Monday, June 2, 2014

Fixing a hole

I embrace the idea that every individual's sportscard collection is determined by that individual. There isn't anyone -- or there shouldn't be anyone -- who says a person's collection isn't complete if they don't acquire "such-and-such a card," except for the person who owns the cards. To me, that kind of advice should be reserved for dealers trying to sell cards. And even then, I'm giving them the raised eyebrow.

I'm quite happy with the cards I have and my goals for future acquisitions. And neither the cards I have nor the cards I want includes an '89 Upper Deck Ken Griffey Jr. rookie, a Manny Ramirez corked bat relic, or cards from the 1880s.

But that doesn't mean there aren't pesky holes, and I don't mean the ones that make a set complete. I'm talking about the ones that complete who I am as a collector.

I see myself as a lover of mostly '70s cards with a little '80s thrown in. That is me as a collector. 1970s baseball is my collecting wheelhouse, and I have pretty much most of what represents that decade on cardboard. I've got complete Topps sets from 1971 and 1974-79. I've got a lot of '72s and a semi-adequate representation from '73. I have Kellogg's cards and Hostess cards and SSPC cards. I have Fleer Bob Laughlin cards, Islay discs, a variety of TCMAs and minniiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiisssssssssssss!!!!!!!

I can give you a sampling of any '70s player you want from George Foster, Mark Fidrych, Greg Luzinski and Dick Allen to Tom Veryzer, Bob Oliver, Santo Alcala and both Dave Roberts.

Sure, there are a few notable sets (at least notable to me) that have eluded my grasp, namely Shakey's Pizza and Milk Duds. But those don't fill me with shame.

What did -- at least a little -- was the fact that I didn't have any 1970s Seattle Pilots cards.

Yes, I know, the Pilots existed only in 1969.

But they might as well have existed in the '70s, too. "Ball Four" didn't arrive until 1970, stretching Pilots lore through the '70s and beyond. And you couldn't get very many cards of a Seattle Pilot in an actual Seattle Pilot uniform until the 1970 Topps set (there are a few in later series in the '69 set).

And except for a stray '69 card of Jim Gosger and a Pacific card from many years later, I didn't have any.

Enter Greg A. of The Collective Mind to the rescue.

Thanks to those three and the Marty Pattin at the top, I can hold my head up high again.

I think part of the reason why I ignored Pilots cards is my pervasive disinterest in the 1970 set. I was punishing the Pilots needlessly for those gray borders.

Greg also sent a smattering of Dodgers. Here are a couple:

The Sliding Stars Kemp is actually a mini. Did you know that Gypsy Queen made mini parallels of insert cards?

I didn't. Another red "X" through your name, GQ.

But that can't diminish what I've accomplished here. Another key aspect of the '70s is now represented in my collection. Other than what I've previously mentioned, I'm not sure what else I need to be able to address every '70s reference with the flip of a baseball card. But for now I'm pretty happy.

I can also listen to this song now without getting down:

Well, not about my collection anyway.


  1. I've had that Mike Hegan card for as long as I can remember.

    I will say, though, that that card of Gene Brabender confirms what Jim Pagliaroni said about him in Ball Four: if you got a hit off of him, he looks like he might crush your spleen.

  2. I think I may still have a metric ton of '70 Topps Pilots here, if they're not tied up in any pending deals. I'll let you know.

  3. +1 for the Beatles reference. I have had a half written Seattle Pilots post in my queue for a while with a good, cliche Elton John title.

  4. Love this post. I have been on a mission lately trying to acquire the Pilots cards from 69 and 70.

  5. Attaway, nice pickups. Now go pound some Budweiser.