Kicking Off The 1992 Frankenset

As many of you know, I experimented with making a “Frankenset” out of my 1994 cards, and the experiment was such a success that I’ve moved on to 1992.

What I’m doing is simple. With the exception of my two team collections (Mets and Orioles), I’m taking all of my 1992 cards from different sets, sorting them by team and player, taking the best base card for each team/player combination and putting that into a “1992 Frankenset” binder. Many of the cards that are not included in my Frankenset will get removed from my collection.

There are many reasons for my going the Frankenset route, but the primary benefits are:

  • I’ve got waaaaaaay too many 1990’s cards, and this gives me a plan of attack, plus motivation, to bring the numbers down.
  • I’ve come to realize that there is no reason to have 5 different cards of Barry Larkin or Craig Grebeck for a given year (No offense intended to Mr. Larkin or Mr. Grebeck).
  • It’s fun to reorganize cards.

I think I’m about halfway through the Frankenset… “think” because every time I think I’m done, I find another batch of cards in some box somewhere.  In the process, a number of cards have caught my eye all over again, and I thought it would be fun to share a few of those.

Back in 1992, the bulk of my pack-buying was Topps and Score; I didn’t bust what was high-end for the time (UD, Stadium Club, Leaf, Ultra), and I didn’t like 1992 Fleer or Donruss . Looking back, 1992 Score ain’t no great shakes either, but there are some good cards like this one…
1992 Score Bill Doran
…not to mention that it’s got a Ryno cameo.

Nothing extra-special about this one, just a nice candid shot.
1992 Topps Casey Candaele

The throwback Reds uni makes this card.
1992 Topps Glenn Braggs

I love any card featuring a manager who’s doing something other than standing around looking managerial.
1992 Topps Jim Leyland

Will Clark gets eye-blacked up before a game.
1992 Upper Deck Will Clark
…And I wonder who that is applying the eyeblack.

Now that I’m done, this almost feels like a a Dime Box post.  I even thought about setting up a poll to let you vote for your favorite common, but I’ve already strayed far enough into Nick’s territory.

“Don’t Confuse Effort With Results”

I’ve had the boss from an old summer job in my head this week, chastising me for letting several days go by without a post.  I can hear him asking what’s taking so long, and I explain to him that on top of organizing my 1994 cards and entering 2015 sets into my card database, I’ve been coming up with posting ideas, researching, writing, scanning, feverishly working on customs… but he just tells me that I shouldn’t confuse effort with results.

It’s at this point that my mentally-conjured boss turns to walk away and I make a rude gesture at his back.

This is all a form of mea culpa for my meager output of this past week…  I guess I have to “work smarter, not harder”.

For now, at least, I’m  going to take “work smarter, not harder” to mean that I should post four somewhat unusual cards that had been scanned for post ideas that didn’t work out. When life gives you lemons, post oddballs.

1992 UD Cal & Billy Ripken

1999 Best Baseball America Bronson Arroyo

1975 Hostess Gene Tenace

1980 Kellogg's Lee Mazzilli

Getting back to bosses, it’s been a while since I’ve had a boss that spouted aphorisms.  Most of my recent bosses tend towards buzzwords, many of which involve incorrectly turning nouns into verbs and verbs into nouns:  “We’ve got to do some decisioning on the spend”.

What are your favorite boss-isms or buzzwords?

Saved From The Purge: More Early 1990’s Upper Deck

I’ve been purging most of the Upper Deck cards from my collection, and what follows are cards that were spared my wrath, even though they wouldn’t normally fit in my collection.

I saved this one because I liked the fairly unusual angle of this action shot.
1991 Upper Deck Carlos Martinez
Two trivial facts about Carlos Martinez:
1) He hit the home run in 1993 that bounced off of Jose Canseco’s head
2) He is the first of three Major Leaguers named Carlos Martinez. Number 3 is currently in the Cardinals bullpen.

1991 Upper Deck Scott Ruskin Back

As long as I’m dishing out the trivia, Scott Ruskin started out as a 1B/OF in the Pirates system, and switched over to pitching in 1989, the year before his MLB debut.

She’s got legs, she knows how to use ’em…
1992 Upper Deck Jack Morris back
…and sensible shoes and an early ’90’s jacket…

For some reason, I really enjoy “Being interviewed on ESPN” shots. I might have to make a theme out of that.

Jack Morris lead the American League in wild pitches three straight years and five overall.

At various points he also lead the AL in less-interesting categories like wins, strikeouts, complete games, shutouts, innings pitched…

Joe Bought A Repack, And The Most Interesting Card He Got Was “Blank”…

The subject line should be read in the voice of the late Gene Rayburn, host of “Match Game”, the greatest game show the 1970’s had to offer.

The other morning I was feeling a little down… I’m not even sure why, but I just felt a bit dejected. Nobody was around at lunch, so I ate my sandwich and read a magazine.


That wasn’t working for me and since it was nice outside, I figured maybe I should go for a walk.


So what else was there to do? I drove over to the nearby Target and bought a repack.

Plenty of junk wax, of course. Only one Topps All-Star Glossy…
1989 Topps Glossy Gary Carter
…but if I’m only going to get one, at least it’s Gary Carter as a Met, and a card I needed.

I also got an Oriole knocked off of my very, very large wantlist:
1992 Upper Deck Gregg Olson

I got an autograph! Yay!
2005 Donruss Champions Autograph
This is the second autograph I’ve pulled from a repack in the past couple of months… Neither one was anybody I’m interested in, but I’ll take a signed card over another 1989 Fleer card any day.

As I was thumbing through all the junk wax, I ran across this:
Blank Cardboard #1

A blank piece of cardboard? WTF?

Then I turned it over…
Blank Cardboard #2

EXCELLENT!  A blank-front Dodgers Leaders card! Somebody in Q/A was snoozing on that day in 1989. This one’s definitely going in my 1989 binder!

I had been hoping for a Pirates/A’s World Series, but now my best-case scenario is Cardinals/Tigers… and to be honest, at this point I’m just hoping I don’t have to see the Red Sox & Dodgers, the matchup I least wanted to see.

Fox says they’d like to get they two biggest markets left, Boston vs. Los Angeles.

…or maybe Fox says “Ring-ding-ding-ding-ding-a-ding-a-ding…”

Aw, Man! I Want A Fairfield Repack, Too!!!

I’ve been seeing a bunch of posts lately for repacks, and it lit a fire within me.


I had to go to Target anyway, so I went through the repacks they had on hand… Unfortunately, the ones they had made no promises of vintage, just 5 rookie cards. Whoop-dee-doop-dee-doo.

Didn’t matter, I needed a fix. Into the cart it went, and into my blog it goes…

The particular repack I bought was one I picked out because of this Jason Bay card I didn’t recognize… and it turned out to be a 2007 Topps Wal-Mart insert. Despite his less-than-stellar time with the Mets, I like Jason Bay and hope he turns it around with the Mariners.
2007 Topps Wal-Mart Jason Bay

Just like most Fairfield repacks, I got some 1980’s Topps glossies… Usually my favorite part. Unfortunately, this time around the only one I needed was this Clemens…
1987 Topps Glossy All Star Roger Clemens
…and naturally, I ended up with two of these. Sigh.

I like the late-1980’s parking lot in the background.  I believe that’s a big ol’ Cadillac just over Clemens’ shoulder.  It’s too bad it’s not a pink Cadillac, crushed velvet seats, ridin’ in the back, oozin’ down the street, wavin’ to the girls, feelin’ outta sight, spendin’ all my money on a Saturday night, honey I just wonder what it feels like in the back of your pink Cadillac… pink Cadillac…

Huh?  Whuh?  Oh, sorry, drifted away for a minute…

Woo-hoo! I got Bipped! I think that’s almost becoming a point of honor…
1992 Upper Deck Bip Roberts

Huh. I didn’t know Star did a Keith Hernandez set… I’ve got a couple of other player-specific Star sets, but I don’t recall running across Keith before.
1987 Star Keith Hernandez Post Season Stats
The problem with doing these player-specific sets in the colors of the player’s current team is that you get bad combos like a Cardinals uniform framed with Mets orange. This would’ve been a nicer card with different colors… but it’s Star, it’s only going to get but so nice… I’ll just distract myself by admiring Keith’s stirrups.

I got a number of 2010 cards, including this Aaron Laffey. Laffey was on the Mets earlier this month, and I didn’t have a single card of his. Last week the Mets put him on waivers and he was claimed by the Blue Jays… and NOW I have a card of Aaron Laffey. Ain’t that just…
2010 Topps Aaron Laffey
In case you hadn’t noticed, the Blue Jays will put a waiver claim on ANYBODY. Don’t believe me? Keep an eye on the transactions column… seems like half the guys who go through waivers get claimed by the Jays, even if the Jays then turn around and DFA the guy.

No, I don’t understand it.

…and for what it’s worth, the Jays did turn around and DFA Aaron Laffey.

Among the promised rookies I got were a 2005 Bazooka Melky Cabrera (which seems to actually have some value), a couple of uninteresting 2010 rookies and this 2007 TriStar David Price, which is at least shiny even if it is kinda ugly.
2007 TriStar Prospects Plus David Price

Not one of the better repacks I’ve gotten, but still $4 worth of entertainment.

…And for the record, 36 cards went straight from the repack into the recycling bin… Just doing my part to keep America safe from Junk Wax.

Step Right Up And Repack The Mets…

The cards below are ones that I got in recent repacks and which filled needs; No high-number 1972’s, but some decent stuff anyway.

Then-prospect Bobby Jones is rocking a Binghamton Mets cap on this card.  This is “right-handed Bobby Jones”,  not to be confused with “left-handed Bobby Jones” who pitched for the Mets around the same time.  It’s fortuitous that one was a lefty and the other a righty, because I’m sure nobody in an official position wanted to refer to them as “White Bobby Jones” and “Black Bobby Jones”.
1992 UD Minors Bobby Jones
This is “White Bobby Jones”, if you hadn’t figured that out already.

Terry Bross’ shiny windbreaker reminds me of my one attempt to buy an authentic Mets warmup jacket in the 1980’s….
1992 UD Terry Bross
..Well, it wasn’t an attempt, I bought it, and I brought it home. It wasn’t a windbreaker like this one, it was a jacket with elastic cuffs and bottom… and I realized that with my short, slight torso, I looked like a giant satin blueberry. The jacket was returned to the store the next day.

Terry Bross pitched 8 games for the 1991 Mets, 2 games for the 1993 Giants and later pitched for 4 years in Japan. He played baseball and basketball while at St. John’s University.

Whenever I see Davey Johnson, I have two thoughts:
1) Man, I wish he were still the Mets manager.
1) Man, I wish he were still the Orioles manager.
1988 Topps All-Star Glossy Davey Johnson

These repacks are putting a major dent into my All-Star Glossy needs (not that I had any sort of idea of what those needs were before I started getting these repacks…)
1989 Topps All-Star Glossy Darryl Strawberry

The Statue Got Me High (That’s What I’m Hoping For, Anyway)

The Orioles will be unveiling the new Cal Ripken statue on Thursday, and I’ve been very impressed with the statues the Orioles have unveiled so far.  Jim Palmer pitching with his big leg kick. Earl Weaver surveying the troops. Eddie Murray waiting for a pitch – when you see the statue in person, it seems like he’s looking right at you. Great stuff.

I’ve gotta say, I’m apprehensive about what Cal’s statue will be like.  There are two remaining pedestals; Assuming that the Brooks Robinson statue will have him diving for a ball – and I think that’s a safe assumption – then that leaves the relatively small pedestal for Cal.  A small pedestal implies an upright statue.

What concerns me is this: when they honor the man who revolutionized the way people think about shortstop as a position, the 1982 AL Rookie Of the Year, the 2-time MVP, the 19-time All-Star, the man who won 2 Gold Gloves and 8 Silver Slugger awards, the guy who hit 431 home runs, the man who’s in the Baseball Hall of Fame for – GASP! – playing baseball… will they honor that man with a statue which looks like this?

I know this has become an iconic image, and a lot of people feel that it symbolizes what Cal’s all about… but to me it’s just so DAMN BORING. Ask my wife, she’ll tell you I’ve been mocking this logo for 11 years. This is not an image of a baseball player. It’s not the image of an athlete. This is the image of the Queen waving to her loyal subjects from a balcony. Hulloooooooooooo!

I understand that Cal means so much more to the Orioles, Baltimore and Maryland that just as a baseball player. I just hope they can capture that in a way that’s a little more interesting. Given that we’ know that Cal will be vertical in some way, maybe we can hope that he’ll be turning two…

…or standing on deck…

…or signing an autograph…

…or with a bat on his shoulder…

…or talking on an amusingly outdated phone…

…or even tipping his cap to a crowd.

I just hope they came up with something more interesting, more appropriate, than this…

I’ll admit, I became an Orioles fan towards the end of Cal’s career, so he doesn’t have the same emotional connection to him that life-long Orioles fans have. So, tell me…

What do you think the perfect statue of Cal would be?