcliffe, anyway. No prospector named “Gabby” is going to do a little dance over this, but I like it.
1993-topps-gold-rick-sutcliffe

2006 Daniel Cabrera… Not a card I needed, but it reminded me of how much I like 2006 Topps. I think it nicely throws back to old-school Topps while having all of the usual features of a 2006 card.
2006-topps-daniel-cabrera
I consider it one of the three best Topps flagship sets of the 21st Century.

Finally, the piece de resistance… It’s a 1960-61 A&BC card featuring Ken Malcolm of Ipswich Town! I have no Earthly idea what Ken Malcolm of Ipswich Town is doing. Any ideas?
1960-61-abc-ken-malcolm
Malcolm played nearly 300 games for Ipswich Town, which won the Division One championship in the 1961-62 season, their first season in the top flight. I should point out that the championship is for what we North Americans would call the “regular season”, Tottenham Hotspur won the F.A. Cup that year (according to Wikipedia, anyway).

Here’s the back of the card…
1960-61-abc-ken-malcolm-back
According to the FIFA website, the answer to “Can a goal be scored directly from a corner kick?” is “Yes… but only against the opposing team”.

Oh, and I should share one other thing… Mr. Malcolm gives me a full sheet of cards from this set!
1960-61-abc-footballers-9-pocket-page
That’s a thing of beauty, that is…

Thanks again, Shane! The delay in scanning and writing about these cards does not reflect my appreciation for these cards!

Silly Rabbit! Sports Illustrated Is For Kids! (Adventures In Dimeboxing, Part 2)

At the show I recently went to, I found one guy who had a couple of boxes of cards for 5 cents each… so despite the subtitle for this post, this was actually “Adventures In Nickelboxing”… but it doesn’t have quite the same ring.

So in this box I found a small stack of about 20 “Sports Illustrated For Kids” cards. SI for Kids? For a nickel each? Hell, I didn’t even need to look through them, I took them all and put them in my stack (which later became a box… I bought something over 300 cards from this guy’s nickel and dime boxes).

It wasn’t until a few days after the show that I even got a chance to see what I got, and I found that I got some nice cards in the process.

…We’ll start off with a card that immediately let me know that I had not wasted my $1… A 1992 Bobby Bo for my Mets collection.
1992-sports-illustrated-for-kids-bobby-bonilla
Gotta love the border!  Talk about evoking an era…

At one point I was quite fond of Rafael Palmeiro… but that was before the whole performance-enhancing drugs thing took the wind out of his sails.
1991-sports-illustrated-for-kids-rafael-palmeiro
…Although part of me does still wonder if there’s been a situation where someone intentionally spiked another player’s drink (or whatever) with illegal substances so that they’d fail a drug test. I’m not making excuses for Raffy or others, it’s just me and my paranoia.

Matt Williams in his 1992 Giants days. I guess he can feel a little better that the Nats didn’t do much better under Dusty Baker than under him (though I still feel that Williams was atrocious at handling his bullpen).
1992-sports-illustrated-for-kids-matt-williams
Six years, three managers, three NLDS losses. This Mets fan won’t shed too many tears for the Nats.

Speaking of the Mets, here’s former Met Tom Glavine, with his prior team… the Atlanta… um… somethings…
1992-sports-illustrated-for-kids-tom-glavine

…And former Met Carlos Baerga with the Indians.  I’m sure everybody looks at this particular Indians’ uni and thinks of “Major League”.
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Mia Hamm, back when she was 20 years old and had won just the one World Cup and no Olympics.
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Lyn St. James was once billed as the fastest American woman. She qualified for seven Indianapolis 500’s and was the 1992 Indy Rookie Of The Year.
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This card is from 1989.

I included this Holly McPeak card just because I liked the way her name was placed around the volleyball.
1994-sports-illustrated-for-kids-holly-mcpeak

I saved the best for last… Check this out: A 19-year-old Andre Agassi… A 19-year-old Andre Agassi with hair!
1989-sports-illustrated-for-kids-andre-agassi
This is from a 1989 issue of SI4K; I haven’t done a ton of research, but I wonder if this might be Andre’s “rookie card”.

Given the monumental nature of this card, I figured I’d include the back as well.
1989-sports-illustrated-for-kids-andre-agassi-back
Of course, I also got plenty of cards of water-skiiers and triathletes I’d never heard of, but it doesn’t matter. This batch goes down as a definite win in the dimeboxing scorecard.

Three 2016 Packs, Two Types Of Football

The last few weeks have been very…  “blah”, for lack of a better word.  Not bad, mind you, I certainly have nothing to complain about…  But it did leave me in need of some stimulation, so I bought some wax packs that I hadn’t busted before… and, to be honest, ones I probably wouldn’t buy in other circumstances.

…But all things considered, it turned out OK.  I’ve bought two Football packs and one Soccer pack, all Panini. All three had pretty nice cards, all three won’t have a follow-up purchase because they’re not sports I collect.

First up is a really nice update of 1990 Donruss.

2016-donruss-football-kyle-rudolph

I first saw these cards on someone’s blog – and I’ll apologize, I don’t remember where I saw them, nor did I take notes on where I saw it.  But I really like how they’ve taken a not-great set and made it appealing without losing the 90D-ness of it.

Here’s the back.  Pretty standard Panini stuff, but not bad.

2016-donruss-football-kyle-rudolph-back

Next up is Panini Classic, which I appreciate in that it seems like they did something I sometimes do when trying to come up with my own custom designs… and that’s pick and chose design elements from different sets.

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The white team name at the top is very reminiscent of 1983 Topps Football, while the sort of sideways-chevron at the bottom is like 1968/69 Topps Hockey.  The end result is not the most inspired design, but I like it OK.

I actually like the back, because they use a very basic early-1960’s-ish design for the back, and combined with the white non-glossy card stock, it makes for a nice effect.

2016-panini-classics-football-desean-jackson-back

The final pack I opened is for a sport that’s called “football” pretty much everywhere but North America.  I stumbled across a pack of 2016 Donruss Soccer cards without really knowing what they were… I mean, I knew they were soccer cards, but I had no idea who they featured.  I enjoy watching soccer here and there, but I’m no fan, and I know very few players outside of a couple of personal favorites and international superstars like Lionel Messi.

Anyway, I didn’t expect to know any players in this pack, and I didn’t know any of them.

What took me by surprise was that I knew none of the teams, save one.

2016-donruss-soccer-arjen-robben

Anjer Robbenn plays for FC Bayern München in the German Bundesliga.  I’ve heard of Bayern München, but not any of the other teams in my pack (those teams were from Turkey, Switzerland, Argentina, Spain and Greece, as I found out when I Googled them).

The cards are very Donruss… They’ve got the same diagonal stripey thing going that the other sports have, and it’s also got the same script font used on the football cards.  A very subtle effect is that there are little flecks in the colored areas, another little nod to 1990 Donruss.

The player and team names are in a bronze foil that looks better in person than in my photo, but is hard to read.

The backs are similar to the Donruss football back… And sorry for the crappy picture, it was taken on my phone in the Target parking lot.

2016-donruss-soccer-arjen-robben-back

Each of my packs came with inserts, but none were interesting enough for me to take the effort of getting images of them.

So anyway, I hope some of you found these interesting.  Maybe they inspire you to get your own, maybe they satisfy your curiosity enough to save you a couple of bucks.