The Kid And The Pirates (Three 1976 Kellogg’s Cards)

Not a lot to say about today’s cards, other than they’re from the 1976 Kellogg’s set, and the players were chosen by Kellogg’s based on their 1975 season.

In 1975, Manny Sanguillen was an All-Star and hit a career-high .328.
1976 Kelloggs Manny Sanguillen

In 1975, Jerry Reuss was also an All-Star and had 18 wins and 6 shutouts, both were career high marks he’d match – but not surpass – in later years.
1976 Kelloggs Jerry Reuss

In 1975, Gary Carter wa– OMG, LOOK AT HOW YOUNG GARY CARTER IS!!!!
1976 Kelloggs Gary Carter
“The Kid” truly is a kid on this card.

In 1975, the 21-year-old Carter was (surprise surprise) an All-Star, and finished second in the NL Rookie Of The Year voting to John “The Count” Montefusco. He also was more of a right fielder than a catcher, having played 66 games behind the plate and 92 out in right.

December 10th – One Of The Biggest Offseason Days In Mets History

December 10th, 1984

The Montreal Expos traded Gary Carter to the New York Mets…
2003 Topps Retired Gary Carter

…for Hubie Brooks…
1984 Fleer Hubie Brooks

…Mike Fitzgerald, Herm Winningham and Floyd Youmans.
1984 Donruss Mike Fitzgerald

December 10th, 1982

The Houston Astros traded Danny Heep to the New York Mets for Mike Scott.
1982 Topps Mike Scott

Mike Scott would come back to haunt the Mets in the 1986 NLCS, but even his two wins couldn’t stop the Mets that year.

December 10th, 1971

The California Angels traded Jim Fregosi to the New York Mets
1973 Topps Jim Fregosi

…for Frank Estrada, Don Rose, Leroy Stanton…

…and, um, Nolan Ryan.
1992 Donruss Coke Nolan Ryan 1969 Mets

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…”

Pack Animal: Fairfield 100-Card Repack

Last weekend I was jonesing to buy something other than 2012 packs, but the “local” card shop is 25 miles away and the next card show within a 2-hour drive is in… oh, let’s see… April.

I’d read some decent comments about these 100-card repacks, so I figured I’d give it a shot.

I’ve got to say, I was pleased with the surprisingly decent payoff. Don’t get me wrong, this was the biggest “hit” in the repack (and the reason I bought this particular repack):

…but there were a number of cards which I would’ve gladly bought from a dime or quarter box, so I certainly can’t complain.

As you’d expect, there was a fair amount of junk wax, especially late 1980’s Topps and Donruss… but as it worked out, I ended up needing a few of the junk wax cards for sets that I collected at the time, but never quite completed, including The Earl Of Baltimore:

There were also 2-year-old Topps Update cards (also needed)…

…some “premium junk wax”… And I never stop thinking that it was a mistake to put the ‘tail’ underlining the team name in the 1990’s.  I doesn’t register much on the grand scale of uniform mistakes, but it looked wrong then, and it looks wrong now.

I also got a needed “junk insert”.

It sounds stupid, but the inclusion of one sole Topps Total card made me very happy… I’m foolish enough to try to complete the 4-year run of Total (2002 down, 3 more to go), and I don’t run across Total very often in my travels, so it was cool to get a card I wanted, even if it’s just for Juan Castro.

What surprised me most is that I didn’t get many of the “filler sets” that so often clog these repacks, like Upper Deck X or Documentary.

I also got an unopened pack of 1988 Score, another set which I never quite completed. I’ll open this pack in another post.

For the $4 spent, I could’ve bought a pack of Chrowman Bome and gotten absolutely nothing I wanted, or picked up yet another tedious “heroes beating the snot out of other heroes” issue of Marvel’s Avengers. I think I did pretty damn good in terms of entertainment and filling my needs.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

At this point, I’d like to wish a happy Thanksgiving to all; I hope that everybody gets to spend a relaxing and enjoyable day with their family and friends.

…And just be thankful for what you got…

Mets Monday: O-Pee-Chee paid a nice tribute to Gary Carter in 1992; what will the Mets do in 2012?

This 5-card subset in 1992 OPC is a very nice tribute to a future HOFer, with one card devoted to each stop in Carter’s career.  My kneejerk reaction to seeing this again was “This is such a nice subset, this type of thing should be done more often”…  Then thoughts of 196-card tributes to Alex Rodriguez or Chipper Jones filled me with dread, and I backed off on my wishes.

As for what the Mets will do this season… I’m sure there’ll be a patch;  it might be as simple as a black patch with “KID” in white letters, it could be something more elaborate.

I’m sure there will be some sort of appropriate tribute at the home opener.

What a lot of Mets fans are asking are “Will the Mets retire #8?”

My feelings are mixed on this;  If you asked me 10 years ago if the Mets should retire 8, I would’ve said “No” because I didn’t regard it as unthinkable that anyone would ever wear 8 again.  To me, being a HOFer isn’t enough to get your number retired, you have to have meant so much to the team that the mere thought of someone else wearing that number elicits an “Aw HELL no!”  Since nobody burned down Shea Stadium when Dave Gallagher, Steve Swisher, Carlos Baerga, Cookie Rojas, Desi Relaford and Matt Galante wore the number after Carter, then there obviously wasn’t an “Aw HELL no!” involved.

The number’s been out of circulation for 9 seasons.  Last year I would’ve said they should either retire it or put it back into production.  Fish or cut bait.

But now?  Now, the Mets have painted themselves into a corner.  If they retire 8 now, many fans (myself included) would say “If you were going to retire it, why couldn’t you do it when Carter was still ALIVE, you schmucks?”

If they give the number out to a current player, they’re heartless bastards.

I see this playing out in one of two ways:

1)  They’ll wait a few years until some plausible reason comes up, and then retire 8 for both Gary Carter and Yogi Berra.   One could argue that Berra meant as much to the franchise as Carter did, and he wore the number more than twice as long as a player, coach and manager.

2)  They’ll keep it out of circulation until a worthy player comes along and requests #8, and they’ll say “We don’t like giving this number out, but since it’s <insert All-Star player’s name here>, we’ll make an exception”.  Then the Mets front office will thank their lucky stars that the number’s back in circulation and when that player leaves they’ll leave it as an active number.

…But it’s the Mets, so who knows what they’ll do?

An important message to you, the faithful reader of The Shlabotnik Report

I’m proud to say that this is the first time in this blog’s history where I featured cards where I wasn’t sure where the cards were but was able to find them.  I’m proud because it means that I’ve gotten the Shlabotnik collection organized enough that I can find things again.

My intent from the start was to document the process of focusing my collection, and sharing all the cool stuff I rediscovered along the way.  While I knew that I needed some motivating factor (i.e. this blog) to get me past that depression that swept over me every time I looked at the mess of a room, I didn’t fully appreciate how much of a mess it was.  Now that I can find stuff again, I can be better about sharing the fun stuff I’ve accumulated.

Thanks for sharing the journey so far, I hope to repay you for your dedication.

Weigh-in #11, And Some Hostess-y Goodness

Another not-great week for the numbers, but I’ve taken on too much hobby-wise and need to work that out.  I’m trying to organize my cards and figure out which ones I can get rid of and design a database to track my cards and write several blog posts a week and finish the design of my 2012 custom cards and I have 300+ cards at COMC which are about to go live, so I’ll have to price all of those.  I’m not looking to shelve any of this, I just need to be better about budgeting my time.

Below are my numbers along with a 1979 Hostess Gary Carter.  The Kid’s numbers were .283 /22 / 75 in 1979, and he went 1-for-2 with an RBI in the All-Star game (Bob Boone was the starting NL catcher).

Numbers for this week:

Cards coming into the house:  87 (Fairfield repack)

Cards leaving the house:  0

Cards entering the collection:  0

Cards leaving the collection:  0

Cards moving from inbound to outbound without entering the collection:  74 (Did I mention it was a crappy repack?  Yeah, I think I may have mentioned it…)

To date:

Net change in the collection: -240

Net change to the # of cards in the house:  -3911

Why did Big Baseball fail, and would it work today?

If Clay Luraschi had said that last summer’s “game changer” comment was in reference to a horizontal, 1952-56 sized, multi-series set with two photos of each player and cartoons on the back, would you have gotten excited?

If you answered “yes”, would you still be excited if the cards looked like this?

I’ve recently picked up a few 1988 Topps Big cards, and they seem like something which should’ve worked, but didn’t.  I tend to like larger-sized cards (Topps Giants, Super, 5X7, Donruss Action All-Stars), and I love cartoons on the backs of cards, but I never had any interest in these sets when they were out.  The sets were clearly aimed at kids, and apparently kids in the late 1980’s wanted garish designs.  Topps must’ve blamed the lack of success on not being ugly enough, because subsequent sets were each more hideous than their predecessor.  1990 Topps Big makes 1990 Topps look like a tasteful and classic design.

If a set like this were released today and aimed at an all-ages crowd (and actually attractive), do you think it would be successful?  Would it be something you’d buy?

I would post some 1989 and 1990 Big images, but I’m already late for work so it’ll have to wait for another time.

Here’s the back of the Gooden, plus a few other Mets: