Non-Random Team Review: 1971 Topps Mets

As mentioned in this blog a little while ago, I recently obtained a 1971 Topps Nolan Ryan card, and that completed my Mets team set. To commemorate the event, I figured I’d go ahead and do one of my “Team Review” posts for the 1971 Mets.

Little did I realize that I haven’t done one of these in almost a year. I’d probably post more often and with less brain-wracking if I remembered all of these series I’d set up for myself

For those who are new to the series, or just forgot what the deal was over the many months, I randomly… usually randomly, anyway… select a team set and will highlight cards under different fun categories.

The 1971 Mets, managed by Gil Hodges, finished with an 83-79 record.  They tied with the Cubs for 3rd in the NL East, 14 games behind the eventual World Champion Pirates.

Best Pitcher
It shouldn’t come as a surprise that the Mets’ best pitcher was Tom Seaver. In 1971, Tom Terrific went 20-10 with a 1.76 ERA (best in the league) and he finished second to Fergie Jenkins in Cy Young voting.

Best Position Player
Cleon Jones lead the team with 63 runs, 69 RBI, 6 triples (tie with Bud Harrelson), 14 homers (tied with Ed Kranepool and Tommie Agee), a .319 average, a .382 on-base % and a .473 slugging %

This is just odd, #1

1964 Cy Young winner (with the Angels) Dean Chance had been purchased from the Indians towards the end of the 1970 season. Chance pitched 2 innings over 3 appearances for the Mets and racked up a 13.50 ERA.  He wouldn’t pitch for the Mets in 1971, being traded to the Tigers towards the end of spring training (more on this in a moment).

This is just odd, #2

In the 1960s and 1970s the Mets seemingly spent a lot of time looking for 3rd basemen, picking up a player who didn’t pan out, and then looking for another 3rd basemen.  The 1971 version of this was Bob Aspromonte, who was obtained from the Braves and lasted just one season with the Mets.

Most Notable Airbrushing
Jerry Robertson and his glowing blue cap never actually played for the Mets. He was obtained from the Tigers for Chance and Bill Denehy, but Robertson spent the season at Triple-A Tidewater and then was out of baseball after that

Best Rookie Card
Ken Singleton would blossom with the Expos and become a three-time All-Star with the Orioles. In early April, 1972 he’d be sent to the Expos as part of a package for Rusty Staub.  Some of you may know him better as a member of the Yankees’ broadcast team.

Second-best Rookie card
Jon Matlack was recently inducted into the New York Mets HOF, and was the 1972 NL Rookie of the Year and a three-time All-Star.  In 1971 he made 6 starts and a relief appearance.

Rich Folkers pitched in 16 games in 1970, mostly in relief. He pitched in Triple-A in 1971 and would be sent to the Cardinals as part of a eight-player trade that also involved Art Shamsky and Jim Bibby

Ted Martinez would become something of a SuperSub over his career, playing every position but pitcher, catcher and 1st base.

Key Card

Here’s that Nolan Ryan card I picked up in June.  In 1971, Ryan went 10-14 with a 3.97 ERA, 137 strikeouts and 116 walks

Stealthy Key Card

This card comes with a premium because #30 in the foreground is Nolan Ryan

Best Card Back (Cheating version)
I usually pick out a card back based on the cartoon on the back or some bit of trivia about the player. 1971 Topps does not have cartoons, and I confess I didn’t re-read all of the card backs… I’m just going to use this category as an excuse to show off the back of the one 1971 O-Pee-Chee Mets card I have, Duffy Dyer

League Leader Cards

NL ERA LEADERS

TOM SEAVER – 2.82
WAYNE SIMPSON – 3.02
LUKE WALKER – 3.04
BOB GIBSON 3.12
JERRY KOOSMAN – 3.14

NL STRIKEOUT LEADERS

TOM SEAVER – 283
BOB GIBSON – 274
FERGIE JENKINS – 274
GAYLORD PERRY – 214
KEN HOLTZMAN – 202

Favorite Card(s), Best On-Field Card(s)

This card of Ken Boswell has everything going for it.. An action shot involving Boswell and the Cardinals’ Vic Davalillo, a somewhat unusual angle on the Shea stadium bullpen and left field stands, and way off in the distance you can see part of the Whitestone Bridge.

More Action Shots I Like Too Much To Leave Out

In the background on this card is #5 for the Cardinals, which seems to have been coach Dick Sisler

 

Thinking Too Much About 2020 Heritage

This type of post has become somewhat of a tradition for me…  I did it for both 2018 and 2019 Heritage, and I do it again now.

What “it” is would be me slicing and dicing scans of 2020 Heritage and comparing them in different ways to the originals… and in a couple of places, I’ll also be comparing them to 2002 Upper Deck Vintage, which did their own little riff on 1971 Topps/O-Pee-Chee.

So here we have Heritage, 1971 and Vintage.  As you can see, UD covered their copyright asses a little by putting the team and player name at the bottom, as well as making some other tweaks.

One thing I’ve noticed since I started doing this “series” is that, for some reason, the space devoted to photos in Heritage is just a little bit smaller than it is on the original, and many of the design elements are also smaller.  Here’s an example where I took “strips” of a Heritage image and laid them over an original 1971 card, adjusting so that the bottom edge of the white “frame” on both cards is in alignment.

You can see that the white frame – and as a result the photo inside the white frame – is a bit smaller on the Heritage card which shows a head shot of Marcus Stroman than for the 1971 action shot of Ray Sadecki.  Interestingly enough, notice that the text is also a bit closer to the white frame, and the two lines of text are a little closer to each other than on the original.  This is something I’ve noticed three years running – the overall portion of the card which is taken up by photo and design is juuuuuuuust a little bit smaller on Heritage than on the originals.  While we don’t have anywhere near as much miscuts as we did back in the day, one would think that having 21st century technology and lasers and such would allow card makers to push the envelope more than they could back in the day, but it does seem like Topps allows for a slightly wider “margin” around the edge of the card.  It seems counter intuitive given that we have borderless cards with no apparent problems, but there you are.

One other thing I noticed, which is exaggerated by my scanner washing colors out a bit – the cyan of the original is more “cyan-y” than the Heritage.

The white frame is a little bit narrower on Heritage as well;  in the image below, I lined up the left edges of the white frame and then used a green line to extend the right-hand edge of the Heritage white frame.  This also gives a decent illustration of how there’s a little more black side-to-side in Heritage than the original.

Just for fun, I did a similar “cross-section” image, only this time I adjusted the two designs so that the word “METS” is closely aligned as could be:

This gives a better image of how the text takes up less space on Heritage than on the original…  So to hit those points again, both the photo and design portions of the Heritage card take up less space than on the originals.  It’s not much less, but it is less.

One final analysis of the heading of all three:

Although the team font is very close, you can see that the font used by Upper Deck was a closer match than Heritage (which is a little bit “chunkier”).  Note also that the font used for the name/position is not quite the same either… Compare the R’s, S’s and C’s above.  For example the horizontal part of the lower-case “r” is stubbier in Heritage than on the original.  It’s close enough for government work, but not quite the same.

Moving on to a quick comparison of the backs…

Like the fronts, the backs of the Heritage card were printed a little smaller than the original, and it’s only partly because of the larger amount of small print on the side.  Meanwhile the UD Vintage cards used the 1971 backs but with the OPC yellow, which is sooooo, sooooo much easier to read.  I know it goes against everything Topps is shooting for, but I do wish they’d used the 1971 O-Pee-Chee backs when making this Heritage set.

More analysis of the backs, aligning by the bottom of the stat box…

…and just presenting the Heritage back overlaying the original back so that you can see how he boxes are smaller and squished up by the legal stuff on the right.

Let’s do some quickie comparison of other cards, starting with the AL ERA Leaders, both card #67…It’s interesting how “AMERICAN LEAGUE” is italicized on the 2020 card.  Also, you can see how the player name and team text is shorter and often narrower in Heritage.  Those of you who have middle-aged eyes, take comfort… Topps isn’t taking it easy on us.

“Rookie Stars” cards for the White Sox;  both of these are card #13 and both feature a catcher and pitcher.  Aside from the beating-a-dead-horse differences I’d already mentioned, these match up nicely.

Maybe Heritage has always done this and I hadn’t noticed, but I both love and hate the fact that the rookie stars are of the same position as the original card.  The hate part comes from the idea that Topps might shoehorn a marginal prospect into this subset because, for example, a shortstop prospect is needed to maintain continuity but the team in question doesn’t have a good shortstop prospect, so they use some fringe-y guy who may never appear on cardboard again.

Two ALCS cards, but in 1971 you could get away with saying “A.L. PLAYOFFS”.  Again, you can see how the cyan is deeper in 1971 than in Heritage.  Also, “WORLD SERIES” is italicized, I wonder if it has anything to do with the phrase being trademarked.

If this were me designing these Heritage cards, I would’ve softened the focus on the 2019 Astros photo to make it look more like the original

World Series Game #4…  You know the drill by now… Smaller picture, more black, wordier at the bottom with a narrower font.

Two horizontal Angels, both card #360.  I’m mildly annoyed that with all the space that a horizontal card provides, they still went with Andrelton Simmons being a “ss” instead of a “shortstop”

One last card which I’m featuring because it’s probably my favorite card out of 2002 UD Vintage… Gotta love Cal standing in the on-deck circle with the Warehouse in the background.

Just like the last two years, I’d like to thank you for reading through my long ramblings about Heritage. Maybe I think too much for my own good… Some people say so. Other people say “No, no… The fact is you don’t think as much as you could.”

Hm.

I Really Hate That I Don’t Hate These Dodgers

You’ve got to understand one thing… In 40-plus years of following baseball, I’ve never liked the Dodgers.  At all.

I’m not even sure how or why it began.  At the very beginning, of course, I didn’t hate anybody or any team.  Baseball was a wonderful new universe I’d just discovered, everybody was varying degrees of awesome.

(Oh, and before I get too far into this… All of the cards in this post are fairly recent acquisitions which have nothin’ to do with nothin’ other than they feature Dodgers)

When the time came that I started to form negative reactions to teams, the Yankees and Dodgers were the first.  I started out liking the Yankees – local team, yay! – but got turned off when they got arrogant, free-spending and replaced favorite Yanks with poopyheads like Reggie Jackson and Billy Martin.

..But the Dodgers?  The disdain just fell into place, I’ve never really been sure why.

I didn’t get it at home;  I lived in a New York Rangers household where all of the sports animosity was directed towards the Islanders, Flyers and Bruins.

Maybe I picked up on lingering regional resentment at the team which broke the hearts of Brooklynites (many of whom had become my suburban neighbors) not 20 years prior.

Maybe it was just the whole New York – Los Angeles rivalry.

Don’t know why for sure, all I know is that “1976 me” didn’t like the Dodgers, and nothing has ever changed that… especially in 1988 when those friggin’ Bums beat my Mets in the NLCS.

So when the Dodgers took the division this year, I was completely prepared to hate on the Dodgers…

…Until I realized that I like their general style of play, and looked over one of the postseason starting lineups and realized that there wasn’t anybody starting who merited anything approaching hate.

I’ve been a Justin Turner fan since he was with the Mets.  I love the guy, I certainly can’t hate on him.

Turner’s partner in being MVP of the NLCS, Chris Taylor, is another guy I like… I just appreciate the general “Where’d this guy come from?” season he had.

Curtis Granderson hasn’t played much, but he’s another well-liked former Met.

Rich Hill only pitched in 14 games as an Oriole, but something about him made me latch on to him a little bit.

Charlie Culberson, who went 5-for-11 with a triple in the NLCS, is a guy I’d seen a few times in the minors a number of years ago, so he’s one of my “I saw him back when” guys.

Yu Darvish is a deadline pickup, he’s not Dodger-y enough to dislike, plus I’ve always had a soft spot for Japanese players.  Kenta Maeda gets a similar pro-Japanese pass.

Austin Barnes?  I know almost nothing about the guy and he has almost no cardboard, so I was amazed to find out he’d been in 102 regular season games and was one of the top 10 Dodgers in terms of WAR.

Had Cody Bellinger had his outstanding rookie season last year or next year, I’d be saying “ENOUGH with this guy”… but in this case he has the good fortune to be overshadowed hype-wise by Aaron Judge.

When I went through the Dodgers roster from top to bottom, the only two guys who I could muster up a decent “BAH!” for were Yasiel Puig (who admittedly seems to have toned down the showboating which made me dislike him) and former Phillie Chase Utley (In the immortal words of Homer Simpson… “Chase Utley?  Why would I want to do that?”)

So congratulations, Dodgers fans… For what could be the first time ever, I won’t be upset if your team wins it all.

…But I’m still rooting for the Astros.

Here Are Some Cards From The *Previous* COMC Promotion…

I have to admit;  Black Friday weekend and Cyber Monday have sucked up much of my “hobby time” for the past week…  As a result, I’m gonna buy myself some time by sharing an assortment of cards from the last time I took advantage of a COMC Promotion, which was back in June.

I mainly bought this card because it shows Jesse Gonder wearing a Mets uniform, a team he last played for in 1965.
1969 Topps Jesse Gonder
When I looked up Gonder’s record, I noticed that he never played for the Padres, nor was there any transaction that showed him going to the Padres. A little Googling revealed that he was a Spring Training invite, made the team but was released shortly into the season without having appeared in a game.

This card was a pleasant find… This card is a high number and a rookie card, plus it was a need, but I got it for under $1 because it was flagged as “Altered”. Once I got the card in my possession, I could tell it had been trimmed. I could also tell that I do not care.
1971 Topps Mets Rookie Stars

Ted Uhlaender’s daughter Katie was in the 2014 Sochi Olympics in the Skeleton event.
1972 Topps Ted Uhlaender
Ted’s last Major League at bat came as a pinch-hitter in Game 7 of the 1972 World Series.

I’m slowly… very slowly… working on the 1976 Kellogg’s set, but for now I’m keeping this set within a tight budget. We’ll see how far I get (probably not very). Dave Cash here set me back 55 cents.
1976 Kellogg's Dave Cash
Just a reminder that this winter’s “Hot Stove” custom set is based on this very same 1976 Kellogg’s set… I’m still working on some of the related images (you’ll understand when we get there), but so far I’ve got three customs made. Hint, hint: I’ve “photoshopped” on-field personnel into Red Sox, Marlins and Angels uniforms. I’m hoping to get the first one out this weekend.

This last card is shiny and features a decent photo, but I’ll be honest, I bought it for one primary reason: It’s a Japanese baseball card that was on sale for 35 cents.
2002 BBM Hanshin Tigers Extra Edition Go Kida
I don’t usually pass that by, no matter who’s on the card.

…And now you’re going to ask me who *is* on the card. Well, his name is Go Kida and I couldn’t find a whole lot about him… I guess he’s the kind of a guy who ends up on a 35 cent Japanese baseball card. Oh, I should mention that the set is the 2002 BBM Hanshin Tigers Extra Edition (at least that’s what COMC told me).

A Dealer-Made Pack Of 1971 Topps Cards

Whenever I manage to get to a show, there’s one dealer who gets a decent percentage of my “show money”.  Part of the reason for that is his vintage bargain bin, which sometimes contains small “packs” of 5-10 lesser-condition cards (both baseball and hockey) from the 1970’s.

This one was such a pack… For about the price of a pack of new cards, I got 10 cards from 1971. Yes, they’re commons that don’t do much for my team or player collections, but I’m fine with that.  It’s still more 1971 cards that I didn’t previously have.  For me, 1971 falls into the category of “I’m not truly working on the set, but I will take any and all cheap cards which come my way”.

I always think of Clay Kirby as a Padre, but he did play for the Reds and Expos towards the end of his 8-year career.
1971 Topps Clay Kirby
Kirby was an original Padre and lost 20 games during their 52-110 inaugural season.  In 1970, Kirby was no-hitting the Mets through 8 innings when he was lifted for a pinch-hitter (the Padres were losing 1-0).  To this day, no Padres’ pitcher has thrown a no-no.

Ed Stroud started and ended his career with the White Sox, but in between he played four years for the Senators.
1971 Topps Ed Stroud
His 1968 card says he is nicknamed “The Streak” because of his speed.  Obviously, this was before “streaking” meant something else entirely (Oh, yes, they call him The Streak… He likes to show off his physique…)

Gary Peters was the 1963 AL Rookie Of The Year with the White Sox.  He went 19-8 that season, went 20-8 the following season and lead the league in ERA twice.
1971 Topps Gary Peters
He was also known as a good-hitting pitcher, and in his rookie season he batted .259 with 4 homers, 12 RBI and a .444 slugging percentage.

Gil Garrido had a cup of coffee with the 1964 Giants, and it would be 4 years before he had another cup.
1971 Topps Gil Garrido
In 1970 he hit his one-and-only Major League home run.

To me, Jack Hiatt is the Major Leaguer who collects baseball cards… at least, that’s what the back of his 1973 card says.
1971 Topps Jack Hiatt
Hiatt’s another guy started and finished his career with the same team (the Los Angeles/California Angels)

Jarvis Tatum is the one guy in this “pack” that I had not at least heard of before.
1971 Topps Jarvis tatum
He played parts of three seasons with the Angels, including 75 games with the Halos in 1970.  That October he was involved in a 6-player trade that sent him to Boston, but the Red Sox released him in April of 1971.  He then signed with the Yakult Atoms of Japanese Pro Baseball.

John Boccabella… I can’t think of much to say about John Boccabella that I haven’t said before…
1971 Topps John Boccabella
How about video of a 1970 walk-off homer against the Pirates?

Chico Cardenas twice lead the league in intentional walks.  Not that he wasn’t a good hitter, but it’s not what he’s particularly known for, so I looked at a few random box scores from 1965 and found that he batted 8th.  Say no more.
1971 Topps Leo Cardenas

World Series Game 2, Orioles and Reds.
1971 Topps World Series Game 2
The Orioles did win this game 6-5 and won the series 4-1, but in Game 2, Don Buford had two singles, a walk and scored a run.  There are other players who are more deserving of being featured, but those players must not have had a cool photo (which also features Johnny Bench).

I’ve got the simulation game iOOTP on my iPod, and in a simulated 1969 season, the Senators and Athletics made an interesting, computer-generated trade:  Bert Campaneris to Washington for Frank Howard.
1971 Topps Bert Campaneris
Within some internal logic of game it made some kind of sense, and it might’ve partly based on some key player on either team becoming injured, but I thought it was interesting anyway.  Would you trade Hondo for Campy?

Maybe I should check with Alternate Universe Joe Shlabotnik and see if that trade may have happened over there…

Four Cool 1971’s, Four Random Comments

I’ve got four somewhat-recently-acquired 1971 Topps baseball cards;  I’ve got four comments.  Neither has anything to do with the other.
1971 Topps Dal Maxvill

Every time someone talks about ways to increase offense in baseball, the one point they bring up is that “It’s time to bring the DH to the National League!”

I find that argument to be similar to this one:  “I don’t have a girlfriend.   My friend Skippy doesn’t have a girlfriend.  Girls like hot cars.  Skippy has a Corvette.  I need a Corvette.”

I prefer baseball without the DH, but I’ve become resigned to the idea that it’s just a matter of time before the DH is universal… That doesn’t mean I won’t point out weak, agenda-filled rationalizations when I see them.

1971 Topps Vada Pinson

I’m not a fan of Country music, but I kinda like Johnny Cash.  I would like to say that the fake crowd noise on “Johnny Cash Live At Folsom Prison” is really annoying.

1971 Topps Cesar Geronimo

There’s one line in the Beach Boys song “California Girls” that I never understood… Not until recently when I was listening to it through headphones and I had an epiphany.  The line is:  “I dig a French bikini on Hawaiian Island dolls by a palm tree in the sand”.  David Lee Roth clearly never knew what the line was either, because on his version he’s singing gibberish between “bikini” and “by a palm tree”.

1971 Topps Chris Short

Doesn’t it seem like Jack Black and Jack White should collaborate on a project?

I Can See It In Your Eyes, You’re Ready For Another Cards & Songs Post

I hate to let more than one day go by without posting something, but nothing in my drafts folder is ready to go… And that’s where these “Playlists and unrelated cards” posts come into play. I come up with a playlist theme, gather some images of cards, mix well, bake in a 375 degree oven for 8-10 minutes, and serve.

So today’s theme is songs with “eye” or “eyes” in the title. Normally this would be a Top 5 or Top 10 list, but there were so many songs I liked that I’m just dumping them out here…

Joe Shlabotnik’s Top 28 Songs With “Eye” In The Title (in alphabetical order):

Behind Blue Eyes – The Who
Brown-eyed Girl – Van Morrison
Cross-eyed And Painless – Talking Heads
Cross-eyed Mary – Jethro Tull
Drunk-eyed Waltz – The Health & Happiness Show
Ebony Eyes – Bob Welch
Eye Of The Hurricane – The Drongos
1972 Topps Mike Hegan
Eye Of The Storm – Sara Hickman
Eyes Of The World – Fleetwood Mac
Far Away Eyes – Rolling Stones
Four-eyed Girl – Rhett Miller
Greeneyed Lady – Sugarloaf
I Can See It In Your Eyes – Men At Work  (Ooooh, the “title track”)
Killer’s Eyes – The Kinks
1971 Topps Jerry Reuss
Lazy Eye – Hem
Lonesome Tears In My Eyes – The Beatles (“Live at the BBC” album)
Lyin’ Eyes – The Eagles
Narrow Your Eyes – They Might Be Giants
Old Red Eyes Is Back – The Beautiful South
One Long Pair Of Eyes – Robyn Hitchcock
Polka Your Eyes Out – “Weird Al” Yankovic
1984 Donruss Ray Knight
Rosalinda’s Eyes – Billy Joel
Sight For Sore Eyes – Aerosmith
Starry Eyes – The Records
Suite: Judy Blue Eyes – Crosby, Stills & Nash
Temptation Eyes – The Grass Roots
The Story In Your Eyes – The Moody Blues
These Eyes – The Guess Who

…And I’m going to wrap this up with one card that is appropriate for the musical theme, the 1972 card of Ross “Crazy Eyes” Grimsley
1972 Topps Ross Grimsley

…and this is where you shake your head and rattle off the seven obvious songs I neglected to mention.  Give it to me with both barrels!

Black Friday: Working On My Mets Teams From Three Decades

I  hope you enjoy seeing what I got on COMC during Black Friday weekend, because I still have a bunch to go…

The first two cards nicely illustrate why I’m happy that Topps Heritage has gotten to the point where the sets are “color-coded” by team… other than a little line of type at the bottom, there is absolutely nothing about these first two cards which says “Mets”.

…not that these cards are Heritage cards, but the designs were the basis for recent Heritage sets and … awwww, you know what I mean.

Charlie Neal – Topps seems to be the only ones spelling his name “Charley” – was one of those players who were like gold to the First-year Mets:  A former Brooklyn Dodger who was available.  In this case, he was obtained from the L.A. Dodgers in a late 1961 trade.
1962 Topps Charley Neal
I was surprised to find that during his peak years of 1959 and 1960 he won a Gold Glove, was named to two All-Star teams and lead the N.L. in triples.  That’s pretty recent success for the famously bad 1962 Mets.  He put up some decent numbers in 1962, batting .260 and hitting 14 doubles and 9 triples.

Tracy Stallard was obtained from the Red Sox in a late 1962 trade;  he would go on to a 16-37 record with the Mets over two years, and in 1964 he lead the NL with 20 losses.
1963 Topps Tracy  Stallard
During that 20-loss season he had a career-high 118 strikeouts, a 3.79 ERA and a 1.267 WHIP, which are pretty decent numbers… but the 1964 Mets lost 109 games, there’s only so much one guy can do to counteract that…

In 1965, Stallard would go 11-8 with the Cardinals.

Jerry Robertson never got to trade his day-glo airbrushed hat for a real Mets hat.  The Mets picked  him up at the end of 1971’s Spring Training, but he only pitched for the AAA Tidewater Tides before an injury forced his retirement.
1971 Topps Jerry Robertson
I know this card is a high number and probably a last-minute addition to the set, but couldn’t Topps have figured out some way to not have the signature run across Jerry’s face?

Lee Mazzilli was one of the bright spots on a bad 1979 Mets team.  In that year’s All-Star game, he hit a home run off of Jim Kern and got the game-winning RBI in the 9th when he drew a bases-loaded walk off of the Yankees’ Ron Guidry.  When your team loses 99 games, getting the best of a Yankee on a national stage is as good as it gets.
1979 Topps Lee Mazzilli

I feel like I should have more in this post, but I’m out of time… So here are three Mets acquisitions from the 1980’s without any additional commentary from me. Lucky you!
1984 Topps Mookie Wilson

1985 Topps Darry Strawberry DP

1985 Topps Dave Johnson

Right, Soooooooo… Where Was I?

Those of you who do all their blog surfing through blogrolls might’ve wondered where I’ve been.  Truth is, I’ve been here but the proverbial “technical difficulties” have kept me from appearing on blogrolls.  I’ve been posting at least once a day for all of November, so if you thought I fell off the face of the earth, you might want to go back and check out what you’ve missed.

I’d like to thank the esteemed Mr. Nachos Grande for his help on the matter.  It looks like pasting documents straight from Word into the post was causing problems.  Why it hadn’t caused similar problems in the previous 2 years I’d been doing the exact same thing is beyond me… I guess things reached critical mass or something.  For now I’ll keep my fingers crossed that the problem’s been sorted out.

Before I move on, let’s pause for a brief image…

1992 Post Cal Ripken

For the past few days, I’ve been spending a heck of a lot of time on card-related activities that didn’t involve touching any cards or writing about them.  Aside from obsessing over my blogroll issues, I’ve also been getting ready for COMC’s Black Friday.  I’ve been updating my wantlists for a day of shopping, and I’ve also been pricing the nearly 500 cards that just entered my inventory.

COMC is encouraging all of it’s sellers to have a sale for this weekend, and I’ll be participating.  They’ll also have shipping without paying the handling charge, give store credit for buying and shipping a minimum amount of purchases, and be giving away Cyber Monday shopping sprees.

Among the cards I’ve just added to my inventory are oddballs like the Cal pictured above, plus vintage cards, parallels and inserts (many from 2013), manupatches, vintage, rookies and pre-rookies, oddballs, 1970′s O-Pee-Chee baseball, 1976 SSPC, hockey, basketball, football, even Donruss Truckin’ cards.  Check it out here, but you might want to wait until Friday to actually start  your shopping.

…and don’t hesitate to make me an offer;  I’ve got 490 cards I priced based on half of book value;  I don’t know if I’ll have a chance before Friday to check for entry mistakes or whether 50% book is reasonable, so… like I said, make an offer.  I’m going to be shopping on Friday, and checking my account regularly over the weekend.

If anybody else is selling on COMC, feel free to leave your seller ID in the comments;  when I can, I always like to buy from people I know.

Pause for a breath and another image…

1971 Topps Gary Gentry

Yesterday at lunch I bought a 100-card repack and went through the cards while sitting in my car, but the cards are sitting on my kitchen table, still in the torn-open plastic shell case.  That’s the kind of week it’s been — I didn’t even get around to pulling out the 1988 Donruss cards and throwing them in the recycling!

I plan to be back to business as usual tomorrow… Maybe I’ll get a chance to make the Ian Kinsler custom to go with the Prince Fielder I posted on Monday.

I hope everybody has a happy Thanksgiving and a happy Hannukah.  Drive safe if you’re driving.

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.