Wednesday, October 1, 2014

On the fringe

There are a few ways to my collecting heart.

1970s cards. Minis. Dodgers, of course. Combine all three and you've made a friend for life.

But this isn't the only path to gratitude.

Take a recent package that I received from Alan, who dropped me an appreciated note about how he has returned to collecting and enjoys my blog. He had some cards for me that didn't fit his collection but thought they might fit mine.

The cards couldn't have been more on the fringe of what I collect. The Hyun-Jin Ryu card that you see here is one of only three received that actually features a Dodgers logo. A lot of the cards are the first of their kind in my collection. Yet, every single one of them are connected to the Dodgers in some way.

Like I said, there isn't just one path.


You should be. This is one of the most interesting card packages I've received in a long time.

Get ready to learn something.

I'll start with the only other Dodger you'll see in this post. It's a Bell Brand potato chips card from 1960.

The other Bell Brand cards I have are in disturbingly pristine shape, especially considering that they came out of a greasy potato chip bag. This card is more what I would expect, but also in great shape ... considering that it came out of a greasy potato chip bag.

It's also one of the earliest cards of Wills as a Dodger that you can find. Wills famously did not have a contract with Topps. He did appear in the 1963 Fleer set, as well as Post sets, but that was two or three years after this card.

Wow! YELLOW! You know you're in the '70s now!

These are two cards from the 1970 Washington Senators Traffic Safety set, an 11-card set that is one of the first police sets ever made (by the way, I didn't stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night, I have the Standard Catalog of Baseball Cards sitting on my lap).

Both players, of course, are straight from the great 1960s Dodgers teams but are slumming here with the Senators.

Also, you can apparently find these cards in pink.

Like every good police set, the back of the card gives you a little lecture.

It's always dangerous sending me a graded card, but this one might actually survive intact.

As you can see, it's not only a Kirk Gibson rookie card, but it's from the Coca-Cola set, which automatically adds 5,000 more awesome points to the card. Also, since the Diamondbacks dumped Gibson recently, I can start liking him again. Yay!!!!!

But Alan didn't stop with just one Coca-Cola rookie Gibson. This is a sealed Gibson, which can only mean one thing ...

It's a Tigers Coca-Cola 3-card pack!!!!!!!!!

You have no idea how much I wished these would find my neighborhood. Stupid Topps and Coca-Cola manufactured sets for half the major league teams in 1981, but somehow none of them -- not even the New York teams -- ever found their way near me. I saw these advertised in baseball card catalogs constantly and how I wished I could get my hands on them.

So, I am willing to trade either the graded Gibson Coca-Cola card or the 3-card Tiger Coca-Cola pack to a Tigers fan, but I'm going to have to get something extra-good in exchange because the 14-year-old in me really REALLY wants to open that pack.

This is tremendous.

This is a 1960 Darigold Farms Spokane Indians card of Willie Davis, which Alan says is the first time Davis appeared in a card set.

These cards go for a fancy penny. They came glued to milk cartons and you had to remove the tab at the top, which often led to the top border being trimmed, like in this case here.

It's still a great-looking card. And now that I know that the cards came in backgrounds of yellow, green or red, I have to repress the urge to collect the whole expensive thing.

Pretty freaking cool.

Everyone that sends me cards has to be a smart guy.

Oh well, as a Dodger fan you have to take the whole history, not just some of it. I think this is from the1960 Nu-Card Hi-Lites set. My Standard Catalog says that the backs contain a quiz question, but this particular back is blank. I know the set features cards with black type and red-and-black type. Perhaps the black-type ones are blank?

I'm just guessing. Like I said, these cards are on the fringe of my collection and my knowledge.

That doesn't mean I don't think they're thoroughly cool.

There's always more than one way.


  1. Alan warmed my heart with that last card. I'm buying him a beer.

  2. Alan sent some great oddballs. The Willie Davis Spokane card is great

  3. It's a Tigers Coca-Cola 3-card pack!!!!!!!!! I would give it the most wonderful home. I sent something your way on Monday. If you like what you find when you break open the bubble, perhaps the Tiger pack could come and live with me?

  4. Didn't realize there was a 1981 Tigers Coca-Cola set. Might have to chase one of those down.

  5. I lived in michigan during 1981 and Don't remember ever seeing the Coca-Cola cards. I remember the Burger King cards, though.

  6. These are some seriously deep cuts. Well done.

  7. Nice stuff !! I could use some of those for my sample card collection.

    My youngest son, who was a sportswriter in Illinois, now writes for the Ashland Times Gazette in Ashland ,Ohio. The hometown of John Roseboro. Only 15 miles south of our home. Win win for us !

  8. 1960 Darigold Farms, are you kidding?? That is some kind of hit, even with the Thomson card thrown in. That's a 1960 CVC version, btw, with black fronts and blank-backed, while Nu-Card versions had text on both sides. CVC is rarer, without commanding much of a price premium. Great to get in either case.