Wednesday, May 20, 2015

The 2 1/2-by-3 1/2 bias

I received these two 1969 Topps Stamps from Mark Hoyle awhile ago. I like them quite a bit. Who doesn't like anything with a picture of Don Drysdale on it? And Ron Fairly? Well, he's just dreamy. Ask those Mad Men secretaries from the '60s.

But these stamps sat and sat and sat on my card desk for weeks upon weeks, waiting for me to have something to say about them. I had already babbled about stamps before, and, well, nothing else was coming to me.

There was another reason why they sat there. I don't know what to do with non 2 1/2-by-3 1/2 items.

Oh, I have a lot of irregular cards. I refuse to be prejudiced. But if it's not 2 1/2-by-3 1/2, it's going to have to be really special (see 1975 Topps minis) for me to make specific accommodations. Otherwise stuff like this disappears in a box.

And that's terrible. Stamps from 1969 with pictures of Don Drysdale should not go in a box, with a cover, so I can stumble across them once every six months and say, "Oh, yeah! I have these!"

But this is the world that was started in the late 1950s when 2 1/2-by-3 1/2 became a thing and then solidified in the late '70s/early '80s when binders and nine-pocket pages became a thing. When collectors saw how beautiful cards looked presented in pages in a binder, there was no going back. And since the majority of cards fit 9 pockets, that's what was and still is available the most.

I am so much in this 2 1/2-by-3 1/2 habit, that I will showcase items in binders that I like a lot less than those wonderful '69 stamps because I have a 2 1/2-by-3 1/2 bias.

For example:

Mark also sent these 3 cards from that set that I said I'd try not to talk about again. They're horrifically unlicensed (although it's difficult for me to dislike a Joc Pederson card right now). If they were not 2 1/2-by-3 1/2, I'd have no problem banishing them to a box and wouldn't miss them at all.

But because I GOT PAGES and I GOT A BINDER, they will be displayed with their 2 1/2-by-3 1/2 buddies.

We collectors and our habits.

It's enough for me to want to rehaul my own system. But I don't have time for that. So, instead, I think I'll find a way to display these stamps in a binder, so I can see them properly (by the way, the Topps stamps from this year look terrific in a row -- and that would be a fantastic way to display them, although I love the mini-albums that came out that year to display them).

I'll also get this card that Mark sent in a binder, too:

This is both unlicensed and undersized. But it is my first Milton Bradley Dodgers card. I'm not sure how much collectors pay attention to these MB cards since most are readily available but you don't see them much.

I had to spend a good 10 minutes figuring out which Milton Bradley this is. The 1969 and 1972 sets are very similar with similar photos and everything.

I went to my trusty Standard Catalog of Baseball Cards DVD and determined that this card is from the 1972 set. That's pretty odd because Gabrielson's major league career ended in 1970.

But I know it's 1972 because the Standard Catalog says to look on the back of the card:

It says that if the red "1"s on the card feature a base then it is a card from 1972. If the "1"s do not feature a base, it is from 1969. These "1"s have a base, so it's from '72.

That is such an obscure differentiation from one set to the next that I absolutely must put this card in a page in a binder.

One day my collection will be bias-free.

Except for those micro cards from the early '90s. They're impossible.


  1. Don't even get me started on those Topps Chipz things...

  2. They make pages that hold t206's and t205's. They work well for the stamps. I'll send you one. The 72 Milton Bradley set is filled with guys that retired one or two years earlier. Tony. They sell pages for the coins also..

  3. The Jimmy Rollins card obviously has colored in his Phillies jersey, unless the Dodgers started wearing numbers on their sleeves.

  4. Hoyle just sends the coolest stuff.