Friday, March 25, 2016

Junk wax nostalgia and those aren't Dodgers cards!!!

A little while ago, I received a package from fellow supertrader Adam of Infield Fly Rule. It's so good to have a destination again for all my spare Rockies cards (and all Rockies cards are spares).

In that package, I came across two different topics that I wanted to discuss.

The first is how nostalgia can pop up in the strangest places and with the strangest cards. For me, the most nostalgic cards, by far, are cards from the 1970s. So many memories and pleasant card moments from that decade.

Cards from other eras hold some nostalgia, too, but I would never expect junk wax cards to produce many fuzzy moments, particularly anything from the early '90s. Those were not great cards, nor great times. So how do I explain the rush of feelings I received when I saw these cards come out of the package?:

1990 Score? Why in the world would anyone get melty over that set?

Well, every time I see a few 1990 cards grouped together I am immediately transported to a small collectibles shop on Main Street in Cooperstown. I'm not sure which visit to Cooperstown it was, but it was the time that I discovered cards at the dozens of souvenir shops that line the center of town.

I wasn't actively collecting then. But I still had this latent goal of trying to complete some Dodgers sets. I walked into the store and saw the usual souvenir clothing and caps, mugs and pens, and then stepped up into the landing in the back of the store, which was small and cluttered.

There, I found baseball cards assembled in various clear-plastic packs, by team. They were all junk wax sets, but there were many junk wax sets that I had not seen at the time, and one of them was 1990 Score. I jumped at the chance to grab the Dodgers set, opening up the pack and looking through them before I bought it and marveling that Darrin Fletcher was once a Dodger.

The cards couldn't have cost more than a dollar, but thanks to that moment, 1990 Score always owns a place in my memory, and it's a happy one. When was the last time you could say that about 1990 Score?

Of course, I own all the '90 Score Dodgers that Adam sent, but there were a few others that I didn't.

This Eric Karros card finishes off the 1994 Sportflics team set. I just spent about 30 seconds tilting it back and forth. Great fun.

Another need from 2013 Panini Triple Play. TP is a set that wore out its welcome quickly. Whatever fondness I felt that first year of the brand -- and it wasn't a lot -- faded into complete disregard by year 2. It took all my strength to put up a Dodger want list for this. But a card I needed! Yay!

Dodger mini wants! Weeee! That's where all the mini Kershaws went! Adam was hoarding them!

This cuts down my 2014 Dodger minis list quite a bit. I don't know where people find these things, but I'm glad they send them to me.

Adam also sent some cards that only under the loosest definition ever devised would be considered a Dodger card.

Example 1:

It took me a minute, but eventually I realized that these players all have something in common other being 1992 Stadium Club cards randomly sent by a supertrader.

You more astute Dodger fans can probably figure it out, too.

They all started their careers as Dodgers.

Now, there's no way I consider these Dodgers cards, but it got me curious: do any team collectors turn these cards over and slip them into their team binders? It seems a tiny bit too completist.

Example 2:

This Rockies card shows Preston Wilson plying his talent against the Dodgers in Dodger Stadium. So is this a Dodger card?


I know of one Dodger fan who collects cards featuring Dodger Stadium, but I'm assuming he doesn't group them in his Dodgers binders. I won't either. Into the box of 2004 Topps cards it goes.

Example 3:

This one is the most difficult. Base-runner Kevin Gross is featured almost as prominently as the card subject, Hal Morris. But I'd open the floodgates including this card with the rest of my Dodgers, not to mention unnecessarily adding another ugly 1992 Donruss card to the binders.

Not a Dodger card.

Adam also sent a selection of random 2005 Topps cards:

He must have read a post I made a couple years ago about my interest in 2005 Topps. It's not a set I have any immediate plans to try to complete, but I don't mind receiving cards from the set.

And here's a card because Adam was concerned I didn't have any Rockies card with a player obviously pictured at spring training. Yep, that kept me up at night. So I'll sleep well now with Jeff Salazar stored in a box with the rest of the 2007s.

But, believe it or not, even 2007 Topps includes a bit of nostalgia for me.

Pathetic ain't it?


  1. Never woulda connected the dots on those '92 TSC cards. Nicely done both by the sender and recipient. For what it's worth, I would not consider them 'team cards' but it's a pretty cool notion.

    1. I figured that they had all played for the Dodgers--hey, when I open a pack, I like to see guys who played for the Mets even if they aren't shown as Mets, at least a little--but I didn't connect it to the back at all. Clever.

      MAN, it's weird to see a 1972 Topps on the back of a Stadium Club card. Is that the oldest card to appear on one? Nah, can't be, I'm sure Nolan Ryan must be in a couple of those sets, and he started earlier.

  2. I thought that they might have all started as Dodgers, but the Sutcliffe threw me. I'm a Cubs fan, but I must be to young a Cubs fan because I thought Sutcliffe started with Chicago.

  3. I received the Brady Anderson from that set from Adam. It took me a bit but when I flipped it over. I got it. Not sure where it's going to go yet.

  4. Those tsc cards aren't dodger cards to me, either. And, you are correct - I have a separate binder for dodger stadium cards and dodger lurkers like that Hal Morris card.

  5. I'm not going to exaggerate and say 90 Score is one of the greatest designed sets of all-time, but it's definitely better than not. I still have a rack pack box I picked up a few years ago and every once in awhile I'll pop one open looking for the B&W Bo or B&W Candlestick card.

  6. 1994 Sportflics might just be the most mesmerizing set ever produced. Enjoy those minis!

  7. I keep a separate binder for my "Braves in the Background". BTW, I borrowed that idea from a former Dodger blogger.