Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Cardboard fate

So I've been babbling about a card package from Greg at Nearly Mint for two posts now, heading into a third.

But so far all I've shown from it are a bunch of cards of ballplaying hippies from the '70s. Who cares about that ratty, old cardboard with the dated designs and the pitiful haircuts, right? Can't I modern it up a bit?

Why, yes. Yes, I can "modern it up" a bit. Because I love cards of all kinds.

As it happens, Greg sent me some cards direct from the '90s, a decade that some of you love so well.

The cards included some Dodger parallels of the time period -- which, of course, means they are dressed in silver and gold.

Up there is a silver signature Tom Candiotti from '96 Collector's Choice.

And down here are gold-lettered items of Brett Butler and Todd Worrell. These looked so much better when Greg was showing off his 1994 Topps box busting skills on Twitter. Maybe it was because I was staring at them while I was at work (shhh! Tell no one!)

There's a rush of a gold courtesy of Jim Gott and 1995 Score.

But the '90s items that really packed a punch were these:

As you '90s collectors may know, these cards are from the 1996 Leaf Signatures set. It was a set so amazing that it featured on-card autographs from more than 200 different players. Each pack featured an autograph.

I can't get into any more detail about the set than that because like most sets from the mid-to-late '90s, it's confusing as hell for someone who grew up in the '70s and '80s. Why they had to make sets that complicated in the '90s, I'll never know. Reading the description of the set was like making sense of my taxes. My eyes started glazing over at the second paragraph.

I got the basic idea, though. It's a card set with autographs. And those cards you see above are real, live autographs of 1990s Dodgers.

Greg also sent this autographed card of Carlos Hernandez, which is also from the '96 Leaf set, but looks different from the other ones. The best I can tell is this card is from the Extended Series set, which had a different design.

What really hit home when reading about this set is how many cards players were asked to sign. We're not talking about an autograph set numbered to 25. We're talking hundreds or thousands.

This particular Hernandez card amused me when I saw it because I recognized it immediately.

I had acquired another version of the Hernandez autograph a few years ago. You can see that the signature is different.

And just to make it even more amusing, the package that Jaybarkerfan's Junk sent with all the 1979 Topps in it, which arrived a mere few days after Nearly Mint's package, also contained an autograph card.

Here it is:

Yup. It's crazy-signing Hernandez.

Like I said, Leaf made those fellas WORK.

But aside from all those great autographs, there was one card that topped them all. It actually isn't from the 1990s. It is from 2001, really one of the better card years that there ever was.

One of the sets that came out that year was the Fleer Greats of the Game set, which featured the best players from the past. Every Dodger great you want to know from bygone days is in that set.

The cards are also perfect for autographs. Great stock. Plain white borders with black-and-white photos. Super stuff.

Here, let me show you:


I always wanted a Preacher Roe autograph.

I actually stopped typing for five minutes just to stare at the card again. It's so great. And terrific of Greg to send it to me.

Yet, even with all that modern stuff, I am still a regular base-card, 660-cards-in-a-set, I-love-the-70s kind of guy.

Greg knew that, too. And he found something that, for me, tops the autographs and even tops the Preacher Roe signature.

And it's not even a trading card.

It's a postcard.

It's a postcard of my favorite player of all-time, Ron Cey. And it's a postcard from very early in his career. Pre-mustache.

I've seen some postcards of Cey and I have a few. But I had never seen this one. I don't know when this was printed. The photograph has to be from before 1974. Cey had his stache by then. I can't stop looking at the Dodger Stadium backdrop either.

This postcard was picked up at a card shop in the Midwest. What an early '70s postcard of a West Coast player was doing there is baffling to me. As baffling, I suppose, it was for the card shop owner when Greg told him he wanted that postcard.

But you can't argue cardboard fate. ... or postcard fate.

And there you are.

That is why I've babbled about this package for three posts now.


  1. That Preacher Roe is the bomb.
    Cey sans mustache is the double-bomb.

  2. Greats of the Game '01 was one of the best sets of the modern area.

    Immaculate. Beautiful, set.

  3. In my last "Cards From The Binder" post I showed a Signature Rookies Chris Brantley auto that was numbered 3178 out of 7750. 7750? Maybe that's why his first name is just a wavy line.

  4. I don't think I'd ever seen a picture of "The Penguin" without his mustache before this post. He doesn't look right...but that postcard is awesome!

    Love the Preacher Roe auto as well!

  5. I loved the '96 Leaf set because a lot of players got auto cards that other manufacturers wouldn't bother with.

  6. Now you have TWO Chad Fonvilles! I sent you one about a year ago. Glad you got those Leaf cards figured out!

  7. Great postcard--you rarely see a stacheless Penguin. Interesting that he was wearing a helmet with an earflap. I didn't think he ever wore one until he got beaned in the '81 series.

  8. Those are some great looking cards and postcards.

    I clicked on the Leaf link. Yeah, it's confusing as hell. It makes some of the Heritage variations pale in comparison.

    Confusing or not, they are very nice looking cards. But yeah, the Preacher Roe is even better.