PWE Playhouse: More Cards From The Shoebox

It seems like most bloggers who have running themes for their posts will come up with them fairly early on and stick with them throughout their blog’s lifespan.  Me, I apparently can’t stop thinking of new ones.  And so, I introduce the first in a series of “PWE Playhouse” posts…

PWE Playhouse

Exhibit Q:  A PWE I received an hour before my bike was stolen!  “Why?  What’s the significance?”  I DON’T KNOW!!!!!

As has been the case with the other PWE’s, this latest one comes from Shane of Shoebox Legends.  Long may he wave!

And, as the PWE business goes, I’m way behind on posting the ones I receive, and in reciprocating with outbound PWE’s… but there’s one on the way and another in the works (sorry, Shane!)

But let’s focus on this PWE…

First off, we have a card from the 1992 Fleer Ultra All Stars, an insert set I don’t remember at all and which doesn’t scan well.
1992 Fleer Ultra All Stars David Cone
This card features gold foil on a black and white marble (or is it granite?) background.  It’s a nice-looking card and I do like how Cone’s head overlaps the marble/granite frame.

Getting all high-tech for the 1990’s with a Upper Deck Holoview FX card of Jeff Kent.
1994 UD Holoview FX Jeff Kent
As is always the case with these things, my scanner didn’t like it much. It is pretty cool in person (and in proper light).

And it just occurred to me that Jeff Kent is one of the two players the Mets got from Toronto for… David Cone!  How about that.

More Hologram fun, this time with Cal Ripken and courtesy of Denny’s.
1996 Pinnacle Denny's Hologram Cal Ripken
In the proper light, when you tilt the card it shows Cal swinging.  I don’t know how to do these newfangled GIFs, and I don’t have time to learn with all of these damn kids on my lawn, so you’ll have to deal with a crappy scan.  Since the hologram doesn’t scan, I’ll share the back as well.
1996 Pinnacle Denny's Hologram Cal Ripken back

Although this card is kinda busy in the Fleer tradition (a tradition Panini seems to be continuing), I like this Tom Glavine card from 2004 Fleer Showcase.
2004 Fleer Showcase Tom Glavine
I still haven’t gotten used to the sight of Tom Glavine in a Mets uniform… or to the concept of the Mets as the 2015 National League Champions.

Shiny, sparkly David Wright from the 2014 “Bowman Is Back” insert set.
2014 Bowman Is Back David Wright
Even though a set like this wouldn’t normally fall into my wheelhouse, I really like this insert set… And I’m going to be a terrible, horrible Mets fan and say that I’m happy that current sets are finally featuring Mets other than David Wright… Not that I don’t appreciate everything that Wright has done for the team, but I’m just… well… I’m just a little tired of David Wright.  Don’t hate on me.

Another early 1990’s “premium set” insert card, this time a Bonus card of former Mets prospect Pete Schourek.  Schourek pitched a couple of years with the Mets, but his big season came in 1995 with the Reds when he won 18 games and finished a distant second to Greg Maddux in Cy Young voting.
1991 Leaf Gold Bonus Card Pete Schourek
If nothing else, this PWE made me realize that I don’t know a lot about the insert sets from the high-end Junk Wax Era sets.

As many of these Shoebox Legends PWE’s go, I have a card from the 1960/61 A&BC Footballers set… This time featuring Blackpool’s Bill Perry.
1960-61 A&BC Bill Perry
Bill Perry is best known for scoring the winning goal in Blackpool’s famous win in the 1953 F.A. Cup final.  Sure.  Uh-huh.  I remember it well.
1960-61 A&BC Bill Perry back
To answer the rub-off question on the back, the original F.A. Cup was stolen out of a Birmingham shop window in 1895.  I had to Google it, I didn’t know it off the top of my head.

Thanks again, Shane!

Shoebox PWE: Hologram, Painting And A Freaky Head

The PWE’s from the sole owner and proprietor of Shoebox Legends keep coming faster than I can post or reciprocate.

Before we even get into the contents, we have to check out the postage stamp…
Joe DiMaggio USPS Stamp
I had a couple of “Joe DiMaggio on a stamp” jokes run through my head, but for the sake of everybody involved, I’m just going to let them slide on by.

I’ve seen these 1992 Fleer Team Leaders cards before, but I never knew where they came from…. well, other than the obvious answer of “from Fleer”.
1992 Fleer Team Leaders Howard Johnson
I looked it up and it was a rack pack insert.  Now you know.

This Curtis Goodwin card wasn’t on my wantlist, but that doesn’t mean I didn’t want it. Even Curtis seems slightly confused by that statement.
1996 Score Curtis Goodwin
You see, my card database… or more specifically, the source of the data concerning 1996 Score… had Goodwin on the Reds, and so I did not have him listed as a “want”.

This one is a 1996 Upper Deck SPx hologram card of Roberto Alomar.  I don’t own any of these and had never really looked at one before, but the hologram is pretty damn cool (and my scanner handled it reasonably well).
1996 UD SPx Roberto Alomar
The camera(s) used to create the hologram must have ‘orbited’ around Roberto, because as you tilt the card to get different angles on him, his expression changes slightly and he blinks, which makes me think it was a rapid series of images rather than a bunch taken simultaneously.

A card from the 2001 Topps Combo insert.  Any card featuring a painting is welcome in my collection.
2001 Topps Combos Piazza Gibson
Let me qualify that… any card featuring a good painting is welcome. “Good” is not always a given with such cards.

Next up, a nice-looking 2007 Bowman Heritage Prospects card of a guy who didn’t get past the “prospect” stage.  Ryan Finan peaked out at AA Bowie, and he finished his career with a 54.00 ERA.
2007 Bowman Heritage Prospects Ryan Finan
..But thankfully for Finan, he was not a pitcher;  the ERA came from one third of an inning of what I presume was mop-up work with Bowie.  I’ve always liked the 1954 Red Heart Dog Food set this is based on… but those cards are often out of my budget, so I have been satisfying myself with these Bowman Heritage cards which has nothing to do with the heritage of Bowman (unless Bowman did the cards for Red Heart).

2012 Panini Triple Play.  I have to say that while I really enjoyed this set, it turned out to be a one-shot for me…  I just couldn’t get into 2013 Triple Play that much.
2012 Panini Triple Play Adam Jones

This would appear to be a 2014 Pro Debut card of an Orioles prospect…
2014 Topps Pro Debut Eduardo Rodriguez
…except Eduardo Rodriguez was traded to Boston for Andrew Miller at last year’s trading deadline, so Rodriguez is not currently an O’s prospect but rather a Red Sox pitcher;  he went 10-6 in 21 starts for the Bosox this year.  It doesn’t matter to me, though… Pro Debut cards are always welcome.

This card of Eck from this year’s Stadium Club manages to be both cool and deeply disturbing.
2015 Stadium Club Dennis Eckersley
I’ve seen the Nationals’ Racing Presidents up close before, these things are really quite strange when you see them from a few feet away.

I didn’t realize it until I flipped it over to look at the card number, but this turned out to be my first Heritage High Numbers card… on a technicality, because I opened the PWE before I opened the blaster of High Numbers I’d bought on my way home from work that same day.
2015 Topps Heritage Hi # Ryan Flaherty
Ryan Flaherty is finally getting some love from Topps after several years as a utility guy.

As has become tradition over five PWE’s, Shane included a card from the 1960/61 A&BC Footballers set.
1960-61 A&BC Neil Mochan
Neilly ‘Smiler’ Mochan was a Scottish footballer who played for top division teams in Scotland and England, as well as in the 1954 World Cup, over a career that spanned from 1944 to 1964.

Mochan was such a fixture with Celtic, both during and after his playing career, that a documentary about him is coming out later this year.

It wasn’t until I was putting this card into my “Football, Soccer, Curling, Racing, Basketball and Non-Sports” binder that I realized that this card is something special…
1960-61 A&BC Neil Mochan back
The card number is 61, which means this card comes from the much scarcer 2nd series. I’m not worthy! I’m not worthy!!!!

…and I’ll close out the post with a couple of cards from the 1994 CARDZ Muppets On Ice set.
1994 Cardz Muppets Take The Ice Gonzo Whalers History
1994 Cardz Muppets Take The Ice Gonzo Whalers
These cards will take an honored place as a “filler” card with the Red Sox in my AL East Current Rosters binder… rubbin’ elbows with Fleer logo stickers and a wide variety of non-sport cards that are also used as filler, like in this photo from a 2013 post about those binders…
Phillies Binder Page 2-2013

PWE From Shoebox Legends

Sorry, I couldn’t think of a more clever title than that.

I have a number of cards I’ve received via two of the proverbial Plain White Envelopes from Shoebox Legends International.  I’d already featured the two imported English “Footballer” cards from the first PWE in this prior post, but have not given the remainder of the cards their due.

When the first PWE was mailed out, Robert Whalen was a Mets pitching prospect.
2014 Bowman Chrome Robert Whalen
A few days after I received the PWE, Whalen was a Braves pitching prospect, because he was one of the players sent to Atlanta for Kelly Johnson and Juan Uribe. It’s all good because it’s a card I still want in my Mets collection, but the potential significance of this card will be back again later in this post.

Topps Opening Day is a funny beast for me… I often enjoy the inserts, but not the base set, so while I don’t buy more than one or two packs a year (plus anything I might get in repacks down the road). I always think I should track down the inserts later… and then don’t.  Ramble, ramble, ramble, my point is that I’d forgotten I wanted this card featuring Jose Reyes and Angel Pagan…
2011 Opening Day  Superstar Celebrations Jose Reyes
…Making it one that I appreciate more than your average insert featuring Mets.

During the 1980’s I generally tried to keep up on Traded sets and the like, but wasn’t always good about sets like the Donruss Rookies sets. As a result, I think this is my first card from the 1987 Rookies set…
1987 Donruss The Rookies David Cone
…and yet another type of set to add to my “Ya know, I really should have a wantlist for those…” list.

Gypsy Queen is a set I normally can take or leave…
2014 Gypsy Queen N174 Tom Seaver
…But any cardboard featuring the esteemed Mr. G. Thomas Seaver of Fresno, California is always appreciated in my household.

(I scared myself a tiny bit by remembering off the top of my head that Seaver’s from Fresno… especially considering I can’t always remember more important facts like the names of the children of my cousins and friends;  “Hey, how did… um… your daughter do in that… uhhhhhhhh… tournament thingie last weekend?”)

I’m such a big fan of Mookie, that it doesn’t even have to be Mookie Wilson.
2015 Heritage Mookie Betts
Any and all Mookies are welcome.

The second PWE turned out to take a good-sized chunk out of my 2015 Stadium Club wants, particularly for the Orioles.
2015 Stadium Club Gold Bud Norris
Like Michael Whalen above, Bud Norris (represented by a Gold parallel card) recently was asked to leave his place of employment. This is a disturbing trend in these PWE cards, especially given another Stadium Club card in this batch:
2015 Stadium Club Wei Yin Chen
Wei Yin Chen is one of 49 different pending free agents on the Orioles roster – I may be overestimating a bit – and I wonder if my having his card means that he’s not long for Baltimore.

I desperately hope that’s not the case for Jonathan Schoop…
2015 Stadium Club Jonathan Schoop
…Or Kevin Gausman.
2015 Stadium Club Kevin Gausman
We need both of those guys to stick around a while.

Finally, the crème de la crème of the second PWE was an additional 1960/61 A&BC Footballer card, this one featuring Ron Wiley of Aston Villa.
1960-61 A&BC Ron Wylie
Since I don’t know much about Mr. Wiley’s on-field accomplishments and I don’t know which British Football sites can be trusted to be factual and not be malware-laden, I’ll instead mention that my first reaction to seeing this card was that Ron Wiley bears a passing resemblance to Christopher Eccleston, who I know as The Ninth Doctor from Doctor Who, but has had roles ranging from John Lennon to Destro (from the G.I. Joe-niverse).
1960-61 A&BC Ron Wylie back

I would like to thank my benefactor for his generosity, and close out the proceedings with what I consider to be the unofficial theme song of Shoebox Legends, courtesy of Barenaked Ladies… At least this is what often pops in my head when I think of “Shoebox”… even though I trust that his Shoebox is not a “Shoebox of lie-ee-yi-yi-yies”.


The Most Awesome Soccer Cards In The History Of Forever!!! – Part Two

Just over two years ago I shared several Scottish Football cards (soccer to us uncultured Americans) that I’d picked up in 2009.  These cards were done using the same design as 1975 Topps Baseball…
1975-76 Topps Scottish Footballers Ian Sneddon

…And I’d declared them to be “The Most Awesome Soccer Cards In The History Of Forever!!!”  There may have been a touch of hyperbole involved… but only a touch.

And now, thanks to a recent delivery from Shoebox Legends, my collection of most awesome British footballer cards based on Topps designs has increased by 66%.

Here are the two cards, both from the 1960-61 A&BC Footballer set…  I’m not going to say much about the players depicted because you can read the card back just as easily as I can.

Ron Springett, Sheffield Wednesday.
1960 A&BC Ron Springett
1960 A&BC Ron Springett back
Ron Springett was a goalie who played for England in international competition, and playing for Sheffield Wednesday was his “day job”… hence the two listings on the front of the card.

Why is it that in North American we get teams that are nothing but “United this” and “FC that”, while England has Sheffield Wednesday, Tottenham Hotspur, Bolton Wanderers, Blackburn Rovers and West Bromwich Albion?  This is all penance for referring to the sport as “soccer”, isn’t it?

Brian Clough, Middlesbrough

This next card was for a name I knew… but I didn’t know whose name it was until I got this card.  Puzzled?  Read on…
1960 A&BC Brian Clough
1960 A&BC Brian Clough back
You see, I’ve watched far too much Monty Python, Doctor Who and other British television over my nearly 50 years…  In the process I’ve picked up lots of names and cultural references that I don’t always understand until later.

In the case of Brian Clough, “later” came with this card.  There was a quiz show parody on Monty Python’s Flying Circus (also performed on the “Live At Drury Lane” album) which briefly references Brian Clough.  Let’s put it this way… if someone asks you what is the main food that penguins eat, the answer is not “Brian Clough”.

Here’s the Drury Lane version;  If you don’t care for Python and just want to hear the actual reference, it’s at roughtly 2:10.

ANYWAY… Enough about Python and Anglophilia… Let’s get back to the cards…

1960-61 A&BC Footballers was issued in two series of 42 cards each.  Both of my new acquisitions are from series 1.  A&BC was a British company which had licensed the designs from Topps and repurposed the designs for Association Football.

As a result of the licensing agreement, the 1960 A&BC Footballer design is based on two different Topps designs from the year prior. The fronts are based on 1959 Topps Baseball…
1959 Topps Gail Harris
The font is slightly different; look at the “g” in “Gail”, “Springett” and “Clough”.

The backs are based on 1959 Topps Football, complete with “Magic Answer”.
1959 Topps Gern Nagler back

For more information on the A&BC set, you can read about it at Nigel’s Webspace, Diamond Cuts And Wax Stains, and, of course, Shoebox Legends.

Thanks again, Shane!