Thursday, February 24, 2011

Holy crap ... what is THAT?


I can't hold back this post any longer. I might burst, and you don't want that. It's ugly. Feathers everywhere.

So, even though there are many trade packages that arrived at the owl's nest before this one, I've got to get this out of my system. It's a crazy one.

On Tuesday, I was upstairs when I heard my wife open the door and what sounded like a postal vehicle driving away. She pulled in a package shaped like nothing that would be for me. I'm terrible at measurements, but I'd say it was about 20-by-30 in dimensions. I immediately dismissed it as some decorating item until I heard someone say, "It's for you."

To which I immediately responded with, "holy, crap ... what is THAT?"

I do not order large, wide, flat packages. There is a reason why I collect items that are 2 1/2-by-3 1/2. They're manageable. I can keep them under my thumb without fear of an uprising. That was my thought process as I was opening the package until I saw what was inside, and then those thoughts ran away.

Inside were 10 individually wrapped "packs" that looked like this:


Now, I don't ever remember the packs that I opened as a kid being encased in tin foil, but that's a minor detail. All that mattered was that this was from the Aardvark Trading Co., meaning Kris was involved, and I couldn't wait to see what was inside.

This was what was inside:


A whole mess of totally far out 1972 Topps -- fresh from my just updated want list.

Oh, joyous, stupendous day.

Each pack contained about 10 '72s, meaning there were about 100 cards off the want list. Most of the cards are in excellent shape for my purposes. Small corner wear, a few of the backs are rough. But I really like the '72s that way. Some of the cards are off-center or a little miscut, which is excellent because back in the '70s, you would pull miscut cards out of packs on a regular basis. It was part of the whole experience of being a collector then.

And when I was opening these packs, I felt like I was a kid from the '70s again, looking at these '72s for the first time. The 1972 set came out three years before I started collecting, but it was one of those sets that was everywhere in the collective consciousness of little boys who collected cards. This set was kind of the standard of what cards should look like because it was a very recent and unique set. So, when I see '72s now, I still think "that's what a card should BE."

I'm not going to show all of the '72s here, but I'll feature a few:


I love the Cardinals cards from this set. And Sizemore was one of my favorites when I was a kid.


As mentioned before, Carlos May got his thumb blown off in a military accident. You can see it on his right hand, just to the northwest of the "C" in May's first name.


Speaking of appendages, there is Billy Martin, flipping off little kiddies around the world.


The '72 set is excellent for revealing how basic field conditions were back then. Also, Abernathy was a pitcher. I don't know why he posed like that.


Now that is a leaders' card.


Now THAT is a leaders' card.


The Red Sox never wore a cap that color. Harper looks like he's fighting for the North in the Civil War.


There are baseball players in action and then there are baseball players levitating. Darrell Evans is "In Levitation."


Here is one of those miscut cards. Isn't that great? You'd really pull cards like this out of packs on a semi-regular basis. And, no, we didn't write angry letters to Topps.


The scanner cut this card off. But it's Gil Hodges, so I'm showing it anyway.


Scipio Spinks' first solo card. No, you can't have it.

There were many, many more that came out of the packs, but you get the idea.

Also, each pack came with this:


Perhaps Kris was really trying to kill me.

I don't know how old the gum is -- all card gum kind of looks the same no matter how old -- but I am not even close to daring enough to throw that in my mouth. Still, it sure reminded me of the old packs, right down to some of the gum being pulverized.

OK, by now, some of you are getting impatient.

I can hear it:

"A few packs of old cards wouldn't be shipped in a package that large unless the guy's a fool. What was in the rest of the package? Out with it!"

Well, you cranky, cranky people, I assure you there was something else.

These aren't the greatest pictures, but hopefully it gives you some idea:


Uncut sheets!!!

Wow. I do not have any uncut sheets -- or any with more than three cards on it anyway -- because I haven't the slightest idea how you acquire such things (although a second of thinking about it makes me assume that ebay is filled with these things).

The first two sheets were instantly familiar. They are the 2009 and 2010 sets of the Albuquerque Isotopes, the Dodgers' Triple A team. I recognized them because Kris previously sent me the actual sets for each year.

The third sheet is from a Pacific Coast League issue from 2010. Among the more notable players there are Buster Posey (first guy on the top left), Madison Bumgarner, John Ely, Jhoulys Chacin, Andrew Cashner, Ivan DeJesus Jr., Jonathan LuCroy, Cole Gillespie, Michael Saunders, Kila Ka'aihue, etc.

Isn't that cool?

Well, it's about to get downright frigid:


This is a fold-out uncut sheet celebrating 100 years of the Dodgers. I'm assuming this was some sort of take-off or supplement to the Target issue from 1990 that had like a thousand cards. They look identical to those cards, including some -- if not all -- of the same pictures.

All of the Dodger greats until 1990 are there, including some of the not so greats (Babe Ruth, Frank Robinson and Juan Marichal have Dodger connections, but they were not Dodger greats).

That is beyond awesome.

And, of course, because I am the way I am, there is a problem.

These sheets are meant to stay intact. That is not a problem for the Triple A Dodgers because I have sets of those already. It's not really a problem for the Pacific Coast League issue, although I really want to cut out that card of DeJesus Jr.

But where it is really pulling me apart is with the Dodger Century team. The sheet is even perforated. It would be nothing to have all those cool little cards ready to go.

Perhaps that's sacrilege, but I do not have a lot of wall space in the card room. I can display some of these, but not all. And I don't want to stick the others in the attic.

So, any suggestions?

As for Kris, many thanks for the awesome surprise. I'll have to scrape up something meager in return, but know that I am more grateful than the cards could ever show.

So, that's what's new around here.

Pretty cool, huh?

Oh, what the hell, here are some more '72s ...


I think I need to find a binder.

9 comments:

  1. You've received some amazing packages before and this one ranks right up there at the top. Very nice.

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  2. I love Billy Martin and his use of the bat!!! That RBI leaders card is great too. Awesome Stuff!!!

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  3. Wow! That's got to be one of the best card collecting days ever!

    Whenever I see a '72 Topps, I think of Rico Carty. When the neighborhood kids discovered I started collecting cards, one of them showed me his huge collection (including a mint Pete Rose rookie) and even traded a couple of his old doubles to me. Rico Carty '72 was the oldest card I had and to me it was super cool.

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  4. Did I seriously neglect to send you the PCL set during the season? I will remedy that in a future mailing.

    Kris

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  5. That's just crazy great ! I love things like those sheets too but my space is very limited also.( makes me want to grab the package I sent back out of the mail !)

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  6. that's the 1989 smokey dodger greats set. you can tell by the smokey the bear image on each card. there are actually 104 cards in the set - the last 4 are usually pretty hard to find even though i believe all 104 were distributed as a single game sga.
    very similar to the 1990 target set as you mentioned. nice haul.

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  7. Ah, Smokey! Of course! I can't believe I didn't see him down in the corner there.

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  8. impressive uncut sheets! I didn't know they were available from anywhere. I know you can buy the Isotopes team sets and the PCL prospects set in the team shop -- and my favorite -- the media guide, but I didn't know you might be able to get uncut sheets there unless it was sourced somewhere else.

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  9. that's a huge bunch of awesome right there.

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