Still More Cards From DimeBoxedonia

Once more I dip into the well…  This is the third installment of “Cards I recently got from ‘Dime Boxes Nick‘ “.

Up until a couple of years ago, the only Action Packed baseball cards i was aware of was the minor league set they made in 1995.  As it turns out they made two series of “All-Star Gallery” in 1992 and 1993, and I’ve been slowly adding these to my collection.  It occurred to me that the only thing I know about these cards is that the black-bordered first series, like this Bud Harrelson, came out in 1992…

…and the red-bordered second series, like this Jerry Koosman, came out in 1993.

I don’t even know what else I might want out of these sets. When I get a chance I might have to dip into that font of checklist information that is Card Collector 7.0, a 15 year old software package which still manages to run (on my Win7 laptop, anyway).


The following is a public service announcement for casual faux card makers as well as graphics professionals:  Don’t fall into the trap of thinking “You can never have too many retro design elements!”.

Remember, when it comes to throwbacks, “less” is more.


I really liked 2011 Topps Lineage when it came out, but now it’s like years ago when there was that woman who worked in the company cafeteria and who was really cute in a way that I couldn’t quite put my finger on, but then one day the ‘spell’ was broken and no matter what I did I couldn’t quite see her in that same way after that……… and where was I?  Oh, yeah, Lineage.  At any rate, it’s Cal, so it’s cool.  Ripkens are always welcome.


I’m a tiny bit embarrassed that this is my first card of Mets catching prospect Tomas Nido.

I used to buy the majority of my Bowman cards at shows from a particular dealer, but that dealer stopped buying new product and I rarely get to shows anymore.  I guess I really should get on board with buying team sets online.


Not that I don’t appreciate the heck out of a Manny Machado relic, especially a nice-looking card like this, but it wouldn’t surprise me if Manny’s wearing a different team’s uniform tomorrow.

It’s like some wise person once said;  “We stink with you, we can stink without you.”


The package contained a couple of Orioles from 1960 Topps… This first card came with a note on the penny sleeve;  the note made ma laugh so I left the penny sleeve on when I scanned the card.

You ain’t kidding, “Poor Joe Ginsberg”.  With an entire corner torn off, paper loss and creases galore, this card is a bit beyond “well-loved” and goes into another category. It’s about as rough of a shape as one will find a card, but it ended up in the right hands.

Later in the package I found another 1960 Oriole with less damage and a bit more Hall-Of-Fame credentials…

Other than scotch tape on all four sides, this card is in pretty decent shape.  I really hate to start YET ANOTHER project, but these two cards get me about a third of the way towards a 1960 Orioles team set, and with Brooks out of the way, the biggest obstacles seem to be Hoyt Wilhelm and the high #’s.

Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome to the stage… Hoyt Wilhelm And The High Numbers!!!!

At any rate, it may depend on whether some disagreeable person somewhere has decided to drive up values by hoarding cards of Marv Breeding or Al Pilarcik.

I suppose I might also upgrade Joe Ginsberg… in an augmenting way, of course.  I think “Poor” Joe Ginsberg needs to stick around in some way.


BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOG!


The back of this card only notes that it’s from the “20 Years Of Mets Baseball” set, and it’s easy to overlook the “RGI” notation on the back. (BTW, Cliff Cook played 90 games as a utility guy for the Mets in 1962 and 1963)

However, anyone who read baseball magazines in the 1970’s and 1980’s and dreamed of getting “1,000 mint baseball cards for only $9.99” knows that RGI = Renata Galasso, Inc.

One of the benefits of having blogged as long as I have is being able to dip into the archives and pull up an appropriate image like this:


In a similar vein to that Renata Galasso set, TCMA did a series of “All-Time Teams” devoted to different major league franchises.  Over the years, cards like these (and Pacific Legends and Ted Williams Card Company and Swell Baseball Greats) have gone from “mildly interesting oddball” to “I should get more of these”


It occurred to me when I was going through my cards that the casual observer might think I’d gotten disgusted with the Mets and made a switch to the Phillies.

Well, I *am* pretty disgusted with the Mets, but I have not run out and bought myself a red baseball cap.  These cards are all for players I collect because they caught my attention when they were still in the minors.

I will, however, admit that the Phillie Phanatic is on the heels of Mr. Met and The Oriole Bird in my own MLB Mascot Power Rankings.  I’ve never seen the Phanatic in his natural environs but I have seen him (or perhaps a member of his “touring company”, if there is such a thing) a few times in minor league ballparks.

Joe Panik is another guy I saw in the minors.  I still roll my eyes at the fact that the card numbers have a “GG” prefix but the cards are labeled as “Fielding Award”.  I suppose I should be happy that they’re not listed as the “Precious Metal Mitten” or “Short-printed Hand Covering Award”

…And that covers the highlights from the legendary Dime Boxes package of June, 2018… I guess I’ll have to actually think of some sort of subject matter for next week’s posts.

Thanks again, Nick!

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More Cards From DimeBoxedonia

Last week I featured the first of a number of cards from Nick, the owner and proprietor of the “Dime Boxes” blog.  There were so many highlights from the 200+ cards he sent, that I’ve got another post today (and one more after this).

This first card strikes me as a scene from “2017:  A Baseball Odyssey”…

Daaaaaa…. Daaaaaa…. Daaaaaa…. DAAAH DAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!

BOM bom BOM bom BOM bom BOM bom BOM…

This card confused the heck out of me at first, but I think I’ve got it figured out…

It looks like a 1970’s Kellogg’s card… but it’s not 3-D, it’s borderless and it’s printed on blank-backed cardboard.  What the WHAT?

After pondering it for a little while, I realized what it must be – I’ll bet it’s a sort of “box card” in that some resourceful kid (or adult?) must have cut it out of the “FREE INSIDE – 3-D BASEBALL CARDS” ad on the back of the cereal box.

I was also momentarily puzzled when I was entering some 2017 Topps into my homegrown database. As I was sorting on card number, I said “Oh, Nick sent me two of the same Trey Mancini card…”

And then I flipped them over and…

ZOINKS!  It’s the base card *and* the variation! Sweetness!

Speaking of 2017 Topps, just in case Nick was wondering, I thought I’d share why I had an Opening Day card of Drew Smyly on the wantlist I’d sent him…

The card on the right is the OD card he sent me, and it’s a pseudo-variation from the original Series 1 card on the left (which I already had) in that the team has been updated and the Rays uniform has been photoshopped into a Mariners’ uniform.

It took a bit of poking around on tradingcarddb.com to figure out what this card is…

This is from the 1991-92 ProCards Tomorrow’s Heroes set. I’d seen these cards around before, but new knew what the were. I like the name of the set… It makes it clear that it’s meant to be a prospect-y set, but while it includes HOFers like Jim Thome and Chipper Jones, players like Ryan Hawblitzel may well be heroes to some, even if they have just one line of stats over on Baseball Reference.

When Topps released it’s Walmart exclusive “Gallery” set last year, I made more visits to Walmart stores within a couple of weeks than I had in the prior few years. Despite my efforts, I never saw anything more than an empty Gallery display. Thank you, Aaron Judge.

I’d never so much as held one of these cards in my hand until I received four of them in this package; a pair of Mets…

…and a pair of Orioles:

These are nice cards, and worth the wait. The artwork is by Mayumi Seto, who is currently keeping busy as the artist for the Topps Living Set. I’m thinking there’s not going to be a 2018 Topps Gallery set.

Another 2017 set we’re not going to see again is the physical Bunt set.  I really liked 2017 Bunt – it was one of my personal highlights of the 2017 hobby scene – and would’ve gladly attempted to build the set through retail packs and trades, but the retail supply dried up long before I was done buying packs.  Once again, thank you Aaron Judge.

Thanks to this package, I got to at least put a dent in my team sets.  Bunt seems to be replaced this time around by Topps Big League Baseball which I believe is scheduled to come out this month.  I wasn’t bowled over by the preview images, but who knows… sometimes cards look a lot better in-hand.  I wasn’t a fan of the 2017 Topps flagship set until I’d opened a few packs.

…But I digress…

There are a bunch of sets from my childhood I appreciate more now than I did then… There are also sets from my teens and twenties I appreciate more now than I did then, like the Pacific Legends sets which ran from 1988 to 1990.

Look at Ed Kranepool!!  He played with the Mets from 1962 to 1979, but he looks like a kid here! And he may have been a kid in this picture; Ed was just shy of his 18th birthday when he made his MLB debut at the end of the 1962 season.

Love me some Fleer Star Stickers.

I also ignored these at the time, but if I hadn’t then I wouldn’t have so much fun re-discovering them now.

The 2001 Upper Deck Legends Of New York set is… interesting. The cards have a pseudo-newspaper-y or  magazine-y look to them, but you see that orange part of the card? It’s FUZZY! It’s a sort of felt-like substance.

To this day I’m not sure what UD was going for. Felt pennants? Fuzzy for fuzzy’s sake?

1998 Pacific Online had a less-than-beautiful design and the URL gimmick seems so very dated now… But at the time I enjoyed picking up packs solely because the large checklist included guys like Terry Mathews.

Mathews pitched 88 games for the O’s from 1996 to 1998 and this is his one and only card showing him in an Orioles uniform. But hey, he got in a Mother’s Cookies set while with the Rangers… and he was in 1991-92 ProCards Tomorrow’s Heroes! How about that?

Wrapping things up with a cool action shot from 1993 Upper Deck SP.

Hmmm… Bob Zupcic and Chris Hoiles in a play at the plate.  Assuming that this is Fenway Park and not a Spring Training game.  This would seem to be easy to isolate, but Zupcic was put out at the plate by Chris Hoiles in consecutive games in June 1993.  On June 12th, Zupcic pinch-ran for Tony Pena and was thrown out by Brady Anderson when he tried to score on an Ivan Calderon ground ball single.  On June 13th, Zupcic tripled and was still on 3rd with Mike Greenwell on 1st when he tried to score on a ball fielded by Orioles pitcher Fernando Valenzuela (!!!!), but was out at the plate on a fielder’s choice.

Thanks again, Nick!  As you can tell, I’m having a lot of fun with these cards!

 

A Shoebox Legend PWE Of Baseball And “Dead Parrots”

So I’ve had a long week… Nobody cares about the details, but it’s just been a drawn-out, tiring week on a number of fronts.

What does matter within the scope of this blog is that when I came home at the end of the longest day of the week, I found a PWE in my mailbox from Shoebox Legends. Finding a PWE in your mailbox is always a good thing.

Aside from the usual fun mix of baseball and hockey, the PWE also contained the first new additions to my new Dead Parrot Frankenset, which I’ll leave for the end of this post.

First off was a 2018 Heritage card of Noah Syndergaard… I don’t know where the Mets would be in 2018 without Thor and Jacob deGrom… well, other than looking up even further at the Braves, Phils and Nats.

But that’s still better than can be said of the Orioles, who are reportedly listening to offers for Manny Machado… Like I always say, we stink with you, we can stink without you.

…But it makes one long for the days of the Ripkens. Here’s a new addition to my semi-passive Cal Ripken collection which stands at… um… somewhere in the hundreds. Don’t really know.

This is from the 2005 Upper Deck All-Star Classics set, one I’m not sure I’m familiar with.

I, for one, miss having cards with photos like this one of Bill Ripken with a big freakin’ telephoto lens.

For all the talk of 1989 Upper Deck being a “classic” set, I really prefer 1992 and 1993 UD… especially 1993.

I didn’t become an O’s fan until the mid-to-late 1990’s, so Earl Weaver was before my time in an Orioles sense, but I’ve been a baseball fan long enough to be familiar with him as a manager. This is from last year’s Archives set, BTW.

I’m mildly intrigued by the funky-looking stands behind Earl. I wonder if that’s a Spring Training ballpark… does anybody recognize that?

Update: CommishBob informs me that this is the long-time spring home of the Orioles, Miami Stadium. Thanks, Bob!

I miss Melvin Mora and his walk-up music (Celia Cruz’ “La Vida Es Un Carnaval”) and his quintuplets.

“Derek Jeter says…” I’ll tell you what Derek Jeter says, he says “How the hell did Alex Rodriguez come to have a more positive image than I do?”

That does it for the baseball, but there’s a couple of hockey cards to feature before we get to the Dead Parrots…

Joe Juneau was on the only prior Capitals team to make the Stanley Cup finals in 1998… it’s a pity that they had those awful blue black and bronze uniforms at the time… and it’s unfortunate that Juneau’s face is covered by the text on the protective coating.  Is it safe to remove that film 20 years later, or will it pull the rest of the card with it?

I find it interesting that the Capitals make it to the finals 20 years after the first time.  For the record, 20 years before they were swept by the Red Wings in the 1998 finals, the Capitals were at home after a 17-49-14 season.  They really sucked back then.

There was also a card for my casual chase of the 1978-79 Topps Hockey Set… Doug Jarvis is shown with Les Habitants, but he’ll always be a Capital in my heart.

The PWE also included several cards which are my first new additions to my Dead Parrot project;  For those who missed the earlier posts, this is a FrankenSet numbered from 1 to 396 of cards featuring hockey teams which are no more, which have ceased to be.

First up in slot #27 is a 1972-73 Topps Keith McCreary card which takes over an empty slot.

McCreary is shown in an airbrushed Penguins uniform, but the card identifies him with the Atlanta Flames.  He was taken from the Penguins in the expansion draft and would become the Flames’ first captain.  Interestingly enough, the Penguins had drafted McCreary from the Canadiens in the 1967 expansion draft.

And, in a quirk of card numbering, slot #25 in my Frankenset is already taken by a very-well-loved 1972-73 O-Pee-Chee card of McCreary in his Flames uni.

With McCreary taking the bottom two corners on the third page, I’m tempted to keep them in place… well, I’m thinking I’ll have to upgrade that OPC card.

Next up for card #55 is this awesome 1977-78 O-Pee-Chee WHA card of New England Whaler Tom Webster

Webster is possibly best known these days for coaching the LA Kings for a couple of seasons, although he did also coach the Rangers briefly.

I have, on occasion, thought about completing the 1977-78 OPC WHA set because it’s small (66 cards) and largely affordable, but at this point I’m thinking I might just chase down most of the cards for this project… except, perhaps, for the Edmonton Oilers, the one WHA team which is *not* a ‘Dead Parrot’.

Webster did not go into the binder unopposed;  the slot was previously occupied by this 1981-82 Topps North Stars leaders card featuring Minnesota scoring leader Bobby Smith.

The combined might of the various North Stars leaders were not enough to keep them from being evicted from slot #55.

This next card becomes the shiniest Dead Parrot in my binder as the Nordiques’ Rene Corbet takes over an empty slot #97

This is from 1994/95 Topps Finest, and 1994/95 was the last season for the Nords before they moved to Denver to become the Colorado Avalanche. Aside from the Nordiques and Avalanche, Corbet would also play for the Penguins and Calgary Flames.

Last up is #112, which features new addition Gordie Roberts from the 1980/81 O-Pee-Chee Hockey set. Unlike it’s Topps counterpart, OPC did not feature the asinine “scratch off” gimmick, so this card is unblemished by black scratch-off crap.

Gordie Roberts was born and raised in the Detroit area, so it’s not a surprise that he was named after Red Wings legend Gordie Howe. Roberts even got to play with Howe and his sons while all four of them were with the Whalers.

Gordie Roberts played a long time with the WHA Whalers and a number of NHL teams (including, obviously the NHL Hartford Whalers) and is in the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame. His brother Doug also played in the NHL for a number of years and also played with his brother on the New England Whalers… but unfortunately he was no longer on the team when the Howes came to New England. What a story that would’ve been, two families, five players on the same team!

So that wraps up this PWE… Thanks again to Shoebox Legends for the tremendous and well-timed PWE!

Oh, and before I leave I’m going to figure out where I stand on this Dead Parrot project — unofficial numbers because I rushed through counting cards as I was finishing this post. I’ve got 186 cards for 396 slots, which means I’m 46.9% of the way towards a full binder. Not too shabby considering I haven’t had a chance to actively seek out cards for this.

Catch-Up Week, Pt. 1: A PWE From Shoebox Legends

About a month ago I had cards coming at me like (Geezer alert) ping-pong balls falling on Captain Kangaroo.  I bought a blaster and a repack from Target, returned from a show with hundreds more cards, and then early the following week I got two PWE’s in the mail.

In this week’s posts, I’m going to share a number of these cards from October, starting with a PWE from Shane of Shoebox Legends.

It’s become almost a tradition to get Hometown Heroes cards from Shane… One of the things I did over the past month was find a checklist and load it into my database so I could know how close I am to having team sets of the Mets and Orioles.
2013-panini-hometown-heroes-adam-jones
Unfortunately, the checklist I found doesn’t list teams, so I still don’t know how close I am… but I think I still have a little ways to go.

The PWE had a plethora of Bunt cards. I still like these cards a couple of months after their release, and many others seem to like them as well, so I’m keeping fingers crossed that this comes back in 2017.
2016-topps-bunt-cal-ripken
I’m kind of ambivalent about having retired players mixed in to current sets… unless that retired player is someone I collect, like Cal, then I’m cool with it.  Kinda goofy the way they “decapitated” the Oriole logo, though.

Nothing against Chris Davis, but I’m hoping that the Orioles offense is less “Homer Happy” than it was in 2016. Would it kill you to manufacture a run now and then?
2016-topps-bunt-chris-davis

Manny manny bo-banny, banana fanna fo-fanny, fee-fi-fo-anny… Manny!
2016-topps-bunt-manny-machado
I clearly have nothing to say about Manny Machado at the moment… and as long as I’m referencing Captain Kangaroo, I might as well reference “The Name Game”.

Thor did a guest appearance on “Kevin Can Wait”, which stars Kevin James, who’s a huge Mets fan.
2016-topps-bunt-noah-syndergaard
I saw it; it was fun, but Thor should not give up his day job.

Wrapping up the Bunt with Steven Matz, who also draws a blank from me at this moment. I won’t repeat The Name Game.
2016-topps-bunt-steven-matz

Here’s a lovely black parallel of the Heritage High Number Joey Rickard. For those who don’t know… which is pretty much everybody who’s not an Orioles fan… Rickard was a Rule V guy plucked from the Rays’ minor league system. He was playing pretty well  and becoming something of a fan favorite before a July injury knocked him out for the rest of the season.
2016-topps-heritage-hi-black-joey-rickard
I just found out that this card has “action” and “color swap” variations… For Joey Rickard!?! Why does Topps hate Orioles fans?

…The Action variation is pretty nice-looking, though.

Thar’s gold in them thar PWE’s! 1993 Topps Gold of Rick Sutcliffe, anyway. No prospector named “Gabby” is going to do a little dance over this, but I like it.
1993-topps-gold-rick-sutcliffe

2006 Daniel Cabrera… Not a card I needed, but it reminded me of how much I like 2006 Topps. I think it nicely throws back to old-school Topps while having all of the usual features of a 2006 card.
2006-topps-daniel-cabrera
I consider it one of the three best Topps flagship sets of the 21st Century.

Finally, the piece de resistance… It’s a 1960-61 A&BC card featuring Ken Malcolm of Ipswich Town! I have no Earthly idea what Ken Malcolm of Ipswich Town is doing. Any ideas?
1960-61-abc-ken-malcolm
Malcolm played nearly 300 games for Ipswich Town, which won the Division One championship in the 1961-62 season, their first season in the top flight. I should point out that the championship is for what we North Americans would call the “regular season”, Tottenham Hotspur won the F.A. Cup that year (according to Wikipedia, anyway).

Here’s the back of the card…
1960-61-abc-ken-malcolm-back
According to the FIFA website, the answer to “Can a goal be scored directly from a corner kick?” is “Yes… but only against the opposing team”.

Oh, and I should share one other thing… Mr. Malcolm gives me a full sheet of cards from this set!
1960-61-abc-footballers-9-pocket-page
That’s a thing of beauty, that is…

Thanks again, Shane! The delay in scanning and writing about these cards does not reflect my appreciation for these cards!

PWE Playhouse: Mets, Orioles and Plymouth Argyle

No, “Plymouth Argyle” was not a car targeted towards preppies. All will become clear by the end of the post, which details the latest in a series of PWE’s from the land of Shoebox Legends.

PWE Playhouse

The day before I got this PWE, I was looking at my assortment of 2013 Panini Hometown Heroes cards and thinking “I need to find a checklist for this set so I can get these into my database”.

..And the next thing I knew, I had two more of them, including a Kevin Gausman rookie.  His win-loss record this year is nothing to get excited about, but he’s become the O’s #2 pitcher behind Chris Tillman.
2013-panini-hometown-heroes-kevin-gausman

I would like to express my appreciation to Panini for keeping older checklists accessible on their website. For some reason Topps doesn’t do this; I think the checklists might be out there somewhere on the Topps web server, but you have to jump through hoops track them down.

Speaking of appreciation, this unlicensed Mike Mussina card could’ve labeled as “New York”, in which case it wouldn’t be part of my collection. Funny how that works.
2013-panini-hometown-heroes-mike-mussina

This next card surprised me because I don’t remember seeing anything like this before. This is a 2001 Sunoco/Coca-Cola Dream Team card for “Baltimore”. Yep, it’s unlicensed.
2001-sunoco-coca-cola-dream-team-orioles

Since I’d never seen one before, I thought others may not have seen these either so I scanned the back as well.
2001-sunoco-coca-cola-dream-team-orioles-back

They can’t use “Orioles” but could apparently use “O’s”.  I’ll wager that this little loophole has been addressed over the past 15 years.

Ain’t never gonna turn down a card of Tom Terrific!
2001-upper-deck-hall-of-famers-tom-seaver

Brooks Robinson ain’t too shabby neither!
2005-upper-deck-classics-brooks-robinson

Bobby Bo! I often feel like one of the few Mets fans that appreciated Bobby Bonilla.
1993-upper-deck-homerun-heroes-bobby-bonilla
…And a good part of that appreciate came from the fact that I understood that we weren’t getting a superstar, we were getting a very good player. Many Mets fans lost sight of that and expected Bonilla to single-handedly rescue the team from their doldrums. He did not.

One of the Orioles announcers at the time, I forget which one, used to pronounce “Ramon” as “RAY-moan”.
2006-fleer-tradition-ramon-hernandez
Every time I see a Ramon Hernandez card, I think of him as RAY-moan.

Although Miguel Tejada isn’t quite “Hall Of Disdain” material, I was never a fan, even during his time in Baltimore.
2006-flleer-ultra-miguel-tejada
…Not that I don’t appreciate this card, because it fills an Ultra need… But for whatever reason, after a year or two in Baltimore and as the team slid from mediocrity to generally bad, it seemed like Tejada began to phone it in, just waiving his gloves at ground balls as they went past. When he got traded to Houston, it was very much a “front door, backside” situation.

I’m still finding it a bit odd to have Jose Reyes on the Mets again… And I kind of wish I kept my Reyes T-shirt.
2008-upper-deck-x-xponential2-jose-reyes

OK, now it’s time for Plymouth Argyle… Which is the team featured on the 1960-61 A&BC Footballers card Shane sent me. This makes the 8th card I have from this set, which means I’ve almost got a full 9-pocket sheet full of these cards and it puts me at 9.5% of the way to a complete set… Not that I’m shooting for a complete set, but I’m always excited to add a new card, even though I don’t know the players and, in this case, the team.
1960-61-abc-footballers-dave-mclaren
I’ve got a passing familiarity with most top English football teams, but I’d never heard of Plymouth Argyle. I looked them up, and they’re currently in League Two, which is the 4th level of English Soccer (after Premiership, Championship and League One).

Plymouth Argyle’s nickname is “The Pilgrims”, and the team crest features the Mayflower. If you’re wondering what the connection is, the Mayflower left Plymouth for The New World in 1620.

Here’s the back of the card:
1960-61-abc-footballers-dave-mclaren-back
During the seasons prior to this card coming out, Dave MacLaren played for Leicester City, and Monty Python fans know – even if Karl Marx didn’t – that Leicester lost the 1949 Cup final to Wolverhampton Wanderers, 3-1… but that was before MacLaren was on the team.

Anyhoo, I suppose that the fact that MacLaren had played for a top flight team the prior year may have something to do with his being in this set despite being listed with a second-tier team. Or maybe I just don’t know what I’m talking about. Well, that’s true enough; when it comes to English footy I do not know what I’m talking about.

So that’s the latest from las Leyenas del caja de Zapatos (if my meager Spanish skills didn’t steer me too far wrong). Thanks again, Shane!