Thursday, May 30, 2013

C.A.: 1976 SSPC Mickey Vernon

(Welcome to the last Cardboard Appreciation before the great vote-off to determine the third card that will enter the Cardboard Appreciation Hall of Fame. Beginning next week, I will be asking for your votes and propping up polls on the sidebar. I might have to change the template a little bit to accommodate the polls, but it's the small price to pay for blog votage! (voteage?) And now, one more Cardboard Appreciation. This is the 185th in a series):


I am pretty pleased to be working on the 1979 Topps set. It signals my final step in acquiring all of the Topps sets from my childhood (1974-79). What a proud moment that will be when I obtain that last '79 card, whatever it may be.

But it will also be a sad moment. The real reason that I am collecting -- the most satisfaction I get out of collecting -- is to unearth those first memories of baseball, captured on cardboard, from the mid-1970s. Sure, my quest will continue with the '82 Topps set and probably '81 and/or '82 Fleer, when I was a little older and slightly wiser. And I could always chase the Kellogg's sets, small in number as they are.

But there won't be any more opportunities to find cardboard pictures of those players I held at such a height during my first awakenings to the game, around 1975, 1976.

Or so I thought.

I was doing a little research on the "99" uniform post from the other day and, for whatever reason, I stumbled across an online picture of a 1976 SSPC card (yes, it's 1976, not 1975). It was Jack Pierce of the Tigers, someone almost no one remembers.

The Pierce card is a night card, and I noted how many night cards seem to be in that set. Outside of the Dodgers, I have only a handful, but three of them already are night cards.

"I should collect that set," I said to myself.

And then ...

"OF COURSE, I should collect it! It's filled with photos of players from my childhood! Photos that I've never seen before!"

And so it's done.

I am officially collecting the '76 SSPC set, which is great for its night cards, its interesting pictures (George Brett-Al Cowens anyone?), its Keith Olbermann-penned card backs, and its seemingly random inclusion of photos of people like Mickey Vernon, a Hall of Famer hired by the Dodgers as a batting instructor.

It even says "batting instructor" as his "position" on the back of his card!

Not only is the set direct from my childhood, but it's quirky as hell.

I feel obligated to collect it.

I'd put up a want list, but a need just about every card. And with how backlogged I am sending out packages (just another week more, I promise), I feel totally stupid announcing a new collection.

But you can just ignore this post and go back to it when I start sending out packages again.

What? You already read it?

Too late, huh?

Yeah, it's too late for me, too. '76 SSPC here I come.

4 comments:

  1. Thanks for the link!

    I have to say, I'm a bit surprised that you don't already have cards from this set... I'm still sorting through the SSPC cards I bought, and each time I run across a shot involving a flash, I think "There's another card Night Owl probably has..."

    Have fun with your pursuit. It's an interesting set...

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  2. I love that SSPC set. As you mentioned the pictures used are unique, not the same ol' ones that get recycled. Have fun. I may have some dupes buried in my closet.

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  3. I have about five batches of the last part of that set and a fair number of dupes otherwise. Still have some Pilots and a couple random Dodgers sitting here anyway, so I guess I'll get to the back of the line...

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  4. Definitely one of the coolest and quirkiest sets of the 70's era (some of the flash photography was so amateurish it's laughable)..do yourself a favor and just try to buy the complete set, it wasn't issued in packs at all (as far as I remember) so the only singles out there are from broken-up sets.

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