Wednesday, April 16, 2014

They don't make 'em like they used to

I'm sure that to some collectors, and even some bloggers, I'm old-fashioned. My collecting interests are focused on traditional set-collecting and vintage cards. My collecting mindset is stuck in the 1970 and 1980s. I regularly bag on modern innovations like artificial short-prints and cards imbedded with coins.

I do try to keep myself up to date -- in cards, as well as in life -- by purchasing some modern stuff, dabbling in player-collecting, welcoming parallel madness to a degree, and knowing who the hot player of the moment is.

But I fear that it's probably hopeless. Even if I write about modern cards, the way I write and my viewpoint is probably desperately out of date to some people. I'm just an old guy in his 40s to them.

And it's true. I like stuff that you just can't find anymore. Because it's old, like me.

To illustrate, I have some more 1975 Topps minis, sent to me by Jim, a.k.a., mr. haverkamp. These cards, as I've mentioned before, connect me to my childhood better than any other set ever made. But the sad fact is that a lot of things about cards from my childhood just don't exist anymore.

For example, head shots. If you want head shots in a Topps set, you'll have to go to Heritage. They don't make head shots in flagship anymore. And I don't think they have since the early 1990s. It's all action all the time now.

Another example. Airbrushing. Airbrushing has been replaced by photoshopping. It can still look as amateurish as airbrushing, but in general photoshopping does the trick better, albeit in not as charming of a fashion.

Highlights or "record-breaker" cards. I don't think there has been a subset series in Topps dedicated to record breakers in a little more than a decade. I know there have been random highlight-type cards with checklists on the back in recent sets, but I don't consider that the same thing.

Four-player rookie cards. Again, if you want those, you have to go to Heritage. Topps hasn't produced a four-player rookie card in flagship since the late 1970s. As you know, it's imperative that every last rookie has at least 48 cards before he even makes the majors -- oops, sorry, that's the old man talking again.

Team cards. Topps hasn't put a team-picture card in a flagship set since 2007. You can't even find them in recent editions of Heritage, even though there were most definitely team-picture cards in Heritage tribute sets like 1963, 1964 and 1965 Topps.

Card-front checklists as a numbered part of the set. When was the last time that happened? Probably the early 1990s again. Today it's all: deface a card from the set???? Are you insane???? (For the record, this sometimes modern-type collector would like to find an unchecked version of these cards).

The Expos. There hasn't been an Expo in a Topps flagship set since 2005. Because they stopped existing. This just makes me more and more sad every year. (And there were times when the Expos did exist that I didn't even like them).

Every '75 mini card that mr. haverkamp sent contained at least one thing that doesn't exist anymore, whether in the card world or the baseball world.

That can mean only one thing:

Even though I don't think of the 1975 Topps set as ancient at all, it probably actually is.

And so am I.

But that's OK.

I like the '75 set. And I like me.

They just don't make 'em like they used to.


  1. The 1993-95 flagship sets had 4 player rookie cards. I want to say the 1998 or 2000 flagships had them too, but I am too lazy to look it up right at this moment.

    1. Yeah, I guess they did in 93-95. Still been a long time. Couldn't tell you about 98-00. Big black hole in my collecting.

  2. Any word from Ultra Pro about the 1975 mini pages?

    1. Last I knew they were made and UltraPro was scouting out dealers to sell them. I'm gonna pester them again in a little bit.

    2. Thank you... If they give you that "these have limited appeal" malarkey, let them know they should work for 1951 and 1952 Bowman as well.

  3. You're not the only "traditional set-collecting and vintage cards" guy out there.

  4. Bullet hole free upon arrival???

  5. Have to agree. Nothing like collecting in the 70's.

  6. I actually prefer the marked checklist, especially if I marked it. Did that person get Dusty Baker? I know that he and Jim Spencer took me a while to find in 1976.

    Did they give up while needing two Cub HOFers?

    Did they have to give up great cards to get two guys named Ken (Reitz and Henderson)? In my neighborhood one certainly had to trade good cards to get the last few set needs since everyone knew which cards everyone else needed. We didn't need Twitter in our fourth grade class to find out who needed Ken Reitz.