The 2016 State Of The Union Address (Weigh-In #53)

Ladies and Gentlemen… The President of The Shlabotnik Report

Madam Speaker… Mister Subwoofer…  Members of the Blogosphere… My fellow Collectors…

TSR State Of The Union

2015 was a notable year for The Shlabotnik Report and for the collecting community.  Flagship Topps had an outstanding design; Stadium Club’s photography had everybody talking.  A lot of accomplishments were made, but there are a lot of challenges remaining as we move into a new year.

However, 2015 was also a year without structure, a year of following impulses rather than pursuing the declared objectives.  There’s a lot of good to be said about following  impulses and doing what feels right at the moment, but the end result is a number of unfinished projects, unopened packs and box sets.

While we’ve been successful in keeping our spending in line with previous years, and also in keeping a handle on incoming cards, the fact is that we’ve had a large drop-off in the number of exports in the form of cards leaving the house.  As you can see from this table…

2012 2013 2014 2015
Inbound 4,335 5,378 5,337 4,200
Outbound 8,894 19,677 8,562 2,881
Added 1,719 3,223 2,833 2,322
Removed 2,389 3,908 3,202 1,189

…During Fiscal 2015, the number of cards leaving the house (listed in the “Outbound” row on the above table) were significantly down from prior years.  While it’s true that 2013 was an aberration caused by the recycling of large quantities of junk wax doubles, the truth remains that 2015’s totals were still nearly 6,000 cards below the previous lowest amount.  Similarly, the number of cards removed from the collection were down in 2015.  Better efforts need to be made to return these to their previous levels.

In light of these shortcomings and challenges, a series of initiatives are being considered;  some may be implemented as they stand, some may be modified before being implemented, others may get vetoed.

While a “budget” has often been referred to in this blog, the truth of the matter is that “I’m on a budget” is often a euphemism for “I’m cheap”.  That being said, I don’t have a handle on how much is spent on the hobby during any given year.  One initiative being considered for 2016 is tracking the money spent on cards, mainly out of curiosity but also to see whether the return on investment is there for certain expenditures (i.e. lunchtime Target runs).

Similarly, alternate retail strategies are being considered.  In 2014 and 2015, the plan was to buy factory sets of flagship Topps while getting most of the pack-busting stimulus from Heritage.  Studies have concluded that while factory sets are economically prudent, there is a significant shortfall in the amount of “fun”.  While Heritage expenditures will continue in fiscal 2016, alternates to the factory set strategy are being explored.

One such strategy being floated is to focus more on Opening Day than on flagship Topps, which would allow for an easier set-building goal plus more enjoyable inserts.  However, it’s recently come to this administration’s attention that 2016 Opening Day will no longer have 3-D cards, which diminishes the projected return on the Opening Day investments.

An initiative being explored is a two-pronged effort to devote more time towards domestic resources rather than imported resources;  in other words, being more involved with cards already in the house rather than those in stores or on COMC. Part of this initiative would involve spending more time and energy with cards already in the collection, while the other part would involve exploring the vast cardboard reserves believed to exist on the surface of my dining room table.

One obvious place where cutbacks can easily be made are with inserts and with current cards of retired players.  More and more studies are finding that inserts provide a short-term level of enjoyment;  they may seem appealing when acquired, but later become something of an afterthought.  I’m proposing a more strenuous screening process that would allow entry only to those inserts and retired players who fall into the collection in some predefined way.  For instance, Cal Ripken would be allowed, as there’s a established Cal PC.  Nolan Ryan would be welcomed if pictured with the Mets, but Nolan Ryan with any other team would be turned away… This is due to a distinct surplus in non-vintage Nolan Ryan cards.

Finally, several existing programs, – “1966 Batman” project and the “Steelers Team Sets” project, just to name two  – will be temporarily put on hold and reevaluated at an undetermined future date.

In conclusion, we are pleased with the state of the collection as well as that of The Shlabotnik Report, and there is no doubt that 2016 will be a landmark year for both.

For additional statistics on 4th quarter performance, I refer you to the following statistics, illustrated by some imports from The Republic Of COMC.

The numbers here reflect changes since September 14th.

Net change in the collection since 9/14/15: +147 (442 added, 295 purged)

Net change to the # of cards in the house since 9/14/15: -1425 (1304 in, 2729 out)

1964 Topps George Brunet

In the below figures, “to date” means since I started tracking this stuff on 10/16/2011.

Total # of cards purged from the collection, to date: 11,784

Net change to the collection, to date: -1,476

1966 Topps Mike McCormick

Total # of cards which have left the house, to date:  44,743

Net change to the number of cards in the house, to date: -25,533

1967 Topps Jack Baldschun

Number of individual cards tracked in my Access database: 51,662

Number of cards that make up the sets flagged as completed in my Access database: 17,623

1970 Topps Joe Moeller

…which means I’ve got at least 69,285 cards in my collection.

Thank you, and good night.

1961 Topps Joe Christopher

The Shlabotnik Quality Assortment

I’m still recovering from the Holidays, so I decided to share an assortment of cards without any underlying theme, date/method of purchase or anything to connected them other than I had something to say about them.

We’ll start off with this 1971 Topps Coin of Sal Bando. I’ve had this since I was a kid, I don’t remember where I got it and for years and years it was filed away in a forgotten box. I’m not much of a “baseball coin” guy, but they make a fun oddball.
1971 Topps Coin Sal Bando

As they say in coin collecting circles, here’s the reverse:
1971 Topps Coin Sal Bando back
Somewhere in the unholy mess that is my “unprocessed” collectibles, I’ve got a ziploc bag full of 1980’s coins that I have yet to even look at (other than they’re from the 1980’s and have at least one Cal in them). I’ll share those with you… someday… when I get to them.

I got this 1981 Donruss Rodney Scott as a repack. This set has been growing on me again lately, and I think I like them as much as I have at any point since… probably 1981.
1981 Donruss Rodney Scott

1987 League Leaders card of Kirk Gibson. Remember up top when I said that I had something to say about all of these cards? I lied.
1987 League Leaders Kirk Gibson

The San Diego Padres named Andy Green as their manager a couple of months ago, and I just figured he was some organizational guy and didn’t expect him to have any cardboard… Until yesterday when the Japanese Baseball Cards blog featured two Japanese Andy Green cards (Green played in Japan in 2007). He mentioned that Green had been a D-Backs prospect, and I wondered if I had any cards of his. After consulting my Handy Dandy Database, I found I had his card from the 2006 Upper Deck set (one of my top 5 all-time UD sets, FWIW).
2006 Upper Deck Andy Green
I was also surprised to find out that Andy Green is a former Met… but I felt better after finding out it was a grand total of 4 games (and 5 plate appearances) in 2009.  I like that Andy Green is about my height and weight.  I don’t like that he’s a dozen years younger than I am.

While I was sorting through my box of 2006 UD in search of Andy Green, I ran across this card of current Tigers manager Brad Ausmus being stalked by a purple dinosaur.
2006 Upper Deck Brad Ausmus
“…Then a shot rang out and Barney hit the floor
No more purple dinosaur!”

I was at a show recently – no, really, I was!  Despite all my kvetching about how there are no shows for me to go to, I went to a show.  I had to drive several hours and cross state lines, but it was a show. A table at this show had this still-wrapped boxtopper on it:
2011 Lineage Unopened Box Topper
Now I love love love the 1964 Topps Giants set, and ever since 2011 Lineage had replicated this set for their box-toppers, I’ve been meaning to pick up some.  I never got around to it until I saw this wrapped one sitting on a table, and I immediately bought it. Would I get David Wright? Oriole-at-the-time Vladimir Guerrero?

Nope, I’d get a Marlin. It’s a nice enough card, anyway, even if it surprised me – I don’t know why – by being 21st century baseball card material instead of the traditional cardboard.
2011 Lineage 1964 Giants Hanley Ramirez
There’s also the slightly annoying players name in all-caps.

There’s less text on the back than on the originals. Hey, writing is *HARD*!!!!
2011 Lineage 1964 Giants Hanley Ramirez back
At any rate, I now know what these cards look like up close and personal.

Before we get to 2016 Heritage, let’s commemorate 2015 Heritage again with this 1966 Topps Roy McMillan. I saw Roy referenced somewhere this weekend, but now I can’t remember where or why.
1966 Topps Roy McMillan

Roy’s got a “New York World’s Fair” patch on his left sleeve, which means this photo is from 1964 or 1965, which means that Shea Stadium in the background is either brand new or a year old.

COMC What I Got: 1960’s Cards I Just Liked

As mentioned several times before, I did a lot of shopping on COMC during the Black Friday Weekend promotion.  After I finished going through my wantlists, I spent the rest of the weekend dreaming up different things to shop for.

Towards the end of the weekend I decided to go to each 1960’s Topps set and see if there were any inexpensive cards that weren’t on any of my wantlists, but were just cards that I liked for whatever reason.

Here are some of those cards…

As much as I hate the Yankees, I really like cards that show parts of the original Yankee Stadium… Plus I like Woody Held’s far-from-pristine helmet.
1962 Topps Woody Held
Woody’s first name is Woodson and he played for 7 different teams.  According to he’s the only Major Leaguer to have played 100 games at second, third, short, left, center and right… yet he never played at first.  Interesting.

Rich Rollins here is fresh off a guest appearance on “Mad Men”.
1965 Topps Rich Rollins
Rich Rollins does admittedly kinda sorta have another reason for being in my collection;  he was a Seattle Pilot, and as such holds a special place in my heart.

It’s a 1965 card, so I can’t NOT show the back.
1965 Topps Rich Rollins back
“Versalles” mentioned in the cartoon was Zoilo Versalles, who was the AL MVP in 1965.  If I ever go into witness protection and have to change my name, “Zoilo” would be right up there on my list… Although I guess that wouldn’t be terribly inconspicuous.

Even though I know that there were two All-Star games each year from 1959 to 1962, reading that someone “appeared in both All-Star games of ’62” still makes me say “What the what?”

I wish my scanner didn’t tend to “wash out” cards, because I bought it solely because I liked the colors…  The yellow and red of the border combined with the Cardinal red… Wonderful stuff.
1966 Topps Don Dennis
I’d never heard of Don Dennis;  he pitched two years of relief for the Cards, got traded to the White Sox and never appeared in the Majors again.

This is another card that simply appealed to my visual cortex.
1961 Topps Jerry Lynch
Despite the glove in this photo, Jerry Lynch was one of the premier pinch hitters of his time.  He had 116 pinch hits;  while he appeared in 1,184 games he played the field in only 710 of them.

My apologies to Mr. George Alusik, but when I saw this card I said “Damn, I look more like a ballplayer than this guy!”
1962 Topps George Alusik
I’ll be fair, George Alusik looks much more athletic on his 1963 and 1964 cards, both of which picture him with the Athletics (and look like they were taken moments apart in 1962).  Alusik played sparingly for the Tigers from 1958 to 1962, got traded to Kansas City and played more regularly for three years.  He has 23 career homers, but in 1962 he homered in 5 consecutive games.

So that’s it for this particular batch of cards… I’ll be featuring these “COMC What I Got” posts throughout the next few weeks… months… years…

I’m Tired Of Looking For Topps… How About A Pack Of NOT-2015 Topps?

All week I’ve been in and out of Target and Wal-Mart stores, at least one each day, trying to find packs of 2015 Topps. I feel like the employees are saying “Here comes another one of those guys who walks in, looks at the card aisle, and walks out”.

I think I’ve had enough for now… Instead of busting a pack of new cards, how about we bust an 8-card pack of Not 2015! Not Topps!
Not 2015 Not Topps pack

First card is a 1979 Topps Gaylord Perry… Not a bad kickoff, although I guess that the “Not Topps” thing on the wrapper turned out to be false advertising. You think I fully think these posts through before I write them? Pfft.
1979 Topps Gaylord Perry
I unfortunately missed Gaylord Perry’s halftime show at the Super Bowl, although I can’t imagine what he would’ve–

What’s that?

Katy Perry did the halftime show?


I would rather have seen Gaylord Perry.

Even though this pack we’re opening is standard size, you come to the next card and are blinded by a flash of light, then find that the next card is a 5″ x 7″ 1980 Topps Super of Dave Parker.
1980 Topps 5x7 Dave parker
I don’t know why, but the whole “card is bigger than the pack it came in” made me think of the old text-based computer games that were popular among us computer nerds around 1980.

You find yourself in a small room. There is nothing here but a pack of baseball cards.
> open pack
You can’t open something you don’t have.
> take pack

…and at this point anybody below the age of 45 has already closed the browser tab and is off to check out Night Owl’s latest post.

Wait! Wait! Don’t go! Look, I’ve got Tom Seaver from the 1985 Fleer set!  He’s a Hall-Of-Famer!  He’s smiling!  Look how happy he is to be here!
1985 Fleer Tom Seaver
See, there are cards in this pack that aren’t Topps.

Rick Cerone signs a baseball for fans of — QUICK! What team is he with on this card?
1992 Stadium Club Rick Cerone
The answer is at the bottom of this post.  O!  The suspense!

One of the insert sets in last year’s Heritage was a “First Draft” set that featured a handful of players, and they all looked like nice cards, but as a Mets fan the one I really wanted was Nolan Ryan. I bought a wax box of Heritage. I bought a couple of blasters of Heritage. I bought loose packs of Heritage. Every “First Draft” card I got was Johnny Freakin’ Bench. I ended up using a small amount of my COMC credit to finally get this one.
2014 Topps Heritage First Draft Nolan Ryan
“295th Overall”, in very small type.  That’s my favorite part of the card.

Speaking of Heritage, this card should perhaps whet your appetite for the 2015 set.
1966 Topps Luis Aparicio
I know, I know, the 1966 design doesn’t hold a candle to 1965. I still like the set in a minimalist sort of way, and I’ll be buying another wax box or two.

In the early 1960’s, Danny Kaye recorded “The D-O-D-G-E-R-S Song” where he half-sings the play-by-play of a fictional game between the Dodgers and Giants.  While the song is amusing, I’ve always enjoyed the way he relishes singing “Orlando Cepeda”.
1968 Topps Game Orlando Cepeda
“Orrrrrrrrrrrrrrlando Cepeda is at bat with the bases jammed…”  Unlike this 1968 Topps insert card, the result was a little better than “Ground out, runners advance one base”.

Wrapping things up with a 1970 Dick Drago. Why Drago? Why not.
1970 Topps Dick Drago
Here’s a fun Dick Drago fact… On July 30th, 1971, Drago faced 13 batters while pitching a complete game.  “Huh?” you say.  Well, it was a rain-shortened 4.5 inning game, the Royals were in Baltimore and lost 1-0 on a Frank Robinson homer.  Jim Palmer pitched a 5-inning complete game because he had to pitch the top of the 5th to make things official.  My favorite part of the game’s Baseball-Reference page:  “Time Of Game:  0:48”.

Answer to the Rick Cerone quiz: That 1992 Stadium Club card shows Rick Cerone during his half-season with the Montreal Expos. Ten points to everyone who got that right.

Yeah, They Were All Yellow…

I was just looking at a folder of scans from the last show I went to, and while looking at the cards laid out in front of me, I realized – Hey, I bought a lot of yellow cards.

…and then I said “What the heck, I’ve had worse ideas for a post”.

So here they are, the recently-acquired, very yellow, new additions to my collection.

I grew up a Mets fan and through Mrs. Shlabotnik I also became an Orioles fan.  Since I didn’t grow up following the O’s, I had a lot of catching up to do on team history.  In reading about the Orioles from the 1950’s, I was struck by a pair of players I’ve come to think of as “The Two Bobs”.  Bob Boyd and Bob Nieman were often among the team batting leaders in the late 1950’s, but I had never heard of either of them.  Boyd, who’s hitting got him the nickname of “Rope”, hit over .300 in 4 of his 5 seasons with the Orioles.
1959 Topps Bob Boyd

I’ve always been fascinated by cards of players who I knew better as managers, coaches or announcers.  I’m old enough to remember the last few years of Tim McCarver’s career, but I still find it a bit odd to see cards of this young Cardinals catcher.
1966 Topps Tim McCarver

Sometime earlier this year I came to the realization that in all my years of collecting, I’d never managed to acquire a card from 1954 Topps.  Just one of those things, I guess .  This is one of two cards I recently bought to remedy that situation.
1954 Topps Wes Westrum
Wes Westrum was the Mets’ second manager, which explains why I bought this particular card.

I don’t think I need to explain buying a Don Mossi card.
1955 Topps Don Mossi
…I’ll admit, I do sometimes feel guilty for singling out Don Mossi for his distinctive features.

Joe Pignatano was the Mets bullpen coach from 1968 to 1981, and what I always remember about him are the tomato plants he maintained in the Shea Stadium bullpen.
1958 Topps Joe Pignatano

I always have trouble bringing posts to a satisfying conclusion – maybe it comes from growing up watching Monty Python sketches which often ended abruptly and without a punchline – so I’m going to close this post by listing a few favorite songs with “yellow” in the title… and true confessions time, I don’t actually care for the Coldplay song I quoted in the subject line.

“Goodbye Yellow Brick Road”, Elton John
“Yellow Submarine”, The Beatles
“Mellow Yellow”, Donovan
“Don’t Eat That Yellow Snow”, Frank Zappa
“Yellow Flower”, The Good Rats

What are your favorite yellow cards, songs, foods or other random yellow objects?

I’m Not Dead… I’m Getting Better… I Think I’ll Go For A Walk…

Although I haven’t gone anywhere, some of you may have thought I took a week off because many of the blogrolls have not recognized anything I’d done since last Friday.

Yesterday I found that my most recent post finally got recognized, and in celebration of that problem being resolved – knock on wood – I’m going to share some vintage cards I got at a show last month.

In 1979, when this photo was likely taken, Jim Palmer is starting to show signs of age – you can see the beginnings of crow’s feet, for example – but he still had great hair. This looks like it might be a postgame interview, and yet “Cakes” doesn’t have hat head. How the hell does he do that?
1980 Topps Jim Palmer

When I ran across this card in a box of relatively cheap, well-loved vintage, I was surprised that I didn’t already have it. I couldn’t tell you how much time I spent staring at an image of this card when it was featured on one of the 1975 Topps cards celebrating the company’s 25th anniversary.
1971 Topps Joe Torre

I just got curious and looked to see how many of those featured cards I own, and the answer is 6 out of something less than 50… “less than 50” because some of the cards, like the 1962 Maury Wills, didn’t really exist to begin with.

…And for what it’s worth, 4 of the 6 come from 1973 and 1974.

Moving right along…

Here’s a freshly-minted Expo and poorly-scanned card of Larry Jaster, who went 9-13 for the NL Champion Cardinals in 1968, and found himself an Expo in 1969. Funny how those things work.
1969 Topps Larry Jaster
I’ve had a thing lately for 1969 later-series cards which pictured players in the uniforms of that year’s expansion teams. I remember how excited I was about the 1977 Blue Jays/Mariners expansion, I think I would’ve been beside myself if I were old enough to follow baseball when four new teams came into the Majors.

Al Ferrara is another recent mini-obsession of mine ever since I found out about his attempts to get into acting. I really need to track down the episode of Gilligan’s Island he was on — he played “Native” in the episode “High Man On The Totem Pole”, which I’m ashamed to say I remember just from the title.
1966 Topps Al Ferrara
…You see, the castaways find a totem pole, and the head at the top of the totem pole looks like Gilligan. Zany hijinks ensue.

I’m diggin’ the capital “A” on Ferrara’s road jersey… I’d never noticed that before, but I like it.  Bonus point to the Dodgers.

I’ll wrap this post up with a contender for “Most uninteresting vintage baseball card of all time”.
1962 Topps Richie Ashburn
I’ll be honest – I would never have bought this card if I didn’t need it for my 1962 Mets team set.

I’ve got a bunch card show purchases to share; I really need to be better about keeping up on them.

And for those who were wondering if I’d include the scene from Monty Python And The Holy Grail which was quoted in the subject line… Would I deprive you of Python? Of course not!

Update:  I have angered the blogroll gods with my hubris… It’s currently 1 hour after I’ve posted, and I’m not showing up on blogrolls.  Poop.

Sometimes You Just Gotta Go With What’s Easiest (1966 Ken Boyer)

1966 Topps Ken BoyerI have a couple of “Mets Monday” posts in the works, but nothing ready for posting. I went to see if any Mets were born on this date, and came up with Ken Boyer.

Ken Boyer was the NL MVP in 1964, a 7-time All-Star and 5-time Gold Glove winner, but those days were behind him when he was traded to the Mets after the 1965 season. He was the starting 3rd baseman for the 1966 Mets, leading the team with 61 RBI, hitting 14 homers and batting .266.

The following July, he was traded to the White Sox in a deal that also saw Sandy Alomar Sr. going to the Chisox and J.C. Martin heading for Shea.

Boyer passed away in 1982.

Why I’m Making The 1966 Team Set My Top Mets Priority

When I was a kid, one of my goals was to get every Mets card that ever existed… Before the junk wax era, this was not an unreasonable goal… not in terms of the number of cards, anyway.

What I hadn’t realized at the time was how budget-busting of a goal that was… Among the obstacles to deal with are high-numbered Duke Sniders…

1963 Topps #550 - Duke Snider - Courtesy of

1963 Topps #550 – Duke Snider – Courtesy of

…Tony Perez rookie cards (which happened to have a Mets rookie named Kevin Collins)…

1965 Topps #581 - Rookie Stars/Tony Perez RC (Rookie Card)/Dave Ricketts RC (Rookie Card)/Kevin Collins RC (Rookie Car [Good to VG‑EX] - Courtesy of

1965 Topps #581 – Rookie Stars/Tony Perez RC (Rookie Card)/Dave Ricketts RC (Rookie Card)/Kevin Collins RC (Rookie Car [Good to VG‑EX] – Courtesy of

…and then you get into the early cards for guys like Nolan Ryan and Tom Seaver…

1968 Topps #177 - Rookie Stars/Jerry Koosman RC (Rookie Card)/Nolan Ryan UER (sensational is spelled incorrectly) RC ( [Good to VG‑EX] - Courtesy of

1968 Topps #177 – Rookie Stars/Jerry Koosman RC (Rookie Card)/Nolan Ryan UER (sensational is spelled incorrectly) RC ( [Good to VG‑EX] – Courtesy of

For the Mets, 1966 is the brief lull which came after the HOFers who finished their careers with the Mets and before the HOFers who began their careers with the Mets. The biggest names in the team set are Tug McGraw and Cleon Jones, neither of those cards are tremendously expensive and I’ve got both of them already.

All I need to complete the 1966 Mets team set are 5 high-numbered commons. I could use an attainable goal to keep me going right now, and this works as well as anything else.

Here are a couple of my recent 1966 acquisitions…

Ron Hunt was the first Met to start an All-Star game, and he lead the NL in being hit by pitches 7 years straight (1968 – 1974).
1966 Topps Ron Hunt

Larry Bearnarth was a relief pitcher from New York City who pitched for the Mets from 1963 to 1966, pitched for the Mets AAA team from 1967 to 1970 and then resurfaced briefly with the Brewers for two games in 1971. Interestingly enough, although he pitched a number of seasons in AAA, he never pitched at a lower level. He would go on to be the pitching coach for the Expos and Rockies.
1966 Topps Larry Bearnarth

Eddie Kranepool played with the Mets from 1962 to 1979, was an All-Star in 1965, and at one point had many of the career Mets records, even if just from sheer longevity. He still holds the Mets team records for career games and held the record for career hits until this past September when David Wright passed him.
1966 Topps Ed Kranepool

National Show & Tell: They’re Not ‘Lesser Grade’, They’re Well-Loved

A lot of my bigger “gets” from the show were vintage star cards which were somewhat lacking in… shall we say “Gradeability”?  No pristine pieces of cardboard entombed in the grading service shells of death, just well-loved cardboard which you know were handled, perused, examined, memorized and, in one case, somewhat abused.

…Like this 1966 Jim Hunter, his second-year card.  It looks like someone made a big yellow highlighter “L” on the card (it looks worse in the scan than it does in person).  I saw this card in a box, it was obviously damaged, but how else are you going to get a 46-year-old card of a Hall Of Famer for $1?  It’s not even a card I would normally collect, but I had something of a “Charlie Brown Christmas” moment with this card… I looked at it, and I thought “I think it needs me”.

So, what else did I get?  Say hey, everybody!  Take a look at these!

One of my somewhat last-minute goals of the show was to try to get some well-loved stars from the 1972 set, and Willie Mays certainly falls into that category.  If I also decide to go forward with completing the first two series of 1972 (something I’ve all but committed to doing), then I was going to need these two.  I would also need Mr. Joe Morgan…

…but Willie McCovey falls into the third series, so buying him is either a case of being proactive regarding possible future goals, or just me saying “WTF”.

And finally, so you don’t think I was fixated too  much on 1972, here’s a lovely Brooks Robinson All-Star from 1970.

The total damage for these cards?  $16.  For less than the price of a blaster, I got 6 vintage cards featuring Hall-Of-Famers.  I ask you, how can you beat that?