Wednesday, August 21, 2013

First time for everything

One of the great things about collecting cards is there are so many different directions to go. I haven't studied other hobbies very closely, but I imagine some are a lot more limiting than card collecting. How many clay pots can you really make?

Because there is so much variety and so much to collect -- and because my collecting interests are relatively varied -- I am forever coming across "firsts" in my collecting life.

To me, that's pretty impressive. Keep in mind, I saw my first cards in 1974. That was 39 years ago. I should know a lot about cards and have experienced a lot. But most of the time I feel that I don't and I haven't.

The other day -- OK, it was like 2 or 3 weeks ago -- I achieved one of those firsts. A very cool one, too. It has to do with the man you see on the card above.

My Roy Campanella card collection is deceptively large. I have 92 different cards of Campy, including my pride-and-joy here, the "Symbol of Courage" card from 1959 Topps.

However, not a single one of my Campy cards was issued when he played.

There actually aren't a lot of cards from those days. I count 14 in which Campanella appears all by himself on a card. The Bowman-Topps fracas of the '50s did a number on the amount of Campys one could chase.

Still, I've steered away from acquiring them because I often leave big-ticket items for last (I shouldn't do that), and a Campanella card is a definite big-ticket item.

But my angst over having no playing-era Campys finally ended when Scott Crawford On Cards and I engineered a deal, centering around this:

Isn't that beauteous?

(That looks like a pretty close play at home).

There is the back, just because I have to be a completist about everything.

With the addition of Campy, I'm down to needing Alston, Reese and Robinson for the 1956 team set. Alston and Reese are no problem. Robinson could be had with my birthday money if I can hang on to my birthday money (it's currently in escrow to see whether bills need to be paid during August austerity).

So I definitely can see the light on this project and it's very cool and you're not going to spoil my mood by bringing up that I'm supposedly collecting the entire '56 set and I need a second Campy (and Koufax and Robinson, etc., etc.)

Let's move on to some more cards from Scott to get that thought out of my head:

Here is white-bordered Kershaw. I've shown this card before, but you're seeing it again.

In a bit of bad news today, I discovered that I had to add another name to the team base set wants with Gypsy Queen because of a stupid Chris Capuano card. "Chris Capuano? Why is he in the set?" I believe is what I said out loud. So --- GAH! -- I'm still a long way from being done with that horribly ugly set that looks even uglier when they're all together in a binder. They're practically growing moss right there in the pages.

Here are some fancy blue slate parallels. The first ones I've ever seen.

To find these, you had to have a card shop in your area, a card shop that actually carried these, and be in that card shop at a certain specific time. I think you also had to be wearing purple shorts, carrying a oblong candle and know how many times the word "funk" is used in "Flashlight," by the Parliament Funkadelic.

I ain't got time for that, so as I said before, these are the first ones I've ever seen.

By the way, I arranged them in order, left to right, from the very best to BAHHAHAHAHAHAHA, THE ANGELS KEEP STARTING HIM!

This is another '75 mini (trust me) off the want list. I will forever remember Todd's rookie card as the one in which my 8-year-old brother said you could see up his nostrils. Sorry, Jim.

There are certain cards I cannot resist, even if I'm not necessarily collecting the set. This one qualifies.

Not only does it land within my favorite collecting period (1974-83), but it features the Astros garb at its peak. The Orange helmet especially. Don't give me those blue helmets the Astros came out with later.

Oh ... I almost forgot ... it's also a card of Cesar Cedeno.

When Scott asked me if I wanted this card I said I did, of course. But I think I mentioned that I needed just one. I'm not sure why I did that except I know that Scott has such a large weapons-grade stockpile of cards that anything other than specific requests would set off an explosion in my abode.

Well, guess what?


J.R. Richard dun explode.

I actually pulled a J.R. Richard card in a pack of '81 Donruss in 1981, so these are ... um, extras.

Richard is about as bad-ass as they can make a baseball player so I don't really mind these. But if you want one, I'm sure I can free one up. Just have to wait for the fire to die down.

I guess this is also a first for me. I've never had so many of one J.R. Richard card.

This hobby just gives and gives and gives.


  1. Sweet Campy! I've always wanted to own a real vintage card of his.

    The '81 Donruss Cedeno is terrific as well, not sure how I don't already own a copy of that one.

  2. I'm not crazy, right? That Campy has him SLIDING into home instead of fielding the position, correct? I never would have thought of a card company that early in the life of the product showing a player on a card where he is not playing his position but instead running into said position.

    Did anything I type make sense? :)

  3. The Angels Finally pulled Blanton from the rotation about a month ago and put Garrett Richards in.

    But, yeah, thanks for bringing that up.

  4. Once again, our collecting/Dodger connection is the same.

    That "Symbol of Courage" Campy card is one of my all time favorites.

    I still remember the night I actually found it in a dealer's box and immediately bought it. My eyes must have looked like saucers.

  5. Congrats on the Campy. Bot to mentions Richard Richard Richard Richard Richard Richard Richard Richard Richard Richard Richard Richard Richard Richard Richard Richard Richard and Richard.

  6. If you wanna Bip me with nine of those JR cards, I'd love to make a page of them.

  7. Those blue sparkles are doin' it for me....