Tuesday, November 27, 2012

A mini miracle


It's no secret that my ultimate goal in collecting -- as of 7:52 p.m., Nov. 27, 2012 -- is to complete the 1975 Topps mini set, the set that reminds me of the pinnacle of my childhood more than any other set in existence.

There is no doubt in my mind that I will eventually complete that goal. And when it happens, it will be a true miracle in a cardboard sense, just because I'm the type of collector who prefers less challenging tasks.

In the meantime, I am content with mini miracles such as this one: on Saturday I completed the 2011 Topps Lineage '75 minis tribute parallel set.

Yup. I did something I never thought I'd ever do. I polished off a 200-card parallel/insert set.

I realize that the Lineage minis are not 1975 Topps. You don't have to tell a guy who bought '75 minis at the corner grocery store in 1975 that. Lineage minis have those horrible card backs. The team font is all wrong. The "Topps Lineage" watermark is annoying. And they spell out "2nd Base" so it reads "Second Baseman." I know all that.

But the set was still interesting enough and unique enough that it captured my interest enough to actually consider completing it. It took just over a year to do so, which really isn't close to how long I thought it would take.

A few weeks ago, I was down to needing five cards to finish the set. Then the Cal Ripken card you see here popped up on Listia. I won the card and I took that as a sign.

It was time to get the four remaining cards.


In my recent COMC binge, I found all four. Here they are (thank goodness there was no super short-print mini. That would have killed the whole project for me).

I now have all 200 cards in a nice, tidy stack. I thought about displaying them all here for you to prove that I had them all. But since there are NO PAGES FOR THESE SIZE CARDS (or none that I've found yet), trying to scan all those mini-sized cards was too much of a pain.

But that doesn't mean I didn't go through some effort for you. We must pay proper tribute.

The best way to do that for me -- the color geek -- is the separate the cards into their respective colors and do a breakdown. You can expect the usual trashing on Topps for not using some of the original '75 designs or for bollocksing up some of the color combos. You know. The fun stuff.

So here is the breakdown. Enjoy.


YELLOW-BLUE


Total cards: 31
Most distinguishing feature: more cards of this color combo than any other in the set.
Most disturbing card with this color combo: The Sandy Koufax card in which he's wearing a jersey that says "Los Angeles" but his cap says "B" as in Brooklyn.
Noted players on this combo in the '75 set: Tony Perez, Carl Yastrzemski, John "Blue Moon" Odom.
Favorite card in this color-combo:


Carlton Fisk

Love a '70s crowd in the background.

Other nice cards with this color combo: Ty Cobb, Bert Blyleven, Ichiro Suzuki, Stephen Strasburg, Willie McCovey.
Dodgers in this color combo: Sandy Koufax.
Least favorite card with this color combo: Andruw Jones.


BLUE-GREEN


Total cards: 22
Most distinguishing feature: As the "day baseball design (blue sky/green grass)," you feel right at the ballpark -- although that red sun is a little alarming.
Most disturbing card with this color-combo: Dan Haren with a wide-open field behind him and not a soul in sight. Nothing about the background looks real.
Noted players with this combo in the '75 set: Willie McCovey, Garry Maddox, Don Sutton, Willie Horton.
Favorite card in this color-combo:


Bob Gibson

Gibby almost always wins.

Other nice cards with this color-combo: Frank Robinson, Yovani Gallardo, Adrian Beltre.
Dodgers in this color combo: Jackie Robinson.
Least favorite card with this color combo: Mark Teixeira.


BROWN-TAN


Total cards: 21
Most distinguishing feature: Lots of retired players in this combo. Tris Speaker, Ozzie Smith, Al Kaline, Cy Young, John Smoltz, White Ford.
Most disturbing card with this color combo: Seeing a '75-style card that says "SPIDERS" across the top is just weird.
Noted players with this combo in the '75 set: Steve Stone, Jorge Orta.
Favorite card in this color-combo:


Tris Speaker

It's nice to see Topps break out of its '50s rut with some of its old-timey players.

Other nice cards with this color-combo: Thurman Munson, Al Kaline.
Dodgers in this color combo: None
Least favorite card with this color combo: (tie) Alex Rodriguez/Brandon Belt.


ORANGE-YELLOW


Total cards: 20
Most distinguishing feature: Probably my least favorite color-combo both here and in '75 Topps.
Most disturbing card in this color-combo: The Roy Campanella has never been my favorite. The old-style, washed-out colorization doesn't work.
Noted players with this combo in the '75 set: Tom Seaver, Bucky Dent, Bake McBride, Ron Santo, Ed Kranepool, Willie Davis
Favorite card in this this color combo:


Ryne Sandberg

Only because of Lenny Harris sliding in.

Other nice cards with this color combo: Nolan Ryan, Dustin Pedroia, Monte Irvin.
Dodgers in this combo: Campanella.
Least favorite card in this combo: Willie McCovey.


GREEN-YELLOW


Total cards: 18 (actually, 19, as you'll see later).
Most distinguishing feature: Mike Schmidt features the green-yellow combo just like he did in the 1975 set. There aren't a lot of those matches -- if any (I haven't looked).
Most disturbing feature: More freaky colorization with Walter Johnson. Looks like a painting.
Noted players with this combo in the '75 set: Claudell Washington, Billy Williams, Sal Bando, Mike Schmidt, Bobby Bonds.
Favorite card in this combo:


Tony Perez

Always loved this picture. There is really something special about color photos of '60s players.

Other nice cards with this color-combo: Albert Belle, Joe Morgan (as an Astro)
Dodgers in this combo: None
Least favorite card in this combo: Miguel Montero. Squeezing "Diamondbacks" into this font is just wrong (something to think about with 2013 Heritage).


TAN-BLUE


Total cards: 18
Most distinguishing feature: The tan color is not quite right -- if Topps was going for the color used in '75. It looks so orange that in a previous post I confused it as an "orange-blue" combination, which Topps didn't use in 1975.
Most disturbing feature: Add the above to the fact that the tan-blue combination in the 1975 set used RED team names instead of yellow, and I'm totally confused now.
Noted players with this combo in the '75 set: Randy Jones, Mickey Rivers, Rick Reuschel.
Favorite card in this combo: 


Andre Dawson

He honest-to-goodness looks like he's going to kill someone in this photo.

Other nice cards with this color combo: Johnny Bench, Carlos Santana.
Dodgers in this combo: None.
Least favorite card in this combo: Ryan Braun.


PURPLE-PINK


Total cards: 16
Most distinguishing feature: I have the urge to break into the My Little Pony theme song every time I see this color combination.
Most disturbing feature: Me singing "My Little Pony."
Notable players with this combo in the '75 set: Ron LeFlore, Frank Robinson, Nolan Ryan, Phil Niekro, Ted Simmons, Dave Winfield, Thurman Munson.
Favorite card in this color-combo:


Adam Jones

Just a nice night-time shot of Jones settling under a fly ball.

Other nice cards in this combo: Duke Snider, Jason Heyward, Adrian Gonzalez.
Dodgers in this combo: Snider.
Least favorite card in this combo: Honus Wagner. Another still-life.


GREEN-PURPLE


Total cards: 14
Most distinguishing feature: The combination I find the most garish in the 1975 set.
Most disturbing feature: How bored I am of Mickey Mantle cards, even in '75 mini form.
Notable players with this combo in the '75 set: Cecil Cooper, Hal McRae, George Brett, David Clyde.
Favorite card in this combo:


Andre Ethier

My Dodger bias is showing.

Other nice cards in this combo: Prince Fielder, Babe Ruth.
Least favorite card in this combo: Mickey Mantle.


PINK-YELLOW


Total cards: 14
Most distinguishing feature: Probably the loudest and most memorable color combination from the 1975 set.
Most disturbing feature: That there aren't more pink-yellow cards in this set.
Notable players with this combo in the '75 set: Lou Brock, Vida Blue, Sparky Lyle, Oscar Gamble, Graig Nettles, George Foster, Tug McGraw.
Favorite card in this combo:


Jim Palmer

Lot of good ones in this combo, but have to go with the spectacular wind-up.

Other nice cards with this combo: Hank Aaron, David Ortiz, Albert Pujols.
Dodgers in this combo: Chad Billingsley.
Least favorite card in this combo: Madison Bumgarner.


RED-YELLOW


Total cards: 14
Most distinguishing feature: This was one of my favorite combinations back in '75 just because it seems to be the bizarro version of the combination used with the all-star cards in 1975. Everything is the same, except with red borders on top and yellow borders on the bottom. Oh, and no giant star.
Most disturbing feature: Look at all that acreage above "Diamondbacks" on Upton's card. That's awful.
Notable players with this combo in the '75 set: Bob Gibson, Frank Tanana, Rick Burleson.
Favorite card in this combo:


Eddie Murray

It pains me not to choose Kemp, but I gravitated toward Murray as soon as I saw it.

Other nice cards with this combo: Matt Kemp, Reggie Jackson, Johnny Bench.
Dodgers in this combo: Kemp.
Least favorite card in this combo: Matt Cain.


YELLOW-ORANGE


Total cards: 9
Most distinguishing feature: This combination did not exist in 1975 Topps.
Most disturbing feature: What was Topps trying to do here? The orange used is the same color that's used with the "tan" combinations, so I suppose it could be considered "yellow-tan," but that combination didn't exist in '75 Topps either. What could have worked is if the orange was actually red because "yellow-red" was a combination in 1975 Topps.

Tsk, tsk, Topps.

Notable players with this combination in '75 Topps: NONE.
Favorite card in this combo:


Clayton Kershaw

But of course.

Other nice cards in this combo: Stan Musial, Shin-Soo Choo.
Least favorite card in this combo: Roy Halladay. Nothing against the guy, it's just so boring.


ORANGE-BROWN


Total cards: 2.
Most distinguishing feature: There are only two cards. Considering the orange-brown combination was used as often as any other in the 1975 set -- 55 times -- it's very weird that there are only two cards in this set with that combo.
Most disturbing feature: See above.
Notable players with this combo in '75 set: Boog Powell, Mike Marshall, Jim Palmer, Tony Oliva, Vada Pinson, Ken Griffey, Bill Buckner, Robin Yount, Dave Kingman, Bill Madlock, Tommy John.
Favorite card in this combo: With just two to choose from, I'll say "pass."
Other nice cards in this combo: You're looking at them.
Dodgers in this combo: None.
Least favorite card in this combo: Pass.


OUTLIERS

The final two cards don't fit with any of the combinations.


Evan Longoria would have gone with the rest of the green-yellow bordered cards, but his team name is yellow instead of red.


Andre Dawson would have gone with the rest of the tan-blue cards except that he is featuring the proper red letters that went with the tan-blue combo in the 1975 set, and featuring a dark blue bottom border that was not featured in the 1975 set nor any of the Lineage '75 minis.

Dawson will not be defined!

So there you go. That's the breakdown of the whole set.

My next mission with these cards is to somehow somewhere find a place that has pages to fit these cards (P.S.: The pages the fit late '40s/early '50s Bowman and '80s stickers do not fit the '75 mini cards). As I mentioned before, they DID exist at one time. I have the printed advertisement as proof.

But this set deserves a binder, and a binder it will have.

As will my complete set of 1975 Topps minis, when I get there.

By the way, I didn't forget them in my COMC purchase.


I'm coming for you next, original 1975 minis.



Oh yeah, one other thing:


MIIIIIIIINNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIISSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

8 comments:

  1. Congrats on finishing the Lineage Mini set!

    I think my favorite color combo has to be the Yellow-Blue. That Ichiro in mini form looks spectacular.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Congrats on finishing the set. I'm not moving forward quickly on it.

    I'm jealous that you found 1975 mini packs in the store. In our area, we never heard of them until a friend brought back a few packs from Michigan. Since he wasn't a serious collector he traded lots of them to us. However, since it was no big deal to him he never brought back any more.

    Are you turning into a Cub fan?

    ReplyDelete
  3. Congrats on completing the set, I knew you would eventually get there but a little surprised how quick.

    I was bummed as it looked like the Yankees might take the title of the most popular team in the Least Favorite card in this combo category. The Giants surged at the end to take the title. Hmmm, kind of like this baseball season!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Wow! Congrats on that mammoth build!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Congrats on finishing the set! Lots of really great cards there. I'd never seen more than a couple. I may have to get the Orioles cuz I love the Palmer and Eddie. Gibson has the best card in the set for my $.

    Oh, the Ripken card at the top? He's breaking every rule of good hitting in that photo. I always thought he was a 'wrong foot' hitter. It really looks like it there.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Congrats!!

    I think I have one or two of those old pages that fit minis somewhere. They are the old school kind of page though so if I do find them and accidently bend them they may just crack.

    ReplyDelete