Biggie Biggie!

Back when I still lived on Long Island, I was on a bowling team with an older woman named Olivia.  Olivia had a very bubbly personality and I have no doubt that she had been a cheerleader in high school, because at key moments of a game, she’d say encouraging things like “Big frame, Joe!  Biggie Biggie!”  I haven’t seen nor heard about Olivia in years, but “Biggie Biggie!” still pops in my head at certain times.

I had one of those moments at a recent card show when I saw a table with a sign that said “All items on table:  $1”.  Most of what was on the table was junk, but off on the right hand side I saw an oversized 1970 Topps Super card staring back at me, and in my head Olivia gave her rally cry: “Biggie biggie!”

I’ve recently become enamored with both Baseball and Football Supers, so I will gladly take any Supers I need for a buck.  I’m not terribly concerned about condition, and with the rounded corners and thick cardboard of the Supers, you really have to do something egregiously bad to inflict any significant damage.

The card on top of the small stack was a 1970 Jim Wynn, which I gladly grabbed.
1970 Topps Super Jim Wynn
Even if I weren’t buying up any cheap Supers I find, I have a soft spot for Jim Wynn as he’s the first Major Leaguer I’d ever met in person.

Underneath Wynn was a bit of a surprise…
1970 Topps Super Bob Gibson
Bob Gibson?  Vintage Bob Gibson?  A nice-looking vintage Bob Gibson?  FOR A BUCK?  What’s wrong with it?  Had the card been glued to the wall and the card’s reverse remains stuck to that very same wall?  Is there a 45-year-old slab of gum adhered to the back – fuzzy, black and evolving into a sentient life form?  Has the card been dipped in a vat of weaponized anthrax?

I turned it over to look, saw this…
1970 Topps Super Bob Gibson back
…and said “Magic Marker?  That’s it?!?  Pfffffft.  Like I care”.  Of all the sins committed against cardboard, writing on the edges of the back is the sin least deserving of penance.  Indeed, there is nothing I like better than a child who loved his cards enough to brand them as his own… and made them affordable to me these many years later.

I got a third 1970 Super at the same show (but not at the same table)… A lovely card of Mel Stottlemyre at the original Yankee Stadium.
1970 Topps Super Mel Stottlemyre

I don’t know what it is about this card, but it just has that “larger than life” look about …  I guess it’s the blue skies, the glimpse of the Yankee Stadium frieze, the serene, confident expression of Mel Stottlemyre.  It just proclaims “This is a baseball card made by people who know how to make baseball cards”.

I’ve got to say, 1970 Topps Super Baseball is my favorite set at the moment…

Well, along with 1970 Topps Super Football…

…And 1971 Super Baseball…

…And the 1968 Topps game insert…

…And 1966 Topps Batman “Black Bat”…

…And 1964 Topps Giant…

…And 1976 Kellogg’s…

…And 1961 Topps Sports Cars…


Line Out – Runners Do Not Advance

My last few weeks have felt like the George Scott card from the 1968 Topps game insert:  Line out – Runners do not advance.
1968 Topps Game George Scott
No, no, that’s not quite right… George looks too happy about things.

Do we have another bad result from the game where the player looks a bit more…

…I dunno…

…Worn out?
1968 Topps Game Jim Wynn

Yeah… That’s better.  Thank you, Jim Wynn.

My posts have been sporadic lately partly because I haven’t had a whole lot of free time, and partly because my top blogging priority is a long-term project that hasn’t yet resulted in any posts… Our crack team of custom card designers and manufacturers have been spending every available moment trying to get the 2015 TSR custom set ready and out into the virtual stores by Opening Day.

As a result, whenever I try to finish and publish one of the many drafts I have, I just…
1968 Topps Game Mike McCormick
…Strike out.

And all that is on top of other tasks that eat into my hobby time, like organizing and removing the unholy mess of cards that have taken over the dining room table. Mrs. Shlabotnik has been patient thus far, but it’s best not to push those limits.

So… Apologies for my general absence from the Blogosphere of late. After the new set goes live, I hope that will change for the better.
1968 Topps Game Claude Osteen
Sorry, I can’t think of any way to work a double play into this post.

Ya Get Whatcha Get: Four Airbrushed Hostess Cards

1976 Hostess Jim Wynn
1976 Hostess Jimmy Wynn
On 11/17/75, the Dodgers traded Wynn, Lee Lacy, Tom Paciorek and Jerry Royster to the Braves for Dusty Baker and Ed Goodson.  Unlike his Topps card, Wynn was airbrushed into the blue road uniform.

1977 Hostess Bert Campaneris
1977 Hostess Bert Campaneris
Signed with the Rangers as a free agent.  The airbrush job is better on his Hostess card than on his Topps card.

1978 Hostess Bert Blyleven
1978 Hostess Bert Blyleven
On 12/8/77, Blyleven was involved in a complex trade by the Rangers, Pirates, Mets and Braves. Among the other players flying in every which direction were Al Oliver, Willie Montanez, Jon Maatlack, Ken Henderson and John Milner.

The airbrush artist gets major bonus points for doing the gold and black pinstripes, even if he did use a slightly dated cap design.  Blyleven’s Topps and Kellogg’s cards show him with the Rangers.

1979 Hostess Rod Carew
1979 Hostess Rod Carew
On 2/3/79, the Twins traded him for Ken Landreaux and three other guys.  Carew’s 1979 Topps and Kellogg’s cards show him with the Twins.

Dodger Fans Rejoice! Jim Wynn Is The Hostess Card Of The Week!

1975 Hostess Jimmy WynnMuch to my chagrin, this is the first Dodger in nearly a year to be the Hostess Card Of The Week. If it makes you feel any better, there are six other teams which have been just as neglected.  (Phillies fans, you’re up next week.)

Jim Wynn was the first Major Leaguer I ever met in person, during his single season with the Atlanta Braves. It was the summer of 1976 and despite my nearly complete lack of athletic abilities, I was attending a local baseball day camp. That’s how much I loved baseball, I was willing to look foolish and get yelled at all in the name of experiencing the game.

One day when the Braves were in town Jim Wynn made an appearance at our camp in full uniform. Looking back on it, he seemed like a nice guy, but even though I was thrilled to meet a baseball player, someone who appeared on a baseball card, I was so shy and intimidated that it was about all I could do to get his autograph in the first place. I had him autograph a 1976 Topps card… and now that I think of it, I probably should’ve saved this story for when I feature that autographed card. Do me a favor… When I get there, just be polite and pretend you’ve never heard the story before, OK?