Stuff That Made Me Think Of Cards

Not that it takes much to get me to think of cards…

The other day I saw something about Dirk Nowitzki retiring, and that made me think of this card I got and have been meaning to post:
2007-08 Topps Basketball 50th Variation Dirk Nowitzki
As it turns out, the “news” about Nowitzki retiring was an April Fool’s joke, which is just as well. Nowitzki is one of the relatively few NBA players I know something about beyond his name (i.e. he’s German), so it just wouldn’t do if he were to retire.

At any rate, I didn’t buy this card because of Nowitzki… well, not entirely. I bought it because I recently became enamored with the simple yet appealing design of the 1957-58 Topps Basketball set, and I proclaimed “I’m going to get me one of them there cards!”

Shortly thereafter, I found out just how expensive them there cards can be, so for the time being I decided to go with a 50th anniversary variation set from 8 years ago. Here’s the back of the card:
2007-08 Topps Basketball 50th Variation Dirk Nowitzki back
It’s not bad, but ultimately unsatisfying. I’ve also been thinking of starting a type collection of vintage Topps basketball , so maybe I’ll start keeping an eye out for relatively cheap commons from the original set.

Regular readers may remember that back in November I made a custom 1957-58 card of Stanford Senior Amber Orrange.
1957 topps basketball Amber Orrange
Aside from the fact that I like her name, I also like any basketball player that’s my height. Amber’s Stanford team made it to the Sweet 16 this year, and she should be taken pretty high up in the upcoming WNBA draft.

Another thing that made me think of a card I’ve been meaning to post was seeing Al Leiter on Rachael Ray’s show.
1992 O-Pee-Chee Al Leiter
Al and Willie Randolph had an Opening Day cook-off, which Al won on the fifth tiebreaker (or something like that). I frankly don’t get the appeal of cooking shows… You can’t smell it, you can’t eat it, you can only see it. I guess maybe it’s like watching golf… You appreciate it more if you do the same activity yourself (and by that I mean cooking, not eating).

By the way, you might be saying to yourself “I know the 1992 Topps set backwards and forwards, and I don’t remember that card of Al Leiter”. That’s because the above card is one of a handful of 1992 OPC’s which don’t have a Topps counterpart.

A third thing that made me think of cards came during an Orioles Spring Training game when they were talking about Carl Yastrzemski’s grandson Mike, who is a minor leaguer in the O’s farm system. I don’t have a card of Mike yet, but I’ve got plenty of cards of Carl.
1968 Topps Game Carl Yastrzemski
…And thanks to The Walking Dead, every time I run across someone named Carl, in my head I’m thinking “Get in the house, Carl!”

The fourth thing that made me think of cards was having a bowl of Kellogg’s Product 19 cereal. Eating Kellogg’s always makes me think of collecting Kellogg’s.
1978 Kelloggs Dave Winfield
Like I said, it doesn’t take much to get me to think of cards.  I keep going back and forth on my Kellogg’s strategy. Buy up any cheap cards I find? Focus on a particular set? Both? So many decisions to make, so many decisions…

Maybe If I Buy Enough Repacks…

…I’ll complete every Topps, Donruss, Score and Fleer set from 1986 to 1991.

I don’t buy repacks for the junk wax, and I really wouldn’t want to complete 1989 Fleer… but as long as I’m swimming in junk wax, I enjoy finding out which ones actually fill a need.

Even if they don’t fill a need, they serve an indirect purpose in that any junk wax cards which come my way and are not needed get put out of everybody’s misery… into the recycling bin they go, never to be repacked again.

Here’s a rundown of the recent repack progress I’ve made…

1986 Topps

1986 Topps Al Nipper
1 down, 9 to go. I should really try to finish this set off, once and for all…

1987 Topps

1987 Topps Don Mattingly
1 down, 44 to go. I get so many of these cards in repacks, and I’ve got an unopened cello pack sitting on a table in the other room… I wonder if I can complete this set without really trying?

1990 Topps

1990 Topps Bob Rodgers
1 down, 78 to go. Yeah, I’ve got a bit further to go for this one, but it’s not a set which has aged well so I’m in no rush.

These days, the typical reason for me buying a repack is because I’m having a less-than-fun day at work, so I run out during lunch to distract myself with $4 of entertainment. It’s gotten to the point where I even keep a cheap pair of scissors in my card just so I can extract the cards from that hard plastic case. I used to use the knife part of a multifunction tool I keep in the glove box, but after I almost impaled my thumb I decided that I’d just keep my utility scissors in my car instead of in my rarely-used toolbox.

Although I’m not keeping track in the same way, I’m also making tremendous progress on my “All-Star Glossies” sets.

1988 Topps All-Star Glossy Dave Winfield

Thanks to those commercials where Kerry Wood pulls random items out of the Wrigley Field ivy, including Andre Dawson, I can’t look at a card like this without imagining The Hawk asking “What year is it?”
1991 Topps All-Star Glossy Andre Dawson

Cards I Got From “Diamond Giveaway”… OK, So I’m A Little Behind…

I didn’t know what to write about today, I wasn’t feelin’ the posts I had in my Drafts folder, so I went poking around my unused scans… and that’s when I found images of these cards I’d redeemed from Topps “Diamond Giveaway” promotion back in early 2012.

…And I said “Ah, what the hell.”

Rule #1 with Diamond Giveaway was always “Fill the oldest need possible”, but not everybody was willing to trade their 1963 Duke Snider for my 1991 Milt Thompson. So, Rule #2 was “work towards completing sets which I’m reasonably close to completing”. In this case, I turned a 1983 Bruce Hurst (which I already had) into this Winfield. Naturally, a recent Fairfield repack I got had this card in it… But how was I to know that in 2011?
1986 Topps Dave Winfield
I don’t know why, but I think I appreciate Dave Winfield more now than when he was active… Maybe because as an all-around athlete (drafted in three sports!) he just looks good on a card.

I’m not a fan of the Cardinals or Alex Johnson, but this is easily the best card I got from Diamond Giveaway, and many others agreed with me – I got far more trade offers for this card than for any other.
1967 Topps Alex Johnson
I’m not even 100% sure about what it is that I find appealing, I just know that I look at it and think “Now that’s a baseball card!”

This is “Action” only in the sense that takes place during a game. Doesn’t matter to me, I’m not one to turn down some free-but-not-really-free 1972’s!
1972 Topps George Mitterwald

1980 Topps was another set I worked towards through Diamond Giveaway. I’ve got 99.85% of the 1973 set, complete sets from 1974 to 1978 and again in 1981, and I feel like I should have complete sets from 1979 and 1980 as well. Maybe I should bump up the priority on those two. Like Dave Winfield, 1980 Topps has also grown on me over the years. At the time I thought it was a little too much like a reworked 1974 design, but I think I’ve grown to appreciate it on its own.
1980 Topps Jimmy Sexton
I like Sexton’s belligerent expression in this card. He’s either trying to look bad-ass or he’s angry because he doesn’t like to do Standard Baseball Card Pose #27. “There, I’m doing your stupid pose. Are ya happy? Huh? Are ya?”

I’ve got plenty more Diamond Giveaway cards to share… Maybe they’ll surface on another uninspired Saturday.

Whaddaya Know… There Really Were 1987 Minis… Kinda… Sorta…

Last year, when Topps had the 1987 Mini inserts, a common theme among bloggers was that it ain’t any such… That the only minis in 1987 was the Topps Leaders set, and they only shared the general woodgrain theme and not the same design.

I was on board with that line of reasoning until I ran across these in the “accumulation” part of my collection:
1987 Topps Box Cards Sutton Winfield
I’ve had an empty 1987 Topps wax box since… well, probably since 1987. I don’t remember for sure, but I probably was in a store that had a couple of wax packs left in the box and I asked the friendly neighborhood storekeeper if I could take the box if I bought the remaining packs.

This box was one of my “attic finds”… is it a “find” if it’s in your own attic?… At one point I was going to write a post about this box along the lines of “Should I keep it as an intact box, should I cut out the one side of the box and leave it as a panel, should I cut it into individual cards?” But there was a major need for cleaning in my man cave, so the “box” is gone and now it’s just a panel.

After I scanned this panel, it occurred to me that these cards are smaller than standard. I took a 2012 Mini and compared them, and glory be, they’re the same size. The backs are different, but I’m not going to quibble with Topps about that…

1987 Topps Box Cards Sutton Winfield Back

So now we’re just left with the bogus 1972 minis… and to quote the preacher in Blazing Saddles, “Son, you’re on your own.”

Long Lost Oddballs

I made a discovery when I pulled out my 1981 Topps binder to scan a card for a post last week. Most of my set binders are organized by team, and in an effort to maximize my 9-pocket sheet usage, I’d stuck a number of oddball cards into the empty spaces at the end of a particular team’s sheets. I’d completely forgotten that I’d done that; I obviously don’t go back and look through my 1981 binder very often.

This odd little card was the first card I ran across, and my reaction was along the lines of “What on earth is that?” It’s slightly smaller than standard size, and it’s performated down the middle to make– dare I say it? –MINI CARDS.  The set is from 1986 and sponsored by Dorman’s Cheese;  I suppose it’s possible that I got it out of a package of cheese at the time, since in 1986 I was an adult, I cooked for myself, and I could buy whatever cheese I damn well pleased.  The back references MSA, which stands for “Mike Schechter and Associates”. Whenever there was a promotional card (or card-like object) which was licensed by the MLBPA but not MLB, chances are MSA was behind it.  On these cards, the Dorman’s logo on the front is so small as to be almost illegible, which makes you question the promotional benefit these cards might’ve brought.

This card is a thing of beauty which makes me wish I had more interest in the whole set;  this is not a 1951 Bowman card, but a promo for a 1986 reprint done by the Card Collectors’ Co.  I wish this scan could do justice to the card;  the reproduction is very nice, and the card has a glossy front which makes it very attractive.  Unfortunately for me, there were no Mets or Orioles in 1951, and the number of players I have any interest in are pretty limited.  I suppose a Willie Mays or Duke Snider would be pretty cool to own, even in reprint form.

The reprint cards I’ve seen online have a reprinted back which says “REPRINT 1986 C.C.C.”, just to make it clear that it’s not an original.  Here’s the back of my promo card, which gives you all the outdated ordering information.