(Perhaps you've noticed an increase in the amount of Cardboard Appreciation posts lately. The reason is because I'm itching to do another Cardboard Appreciation tournament and induct another card into the C.A. Hall of Fame. But I need a group of 64 for maximum tournament satisfaction. So the more cards I appreciate, the quicker we can get to a tournament. Time for another one. This is the 171st in a series):
I am always amazed at how quickly collectors can produce the greatest and best card for any occasion. A player pops up in the news and -- BAM! -- someone will display a quad patch relic book card of the player they just happened to have lying around.
When Stan the Man passed over the weekend, I was instantly greeted with cards autographed by Musial across the blogosphere. And these people weren't even Cardinals fans. Those are some kind of collections that you people have.
I don't have anything that impressive of Musial in card form. I don't have his 1958 Topps Sporting News All-Star card. I don't have his final Topps card from 1963. All I've got are some random 1980s issues, a Fan Favorite card or two, and all of those "cards that never were" from the last couple of years.
But the card I think of when I think of Musial is actually the one you see here. This is card #1 in the Walmart set that Topps issued in 2006. This was a 54-card set and was supposedly issued only in packages of three cards, inserted into blasters sold at Walmart.
If they were inserted only in packages of three, I don't know how I ended up with four cards from this set.
These are the other three that I have:
The Musial, Abreu and Seaver apparently came out in Topps Series 1, and the Carter in Topps Series 2. Baseballcardpedia.com says the Series 2 Walmart cards might be a little scarcer because of availability issues.
I like these cards because they were produced during a period when seeing new players on familiar Topps designs was still kind of a revelation. Heritage, Archives and Fan Favorites were still relatively fresh and it was wild seeing Gary Carter on a 1960 Topps design.
Of course, it's not wild anymore. One whiff of 2012 Topps Archives told me that. And we have all those Cards Your Mom Tossed Out to blame for it.
But I still like these cards.
The problem is there is no way I'm going to complete the 54-card set. There's still 50 cards out there for me to find (thank goodness there are no Dodgers in the set). This is an issue because supposedly I'm trying to complete a master set of 2006 Topps.
I'm not the "master set" type, but since 2006 Topps was the set that got me back into modern collecting and basically got me into this whole blogging mess, I figured it's the least I could do for it. Yes, I know there's that Alex Gordon card that's impossible to find because Keith Olbermann has them all. But I've whisked that out of my mind, and I've been collecting everything else, every stupid Barry Bonds home run card, every stupider Mickey Mantle home run card. I even have a want list for it all on the blog.
But I'm failing miserably at the whole master thing. I haven't added a new 2006 card in ages. Thoughts of ditching all those Mantle and Bonds things have begun to enter my head, and I don't like it. 2006 is what MADE ME, MAN. I'm Night Owl because of this set! No matter how infuriating it is.
So I'm still clinging to getting all of the Own The Game inserts, and all the "Hit Parade" inserts, and the "other" Mickey Mantle inserts, the "Mantle Collection."
And, yeah, even 50 more of the Walmart inserts.
This is way down on my list of priorities, of course, after trying to complete the 1977 and 1972 Topps sets, getting every Dodger card ever made, finishing off the 1975 Topps mini set, finding every Kershaw card ever made, getting my Allen&Ginter minis, taking a crack at finishing 2008 Heritage again, tracking down every last Ron Cey Dodger card, etc., etc., etc.
But it's still on the list.
And when I think of my 2006 master set task, I think of the Stan Musial Walmart card. Stan smiling and looking up hopefully at me.
"You're going to complete it some day, right, sport?"
I don't know, Stan.
You're The Man. Not me.